Gold in the Sun, 1900-1919

CHAPTER THREE: Who Could Have Guessed These Stones Were Gems?

In many cities all over the United States there was a rising resentment of political “rings” deriving in part from Lincoln Steffens’ book The Shame of Cities and numerous investigations into state and municipal corruption.

Theodore Roosevelt’s campaigns against the “trusts” and concentrated political and economic power found popular favor in San Diego County and he received 2382 votes for re-election in 1904. Eugene V. Debbs, the Socialist candidate, however, received 768 votes compared to only 666 for the conservative Democrat candidate for President.

In San Francisco, Rudolph Spreckels, another of the Spreckels brothers, joined in efforts to overthrow a municipal government dominated by a corrupt, labor-backed political machine, while at the same time John D. and Adolph Spreckels were under attack in San Diego.

In 1905 the revolt against the so-called “boss rule” in San Diego resulted in the adoption of a new city charter which reduced the City Council from twenty-seven members to nine, and provided for the initiative, referendum and recall, the first in California, over the opposition of The San Diego Union and the Spreckels interests. The San Diego Union described the charter provisions as populist and socialistic and fought the reduction in the membership of the Council because it believed that twenty-seven men were harder to corrupt than nine.

For the election of a new mayor in the same year, Capt. John L. Sehon, a retired Army officer and a member of the Council, was nominated by the Independents and won the support of Democrats and many Republicans who later were to become identified as Progressives. He supported a proposal to buy lands in El Cajon Valley to acquire additional pumping rights, which conflicted with the plans of the Spreckels companies to provide the town with its future water supply.

The San Diego Sun supported Sehon. It was owned at the time by E. W. Scripps, the Eastern newspaper magnate who had established himself at Miramar Ranch in San Diego County. Wherever he published a newspaper Scripps was challenging vested interests and defending the “little man,” presumably on the premise that there were more poor readers than rich readers. The San Diego Union was contemptuous of its opposition:

“According to Capt. Sehon’s organ, it is a high crime for two San Francisco gentlemen who have millions invested in San Diego and vicinity, to own newspaper property in this city. According to the same organ, it is quite right and proper for Mr. Scripps, who has only modest investments here, to own a newspaper–or an apology for one.”

In a letter to the San Diego Sun, which stirred up considerable controversy, a writer identifying himself as D.K. Adams argued that there must be some logical reason why San Diego, so favored by nature, should have remained comparatively dormant while all other Southern California cities had forged ahead at an unprecedented pace.

The San Diego Union sprang to the defense of the city, to deny it had not shared in regional growth and that it was being oppressed by corporations and political bosses, and, describing the opposition as a collection of knockers and soreheads, asked, “… Mr. D.K. Adams, are you not in some way related to a Mr. Daniel K. Adams, who, according to the City Directory, is employed by Mr. Ed Fletcher, the Cyclonic Reformer of Golden Hill?”

Sehon and the San Diego Sun carried the day. Though the voters approved the proposal to develop water in El Cajon Valley, the necessary bonds failed to pass. It developed that Scripps owned the lands, though he said that a group of citizens representing the Chamber of Commerce had persuaded him to buy them, which he did through a San Francisco agent, to hold them for the city and circumvent the speculators. The lands remained with the Scripps family as the Fanita Ranch.

The Republican machine had suffered a serious defeat but was not ready to surrender. A suit was filed questioning the right of a retired military officer and pensioner to serve in public office. Sehon evaded the filing of legal papers and at 2 o’clock in the dark morning of the day he was to assume the mayoralty, he and an accomplice forced open the swinging doors of the City Hall, at Fifth and G Streets, and then broke a glass in the door of the mayor’s office and entered and took possession of the official chair. Dawn found him firmly in command of the city.

It was later claimed his accomplice was his attorney, Edgar A. Luce, son of a San Diego pioneer. Sehon defied his opponents on the grounds that possession was nine-tenths of the law, and though the case was taken all the way to the State Supreme Court, he remained at his desk, conducted the city’s business, and won out legally as well as politically. A turning point in the fortunes of the little town at the end of a branch line had arrived.

At the age of ninety-one, Alonzo E. Horton, who was known to everybody in town as the Father of San Diego, was the guest of honor at a little ceremony in front of the Horton House in conjunction with a civic celebration across the street in the town Plaza. It was on the evening of one of the regular band concerts and took place between the opening musical selection and the beginning of a fireworks display for which several thousand people had assembled.

