northern mining districts attracted the bulk of the first
Forty-Niners. Later comers set out, as a rule, for the central and
City was the focal point for the northern region. It was an exciting
sprawl of shops, auction rooms, gambling houses and saloons at the
junction of the American and Sacramento Rivers. "The main streets and
the levee fronting on the Embarcadero were constantly thronged with the
teams of emigrants coming in from the mountains. Their tents were
pitched by hundreds in the thickets around town."
One of these tent encampments is seen above. The view of Sacramento City below shows
the Eagle Theatre at the right. For its opening in the fall of 1849,
"The Bandit Chief" was offered. The heroine had a strong Cockney accent
and the orchestra, in the words of one who was there, consisted of "a
fiddle, a very cheezy flageolet played by a gentleman with one eye, a
big drum and a triangle— "