Virignia, Nev., July 22, 1867.
Editor Memorial and Rock:
The Glorious Fourth
came and went at the usual time, and was generally observed throughout that portion of the Pacific coast included in Uncle Samuel's farm, after the good old style. Tons of gunpowder, ship loads of fire crackers, rockets, and all that sort of thing were destroyed, and noise, patriotism, "marching through Georgia" and general hilarity was the order of the day. In fact as far as this city was concerned, the way some fellows "swung round the circle," and kept on "marching through Georgia" in every direction across and athwart it, that unfortunate state must have got pretty well cut up by crooked trails before midnight. We had a very lively and pleasing celebration of it. Our procession numbered from fifteen hundred to two thousand, and included five military companies, the fire department, the Miner's League - composed of some hundreds of the sturdy, honest fellows who delve away down in the bowels of the earth, hundreds of feet below and under the foundations of the houses, stores and streets of this city - the Fenian Brotherhood, various other civil associations, city officers, Governor Blasdell and staff, half a dozen bands of music, car of State, etc. Our fire department always forms the handsomest feature in the procession. We have six engines of the best pattern, (not steamers) one hook and ladder company and one hose company. Each company averaged over sixty men on this occasion, although their ranks were not full. Their machines were all very elegantly trimmed with flowers, wreaths, rosettes, flags, etc., and four of them were surmounted by splendid canopies, under each of which was a little "Goddess of Liberty" in full costume, and together with the boys themselves, dressed in their red shirts, black pants, handsome fire hats and belts, the whole presented a truly gorgeous spectacle. It is the best and most efficient volunteer fire department on the coast. The quantity of whiskey consumed on that day was considerable, but the quality must have been unusually bad, for things did not pass off quite as peaceably as they did the year previous. One man was killed in the evening by a policeman. There had been a row at a house of prostitution, in which a man got shot in the leg, and the policeman went there to see about it. Jack Dalton, acting as a sort of "bully" for the house, opposed the entrance of the officer, and stuck a Derringer pistol in his face. The policeman immediately shot him through the heart. He was honorably acquitted, on trial of the case. Two Mexicans cut each other with knives, satisfactory to both parties, a little Dutchman sportively shot himself through the foot, and an Irishman had about half the top of his head chipped off with a hatchet, by a rampart stable keeper. An inch and a half deeper would have cut off some of his brain, in which case, the wound would have been serious, perhaps.
Speaking of whiskey, everybody conversant with the subject knows that the quality of this favorite beverage is extremely varied. Some of it is of fine quality, with high-toned taste and price, pleasing stimulative properties, and no bad after-notions; but there is one particular quality of whiskey which is most superlatively mean and rascally, and which really does exercise a very peculiar influence over all who partake of it. The first drink scratches your gullet, starts tears in your eyes and makes your finger and toe nails tingle; the second drink, you straighten up, feel resolute and defiant, have a great opinion of yourself, and are fully conscious there is more in you than people are aware of; the third drink you forget all the small debts you owe, grow oblivious of the big ones, and feel belligerent; the fourth drink, you are a horse, weigh a ton, curse the memory of your deceased grandmother, spit fiercely, double up your fists and look around for a muss; the fifth drink, it makes no difference if you are the kindest and most peaceable dispositioned man in the world, you've got to fight anyhow, and before you know it, almost, you'll be out in the middle of the floor, or street, with your shirt and hat off, waltzing about and just begging for some one to step out and fight you. (And you would'nt have to wait over seven minutes and a half here, either.) You'll get whipped nine time in ten minutes, and fetch up in the station house. Oh! this Donnybrook whiskey is gay; it's festive.
“Murder Will Out.”
I never knew or heard of a more perfect illustration of the truth of the above time honored saying, than the one I am about to relate. Jule Bulette, a well known prostitute, living in a little house alone by herself in the heart of this city, and within a hundred yards of the police station house, was found murdered in her bed, about noon on the 20th of last January. From the appearance of the body, she had been struck first on the head with a stick of stove wood, and afterwards strangled to death by means of a hand upon her throat (the marks of the fingers and thumb were printed there in plain blue characters) and a pillow over her face, which was found adhering fast to her mouth with dried clotted blood, which also issued from her ears. She had evidently been dead some hours. The last that was seen of her alive, was at 11½ o'clock the previous night, when she went to her house. She had a valuable lot of jewelry, furs, rich dresses, etc., all of which were stolen from her room, showing the evident object of the murderer to be plunder. This horrible affair created a great sensation at the time, and parties were arrested on suspicion of having committed the terrible crime; no real clue to the true murderer, however, was found, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance on the part of the police, and it soon passed to be among the mysteries which could not be solved.