The ceremony marked the start of the destruction of the hotel which Horton had completed in 1870, three years after purchasing 960 acres at a public auction and laying out the subdivision which became the heart of New San Diego. He had left Old Town, five miles to the north, to fade along with its historic memories that went back almost 100 years to the founding of the first White settlement in California by the Spanish expedition of Gaspar de Portolá and Father Junípero Serra.

The country was experiencing a boom, the long drought in Southern California was over, and a new tide of settlers was moving westward. Work at last had been started on the Panama Canal, and San Diego, as the first port of call for the Pacific Coast states, foresaw the end of its long isolation. The town’s population which had been increasing at an average of about 1000 a year would spurt ahead at a rate of about 3000.

The date was July 12, 1905. With Horton in front of the Horton House were the aging Ephraim W. Morse, who had been his partner in much of the development of New San Diego, and W.W. Bowers, the former congressman and state senator who had assisted Horton in completing the hotel in a time of temporary financial stress.

Once one of the celebrated hotels of Southern California, the thirty-five-year-old building was coming down to make way for a hotel that would cover a whole block and would be built as a monument to President Ulysses S. Grant by his son, U. S. Grant Jr., who had come to San Diego in 1893 for his wife’s health. Associated with Grant were Louis J. Wilde, who had arrived from Los Angeles in 1903 to become president of one bank and to establish another one, and a capitalist from Cambridge, Massachusetts, by the name of Horace G. Low. How many other persons were involved in the financing is not clear. In his autobiography Julius Wangenheim says it was his bank which advanced Grant $100,000 to start the million dollar hotel.

At the ceremony in front of the Horton House, Bowers was the principal speaker, and commented:

“It is such men as Horton and Morse and Grant and Wilde that build cities. Natural advantages, or beauty of situation, never built a city. Men build cities despite…nature and in defiance of it. The memory of the builder lives on and on, while that of the mere accumulator, the hoarder, the mere absorbant dies with his carcass.”

At one time one of the wealthiest men in the Southland, Horton had lost everything in the economic collapse of the 1870’s and now was living out his days on the money he received from the city by its purchase from him of the Plaza. He held no bitterness though he estimated that he had given away land worth a million dollars. Only a week before he had attended an auction of the furnishings of the hotel from which he once commanded the growth of a town, and was happy to be able to buy a hair sofa, two rocking chairs and a writing table.

He told his friends of a generation and the strangers who normally brushed by him on the street that he rejoiced more in the name of “Father” Horton than he would in the title of President of the United States. He symbolically removed a block from the old structure to give to Wilde “that it may have a place in the principal wall of the new structure.” Cheers were given for Father Norton and again for the Horton House, according to the report in The San Diego Union, after which the crowd turned its attention to the principal celebration of the evening.

A fifty-gun salute was fired to observe San Diego’s “Day of Emancipation” from the monopoly of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. The United States had taken over management of the Panama Railroad and canceled its exclusive contract with the Pacific Mail line. A special commissioner had upheld the claims of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce that the port had been deliberately neglected and henceforth the Panama Railroad was to carry the freight of all steamships serving Pacific Coast ports. Ships of other lines carrying cargo for San Diego would not have to make the long journey around Cape Horn, and congratulations came from as far away as Phoenix, El Paso and New Orleans.

San Diego no longer was to be looked upon as a “city of blighted hopes” and special Santa Fe trains were bringing a thousand excursionists at a time from Los Angeles. Among those who had their eyes on San Diego County were Henry E. Huntington, the nephew of the railroad builder, who had sold his interests in the Southern Pacific to Harriman and was creating a network of electric streetcar lines in Los Angeles, and Walter L. Vail and C. W. Gates, who owned the historic 47,000-acre Warner’s Ranch fifty miles northeast of San Diego on the old Southern Trail to the California gold fields.

The young produce merchant, Ed Fletcher, who was branching out into water and land development, was well acquainted with Vail and Gates and informed them on a visit to Los Angeles that water filings had been made on the San Luis Rey River on government land below their ranch by an agent of the Pacific Light and Power Company and thought it might not be in their best interests. This was in the same watershed which had so impressed Fletcher a few years before.

