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Starr King in California   By: (1855-1920)

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STARR KING IN CALIFORNIA

By William Day Simonds

Author of

"The Christ of the Human Heart" "Patriotic Addresses" "Sermons From Shakespeare"

Dedicated to the Memory of Honorable Horace Davis of San Francisco as the only Tribute of Respect Now Possible to one whose Friendly Interest and Assistance the Author Here Gratefully Acknowledges

Up to the time of Starr King's death it was generally believed that he, more than any other man, had prevented California and the whole Pacific Coast from falling into the gulf of disunion. It is certain that Abraham Lincoln held this opinion

Edwin Percy Whipple

Contents

Introduction

Part I In Old New England

Part II California in 1860

Part III California's Hour of Decision

Part IV Philanthropist and Preacher

Part V In Retrospect

Illustrations

Starr King Monument

Portrait of Starr King

Introduction

This book is the result of the author's strong desire to know the truth relative to a critical period in the history of California, and a further strong desire to deal justly by the memory of a man recent historians have been pleased to pass by with slight acknowledgment.

What was the nature and measure of Starr King's influence on the Pacific Coast during the Civil War? To be able to answer that question has cost more time and study than the reader could be brought to believe. It has necessitated a thorough examination of all published histories of California, of numerous biographies, of old newspapers, memoirs, letters and musty documents. It has involved interviews with prominent persons as well as a careful study of earlier writings upon Starr King in books and magazines. Best of all it has compelled the writer to the delightful task of renewing his acquaintance with the published sermons and lectures of the patriot preacher.

It is believed that no important data has been overlooked, and it is hoped that a genuine service has been rendered to all students of California History, and to all lovers of Starr King he who was called by his own generation, "The Saint of the Pacific Coast."

Part I. In Old New England

When Starr King entered the Golden Gate, April 28, 1860, he had passed by a few months his thirty fifth birthday. A young man in the morning of his power he felt strangely old, for he wrote to a friend just a little later: "I have passed meridian. It is after twelve o'clock in the large day of my mortal life. I am no longer a young man. It is now afternoon with me, and the shadows turn toward the east."

There was abundant reason for this premature feeling of age. Even at thirty five King had been a long time among the most earnest of workers. Born in New York City, December 17, 1824, of English and German ancestry, son of a Universalist Minister who was compelled to struggle along on a very meager salary, the lad felt very early in life labor's stern discipline. At fifteen he was obliged to leave school that by daily toil he might help to support his now widowed mother and five younger brothers and sisters. Brief as was his record in school, we note the following prophetic facts: he displayed singular aptitude for study, he was conscientious yet vivacious, he was by nature adverse to anything rude or coarse. Joshua Bates, King's last teacher, describes the lad as "slight of build, golden haired, with a homely face which everybody thought handsome on account of the beaming eyes, the winning smile and the earnest desire of always wanting to do what was best and right."

This is our earliest testimony to the lovable character of the man whose life story we are now considering. It will impress us more and more as East and West, Boston and San Francisco, in varying phrase tell again and again, of "the beaming eyes, the winning smile, and the earnest desire of always wanting to do what was just and right... Continue reading book >>




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