LETTER FROM VIRGINIA.
[SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE HERALD.]
VIRGINIA, Nev., July 4, 1869.
The Glorious Fourth.
The most effervescent portion of our population commenced celebrating last evening, and pretty much all night a popping of crackers and banging of firearms was kept up, variegated with an occasional deep-toned roar from old "General Grant," mounted on the ramparts of Fort Homestead, Gold Hill. It being Saturday night, many could get drunk just as well as not, and so they did. Nobody had to be arrested, however, and the police were lenient. The general hilarity continues to-day, in a subdued degree, out of respect for the Sabbath. From the summit of Mount Davidson proudly floats the Star Spangled Banner, and that same beautiful emblem also waves over the flagstaffs on the mining works, mills, public buildings, etc., throughout Virginia and Gold Hill. The formal celebration of the day will take place to-morrow, and, strange as it may appear, it will be done by citizens of foreign birth. The native born folks tried to get up a regular celebration, but the wrong individuals started it—anyhow, it was a fizzle. Only a few days ago the Miners' Unions of Virginia and Gold Hill, mostly composed of naturalized foreigners, concluded to take the matter in hand and put the celebration through. Accordingly, the procession is to be composed of the Miners' Unions, the Emmet and Sweeney Guards (both Irish companies), of Virginia and Gold Hill, the Canadian Relief Society, and such citizens as may see fit to join in. They will march to Gold Hill and back, and then to Piper's Opera House, where appropriate exercises will take place. The great fun of the day, however, will be the firemen's tournament in the afternoon. It will take place on C street, and is free to all organized fire companies in the State desiring to contend. The first prize is a large silver bullion trumpet, to be given to any eight men of any engine, hose, or hook and ladder company who make the best time with a hose carriage or jumper, carrying 500 feet of hose, to run from Young America Engine House to Knickerbocker Engine House, a distance of 1,452 feet. The second and most important prize will be a silver bullion plate, appropriately inscribed, which will be given as a champion badge, to be affixed to the box of the engine throwing a stream the greatest distance through and from 100 feet of hose. Six engines are entered for this trial, including Liberty Engine, No. 1, of Gold Hill (old Howard, No. 3, formerly of San Francisco), and it will be something strange if there is not a particularly extra amount of fun on that occasion. Each machine will be given eighteen minutes space of time to make the trial, and each will suit themselves in the matter of nozzles.
Supposed Case of Poisoning.
John Baldwin, a prominent and highly esteemed citizen, and a member of the firm of Cooper & Baldwin, keeping the Clipper Gap Hay and Wagon Yard, on North C street, near Sutton avenue, died last Thursday morning at his residence, in a very sudden and mysterious manner, and under circumstances which induced the belief that he was poisoned. He was in his usual health and good spirits the day and evening before, and was about the city as late as two o'clock in the morning, when he went home to bed. About an hour and a half afterward he sent for help, saying that he was very sick. Dr. Kibbe, the nearest physician, came immediately, and Baldwin told him to get a stomach pump and pump him out, for he was poisoned, and knew it. Proper remedies were immediately given him, but he was attacked by a succession of violent spasms, and died in a very few minutes. A post mortem examination was instituted next day and the stomach removed. Some of the doctors tested its contents to-day for strychnine, but found none. The Coroner's inquest will be held next Tuesday. Mr. Baldwin was nearly forty-eight years of age, comfortably situated, and had no cause for committing suicide. While at White Pine, a few months ago, he got run over by a wagon across his breast, and has never enjoyed as good health since as before; he has also been occasionally subject to spasms, from over eating or other derangements of the stomach, at which times he would insist that he was poisoned. I think, therefore, the Coroner's jury will bring in a verdict to the effect that he died from natural causes.
In my letter before last you will recollect that I made mention of a romantic jerker who drank a big dose of chloroform to kill herself, just because her present regular lover gave her a thrashing, out of jealousy. The drug was got out of her directly, and the thrashing apparently did her no good, for she has since given him tangible reasons to be jealous of a miner down at Gold Hill; so despairingly jealous that he up and followed suit with a dose of "cold pizen," last Wednesday evening. He, however, succeeded no better in dying than she did, and was all right again the next day with the exception of a foul stomach. It's her next play, but if they are going to follow this thing up, they ought to use bigger doses. I shouldn't like to be in love that desperate; it's mighty rough on the nerves.
Chance for Poison.
Out on the Divide, between here and Gold Hill, resides with her fond parents a romantic young damsel who has just arrived at that interesting age when all young ladies want to get married—bad. She has smiled on several young men, but finally and most sweetly on a young stock actor, whom I will call George. This gallant and brave preferred lover soon ran off all the rest of them, even in one case by talking duel, and "blood, Iago, Blood." The mother is willing, but the stern old father is not, and has forbidden George the house, or to even be caught in company with his daughter. Two or three evenings ago, through conspiracy with the mother, George got into the house and was evidently enjoying the sweet society of his dear one, when suddenly her furious pap burst in upon them. He drew a big dragoon revolver, and threatened to blast off the croppings of George's cranium. George was as quick as he was, however, and had the old chap covered with the muzzle of another six-shooter before he could bring his big dragoon up to range. Then there was much female screaming and some tall swearing, but it was a draw game, so the old man drew out. Since then he has shut his refractory daughter up in her room, under lock and key. But what's the use? He might as well try to keep water from running down hill, as to keep those two lovers from running into each other's arms. She will crawl out, or George will fish her out somehow.
