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* The returns of the Assessor, 1858, show 92 ditches, with an aggregate length of 201 miles; capacity, 16,775 inches. Assessed value, $210,000; estimated cost of construction, $600,000.-[ED.
+ The number returned by the Assessor, 1858, is 11, with an aggregate length of 135 miles. We have returns of 8 ditches, with an aggregate length of 163 miles, exclusive of 177 miles of branches; 18 miles of the A. R. W. & M. Co. are in Placer, and are therefore included in that county ; estimated cost of construction for the county, $800,000.-[ED.
* Number reported by the Assessor, 1858, 24; length, 104 miles, with a capacity of 9,000 inches; cost of construction, estimated, $300,000.-[ED.
+ Number included in the returns of the Assessor, 1858, 70; length, 183 miles; total value, $420,650. Most of these ditches are small, of one or two miles in length each ; the principal companies only are included in the table; the amount set opposite to each is the capital stock. -[ED.
The Assessor reports, 1858, 16, exclusive of several small ditches; assessed value, $100.000.- [ED,
* The number reported by the Assessor, 1858, 94 ; length, 163 miles. Many of these ditches are small, but of considerable importance; the estimated aggregate value for the county is over $500,000.
The number reported by the Assessor, 1858, is 10; with an aggregate length of 181 miles. The extent of those set forth in the table is 425 miles, and includes the Miner's New Ditch recently completed, the capacity of which is said to exceed the aggregate of all the other ditches in the county. Cost of construction for the county, exclusive of the last named, $1,481,000.-[ED.
# Number of ditches, 31 ; aggregate length, 241 miles ; estimated cost of construction, $700,000.
IV.-WHALE FISHERIES OF THE PACIFIC. The following extracts, illustrating the extent of this lucrative and important branch of trade, and the advantages of this State as a depot for the vessels engaged therein, are taken from the message of Governor Bigler to the Legislature of the State, 1855:
“ The market for oil and bone is better at San Francisco than at the Islands, and perhaps not inferior to that of the Atlantic cities. In fact, I am assured that during the year 1854, more than two hundred thousand gallons of oil were shipped from Honolulu to San Francisco, to one house alone, as affording a better market than could be found at the Islands.
It is certainly undeniable that the facilities for transhipping oil and bone to the Atlantic, South America, and other neighboring markets, are much greater at the port of San Francisco than at Honolulu or any other Pacific port.
The importance to our own merchants and ship owners of this valuable trade may be estimated from the following statements obtained from reliable sources:
During the year ending December 22, 1854, there were shipped from Honolulu alone, principally to the ports of New London and New Bedford, sixty.
seven thousand one hundred and thirty-four gallons of sperm oil; one million two hundred and thirty-nine thousand four hundred and thirty-three gallons of whale oil, and seven hundred and forty-four thousand one hundred and ninety-five pounds of bune; the freight on which, at a fair average of seven cents per gallon for oil, and one cent per pound for bone, would amount to ninety-eight thousand nine hundred and one dollars and sixty-four cents.
From papers, documents and other reliable evidence on file at this office, I am enabled to state that there are now engaged in the Pacific fisheries, six hundred and fifty ships and barks, manned by fifteen thousand seamen, each of whom has a certain interest in the products and profits of the voyage. In the year 1853, two hundred and seventy-five of these vessels, manned by eight thousand seamen, visited the Sandwich Islands for repairs, supplies, etc.
The entire amount of capital invested in these vessels and operations, by citizens of the United States, is estimated at not less than twenty million of dollars.
The average cost of each ship and outfit being about thirty-five thousand dollars; that portion which semi-annually visits the Islands, it will be seen, represents, in the aggregate, a capital of not less than nine million five hundred thousand dollars.
The necessary semi-annual expenditures for supplies, repairs, etc., for each vessel so employed, is about five hundred dollars, amounting in the whole, to nearly one hundred and fifty thousand, equal to three hundred thousand dollars per annum.
These facts and figures are sufficient to demonstrate the importance of efficient action on your part to secure for our own people the benefits to be derived from this extensive branch of American commerce.
As regards early and sure advices from owners and friends in the Atlantic States, it is evident to all that San Francisco is possessed of facilities far superior to any other port on the Pacific, by reason of frequent and uninterrupted communication by steam.
As to money for the necessary expenses of the ship, it is hardly necessary to say that the bills of masters or agents could be negotiated in San Francisco on the most favorable terms, and no doubt would readily be taken by our merchants, bankers and others, for remittance, as the best security, not even excepting government drafts.
From papers in this office I derive the additional information that, during the year 1852, drafts were drawn at the various Pacific Islands, amounting, in the aggregate, to about eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars : in 1853, six hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and in 1854, five hundred thousand dollars ; amounting, in three years, to about two million of dollars.
In comparing our large and magnificent harbors, capacious storehouses, extensive wharves and improved docks and dock-yards, with those at present found at the Islands, it cannot be denied that San Francisco stands pre-emipent in all these particulars over any or all other ports on this coast. Necessary repairs can be perfected with greater facility and dispatch, and consequently, with less delay and expense at San Francisco, than in the enervating climate of the tropics. The prices of labor and materials in the two ports, I am assured, vary but little, and that all the material supplies for the perfect equipment of a whale ship are now exported from this country to the Islands, and, unless passed in bond, are subject to a duty of five per cent.
It will thus be seen, that for the reception, accommodation and outfit of the large fleet engaged in the fisheries, San Francisco is possessed of all the requisites calculated to induce those engaged in whaling operations in the Pacific to resort there for repairs, recruits and supplies.”
Recent information from the East, conveys the important fact that arrangements have already been effected, by several of the most extensive houses