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OF THE CALL.
vember in that Jftar Abraham Lincoln was elected Pmraent of the United States for a second term, defeating General George 3. McClellan, the Dem- -*-* y-cratic candidate. When the cam- V-aign preceding the election opened ac tively in this State a delegation of the Union-Democratic 'party waited upon the managers pf The Call and more than requested that as the war was as good as over the paper should throw its influence for General McGlellan. There was more than a hint that the paper i would be boycotted unless it agreed. * No attention was paid to the almost mandatory request. The result was that Democratic names began to drop from The Call's subscription list like leaves from trees in November. On election day the paper had lost nearly half its circulation, which before the political disaffection reached 10,000 copies daily. But The Call con tinued faithful to its convictions that under the circumstances of the time MEMORABLE EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE CALL. ' ' "„ J HE CALL has always been on the side of the people; it has fought for THE CALL has and for the development of this city and State. for their interests and for the development of this city and State. *• I From its inception The Call always favored the construction of the I' Central Pacific Railway and advocated the investment of private cap ital in this enterprise. Only when those who owned the road forgot their obligations, to the people and attempted to win wealth by legislative and politic"-, corruption did The Call oppose them and their undertaking. The nomination of George C. Gorham in 1867 for Governor started an agi ■i-ation of our railroad situation that created new issues, some of which are still living, one vitally concerning San Francisco especially, and the central and northern portions of the State in a high degree. Gorham represented the com bined railroad interests that had previously sought subsidies from State, coun ties and cities, and whose enormous demands on the immediately preceding Leg islature had been practically defeated by a veto of Governor Low. ' .' - In his hour of disappointment Gorham boasted that he would be the next Governor. His nomination by the Republican party at a time of its greatest strength, resulting -from ths* triumnhs of the war, seemed to make his election sure. Y,Y Y0 The Call was the only morning paper of San Francisco that led in the re volt against the railroaded Republican machine, and rallied the forces that procured the nomination of Henry H. Haight as an independent Democratic reform candidate, whose election It contended was of such paramount import ance as to place the issue above all partisan consideration. i The campaign that followed and resulted in the election of Haight was as V* iting as the outcome was gratifying, for the verdict of the people by a tre r!\*-ndous majority was really a great moral triumph. ; The new State administration that followed was on the whole true to the reforit. spirit that gave it life, although the Legislature might have been sub servient to corrupting railroad Influences, had not Governor Haight kept it within reasonable bounds by several almost heroic vetoes. The Central Pacific Railroad Company, then making rapid progress in track laying eastward over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, made a determined effort before the Legislate. - of 1868 for a grant of eight miles of the water frontage of San Francisco; but Governor Halght stood in the way. and the railroad only received a gift of sixti. acres of Mission Bay. v:^.y T**e grasping corporation "was deeply disappointed, .-.nd soon entered on a „. •*-se of scheming to gain new advantages as if intending to. intimidate I -n •-- •C -isco and compel her to buy peace. Through a collusive suit at law it se j Mr. Lincoln was the proper man for | the Presidency. The hollowness of the Confederacy had been shown, and when i the internecine difficulties were settled Mr. Lincoln would be the best man for the work of pacification. The shock oc casioned by the President's assassin ation caused such a revulsion of feel ing that all minor considerations were lost- Political spites and hatreds ap peared puny in the presence of this great calamity. The political boycott of The Call was forgotten, the wisdom of the paper's course applauded, and the dissidents repented of the feeling they had wn. Within two months after the death of the President the paper's circulation had more than dou bled. The lower-priced paper movement had commenced in 1856-57, The Call having been the pioneer so far as suc cess was concerned. Then followed the Chronicle, Republican, Post, Mail. Echo, Globe and half a dozen others COPY OF THE FIRST PAPER PRINTED IN CALIFORNIA. THE SAN niAXCISCO G,VTJ_^"'^ '"' — — ——•, -' which' were started, but discontinued after a few months' existence. The Call outstripped them all in the race and the older and higher priced papers suf fered in consequence. ■ In 1867 Loring Pickering became a si lent partner in the paper by the pur chase of Jobson's interest. In 1869 he induced his partners