San Luis Obispo
September 22d, 1865

Charles B Rutherford, Esq.

Dear Sir,

I read with great pleasure a few days since a notice of your return to San Francisco. I presume you got long ago my letter to you, addressed to Detroit, enclosing the certificates of shares in the Algerin & North Mexican. Mining here is dead and buried, and I suppose that you found the same to be the case in the East. We have here only two mines being worked, one on the Osos ranch, the other the old "Golden Gate". The latter is in the hands of George Hearst, the lately elected Assemblyman from San Francisco; the former of ex-Congressman Phelps, who is the present owner of the Osos & Laguna ranches. The Josephine is exploded and abandoned.

Of course you know of my defeat for the Senate, although I guess you are not acquainted with the particulars. I was virtually beaten by Union votes in this county. My opponent, Patrick W Murphy, has nothing to recommend him but his money, which he spent freely, and his Democratic antecedents and associations, which are unquestionable. He spent $3000 at the least in the two counties, & secured an alliance with the Noriega faction in Santa Barbara. Nevertheless I got 41 majority in that county; falling behind 44 here. The key to the whole matter is that I supported Munoz for Sheriff - before the Union convention of this county, as I well knew, without him we were powerless. My hearty support of him excited the ill-will of Van Alst and other patriots here, who avowed their determination to bolt my nomination, even before the Convention for choosing county officers came off. Stone was nominated for Sheriff, Munoz bolted; the Secest arose, called a "People's Convention"; adopted a part of our nominations, to wit, Dana for clerk and White for District Attorney, and nominated Munoz for the Senate and Chato Noriega for Sheriff. They also nominated Fritz Sauer for Treasurer, against my brother. This carried the Dutch vote from the Union to the Secest side, and Van Alst, Dick Bayer, Carolan Mathens and others, mainly from personal motives, bolted and voted for Murphy. The result was the election of Noriega for Sheriff, Forrester for Superintendent of Public Instruction & Murphy & Hill for Senate and Assembly. The vote for Sheriff stood, for Stone 111 votes, Munoz 114, Noriega 174. Had Munoz been nominated by our party, the whole Union ticket would have triumphed.

I enclose you a copy of an address I published before election. Some lying whelp printed and published only a few days previous to election a scurrilous document in answer to it, over the signature of "Vox Populi". I have not yet fixed the authorship of it and am anxious to do so. It lies between Van Ness and Forrester. If the former, I am bound to answer it, and will do so roughly. If the latter, it is not worth answering. In this connection I want you to do me a favor. I have discovered that the Vox Populi document was printed at Painter & Co's. I wish you would either go yourself, or get someone to go with you who is intimate there, and ask to see the original manuscript. Compare the handwriting with the specimens enclosed. One is the handwriting of Van Ness, - the other document is endorsed on the back by Forrester. The latter please return, as it is a document of some value. If the manuscript is in the handwriting of either of the two worthies named, let me know of which. If of neither, try & procure a page of it and send down so that it may be identified. By attending to this promptly, you will confer on me a great favor.

Enclosed please find statement of acct. between us, which please scrutinize and tell me if it is right. How shall I send the balance due you, $27.93. Please enquire how my Black Hawk stock is getting along, and how it stands, what prospects, etc etc.

My wife joins with me in best respects to you and wants to know how the children are getting along and what you have done with them. Please see Henderson and ask him whether Moon went up on the schooner with him or no. He has disappeared.

Hoping soon to hear from you,

I remain your sincere friend,

Walter Murray