Three months afterward, a man named John Millean, well known in this city, was arrested on charge of attempting to murder and rob Martha Camp, in a similar manner to that in which Jule Bulette was murdered and robbed, and while in jail, it was found that he had, previous to his arrest, sold a fine silk dress pattern to a lady in Gold Hill, for less than half its real value. This dress was of a very peculiar pattern, and was identified as belonging to Jule Bulette; she had purchased it only a few days before her death. One clue led to another, until at length all the rest of the stolen property was found in Milliean's trunk, at the house where he left it. Other circumstances went to prove who the murderer of that poor woman really was; besides which, Milliean confessed in the jail that he together with two others did the job.
The names of the men he gave as his accomplices, were doubtless fictitious, for the men were never found or heard of. His trial before the District court occupied but one day, and on the 5th inst he was condemned to be hung on the 23d of next month. He will be the first man ever hung in this county, unless something turns up to prevent. There have been plenty of men shot, cut, and otherwise slaughtered here, but there were always some extenuating circumstances in each case, so that sentence of death was never pronounced before now.
The evidence against Milliean was purely circumstantial, for no one saw him commit the horrid crime, except God, yet the chain of evidence aside from his own confession, was so perfect and overwhelmingly convincing that no other conclusion could possibly be arrived at. He made no defense whatever. He possessed the strongest nerve and most dogged command over his feelings, of any man I ever saw. I reported the trial, and therefore had a good opportunity of observing him. The spacious court room was crowded, and all eyes eagerly scanned the prisoner, especially on the day sentence was pronounced. He stood up firmly, and when the judge read the words condemning him to be hung by the neck till he was dead, every eye in the hall was upon him, yet he quailed not; he never changed a muscle of his countenance in the least, but soon afterward walked out with a firm step, when the sheriff escorted him back to his strong cell. He is evidently a hardened wretch, and is more than suspected of two or three other murders of a similar nature. It is said he will make a full written confession.
I don't think we have any smarter burglars here than you have in the Atlantic cities, but we have fully as powerful ones as you can scare up, and who always make a capital good showing of extensive and heavy work done, whenever they start at it. They never steal anything they can't carry off, and never leave anything even in that case without trying it a hitch. Hot stoves, mill-stones, wagons, and even quartz mills they regard as legitimate subjects for plunder. They look upon it as mere pastime to back their wagon up to a house in the night, steal all the furniture, take up the carpets, and in fact, sack the premises and drive off without disturbing the inmates at all from their slumbers. A watch dog would be of no use; they'd steal him too. Heavy quartz mill machinery, of tons in weight is not at all safe to leave unwatched; even small houses are sometimes carried off without the consent of the proprietors. Speaking of that, however, it seems they have at least one mighty powerful man in San Francisco, for a few days ago, William Culler commenced suit in the Twelfth District court in that city, against Charles R. Butler, alleging that he hired a house of the defendant on Pine street, and while in the occupation thereof, the defendant "wrongfully entered the said dwelling house of said plaintiff, and with great force and violence seized said house is which the plaintiff with his family resided, and in which his goods and chattels then were as aforesaid, and with great force and violence lifted said house from the ground on which it then and there stood, on Pine street aforesaid, and with great force and violence carried said house, together with the plaintiff's family, from said place as aforesaid to Austin street, in said city and county;" for which plaintiff claims $5000 damages on account of the disturbance and annoyance.
Business is better in this city and county than ever before, and no one complains of hard times. All the quartz mills are steadily running, and the mines yielding better ore and more of it, than before known of since they were first discovered. The sidewalks are crowded from early morn to dewy eve with a bustling throng of people passing along each with their own peculiar motive in view, and vehicles of all kinds, from the huge twelve mule "prairie schooner" with its cargo of merchandise, or the heavy quartz wagons loaded with ore, passing from mine to mill, down to the gentle Washoe canary (jackass) with his back load of firewood, and driven by a Chinaman, pass along in continual stream through the streets. The merchants all say they are doing an excellent business, and that of itself is a fair indication of lively times in any town or city anywhere in creation, consists in the fact that all places of amusement and where surplus money can be spent, are well patronized. This is especially the case here, now. Two theatres and a circus are running full houses every night (Sunday and all,) the principal theatre - Piper's Opera House - holding frequently over a thousand people, besides which, the evening air is resonant with the strains of piano, harp, and violin issuing from the numerous lager beer saloons, where merry men congregate about little side tables, singing songs, or chatting familiarly with the pretty waiter girls, who with roseate cheeks and smiling lips welcome them and seductively induce them to spend their money free. Neither are the churches neglected, for they also run full houses, and we have more of them, and fully as large as you have in Plymouth. On the 19th of May last, we had a light fall of snow at daylight in the morning, which whitened the ground, since which time no drop of moisture has fallen from the heavens, upon Virginia. We don't need any rain however, fort this is a mining country almost exclusively, but little of it being adapted to agricultural purposes, within eight miles of here. There are good lands in the valleys, but irrigation is there employed and rain not taken into consideration.