SEALING

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Sea Lions are represented by two species on the California Channel Islands, the very common California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and the occasional Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubata) of northern sub-arctic regions. March 5, 1857 Thompson & West [p. 466] reported the killing of a sea lion measuring six feet seven inches with a skin worth $40. In the late 19th century and into the mid 20th century, the live capture of California sea lions was a profitable business. The animals were imported all over the world for use in circuses and later marine parks. Captain George M. McGuire began the business in Santa Barbara. “The sea lions are caught just off the island rookeries in a trammel net. Two men in a skiff release all but those of the desired age and sex. When one of these comes up for air, a rope is slipped around its neck and, as the net is cut, the sea lion is guided into a floating wooden crate. Then it is hoisted aboard the fishing boat and later transferred to a wire cage which allows the animal to see out and satisfy its curiosity. Two and three year olds are preferred for training. Sea lions are taken through the year except during July, August and September, when it is too warm to ship them. The ability of sea lions to go without food for four or five weeks simplifies shipping and when finally they are in the hands of a trainer, the offer of herring goes far in establishing a favorable relationship.” [Leaflet Fall 1949].


  • 1951. Bartholomew, George et al. The Sea Lion Population of Santa Barbara Island, California in the 1950 breeding season California Fish and Game 27: 1 (65-68), 1951


  • 1977. Hauser, Hillary Seals and sea lions: The watchdogs of San Miguel Santa Barbara Magazine 3(2):16-22, Summer 1977


  • 1982. Hauser, Hillary Santa Barbara's sea lion man Peter Howorth Santa Barbara Magazine 8(4):60-69, August/September 1982


SEALING as an industry developed around the Channel Islands as whaling declined. In the 19th century, sealing pursuits included slaughter of various species of pinnipeds primarily for their pelts and oil, although other parts including testes and whiskers were marketable as well. Sea otters and Guadalupe Island fur seals were particularly coveted for their rich fur pelts, and elephant seals for their massive size and profitability. Early California Channel Islands sealers included:

Sealing Shack & Sealers at
Point Bennett, San Miguel Island, June 1927
“1939 Santa Cruz Island Danny Pico &
Al Newton catching a seal”
“1939 Santa Cruz Island Danny Pico &
Al Newton catching a seal”
“1939 Santa Cruz Island Danny Pico &
Al Newton catching seals”
10777
Feeding the Seals on the Beach at Avalon,
Santa Catalina Island, Cal.


The industry changed from one of slaughter for body parts to capture of live animals for circuses and zoos. McGuire developed his business in the 1890s in Santa Barbara, and he gained a world-wide reputation for supplying smart healthy sea lions to large animal exporters as far away as Germany. His boats included the Gussie M, Pelican, and Charm. McGuire, who lived to be 102 years old, sold his sealing business to Water Miller who owned the Seal, built in 1916. Miller sold his business, along with the Seal, to Richard Headley in 1958 for $5000. Seal was one of the last commercial sealing vessels before the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.



  • 1918. Starks, E. C. The Sea Lion of California The American Museum Journal 18(3):226-237, March 1918


  • 1956. Heald, Weldon F. Cave of the Sea Lions Nature Magazine 49(10):517-519, 550, December 1956


  • 1959. Hamilton, Andrew How to Catch a Sea Lion Westways Magazine 51(12):9-11, 1959


  • 1980. Ashkenazy, Irvin On Safari off Santa Cruz Island Westways Magazine 13(3):25-28, May-June 1980



In the News~

1855 United States Coast Survey, W. M. Johnson reported: “During the survey of Anacapa we were much delayed by fogs, which nearly enveloped the peak, on the top of which was one of my signals; Anacapa is a place of great resort for the seal, sea lion, and formerly the sea otter, but the latter have been all killed off for their fur. During the time we were surveying at Anacapa there was a small vessel engaged in seal hunting. The party consisted of five men; they had erected try-works on the north side of the middle island, at the top of the boat landing, and up to the time of landing had tried out eighty-five barrels of oil.”


March 5, 1857 [SBG]: “March 3 schooner Victoria, [Captain] Peabody, from Anacapa Island, with 600 gallons elephant and seal oil.”


March 17, 1857 [SDU]: “Santa Barbara. The Gazette says that gold has been found on the Islands of Anacapa, a group of three small islands lying about 30 miles southeast of Santa Barbara. On these islands there is neither wood nor fresh water, and they are only frequented for seal oil and abalone shells.”


April 30, 1857 [SBG]: “April 27th arrived, schooner Victoria, [Captain] Peabody, from the adjacent islands, with 700 gallons seal and elephant [seal] oil.”


July 30, 1862 [SDU]: “Drowned. About the 10th of July, John Coats, a native of England, was thrown from a boat by the surf, at Santa Barbara Island, and carried off shore by the undertow. He had been engaged in taking seal oil, and the season had closed, with the exception of the blubber, which remained in the boat at the time of the sad accident. Some two hours afterwards his body was thrown on shore, and buried by his former companions. For several years past the deceased had been on the Southern coast, the greater part of the time at San Diego. He was much respected by all who knew him. His age was about twenty-eight years.”


May 24, 1863 [J. G. Cooper]: “I reached Santa Barbara Island, distant 75 miles, after a sail of 48 hours from the town in the sloop Hamilton, in which I engaged passage at a low cost, as the owners were going to the island to hunt sea lions for their oil. I encamped with the sealers for 20 days, a week longer than I wished, but was delayed by waiting for a vessel from San Pedro which was daily expected, there being no other means of getting away…” [Report of Explorations of the Islands off the Southern Coast of California, 1863, unpub. manuscript].


May 27, 1871 [SBT]: “Mills’ schooner left here Tuesday last for the sealing grounds among the islands of the channel with men and supplies for the season’s work. Sealing is said to yield a large profit during the best of the season, which lasts about two months.”


June 17, 1871 [SBT]: “A pioneer gone. James Tryce, one of the early settlers of the county, died a few days since, while on a seal hunting expedition to the Channel Islands. He was taken sick while on San Miguel Island and removed from there to Santa Cruz Island where he died, being so low they dared not attempt bringing him to the mainland.”


June 17, 1871 [SBT]: “Rare. Yesterday Captain B. Brown exhibited, on the wharf, some monsters of the deep, consisting of a sea lion, fur seal and spotted seal. These amphibious birds were captured expressly for Barnum’s traveling menagerie, by Captain Eastman, who has been three months chasing them.”


June 29, 1872 [SBWP]: “A few days since a couple of seals were brought from the island for the purpose of shipping to Woodward’s, but in consequence of improper care, died on board the vessel which brought them here, and were pitched overboard…”


February 26, 1873 [SBT]: “Captain A. J. Worth, with a picked crew, will leave this port on Saturday or Sunday for the coast of Japan. The object of the schooner Sanborn going to Japan is to hunt seal and otter. The news from that coast is sufficiently encouraging to warrant Captain C[rispine] Vasquez and others in fitting the schooner for this trip. Vasquez, known as one of the best otter hunters on the coast, will go in the Sanborn, and we expect to hear cheering news of the quantities of these aquatic animals taken by the crew which leaves for foreign waters on Sunday next. They have our best wishes for their speed, safety and success. The cruise is expected to last nine months.”


June 9, 1873 [SBDP]: “A sea lion and two seals, brought from Santa Cruz Island, were on the wharf Sunday awaiting shipment to San Francisco for Woodward’s Gardens. The numerous idlers who throng the wharf on Sundays had a free show. The seals were the property of Mr. Brown, and were taken to the city this morning.”


July 26, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrived. July 18. Schooner Pioneer, Thompson, from a hunting expedition with 11 sea lions for Woodward’s Garden.”


July 26, 1873 [SBSWT]: “Captain Brown has just made us a call, having returned from a cruise on the schooner Pioneer to San Nicolas Island. He tells us that the Pioneer brings ten live sea lions from the island, weighing from 100 to 1500 pounds each, to be shipped to San Francisco, for Woodward’s Garden. The best prize, weighing one ton, which took nine hours to secure, died at sea about eight miles our from here. This is what might be called ‘a good catch.’”


August 1, 1873 [SBDP]: “Departures. Schooner Pioneer, Thompson, on a hunting expedition.”


August 14, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. August 9. Schooner Tocao, Nidever, from a hunting expedition to Mexican coast.”


August 23, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. Schooner Reliance, Marris, from hunting expedition.”


August 23, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. August 14. Schooner Star of Freedom, Chase, from San Miguel Island; cargo of seal skins and oil.”


August 23, 1873 [SBDP]: “Sailed. August 16. Schooner Tocao, Nidever, hunting expedition.”


January 25, 1874 [SBDMT]: “The schooner J. D. Sanborn, Captain Crispine Vasquez, has on board eleven seals for Barnum’s Museum. They will bring fifty cents per pound, and will weigh about two tons. This is a nice little venture, and we congratulate friend Pillilly. The seals were taken from the islands in our channel.”


May 4, 1874 [SBDP]: “…On the way back Mr. Goodale and the newshunter boarded the fishing smack Rosita, and there saw fourteen sea lions. Captain Joseph H. Shields had charge of the vessel, which has a crew of three men and a boy. The sea lions are kept in boxes in the hold of the boat, and were captured with riatas on San Miguel Island. They greeted our arrival with fierce barks and snapping jaws. Some of these animals were quite large, and the intention is to take them to Woodward’s Gardens in San Francisco. The captain stated that he should not be satisfied until he had captured a lion of three thousand pounds weight, and he is confident he will get one that size. The person who lassos these amphibious creatures is a boy of perhaps fifteen or sixteen years of ago.”


May 8, 1874 [SFDEB]: “During a recent visit of the fishing smack Rosita to San Miguel Island, Captain Shiels and his crew secured fourteen sea lions, after they had been lassoed by a boy of sixteen. Several of these amphibious creatures are very large, and will make a fine appearance at Woodward’s Gardens, whither they will be taken in a few days.”


August 29, 1874 [SBDP]: “Sailed yesterday. The schooner Toccao, on a hunting expedition around the Channel Islands.”


June 14, 1875 [SBDP]: “On shore. The schooner Star of Freedom came along side the wharf this morning and landed the 12 cases of sea lions which were captured during the week.”


June 16, 1875 [LAH]: “On the schooner Star of Freedom, which arrived yesterday morning, there were seventeen sea lions, all alive and feeding well; of the number eight were males, four females, and the remainder were cubs. The heaviest one weighs about 1,000 pounds and is a fine looking monster; the others vary from 200 and upwards, and the whole is the finest lot of sea lions ever captured on this coast. About eight days ago Col. Hudson chartered the schooner Star of Freedom, and having secured the services of twelve men, started for San Nicolas Island where two were captured. At Santa Cruz Island, however, the catch of the remainder was made — one of the largest hauls on the coast. The undertaking was a dangerous one, as the lions were very fierce, and can only be captured by lassos. These lions will be shipped on cars for the East under the charge of Col. Hudson. The attempt to catch these lions was a great undertaking, but the will-power of the Colonel triumphed. Our Eastern friends will now have an opportunity to see some of the herculean monsters of the Pacific Ocean.”


June 19, 1875 [SDU]: “Sea lions on their travels — There passed through the city, yesterday, en route for the East, a car-load of sea lions, sixteen in number, the largest weighing about 1,000 pounds, while the others ranged in size down to mere cubs. Two of them were captured at San Nicolas Island, on the lower coast, and the remainder at Santa Cruz Island. It is said that the enterprise was a dangerous one, the larger animals being very fierce and difficult to secure after being lassoed. They were yesterday on their journey to New York, and it is proposed to exhibit them at the Centennial. In the car, each had a separate box, and the boxes were so constructed that the animals could be wet down several times a day, and furnished with water for drinking purposes.”


July 15, 1875 [SBDP]: “A huge sea lion was seen this morning sailing around the bulkheads of the wharf. It is estimated he measured 12 feet in length. Mr. Lion has arrived just in time to meet the telegram of John Wilson who wishes to secure such a fellow for exhibition.”


December 16, 1875 [SFDEB]: “Sealing on Anacapa. With the month of December usually comes the seal catching season on the islands off the coast. Although seals can be found in small numbers on these islands nearly the entire year, during the winter months they are much more numerous and are in a better condition, producing more oil and blubber. The business of catching seals and converting their blubber to oil is quite extensively pursued on the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel. A large number of men and boats are employed and all together it is a profitable industry. On Anacapa seals are very numerous this winter. They are killed with rifles and towed to shore, where the blubber is stripped off in great sheets and taken to the trying pots, where it is chopped and tried out. An average size seal will produce about a barrel of oil, which is worth from 35 to 45 cents per gallon, according to its purity. On the rocks and beach thousands may be seen at any time barking in the sunshine. The hunter goes along in his boat and selects the largest and fattest. Sometimes they are killed in the water around the boats. Great care must be taken to keep the boat far enough away from them, for one of these old sea lions, in the throes of death, is liable to attack a boat and make kindling wood of it in a moment. There is not a drop of fresh water on the island, and the fishermen procure their supply from wither Santa Cruz Island or the mainland. Wood is but little used, but at the commencement of the season the fishermen usually lay in a small supply. The cracklings from the blubber, and some of the blubber itself, furnishes most of the fuel. The seal are the ordinary hair seal, and the largest of those killed will weigh from 1800 to 2500 pounds. Their skins are worthless. Their barking can be heard for miles on a still night, and the noise on the island is so great that it is almost impossible to hear a person speak. The season lasts about two months, when the seals begin to leave the island for other climes. The business is dangerous and possesses no charms. The fishermen live in voluntary exile two or three months, and their lives are constantly in jeopardy.” [Ventura Free Press]


March 26, 1876 [BowersFN]: “Santa Rosa Island. The boys killed a sea lion and caught her young, bringing it into camp. It moved about following the one who caught it, and seemed to know him by scent. We had no way to keep the little beauty, and the boys killed it, saving its hide and skull.”


May 9, 1876 [SFDEB]: “Captain Warner reports to the Ventura Press an exceedingly good catch of seals this season at Anacapa Island, he having already secured upward of forty barrels of oil. He has a crew hard at work rendering the blubber, and expects during the month of June — the best month in the season—to secure upwards of sixty barrels.”


May 20, 1876 [VS]: “Captain Myron Warner with his schooner Pioneer, in company with his cousin, Mr. Ed Warner and Charles Streeter, and three hands left on Thursday, bound for Anacapa, where they will engage in sealing until the 4th of July. They took 60 barrels in which they will ship their oil. Charles Streeter goes to shoot seal. He is said to be the ‘boss’ sealsman. The oil will be sold on the island [Santa Catalina] to Captain Timms, of San Pedro, at a stipulated price. Captain Warner intends, when through this expedition, to quit the perilous business, and to settle down in our midst as a land-lubber and speculator.”


July 10, 1876 [SBDP]: “The seal-catchers, Myron Warner and Charles Streeter, returned from Anacapa during the week, and reported the season ended. They were very successful this year, and secured a great deal of oil.”


August 11, 1876 [SBDP]: “Loss of the schooner Leader on San Miguel Island. The schooner Leader, Captain Charles Ludgnigs [Lutgens?], which has long been navigated on the bay of San Francisco and tributary rivers, was recently chartered for a fishing and sealing expedition along the coast of southern California. On the 17th day of June last, the schooner was anchored on the weather side of San Miguel Island when a severe squall struck her, and, despite the efforts of the crew, she was driven ashore and is now a total wreck. The proceeds of their expedition up to that time, and all of the contents of the vessel were saved. No lives were lost. The crew, six in number, established themselves on a large rock a mile or two from the main island, and prosecuted their sealing business, with the aid of their small boats, for about four weeks, and watching in the meantime for a vessel to rescue them. At the end of that time their supply of provisions became so much reduced, it was decided that assistance must soon be obtained in some way. Two men were accordingly dispatched in a skiff to Santa Rosa Island for Captain Thompson of the Matinee. He accordingly sailed to San Miguel and picked up the unfortunate men and brought them, their forty barrels of seal oil and other effects, to this city, where they arrived yesterday. They began shipping their oil, etc. to San Francisco on the next steamer. The schooner was owned and insured in San Francisco, which was her home port.”


August 11, 1876 [SBDP]: “Arrived. Schooner Matinee, Thompson, master, twenty hours from Cuyler’s Harbor, with wreckage and crew of schooner Leader, lost June 17th on San Miguel Island. Also, 32 barrels seal oil to Joe Shields, and 90 sheep to Sherman & Ealand.”


December 2, 1876 [VFP]: “W. C. Streeter has gone or goes today on his annual expedition to the islands to kill seal pups, which are said to be extraordinarily numerous this year. About 1200 were killed last year. Only the oil is saved, the skins being worthless, or rather in no demand, even to manufacturers of glue. It does seem as thought they might be made useful for something.”


January 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “Anacapa Island. Seal and other fishing — shells, mosses and a great cave. A sketch by the editor of the Ventura Free Press… The fishing business around and on the island is the most profitable. The black seals are the most numerous, though occasionally leopard seals are killed, and sometimes a sea lion. These latter do not breed on the island, but only pay passing visits. When killed, they yield large quantities of oil… The business is carried on by Captain Myron Warner, of this place, and Charles Streeter, the latter we believe, being the shootist…”


May 11, 1877 [SBDP]: “Captain Mullett of San Francisco, who, two years ago caught several fine sea lions and sent them to New York and London, has engaged the Star of Freedom to go to the islands on another similar expedition. He intends capturing with a lasso, some twenty-five or thirty more and sending them to the same destinations. He expects to start on Tuesday morning and will take with him some fifteen men. The lions when captured will be landed here and transferred to a steamer for San Francisco, and from there they will go overland to New York, and be shipped thence to Europe. Captain Mullett has been a very successful seal hunter and thoroughly understands the business.”


May 21, 1877 [SBDP]: “Captain Mullett left the harbor this morning on board the schooner Star of Freedom, which he has chartered for his sea lion hunt. Captain Thomas commands the ship. Fifteen men are employed by Captain Mullett on this expedition.”


May 26, 1877 [SBDP]: “This morning Captain Mullett returned from his expedition after sea lions, having succeeded in capturing twenty-four of them, which he states are the finest that have been caught. The schooner Star of Freedom, which was chartered for the hunt, arrived at the wharf at noon today with the lions on board. On arrival, they were transferred to the wharf, whence they will be shipped per steamer for Europe accompanied by Captain Mullett. George Nidever, who had charge of the expedition, displayed some splendid seamanship in surfing the boats—finer the Captain says he never saw. The schooner was only four days out, having left here Tuesday morning last and arrived near the lighthouse last evening. The sea lions are looked upon as quite a curiosity in the Eastern States and Europe, as they belong strictly to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Mullett succeeded in capturing a female with a cub, a rare occurrence, and it is a valuable specimen. The greater portion of the lions show the effects of the capture, being somewhat scratched, proving that it is no job to handle these monsters, the largest of which measures six feet in length and weighs 400 pounds. One fully as large made an effort for freedom, and managed to break his cage while the men were getting him aboard the schooner, and escaped into the sea. They differ, according to their age from a dark brown to a dun color.”


May 26, 1877 [SBDP]: “The sea lions are being boxed up in readiness for transport to Europe and the East.”


May 28, 1877 [SBDP]: “Yesterday afternoon a large number of people were attracted to the wharf to see the sea lions that had been captured; but kept a respectful distance from the animals as they were very savage and snapped at any one who went too close to the cages in which they were confined… They were shipped this morning on the steamer Ancon… Captain Mullett lately captured a sea elephant weighing 2500 pounds. The sea elephant is formed very similar to the land elephant, having a trunk and tusks, with huge fins in the place of legs. It is supposed to be the only animal of that species that has ever been captured alive. [These animals are probably seals, and not sea lions.]”


May 29, 1877 [DAC]: “Captain Mullett started for San Francisco on the Ancon this morning, with twenty-four sea lions or seals, captured at Santa Cruz Island. They are destined for Chicago, New York and London, for exhibition. He expects to realize about $500 apiece for the animals.”


June 7, 1877 [SBDP]: “The San Francisco Chronicle notices the arrival of the twenty-four sea lions captured by Captain Mullett off this coast lately, and of their departure by special car to the East, with the exception of a fine pair which were purchased for a round sum by Mr. O’Donnell for his pleasure gardens in San Jose.”


June 23, 1877 [SBDP]: “The sealing business is in full blast on three islands — Santa Cruz, Anacapa and San Miguel. Myron Warner and Captain Charles Miller are the leading spirits.”


June 25, 1877 [DAC]: “San Buenaventura, June 23. The annual immigration of bull seals has arrived at San Nicolas, Cape San Miguel and Santa Cruz Island, three weeks later than usual, and the slaughter has commenced. The bulls are very fat this year, yielding large quantities of oil. They generally remain about six weeks, during which time the barking and fighting of the animals and the popping of rifles render the scene a pandemonium.”


June 30, 1877 [CDT]: “Capturing Sea Lions. Among the arrivals from the West yesterday were sixteen sea lions, under care of Captain Mullett, the general trapping agent of the New York and Coney Island Aquariums. They were all in excellent condition, although somewhat noisy… Captain Mullett enjoys the distinction of having superintended the capture of every sea lion exhibited in the world… He was employed by the Aquarium Company to provide a certain number of these animals for their establishment, and with carte blanche as to expenditures. He went to California, where he selected from among the rancheros fifteen of the most experienced lariat-throwers, whom he took to the Pacific coast of Lower California, the expedition starting from San Francisco on the 31st of March… one of the men named Lopez, was hurtled over the embankment to the rocks below, and he was killed…”


June 30, 1877 [VFP]: “The sealing company, composed of M. Warner, C. Streeter, William Callahan and Charles Miller, are making it lively for the bull seals over at the islands. The annual migration occurred three weeks later than usual this year, and the animals are very fat. Charles Miller had the misfortune to run a knife in his foot a few days since, inflicting a severe cut, but is now able to be about again.”


July 3, 1877 [SBDP]: “Seals and Sea Lions. Their rookeries, habits and peculiarities. Killing them for oil and dressing. Manner of capturing them alive for exhibition. The black or barking seal has rookeries on Anacapa, Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands of the Santa Barbara group, and on various islands on the coast of Lower California. At the rookeries they gather by the thousands. The weight of the seal often reaches a thousand pounds... The oil in the San Francisco market ranges in price from 37-1/2 to 60 cents per gallon, and a thousand-pound seal will make eighteen gallons of oil, while the dressing (that is, the whisker and other parts of the seal) are worth $1.25, and are sold to Chinamen. The skins are dried and used for making glue, and are worth 2-1/2 cents per pound...”


July 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “A quantity of lumber to be used for caging the captured sea lions was being towed to the schooner Reliance this morning.”


July 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “On Sunday evening captain J. R. Mullett returned from Europe, where he had successfully disposed of his cargo of sea lions. Two only died on the road. During the passage several of the females gave birth to cubs. On the arrival of the train conveying the animals to the New York depot, the excitement and curiosity were very great, so much so that the traffic was completely stopped for a time. Two of the lions were left at the New York Aquarium, and two at Cooney’s Island Aquarium. The remainder, Captain Mullett took with him to Berlin, Hamburg, London, Paris and Havers, where they were sold at good prices. The captain has orders for twenty more, and started today on board the schooner Reliance with a corps of twelve men. He expects to be absent about ten days.”


