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bay-craft up the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, for distribution among the various gold-diggings. The want of American-built craft, adapted to the bay and river trade, was manifested in the high price of freight from San Francisco to Sutter's Fort and up the San Joaquin river, which had reached the enormous price of $- per 100 lbs.; and even at this rate the amount of tonnage in the trade was altogether insufficient to send forward the necessaries of life to meet the great flood of immigration pouring into the gold region from all quarters. There was neither time, materials, nor laborers at hand to build, nor was there time for suitable vessels to be sent from the Atlantic States; so that the only remedy was to permit citizens of the United States owning foreign vessels, built at the Sandwich islands and in Mexican ports, to embark in it at once, and until the pleasure of the Executive should be known.
The question now is as to the continuation of those licenses. Under this license, tonnage to about twelve hundred in thirty-one vessels has been added to the trade; and yet the freight is six and a half to seven dollars on a barrel of flour from San Francisco to Sutter's Fort, and the storage on flour at San Francisco is now three dollars per barrel per month. These prices are not likely to be much reduced until suitable steamers take the place of sail-craft, now exclusively employed on the above lines of transportation, or until Congress shall establish a customhouse at the more convenient port of Benicia, on the straits of Karquines. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, THOS. AP C. JONES, Commander-in-chief U. S. naval forces, Pacific ocean. The Hon. WM. BALLARD PRESTON, Secretary of the Navy.
SAN FRANCISco, September 1, 1849.
SIR: The steam propellers Edith and Massachusetts have been transferred from the War to the Navy Department-the former to the squadron, and the latter to the joint commission. The Edith was in a very unserviceable condition-that is, her propelling machinery, which has been repaired at a very considerable cost, ($3,500;) and she is now in charge of Lieutenant McCormick, with two engineers hired for the. occasion, and has gone to leeward upon a requisition of the Hon. T. B. King, to bring the members elect from San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, to Monterey, where the convention for forming a State constitution will this day meet.
Lieutenant Meade arrived here in the July steamer, but without the engineers and other officers appointed to accompany him. As soon as the Edith returns to this place, Lieutenant Meade will be put in command; but she will not be able to leave the port again until the arrival of the Falmouth, with the officers and engineers ordered out for that vessel.
I have no information from the Bureau of Equipment, &c., that any coal is on the way here; the steamers will be of but little use without fuel, and coal can be purchased here only in small parcels, and at high prices-from $30 to $40 per ton.
I regret exceedingly to inform you that Mr. King is lying dangerously Fill in this town, of dysentery, which is very prevalent here. He was at
tacked a fortnight ago, and, although the worst symptoms have been somewhat subdued, Dr. Bowie, of the navy, is not entirely free from apprehension of a fatal termination; should such be the case, the public, and California in particular, would sustain a loss which could not be speedily replaced.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commander-in-chief U. S. naval forces, Pacific ocean.
P. S. Since the above was written, Dr. Bowie has called in to say that Mr. King's symptoms are much more favorable, and that he thinks him doing very well.
T. AP C. J.
SIR: The enclosed copy of a letter from Lieutenant James McCormick will inform you of the shipwreck and total loss of the United States steampropeller "Edith." My letter (No. 65) of the 1st of September informed you of the object for which the Edith was despatched to leeward, which will be better understood by the accompanying copy of a letter from the Hon. T. Butler King, to me addressed. I am pleased to say that, notwithstanding the loss of the "Edith," the object of her visit below has not been defeated, as all the members elected to the convention from the southern districts, with a single exception, were in attendance at Monterey when the convention organized for business on Monday, the 3d instant, and, by last accounts, were proceeding harmoniously in their great work.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commander-in-chief U. S. naval forces, Pacific ocean.
SAN FRANCISCO, August 13, 1849.
SIR: In carrying into effect the views and policy indicated in the letter of the Secretary of the Navy, which I had the honor to deliver to you on my arrival in this place, it has become necessary that I request you to despatch the steamer Edith, as soon as practicable, to St. Diego, touching at the intermediate ports, and to return to Monterey by the 1st proximo. Please to have her supplied with stores, &c., to accommodate some twenty persons in her cabin. As she is now, I am informed, undergoing repairs, I must beg that you will not hesitate to employ such force as will insure her being ready for sea, if possible, by Saturday next. I have the honor to be, with very great respect and esteem, your most obedient servant,
T. BUTLER KING.
Commodore T. AP C. JONES, &c., &c., &c.
U. S. STEAM PROPELLER EDITH, August 26, 1849.
SIR: I am under the painful necessity of reporting this vessel on Point Conception. On Friday night last, near 10 o'clock, surf was discovered close aboard; all haste was used to alter the course, but without availng anything. She struck frequently and heavily; but the bottom being and, she was a long time before any leak was made. Yesterday, finding t impossible to get off, and the hold having three feet of water in it, I hought it prudent to cut away the masts. In the afternoon she leaked so fast that both the pumps and the engine pumps could not keep her free.
I shall now in a few moments despatch Mr. Carnes with Major Garnet to arrange an express to carry this. This I hope you will consider only the announcement of this disaster. When I have time I will draw up a more detailed report. I will proceed to get on shore all that I can. think there is only a remote hope that the vessel might be saved by the use of the balzas now on board the Fredonia. We have now under the stern about ten feet of water; at the bows six to seven; but it is rather low tide. If she was got off she might be towed to some port to the southward and repaired, provided the balzas could be kept under her. The boiler and engine can be got out by the use of the above article. I think she may be considered a wreck.