The aspect of things in the Yellow Jacket is much improved since my last writing. Jim O'Donnel, the old foreman of the mine, recently reinstated, set his wits to work to produce a draft of air in the south mine. This he has done by sheathing the compartment divisions, or partitions of the shaft up tight, and maintaining the division into the drifts of the mine. Thus, a draft of air sets down through one compartment through the drifts, and up again out of another compartment. By this means he was enabled to work 130 men last week in the lower levels, (the 800 and 900-foot,) where the good body of ore is and extract it at the rate of eighty tons per day. He says he will increase the number of men and take out 150 tons a day this next week. The repairs and renovating of the old north hoisting works will be completed by next Saturday, and they will be started up once more. When the water is all raised from the shaft, a winze connection will be made from the 700 to900-foot or lowest level, thus creating a plentiful supply of good air all through the mine, and a large amount of good ore will be got at.
The drift east at the 1,000-foot level of the Crown Point is in the ledge, but no rich developments are made as yet. An immense amount of water flows from this level. Nothing particularly new or interesting developed in the Kentuck; still getting ore enough out of the upper levels to supply the Sunderland and Pioneer mills. There is some talk of opening the closed drifts and connections of these and the Yellow Jacket mine this next week, as the fire is supposed to be burnt out. Kellogg, who for the last seven months has been foreman of the Yellow Jacket and Kentuck, is now foreman of the Hale & Norcross, taking the place of Wm. Skyrme, who has gone on a visit to his relatives and friends in Wales, England.
The Imperial-Empire shaft is to-day 1,167 feet deep, and sinking in hard black porphyry, with very little water to contend with. Some eighty feet of the shaft timbering, 600 feet from the surface, is being repaired at present. There is a crook in the shaft at that point, from the sagging of the earth. The drift south, at the 1,080-foot level, toward the Holmes ground, has penetrated 140 feet from the shaft, and a branch drift is commenced from it into the Empire ground. The late annual election resulted in Robert N. Graves, Superintendent of the Empire, being also chosen Superintendent of the Imperial. R. K. Colcord, Superintendent of the shaft, and Jeff. McClellan, underground foreman, are both superseded by Dave Monroe, foreman of the Empire—a commendable movement toward economy, which augurs well.
The Chollar-Potosi is looking very well throughout, and yielding about 230 tons of ore per day. A considerable increase of water impedes operations at the 500-foot level drift into the Grass Valley body. A dividend of $20 per share was declared yesterday, payable next Wednesday.
The Virginia Consolidated new shaft is seventy-two feet deep, to-day, and the work of sinking still being energetically prosecuted.
The drift west, at the 700-foot level of the new Ophir shaft, is now in 411 feet, and the face of the drift is still in hard, dry gypsumized rock.
The Sierra Nevada Company had their second clean-up for May last Tuesday. The first clean-up on the 15th ult., was $10,000, but this will exceed it, the amalgam weighing five or six pounds more. The exact result will be known in two or three days. Meanwhile, the mill is pounding away on a fresh month's run, and the ore being worked is at least as good as that of last month. The quantity of this rich ore seems inexhaustible, and later developments, of which I will speak in my next, show it to be even more extensive than has heretofore been supposed. The Sierra Nevada is one of the paying mines of the Comstock, and another dividend is to be declared in a few days. A meeting of the Company is to be held next Tuesday to consider the proposition to divide the stock up into smaller shares.
Miss Geraldine Warden, formerly of the Lyster Opera Troupe, put in a first appearance last Friday evening, at Piper's Opera House, and to a very slim but enthusiastic and appreciative audience. She has not a very musical, but highly artistical voice, powerful, clear, of great compass, and she presents a pleasing stage appearance, but she comprised the entire entertainment. W. Vazie Simons, F. C. S. L. (Fellow of the Chemical Society, London), who is with her, came upon the stage between the songs, and read, not recited, in most miserable style, from some school book, a piece of poetry called "The Little Vulgar Boy." This was received in silence; but afterwards he came on again, and deliberately commenced a cook book lecture on "The Economy of Food." The audience listened patiently for five minutes, and then started in "guying" him, so that he had to quit before he was quarter through. What the devil does this F. C. S. L. take us for up here? Does he think we never read all about that! The idea of his ringing such dry hash into an operatic entertainment! Well, some folks have got a heap of cheek. He was a success, however, in one sense, for he didn't stay long enough to get a cabbage thrown at him. He wisely refrained last evening. Miss Warden will give her last entertainment to-morrow evening. She had a $50 house last night.
Dan Costello's "Circus Menagerie and Abyssinian Caravan," on its way across the continent per railroad, will exhibit at Reno, July 12th, and in this city July 13th and 14th. After that it will visit Carson, Washoe and other places, and go over to California.
As I close this letter the rays of the setting sun are shining brilliantly on the flag waving from the tall flagstaff at the summit of Mount Davidson. It looks like a fluttering sheet of flame, only a thousand times more magnificent, standing forth as it does in bold relief against the blue sky, strongly contrasted with the dark, rugged sage-brush covered sides of the big mountain. No wonder large crowds of people are gathered in the streets gazing on that glorious sight. God bless the flag of our country, and the Devil sleep with him who don't like it.