in the Bulletin, George K. Fitch and James W. Simon ton, to join him in the full acquirement of The Call, and it remained under that ownership until January, 1886. On February 2, IS7O, the name of Peter B. Forster & Co. appeared for the last time at the head of the paper. The next day it came out under the management of the San Francisco Call Company, composed of Pickering, Fitch and Simonton, and the second epoch of The Call's career was begun. The office of the paper was removed from the cramped quarters on Com mercial street to the building on. Clay street, south side, below Leidesdorff. Mr. Pickering . entered on his duties with a cheerful alacrity, which showed that the position suited him, and that his heart was in his work. He held the idea that for a leading journal a morning daily was the most availa ble. To realize this favorite idea he had bent all his energies to the purchase of The Call as being the paper best calculated for the object in view. In every way Mr. Pickering was ex | cellently equipped for the work he had cut out for himself on The Call. It improved by jumps from the moment .he took hold of it. Not only did he en BY GEORGE X* PITCH* i cured a sort of title to nine miles of the water frontage of Oakland. Next it j laid new siege to San Francisco by demanding a subsidy of $1,000,000 as an in ; ducement to come to this city and here establish, its great depot for all its railroad business. The proposition was submitted to the people at a special ; election and voted down. The railroad schemers now seemed desperate in their search for chances to get even with the self-reliant city, and at the earliest opportunity it turned I up at Washington with a bill asking a grant of Goat Island for a great railroad j terminus, at and around which they might build a city of their own. The high est railroad authority of the time declared: "San Francisco is on the wrong side of the bay." The bill granting Goat Island to the railroad company passed the national House of Representatives early in 1872, but was held up in the Senate In obe dience to Indignant remonstrances from San Francisco, ably sustained by Sen ators Cole and Casserly, who had each been elected by anti-railroad subsidy Influences, similar to those that prevailed in the election of Governor Haight. The Senate adjourned without final action on the bill. '- - In 1869 The Call was a prominent factor in the election of Selby as Mayor of this city, thus administering a severe rebuke to the corruptionists and put ting a temporary stop to boss politics. The paper has always been the staunch upholder of good government and has fought for better streets, lower car fares. Improved sewers and public parks. __• ■.'."; .'. \ SV.VV-1 In the Gorham campaign The Call had every delegate and candidate pledged to work for the saving of at least 1000 of the 8000 acres of outside lands, situate west of Devisadero street, and where. the park is now located. Seven thousand acres wore divided up under, divers pretenses, but public sentiment, led by The Call, caused the 1000 acre lot to be saved to the people. The Call was also strenuously opposed to Chinese immigration and made it a special issue in the 1867 campaign. Its continued opposition to the coolie re sulted in the passage of the restriction act by Congress, thus keeping out thou sands of Chinese from competing with white labor. During the great mining excitement The Call continually warned the nubile against foolhardy speculation, which culminated in the failure of the Bank of California in 1t... Nearly all the other "morning papers' followed r - «-«.— l lead. b_*. this paper remained cool and collected and helped to straighten mat t*- - out w 1 i. the crash was over. -"'"''• The Call has always been th : advocate of economical governments State and municipal; it has been fearless in exposing wrong and quick in espousing large the paper, but he introduced all the very latest newspaper appliances into its mechanical department. With the exception of the bulkhead monopoly no very important measure had occupied the public mind duiing the ten years preceding his installation into the editorial chair. The period might be called the war decade. There was restlessness and uncertainty in all branches of business in California, par ticularly that of journalism; but the years of the next decade, beginning with the completion in May, 1869, of the Central Pacific Railroad across the continent, were marked by more stirring and important events. To deal with them In a journalistic way required a strong heart and a clear head in the editorial chair of a leading journal like The Call. Mr. Pickering possessed the required qualities in an ' eminent degree, and they enabled him to carry the paper through a "series of severe ordeals. What is known as the railroad strug gle commenced here in 1872. It created great strife and intense bitterness. Ex- Governor Leland Stanford, president of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, i in his efforts to obtain legislation fa vorable to his transportation interests, : remarked incidentally, while before a i committee of the Legislature, that "San | Francisco was on the wrong side of the 1 bay." This roused the resentment of our real estate owners and residents, and they demanded the railroad com pany's intentions especially the truth of its alleged plan to capture Goat Isl :-Ai:Y !