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PHENIX IS ON THE SEA,......
The Steamer Northerner-Capt. Isham-Dick Whiting, the ne plus ul-
tra of Steamboat Captains-The Downfall of a brace of " Snobs"
Curses, loud and deep-Arrival at San Diego.
PROFESSOR JOHN PHENIX, A. M.
Of a Military Survey and Reconnoissance of the route from San Francisco to the Mission of Dolores, made with a view to ascertain the practicability
of connecting those points by a Railroad. *
MISSION OF DOLORES, Feb. 15, 1855.
Ir having been definitely determined, that the great Railroad, connecting the City of San Francisco with the head of navigation on Mission Creek, should be constructed without unnecessary delay, a large appropriation ($120,000) was granted, for the purpose of causing thorough military examinations to be made of the proposed routes. which had principally attracted the attention of the public, were “ the Northern,” following the line of Brannan Street, “the Central,” through Folsom Street, and “the extreme Southern,” passing over the "Old Plank Road” to the Mis
The routes, sion. Each of these proposed routes has many enthusiastio advocates; but “the Central” was, undoubtedly, the favorite of the public, it being more extensively used by emigrants from San Francisco to the Mission, and therefore more widely and favorably known than the others. It was to the examination of this route, that the Committee, feeling a confidence (eminently justified by the result of my labors) in my experience, judgment and skill as a Military Engineer, appointed me on the first instant. Having notified that Honorable Body of my acceptance of the important trust confided to me, in a letter, wherein I also took occasion to congratulate them on the good judgment they had evinced, I drew from the Treasurer the amount ($40,000) appropriated for my peculiar route, and having invested it securely in loans at three per cent a month (made, to avoid accident, in my own name), I proceeded to organize my party for the 'expedition.
* The Mission Dolores is only 24 miles from the City Hall of San Francisco, and is a favorite suburban locality, lying within the limits of the City Survey. This fact is noted for the benefit of distant readers of these sketches.
WILLIAM PENIX, (younger brother)
These gentlemen, with one hundred and eighty-four laborers employed as teamsters, chainmen, rodíen, etc., made up the party. For instruments, we had 1 large Transit Instrument (8 inch acromatic lens), 1 Mural Circle, 1 Altitude and Azimuth Instrument (these instruments were permanently set up in a mule cart, which was backed into the plane of the true meridian, when required for use), 13 large Theodolites, 13 small ditto, 8 Transit Compasses, 17 Sextants, 34 Artificial Horizons, 1 Sidereal Clock, and 184 Solar Compasses. Each employee was furnished with å gold chronometer watch, and, by a singular mistake, a diamond pin and gold chain; for directions having been given, that they should be furnished with “chains and pins," --meaning of course such articles as are used in surveying --Lieut. Root, whose“ zeal somewhat overran his discretion," incontinently procured for each man the above-named articles of jewelry, by mistake. They were purchased at Tucker's (where, it is needless to remark, "you can buy a diamond pin or ring)," and afterwards proved extremely useful in our intercourse with the natives of the Mission of Dolores, and indeed, along the route.
Every man was suitably armed, with four of Colt's revolvers, a Minie rifle, a copy of Col. Benton's speech on the Pacific Railroad, and a mountain howitzer. These lastnamed heavy articles required each man to be furnished with