I suppose you will expect to hear how those under my command acted. I have only to say, well; they have obeyed all orders cheerfully and with alacrity. As for myself, I am greatly mortified at the result, but I am cheered by the knowledge of having done my duty; nothing but circumstances over which I had no control, brought about this disaster. We had no sun, and from that circumstance had to depend on dead reckon- ing. I considered myself in the middle of the passage.
I suppose it would appear out of the way to appear over-ready in asking that the loss may be made the subject of investigation before a proper court; but I do ask inquiry, and as soon as possible.
1 I have no time to write more now, as I wish to despatch Mr. Carnes to Santa Barbara, and then go on with the duty of discharging.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Com. Tuos. AP C. JONES,'
Commander-in-chief, Pacific squadron.
FLAG SHIP SAVANNAH,
SIR: The failure of the United States mail-steamers to bring forward the mails from Panama has become so habitual as to destroy all confidence in that channel of communication with the Navy Department, as may be inferred by reference to my several acknowledgments of letters-some, for instance, of June dates reaching me before others of February and March; and I have good reason to suppose that mine to the department may not have been more regular in their transit: consequently, I have deternrined to employ a special messenger, as I much desire to keep the department fully posted in relation to naval operations in this quarter, that you may
be at all times prepared to answer any calls that Congress may make con cerning what is doing or has been done by the navy out here.
Mr. Beale, of the navy, the bearer hereof, is also bearer of a treaty just concluded by Mr. Eames, our commissioner for the Sandwich Islands, with Dr. Judd, one of the King of the Sandwich Islands' ministers of state, who has been sojourning here for a month, on his way to Washing
а ton, London, and Paris, charged with high diplomatic functions to those courts. I also send herewith a printed copy of the constitution formed by the convention which recently assembled at Monterey for that purpose. The constitution is now before the people, and is well received; it will probably be adopted. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. AP C. JONES,
Commander-in-chief, Pacific squadron. Hon. WM. BALLARD PRESTON,
Secretary of the Navy.
SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 1849. Sır: I have the honor to report my arrival at this place on the 4th instant, in company with Mr. King. I found Commodore Jones here, with his flag on board the sloop Warren, to whom I immediately delivered the despatches in person, with which you intrusted me.
I am happy to state that, in my humble opinion, Mr. King's arrival -evidently gave great satisfaction, and a committee of the citizens promptly called upon him, and requested he would meet the citizens publicly, and express his views in regard to the affairs respecting the Territory, &c. A very respectable meeting soon followed, and received and welcomed Mr. King. Resolutions were adopted recommending a convention for the purpose of forming and adopting a constitution and State government, and measures taken to conter with all portions of the Territory. From present appearances, I have no doubt every measure in conformity with the wishes of the President and cabinet, and the best interests of the republic, will be secured in due season. I consider the arrival of Mr. King most opportune and fortunate, and an impetus, confidence, and direction given to affairs, which will greatly promote the important objects confided to him. It is clear that the strong arm of the general government, and salutary laws, must at the earliest possible moment be extended over this. immense and magnificent land, in order to prevent bloodshed, confusion, and a sad state of affairs. Foreigners are flocking in, goods smuggled in along the coast, and jealousy and deep hostility engendered between these hordes of intruders and our interprising and adventurous countrymen. A large fleet of merchantmen are at anchor here, exceeding a hundred sail, requiring an effective squadron to regulate and keep them in order.
By the mail from Monterey, we learn that the people have responded favorably to the resolutions originating here, in public meeting, and every .sign is favorable.
I will address you again by the steamer of July 1, and apprize you of Il matters of interest in connexion with the Territory. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. Wм. BALLARD PRESTON,
SAN FRANCISCo, August 31, 1849.
SIR: The departure of the steamer Panama to-morrow affords me the >ccasion of again addressing you. I regret to inform you of the very evere illness of the Hon. T. B. King, who was assailed two weeks since with a violent attack of dysentery. For a length of time he was in great langer, with but slender hope of recovery. The skill of Dr. Bowie, of he navy, has prevailed, and Mr. King is now out of danger, and will, it s hoped, recover.
The moment for the assembling of the convention is at hand, and the delegates with great unanimity are in attendance. Major Garnett left here a week ago in the Edith for San Diego, for the purpose of conveying the southern delegates to Monterey, while Mr. King and myself were to have proceeded down to Monterey in company with those from the northern districts. It is matter of universal regret that Mr. King cannot be present when the convention organizes, as great respect and importance are attached to his opinions, and his counsel sought very extensively.
The prospect of a successful accomplishment of the duties that become good citizens, no one seems to doubt. The delegates are generally selected from among the common sense class of the community; and if I judge from the resolute tone and manner of many of those who have passed through, they are resolved to act promptly and prudently, and with a just sense of duty to the Union and themselves. All seem impressed with exalted ideas of public duty and a strong desire to assemble in good feeling, execute the high trust confided to them, and return without unnecessary delay to their homes. Territorial government has its advocates, on the plea of the inability of a State situated as California is to support herself. The great majority, I think, are in favor of State government, and I trust the results of the convention will fully confirm my opinions.. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant, CADWALADER RINGGOLD, United States Navy.
Hon. Wм B. PRESTON.
P. S.-Mr. King is recovering slowly, and now no fears whatever are entertained; he will, I trust, yet be able to attend at Monterey during the session of the convention. He charges me to say to you, and to ask you to say also to the honorable Secretaries of State and War, that his severe illness will account for the omission of any communications from him by the steamer which leaves to-morrow.