Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


California, one of the United States of America, is situated on the Pacific coast. Its boundaries are: N. Oregon, E. Nevada and Arizona, S. Mexico (Lower California), and W. the Pacific. It covers an area of about 160,000 square miles, being thus one of the largest of the states. Its surface is singularly varied. Along the eastern border extends the Sierra Nevada, while along the coast extends the coast range. Between these mountain ranges is the Sacramento and San Joaquin valley. On the western slope of the Sierra Nevada is the celebrated Yosemite valley, and others of almost equally wonderful scenery, and on the eastern slope are rich mineral deposits. The coast-line is high and rocky, and is nowhere deeply indented except by the Humboldt, San Diego, and San Francisco bays. These provide California with its best harbours. The chief rivers are the Sacramento and San Joaquin, the former with a course of 300, and the latter of 250 miles. It is, however, on account of its mineral products that California is chiefly interesting. These embrace rich deposits of gold, which was first discovered here in 1848, and led to an immediate inrush of settlers; quicksilver, lead, silver, borax, rock-salt, marble, asphalt, copper, tin, antimony, cobalt, and coal. Natural gas is also found, and petroleum in large quantities. This state is equally rich in the produce of its soil. Agricultural produce of every kind is grown on a large scale, and the various fruits of the temperate zone flourish, as well as the orange, lemon, fig, olive, almond, etc. The cultivation of the vine is rapidly extending, and Californian wine is exported. Bee-keeping and wool-growing are also important industries. In the N. of the state are extensive forests of "big trees" (Sequoia gigantea), some of which tower as high as 400 feet. Its exports of timber, tinned meats and fruits, and many other commodities, are important. The capital is Sacramento: the most important town is San Francisco, the largest city on the western side of America. Other chief towns are Oakland, Stockton, San Jose, Los Angeles, Marysville, Santa Cruz, and San Diego. The university is at Berkeley, which is practically a suburb of San Francisco, and the Lick observatory, famed for having the largest telescope in the world, is at Mount Hamilton, 50 miles S. of San Francisco. Until 1847 California was Mexican territory, when it was ceded to the United States, and in 1850 admitted to the Union. The state senate comprises forty, and the assembly eighty members, and it is represented in Congress by six deputies. There are upwards of fifty counties in the state. Lower California, a peninsula on the Pacific coast of America, is Mexican territory, and is separated from the mainland by the Gulf of California, covering an area of over 60,000 square miles. Its surface is for the most part mountainous and somewhat dry. It is reputed to possess mineral resources not yet developed, its chief industries being the whale and pearl fisheries. The capital is La Paz, situated on an inlet of the gulf.