The information was received with astonishment. Vail and Gates had been in secret negotiations with the Pacific Light and Power Company, and other parties, involving the extension of Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railway to San Diego. A dam was to be built at Warner’s Ranch to convey water to a power drop on the San Luis Rey River, to supply the necessary power.

As they had known nothing of the power company’s moves to acquire water rights under separate filings, and suspecting treachery, they asked Fletcher to watch the situation and promised to include him in whatever developed. When the power company neglected to renew the appropriations as and when required by law, Fletcher quickly began a series of filings in the names of friends and relatives, until word came from Los Angeles that Vail, Gates and Huntington had reached an understanding with the Pacific Light and Power Company.

The Pacific Electric Railway already had contributed greatly to the rapid expansion of Los Angeles County, with service to new developments in Beverly Hills and on the coast at Redondo Beach and Venice. Its extension southward was expected to open up all of the north coast of San Diego County. The promoters organized the South Coast Land Company, and with Fletcher and his friend Frank Salmons as their agents, quietly bought up lands and existing water rights along the San Luis Rey River, and then obtained all of the original settlement of Del Mar, more than 800 acres in and around Leucadia, 1400 acres of the Agua Hedionda Ranch from the Kelly Brothers, nearly all of Carlsbad, and large holdings in Oceanside.

In time, Huntington also envisioned the extending of his coast line to San Francisco, and in the south eastward through San Diego County to Warner’s Ranch and then down San Felipe Valley, along the route of the first transcontinental Butterfield stages, to Imperial Valley. The plans of the Pacific Electric suggested serious competition for both the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads. Rumors of Huntington’s plans soon spread throughout the town and contributed to a general economic and speculative boom.

The Spreckels interests did not look with enthusiasm upon the rise of competing commercial enterprises and water developments, and rivalries that were to last a lifetime were beginning. John D. Spreckels also fell out with E.S. Babcock, his San Diego partner in numerous ventures. Babcock went to court and accused Spreckels of having maneuvered his removal as a director of the Southern California Mountain Water Company even though he owned nearly one half of the stock.

It was essentially a fight over water and the value it could give to land. Babcock charged a conspiracy on the part of Spreckels and the San Diego Land & Town Company. In his suit Babcock contended that the water being developed by the company for expected sale to the town of San Diego was being diverted to enrich lands owned by Spreckels in Coronado and those of the San Diego Land & Town Company in the South Bay area.

These latter lands were part of the 10,000 acres which officers of the Santa Fe railroad had induced the Kimball brothers to deed to a holding company in return for making National City the terminus of its transcontinental line. However, National City never became more than a small repair yard, and even this was taken from it, but the Kimballs never were able to regain their extensive holdings.

The San Diego Land & Town Company, according to Babcock, was to have conveyed certain lands to the water company in return for delivery of water to the rest of its holdings. This was not done, however, and with Babcock’s removal the water company planned to buy them instead.

In a deposition taken in San Francisco Spreckels acknowledged that he was thinking of acquiring control of the San Diego Land & Town Company from B. P. Cheney of Boston, but insisted that if he did so, he had every intention of delivering the land promised to the water company. Cheney was the same financier who had shown some interest in helping to finance the projected San Diego & Eastern Railway. After some legal maneuvering, Spreckels purchased all Babcock’s interest in their joint ventures and the suit was dismissed.

The year saw many developments. The Zuniga Jetty protecting the harbor entrance was completed and the channel dredged to a width of 500 feet and a depth of twenty-four feet at mean low tide. The jetty had been under construction for eleven years, and a few months after its completion, a March storm partially destroyed more than a thousand feet of its 7500-foot length. Another Army fort was built on North Island, opposite Ballast Point, and named Fort Pico in honor of the last Mexican governor of California. A group of Russians of the Molokanye sect founded a new colony on communal lands near Guadalupe in Baja California.

In La Jolla, Ellen Browning Scripps, who had followed her brother, the publisher, to California and built a home in La Jolla, induced Dr. William E. Ritter of the University of California to establish his projected institution for biological research at La Jolla. Ellen as well as E. W. Scripps had been intensely interested in the marine studies he had been carrying on for several summers in Glorietta Bay, off Coronado. With the Scripps’ and community help, Dr. Ritter and his university staff began research work in a building of the Marine Biological Association of San Diego, situated near the La Jolla cove, in June of 1905.

