Sunday, October 11, 2015

A very long ride

There are still those that believe Buffalo Bill made one of the longest Pony Express rides in the West. His supposed ride covered 322 miles from Bessemer Bend to St. Mary’s Station and back. (He never rode for the Pony Express.) Then there is Portuguese Phillips ride from Fort Phil Kearny to Fort Laramie, which is also debatable. One ride that probably outpaced all of the famous rides was that of Silversmith Remme, a California cattle rancher.

In 1855, Remme was in San Francisco when he received $13,500 in $50 gold pieces for a cattle deal he just closed. He deposited $12,500 in the Adams & Co. bank in San Francisco and spent the rest of the money having a good time. This good time was disrupted by the arrival from Panama of the steamship Oregon with the news that Page, Bacon and Co. of St. Louis, one of the largest, plus the oldest and supposedly sturdiest banks west of the Alleghenies, had gone belly up.

Page, Bacon’s San Francisco office locked its doors, and the news spread through the financial community. Depositors stormed other banks to demand their gold. Among these was Adams & Company. Silversmith, fearing the worse, returned to Sacramento only to be told that Adams & Co. had gone into liquidation, and if he wanted any of his money he would have to go to the receiver and share it pro-rata with other depositors.

Any other attempt to receive his money in California would be impossible for the news spread through the state. Silversmith remembered that Adams & Co. had a branch in Portland, Oregon. If he could reach Portland before the steamer Columbia, which was to set sail from San Francisco the next day, he might have a chance to get his cash.

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