Titus Hale — More Adventures of a Teen-Age Forty-Niner

Titus Hale was an enterprising young man at sixteen years of age.

A few days after that [the election] we sold our team, and I engaged in business peddling Nuts. I bought my first stock from R. Gelston, 25 lbs. for $6.25. I used an old champaign basket, had a hoop tied on to it for a handle. I commenced work at Noon and sold out before midnight, profit $10.

After I had accumulated about $300. I put a small tent house on the lot of Suydam and Galloway, next door to the corner of 4th St. now J., where I sold pies, cakes, nuts, etc. I had about $600. stock when the flood came. During the time of the overflow, I boarded on the Brig Toronto. Among the boarders was our respected brother Paul – he was partner with Dr. White of St. Louis, Mo. Among the guests on the Toronto, whom I remember, were – Dr. White and family; Miss Caroline Fairchild – a most beautiful young lady -; Major Dudley, Joe Bassett; Mr. Patrick. The Proprietors, were Mayhem and Hite.

Autobiography and Reminiscence of Titus Hale, Society of California Pioneers

Roland Gelston was captain of the bark Whiton and sold his stock from his ship. He brought the first shipload of merchandise directly to Sacramento from the Eastern states. Titus doesn’t say what kind of nuts he bought from Gelston, but in July John Bidwell bought 22.5 pounds of shelled almonds from him for 80 cents a pound. Titus’s nuts must have been in the shell to be cheaper than that.

The principle entertainment was gambling and young Titus gave that a try too. But only once.

During the time I was peddling nuts, Mr. F. A. Hihn – of Santa Cruz- was peddling candy. We both frequented the Auctions. Among the Auctioneers, were Major Dudley and Dr. Pierson Starr – I followed the crowd at the auctions in day-time, and at the Gambling houses at night.

There were about fifteen boys in Sacramento during the winter of ‘49. Most of them took to drink. (I never drank liquor unless administered to me by a Doctor, and only three times in that way.) Some of the boys were making lots of money gambling, so one evening I concluded to change my business. I left my basket of nuts at home and went down town with the intention of making a fortune out of the Gamblers, as some of my companions had done. I bet, 50 cts. on Monte and won, I continued through the evening to win and lose, at midnight I had lost the original investment, 50 cts. I have never bet on anything since.

Smart boy.

Faro, by J.D. Borthwick

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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