San Diegans, however, were more interested in smokestacks, in the possibilities of the silk industry and in drilling for oil, mostly in stock-selling schemes, than they were in gems and pearls and abalone, and for that matter, in gold. Oil drilling would go on for years, and nothing would ever develop, and the prospect of silk from cooperative worms would tantalize investors for two generations.

Louis Wilde went so far as to import thread-making machinery from New Jersey to manufacture silk wear from the 20,000 worms which his manager, Herman Fascher, had housed in the old Victoria Hotel, where he was feeding them on mulberry leaves grown in orchards in Coronado. They were planning to install the machinery in National City and find more suitable quarters for the worms, probably somewhere in Coronado near the source of their food.

In the rich mountain country gold mining had come to a virtual end and been replaced by the production of semi-precious gems. The price of gold had fallen and the cost of trying to keep the mines in the Julian area free of water from underground springs had become prohibitive. Even the extensive Stonewall mine near Cuyamaca Lake, once owned by a governor of California, had been closed down permanently after its new owners had spent $125,000 on its rehabilitation. When the water had been removed, an examination showed that it could not be operated profitably.

For years gem mining had been a secretive and little-known industry, even though a number of San Diegans had staked out claims and were shipping gem material for export around the world. The mountains also held their secrets well. The early geologists who had studied minerals in San Diego County made no mention of gems though their presence certainly was noted before 1872. In that year Prof. W.A. Goodyear made a reconnaissance of the mountain country and his report, though not published by the State Mining Bureau until 1888, described it as follows:

“…the whole country just back of San Diego…to the western edge of the desert is like an angry ocean of knobby peaks, more or less isolated, with short ridges running in every possible direction, and inclosing between and among them numerous small and irregular valleys. As a general rule, the higher peaks and ridges rise from 1000 to 2500 feet above the little valleys and canyons around their immediate bases. But in going eastward from the coast, each successive little valley is higher than the one…preceding, and the dominant peaks also rise higher and higher…until we reach the irregular line of the main summit crest, or water-divide…when the mountains break suddenly off and fall within a very few miles from 4000 to 5000 feet or more, with an abrupt and precipitous front to the east, to the western edge of the desert.”

He had noted the presence of black tourmalines but not of colored ones. In that same year Henry Hamilton recognized colored tourmaline on a slope of Thomas Mountain at an altitude of 6500 feet in the San Jacinto Range in Riverside County. Some mining was done and it came to the attention of Dr. George F. Kunz, a special agent for the U.S. Geological Survey and gem expert for Tiffany & Company of New York. It is due to Dr. Kunz’ great interest in the San Diego gems that the various stories of how the mines were discovered and developed have been preserved.

In one of them it is told how Indian children playing in the Mesa Grande area in the high north central part of San Diego County picked up an oddly-shaped stone, six-sided like a quartz crystal, about three inches long and a little thicker than a lead pencil, and upon cleaning and polishing it, found it to be of a beautiful blue color, bright and partially clear, almost like a sapphire. It was shown to White cattle men and prospectors but held little meaning for them. It was not gold nor was it a diamond. Subsequently other similar stones were found, some blue, others green or red.

Soon after, William Irelan, Jr., state mineralogist, reported the finding of red tourmaline, though not of gem quality, in Pala. The Pala deposits long had been known to Indians and gem stones have been found in ancient graves. F.M. Sickler, who was raised in the vicinity, later related a story of how an Indian deer hunter by the name of Vensuelada had found pieces of beautiful pink crystals and shown them to a prospector, Henry Magee, who mistook them for cinnabar and located the spot as a quicksilver mine. When it failed to produce mercury, he sent the stones to various chemists who were unable to identify them.

Later the same mine was worked by Tomas Alvarado, a Mexican land owner who thought the stones were a peculiar variety of marble. A few years later a German chemist saw in a New York collection a sample which had the same transparent pink crystals and after an analysis determined they were tourmaline traces in as rich a lepidolite as any found in the world.