July 25, 1877 [SBDP]: “Sea Lions. This morning the schooner Reliance arrived at Stearn’s Wharf with nine sea lions and a female sea elephant. Some of the animals are much larger than those caught on the previous trip, and there are also several young ones. They will be shipped tonight on the steamer Los Angeles for San Francisco, en route for St. Louis and Philadelphia — their ultimate destination. Captain Mullett reports an exceedingly rough trip. He went to Santa Cruz Island, thence to Santa Rosa, and finally San Miguel, where the largest lions were taken. The weather on the other side of the islands was very stormy, and a gale blew the whole time they were out, nearly every sea breaking over the vessel. At night she dragged her anchors and drifted at the mercy of the waves. All the provisions on board were completely spoiled. The animals are badly scarred in places, owing to the roughness of the weather and the difficulty of handling; but they look healthy and well able to stand the trip across the continent. The cost of the trip altogether exceeds $1600.”


July 26, 1877 [SBDP]: “One of the schooner’s men was badly bitten in the arm yesterday morning by one of the sea lions.” The melodious roar of the lions was heard all over town yesterday afternoon.”


October 2, 1877 [SBDP]: “Seals. The demand for seals and sea lions has increased very much of late, and inquiries for them have been numerous. The schooner Reliance has been engaged by some San Francisco people to go on a hunt for them, and yesterday the captain, with an able-bodied crew, left the port, with all the necessary appliances for their capture and safe transit to their destination. The schooner will visit Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands, making the other side of them, where the seals abound in large numbers. Captain Mullett has retired from the business, having made a comfortable income from his excursions. The schooner is expected to be back in port in about ten days.”


October 8, 1877 [SBDP]: “The schooner Reliance returned from the islands on Saturday afternoon, bringing four large sea lions which had been captured, according to order, for a San Francisco firm. The animals were in good condition. The captain reports the animals as being very wild and savage, and difficult to capture.”


December8, 1877 [SBDP]: “A large sea lion was seen near the shore off Castle Rock yesterday. He was probably on a fishing excursion, as they are often seen in the kelp.”


January 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “There will be an addition to the shipping of Santa Barbara on the arrival of the schooner H. W. Almy, which sailed from San Francisco on Sunday, January 6. The H. W. Almy has been in Santa Barbara before, but since then has been entirely rebuilt, and is now a new vessel. She is owned by A. I. Welch & Co., of San Francisco, but her headquarters will be here, as she is intended to trade mostly between the islands; and as Captain Mullett, the sea-lion capturer, is a member of the firm of Welch & Co., we shall doubtless see some live animals on her occasionally. George E. Nidever, who accompanied Captain Mullett several times to catch sea lions, is in charge of her, and Mr. J. H. Swift of this town will act as agent.”


February 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “The H. W. Almy has gone to the islands, sea lion hunting. She is expected back about the 25th.”


February 28, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Almy, with a load of sea lions, is due at any time.”


March 30, 1878 [SBDN]: “Sea leopards and sea lions. Day before yesterday Captain Mullett arrived in port with the little schooner H. W. Almy, having on board two sea leopards and two sea lions, all destined for Forepaugh’s menagerie, now at Los Angeles… The modus operandi of catching them is an exciting one. The party approach cautiously to where the animals lie basking and sleeping in the sun on the rocks, and selecting one desired to be caught, the trapper, who is none other than an expert lassoer, stands ready, and as the lazy-looking brute is startled into raising his head, away goes the lasso, and probably away goes the animal’s breath also, for three men tug for dear life on the tough rawhide until the struggling brute becomes more quiet, when another lasso is slipped over his tail fins. The cage is now brought, and the roaring, snarling mass of flesh tumbled unceremoniously into it. The cage, which is made of strong wood, is then rolled into the breakers and towed out to the vessel. This is comparatively an easy matter, with the sea lion, to such an experienced hunter as Captain Mullett…”


April 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “The sea lions and sea leopards. A schooner arrived yesterday from Santa Barbara with two sea lions and two sea leopards for Forepaugh’s circus, and the animals were the cynosure of all eyes yesterday afternoon. During the passage, one of the sea leopards gave birth to a young one, so that Mr. Forepaugh will find one more curiosity that he bargained for. [Los Angeles Republican].


April 11, 1878 [SBDP]: “William O. Mantor writes to the editor of the Morning Call as follows: I landed here October 14, 1850. I am a hunter, sealer and whaler, and have followed these occupations more or less. When I landed here fish were very plentiful, especially the spring school of salmon. Leopard seals were also found in abundance. Sea lions approached the rocks simply to rest; then they leave and others take their places… In the year 1856 I sealed on Santa Barbara Island. It was completely covered in the breeding season, and as to fish, I never saw so many in any one place in the northern hemisphere as I did there. I was there in 1871, and parties had been sealing up to that time, and found the seals were very scarce…”


May 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom having left Rogers & Co. sealing party on San Miguel Island, returned here last night.”


June 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Rogers Brothers & Company seal-hunting expedition to San Miguel Island has but just commenced operations. Seals are reported as numerous, but not heretofore in condition to kill. During otherwise idle moments the party has been gathering abalone shells, of which they have found in goodly quantity.”


June 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner H. W. Almy will make another trip today for a cargo of sea lions. Captain Mullett does not waste much time idling.”


June 22, 1878 [SBDP]: “The little schooner H. W. Almy arrived in port this morning, having made since the 14th instant a complete tour of all the islands lying off Santa Barbara. Small as she is, the Almy is enough like her energetic owner, Captain Mullett, not to half do anything, and so she comes back laden with seal oil and abalone shells gathered by the two parties sent out by Captain Mullett some time since. The weather was good all the time, and the logbook records one spin of fifty miles in four hours, and at no time did the lively little schooner show herself lazy. Among other places Captain Mullett stopped at San Miguel and interviewed Fred Forbush, who has charge of the Rogers Brothers sealing expedition, which was fitted out here some time ago. Fred, it is said, takes off his hat and sits on it every time he tells of the San Diego expedition getting ahead of him, and taking up quarters on Flea Island, where the seals most do congregate. He has done better than they have, however, for besides fifteen barrels of oil, he has gathered a quantity of abalone shells, while the San Diego party has only fifty barrels of oil…”


July 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “Captain Mullett arrived in port this morning with a load of abalone shells and seal oil, and a live sea lion weighing eight hundred pounds, which will probably go to Woodward’s Gardens.”


July 6, 1878 [VFP]: “The bull seals were rather late in coming to the islands this year, but finally arrived in about the usual numbers. Messrs. Brewster and Warner have secured about 3,000 sea lions and have saved some few skins, though the price paid for the latter does not justify curing them. The seals have now become so poor that the hunters have been killing them, and in a few days they will depart.”


July 12, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from San Miguel Island this morning with fifty barrels of seal oil. The oil will be shipped from here to San Francisco, after which the schooner will return to the islands and take the remaining thirty barrels of oil to San Diego.”


July 12, 1878 [SBDP]: “Captain Thomas with his schooner Star of Freedom has gone after Fred Forbush and his blubber.”


July 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom is expected to arrive tomorrow night with E. F. Rogers’s seal oil party.”


July 12, 1878 [SBDP]: “Useful rock. The Ventura Free Press says: "Messrs. Streeter & Warner have shown us several varieties of soft rock from the islands lying off the coast. Some of them make a magnificent polishing powder, while others resemble rock soap, and still others will make splendid "chalks" for school and similar purposes. The rock stone is used by the sealers to remove oil from their hands and clothing. Here is a chance now for some of the sealing parties from Santa Barbara to locate claims and make a little speculation.”


July 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom arrived from San Miguel Island last evening. She brought over Fred Forbush’s sealing party and the following freight consigned to E. F. Rogers: 1200 gallons of seal oil, 35 barrels and 60 sacks of an excellent quality of abalone shells.”


July 18, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise, recently purchased by E. F. Rogers, will return in a few days from San Diego. She will be overhauled and fitted up for the seal oil and abalone shell trade between this place and the islands.”


July 24, 1878 [SBDP]: “Captain Mullett sent his sea lion to San Francisco by the Senator this morning.”


July 25, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from San Miguel Island this morning with fifty barrels of seal oil. The oil will be shipped from here to San Francisco, after which the schooner will return to the islands and take the remaining thirty barrels of oil to San Diego.”


1879: “Seal hunting is a remunerative business on some of the islands. During the summer of 1879, Rogers & Company, of Santa Barbara, had fifteen to twenty men engaged in hunting the seal on the San Miguel and Flea Islands. The hunters follow along the beach, shooting those they find on the rocks; other parties flay off the blubber and carry it to the trying place, where it is slowly cooked to extract the oil, by an experienced person. The oil is ranked with that of the whale in value, and finds a market in San Francisco. The nose and whiskers (smellers) are sold to the Chinese for some of the customs incident to their civilization. The skins and intestines of the seals are utilized in making garments for the Alaska market. Sealing on Anacapa Island is usually carried on in December, because they congregate in great numbers at the beginning of winter, and for another reason that they then are fattest, yielding the largest quantity of oil, being ten to forty gallons to the seal. There is no wood or water on the island; the cracklings or scraps of the tried blubber is used for fuel, and water has to be carried in barrels to sustain the party through the hunt, which may last two or three months...” [Thompson & West, 1882 p. 258]


January 20, 1879 [SBDP]: “Eugene Rogers sailed with the schooner Surprise last night for Lower California. He goes to hunt otter, seal, shark, etc., and will be gone from three to five months.”


April 15, 1879 [SBDP]: “E. F. Rogers, Esq., who recently returned from a hunting trip down the coast, killed 25 large black seals, the skins of which he sold in San Francisco last week for $35 apiece.”


April 17, 1879 [SBDP]: “The enterprising Rogers brothers have sent a crew of men to occupy Flea Island and other seal rookeries near San Miguel Island to take seal during June. In the meantime they will gather shells and hunt the valuable sea otter.”


May 14, 1879 [SBWP]: “The Rogers Brothers are preparing for seal hunting on the islands. A large number of empty barrels were taken on board of their schooner Surprise yesterday, which are to be filled with seal oil.”


June 12, 1879 [SBDP]: “Messrs. Rogers Brothers & Co. of this city have 19 men on San Miguel and Flea islands engaged in killing seal for oil. At this season of the year thousands of large seals come to certain places among the rocks of these islands to care for their young, and usually remain two or three months, until the pups are old enough to take care of themselves. At each place where the seals are most numerous, two men, who are good shots, will do the shooting. These hunters will have certain routes each day, but often times do not travel more than a mile where the seal are the thickest and will shoot as they go along. Five men will follow the hunters as cut the ‘trimmings’ and blubber off the seal in a very few minutes and leave the carcass to be washed out with the tide. The blubber is packed to the large vat where it is boiled slowly and carefully, after which the oil is poured into a cooler, and then into the oil barrels, when it is ready for shipment. The boiling process is attended by one man—an experienced hand, who gives his entire attention to it—and after the oil is removed from the vat, the scraps are taken out and used for fuel. As many as a hundred large seals are often killed and disposed of in this way in one day. The ‘trimmings,’ which are the nose, smellers, etc., are valued by the Chinamen, and sell for from 15 to 25 cents per seal. The oil sells in San Francisco, and is worth from sixty to ninety cents per gallon. It is estimated that over 1000 seals will be killed by this party within the next two months, and ought to produce at least 5000 gallons of oil.”


June 12, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from the San Miguel Island last evening. The captain reports that Rogers & Brothers seal hunting party have already commenced to kill seal for oil.”


June 18, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. was chartered by Captain Mullett and E. F. Rogers yesterday, and sailed for Anacapa Island for the purpose of capturing thirty large sea lions, which are to be shipped to parties in the eastern States.”


June 21, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from the islands today, bringing eight live sea lions, which will be shipped to parties in the East for whom they were captured.”


June 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from Anacapa Island Saturday evening with eight sea lions.”


June 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “Eight large sea lions, belonging to Captain Mullett, were sent to San Francisco on the Senator last Saturday.”


June 24, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. arrived from the islands this morning with another lot of sea lions, which will be shipped to the eastern States.”


July 1879 [Thompson & West, 1883]: “A sea-lion was killed on San Miguel Island in July, 1879, that was 14 feet long and was estimated to weigh between 3,500 and 4,000 pounds. So says Captain Mullet who has been engaging in capturing sea-lions for exhibition, etc. for about eight years, and has caught nearly 200.”


July 13, 1879 [SBDP]: “The largest sea lion ever seen in these waters was killed by Rogers Brothers & Co.'s sealing party on San Miguel Island last week. The parties who killed the animal have been engaged in the seal killing business for a score of years on this coast, and all who saw him agree that it was the largest they had ever heard of. The animal was 14 feet long, and its weight, estimated by competent judges, was fixed at from 3,500 to 4,000 pounds. There were 25 gallons of oil secured from the blubber of this animal, and the parties who skinned him compare the largest lion ever seen at Woodward’s Garden in San Francisco, as a puppy alongside this monster. The skin was carefully taken off and salted, and will be shipped to Woodward’s Garden on the next steamer.”


September 18, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. has sailed for the islands on a hunt for sea lions and shells.”


September 29, 1879 [SBDP]: “Rogers Brothers have purchased the schooner N.B. and have sent her to the islands after sea lions to fill an order for 37 of the animals from eastern parties.”


October 4, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N.B., belonging to Rogers Brothers, arrived from the islands this afternoon with a number of sea lions to fill orders from the east.”


October 9, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. left last night for the islands. She has been chartered by Mr. James Swift and Captain Thomas for a cruise after sea lions.”


October 10, 1879 [SBDP]: “Rogers Brothers sea lions make the night hideous with their bellowings down at the wharf.”


October 13, 1879 [SBDP]: “The sea lions, which were at the wharf for several days, were turned loose yesterday morning and soon scuttled off into the water. They seem to have lost their bearings, and hung around the dock and beach seeking food...”


October 16, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N.B. returned from the islands this morning. The expedition was not a successful one and she did not bring back a single sea lion.”


October 28, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise has gone to Santa Cruz Island to bring off the men hunting otter and seals for Rogers Brothers at that place.”


November 17, 1879 [SBDP]: “The gales and heavy sea outside the islands of the past two weeks have driven the fish from that vicinity into the calmer waters of the channel, and the sea lions have followed them. Yesterday a number of the sea monsters, some of them of large size, were pursuing their finny prey off the end of Stearn’s Wharf. The waters of the harbor were alive with smelt and other small fish, which were having a lively time trying to avoid the destroyers…”


December 16, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Phantom sailed for the islands yesterday afternoon to hunt for sea lions. The crew expects to remain until they have secured twenty of the animals, which will be shipped East.”


December 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Phantom has gone to Anacapa Island to capture seal pups.”


January 22, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Phantom, Captain Chase, arrived from Anacapa Island yesterday with 700 gallons of seal oil and between 300 and 400 hair-seal skins.”


February 13, 1880 [SBDP]: “Island products. Mr. A. King, principal agent in Alaska of the Western Fur and Trading Company (Faulkner, Bell & Co.) has been in town several days, superintending the filling of orders for a large number of hair-seals and sea lion skins, which are being taken at Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands. The skins, and also the throats and intestines of these animals are designed for the manufacture of boats and waterproof garments for the use of native hunters in the Aleutian and other islands in the north.”


February 16, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise is cruising about the islands after hair-seal. The animals are rather scarce at this season of the year, and a large capture is not one of the things to be counted on with certainty.”


February 26, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from San Nicolas Island this morning and discharged 100 sacks of abalone shells and meat. She will depart tomorrow for San Miguel Island for seal oil and skins.”


March 1, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom, Captain Burtis, arrived Saturday evening from Santa Cruz Island, bringing 50 seal skins and 3 barrels of oil. The captain reports that the hunters who went over there last week were not very successful in the capture of seals, owing to the bad weather, it having rained most of the time.”


March 4, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise, under Captain Smith, arrived last night from San Miguel Island, discharged 65 sacks of abalone shell, 14 sacks of meat, 119 seal skins, 7 barrels of seal oil, 1 barrel of intestines.”


March 13, 1880 [SBDP]: “Captain Weber, of San Francisco, came down on the Constantine last evening. The Captain is here for the purpose of procuring twenty sea lions, which are designed for the Eastern market.”


March 16, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom weighed anchor and gracefully sailed away for the island of Anacapa Sunday afternoon, having on board Mr. Rogers and a party of Californians who are employed to capture alive twenty sea lions. This is accomplished by means of the lasso, but not without much ingenuity and considerable danger, as the lions when their way of escape is cut off, fight viciously, and woe to him who comes within reach of their huge tusks. Captain Burtis informs us they have been known when wounded to chase hunters half way up the mountain side, and that too with much alacrity...”


March 19, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom leaves tomorrow for Santa Cruz Island, taking over a large party of sheep shearers. From there she goes to the island of Anacapa, and will return Monday with the [sea] lion hunters and their game.”


March 20, 1880 [SDU]: “The schooner Star of Freedom weighed anchor and gracefully sailed away for the island of Anacapa on Sunday afternoon from San Diego, having on board Mr. Rogers and a party of Californians who are employed to capture alive twenty sea lions. This is accomplished by means of the lasso, but not without much ingenuity and considerable danger, as the lions when their way of escape is cut off, fight viciously, and woe to him who comes within reach of their huge tusks.”


March 23, 1880 [DC]: “Capturing Sea Lions. Captain Mullett, the sea lion hunter, has described his methods to a St. Louis reporter. In six years he has caught 164 sea lions, mostly near San Diego, and has profited thereby, since the regular price for an exhibition seal is $1000…”


March 23, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom arrived last night from the island of Anacapa with the sea lion hunters, but minus the game. Mr. Herbert Rogers, who with a party of Californians undertook their capture for Captain Weber of San Francisco, reports that nine or ten larger ones were taken alive, but owing to the fact that there was no place to keep them on the island out of the hot sun, the schooner having left the island as soon as the party had landed, and also for the reason that this being their breeding season, they were very ugly and many are supposed to have been severely handled in their capture, they only survived a day after being taken… ”


March 24, 1880 [SBDP]: “A sea lion tale. Captain J. R. Mullett at your service… Captain J. R. Mullett, who is pretty well known in Santa Barbara, has been elucidating the sea lion problem in St. Louis. The people of St. Louis never knew much about sea lions, and therefore it is particularly fortunate that the captain happened to be on hand to enlighten them… ’How did you happen to adopt the calling of a sea lion hunter?’ asked the reporter of Captain Mullett, as he took a seat in the waiting room of the hotel. ‘Well,’ the captain said with a pleasant smile, ‘Let me tell you all about it. You see I was formerly a sea captain and ran passenger vessels between England, Australia and California. I first began to study the habits of sea lions off the Chincha Island of South America, the only place where they exist except off the coast of California. I became very much interested in them and afterwards thought I would like to hunt the sea lion for a living. I have done so and have made money at it. About six years ago some showmen persuaded me to go in on the business, and I fitted out two small schooners, the H. W. Almy and the Phantom, with fifteen men on each. These vessels I am using now. I pay the men a small salary, just enough to live on, and then give them a percentage of what I get for the sea lions. They are employed the whole year, and when they are not catching the animals alive, they shoot them for the skins and oil. You see the lassoers have to be very expert, and there are very few lassoers in the world, as it is for my interest to keep those I have. Our field of operation was on the lower or Mexican coast of California, as we are not allowed to catch the lions in American waters. The Seal Rock, opposite San Francisco, is looked upon as a natural curiosity, and everybody who goes to California goes to see it — so the authorities want to preserve it. We are therefore compelled to operate off San Diego, which is the dividing line of California and Mexico. The first sea lion I caught after fitting out my vessels was for Barnum, six years ago, and that was the first one ever exhibited in this country…”


April 9, 1880 [SBDP]: “More seals wanted. The seal business of Santa Barbara is looking up. Rogers Brothers received a day or two ago a dispatch from Captain Weber of San Francisco, who, it will be remembered, was here a few weeks ago for the purpose of taking seals, but returned unsuccessful, stating that he wanted fifty seals, and also a letter from the manager of Woodward’s Gardens, San Francisco, inquiring as to the probable cost of the capture of six seals for that pleasure resort. The schooner Surprise, which is owned by the Rogers Brothers, is expected back today from Catalina Island where she has been undergoing repairs, when she will be fitted up and started with a party for the San Miguel Island or Anacapa, and make another attempt to fill the orders.”


April 12, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise came in yesterday from Catalina Island, having on board 90 seal skins, 40 sacks of abalone meat, and 40 sacks of shells. She goes in a day or two to Anacapa Island with a party of seal hunters, who are employed to capture 50 seals alive, which are designed for the East.”


April 18, 1880 [BDG]: “The corner in Sea Lions. Captain J. Mullett, who quitted New York for Omaha on Friday, says that he has captured every sea lion now on exhibit anywhere in the world. He was for many years master of an English vessel in the guano trade… Captain Mullett has captured 200 sea lions. Their average price to showmen is $1000…”


April 27, 1880 [REG]: “The Santa Barbara Press of the 20th says the schooner Surprise came in yesterday from a California island, having on board 90 seal skins, 40 sacks of abalone meat, and 40 sacks of shells. She goes in a day or two to Anacapa Island with a party of seal hunters, who are employed to capture fifty seals alive.”


May 17, 1880 [BDG]: “Birth of a sea lion on the cars. Uncle John Robinson, the menagerie proprietor, is a happy man. He recently purchased a fine pair of sea lions for his show from James R. Mullett of San Francisco, and sent his trusty lieutenant, George Fisher, to Chicago to receive them there, and bring them to Cincinnati. Fisher took charge of the basket crate containing the lions and put them in the express car. When he arrived he went into the car to see how his charges were, when he was greatly surprised and gladdened to find that the female sea lion had given birth during the night to a fine baby…”


June 18, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise from the island San Nicolas, arrived today with a lot of shells and abalones. She sails this evening on her return with supplies for the sealing camps.”


July 30, 1880 [NYT]: “Six more sea lions. One of the sea lions which arrived at the American Express office in the yard of the Grand Central Depot, from San Francisco last Wednesday night, died yesterday. Captain Mullett, the consignee, said it died from over-feeding…”


October 25, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Sarah Ann from the islands, arrived Saturday morning laden with abalone shells and seal oil.”


October 30, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Sarah Ann has discharged her cargo, consisting of abalone shells, seal oil, seal and leopard skins, consigned to P. N. Newell. The same was shipped by steamer this morning to San Francisco. Mr. Newell has just fitted her out for a trip down the coast. She leaves tomorrow.”


November 23, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Sarah Ann, Captain Johnson, is lying in port preparing for a cruise, seal and otter hunting.”


February 9, 1881 [WP]: “James R. Mullett, the famous sea lion catcher, arrived in the city yesterday from San Francisco. The captain did not bring his usual assortment of sea lions this time. He had an elephant on his hands. Unlike some other people in that situation, the captain knew just what to do with it…”


February 9, 1881 [CDTPA]: “Captain Mullett, who is known to all showmen as the ‘sea lion man,’ for the reason that he has supplied all the American shows with sea lions, as well as some of the foreign zoological gardens, safely delivered to Adam Forepaugh, in Philadelphia, on Saturday last, an Asiatic elephant, which he purchased of the captain of a China tea ship on its arrival in San Francisco…”


March 23, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner chartered by Captain Mullett caught thirty-two seals at Anacapa Island last week. After touching at Carpinteria for wood and ballast, she sailed to San Francisco yesterday.”


April 16, 1881 [FR]: “Thirty-two sea lions, lassoed at the Santa Barbara islands, and brought hither last week, have been shipped east. They are consigned to various circuses and zoological gardens in different cities. Four go to the Barnum’s circus in New York.”


June 22, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy sailed for San Miguel Island last night with calves and horses. On her return the latter part of this week, she will make a trip to Anacapa Island seal hunting.”


July 16, 1881 [SBDP]: “Thursday last the schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, brought twelve sea lions over from the island. They are to be shipped to San Francisco this evening on the Senator.”


July 23, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived from St. Nicolas Island yesterday, with a cargo of sea lions and seal oil, which is to be shipped to San Francisco.”