■ 0 and. The city papers, especially The**. Call, were full of the matter. The j~. whole situation is very clearly and^-jj compactly stated in Hlttell's history of 0 San Francisco. The Supervisors hay- 0 ing refused to grant a subsidy for a 0 bridge at Ravenswood, the Central Pa-p_-0 cific Railroad Company urged its ap-_,^*2 plication previously made to Congress,}) \ I for permission to occupy Goat Island. -' \ Little attention had been given to mak- 3 ing a terminus at the island, but in 187- **' j the opinion prevailed that the estab lishment of the terminal business there with a bridge to the Oakland shore and numerous warehouses and wharves on the island, would result in serious, ii not immense, damage to San Fran cisco. The Call held very strongly to this view of the easel The scheme was very generally denounced by the press and at public meetings. , A com mittee of one hundred citizens was or ganized to take measures for protect ing the public interests believed to be endangered by the railroad company. Goat Island had been reserved by the Government of the United States for military purposes. The Federal army engineers in response to an inquiry whether there was any objection to the occupation of the island as a railroad terminus, replied that such occupation would seriously diminish the military value of the position. The coast sur vey engineers declared that any bridge or solid 'causeway from the Oakland shore to Goat Island would check the mrrents along the eastern shore of the bay, cause the deposit of a large imount of sand and mud, diminish the tidal area, and reduce theamount of the •lewater flowing out of the Golden '•*■ with the ebb. thus injuring the "-•lue of the harbor. For these reasons The Call and its colleagues opposed and" ultimately defeated the railroad company's designs. "..*." Journalism in San Francisco from 1870 to 1877 was demoralized to a very great extent by individuals who had private speculations to advance. In THE FOUR MEN WHO HAVE HAD MOST TO DO WITH MAYING THE CALL'S LATEST Kls*tW-» the first place the owners of the Cen- | tral Pacific Railroad Company, which ' had become . rich • and powerful, were j desirous of obtaining further subsidies j from San Francisco. This move was earnestly and stoutly opposed by The I Call. A controversy commenced, which i ultimately became exceedingly violent j and acrimonious. A few persons "operating" in mining stocks also paid large sums to pur chasable newspapers to color the re ports coming from the mines with . a view to influencing th-i market. In ad dition they gave blocks of mining stock to gain their ends. It was well under stood that in a proposed Spring Valley deal the assistance of a venal press was secured by the use of money. Several of the papers thus subsl dlr. 1 * could not nave been ■•: pub lished without such qu-"" '** as sistance. A condition of things existed . *■' this city which had no parallel in th j [United States. The Call stCjd in the way of all these criminal projects. Strong efforts were made to crush The Call, as the Sacramento Union was crushed by the Central Pacific Rail road Company for opposing its lust of power and spirit of monopoly. Alto gether the railroad and several pri vate speculators spent six or eight hundred thousand dollars in their en deavors to undermine The Call. In this struggle they were assisted In most of the other city papers. Those were the times to try what honest jour nalists were made of. Notwithstanding these assaults of the moneyed powers, no damage ensued to the paper. The Call increased con stantly in strength. Probably there had never been such a powerful com bination to destroy a newspaper, but in the end the assailants gave up the struggle, convinced that it was hope less. During the eighties The Call dealt with many important propositions material to the interests of the people. All questions relating to municipal af fairs were clearly and impartially dis cussed in its column.*-, and the paper was made more than usually interest ing in all its departments. Novel fea tures were introduced, and lines of in formation theretofore unconsidered in dailies were opened to the public. The Call's efforts on behalf of the. Traffic Association . and . against the Huntington-Pacific Mail ' combination, are part of the history of the commer cial life of the State. The last act of Mr. Pickering's exist ence, the last drop he. gave of a life long fidelity to the interests of the peo ple, was the course of The Call dur ing the general and municipal elec tion in this city in November. 