It was in 1890 that the first important discovery was made in San Diego County, by Charles Russell Orcutt, an amateur botanist and one of San Diego’s early scientists. He was born in Hartland, Vermont, and arrived in San Diego in 1879, to remain the rest of his life. In 1884 he began publishing a little magazine which he called The West American Scientist and primarily devoted to the flora of Baja California.

While gathering plant life in regions of San Diego County he collected mineral specimens and sent them to Dr. Kunz in New York, who recognized them as tourmaline and announced the discovery of the rich lepidolite deposits at Pala. No rush similar to that of the gold hills of Julian and Banner in the 1870’s developed. The gems were not widely known, especially in California, and stones shown to jewelers in San Diego attracted interest but not excitement.

Though it was also known that colored stones had been found on the huge mountain mass known as Mesa Grande, twenty miles southeast of Pala, prospecting was done only in a desultory way until an agent of J. L. Tannenbaum of New York, whose Himalaya Mining Company operated turquoise mines in San Bernardino County, saw the locality and also recognized the stones as tourmaline.

The Pala district is forty-five miles north of San Diego and about three miles south of the boundary between San Diego and Riverside Counties and comprises about thirteen square miles, mainly the Tourmaline Queen, Pala Chief and Hiriart Mountains. Hiriart Mountain appears on many maps as Heriot Mountain. The gem-rich hills, 1500 to 1900 feet in elevation, rise above the bed of the San Luis Rey River and the little Indian village of Pala and its small Franciscan mission which originally was an extension of the imposing San Luis Rey Mission farther down the river.

A decade after the discovery of tourmaline at Pala, Fred Sickler while working the Katerina mine also found a mineral which he showed to jewelers and collectors in San Diego and Los Angeles and none of them recognized it. He sent it to Dr. Kunz in New York where it attracted the excited attention of mineralogists. It was in various shades of pink and lilac and was named “kunzite,” in honor of Dr. Kunz, and became known as “California’s own gem stone.”

The Pala Chief mine, located in 1903 by Frank A. Salmons and John Giddens, with the aid of two Basque French prospectors, Bernardo Hiriart and Pedro Peiletch, became the foremost source of kunzite in the world. Salmons, who became county clerk in 1905, and Fred Sickler, were to develop many mines.

Discoveries then came swiftly. Gems–principally tourmaline, kunzite, beryl, topaz and quartz–were found in a broad belt running from the northern end of the county through Pala, Ramona, Julian and to Jacumba near the international border.

The Mesa Grande mines are within a small area of slightly more than two miles square in the upland country to the west of Lake Henshaw, not far from the Julian-Banner gold country. Mesa Grande, at its southwest edge drops off into a deep rock gorge which runs into Black Canyon, through some of the most spectacular scenery in the county, and at its northeast edge rises to a peak that stands 1000 feet above the great Warner’s valley.

One of the ridges of this mountain mass is known as Gem Hill at an elevation of 4000 feet, one of those “knobs” which Prof. Goodyear described as rising above the upland valleys of mountain areas. In 1965, a short distance before reaching Gem Hill, there was a little Indian chapel and cemetery which served the Indians who were still living in the area as they had been at the time of the discovery of tourmaline.

The richest mine of them all was the Himalaya in the Mesa Grande district, which was by far the most productive gem-bearing area of California. The Himalaya, opened in 1898 by Gail Lewis of San Diego and later sold to Tannenbaum, yielded more tourmaline than all the other mines together. A mile and a quarter west of the Himalaya was the Esmeralda, acquired and developed in 1904 by H.E. Dougherty of Mesa Grande, and besides tourmaline it yielded the highest quality of golden and white and pink beryl.

Pink tourmaline was highly prized in China, where it was associated with superstitions, and the green portions of gems mined in San Diego County were cut away and discarded, and the pink shipped to the wealthy of China, mainly through the American Gem and Pearl Company of New York. Later evidence indicated this company was controlled by Chinese. From 1902 to 1910 about 125 tons of tourmaline material valued at $800,000 were taken from Mesa Grande mines, nearly ninety tons of it from the Himalaya.

The first discovery in the Ramona district was made by H.W. Robb, of Escondido, in partnership with Dan McIntosh, of Ramona. The Ramona pegmatites were restricted to a hilly area of less than one square mile about four to five miles northeast of Ramona at about 2000-foot elevation. Individual gem-bearing pegmatites were found north of Warner Springs; south of Banner, on the desert side of the mountains below the gold town of Julian; and northwest of Jacumba. The first topaz was found in 1903 by James W. Booth and John D. Farley in the same vicinity in the Ramona area where D.C. Collier, a San Diego real estate developer, had found garnets.