November 4, 1881 [SBDP]: “H. K. Warren, in a communication, appealed to the humanity of the Council on the matter of allowing sea lions to linger in cages on the wharf, as said lions are subjected to great cruelty, and howl for sympathy. The matter not being within city jurisdictions, the Mayor instructed the City Clerk to refer it to the Township Constables, there being a statutory provision against cruelty to animals.”


November 4, 1881 [SBDP]: “To the Editor of the Santa Barbara Press — About fourteen days ago a number of sea lions were brought to Santa Barbara and placed on the pier for shipment, I believe, to San Francisco. Through some misunderstanding they still remain there. As a visitor to your town, I wish to direct attention to the grievous cruelty thus inflicted on these unfortunate animals… Yours obediently, J. G. Halcro. The mere act of confining the sea lions in cages for any reasonable length of time works no especial hardship to them, and is no more cruel than the imprisonment of animals, wild or domestic, which is practiced everywhere… —Ed.”


February 13, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived Saturday from Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands with fifteen sea lions on board, to be shipped to San Francisco on the Orizaba tomorrow evening.”


March 12, 1883 [SBDP]: “Larco’s schooner is also in port with a cargo of abalone shells, seal skins and otter skins, from San Miguel Island.”


March 17, 1883 [SBWP]: “Several schooners arrived in the channel Saturday and are now anchored near the wharf... Larco’s schooner is also in port with a cargo of abalone shells, seal skins and otter skins from San Miguel Island...”


April 4, 1883 [SBDP]: “Larco’s schooner has returned from Anacapa Island with a cargo of seals.”


April 26, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy brought last week from Anacapa Island thirty live seals. Two of the bull seals were the largest ever brought over from the islands. They were shipped to San Francisco, part of them to be placed in the Woodward Gardens and the balance to be shipped to New York.”


May 9, 1883 [SBDI]: “A. Larco accompanied by Captain Burtis and Antonio Cavalleri have gone to San Miguel Island in search of seals. They expect to be gone several months. They expect to obtain a large number of seals, otters and oil.”


May 14, 1883 [SBDI]: “Ramon Ayala is at present seal hunting on Santa Cruz Island. He expects to get 50 barrels of oil and four or five tons of skins. There is also a company now fitting out an expedition to go to San Nicolas and other islands on a similar mission.”


May 22, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco has gone to San Miguel Island with a seal hunting party.”


May 31, 1883 [SBDP]: “Last Tuesday afternoon Captain A. Larco, the well-known fisherman, returned to port after a five-days’ cruise among the islands off the coast. His voyage was something out of the ordinary way and his route was one seldom taken by him, or in fact, any other coaster. He had undertaken the contract to provision four seal fishing stations on Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands, and in order to reach them was compelled to make his way through strange waters and unexplored channels. He reports that he saw countless numbers of seals and sea lions on the rocks about Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands, and that the seal hunters are having a prosperous season this spring. They are killing seals and sea lions for their skins and fat, the latter they are ‘trying out’ for oil on the rocks...”


June 1, 1883 [SBDI]: “Rogers Brothers sent a schooner to San Miguel today for a cargo of live seals.”


June 2, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco took a number of seal hunters to the islands last Thursday.”


June 11, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco brought eight seals over from the islands for Rogers Brothers Saturday.”


June 12, 1883 [SBDP]: “A fishing schooner belonging to Captain A. Larco returned to Santa Barbara yesterday after a five day trip across the channel to San Miguel Island. Captain Larco brought over eight live seals and one live seal pup. The eight seals range in weight from 150 to 200 pounds each and were brought here in cages made of narrow boards well braced together. They will be sent north on the next steamer and shipped via San Francisco to New York where they will be placed on exhibition. They refuse to eat for at least a week after being made captives, and sometimes go from 10 to 16 days before they will partake of food. It is stated that they can live for twenty or twenty-five days without food before dying. The fishermen refresh their captives three or four times a day by pouring sea water over them to keep them cool. Captain Larco states that there are two sealing stations on the west side of San Miguel Island with four hunters at each. They live in tents and are kept constantly busy during the seal killing season. The seals are more than usually numerous this season, thousands are seen upon the rocky shores of the island. Some of the old bulls are ferocious looking monsters and dangerous at times. Larco saw several extraordinarily large ones last Friday, each of them would weigh from 1500 to 2000 pounds. The season commences about the first of June and lasts about 40 days. The hunters conceal themselves behind rocks and shoot brutes as they come out of the water. There are swarms of young seal pups on the island. These are not molested by the hunters who kill only the large animals and use their blubber for oil and sell their skins to the furriers. This season the fur commands from four to five cents per pound. The two parties on the island are killing about twenty-five each day and hope to be able to report one thousand seals killed before the season closes which will be about July 15th.”


June 14, 1883 [SBDI]: “The seals recently brought over from the islands by Larco for Rogers Brothers, will be sent to San Francisco this evening on the steamer.”


June 15, 1883 [SBDP]: “Eight captive seals from San Miguel Island were shipped on the Orizaba for San Francisco last night. They are on their way to New York. Poor brutes.”


June 25, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco has gone to the Islands with his sloop to bring a number of sea lions over for Rogers Bros.”


July 2, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco returned from Flea Island yesterday with a cargo of skins and 15 barrels of oil.”


July 3, 1883 [SBDI]: “The cargo of oil which Larco brought from the islands several days ago, consisted of 21 barrels. It belonged to Rogers Brothers.”


July 7, 1883 [LAT]: “Island curiosities. The Santa Barbara Press says that the sloop Ocean King, Captain A. Larco, returned to that port last Sunday after a week’s trip to the northern islands. The vessel had on a cargo of twenty-one barrels of seal oil and two tons of seal skins consigned to the Rogers Brothers by the fishers on the islands...”


July 9, 1883 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Larco, returned on Saturday evening from San Miguel Island with a cargo of eleven barrels of seal oil, two and a half tons of seal skins, and fifteen otter skins.”


July 9, 1883 [SBDI]: “Captain Sam Burtis, his son, and Antonio Cavalleri, came over from San Miguel Island last Saturday, after a two months hunting and cruising trip. Larco brought them over and also their cargo, secured while away. This consisted of eleven barrels of seal oil, almost three tons of skins, a quantity of abalone shells and dried fish besides fifteen fine large sea otters. The value of the otters is about $900. The captain and his party were unusually successful this time, and had a most enjoyable trip throughout besides.”


July 10, 1883 [LAT]: “A son of Captain Burtis, who is fishing for seals on San Miguel Island, while rowing out to meet Larco’s boat the other day, shot a fine sea otter whose skin netted him $75. This was what might be termed a good morning’s work.” [Santa Barbara Press, July 5.]


July 10, 1883 [SBDI]: “Larco came back from Flea Island this morning with Rogers Brothers’ crew and brought a cargo of oil, otter skins, fur seal skins, the finest ever seen here for some time, and a number of hides, etc.”


July 11, 1883 [SBDP]: “The seal fishers are daily wending their way home to the mainland from the islands.”


July 12, 1883 [LAT]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Larco, returned on Saturday evening from San Miguel Island with a cargo of eleven barrels of seal oil, two and a half tons of seal skins, and fifteen other skins.” [Santa Barbara Press]


July 14, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy has returned from Anacapa Island with a cargo of skins, wool and oil for Mr. Elliott.”


July 14, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy came into port today from Anacapa Island with a cargo including 11 barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones and one ton of wool.”


July 19, 1883 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King left port today for San Miguel Island for the purpose of bringing away a party of seal hunters. The hunting season is now over.”


July 20, 1883 [LAT]: “The schooner Convoy came into port yesterday from Anacapa Island with a cargo including eleven barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones, and one ton of wool. [Santa Barbara Press]


September 1, 1883 [LAT]: “A seal story. An interesting incident, illustrating the material affection of an animal for its young, was brought to notice during the visit of an excursion party to Anacapa Island. A young seal pup only a few months old was brought away from the island by little Earnest Whitehead, which he desired to take home for a pet… When off San Buenaventura, a calm in the wind decreased the speed of the boat, when a large seal was noticed near by… The mother seal continued to follow the boat to its destination…”


October 24, 1883 [San Diego Sun]: “The schooner Ellen, Captain Behen, consigned to Mr. A. Wentscher, arrived on Sunday from Clemente Island with six hundred gallons of oil and eight hundred seal skins. She was absent one and a half months.”


October 29, 1883 [SBDI]: “The seal presented to C. W. Clark by Captain Andres Larco has been mounted by Felix Jess, and presents a very lifelike appearance in the Morris House museum.”


October 29, 1883 [SBDP]: “A schooner sailed from this port this morning for Anacapa Island on a seal hunting expedition.”


November 16, 1883 [SBDI]: “Ramon Ayala went to Santa Cruz seal hunting this morning.”


November 17, 1883 [San Diego Sun]: “The schooner Ellen, Captain Wilson, consigned to Mr. A. Wentscher, arrived yesterday, from Clemente Island, with four hundred seal skins.”


December 24, 1883 [SBDI]: “Captain Andrea Larco has performed a singular feat. He is well known already as a fisher and skillful handler of the seine, but he has outdone himself in having, during his last voyage in the Ocean King, caught a fine seal in his net. This he dispatched with a club and without even scratching the handsome skin. Felix Jess, the taxidermist, has it in his custody and will prepare it with much care. When it leaves the hands of this skillful workman it will be probably the most lifelike specimen of this animal now extant and will be a very striking addition to any collection or to any parlor. It measures four feet four inches and though a young animal is a perfect beauty.”


December 24, 1883 [SBDI]: “The brain of the young seal caught by Larco in his net weighed fourteen ounces. It is not to be wondered that the eyes of these same animals are characterized by such an intellectual expression.”


December 28, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Ocean King, Captain Andrea Larco, arrived this morning from Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of seal oil and seal skins.”


December 29, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy sails today for Anacapa Island with a sealing party sent out by Rogers Brothers.”


January 28, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, is at San Miguel Island hunting otter, securing sea lions and gathering abalones. Due at this place within a month.”


March 10, 1884 [SBDP]: “Captain Ellis went over to Anacapa Island Saturday with Captain Larco to try his luck in catching live seals for the San Francisco market.”


March 10, 1884 [SBDI]: “Semi-occasionally the Islands across the channel are called upon to supply sea lions for some of the many menageries about the country. The last order comes from Woodward’s Gardens, San Francisco, to Rogers Brothers, for several live sea lions, and this morning the Ocean King started out to bring over strange islanders. This business of supplying live animals for menageries is in keeping with the other queer industries for which Santa Barbara is famous. As the seals will be on the wharf in cages, awaiting transfer by steamer, visitors will have a chance to see the awkward, yet musical amphibian monsters and listen to their plaintiff wail.”


March 12, 1884 [SBDI]: “Owing to the roughness of the water at the islands, Captain Larco could not secure the sea lions for which he started out in the Ocean King a day or two ago. He returned to Santa Barbara yesterday afternoon and left for another attempt today.”


March 26, 1884 [SBDI]: “The catching of sea lions alive is a sport requiring no little dexterity and attended with some danger. The account given by George Nidever of the modus-operandi is quite interesting. In filling the last order from San Francisco for two animals of medium size he, with his companions had a splendid opportunity to lay in a stock of seals sufficient to fill the museums of the world. Arriving in the sloop Don George on the island the tide was low and coming upon the seals unawares they were effectually corralled in the caves which abound along the shore. With two companions Nidever approached them and throwing the lasso with that prompt, swift dexterity of the Southern Californian, a three hundred pound seal felt its unyielding coil about its neck. Throwing a rope about the animal’s feet it was a captive unable to move…”


March 26, 1884 [SBDI]: “The two sea lions which were en route to San Francisco to excite the wonder of the visitors to Woodward’s Gardens attracted much attention while waiting on the wharf.”


March 28, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Don George, Captain Ellis, which was brought up here about two weeks ago from San Pedro, has gone to San Miguel.”


April 29, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Angel Dolly arrived last night from San Francisco for Captain Ellis, to be used in the seal fishing business at the islands. She is in command of Captain Frank Thompson, and made the trip from San Francisco to this port in thirty-five hours. She is a trim little craft of 19 tons register.”


April 28, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King sailed this morning for San Miguel, with a portion of a seal hunting party sent out by Mr. Henry Dally. The balance of the party will be taken over to the island in a couple of weeks, when active warfare will be waged against the seals, for their hides and oil.”


July 14, 1884 [SBDI]: “The Angel Dolly arrived from the islands Saturday, with two barrels of oil and a lot of seal skins. She took a pleasure party out sailing in the channel yesterday.”


July 14, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Angel Dolly came in from San Miguel Saturday with a party of Santa Barbara boys who have been over there seal hunting. They brought over two barrels of oil, forty skins and twenty sacks of abalone shells.”


July 17, 1884 [SBDP]: “Yesterday afternoon the schooner Angel Dolly arrived from Anacapa Island with the Fields brothers and party. They brought over 11 barrels of oil and a quantity of skins and abalone shells as the fruit of two months’ work.”


July 24, 1884 [SBDI]: “The Ocean King, Captain Libbey, arrived yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of seal oil and skins.”


September 16, 1884 [SBDI]: “Fishermen at Santa Cruz caught a leopard seal in a seine on Saturday. It is a beauty, and weighs about sixty pounds. Several of these pretty animals have been seen in the bay during the past week.”


October 13, 1884 [SBDI]: “The Ocean King is in port, having arrived yesterday with nine seals.”


October 17, 1884 [SBDI]: “Herbert Rogers is fitting out the Ocean King today with provisions for his men who are engaged on the different islands in the channel in capturing seals.”


October 18, 1884 [SBDP]: “The sloop, Ocean King, arrived Saturday night from Anacapa Island with twelve sea lions, which will be shipped to San Francisco on the Santa Rosa tomorrow night.”


October 21, 1884 [SBDI]: “The sloop, Ocean King, has returned from the islands, where she has been distributing provisions to seal hunters.”


February 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King arrived last night from San Miguel Island, where she went to take Dr. Mills and family. The sloop brought back a few seal skins and abalones.”


February 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “Captain Burtis and son have gone to the islands in the schooner Rosita on a seal hunt.”


February 19, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King went over to the islands yesterday for a number of live seals to fill a contract in San Francisco.”


February 23, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita pulled out for the islands this morning. The boat has been in port for barrels, in which to run seal oil being tried out at the island. The crew have so far killed fifty seals.”


March 9, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Rosita, Captain Burtis, is in port from the islands with seal oil and skins.”


March 26, 1885 [SBDI]: “The schooner Angel Dolly, that recently arrived from the lower coast with ten otter skins, was to have left this morning for the islands on a seal hunting tour.”


March 30, 1885 [SBDI]: “The Angel Dolly brought into port yesterday five large sea lions, captured on Anacapa Island. Captain Ellis shipped them on the steamer for San Francisco last night.”


March 30, 1885 [SBDP]: “Five bull sea lions were caught by Captain Ellis, and on Sunday were shipped by him on the Orizaba to J. P. Thomas at San Francisco, to be forwarded to the East.”


April 18, 1885 [SBDI]: “A party of seal hunters this morning were busily at work in getting their utensils together for a seal expedition. They intend to take in several of the islands in their tour, and judging from the large caldrons that they were taking to the wharf, they expect to reap a rich harvest.”


April 20, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King was today loaded with supplies and ready to sail for San Miguel and Flea Island with Henry Dally and a party of seal hunters.”


April 22, 1885 [SBDI]: “The Rosita arrived this morning with nine sea lions. They are to be shipped north on the next steamer.”


April 22, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Rosita, Captain Burtis, last night arrived from Anacapa with nine live seals for Captain Eastman, who is now in Santa Barbara and will take the animals to San Francisco in a couple of days.”


April 22, 1885 [SBDI]: “The Ocean King left this morning for the Islands in search of seals. The sloop endeavored to make the trip yesterday, but owing to the unfavorable winds had to return.”


April 22, 1885 [SBDI]: “Captain Eastman, who has a number of acquaintances in Santa Barbara, is in the city. His mission is to buy live seals and sea lions for the San Francisco market.”


April 23, 1885 [SBDP]: “One of the sea lions kept on the wharf awaiting shipment to San Francisco has died.”


May 22, 1885 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King is taking on supplies preparatory to a trip to Flea Island, on the other side of San Miguel Island, with Henry Dally and a party of seal hunters.”


May 23, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Santa Maria took up a lot of seals from Santa Cruz Island on her last voyage, to be sent to Baltimore.”


May 27, 1885 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King arrived from Flea Island, where she left Henry Dally and party of seal hunters.”


May 28, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita, Captain Burtis, arrived last night from San Diego with tons of salt for I. K. Fisher. The vessel stopped at Anacapa Island and left two tons of salt for Captain Burtis’ party of seal hunters. The Rosita goes to San Miguel Island next Tuesday to take over Mr. Mills and bring back a cargo of wool.”


July 1, 1885 [SBDI]: “Captain Burtis and Jo. Lord returned last evening on the Rosita from a 30 days’ hunting trip to the Islands. During their absence they secured eleven barrels of oil and two and a half tons of seal skins. Taking it all in all they made a very profitable trip.”


July 29, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita came into port Monday from Anacapa Island with three tons of seal skins.”


July 30, 1885 [RSM]: “Hunting Sea Lions. Captain Cyrus A. Eastman, of San Francisco, a bearded, rugged-looking old sea lion himself, gave to a reporter the following account of his late capture of two families of California sea lions at the Island of Anacapa, about 300 miles south of San Francisco Bay. The order came from Mr. Robert Garrett, the railroad president, to secure, if possible, a first class lot, nearly as full-grown as possible, and stipulating particularly that they should be taken so far south as to make acclimation easy. The catch was made in April last, three weeks being spent mainly in watching and waiting for an opportunity to lassoo the whole party at once. Captain Eastman, with fifteen trained fishermen after watching the animals for several days and nights, at the opportune moment and at a signal from the men on the rocks above, rushed upon the lions, dividing it into two parties, so as to head them off from the sea. As the animals made for the water, their heads stretched upward, the lassos were thrown, two over each. As the lions felt the touch of the rope they raised a flipper to throw it off. This sealed their doom, for as the rope passed over the flipper the lassoos drew the rope taught, making a turn about the nearest rock and escaping to a safe distance, until the animals should wear out their strength in vain endeavors to break away from the strong whale lines bound about them. They were then at once secured in cages, strong boxes, by watching the proper moment and tipping it over them and running planks underneath the cages, thus forming a floor, and afterwards turning them back over again, until the planks were secured with nails, ropes, etc. To attempt to even deal very gently with them is attended with danger, but Captain Eastman does not seem to fear them, although he shows many scars, the results of a too close intimacy with these ferocious animals. The captain proposes to put them within the enclosure of Athletic Park this summer, and will probably afterwards dispose of them to the Central Park Commission, New York. There are four of them belonging to Capt. Eastman. The other three were for Robert Garrett, who gives them to Druid Hill Park.”


August 1, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita, Captain Burtis, sails today for a cruise among the islands with a party of pleasure seekers. At Anacapa she will leave a couple of seal hunters, and then continue on her cruise. After her return to this port, the Rosita will sail on an extensive otter hunt.”


September 12, 1885 [SBDP]: “There are eight sea lions on board the Rosita, the property of Captain Cyrus Eastman, awaiting shipment on the steamer Santa Maria. They are destined for Australia.”


December 9, 1885 [SBDP]: “Word comes to the mainland that the sealing sloop, Elsie Wencher, of San Diego, has been wrecked upon the rocky shore of San Miguel Island. The accident happened about two weeks ago, and the vessel is said to be a total loss, but other than this no particulars are known. The wrecked boat is said by some to be the Isabella, but this report is not believed by seafaring men.”


May 4, 1886 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita, Lord, master, last night brought six live seals from Anacapa Island for Captain Ellis. They are now on the wharf.”


May 29, 1886 [SBDI]: “Several seal oil camps are being located on the different islands in the channel. The sloop Brisk takes out a party today.”


June 7, 1886 [SBDP]: “The sloop Brisk, Captain Vasquez, Friday took a party of seal hunters to San Nicolas Island. While there the boat experienced some rough weather and lost her anchors. She arrived back here yesterday.”


June 7, 1886 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King has gone to Flea Island with supplies for the Dally sealing party.”


June 11, 1886 [SBDI]: “Sloop Brisk left last night for San Miguel Island with provisions for men who are employed in catching seals for the oil.”


June 11, 1886 [SBDI]: “The sealing industry in Santa Barbara is becoming quite extensive. Thirty or forty men are employed in the trade on the different islands in the Santa Barbara Channel who make Santa Barbara their home, and the capital derived from this business is of no little consequence…”


June 26, 1886 [SBDI]: “Sloop Ocean King left this morning for Flea Island to take on a cargo of seal oil and from there she proceeds to San Miguel to discharge supplies for men who are quartered upon the island. We are promised at no distant date a letter pertaining to the natural advantages of the two above mentioned islands which will prove of interest to many of our readers.”


July 2, 1886 [SBDP]: “The sloop Brisk arrived in port a couple of days ago from Santa Rosa Island with five barrels of seal oil. The Ocean King arrived day before yesterday from Dally’s camp on Flea Island with fifteen barrels of oil and three hundred seal skins.”


July 2, 1886 [SBDI]: “The sloops Brisk and the Ocean King have arrived from the islands with cargoes of oil and skins.”


October 14, 1886 [SBDI]: “Captain Ellis, commander of the Angel Dolly, was to have left today for the islands to capture seals.”


October 16, 1886 [SBDP]: “The Angel Dolly is at the islands hunting for live seals, to be shipped to San Francisco.”


November 17, 1886 [SBDP]: “Captain Ellis yesterday morning commenced the erection of a cozy cottage house on the corner of Victoria and Santa Barbara streets for rent.”


March 22, 1887 [SBDI]: “The sloop Brisk discharged several sea lions at the wharf this morning.”


March 23, 1887 [SBDI]: “The sea lions that the sloop Brisk brought over from the islands yesterday morning, were shipped on last night’s steamer for San Francisco.”


June 21, 1887 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King made a flying trip from Anacapa Island yesterday, coming over in four hours and a half. While at the island, Otalo Espinosa caught a small seal which he brought back with him, and if it lives will endeavor to tame it.”


July 11, 1887 [SBDI]: “The sloop Brisk arrived yesterday afternoon from Flea and San Miguel Islands, with 30 barrels of seal oil and about ten tons of seal skins. The remainder of the sealing party left at the islands will come over in about a week.”


July 14, 1887 [SFDEB]: “’The best sea lion contract I ever made was with P. T. Barnum in 1871,’ said Captain Cyrus Eastman to a San Francisco Examiner reporter yesterday. ‘His agent entered into a contract with me to deliver a pair alive to him in New York City, and paid me $1000 upon my signing the papers, and the final output was somwthing like $10,000. I took two men and went to Santa Barbara, where I chartered a schooner and took on board six of the best lassoers (vaqueros) that I could get. San Miguel Island at that time was alive with sea lions. There was no trouble in lassoing a sea lion, but the difficulty was to make the lasso hold, as a sea lion’s neck is larger than his head. It was all right as long as he was headed from you, but as soon as he turned the riata would slip off and you lost him. My only capture on the first trip was three small ones, but as they did not come up to the required weight for Barnum I sold them to John Robinson at Omaha, where they were an immense attraction. On my second trip I added to my force and took a hunting crew of eight men, and profiting by my former experience I had my riatas fized with fish hooks, and also well plastered with resin, but I could not hold the beasts, and so I shot one, and throwing the lasso over a flipper I found that it would hold. All that a seal has to do is to give me his flipper and I have got him. My men were all Indians. I took one of them and showed him the trick, and the next morning we went into the sea lions’ rookery and caught four. I went to San Francisco immediately and placed my captives in a saltwater tank, and kept them there until the departure of the next steamer for Panama. I got them safely over the isthmus and landed them alive and well in New York, and got my pay.’”