1592. The Call " separated the general from the municipal election, and while argu ing zealously in favor of the Republi can candidate for the Presidency, re jected partisan consideration entirely where the city officers were concerned. The Call was the creator of the municipal and legislative non-partisan movement which resulted in the elec tion of L. R. Ellert to the mayoralty and rescued the city from the control of Christopher Buckley and the bosses. The Call also took a hand later in the local elections on the Oakland side of the bay, considering it proper to do so on account of the large circulation it enjoys there. Its influence for good was felt and the paper received a for mal letter of thanks from the grateful citizens for its valuable services in the cause of reform. -•."*";•--" •*-.;•.•.■".•"■• I On January 4. 1895, The Call was j purchased by Charles M. Shortridge of I San Jose, who assumed editorial con- I trol and management of the paper on January 8. Numerous improvements were inaugurated, new and more rapid presses introduced, and greater news facilities acquired, and the paper's pro gressive endeavors and advocacy, of beneficial public enterprises continued to merit the popular approval. During this period The Call led with enthusiasm the movement which re sulted in the realization of a boon of | immeasureable value, in the people's railroad line, which broke the back of rail ._d ' monopoly in ' one of Califor nia's richest and most extensive val leys. The story of The Call would not i be complete With-, the m-...-.ion i C it." fruitful endeavors wi... reference to tl • San Francisco & San Joaquin Valley road.l^^_^^^S^yttt6Bßl The 13th of August. 1897, was another memorable day, in the history of the paper. On that date John D. Spreckels, the present editor and proprietor, pur chased The Call, and the achievements of the paper under the new order of things are fresh in the public mind. The Call has led the battle for genu-, me municipal reform, and has laid bare all schemes that were hatched in the nest of political jobbery. It has exposed corruption in high places, even where the ermine of the bench was used to cloak the guilt. Without fear or favor it has conducted its campaign for honest government in city and State. Its potent influence for good is universally recognized. "Its circulation has more than doubled since 1895. and is to-day increasing at a more rapid rate than ever. " ' l s ; , ."?'-7, K**l*ja *- .An alliance with that peerless Amer ican, newspaper, the New York Herald, enables The Call to furnish its myriads of readers with a telegraphic news ser vice the most complete and accurate enjoyed by any journal west of Chi cago, while in. the matter of local news and coast correspondence it stands un rivaled among its contemporaries. The earliest tidings anent the peril ous situation of the three Irandred American whalers imprisoned in the ice pack off Point Barrow were given to the world through the columns of The Call, and it was through the agen cy of this paper that the National Gov ernment at Washington was speedily apprised of the menace of* death from cold and starvation that hung over those brave, hardy, but unfortunate countrymen of ours locked in the em brace of hoary winter on a glacial-des ert at the fall of the long Arctic night. Thanks to the efforts of The Call, which readily offered to equip an expe dition .for the Government, the admin istration dispatched the revenue cutter •Bear to the relief of the whalers, and that sturdy vessel is now speeding northward over the waves of ocean on its holy mission, while countless thou sands in this fair land are praying that the voyage of the life-ship may be crowned with that success which means the saving of so many precious lives, and the return of joy and hap piness to so many homes and firesides. Again it was The Call's Intrepid cor respondent who warned the thousands on the Klondike of the futility of their hopes of sufficient food reaching them by the Yukon River route to stave off famine until the spring. As a result, hundreds of miners are making their way down the river to the posts where there is an ample supply of fljour and bason, and measures are being consid ered in Washington for relieving possi ble distress in the Yukon Valley. What The Call has done in the past is an earnest of what it will do, on a larger scale, in the future. True to its valued traditions.' it will ever be found j j watchful pf the interests of the peo j ple; on all public servants it will keep vigilant eye. It is a striking exem plification of the fact that a newspaper j of to-day may be just and honest, and . at the same time successful: that it I may be clean, and _ the same time | bright, entertaining and attractive. To day, each department of The Call is equipped with every requisite for. work of the highest quality,, and of the greatest efficiency. The Call has now taken up its per manent abode in a grand and impos ing edifice that is admirably suited to the dignity of the leading newspaper of the Pacific slope. Here it will be in still eh..-.--* to_ch with the' life and ac tivity, the trade and commerce, of the splendid city, which, throned like Rome upon her seven hills, looks with abid j 1" : faith and radiant hope from her matchless harbor, with its thousand I masts, to the j *-im_js . Golden Gate, j through which drifts the desolate fog and through which the ,t ■<-■•-* of wealth ! is flowing forever to her teat. ■■;■—:■ ■ ■ . ■■ ,■ . -■---..- •■, Vv..,';-, ,--.-*. 19