Approximately ninety percent of the gem and near-gem material from Southern California came from only five mines, the Himalaya and San Diego in the Mesa Grande districts, and the Pala Chief, Tourmaline Queen and Katerina in the Pala district. A San Diego County Department of Natural Resources report states that all but a very small part of the rest was taken from ten other mines, the San Pedro, Tourmaline King and Vanderberg in the Pala district; the Esmeralda and Mesa Grande in the Mesa Grande district; the A.B.C. and Little Three mines near Ramona; the Mountain Lily on Aguanga Mountain five miles south of Oak Grove; the Anita near Red Mountain between Fallbrook and Pala; and the Fano on Coahuila Mountain in Riverside County. About thirty-five small and widely scattered additional mines also yielded gem material, and two or three times as many more deposits were seriously prospected.

But Californians remained unimpressed. Dr. Kunz visited the mines and wrote a report, Gems, Jewelers’ Materials, and Ornamental Stones of California, which was published in 1905 by the California State Mining Bureau. In his report he stated:

“The tourmaline, spodumene, rock-crystals, and other gems–as familiar now to experts and collectors as gold itself–have been better known to residents of Russia, Spain, or Germany than to the inhabitants of the Golden State whence they came. It is a singular fact that these gems are better represented in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the United States National Museum of Washington, the British Museum in London, the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle of Paris, and other great institutions in the East and abroad, than they are in the State Mining Bureau of California or the State University at Berkeley.”

The value of the gems taken from the county reached at least $2,000,000, equal to half of that of all the gold mined at Julian and Banner. As major producers the mines had a short life. The Chinese people’s revolt in 1911 which overthrew the Manchu Dynasty and established a republic shut off the major market for tourmaline, and this along with development of mines in other areas of the United States and the world brought about a decline in demand for San Diego stones.

In the Gulf of California, which divides Baja California from the Mexican mainland, except for the Colorado delta country, pearls were still being brought up after 300 years, though the accessible oyster beds were always being fished out. Other beds were too deep for profitable competitive exploitation. Kunz reported that the black pearls found in the waters of La Paz had become so fashionable that their value had increased tenfold, one weighing fifty grains selling for $8000.

Abalone shell was being taken along the Pacific Coast for use for buttons and ornaments. The meat was exported to China. Twenty years before the shell had been considered worthless but an Englishman in San Francisco had seen its possibilities and begun using it in jewelry. Prices in New York and Liverpool rose to $150 to $175 a ton. Kunz said that before the value of the shell was realized, there was a heap south of San Diego which contained over 100 tons of shells.

Abalone fishing and drying mostly was done by Chinese. Kunz reported:

“When caught, the abalones are thrown on the beach, and the fish is pulled from the shell with a flat, sharp stick, and stripped of its curtain, boiled, salted, and strung on long rods to dry in the air. This process is very disagreeable, and that of stripping and cleaning so offensive that none but the Chinese will undertake at. The abalones must be as hard as sole-leather when properly dried, and they are then packed in sacks, and sent to China.”

The Chinese began the fishing industry at San Diego and later thousands of them were brought down from central and northern California for work on the California Southern Railroad which became the Santa Fe line to Los Angeles. Many of them remained to replace Indians in menial housekeeping tasks, to do laundering, to conduct the familiar gambling games and to raise vegetables in neat gardens in Mission Valley. The city directory for 1905 did not list Chinese residents but did list twenty-eight places of business which they operated. The United States census of five years later reported there were 516 persons of alien extraction, Chinese, Indian and Japanese descent, “and all others.”

The number of Indians who had survived the advance of civilization was difficult to determine, though probably there were not more than a thousand still living west of the desert. Once they had numbered more than 5000. Even at that the Indian population of San Diego County was one of the largest in California. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was held to have transferred title to all land from Mexico to the United States government, and as Indians had no rights to ownership they were driven onto reservations, of which there were eleven in San Diego County, at the pleasure of the government. Many Indians resisted and preferred to hold out in isolated mountainous areas where their existence drew the sympathy of many people concerned with their fate.