July 27, 1887 [SBDI]:Star of Freedom arrived in port yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with 15 barrels of oil and from five to six tons of seal skins.”


July 28, 1887 [SBMP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom has arrived from the islands, bringing fifteen barrels of seal oil and several tons of seal skins.”


August 4, 1887 [SBDI]: “A Chinese sealing party left this morning for the islands.”


August 7, 1887 [SBMP]: “The sealing schooner Letia Hunter has returned from a trip around the island and is anchored next to the Santa Rosa.”


April 16, 1888 [SBDI]: “Yesterday the sloop Brisk brought four seals from Santa Rosa Island. They were shipped on the Queen to San Francisco by A. W. Canfield.”


April 17, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Brisk arrived last Sunday from the islands with four large sea lions.”


1888 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1892) reports: “Skins of hair seal, fur seal, sea lion and walrus” total 666 for Santa Barbara County in 1888.


June 1, 1888 [SBDI]: “Santa Cruz. Further particulars of the celebrated expedition… Others went out to shoot seals, which were swimming near the shore in search of their morning meal… A large seal came to the surface of the water near the skiff and received a bullet in the head from a rifle… He was a big bull, about eight feet in length and weighing fully 600 pounds. Patricio, after an hour’s bloody work succeeded in skinning him, and the hide was carefully brought home to be cured and made into a rug…”


June 7, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ocean King left for Flea Island today with a party of sealers on board.”


June 8, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Ocean King is loaded with barrels and kettles and a camping outfit for a party that is going over to Flea Island on a sealing expedition.”


June 19, 1888 [SBDI]: “Alex. S. More left on the sloop Brisk today on a sealing expedition at the islands.”


June 30, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Brisk left for Santa Cruz Island this morning on another sealing expedition.”


July 28, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Ocean King arrived yesterday morning from Anacapa Island with eight barrels of oil and one ton of seal skins.”


May 21, 1889 [SBMP]: “E. E. Elliott arrived from Anacapa Island yesterday in the Brisk with six fine sea lions, which will be sent to San Francisco on the steamer today. Eight were caught to fill an order, but two died before they could be brought here. The seals may be seen at the wharf today.”


May 26, 1889 [SBMP]: “Ramon Vasquez and a party of Californians are fitting out the sloop Brisk for a sealing expedition to San Miguel Island. Yesterday they put aboard a number of barrels to hold the seal oil and tripods to use in trying it out. The sloop will probably get off today.”


June 16, 1889 [SBMP]: “The sloop Challenge, which has been sealing among the islands, came back to the harbor Friday night for supplies and a new boat.”


June 20, 1889 [SBMP]: “The sloop Brisk started out yesterday on a sealing cruise.”


July 3, 1889 [SBDI]: “Captain C. A. Eastman left for Anacapa Island today on a sea lion hunt. When captured the sea animals will go to Lincoln Park, Chicago.”


July 11, 1889 [SBMP]: “The sloop Challenge arrived from Anacapa Island Tuesday with five sea lions which were landed at this port and shipped east by rail.”


July 11, 1889 [SBMP]: “A party of seal hunters returned from the islands Tuesday on the sloop Brisk with 500 seal skins and seven barrels of oil.”


July 12, 1889 [SBDI]: “Ten sea lions are waiting at the spot for an addition to their number. When the second batch is brought over from the island, they will all be shipped to Chicago.”


July 13, 1889 [SBDI]: “A car can be seen just now at the S.P.R.R. depot, on a side track, which contains twenty three sea lions recently captures on the islands in the channel. There are 19 full-grown ones, weighing about eight hundred pounds each. The others are little fellows of a weight of perhaps fifty pounds apiece. They are in charge of Captain Eastman, and will leave tomorrow for Chicago where they will remain on exhibition for about one month, and will then go to France and become a fixture at the Paris Exposition until it closes. There is a large tank with water in the car, and the animals take their daily bath.”


February 25, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells. A party of otter hunters was left on the island. They will also try out a whale which is ashore there.”


March 27, 1891 [LAT]: “The steamer Humboldt arrived from Humboldt this morning. Among the passengers were William Sprague, Andrew Sprague, Thomas Barber and Archibald Brady of the crew of six who deserted the sealing schooner Ethel of San Diego on the 20th inst. The other two were drowned.”


April 3, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Wednesday from San Miguel Island with twelve bales of wool and twenty sheep. The Liberty left yesterday for the seal hunters that have been at San Miguel Island for several days.”


April 12, 1891 [SBMP]: “Live seals captured at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. José Espinosa and party returned yesterday in the sloop Liberty with six live seals captured by them at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. The seals were shipped yesterday afternoon on the steamer Santa Cruz for San Francisco, from which port they will be expressed to New York for exhibition in the parks, etc. They are valued at $100 each. The mode of capturing seals is quite novel. The hunters succeeded in getting between the seals and the water when they are lassoed and caged.”


May 23, 1891 [SBMP]: “An interview with the pioneer of the seal business. Captain James P. Mullett, a former resident of Santa Barbara was in town yesterday, looking after the shipment of thirty sea lions caught for him on the Santa Barbara islands by Rogers brothers. Captain Mullett is an old sea captain and lived in Santa Barbara from 1875 to 1879, since which time he has lived in Philadelphia and London, where he has been engaged in the exportation and importation of wild animals. Captain Mullett was the pioneer in the sea lion business, and caught with his own hands on Santa Cruz Island the first seal ever sent east for exhibition, and since that time he has handled as a broker, nearly if not quite every seal exhibited throughout the world. In a talk with a Press reporter yesterday he gave some interesting details of his curious business. While seals, or as they are often called, sea lions, exist in all parts of the sea, the only ones which will stand captivity are those from the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and the entire stock in the world, museums, circuses, menageries and zoological gardens have been shipped from this point. The seals from the vicinity of San Francisco, and those in Chilean waters invariably die after a few weeks captivity, while the Santa Barbara sea lions have an average life of about five years…' The cost of transportation is very heavy, and average about $200 per animal to New York or $300 to Liverpool… Thirty animals captured last week were shipped yesterday by freight for New York, and Captain Mullett left on the afternoon train to look after his pets…”


May 23, 1891 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara Press. The thirty seals captured at San Miguel Island a few days ago for Rogers Brothers will probably be shipped to eastern points by rail tomorrow. A freight car is now on the wharf, and the seals, which are in cages, will be put on the car today.”


June 13, 1891 [NYT]: “Sea lions at the park. The attractiveness of the Central Park Zoo was unexpectedly increased yesterday afternoon by the arrival of twenty-three full-grown sea lions and an infant sea lion from the southern coast of California. They are the property of Captain J. R. Mullett, who for years past has furnished zoological gardens and menageries with live animals… Captain Mullett captured the sea lions on the Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, Santa Rosa and San Clemente islands… The animals remained shut up in the tight box car all night without food or water… In the meantime John P. Haines, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, got wind of the matter and sent officers Noble and Gay to investigate…”


July 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Three men drowned. One saved after clinging to a rock 24 hours. The sloop Liberty, which returned Sunday afternoon from San Miguel Island with her flag at half-mast, brought the body of Pablo Valencia and the following account of a fatal accident that occurred there a week ago yesterday... Early the next morning, Captain Durietz, who had arrived in the sloop Liberty late that evening, Captain Waters, the owner of the island, and Pasquel returned to the west end. A big sea was on and the wind blowing from the northwest. Under the efficient command of Captain Durietz, they were enabled to come quite close to the rock; a line was thrown which Valencia caught and he was soon carried ashore, not much worse for his experience. The men were sealing...”


August 5, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara, Captain Ellis, has arrived from the islands with 600 packages of skins and several barrels of oil.”


September 26, 1891 [SBMP]: “Wrecked on Anacapa. A sloop from San Pedro cast away on the rocks. The schooner Santa Barbara, Captain Ellis, returned from Ventura via Anacapa Island on Thursday evening, bringing with her Captain Troop of the sloop Pearl of San Pedro which was wrecked on the island on Wednesday night. The Pearl left San Pedro for Anacapa Island to capture a few live seals, having on board Captain Troop and a man and his wife whose names are not known, but who are supposed to be Austrians. The island was reached in safety and on Wednesday night all hands were on shore. A heavy gale was blowing and the Pearl got adrift and was cast away on the rocks and totally destroyed. The party on the island was without provisions and had to kill a sheep for food. They flew a flag of distress, which was seen by Captain Ellis, who was taking over a band of sealers from Ventura. The Austrian and his wife decided to remain on the island with the sealers until they were taken back to Ventura, and Captain Troop came to Santa Barbara where he still is. The Pearl was a sloop thirty-three feet long, and was owned by Captain Troop, and was the only property he owned. It was not insured and the captain has lost all.”


April 26, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Barbara leaves today for the islands to hunt for seals for eastern markets.”


April 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The little steam schooner Santa Barbara left yesterday morning for the islands, ostensibly to capture seals for eastern shipment.”


May 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “A few live seals captured recently at the islands were shipped yesterday on the steamer Eureka to San Francisco.”


May 14, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday morning, taking four or five seal hunters over. She will go from there to San Nicolas Island to bring a load of wool for Elliott.”


May 24, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Ruby returned yesterday from a short sealing trip to the islands. The Ruby leaves today for Catalina Island.”


June 7, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Ruby left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon on a seal hunting expedition.”


June 7, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby came in from Catalina Island Saturday evening from bringing a load of gravel. She unloaded yesterday morning and sailed again in the afternoon for Santa Cruz with a crew of eight men for the purpose of catching some live seals.”


June 15, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby, in charge of Captain Stevens, came in from the islands Monday evening bringing eight live seals in boxes. Three of them are very large, one especially so. It is thought by those who assisted in his capture that he will weigh 900 pounds and is the largest one ever shipped from here. They were shipped north to San Francisco yesterday on the steamer Eureka. Five of the number are for the park and the other three go inland.”


June 20, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Thrilling adventure of two seal hunters at sea… Joe Olivas and Colice Vasquez left Santa Barbara some four or five weeks ago in a small sailboat called the Fishhawk for the islands to fish for seals. They had been moderately successful and had perhaps $100 worth of seal products on board when, on passing from Santa Cruz to Santa Clara [?] Island the bottom came out of their boat and it sank, the two men escaping in a small skiff. This they also lost in making the landing in the surf. They lost their entire outfit - guns, clothing, provisions, everything, barely escaping with their lives.”


July 18, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty, Captain Waters’ boat, came in from San Miguel Island late Saturday night, bringing Rogers Brothers seal outfit together with the rest of their catch. She had on board several barrels of oil, about two tons of abalone shells. They had been over on the island for about two months.”


July 19, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty is in from San Miguel Island. She brought over the result of a two month seal hunt, and the hunters’ outfit. There were about two tons of seal skins, seven barrels of oil, the otter skin, and two tons of abalone shells. The stuff was shipped to San Francisco on the Santa Rosa last evening.”


September 28, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Ruby started for Santa Cruz Island yesterday for a load of seals.”


October 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa has returned from Santa Cruz [Island] with two seals. They were shipped to San Francisco last night on the Eureka.”


October 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby will sail today for San Pedro for repairs. She landed a couple of fine seals yesterday morning. They will be shipped to San Francisco.”


October 28, 1892 [VFP]: “The catching of seals in the Channel Islands for eastern shipment is growing to be quite an important industry. A great many have been shipped lately to Chicago from Santa Barbara.”


April 6, 1893 [LAT]: “The schooner San Mateo left for the islands Monday morning for the purpose of bringing in some live seals.”


April 22, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo came in on Friday morning from Santa Rosa Island bringing live seals and some abalones and other shells. The seals are to be shipped to the East. One of them died soon after landing from injuries received in boxing him. He was a very handsome specimen.”


May 14, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Ida from San Pedro is at this port. She left a party of seal hunters on the islands.”


May 17, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Maurice C. Kittridge, accompanied by Captain Burtis on the Restless, bound for Flea Island, with supplies for the sealers there.”


June 3, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The case of E. F. Rogers of this city vs. Herman Lieves, the San Francisco furrier, a suit over seal skins, has been taken under advisement by Judge Cope.”


June 4, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The case of E. F. Rogers of this city vs. Herman Lieves, the San Francisco furrier, was decided Saturday by Judge Cope in favor of the plaintiff.”


June 4, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom has returned from the islands. She leaves in a few days for the islands with a party of Ventura people who are going on a seal hunting expedition.”


June 19, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless arrived Saturday from the islands with eleven live seals, recently ordered by Thomas Shooter of Los Angeles. The seals are fine specimens and are in good condition. They will be loaded on the car tonight for shipment to Los Angeles.”


June 19, 1893 [SBDI]: “The seals recently caught at the islands will be taken to Chicago, with a carload of reptiles and other curiosities from the coast. The car will be shipped tomorrow; the seals will be put aboard the same car at the wharf tonight about 6:30 or 7 o’clock.”


June 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “The eleven seals caught at the islands for Thomas Shooter were loaded on the car last night for shipment to the east. The car was taken out on the railroad wharf, and the boxes containing the seals put aboard… Captain Burtis had an unexpected and uninvited experience with one of the seals yesterday. While a box containing two or three of his pets was being moved, one of them reached through the space between two boards and with his teeth grasped the Captain’s elbow. The Captain says that the teeth went through three thicknesses of cloth and as many thicknesses of skin. As soon as he broke away he took care to keep out of reach of the seals.”


June 21, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Chicago World’s Fair… A carload of exhibits of curios, precious stones, reptiles, dried insects, etc. was run into Santa Barbara last to take on board eleven seals which had been secured to go with the exhibit.”


June 26, 1893 [SBDI]: “The schooner San Mateo arrived in the harbor last evening, the first time for several weeks. Her cargo consisted of oil, etc., the result of an extended seal hunt.”


June 26, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Edna, Captain Anton Silver, arrived in harbor last night. The Edna has been on a seal fishing expedition among the islands for some time. Her home port is Port Harford.”


July 10, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless leaves tomorrow for Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands after a party of sealers.”


July 18, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless arrived last night from San Miguel Island with a party of sealers and some oil and hides, the result of several week’s hunt.”


September 5, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “One of the numerous concessions the Midwinter Fair Association has been asked to grant is the right for a company of enterprising Santa Barbara businessmen, Mayor Gaty and Mr. Rogers being interested in the company, to erect a building on the fair ground to contain grottos, aquariums and rookeries, where seals, sea otters, sea lions and sea tigers will sport in their native element…”


September 24, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Mayor Gaty, on Saturday, showed the Times representative the plans for the Santa Barbara aquarium for the Midwinter Fair, and they disclose a very handsome building, 86 by 96 feet, and 32 feet high, finished in imitation ashlar stone work in concrete, with a very pleasing exterior. The large tank in the main part is L-shaped and will contain 40,000 gallons of sea water, allowing the marine monsters to sport in their native element. Behind the tank there are rookeries and grottos terraced like the haunts of the sea lions and sea tigers on the water-worn cliffs of the Channel Islands. There will be toilet rooms and a promenade opening off the second story, the building and its fitting up bringing the cost of the exhibit up to $20,000. Mayor Gaty went to San Francisco Saturday to select a site for the building, and work will be commenced at once. The expedition for the capture of the seals will start about the last of this month.”


October 7, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Mayor Gaty is expected home from San Francisco Saturday, he having made all arrangements for the sea lion exhibit at the Midwinter Fair.”


October 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “A party of seal hunters will leave in about a week for the islands to get sea lions for the exhibit in San Francisco during the fair.”


October 22, 1893 [LAT]: “Pacific Loan Company. Loans money in any amounts on all kinds of collateral security, diamonds, jewelry, sealskins…”


October 30, 1893 [SBDI]: “A crowd of seal hunters is expected to leave today on the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island in search of the Mayor's San Francisco exhibit of sea lions...”


November 2, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Rogers Bros. Were ready to start for the islands on the seal hunting expedition when they received word that the Liberty lost her rudder, and sent her to San Pedro to have it fixed, delaying the expedition several days.”


November 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty returned Saturday from an unsuccessful seal hunt. Leopard seals were scarce, and tigers had taken winter quarters. The sea elephants had vacated their usual stomping ground, taking their baggage, including trunks, with them. Ordinarily everyday sea lions were plentiful, but the rarer varieties were unseen. It is the season when spotted seals change their spots, and consequently they were on a different part of the island. In the meantime, the Amphibia at the Midwinter Fair is hungry for some occupants. The backers of the scheme hope for better success next time.”


November 23, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Samuel Burtis, who arrived Monday from a four-months sealing cruise in Japan, leaves in a few days to take charge of the sealer Luisa D for a cruise in the Pribilof Islands, and will be gone twelve months.”


November 30, 1893 [SBDI]: “A gasoline schooner is expected from San Pedro soon to go to the islands on a seal hunt to obtain specimens for the San Francisco Fair.”


December 7, 1893 [SBDI]: “The gasoline schooner Hattie has returned from the seal hunt among the islands. The result is quite satisfactory. The hunters secured twelve seals of various varieties, and they will be shipped to San Francisco shortly. At present the cages are made fast to buoys in the kelp. If word is received that the tank is ready for them, they will be brought to the wharf tomorrow and sent north on the Corona tomorrow night.”


December 7, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Although the County Commission is progressing very slowly in their collection of sufficient money to erect the Santa Barbara pyramid at the Midwinter Fair, the Amphibia building is erected by enterprising Mayor Gaty, Eugene Rogers and others is rapidly nearing completion. The gasoline schooner Hattie from San Pedro left Monday for San Miguel Island to capture some sea lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants for the marine menagerie. P. E. Law left with his camera, and will take pictures of the dangerous undertakings for the San Francisco Examiner.”


December 9, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The sea lions and two white seals were brought back by the gasoline sloop Hattie from the islands. P. E. Law, who accompanied the expedition for the Examiner, secured several fine photographs of the men and animals in action. The Amphibia building is being ready for their reception.”


December 12, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Mayor Gaty returned from San Francisco on the Santa Rosa Sunday evening, and reports the handsome building erected by the Santa Barbara Company, which proposed to exhibit amphibia, to be entirely completed. The plans have been slightly changed, and all who have seen the building, agree in saying that it is one of the handsomest small buildings on the grounds. The howling collection of sea lions which were brought over from the islands a few days ago is still anchored a short distance from the wharf. Messrs. Gaty and Rogers are thinking of taking a Spanish band from this place to play string music for the delectation of sightseers. The Spaniards will be dressed in their picturesque national costumes, and will no doubt be an added attraction.”


December 18, 1893 [SFCall]: “The Santa Barbara Amphibia was a center of attraction from morning to night. Eleven sea lions from the Santa Barbara islands had been brought to the aquarium on Friday morning. They had only been in captivity for ten days, and splashed about in lively style. The monsters of the deep were brought hither in cages. Their relations were so far from amicable that one sea lion was killed en route, as a result of a little passage at arms with a rival animal. A Mexican tamer spent several hours yesterday in bringing them to subjection, and their aptitude in acquiring tricks is remarkable.”


December 15, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Messrs. Gaty and Rogers went up on the Santa Rosa Wednesday night to superintend the seals and sea lions which were sent up to the amphibia exhibit on the same boat.”


December 25, 1893 [SBDI]: “The schooner San Mateo left yesterday for Santa Cruz Island for another catch of seals to go in the Midwinter Amphibia. Ramon Vasquez and Joe Espinosa are aboard with a party of hunters. The latter will be left on the island while the San Mateo goes south for an overhauling and repainting. It will probably be two weeks before she returns to this port.”


December 27, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo, with a party of seal hunters on board, left for the islands on Monday morning. The seal hunters will be left on Santa Cruz Island while the San Mateo goes to San Pedro for an overhauling and repainting. The instructions are to catch none but the very largest seals and sea lions for the Midwinter Fair Amphibia exhibit.”


January 7, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Mayor Gaty’s Amphibia is to receive another reinforcement of seven seals that were brought over from the islands and landed at the wharf yesterday. They were shipped for San Francisco last night on the Corona. Unkind people have been heard to say that if visitors to San Francisco wish to view seals they have but to direct their glasses in the direction of the bay, and that the necessity of incurring this expense and trouble of transporting seals from Santa Barbara is therefore not apparent.”


May 20, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Ed Stevens of the sloop San Mateo relates a tale of a lone fisherman known here only as “Fatty,” whom he discovered on Flea Island, a rock a little to the west of San Miguel Island. “Fatty” was one of the Ord party who left here on a sealing expedition in the Big Loafer, and was left on Flea Island, while the rest of the party came back here. They intended to return for him immediately, but were detained here by the charge of larceny of the Big Loafer, and “Fatty” had to suffer all sorts of hardships, which Captain Stevens tells in a thrilling manner.”


June 7, 1894 [SBDI]: “Eight seals for the fair were brought over from the islands by the San Mateo and shipped north last night.”


July 19, 1894 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo has gone to the islands after a party that is now seal hunting on San Miguel.”


July 24, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner San Mateo sailed this morning for San Miguel island where she will get a party of sea hunters and return to Santa Barbara.”


July 31, 1894 [SBDI]: “Two anchors arrived on the steamer Eureka from San Francisco last night for the schooner San Mateo, and today she sailed for San Miguel Island to bring over the seal hunting party whom she was compelled to abandon during the storm.”


August 6, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner San Mateo arrived Saturday evening from San Miguel Island with the sealing party. They made a very small catch on this trip.”


August 7, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo has returned from San Miguel Island with the party of seal hunters who report a very small catch.”


August 9, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo is being fitted out for another hunting expedition up the coast.”


December 23, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The Santa Barbara Sea Lion Company shipped a number of sea lions by Wells, Fargo & Co. on Friday. A fine seal was transmitted to Columbus, Ohio where it will be placed in a museum. Three were also sent to Professor Lowe at Echo Mountain.”


March 14, 1896 [SBDI]: “’Jeannie’ Larco, the fisherman, in the last week has made three trips to the islands, where his industry has been rewarded by an unusually large catch of fish. But the fish were not the most unusual part of his trip. On two occasions he saw fur seals. This is very unusual for the fur seal is not generally seen so far south, and has not been seen in the waters of the channel for years. The difference between the fur seal and the ordinary hair seal is very marked, and a mistake is hardly possible, the former having a sharper muzzle and a smaller neck than the latter. On both occasions the animals were asleep, and in one herd were four and the other seven members. A sleeping seal is a very humorous sight. Stretched out at ease on his back with nose elevated, eyes closed, and flippers folded across the chest, he is the personification of contentment. Larco disturbed the nap, however, and at the noise of the oars, the herd began its characteristic ‘flipping,’ as the sealers call the series of antics, invariably ‘cut’ when disturbed. There was no gun in the boat, so the visitors were allowed to proceed on their journey north, undiminished in numbers. Fur seals have been reported at various points on the coast this year far south of their usual haunts. Where the great herd spends its summers is, however, still one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ocean. After leaving the rookeries, they simply disappear until they are found coming north again in the next season.”


March 18, 1896 [LAT/SP]: “The schooner Penelope, Captain Larsson, which left this port January 15 on a sealing expedition, has been heard from…She then had fifty-three skins of seals. Most of the members of the crew are from San Pedro.”


April 10, 1896 [SBDN]: “Recently an order from New York for five seals was received by Mr. Rogers. The schooner Big Loafer went over to the islands yesterday and caught three, but owing to the rough weather no more could be captured. The schooner left again for San Miguel this morning.”


