Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Most Barbarous and Disgraceful Proceeding

While looking into the previously mentioned invasion of “Sydney Ducks” into San Francisco, and the subsequent rise of lynchings and other forms of vigilantism, I stumbled on the following brief article in an 1850s issue of the Placer Times. The article stands without comment, other than that provided by the paper’s editor.

Something Fresh--Selling Women at Auction.--We learn from the Alta California that a vessel recently arrived at San Francisco from Sydney, New South Wales, having on board three women, who, being unable to "settle their passage," were taken on shore by the captain, and sold at auction to liquidate the debt. Fifteen dollars each was the highest bid for services for five months. the gallant captain coolly pocketed the $45 and walked off, well satisfied with the "live stock" operation. We may be over sensitive about such things, but we must be allowed to say that we consider this a most barbarous and disgraceful proceeding. 

PlacerTimes February 9, 1850


On a completely different note:

Some of you may be readers of J.D. Chandler’s books on Portland. He is currently writing a book called: Portland Into the Vice Age 1934-1953 and is raising funds by a crowd funding project. Check here for details.