April 24, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Five large hair seals were brought over from the islands last night, and landed on the wharf in cages. They will be shipped to San Francisco. They were a treat to many tourists, who had never seen live wild seals before. Mr. Rogers of this place has a number of orders from the east for seals, which he will fill as rapidly as his men can catch the creatures.”


May 2, 1896 [SBDN]: “The Santa Barbara Sea Lion Company has four fine specimens of seals at the wharf awaiting shipment to London. The seals were brought from Santa Cruz Island by the schooner Restless.”


May 4, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “The sea lion trade of this port continues brisk. Four more specimens are on the wharf awaiting shipment to London.”


May 7, 1896 [SBMP]: “The sloop Pearl, with Captain Flint in charge, leaves Santa Barbara in a few days for the west end of Santa Cruz Island to secure for the London Zoological Gardens, twenty-five sea lions.”


May 8, 1896 [LAT]: “Recently an order from New York for five seals was received by Mr. Rogers. The schooner Big Loafer went over to the islands yesterday and caught three, but owing to the rough weather, no more could be captured. The schooner left again for San Miguel Island this morning.”


May 13, 1896 [LAT]: “Captain Mullett of New York City, who is stopped at the New Morris House, is engaging men and arranging to go to the islands for the purpose of capturing twenty-five sea lions, which he will ship east.”


May 28, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Catching sea lions. Captain Mullett is still here. He sent his third expedition to the islands today in quest of sea lions. This makes the third hunting outfit now among the island cliffs and coves watching for a chance to throw a riata around an animal. A sea lion is worth $1000 the moment it is landed in New York…”


June 2, 1896 [SBDI]: “Captain Mullett, who is here for the purpose of securing seals for exposition purposes, has gone to Santa Cruz Island to personally superintend their capture. A gang of men employed for the purpose have been so far unsuccessful, returning with but one or two pups.”


June 6, 1896 [SBDN]: “The schooner Restless returned yesterday afternoon from San Miguel Island where she has been on a seal hunting trip for the Santa Barbara Sea Lion Company.”


June 6, 1896 [LAT/SP]: “A party of about fifteen of the owners of the sealing schooner Penelope and their friends will sail on that vessel Saturday evening for a two-days’ outing.”


June 11, 1896 [LAT/SBC]: “Out of the thirty sea lions caught on the islands recently, only three are living, the others having died from imprisonment and exposure.”


June 18, 1896 [SBDN]: “The Restless arrived this morning from the islands with 17 sea lions. That makes 20 now on the wharf. The whole lot will be shipped south on the Corona tomorrow night en route for Central Park, New York City, where they will be placed in the Zoological Gardens.”


June 18, 1896 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless has returned from Santa Cruz Island with a catch of twenty-five seals aboard. After over a month of rough weather which made the capture of the amphibians almost impossible, a calm ensued and in five days the six sealers, which are under the command of Rosaline Vasquez, succeeded in filling the order given by Captain Mullett. Four sealers are still at work at San Miguel Island and their catch will be added to those present on the dock and will be shipped east and then by steamer to their destination in London, Amsterdam, etc. The seals are fine, young and healthy.”


June 19, 1896 [SBDI]: “The twenty seals have taken passage via Redondo, on the Santa Fe Route, for New York City, and left this afternoon by the Corona.”


July 12, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “The Santa Barbara Sea Lion Company has seven young seals on the wharf, five of which were caught for W. E. Winston of Pacific Grove. They are all quite young and seem to enjoy being fondled.”


July 15, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “A letter received from Captain Mullett today says that he arrived in New York with all but two of his sea lions alive. He had a very pleasant and profitable trip. He contemplates embarking extensively in the business. He expects to return here in a short time.”


January 18, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The sealing schooner Louisa D of San Francisco, Captain Sam Burtis, is in the harbor for a few days. The Louisa D has been cruising along the coast and around the islands for several weeks, and the hunters have already taken about 150 skins, the largest catch for the season to date so far as known. All other schooners that have reported place their records below the 100 mark. Captain Burtis claims Santa Barbara as his home, for he spends his time here when not at sea. In command of sealing vessels he has sailed extensively in Alaskan and Japanese waters; he reports that he will not take Louisa D to Japan this winter, but will continue his hunt in this vicinity for the present, probably going north later…”


February 2, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Reports from the sealing schooner, Louisa D, Captain Sam Burtis, now off Point Sur, are to the effect that the hunters have taken but 155 skins, a discouraging catch.”


February 14, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The sealer Luisa D is again in port.”


February 25, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Nicholsen of the steamer Santa Cruz, reports speaking to the sealer Eppinger in the Santa Barbara Channel a day or two ago. The Eppinger had 410 skins.”


March 2, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Antone Anderson, a hunter on the sealing schooner Eppinger, and two sailors from the same vessel, are said to be lost. Last Thursday morning Anderson and his two companions left the Eppinger as usual in another boat for the purpose of hunting seal. They separated, as is the custom, from other small boats, and that evening they failed to return to the ship. A search did not reveal any trace, and the repeated firing of the signal gun brought no response. The next day the search was continued, but nothing could be found… The Eppinger, with several other sealers, has been in the Santa Barbara Channel for about a month. It is reported that seal are getting scarce as a result of this unusual onslaught. The fleet will put out to sea in a few days.”


March 3, 1897 [SBMP]: “Harvey Jacobs, the champion seal and otter hunter, left yesterday for the islands in the Restless, with which he has just returned from up the coast where he went to bring down his camp. He made a very brief visit to his mother here. He is accompanied by his brother, Clarence.”


March 7, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The news of the loss of three men from the sealer Eppinger is confirmed by the captain of the schooner. Nothing has been heard of Anderson and his two companions since they left the vessel a week ago Friday.”


March 8, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Destroying the seals. If Uncle Sam wants to protect the seals of his own coast, he had best turn his attention to the Santa Barbara Channel, where during the past few weeks probably 3000 of the valuable animals have been killed. Previous to this season, the sealers have never considered these immediate waters worth their consideration, but when the Louisa D came down here about two months ago, and the news of her success was learned, she was joined by four or five others, and sad havoc has resulted. With the exception of a few specimens for museums, the seal rookeries have never been molested…”


March 16, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The lost sealers. Two weeks ago it was reported that Antone Anderson, a hunter on the sealing schooner Eppinger, and two other men from the same vessel were lost at sea. It appears, however, that the three men were not victims of the ocean’s wrath, for they were picked up a day or two ago on San Miguel Island many miles from where they left the Eppinger. They claimed that adverse winds had carried them across the channel, and, finding it impossible to pull against the wind, they went ashore on the isle, thinking the Eppinger would search for them. They waited a few days, finding life on an island sheep ranch rather pleasant. Finally the sealer Kate and Anna stopped at San Miguel for water, and the men told the captain their story and shipped with him. The Kate and Anna touched at Gaviota yesterday to give the news. The Anna is a small schooner, only twenty-four tons burden, and having but four boats. She has taken 300 skins while in the channel, during the past few weeks.”


March 16, 1897 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, March 15. The three seal hunters who became separated from the sealer Eppinger two weeks ago in Santa Barbara channel were found yesterday on San Miguel Island, whence they had drifted in a rowboat. The schooner Kate and Anna brought them to Santa Barbara. They intend claiming their share of the Eppinger’s catch.”


March 22, 1897 [LAT/SF]: “Professor David Starr Jordan, the head of the commission appointed by the United States to investigate the fur-seal industry, has returned to this city from Washington… The United States will take aggressive measures. The female seals at the rookeries will be branded, and the value of their skins destroyed, so there will be no temptation for the sealers to kill them…”


May 23, 1897 [SBMP]: “Four seals were yesterday deposited on the wharf by hunters from San Miguel Island. The baby seal is a very pretty little animal and may be sent abroad to represent the country.”


May 24, 1897 [SBMP]: “Hunters brought over three sea lions from the islands Saturday and now there are four on the wharf, a pup having been born after the mother was landed on the wharf.”


May 26, 1897 [SBMP]: “Seven seals in as many crates, all literally weeping, were yesterday afternoon drawn in a big truck to the scales on Ortega Street and were weighed by the express company preparatory to their shipment to New Orleans. There were all full-grown fine specimens of their kind, captured recently on San Miguel Island, and the Santa Barbara Sea Lion Company dispatched them to their destination at a cost of about $40 each. In New Orleans fish is plentiful and cheap, and here they will be fattened in order for an ocean voyage, which will terminate in Germany. They are fed before shipment, but not again until they reach New Orleans, the only attention en route being frequent dousings with water. Their pathetic faces seemed all the more so because of their dry brown fur.”


June 27, 1897 [SBMP]: “Captain J. R. Mullett, who has visited Santa Barbara at intervals for many years, is here again for a few days, stopping at the New Morris House. He is here to get rid of his rheumatism and malaria and incidentally to secure a carload of sea lions for the eastern market.”


July 7, 1897 [SBDI]: “Capturing seals. The first installment of a big shipment east. Fourteen barking sea lions lie confined in cages in the water beneath the wharf and the Restless has returned to Santa Cruz Island for another lot. The seals are for Captain Mullett and will be shipped to New York as soon as the balance of the consignment of forty arrives. Colis Vasquez arrived from the island Monday in the Big Loafer with ten seals, and he returned last night with Captain Burtis in the Restless. His party remained on the island, but may return with the Restless.”


July 9, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Mullett, who has been shipping sea lions from this point for the last twenty-five years, is having made in Los Angeles a car specially for the shipment of seals. He has now on the dock sixteen lions and expects in a few days forty more from the Channel Islands.”


July 13, 1897 [SBMP]: “Thirty-one seals were shipped today by Captain Mullett by the steamer to Redondo and by the Santa Fe to New York, from whence they will be sold in Europe in small lots. Five men captured the lot on Santa Cruz Island.”


July 16, 1897 [LAT]: “A carload of twenty-five sea lions was shipped yesterday over the Santa Fe route to eastern points. They came from Santa Barbara, having been all taken in the Channel Islands. They were shipped dry, that is to say, in common crates instead of in reservoirs, it being claimed that they can be shipped in that way with as perfect safety as if placed in shallow tanks of water, while the expense for transportation is very much less. The animals are intended for different zoological gardens in some of the western and eastern states.”


July 25, 1897 [CDT]: “Cargo of Sea Lions in Chicago. Captain J. R. Mullett has twenty-nine Pacific captives in Santa Fe freight cars. Captain J. R. Mullett, who enjoys the distinction, he says, of being the only sea lion merchant in the world, is in the city with a cargo of his merchandise consisting of twenty-seven animals. They are in freight cars near the Santa Fe freight depot. He has disposed of three to the Lincoln Park Commissioners and they will be delivered tomorrow. He sold two others to the Ringling Brothers yesterday for use in their menagerie. The only others to go in this country are three for Professor Woodward of Columbus, Ohio, professional sea lion trainer. Nearly all the rest have been disposed of to various cities in Europe, London taking six, Paris three, Berlin three, and Antwerp two. The seals were caught at the Santa Barbara islands, about sixty miles off the coast of southern California…”


July 27, 1897 [CDT]: “Refuses sea lions to the zoo. Captain Mullett fears his amphibians may be lost or poisoned before he is paid. Great expectations of persons who daily frequent Lincoln Park, and of the commissioners, Head Animal Keeper De Vry, and others connected with the park received a setback yesterday when Captain James R. Mullett refused to carry out a verbal contract and deliver three sea lions at the park zoo. The sea lion magnate from Los Angeles heard that Andrew McNally and other residents of North Park Avenue had remarked things about the sea lions, and he hastened to the office of Park Superintendent Andrews to tell him he had backed down from his promise to leave the three specimens of Zalophus californius in the care of the park authorities…The park authorities hope, however, that Captain Mullett will recede from his decision and deliver the lions, for which they will pay $150 each for two, the third to be taken away at the end of sixty days.”


November 22, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “A number of seals were shipped East yesterday by E. F. Rogers.”


December 19, 1897 [NYT]: “San Francisco. The only enterprises likely to drop next year are whaling and seal hunting. Only four or five vessels will go to the Arctic. It is not thought likely that the sealing schooners will fit out, unless it be to land catches in Japan, in view of the new prohibitory law against landing fur seal pelts in the United States. Furriers have already raised the prices of sealskin garments in consequence of the law…”


January 30, 1898 [LAT]: “The passing of the seal. Congress has passed a law at the urgent suggestion of the administration that prohibits the continued slaughter of fur seals by American sealers. Pelagic sealing or the killing of the fur seal in water instead of on rookeries, the country is given to understand, is at an end. Furthermore, the markets of the United States are now closed against the pelts of all fur seals killed at sea…”


February 10, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The sealing schooner Kate and Anna, from San Francisco, reports a catch of forty skins in this channel, most of them the result of a single day’s hunt near San Miguel Island.”


July 21, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Wesley Thompson and a party started for the islands yesterday in the yacht Petrel on a fortnight’s seal hunt and abalone expedition.”


August 10, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The yacht Petrel returned to port yesterday after an unsuccessful hunt for seal at the different islands. She brought back a cargo of abalones.”


December 13, 1898 [SBMP]: “The yacht Helene, built a few years ago by J. D. Axtell and owned by Edwards & Company, is a total wreck in Forney's Cove on Santa Cruz Island... The Helene’s cargo also included two live seals...”


December 13, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa came into port late last night bring with her six shipwrecked men from the schooner Helene… The six men on the vessel were Ramon Vasquez, Joseph Leva, Colice Vasquez, Joe Cota and Charles Shout… The Helene was a comparatively new boat, having been in the channel about four years… She has been employed catching live seals for the Rogers Brothers…”


December 13, 1898 [SFCall]: “Wave-swept channel rock their haven. Horrible suffering of shipwrecked men. Loss of schooner Helene. Strikes a reef off Santa Cruz Island. Crew of six gains the shore by swimming, after a night spent on a rock washed by the breakers. The schooner Santa Rosa came into port last night bringing six shipwrecked men fro the schooner Helene. These men tell a thrilling tale of their experience after having been shipwrecked off Santa Cruz Island on Thursday evening. While on the east side of Santa Cruz they encountered a southeaster and a very heavy sea. They immediately made for the west end of the island, which is protected from a southeast wind. They anchored off Forney's Cove, at the extreme end of the island, and had lain there three or four hours when a northeaster began blowing down the channel between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands. Three anchors were immediately thrown out, but they were powerless against the heavy wind. It was useless for the crew to attempt to pull up anchor and make to sea. The vessel dragged her anchors, and at about midnight struck a low reef, which forms one side of Forney's Cove, with terrific force, knocking a large hole in her bottom. The vessel turned over on her side, and what provisions were not washed off her deck by the waves which swept over her were destroyed by the water. The six men had great difficulty in saving themselves from being swept off the rigging. The small skiff was unfastened, but as soon as put into the water was capsized. Its oars were thus lost. Finally the crew succeeded in righting it, and fastened one end of a rope to the boat and the other end to the wrecked Helene. They all got in and set the skiff adrift, hoping it would be blown to a small rock about 100 yards from the wreck. This hope was realized. All night long they remained on the rock in a howling wind, soaked to the skin, and the waves washing completely over them every few minutes. Late the next day the tide had lowered sufficiently for them to wade a considerable distance on the reef, and by swimming a few hundred yards they reached the mainland. They found a deserted Chinese cabin, which contained provisions. Here they remained another twenty-four hours when the schooner Santa Rosa happened to see their signal of distress. When the southeaster came up the Santa Rosa had been forced out of Santa Barbara harbor and held in the channel two or three days, seeking a safe harbor. She was within three or four miles of the west end when Captain Burtis saw the signal of distress. The wind was blowing a terrific gale at the time, and it was with great risk that an anchorage was made and the men rescued. When found they were in a sorry condition, all being chilled through and through. Ramon Vasquez, an old sea captain, was in command of the Helene. He was in a serious condition when picked up. He could neither move a muscle nor make a sound. At a late hour today the attending physician said that he could not live many hours. The other five men, although badly bruised and exhausted, are not in a serious condition. The men on the vessel were: Ramon Vasquez, Joseph Leva, Colais [sic] Vasquez, Joe Olivas, Joe Cota and Charles Thrift. The Helene was built in this city at a cost of $5000, but was never considered a seaworthy vessel. She was four years old, and was registered at fifteen tons. She was the property of Edwards & Co., local hardware men. The Helene had been catching seals alive for Rogers Bros. of this city, who trained them and sold them to Easterners.”


January 29, 1899 [LAT]: “Since the spring of 1892 there has been going quietly on an industry in Santa Barbara that few people are aware of and which has brought in considerable revenue to those interested. E. F. and H. A. Rogers have been engaged in catching live seals from the neighboring islands… Five or six Californians, who are expert vaqueros, are engaged to lasso the seals off the rocks. They creep up on the seals while at rest and throw the rope over their heads. Manila rope is used and not the ordinary rawhide riata…”


February 9, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Pearl came in from the Channel Islands late yesterday afternoon with seven large live seals for Rogers Brothers of this city. Captain Vasquez states that he encountered the roughest weather in all his experiences the latter part of last week, and it was with the greatest difficulty that his vessel was saved. The seals which he caught were brought over in crates, and the most of them will go to Washington, D. C. to go on exhibition in the National Museum of that city. This class of seal is of very little value except that of interest, but they yield some oil.”


February 19, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Vasquez of the schooner Pearl left this morning for Santa Cruz Island in search of live seals for Rogers Brothers.”


February 28, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Pearl came in today bringing seven live seals, five of which go to Rogers Brothers of this city, and two go to E. W. Winston of Pacific Grove, who will train them for the museums. “


April 23, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “American sealers complain of discrimination favoring British. The little schooner Kate and Anna, Captain Antone Anderson, arrived at this port Friday after a three-months cruise in the waters off Point Conception. She brought 169 skins. The Kate and Anna sailed from here on January 11, and carried fourteen men all told. With that number it was possible to operate four boats carrying three men each, and leave two aboard the vessel. Each small boat carried a puller, a steerer and a hunter...”


April 26, 1899 [LAT]: “Unfair to American sealers. That is an anomalous law which permits British subjects to engage in pelagic sealing off our very shores where American sealers are forbidden. Under the provisions of an Act of Congress approved December 29, 1897, it is unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or any vessel thereof, to engage in seal-fishing out at sea at any time in any manner in the waters of the Pacific Ocean north of latitude 35 degrees north… Latitude 35 degrees north is near the northerly line of Santa Barbara County… The sealing schooner Kate and Anna, said to be the only American sealer that has been out this season, arrived at San Pedro last Friday. She had been out over three months but had been prohibited by law from cruising further north than Point Conception. Seals were scarce in those waters and she took only 169 skins…”


May 1, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “Cruising for seals. A three months’ sealing cruise is a hunting trip, but it is no picnic. The working day is long and the quarters are cramped. When the catch is small, as was in the case of the little schooner Kate and Anna, which arrived at San Pedro with 169 skins the other day, it is bad luck for the owners and worse for the men. The old ‘lay’ system under which each man in the crew got a certain percentage of the entire profits of the cruise has largely been abandoned. The plan in more common operation now is to pay each man a stipulated sum for every skin which he is instrumental in getting. The Kate and Anna with fourteen men all told sailed from San Pedro in January, under agreement that the men should receive compensation according to the latter plan. The schooner was prohibited by law from cruising north of latitude 35 degrees north, which is near the northerly line of Santa Barbara County, so most of the hunting was done off Point Conception. Hunting seals is a lonely occupation. When not occupying crowded quarters aboard the schooner, the men, all except one officer, the cook and cabin boy, if the vessel has one, take to the small boats in search of the elusive game...”


May 7, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The little schooner Kate and Anna, which recently returned from a sealing cruise in the waters off Point Conception, is fitting out for an otter-hunting expedition in Alaskan waters. She will probably sail in a day or two.”


July 9, 1899 [LAT]: “Strange game. Lassoing seals in the caverns of Santa Cruz Island. A unique industry, and one little known, is carried on across the blue water of the Santa Barbara Channel in the great sea caves… In the summer of 1898, Captain Larkin, of the schooner Shooting Star, had contracted to deliver a certain number of seals at Santa Barbara, to be sent to New York...”


July 18, 1899 [SBMP]: “Another batch of sealskins has been landed from the islands. This industry seems to be growing. The hides of cow seals bring six cents, pups a little less and bulls two cents a pound. This about pays a man for his time in killing and skinning them. As a consequence of the wholesale slaughter of pups and cow seals, many rookeries on the islands that five years ago were very popular are quite uninhabited now.”


July 30, 1899 [LAT]: “Catching seals. The Santa Barbara correspondent of the Times writes that Captain J. R. Mullett, an old sealing man, left Santa Barbara on Thursday with a party of men, who will catch sea lions over on the Channel Islands. The captain has a contract for fifty seals and will endeavor to lasso that number within the next few weeks. The animals, when caught, will be sent to Europe, most of them going to Paris and Cologne. ‘There are no seals in numbers anywhere else on the coast, save at these islands,’ Captain Mullett said. ‘They claim that the San Francisco waters are full of them, but with the exception of a few at Seal Rock, there are none to be had there…”


July 31, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “One of Captain Mullett’s schooners which came over yesterday from the channel islands reports that during the week or so that Mullett’s sea lion hunters have been operating on the islands, forty-one sea lions have been caught. The catch exceeds anything ever done before by local lassoers of sea lions. The captain said last night that he now wants but nine more sea lions. He came to get fifty, and the task was one that it was thought two weeks ago would take at least three months. They will be shipped to Europe. They will leave here in a few days. The Southern Pacific Company will defray a part of the expense of catching these lions, and will use some of the animals for exhibition purposes.”


August 1, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa left for the islands this morning to bring over the seals that were captured there last week. They will be shipped east after there arrival there.”


August 4, 1899 [SBMP]: “Twelve tons of seals. Forty of them arrive from the islands yesterday. The largest single catch of seal that has ever been made at the Channel Islands was landed at the wharf yesterday afternoon from Forney’s Cove at the west end of Santa Cruz Island by the schooner Santa Rosa. There are 10 seals in the lot, weighing in all 12 tons. They were caught for Captain J. R. Mullett of New York, the pioneer seal and sea lion hunter who will dispose of them to several cities of the east and south, where they will be placed in parks and zoological gardens. It is probable that some of them will find their way to Paris.”


August 4, 1899 [SBDI]: “Forty seals arrived from the islands yesterday afternoon and attracted a great deal of attention at the beach. They will be shipped east.”


August 4, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The largest single catch of seals that was ever made at the Channel Islands was landed at the wharf this afternoon from Forney’s Cove at the west end of Santa Cruz Island by the schooner Santa Rosa. There are forty seals in the lot, weighing in all twelve tons. They were caught for Captain J. R. Mullett of New York, who will dispose of them to several cities of the East and South, where they will be placed in parks and zoological gardens. It is probable that some will find their way to Paris, where Captain Mullett will be in charge of an exhibit.”


August 5, 1899 [SBDI]: “The forty seals that were brought over from the islands a few days ago, left the city on the freight this morning at 11 o’clock. They will be shipped over the Santa Fe to New York.”


August 6, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “A carload of forty-one sea lions was shipped East from here this morning. The seals were in small cages and were packed into the car very closely. A number of those who saw the car packed say that they believe the animals are put in with far too little room for the circulation of air. Certain parties believe the matter to be a case for the Humane Society. One of the men who helped catch the seals said that he expected some of the animals to die before getting as far as San Bernardino.”


August 10, 1899 [SBMP]: “Henry Short and a party of seal hunters under Captain Prescott will leave for Santa Cruz Island this morning on the Olita. Mr. Short will secure seal for eastern museums.”


August 14, 1899 [SBDI]: “Henry Short returned last night from the islands where he had been with a party in search of seals, but on account of the very rough weather they were unable to capture any. A strong southwest wind was blowing all the tie they were there.”


August 31, 1899 [SBDI]: “Dr. R. E. Wemple, Jr., of San Francisco has made a snug sum out of two score of sea lions which he captured in this channel and shipped east. He headed an expedition to the seal rock in the channel and half a hundred excellent animals were obtained. They were packed in refrigerator cars and started east over the Santa Fe line. Wemple found buyers in every circus, museum and zoo that he encountered, and when he reached Jersey City last night only had twenty-one left. He has orders for most of them, and expects to have the rest sold by the end of the week. He got $200 apiece for most of them, but as he has glutted the market it will hardly be profitable for anyone to follow his example. The animals refused to eat for ten days after they were captured, but now they have all found their appetites and make away with large quantities of food daily.”


September 3, 1899 [AC]: “Forty live sea lions were captured at the Santa Barbara islands recently, for the zoo at Antwerp, Belgium. The lions are lassoed on the rocks with an ordinary rope and with much difficulty are landed and crated ready for shipment.”


September 13, 1899 [LAT]: “Ernest Whitehead captured a young seal near Anacapa Island, California, recently, and took him on board his ship. As the vessel started, the mother seal was noticed swimming about, howling piteously. The little captive barked responsively. After reaching the wharf at Santa Barbara, the captive was tied up in a jute sack and left loose on the deck. Soon after coming to anchor the seal responded to its mother’s call by casting itself overboard, all tied up as it was in the sack. The mother seized the sack and with her sharp teeth tore it open. She had followed the sloop eighty miles.”


September 18, 1899 [LAT]: “Captain Colice Vasquez arrived here last night from the islands. He brought over four very large sea lions, which were shipped east today by express.”


November 17, 1899 [SBDI]: “Two seals were brought over from the islands today and will be shipped east in a few days.”


November 20, 1899 [LAT]: “Catching live seals on the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel seems to have become a regularly organized vocation. The seals are shipped East by train and are made to serve as attractions of the thousand and one parks of the larger eastern cities. As the seal is equally at home in fresh or salt water, there is no question of cruelty to animals involved in the proposition.”


February 9, 1900 [SBDI]: “Mr. H. A. Rogers left yesterday for the islands in search of seals. He will remain there several days.”


February 17, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Big Loafer has sailed for the islands on a seal capturing expedition.”


March 7, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Kate and Anna, Captain Sam Burtis, now on a seal hunting cruise along the coast, came into port yesterday with a sick man. The schooner will sail this morning.”


March 27, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Defender, Jr. and the Kate and Anna, two sealing schooners now in the channel, were in port yesterday for supplies.”


March 27, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Cape Nann arrived here last night from the islands. She had fifty seal skins aboard.”


March 30, 1900 [SBMP]: “The yacht Defender, Jr. left for the islands yesterday on a sea lion hunt for the Rogers company.”


May 4, 1900 [SBMP]: “The sealing schooner Kate and Anna, Captain Sam Burtis, arrived in port early yesterday morning with 107 seal skins and two otter skins, the result of a several weeks' hunt in the channel.”


May 16, 1900 [LAH]: “Shipping news. Arrivals since May 7 — ...schooner Kate and Anna, Captain Burtis, from San Nicolas Island, with 107 fur seals...”


May 28, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Kate and Anna left for Santa Rosa Island today with a cargo of empty oil barrels and a crew of five men to fish for seals.”


June 20, 1900 [SBDI]: “Five seals were brought in today from Santa Rosa Island for Herbert Rogers, which will be sent to eastern points. One of the seals had the misfortune to die on the way over and will be boiled and the oil extracted.”


July 7, 1900 [SBMP]: “Mr. Bates boat, the Petrel, left yesterday for the islands on a seal hunt.”


July 19, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Petrel, Captain Vasquez, arrived last evening from the islands with four sea lions for eastern menageries.”


July 19, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Petrel arrived last night from the islands with a number of seals.”


July 20, 1900 [LAT/Red]: “The Petrel, Captain Vasquez, arrived from the islands last evening with four sea lions to be shipped east.”


July 31, 1900 [SBDI]: “Six seals were brought from the islands today for H. A. Rogers.”


August 7, 1900 [SBMP]: “The sloop American Eagle, Captain W. Cavallero, arrived from the islands Sunday night with 350 sea lion whiskers. The boat was launched here the 3rd of July last and left for the islands on the 11th.”


October 24, 1900 [LAH]: “San Pedro. October 23. The little schooner Kate and Anna, which has been in the sealing business for quite awhile, is also laid up for the winter. She arrived here from San Nicolas Island last May, with 107 seal skins and two otter skins, and has been here ever since. The season was not a good one, by reason of the scarcity of seals and otters, and it was concluded to await the opening of another season before starting out on another cruise.”


January 31, 1901 [SBMP]: Colice Vasquez has entered into a contract to furnish seals from the islands to be shipped to Hanover, Germany...”


March 12, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sealing schooner Kate and Anna, Captain W. Walker, came into port last evening for supplies and water. The schooner has been cruising about the channel and islands in search of seals and otters. On her last visit here the Kate and Anna had a gruesome tale of an attempted murder and a suicide at sea. Mike O’Brien had tried to kill the cook of the vessel after which he cut his own throat from ear to ear. The coroner’s verdict was that O’Brien was insane at the time. After the inquest the schooner resumed her hunting trip. The schooner sailed again this morning, to resume hunting about the islands. Members of the crew reported that they were having a very successful trip.”


March 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain Colice Vasquez started for the islands yesterday after six seals for Mr. Rogers, who has eastern orders to fill.”


March 20, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sloop Kingfisher, Captain Colice Vasquez, left for the islands this morning for seals for H. A. Rogers.”


March 20, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Colise Vasquez left today for the Channel Islands on a seal hunt to supply several orders from eastern menageries.”


March 31, 1901 [SBMP]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, arrived from the islands yesterday with eight sea lions.”


May 15, 1901 [LAT]: “The little schooner Kate and Anna, Captain C. Walker, has returned to port after having spent four months in a sealing cruise. She did not have a good run of luck, and brought only twenty-two skins. The Kate and Anna had been out only a few days when Michael O’Brien, one of the hunters, cut his throat, and died on deck. The vessel put into Santa Barbara. After the Coroner’s inquest, she returned to the pursuit of the seals. All of those taken were female. The skins are said to be in good condition. In common with other American sealing schooners, the Kate and Anna operated under an American law, which discriminates in favor of British sealers. Under the treaty provisions all persons are prohibited during the months of May, June and July from taking fur seals in the waters off the Pacific coast north of 35 degrees north latitude, which is not far from Point Conception. There is a law of the United States, however, which at all times of year restricts Americans from taking seals in the waters north of that latitude, but does not restrict British vessels from taking seals in those waters. The result is that an American sealing schooner operating off the coast of her own country is restricted to the waters where seals are scarce, while foreigners may pursue the furred denizens of the sea over the grounds where American sealers are forbidden. The Kate and Anna will be beached and repaired. It is probable that she will start off on another cruise about the middle of next month. Patrick Sullivan, a San Pedro man who was in the schooner’s crew, came ashore sick and was sent to the United States marine Hospital ward of the Sisters’ Hospital in Los Angeles for treatment.”


May 16, 1901 [SBMP]: “The sailing schooner Kate and Anna has returned to San Pedro after an unprofitable cruise. She only brought back twenty-two skins. The Kate and Anna had been out only a few days when Michael O'Brien, one of the hunters, cut his throat, and died on the deck. The vessel put into Santa Barbara. After the coroner’s inquest, she returned to the pursuit of seals. All of those taken were females. The skins are said to be in good condition… The Kate and Anna will be beached and repaired. It is probable that she will start on another cruise about the middle of next month.”


June 6, 1901 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers is shipping six seals from the islands to the Pan-American Exposition. Captain Vasquez brought them over in the Kingfisher.”


June 6, 1901 [SBDI]: “H. A. Rogers today shipped six live seals recently captured at Santa Cruz Island, to the Pan-American Exposition.”


June 10, 1901 [SBDI]: “Herbert A. Rogers is now negotiating with the directors of the Pan-American Exposition for space at the exposition for a small Amphibia, to which he will take several seals from the Channel Islands and train them for exhibition. Mr. Rogers has had much experience in catching and training seals, having been in the business with E. F. Rogers for over 20 years. During the last year his men have captured 45 animals about the islands, which have been shipped to various cities of the east and abroad. New York, New Orleans, Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Hamburg, Germany, have seals from the channel waters. Mr. Rogers is now preparing an expedition that will go to the islands soon after 15 large seals for the exposition, if his request for space is granted. The art of capturing the queer amphibious animals is known only to a few. One must be unusually quick and must be very handy with the lasso. Ramon Vasquez, Colice Vasquez, Jose Espinosa, Jose Olivos and Hiram Pierce are all experts. It is dangerous as well as difficult work to get them, as they are very vicious and only haunt the roughest shores, where the deep caves are. When once captured they are as easily trained as a young dog. Mr. Rogers is anxious to get some very big ones and said today that he expected to get them weighing as much as 2000 pounds.”


June 19, 1901 [LAH]: “The Kate and Anna, Captain Lutgens, cleared today for a four months’ cruise near Gray’s Harbor in search of otters. She came in recently on a sealing expedition, having obtained about forty seal furs.”


June 23, 1901 [LAT]: “Four seals captured off Santa Cruz Island have been shipped to New York.”


July 2, 1901 [LAT]: “Two schooners arrived this evening from San Miguel Island, bringing a tale of loss of life and privations on San Miguel. The boats are the Ellen and the Santa Cruz, small schooners from San Diego. The Santa Cruz had been at San Miguel Island about two weeks. She was under command of Captain Andy Knutzen, who was accompanied by Phil Anderson and Severin Phillipsen, all Norweigan sealers. Who had formed a little company to seal on the island on shares. On the afternoon of July 3, the three men attempted to go ashore in a cove on the west end of the island where the sea is always treacherous. They were approaching the shores, when a blind breaker struck the boat and overturned it without a moment’s warning. Phillipsen and Knutsen went down struggling in the foaming waters. Anderson managed to cling to the bottom of the boat and drifted several miles, at last going ashore in a little cove near Pinnacle Rock. Weak and exhausted, he was a prisoner on the beach, for the bluff at that point is almost inaccessible. For two days he was alone on the beach with nothing to eat but raw abalones. On the third day he plucked up strength, and from sheer desperation climbed the cliff to the land above. It is a mystery how he managed to get up. He then got to a camp of Chinamen, and in a short time the Ellen, Captain Curl, hove in sight and dropped anchor in the cove where the Santa Cruz was at anchor. Anderson hailed them from the beach and they went ashore and took him to his boat. The Ellen is also a sealing schooner. Anderson is pretty much used up. He will get a seaman here and return to San Diego as soon as possible. He and his men had taken only about two hundred seals when the accident occurred. Aboard the schooner with Anderson are a fox terrier and bull pup, the property of the two drowned men.”


July 6, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooner American Eagle, Captain Dalley, came over from the island yesterday with four seals for H. C. Rogers. They were shipped this morning to a New York museum.”


July 10, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain Colise Vasquez returned yesterday from the islands where he has been engaged in shooting seal. He killed over 200 during his stay at the islands, and will return today.”


July 10, 1901 [SBDI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez left this morning for the islands to shoot seals. Vasquez returned yesterday with over 200 skins for the San Francisco markets.”


July 12, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooners Ellen and Santa Cruz arrived from Santa Cruz Island late last evening and reported the loss of two men on July 3 in the breakers off the rocks on the southwest side of Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz is a small vessel from San Diego, which has been hunting hair seals about the island for about two months. Three Norwegians, Captain Andy Knutsen, S. Phillipsen and Phillip Andersen, manned the vessel. On the morning of July 3 the three men were in a small skiff in search of seals on the rocks. They had shot a number and were making for a rock on which they could see three more. A heavy sea was running at the time and when near the rock the skiff was struck by a blind breaker which capsized it. Sealer Phillipsen went under and was not seen again. Captain Knutsen and Andersen succeeded in getting hold of the skiff and hung on for two hours, when the captain said he could stand it no longer and sank out of sight. Andersen was almost ready to follow him, but stayed with the skiff almost an hour longer, when he drifted onto a reef. He clung to this some time and finally reached shore worn out. For several hours he laid in the sand before he got sufficient strength to walk. When he looked around to find an escape he found that he was surrounded on the shore by a very high bluff and the rough sea on in front. He remained here the rest of the day and all that night. The next morning, July 4, he swam a short distance around the projecting rock to another small beach. Here he found the same difficulty, a very high and perpendicular bluff that seemed impossible to climb. He said today: ‘I do not know how I got up the cliff. I do not remember when I began to climb. The first I recollect was when I was almost on top. I was scratched and bruised and now my body is lack and blue. When I reached the top of the bluff I walked a mile or two and found a Chinese fishing camp at Forney’s Cove, where I got shelter for the night and was given some rice. Next morning I saw the Ellen at anchor and hailed her. Captain Curl took me aboard and after I had gotten rested we searched the shore for my drowned companions, but could find no trace of them. We remained there several days and then, with the assistance of the Ellen’s crew, I came across the channel.’ Anderson said that the three men had started from San Diego two months ago and had met with fair success until the fatal mishap. Phillipsen has a wife in San Diego who has been notified of the death of her husband, and Captain Knutsen has a brother somewhere in California, but it is not known just where he is now. They had 180 hair sea skins. Andersen will take the Santa Cruz back to San Diego in a few days. Captain Curl of the Ellen also met with a mishap while hunting seals on the island. He, with his men, had been hunting seals on the rock and was about to fire upon some when he lost his footing and fell down a bluff. He was knocked unconscious and when taken aboard the vessel it was found that he had broken three ribs. The crew has been very successful in getting skins this season. The skins are worth about 5 cents a pound and a cow’s skin will weigh about 15 pounds, while a bull’s skin weighs 50 or more pounds.”


July 31, 1901 [SBMP]: “Colice Vasquez has entered into a contract to furnish seals from the islands to be shipped to Hanover, Germany, for Captain Webb, the noted seal dealer and trader. B. M. Treat of New York, agent for Captain Webb, was here last week, and left the matter with J. M. Armstrong. Captain Webb is perhaps the most extensive shipper of trained seals in the world. He travels with his seal family all over Europe, and even penetrates into North African states for purposes of exhibition. Captain Vasquez expects to ship several every sixty or ninety days, as there is a ready market for them as fast as they can be trained. Captain Webb's advance agent is in Berlin where he maintains a central office.”


July 31, 1901 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, July 30. Two Stanford University men, Snodgrass and E. C. Starks, are making an investigation of the local seal rookeries for the Government, which may add volumes to the present knowledge of seals and the industry of sealing. For some weeks they have been engaged in visiting the rookeries of San Miguel and Santa Cruz islands, two of the island chain which bounds the Santa Barbara Channel. It has been held that the seals were destroyers of edible fish and for this reason fishermen have regarded them as their enemy. In former times all these Channel Islands were inhabited by thousands of seals, but the ravages of the hunters have thinned them out until only a few rookeries remain. Hunters have been allowed to enter the rookeries at breeding time and wantonly kill them. The species which inhabit this coast have a value of only about 75 cents per skin to the hunters, so that to make wages the slaughter must be wholesale. Sea lions have also been destroyed. The work of the Stanford men has been to ascertain whether the seals were fish-eaters. For this purpose they chartered a schooner under Captain Vasquez of this port. They did not confine their search to one locality, but took seals from every part of the island where they are found. On their first voyage sixty-three were captured and killed for examination of their stomachs. Out of the sixty-three only three were found to contain edible fish. There were devilfish, squid and shellfish, discerned by microscopic analysis, in the stomachs of the seals, but other kinds were not there. This was taken as a proof that the seal is not an enemy but a friend to the fishermen. In the stomach of one huge bull seal were found fifteen pieces of rock, each larger than a hen’s egg. The Stanford men sailed today for the lower end of Anacapa Island, the farthest island southeast in the chain. They will return here for supplies on Monday.”


October 9, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Six young seals were brought over from the islands this morning, and will be shipped to Hamburg, Germany by H. A. Rogers of this city. They are about a year old, and will be packed in three crates for their long journey.”


November 9, 1901 [SBDN]: “The schooner Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, reached here yesterday from Santa Rosa Island and brought over a small quantity of shells for the Santa Barbara Shell Company, and two seals for the trained animal show which is to take them along at the close of their stand here. The seals are very large ones. Captain Vasquez is the most expert seal catcher of the islands.”


November 26, 1901 [SBMP]: “J. L. Skaen arrived yesterday with four seals from San Miguel Island for shipment to Germany. J. M. Armstrong is agent for the noted trainer of seals for the world’s market. His headquarters are in Berlin, Germany.”


December 5, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Colice Vasquez of the Kingfisher, a vessel plying between this harbor and the Channel Islands, has received an order from Dr. Emmet Wemple of Oakland for forty seals for eastern shipment to be delivered within two months.”


May 17, 1902 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless returned from the islands yesterday with 20 seals for H. A. Rogers.”


May 18, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Herbert Rogers, who has an order for 100 seals for museums and zoological gardens in the East and in Europe, has invented a new method of catching them that has proved very successful. Heretofore seals have been caught with the lasso, but Mr. Rogers now uses a strong net. As the result of his effort, the schooner Restless returned form the islands yesterday with twenty seals, and will immediately return for the remainder of sixty that have been captured.”


May 27, 1902 [SBMP]: “Captain Mullet has arrived from the islands with 17 live seals, adding to the menagerie which has been at the wharf for several days. The entire lot was beached nears the old planting mill. The number is now increased to thirty-five, and a carload will be made up for shipment at once. There are orders for 100 altogether, and shipments will continue as long as seals can be captured.”


June 6, 1902 [SBMP]: “A strong northwest wind has prevailed for days. Captain Vasquez and his seal hunters have been unable to make any catches for a week.”


June 21, 1902 [OC]: “Captain T. H. Merry has returned to Oxnard from Santa Barbara. On Tuesday he sailed from the Channel City with a party of friends, Messrs. J. E. Reynolds, Harry Mercer and J. P. Rasmussen, to Santa Cruz Island… For two days they cruised along the coast of the island enjoying the magnificent weather and the beautiful island scenes… One of the most interesting spectacles was the capture of seals made by Santa Barbara men who ship them to England. A net is used to keep them from getting away and after a seal gets caught in the meshes it is lassoed and drawn into a cage made for the purpose. They are ferocious animals to handle and roar and snap their jaws savagely while being handled. About sixteen cages with a seal in each are taken to Santa Barbara as a cargo where each animal is sold for $25. After the cargo of seals is disposed of, the men generally have a port-night’s whirl and after emptying their purses again go after seals.”


August 6, 1902 [SBMP]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, has sailed for the islands to catch twelve seals for Herbert Rogers.”


August 12, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, arrived from Santa Cruz Island today with a number of seals consigned to Herbert Rogers of this city.”


September 17, 1902 [SBMP]: “The sloop Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, is preparing for a sealing cruise about the islands. The captain has orders for fifteen live seal.”


September 26, 1902 [SBMP]: “According to the San Francisco Call, the sea lions of the coast are condemned to death. It is a renewal of the attempt made a year ago to exterminate or at least reduce the number of sea lions on the ground that they are devastating the fisheries. The paper then reviews at length the work of destruction attempted in 1900, and the reason for the discontinuance of the onslaught.”


October 11, 1902 [SBMP]: “Colice Vasquez sailed yesterday for Anacapa Island in the sloop Kingfisher. He is after seals, and will remain at the island until he has a full cargo.”


February 20, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez brought over from the islands yesterday six live seals that are to be shipped east by H. A. Rogers. Two of them are pups that are to go to Lonawanda, N. Y. to take a circus kindergarten course, and the others, full grown specimens, are for zoological gardens in New York City.”


March 12, 1903 [SBMP]: “Colice Vasquez set sail yesterday with the Kingfisher headed to Santa Cruz Island to secure a number of live seals for eastern shipment.”


April 4, 1903 [SBI]: “H. A. Rogers today shipped ten seals to St. Louis, where they will be kept for exhibition purposes at the coming exposition. The seals were brought to this city yesterday from Santa Cruz Island where they were captured in nets a few days ago. All are in good condition.”


April 5, 1903 [SBMP]: “Ten seals, captured at the islands, are now at the wharf and will be shipped east in a few days. Several are consigned to St. Louis to be on exhibit at the coming fair.”


May 13, 1903 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers received a cargo of seals from the islands yesterday for a shipment east. The Santa Barbara channel seal is in great demand on the Atlantic coast for park menageries and show purposes.”


August 1, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez, the local sealer, brought over from the island last night eight fine young specimens of that intelligent mammal for shipment to the seal college at Pacific Grove. After finishing the course of instruction there they will be sent to various circuses and zoos in the east.”


September 4, 1903 [SBI]: “Three sea lions form their native haunts have been added to the zoo. The trio of bellowers are heavyweights and were captured only after a hard struggle. Captain Tom H. Merry, in his yacht Daisy and backed by a crew, did the job. Not only were the lions captured and held despite the avoirdupois of 1200 pounds each, but they were taken in such a way that the strong floundering fellows did not injure themselves or their glossy hides. The sea lions will splash about in the big tank in the open yard of the chutes.”


September 4, 1903 [OC]: “Captain Merry passed Hueneme Tuesday of this week en route for San Pedro with his yacht, Daisy, where he will have a gasoline engine installed in her. He had aboard a crate of live seals sent down by sealers on Santa Cruz Island for the Los Angeles Chutes. He reports having left Lazard Lippman, Roy Koster and Cliff Marin, the latter two being Los Angeles young men, at Friars Harbor in camp, but with no means of leaving the island. It seems the party had a controversy as to the time to remain on the island and Captain Merry maneuvered and secured a boat. A chance exists to write another tale entitled ‘Marooned.’”


September 21, 1903 [SBI]: “Santa Barbara sea lions marvel of brute intelligence… Theses wonderful sea lions were captured at Santa Cruz Island, three years ago, by Captain Colice Vasquez of Santa Barbara, who has done more than any other man in America in the traffic of sea lions for training. He shipped them east and they were trained there. They were about eighteen months old when captured, this being the age at which these animals are at their best for educational purposes. Captain Vasquez states that the life of a sea lion in captivity is about six years…”


October 2, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez, whose fame as a capturer of sea lions reaches from the Pacific to the Atlantic shores; has his hands more than full at present in the effort to keep up with his orders for the very intelligent and tractable amphibians that have of late years been in eager demand for show purposes. Only yesterday Dr. Robinson of Chicago left for the east with seven of the animals that had been taken from their native element by Captain Vasquez…”


October 6, 1903 [SBI]: “Considerable excitement as well as amusement was caused at the water front this morning by a stampede of a band of yearling calves which had been driven into corrals at the end of the wharf, from where they were to be put aboard the steam schooner Pasadena to be taken to Santa Rosa Island… The yearlings are from the southern part of the state and Arizona and are being shipped to Santa Rosa Island to be fattened for market. Several hundred will be shipped there this month by the owners of the island, Vail and Vickers.”


October 6, 1903 [SBI]: “Santa Barbara seals to shine at St. Louis. Captain Charles Lyons, the famous trainer of sea lions, and J. M. Wilkins, proprietor of the Cliff House at San Francisco, today concluded a short visit to this city… Their visit here was in connection with Captain Lyons’ quest of the amphibia… Captain Lyons is now after another lot of pupils, and Captain Colice Vasquez has a crew of men at Santa Cruz Island at the present time engaged in the effort to capture not less than twenty…”


October 14, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez arrived from Santa Cruz Island this morning in the Kingfisher with a cargo of seal pups. There were nineteen of the strange little animals, and they showed a distinctly homesick mien. Thirteen of them went to Captain Charles Lyon at the Cliff House, to be trained for the world’s fair at St. Louis next year. The other six are taken by Demetera Bilyck, who for the past seven years has worked as trainer for the great Hagenbeck menageries, and who arrived in Santa Barbara only a few weeks ago. He has secured a small building on Ocean Boulevard, just west of State Street, where his pets are already disporting in a large galvanized iron tank filled with sea water.”


December 2, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez returned from the Channel Islands yesterday with Captain G. M. McGuire of New York, who had been for several days past trying to catch seals. The captain is old at the business and he was accompanied by several capable assistants, but the party was unable to catch a single seal, owing to the very rough seas that have prevailed at the islands for a week or so past. Captain McGuire expects to return to the islands with his party today and make a fresh attempt in the business in hand.”


December 9, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain McGuire of New York, who recently returned from a fruitless quest for sea lions at Santa Cruz Island, sailed for San Miguel Island in the power launch Peerless yesterday to renew the hunt. This time he will try to secure a dozen or so of the great ‘bull’ seals that have their habitat on and around the island named, they being wanted merely for exhibit at the St. Louis exposition next year. Some of these ‘bulls’ are of enormous size, weighing a ton or more, and are of extreme ferocity, so it is a hard matter to capture them and a good deal harder to manage them after they are in captivity.”


December 19, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez took a boatload of supplies over to San Miguel Island for Captain Waters today, and when his cargo is delivered he will enter upon a hunt for big bull sea lions, whose favorite resort is the island in question. The animals are wanted for exhibition at the world’s fair at St. Louis next year, hence the principal requirement is large size.”


December 24, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez went to the islands this morning in his power launch Peerless, with crates for ten sea lions that he hopes to capture for exhibition at the St. Louis world’s fair.”


February 19, 1904 [SBI]: “This afternoon Captain Colice Vasquez will set sail in the Peerless for San Miguel Island, where he will prosecute his familiar and favorite quest for sea lions, to fill orders received from eastern zoos.”


March 28, 1904 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez returned from the Channel Islands last night with six fine young sea lions for Mullett & McGuire, who will ship them to St. Louis for exhibition at the World’s Fair. This is the first installment on an order for forty of the odd mammals, and Vasquez will return to the islands to hunt for more.”


April 12, 1904 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez is preparing to sail for Santa Cruz Island again tomorrow in quest of sea lions. He will try to secure eight of the prized mammals for shipment to the east.”


August 21, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Frances returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island where it unloaded a party of seal hunters and their supplies. The party was headed by Herbert Rogers who has an order for 20 seals, which he expects to capture at Santa Cruz Island within a few days.”


August 24, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Potter [Hotel] boat Frances, in charge of Captain Hendricks, is expected in from the islands today with the Rogers' seal hunting party and their game. Mr. H. A. Rogers has an order for 20 live seals, and has been at the islands for several days with some experienced trappers to catch them. It is understood that the required number has been produced.”


August 25, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Hendricks returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon bringing in a party of seal hunters.”


August 25, 1904 [SBMP]: “The many visitors who have been at Pelican Bay and along the east end of the island have driven the seals out of their accustomed haunts toward the west end of the island, and it is more difficult to take them there. Two large seals were brought in.”


August 26, 1904 [SBMP]: “…Seal hunters have been accustomed to go there [Santa Cruz Island] at any time for seals, and this will also be forbidden. The seals have been driven from the most attractive parts of the island by tourists and hunters, and some of the tamer ones have been shot right in Pelican Bay…”


September 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with seven live seals which will be shipped to New York in a few days. They will ultimately go to eastern parks and menageries.”


September 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “C. Vasquez left for the islands yesterday in the Peerless in quest of live seals. He has already captured some, but is after more. One large seal died at the wharf after being captured, and the body was anchored east of Stern's Wharf, where it floated all day yesterday, being the source of considerable inquiry from those passing by.”


November 16, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Jesse L. Hendricks left yesterday afternoon with a number of seal hunters in the Potter Hotel boat Frances for the islands. He has an order for 13 live seals and will continue to hunt them until that number has been captured.”


December 27, 1904 [LAT]: “The seals that abound around Santa Catalina Island frequently come across the channel to take advantage of the good fishing here. This morning two baby seals found themselves high and dry upon the beach surrounded by four or five barking canines. The seals were rescued and placed in the ocean again from the end of the pier.”


December 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “Rough on the channel. The schooner Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning for the purpose of capturing seals for shipment east, but was compelled to return on account of the heavy weather. The channel is reported to be rougher than for many months past.”


January 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez and his crew of the launch Peerless have just shipped 18 seals which were captured at the islands last week. Four of the seals went to St. Augustine, Florida, and the others to zoos in the east. Captain Vasquez has an order for six more seals which will be caught in the near future.”


March 11, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday. The crawfish camps at the island will be visited and a special effort will be made be the crew to catch seals.”


April 7, 1905 [SBMP]: “George McGuire, owner and operator of the Peerless launch and fishing camps, is making arrangements to increase the scope of his crew fishing enterprises off this coast. He has just finished a most successful season in that industry. He has maintained a number of fishing camps on the islands and has had universal success with his work, while several other companies have not done so well... Another industry to which Mr. McGuire may direct his energy is to the capture of live seals. During the past season he has filled several orders for these interesting animals for the eastern zoos, and it is understood that he has received another order for twenty live seals for the Hagenbeck trained animal show. These animals will be trained in this city later in the year by Charles J. Alaska, who has just left for the east with a group of sea lions that he trained in Santa Barbara.”


April 8, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “Captain McGuire, who has carried on a crawfish business off this port, is making arrangements to enlarge the scope of enterprise next season to several other localities, and will catch crawfish on a wholesale basis. He will also give much of his time to the business of collecting abalone shells, and will capture live sea lions for eastern zoos.”


May 13, 1905 [SBMP]: “Colonel Slinkey and Captain Mullett are so well known on the Pacific Coast and in this city that they will not require any introduction to the readers of The Press. The former hails from San Francisco and the latter from New York, but they have been here a number of times during the last forty years and have been associated with the earliest settlers of Santa Barbara. Captain Mullett was formerly connected to Harrison Gray Otis when that gentleman was editing the Santa Barbara News Press, and has also written for other journals of California. The two men are old schoolmates, but it has been over 45 years since they studied together in college. Colonel Slinkey and Captain Mullett are here to engage in one of the remunerative occupations of this locality—the catching of live sea lions and they will spend the summer at Anacapa Island in that pursuit. They have secured a serviceable launch and a complete seal-fishing outfit from San Francisco and will make their first trip to Anacapa Island within a week or ten days. They expect to capture 30 on the first trip and will then go back for more. They will then go east and to Europe with the sea lions to fill orders they have secured from circuses and zoological gardens. These gentlemen are not new at sea lion catching business. Captain Mullett has a reputation of having caught over 600 sea lions off this coast, the largest part of those exhibited all over the world and they will no doubt have success in their present undertaking.”


May 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless is at the islands after live sea lions, an order having been received by a local firm of seal-catchers for a large number of these animals.”


May 25, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez arrived last night from the islands with a number of sea lions which were captured there during the last three days. They will be shipped east today.”


May 31, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez is steadfast in his determination to catch some live sea lions. Although he has had some discouragements during the past few weeks in his pursuit of these animals, he has gone to the islands again and expects to remain there until he can bring in some of these much wanted inhabitants of the sea.”


June 6, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “George M. McGuire left tonight for a two months’ trip to Europe, taking twenty live sea lions, which will be sold to circuses and zoological gardens on the continent. These animals are coming into demand all over the world, and the business of catching them off Santa Barbara is very remunerative.”


June 11, 1905 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara is extending the boundaries of its sea lion industry to include the whole world. For several years the Channel Islands have offered the best field for the capture of live sea lions, which are coming into a general demand in zoological gardens and trained animal shows. During the last few months a number of sea lions have been caught from this coast and trained in this city for a large German animal show. They are becoming more scarce all the time, and are therefore bringing higher prices where they are wanted. A few years ago these animals were hunted down and shot for the oil they produced, and a sea lion thus handled would bring no more than $2 or $3, but now they are worth from $80 to $150 when first caught, and after being trained for circus performances are worth from $1000 to $1300. George M. McGuire, the proprietor of launch and fishing camps on the Channel Islands, expects t leave this city soon with twenty-five or thirty live sea lions for Europe. He has a number of orders to fill in England, Belgium, Germany and France, and will be away for two or three months. He will visit London, Antwerp, Brussels, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Lyons, Paris and several other European cities, and besides delivering a number of live sea lions will take orders for more to be sent over at a later date. Captain Vasquez is now catching sea lions at Anacapa and San Nicolas islands. He expects to tow them into San Pedro, from which place they will be shipped by express to New York and thence by steamer across the Atlantic. Sea lions will bring about $150 each in Europe, and Mr. McGuire expects to make the trip besides opening up an industry in this line of trade.”


June 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Pietra Legura is at the islands in search of sea lions for Messrs. Slinkey and Mullett. These gentlemen have shipped a large number of sea lions lately, and expect to have another lot ready for eastern zoological gardens within a few days.”


June 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “The sailboat Pietra Legura has returned from the islands where she has been for several days in search of sea lions, but none of the much prized animals were brought in. The boat will return at once and make another endeavor to catch the slippery seals.”


June 20, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left Sunday for San Miguel Island on a seal-fishing trip. Captain Colice Vasquez was accompanied by Albert Stafford and Theodore Conant.”


June 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Pietra Legura arrived yesterday from the islands with an elegant lot of fine sea lions belonging to Mullett and Slinkey, for shipping east and to European markets. They were all lassoed by Dally and Espinosa, experts in the business.”


June 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Pietra Legura arrived yesterday from the islands with an elegant lot of fine sea lions belonging to Mullett and Slinkey, for shipping east and to European markets. They were all lassoed by Dally and Espinosa, experts in the business.”


June 25, 1905 [SBMP]: “Twelve live sea lions were shipped to Paris, France from this city last night over Wells Fargo Express Company’s lines. They were captured at the Channel Islands and shipped by Colonel Slinkey. Santa Barbara is becoming an important point in the sea lion industry, as foreign shipments of these strange animals are now no uncommon occurrence.”


June 30, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Pietra Legura will leave for the islands today to catch sea lions for Messrs. Mullett and Slinkey. The next shipment will be accompanied by Colonel Slinkey and will be taken to Italy.”


July 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “The [Colonel] Slinkey Company shipped 17 more sea lions yesterday to New York and foreign points. The animals were captured at the islands and brought to the city by the Pietra.”


July 29, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Short and party, returning recently from a two week camp on San Miguel Island, brought some fine photographs of the island scenes, particularly of the sea lion rookeries on Flea Island, a barren rock about a mile off the north shore of San Miguel. Mr. Short has a large collection of these pictures, and thousands of sea lions are seen clinging to the rocks.”


August 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “George M. McGuire, proprietor of the Peerless launch and fishing camps, has just returned from a three months trip to Europe, where he took a number of live sea lions which he caught off Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. He visited Antwerp, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, London, Manchester and Liverpool, and left live sea lions in each of these cities. He believes that he has established a market in Europe for these animals, and will later in the year fill more orders for these cities. Five of his sea lions died while crossing the Arizona desert, as it was very warm at that time and there were poor water accommodations for them in the express cars. In speaking of his trip, Mr. McGuire said: ‘My European trip was a very successful one, both in a business way and as a pleasure trip. I visited the principal zoological gardens in Europe and saw much to interest me. I find that the Europeans are much more successful in handling of our sea lions than we are in America. They cost more, and perhaps for that reason they have learned how to take care of them better. I know that they keep them alive much longer than in America. I visited the zoological gardens in Regents Park in London, which was one of the prettiest I saw anywhere. They have a beautiful pool there, which is 150 x 100 feet in size, and it is made in the shape and style of a natural ocean grotto, with high rocky sides overgrown by mosses. The Santa Barbara sea lions were the first ones put into the water, and they seemed perfectly at home there.’”


August 5, 1905 [LAH]: “Santa Barbara, August 4. George M. McGuire has just returned from his European trip which he says was a successful one in every way. Mr. McGuire took with him a number of live sea lions, caught off Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. He believes he has established a market in Europe for these animals and later in the year will fill more orders.”


August 6, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “The largest sea lion herd ever located off this coast was discovered a few days ago by a party of Santa Barbara young men while cruising around the islands on the launch Irene. The cruisers report that Flea Island, a small rocky place, standing out of the sea on the north side of San Miguel Island, is the home of thousands of sea lions that are so tame that young ones can be played with like kittens and that hundreds could be caught without the use of ropes or nets. The party consisted of Henry Short, a boatman who is familiar with the Channel Islands, Basil Faulding, Edwin Bradbury and J. R. Reynolds. They have just returned from their two weeks cruise and brought back a number of photographs taken on their trip…”


September 26, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene will leave this morning for the Channel Islands where the crew will capture six live seals to be shipped to eastern zoos.”


December 11, 1905 [SFCall]: “New York, December 10. Two sea lions fight to death… The story of Zalo, whose limp body was fished out of the sea lion tank, is a common demonstration of the survival of the strongest. Zalo was born on San Miguel Island in the Pacific and was brought to the Zoo [New York Zooligical Park] while still too young to attract the attention of the old bull of the herd. Zalo, grown to a husky lion of 170 pounds, came out of the stone house on Saturday morning as sleek and agile as a young warrior going to his first joust…”


December 13, 1905 [SBMP]: “Sea lions fight to the death. Young pup taken from the waters of San Miguel Island killed in battle in New York…”


July 29, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Short and party, returning recently from a two week camp on San Miguel Island, brought some fine photographs of the island scenes, particularly of the sea lion rookeries on Flea Island, a barren rock about a mile off the north shore of San Miguel. Mr. Short has a large collection of these pictures, and thousands of sea lions are seen clinging to the rocks.”


December 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon in the launch Peerless. He brought back two small sea lions. The pups will be shipped to Monterey. Captain Vasquez was accompanied on his trip by two physicians from the eastern states, who assert that their trip to Santa Cruz Island was one of the most interesting experiences of their lives.”


December 30, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless sailed for Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning after live seals. The boat is in charge of Captain Vasquez, who expects to capture several seals if the weather permits.”


January 11, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless was at the wharf yesterday with a cargo of crawfish which were caught off Santa Cruz Island. The boat also brought back a large seal which will be shipped to a zoological garden in the east.”


January 11, 1906 [SBMP]: “Tourists who are lovers of the rod and gun have been having good sport during the last few days… Yesterday afternoon Mr. Bissell, a recent arrival at the Potter Hotel, killed fourteen ducks and several sea lions while out in the launch Nina…”


January 16, 1906 [SBMP]: “The rough weather on the channel having subsided, the captains of the mosquito fleet have their boats out again. Captain Vasquez left in the Peerless yesterday morning for Santa Cruz Island after seals and crawfish.”


March 8, 1906 [SBMP]: “Herbert Rogers secured four large sea lions that were captured off Santa Cruz Island by Captain Ira Eaton, and is preparing to ship them to eastern zoological gardens.”


March 20, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left for Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands for seals.”


March 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “The recent storms washed a seal into the whaling camp at Point Conception and it was caught by Floyd Castle who was employed at that place. It was a young leopard seal of fine coloring, and he hoped to bring it to this city, but it died.”


April 1, 1906 [SBMP]: “D. W. Ferguson of Los Angeles arrived in the city yesterday and returned with five sea lions, which will be shipped to the Matt Gay Carnival Company of Birmingham, Alabama. The seals were caught off Santa Cruz Island by Henry Dally of this city and were brought over in the launch Irene. The sea lions from this locality are much in demand, for it is said by animal trainers that they are more easily trained than those from other places.”


April 12, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez takes fifteen sea lions from waters off Santa Cruz Island. Word was brought over from the islands yesterday that Captain Vasquez of the launch Peerless has captured fifteen fine large sea lions which he will bring over to this city on Saturday or Sunday. He is capturing the sea lions for George M. McGuire of this city who took a number of them to Europe last year, and while there obtained a number of orders to be filled as soon as the lions could be caught. One of these orders calls for fifteen, and as soon as Captain Vasquez arrives with his catch, they will be put into secure crates and prepared for shipment by express to Mr. McGuire’s agent in New York… The demand for sea lions caught off this coast is increasing constantly. They are easier to tame and to handle than those caught at other places, and live longer in captivity.”


April 29, 1906 [SBMP]: “Ira Eaton will sail for the islands early this week, after a consignment of live seals. He has a large order to fill within a few days.”


May 9, 1906 [SBI]: “Ira Eaton and Frank Nidever have again departed for the Channel Islands in search of seals and expect to be gone for several days. They left in the launch Irene. A shipment of fifteen seals has just been made to zoological gardens in New York City and there is a demand for more from the same source.”


May 9, 1906 [SBMP]: “Ira Eaton has shipped fifteen live seals from this city to New York. With Frank Nidever, he caught them off Santa Cruz Island and brought them to this city in his launch Irene. They have been sent by express to zoological gardens in New York. Mr. Eaton has several other orders to fill and will endeavor to catch 16 more seals at once. He went over to the islands again yesterday afternoon.”


May 13, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton of the sloop Irene is catching sea lions off Santa Cruz Island with Frank Nidever and a force of men. He has an order for sixteen live sea lions which he hopes to fill this week. Boatmen returning from the island report that he had not caught any two days ago. He expects to return to this city on Tuesday.”


June 30, 1906 [SBMP]: “Ira Eaton came in from the islands yesterday with a heavy cargo of sea lion skins. The skins were taken off San Miguel Island during the last three weeks. They will return at once for more.”


August 9, 1906 [SBI]: “Ira Eaton returned from Santa Cruz Island in the launch Irene, this morning, with five seals captured for H. A. Rogers. Eaton says they were obliged to lasso the animals on the rocks, and that he had an exciting time in landing them.”


August 12, 1906 [LAT]: “The Irene, Captain Frank Nidever, reached port yesterday with five seals, four of them being intended for shipment to the East, by H. A. Rogers, and the other being purchased by the Potter for the hotel zoo.”


January 24, 1907 [SBMP]: “Four seals, very fine specimens, were shipped east yesterday by Captain McGuire of this city. The seals were destined for Denver, Colorado, and New York.”


February 23, 1907 [LAT]: “’Chappie’ and Jim Gardner, who have spent the past three months on San Miguel Island, returned yesterday. San Miguel is the outer of the group off Santa Barbara and is little frequented. The object of their visit was to hunt for Indian relics and shells. They were very successful, bringing back several tons of fine abalone shells with the dried meats, and numerous boxes of interesting relics of the ancient inhabitants. They also brought back several seal skins, one of which measures over ten feet in length. They also sighted three sea otters, but these wary animals, whose skins are worth from $500 to $1000 each, were too cunning for the hunters. “


April 13, 1907 [SBI]: “Santa Barbara seals are wanted. Foreign powers pleased with creatures from islands… Captain Vasquez brought thirteen seals over from the islands this morning in the Peerless, and two weeks ago he sent away more than twenty, and thirty are still due from him…”


April 20, 1907 [SBMP]: “The power sloop Irene reached Santa Barbara yesterday shortly after noon with a quantity of seals and Captain Nidever on board. The vessel had been cruising around Gull Island. This is an island a short distance east of Santa Cruz which is a regular rookery for gulls above and seals below. Captain Nidever reported very heavy ground swells off the island, but no wind.”


April 20, 1907 [SBI]: “The Vishnu arrived from the islands last night with Captain Nidever, with two seals which were ordered by eastern parties for the zoo.”


April 24, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez of the launch Peerless made a big catch of seals last week, at the islands. He returned to this port this morning with thirteen.”


April 26, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Peerless left for the islands this morning on another seal hunting expedition. Captain Vasquez has been very successful of late, having caught thirteen on his last trip.”


May 2, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Nidever left this morning in the launch Irene for the islands on a seal expedition. He will visit Forney Cove.”


May 2, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Peerless is expected from the islands tomorrow, where Captain Vasquez is seal fishing.”


May 18, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain McGuire yesterday shipped six seals from the Santa Barbara islands to Omaha and Kansas City. The animals went by express.”


May 20, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez will leave in the Peerless tomorrow for Santa Cruz Island, where he will endeavor to capture eighteen seals for an eastern shipment.”


August 7, 1907 [SBMP]: “The schooner Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, will leave today on a seal hunting expedition around the islands, Captain McGuire having an order for eight live seals for an eastern zoo.”


October 29, 1907 [SBMP]: “The steam schooner Gussie M will start in a few days for San Miguel Island on a hunt for sea lions, Captain McGuire having several orders to fill for native and foreign menageries. Captain Vasquez, who is one of the most experienced seal hunters on the coast will take charge of the expedition.”


November 12, 1907 [SBMP]: “Seal hunting now a difficult art. The Santa Barbara educated seal, in great demand abroad, is getting very scarce. Some recent orders received. This morning Captain Vasquez starts with a force of experienced seal hunters in the power schooner Gussie M to make a catch of at least a dozen seals of school age to fill orders recently received by Captain McGuire from various parts of Europe. School age means about 1-1/2 years old and prime condition... Captain McGuire relates some little known facts concerning the present habitat and capture of the Santa Barbara educated seal as they are coming to be known... There is a large and rare species of sea lion, exceeding difficult to catch... Captain McGuire calls these big fellows ‘Stella’ seals...”


November 13, 1907 [LAT]: “Captain Vasquez starts today with a large force of experienced seal hunters on the power schooner Gussie M for a catch of seals at Santa Cruz Island to fill orders from various parts of Europe. The Santa Barbara seals are known almost all over the world, where they occupy places in the zoological gardens. Among the rush orders for seals of the ‘school age,’ or those about one and one-half years old, is one from Professor La Martin, of Paris, who seeks eight for the hippodrome and there is another hurry order from an English entertainer who has an amphibian act at the London Empire.”


November 15, 1907 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Gussie M, Captain Colice Vasquez, which sailed for Santa Cruz Island five days ago in a seal-hunting expedition for Captain McGuire, returned without a single seal, yesterday afternoon. Captain Vasquez reported heavy seas running about the island making it impossible for the boatmen to enter caves in search for the quarry...”


March 6, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez, after a terribly rough trip during which he and his crew nearly lost their lives in one of the caves of San Miguel Island, returned yesterday morning with 17 sea lions for Captain McGuire's eastern and foreign patrons. The weather was rough throughout, but orders were urgent, and Captain Vasquez determined to get a good bag of seals at all costs. With a skiff and crew of two men, Vasquez entered one cave with a narrow mouth but chapel-like interior. All was dark within, but upon lighting a torch, 20 or 30 seals slid off the cave into the sea, creating a tremendous tumult, capsizing the boat and giving the occupants a cold dunking. The boat was righted and backed to the entrance so that the seals were driven into cul-de-sac, and in this way many exposed themselves sufficiently to enable the vaqueros to rope them.”


March 7, 1908 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, March 6. Captain Vasquez and his crew of four men of the power schooner Gussie M had a narrow escape from shipwreck and death on the Santa Barbara channel on the way here from San Miguel Island last night. The vessel was sent on a sealing expedition to the island. During the search the captain and crew entered a cave in a rowboat. When the lights flashed, 20 seals in one herd dashed into the water for the open, upsetting the boat. The lights were extinguished and the captain and crew, after a long struggle, managed to right their boat and get outside. Seventeen seals were caught in the quest and yesterday the schooner headed for home. Crossing the channel it ran into a terrific northwest gale and high seas. After battling all day with mountainous waters in his little craft, Vasquez ran her in here last night, saving his cargo of seals, which will be sent east for exhibition.”


April 14, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Rosalino Vasquez will leave for the islands today or tomorrow, and expects to bring back a cargo of live sea lions. He has orders for 60. In the last two trips he has made, Captain Vasquez has brought back 49 sea lions. They are sent to parks and zoological gardens in all parts of the world.”


May 11, 1908 [SBI]: “Twelve California sea lions were brought in from Santa Cruz Island last Saturday, for Captain McGuire of this city. Four weeks ago Captain Vasquez was equipped with a new seal net by Captain McGuire and sent to the islands to capture 30 seals. Up to the last week the inclement weather prevailing in that vicinity prevented the seal hunters from success. A slight abatement of the stiff winds and the absence of a heavy ground swell which he had tried in vain to beat in the attempts to find his game, enabled Captain Vasquez to net 12 of the animals. Two of the seals will be shipped east to a seal trainer of Jersey City. Orders are already on file for 45 more, for various points in the east and Europe. Captain McGuire will journey to Europe later in the year with 15 of the sea lions. These will be distributed at various points on the continent. Already this year Captain McGuire has shipped 30 seals out of this city.”


May 15, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, in the Gussie M, started today for another trial to fill his contracts for seals. For about a month now, Captains McGuire and Vasquez have maintained a camp on Santa Cruz Island, but in all that time there have been only two days when they could get to the caves for seal hunting. On the two days they were able to work at the caves they obtained 14 seals. Their contracts call for 30 seals for Kansas City, 15 for Europe, and about 15 more to fill small orders...”


May 18, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez came in from the islands in his launch Gussie M this morning with 21 seals for shipment east.”


May 19, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez, who came in from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with 21 seals for shipment east, left for the island this morning. He still must capture 40 seals before all his contracts are filled.”


May 28, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez has arrived from the islands with four seals which were caught this week. A high wind made seal hunting difficult, and the catch is not as large as usual. Charles Woods of the Palace Barber shop returned with Captain Vasquez after taking part in the hunt.”


June 10, 1908 [SBI]: “Three professors of Leland Stanford University at Palo Alto will come to Santa Barbara June 19 and leave with Captain Rosaline Vasquez for Santa Cruz Island, where they will devote several weeks to a study of the seals. Captain Vasquez will act as guide for the party. Several seals or sea lions will be killed and stuffed, to be taken to Palo Alto and placed in the university museum. Three varieties of seals exist on the islands, including the sea lion, the leopard seal and a third species, the members of which grow to a great size. Efforts to capture these large seals so far have been unsuccessful. Captain Vasquez arrived from the island yesterday with 21 seals which will be shipped at once to New York. This completes his contract for the season. In the past five weeks he has captured 107 seals for shipment east. This breaks all records for one season. Captain Vasquez will leave for San Miguel Island tomorrow with Captain W. G. Waters, who is building a large ranch house on his property there. The building will be handsomely finished and will serve as a summer home for Captain Waters.”


June 22, 1908 [SBI]: “…Captain Nidever and his seal hunters, including J. W. Shively, Roy Arnold, Clarence Libbey, and Charles Hansen, were camped at Otter Harbor, that in clear weather is within plain sight of the wreck [of the Anubis]… On Monday morning Captain Nidever left in the Ynez with Roy Arnold and Clarence Libbey, carrying a load of seal trimmings to Santa Barbara…”


June 23, 1908 [SBI]: “Professor M. R. Jones of Minneapolis will soon have three seals from the islands to train for his museum. At least the seals were shipped this morning by Captain Vasquez, who captured them at the islands, and it is up to Professor Jones to show what he can do, for the seals are marvels of intelligence.”


June 30, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez’ Gussie M, and the power schooner Santa Cruz, both arrived from the islands this morning. Captain W. G. Waters was left at his ranch at San Miguel Island, where he will remain for two months. The last consignment of seals were shipped east by Captain Vasquez today.”


July 7, 1908 [SBI]: “Three professors of Leland Stanford University will arrive in Santa Barbara tomorrow morning for a 10 days voyage with Rosaline Vasquez in the Gussie M. The party will visit every island off the south coast, studying the animal life on each, and bringing back seals to be mounted for the university museum. Professor J. Rowley, who is at the head of the party, has written to Captain Vasquez that he wants at least one seal from each island…”


July 16, 1908 [SBI]: “Sea lions on the Santa Barbara Islands are being ruthlessly slaughtered by men and boys who will sell the ‘trimmings’ of the carcasses for $2 each to Chinamen for export to China, where they are made into a powder and eaten by wealthy mandarins as a rejuvenator. So great is the slaughter that the California black sea lion already is becoming scarce on these islands, and unless the animals are protected by legislation their complete extermination is a matter of only a few years. This is the substance of statements made to The Independent today by Professor John Rowley of Stanford University, who returned to the mainland in Captain Vasquez’s launch Gussie M, after spending 10 days on Santa Cruz Island for the purpose of securing specimens for the new natural history museum of the university…”


July 24, 1908 [SBI]: “L. H. Roseberry, candidate for the republican nomination for state senator from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, announced today that should he be sent to Sacramento from this district, he will make an effort to secure legislation protecting the seals and sea lions of the Santa Barbara Islands… Sea lions are already protected by state legislation in San Francisco and Los Angeles counties, where their presence near the Cliff House and Catalina Island is recognized as an attraction for tourists…”


September 5, 1908 [SBI]: “Chamber of Commerce favors protection for sea lion and abalone… such protection was brought before the directors of the Chamber of Commerce by George W. McComber… McComber said he had heard that sea lions were being ruthlessly slaughtered…”


October 8, 1908 [SBI]: “Carl Oscar Borg, Los Angeles artist who recently played the role of Robinson Crusoe for a week on San Miguel Island, has just returned to Los Angeles from another interesting experience on Santa Cruz Island. This time Mr. Borg was compelled to stay on the island, together with eight men of a sealing crew for ten days, with provisions for two days. The crew went over to the island to obtain some of the paraphernalia that had been left from the last seal hunting expedition. Mr. Borg, who accompanied the men and passed his time in painting, went over on the last trip, expecting to complete some of the sketches left uncompleted at the first visit. The weather was propitious, and the men set out with the expectation of remaining on the island two days. However the sudden spell of bad weather that struck Los Angeles two weeks ago was intensified between the island and mainland, always a somewhat treacherous voyage, and the men had nothing to do but remain on the island until the weather cleared so that it might be safe for the return voyage...”


November 16, 1908 [SBI]: “The gasoline schooner Gussie M came over yesterday from the north end of Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of 7 seals captured by Vasquez, Charles Ruiz and Arturo Valdez. Two of the seals will be shipped to San Francisco, three will be sent to New York and two will go to Ohio. The eastern shipment will be put in training while those sent to San Francisco will occupy a pond in Golden Gate Park.”


December 17, 1908 [SBMP]: “The shooting, trapping and killing of seals will be put to a stop to for all time by the next legislature. Such are the prognostications of Senator-elect L. H. Roseberry, who outlined his reasons for this ... ”


February 3, 1909 [SDET]: “Los Angeles, Feb. 3.— On the south side of San Clemente Island John S. Hendrickson killed a remarkable sea lion. Hendrickson had been on the island about a week, with Robert Howland. During a storm at sea yesterday they saw the monster lion fighting its way to shore. As it slopped upon the rocks Hendrickson shot it. It was jet black in color which is rare in southern waters where most of these animals are tawny, and weighed nearly 1,500 pounds. Great tusks protruded from its jaws and the hair on the mane was eight inches long. The lion measured more than 16 feet, and the hide is said to be worth $500.”


March 1, 1909 [SBI]: “C. A. Merritt received a communication today from Senator L. H. Roseberry of this district, that the bill relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions, and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish and other fish had been introduced into the upper house at Sacramento and stood very good chances of becoming part of the law of the state…”


March 17, 1909 [SBMP]" “Overdue again, this time from San Miguel Island, the power schooner Gussie M in charge of Captain Vasquez... Captain McGuire, the schooner’s owner, stated yesterday that he felt no apprehension for the safety of his craft. He said that he was anxious for the boat to return for he wanted to send Captain Vasquez and his sea lion fishers over to Santa Cruz Island in search of the lions, to be delivered here to points east and in Europe. He expects orders this spring for another 25. Last year’s shipment amounted to more than 100 head of lions.”


March 19, 1909 [SBMP]: “With Captain Colice Vasquez, half-owner of the vessel, at the wheel, the power schooner Gussie M arrived in this harbor yesterday from San Miguel Island after a tempestuous voyage that tried the seamanship and patience of even this rugged veteran of the briny. The schooner brought in Captain William G. Waters and his sheepshearers, but the stormy weather prevented loading several tons of abalone meat and a number of tons of abalone shell, to say nothing of Ah Poy, the Chinese abalone fisher, and his men. The latter are still on the island and Captain Vasquez will have to make another trip to bring them home… Captain Vasquez, however, has important work cut out for him. There are orders for more than fifty sea lions for zoological gardens in many cities in America and Europe to be filled. These must be attended to at once, and Captain Vasquez and his men are the only sea lion hunters in this section of the country. They have a monopoly of the trade and the work is as interesting as it is hazardous and well-paying. As the result of the Chinese boycott of abalones from Japan, the price for American-caught abalone has soared more than 100 percent. Where formerly the price ranged from 5 to 7 cents per pound, it has now reached 10 to 12 cents. Captain McGuire shipped more than 56,000 pounds of abalone shells, the accumulation of 18 months, to New York via Panama last week. This is the largest consignment of abalone shells ever shipped out of here.”


March 28, 1909 [SBI]: “It will be of interest to fishermen of Santa Barbara and vicinity to learn that the bills relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions in the Santa Barbara channel waters and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish and other fish had become laws and were in operation today. Senator Campbell of San Luis Obispo introduced the bills. Every person who, between February 15 and September 15, buys or sells, catches or kills, or has in his possession lobster or crawfish, or who at any time has in his possession any lobster or crawfish of less than 11 inches in length, is guilty of as misdemeanor. Every person who shoots or otherwise kills or captures any seal or sea lion in the waters of Santa Barbara channel or on, near or about and lands adjacent thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than 60 days, or by both fine and imprisonment. The State Fish Commission may, however, grant permission to whom it deems fit to kill or trap or capture alive sea lions for scientific or exhibition purposes.”


June 12, 1909 [SBMP]: “No more seals can be taken from island rookeries this season. One of the unique industries in the world, and one peculiar to the islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, is the pursuit of the elusive seal and sea lion for commercial and zoological purposes. Of all who follow this peculiar calling, the name of Captain McGuire is known the world over. During his years catching seals and sea lions, Captain McGuire has developed an excellent clientele throughout the four corners of the globe... Before shipping the seals, Captain McGuire must fill out a certificate showing that the animal had not been injured while being caught, and at the time of shipping was in excellent physical condition. At present he has twelve such specimens at his house on Stearn’s Wharf ready for shipment… The seals are usually captured in the caves on the islands where they go to rest and doze. In a majority of the caves there are small beaches and there the animals collect by the score. There also is where the seal hunters make their killing, often times catching as many as a dozen in clean up. The method of catching the seals is a most interesting and fascinating one. A three-ply net, similar to a fish net only having larger meshes and heavier strands, is stretched across the mouth of the cave. Several men then enter a skiff and row back into the cave, firing off guns. The seals, startled by the reports, take to the water and dart for open sea. Captain Vasquez in another small boat takes his position near the mouth of the cave and as soon as a seal strikes the net and comes to the surface, he lassoes it with a specially constructed lariat. Then the lasso is passed to a man on shore and the seal is placed in a specially constructed crate hauled sideways to the crew’s boat and placed aboard for delivery at Santa Barbara. In some instances, as many as four or five seals are caught in one haul of the net. From Santa Barbara they are shipped to all ports of the world. Last season Captain McGuire sold 150 seals, and when this season ends he will have shipped 65. The last 15 caught this season were by permission of the gaming and fish commission. Next year Captain McGuire will endeavor to secure an unlimited permit from the state authorities so that he will be able to fill all contracts.”


August 19, 1909 [SBI]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez returned today from a three weeks’ seal-catching expedition on Santa Cruz Island, with three large seals for Belgium and New York zoos, and a party of Santa Barbara people who went along for the outing. In the party were Mr. And Mrs. E. A. Diehl, Mr. And Mrs. Louis Ruiz, Miss Marjorie Ruiz, and Mr. Whittemore of Santa Barbara and Mrs. Tullock of Miramar. The party had camped at Fry’s Harbor and keenly enjoyed every minute of the stay. Mr. Diehl assisted Captain Vasquez in capturing a large seal. Captain Vasquez will leave for the islands next week to fill an order for nine seals wanted for exhibition purposes in eastern cities.”


August 28, 1909 [SBI]: “That the law prohibiting the slaughter of bull seals for their hides and trimmings is being strictly obeyed on the Santa Barbara islands is the testimony of Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who returned today from a seal-catching expedition. Captain Vasquez believes the law is an excellent one and that in three or four years its effect will be shown in a greatly increased number of seals. In previous summers the animals have been slaughtered by the hundreds. Their hides brought a small price and the trimmings were sent to China to make broth for wealthy mandarins who believed it would renew their youth. The law protecting seals was first urged by The Independent, which secured for it the support and advocacy of Senator L. H. Roseberry. Later the Chamber of Commerce endorsed the measure and it became a law last winter. Captain Vasquez is now filling an order for eleven young seals, to be trained in the east for show purposes. They must be a certain weight and age, and this week only one was captured which would fill the bill. Nineteen seals, all too large, were captured and released from the net. Captain Vasquez will return to the islands Monday.”


December 29, 1909 [SBI]: “George M. McGuire shipped two large seals east this morning via Los Angeles. They are to make the journey to Donawanda, New York, where they will be trained in the latest stunts before making their debut before the public.”


April 29, 1910 [SBI]: “Five California sea lions were shipped on the coast line train this morning for Hamburg, Germany. They will go from here directly to New York, where they will commence their voyage across the Atlantic. The five slippery seals are being sent by Captain George M. McGuire. They were caught by Captain Vasquez at Santa Cruz Island and were brought here about five days ago. Captain McGuire is the only person in this region who has a permit from the state authorities to capture these seals. It is unlawful to kill them now and one is liable to a heavy fine and imprisonment if he disobeys the law. He captures them for scientific or exhibitional purposes. Since the first of the year he has shipped about 30 of these sea animals to various parts of the world. The majority of them will be put in public parks, but a few will undergo trials of the animal trainer and may possibly be seen here with a traveling circus.”


May 5, 1910 [SBI]: “The circus is in town. Campbell Brothers entertain large crowd in tents off Haley Street—Buy Island seals for menagerie… Before the circus had been an hour in Santa Barbara, the owners had added four Channel Islands seals or sea lions to its menagerie, and they will be named ‘Santa Barbara,’ ‘Mission,’ ‘De la Guerra,’ and ‘Señora’…”


May 6, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez this week brought over nine seals which he captured alive on the islands. Four were sold to Campbell Brothers circus and five others will be shipped east.”


June 10, 1910 [SBMP]: “‘The demand for sea lions this season has exceeded our expectations by at least 40 percent,’ yesterday declared Capt. McGuire, the dealer in these zoological specimens. ‘Many of our orders come from Europe. We have shipped seventy of these sea lions this year, and the season is about over. We are now after an order of eight, Capt. Vasquez being at the islands with the Gussie M. Of the last lot, we caught twelve in painted cave, and it was a great sight. ‘There is but one place in the world where these specimens can be obtained, and that is Santa Barbara.’”


June 28, 1910 [SBMP]: “Captain Lyon, trainer of seals and sea lions, and largely interested in a $30,000 aquarium at Venice, arrived here last night and this morning will contract with Captains Vasquez and McGuire for the delivery of 35 seals and sea lions. These will be caught as rapidly as possible by California’s one successful sealer and delivered at Venice. It is probable that the Gussie M, Captain Vasquez’ boat, will work direct between Santa Cruz Island and Venice, which will reduce the time from the moment of the animal captivity until they are in their private tanks at the training station. In the establishment at Venice, there are separately constructed tanks 25 x 35 feet in which the seals and lions are placed, either singly in pairs or trios. Also a great many fish are kept in the tanks there, so that the animals in training may be fed the living fish, which Captain Lyon believes is far better than those that have been dead for any length of time. Before returning, Captain Vasquez will probably be accompanied to the islands by Captain Low on a sealing expedition.”


June 13, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain George M. McGuire shipped one of the largest brown sea lions to New York Zoological society today, that has ever been caught in the Santa Barbara channel. This is one of eight that were caught last week at Santa Cruz Island by Captain Vasquez. It took four men to load the animal into the express car. Captain McGuire is very proud of a sea lion, born last Friday in his aquarium, on the commercial wharf. It will take a good deal of care to raise the little fellow, but Captain McGuire is in hopes of keeping him through the warm weather. The catching of sea lions is becoming quite a business for Santa Barbara, the local dealers having more orders than they can possibly fill for months to come.”


June 14, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain McGuire shipped another lot of six sea lions by Wells Fargo this morning. Most of these will go to Longfellow Pars at Minnehaha, Minnesota. The rest will go to various other menageries and parks throughout the east.”


July 7, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, sailed yesterday for the islands on a sealing expedition for the eastern zoos.”


July 9, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez sailed this afternoon in the Gussie M for the islands on a seal hunting expedition. He took over a camping party of 15 Los Angeles people. This party, organized by J. V. Fredericks, is the same one which has been here the past three summers. They will make Friar’s Harbor their headquarters for the next two weeks. Captain McGuire expects Vasquez to make a heavy catch of seals, as this is the first smooth weather for three weeks, and the seals will be out on the rocks in great numbers. Those that are caught will be taken directly to Venice for the new aquarium being built there.”


July 13, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez, in the launch Gussie M, returned at noon from a seal hunting expedition to the Channel Islands. He brought with him Francis Flint and Heath Conant, who were left at Friar’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, Sunday to patrol the beach in search of the body of Miss Isabel Pierce, one of the victims of last Friday’s disaster on the island. The boys said they had thoroughly explored the shore and bay where the accident occurred. All that could be found were hats belonging to the members of the party who were capsized. Captain Short will leave tomorrow in the launch Charm and remain the rest of the week. He will cruise all about the island, making a very thorough search for the remains.”


July 17, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, will leave this morning for Santa Cruz Island with a party out for a couple of days’ cruise. The Gussie M returned yesterday from Venice where Captain Vasquez delivered several seals.


July 26, 1910 [SBI]: “There have been many camping parties and cruises at Santa Cruz Island the last couple of weeks. Miss Edna Vandever with a party of about sixteen people from Los Angeles went over to Friar’s Harbor on the Gussie M two weeks ago. During their stay various boats came with crews who camped on the island and as the different campers intermingled there was a great deal of merriment. They even had a vaudeville show with singing and dancing, and many evenings they collected near a common campfire and enjoyed songs and stories which gathered effect in the shifting gleams of the fire bright in the blackness of the night. Captain Vasquez treated some of the ladies of Miss Vandever’s party to an experience which they do not think could be matched. With Captain Lyons, a seal trainer who was formerly with Ringling’s circus, Vasquez for the first time in his life took a party of ladies sealing with him. Five seals were secured after two trips, and though it was necessary to drag themselves from sleep at 3 P.M. and other discomforts were endured on the hunting expedition, the ladies declare they would not have missed it.”


August 3, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez left in the launch Gussie M for a seal-hunting expedition this morning.”


February 11, 1911 [SBI]: “Fourteen sea lions were brought over from the island by Captain Vasquez, Monday, for shipment to eastern and European zoos.”


March 27, 1911 [SBI]: “Eleven seals were shipped Saturday to Paris by Captain George McGuire.”


March 30, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez is at Santa Cruz Island with his crew on another sealing expedition.”


June 13, 1911 [LAT]: “Headed by Prof. John Rowley, a party of University of California scientists will spend two weeks this month in exploring the islands of the Santa Barbara group. They have chartered the Gussie M, and the expedition will be led by Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who probably knows more about the islands than any other man in this section. He makes a business of capturing seals, and is said to be the only man in the country who does so. He has been employed to hunt birds, fish and seals for the scientists.”


October 4, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez in his Gussie M powerboat, leaves today for Santa Cruz Island to secure seven live seals to fill eastern orders....”


October 15, 1911 [LAT]: “Brand new thrill. Fishing for seals. Seal hunting on the shores of the Channel Islands has become one of the most profitable as well as the most interesting industries waged on the Southern coast of the Pacific. Strange it is, too, that only two men in California are engaged in the business, but there is a good reason for it. Several years ago the State Game and Fish Department, finding that the seals frequenting California waters were being rapidly exterminated… Two men, Captain George M. McGuire and Captain Rosaline Vasquez, both have spent most of their lives in the Santa Barbara channel GET BETTER COPY TO READ


October 19, 1911 [SBI]: “To Santa Cruz after sea lions. Captain Vasquez, in command of the Gussie M, George M. McGuire’s sea lion’s boat, left Saturday evening for Santa Cruz Island where he goes to capture ten or twelve sea lions to be trained under the direction of Mr. McGuire, the noted sea lion distributor, for performing in various amusement enterprises of the country. ‘The seal rookeries of Santa Cruz Island supply all the sea lions of the world that are used by shows, circuses and amusement enterprises,’ said Mr. McGuire to the Independent this morning. ‘The animals are all shipped from Santa Barbara and this gives our city world-wide fame. Each one of our trained seals becomes a trained advertisement for this wonderful section of California.’”


October 20, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain R. Vasquez of the Gussie M will leave this morning for Santa Cruz Island to secure seven seals to fill an eastern order.”


January 5, 1912 [SBMP]: “Los Angeles sports have chartered the Gussie M for a sealing and fishing cruise of the Channel Islands. The powerboat, with Captain Rosaline Vasquez in charge, will go to San Pedro today to prepare for the trip, which will require two voyages from San Pedro, as there will be two parties. The Gussie M is to secure 23 seals for shipment, some of them to a trainer at Pacific Grove, and others to eastern points.”


January 6, 1912 [LAT]: “A party of Los Angeles sportsmen have chartered the Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, for a cruise of two weeks around the Channel Islands. The prime object of the cruise is to hunt seals and learn more of their lives. Captain Vasquez is the foremost seal hunter on the coast and has promised the party that he will secure a shipment of twenty-three fine specimens of seals during the cruise.”


January 17, 1912 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, Captain Rosaline Vasquez, with E. C. Overman and a Los Angeles friend aboard, left yesterday on a seal hunting expedition to the islands.”


January 25, 1912 [SBMP]: “A large consignment of seals and sea lions is to be shipped by February 1 to European countries from this city, the order having been received by Captain George M. McGuire several weeks ago. Captain McGuire, who has supplied the great majority of trained seals and sea lions that now perform throughout the world, immediately engaged Captain Vasquez of the Gussie M, to secure the seals for him. Captain Vasquez went to the southerly side of Santa Rosa Island, but owing to the heavy rolling sea caused by storms in the north, he was unable to capture any...”


February 24, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez has again returned from Santa Cruz Island with his gasoline launch, the Gussie M, with another hard luck story of his futile quest for sea lions. Over a month ago Captain George M. McGuire received orders for twenty-five sea lions, destined for zoos, menageries and public parks in the eastern cities and in Europe. Immediately he out the order into the hands of his live-wire partner, Captain Vasquez, and every day and night thereafter the latter has been ‘on the job’ in the effort to capture the frisky and elusive amphibians…”


February 25, 1912 [SBMP]: “After having been camped a month at Fry’s Harbor seeking to fill an order of 23 seals, Captain Vasquez of the Gussie M arrived here yesterday for supplies. The sea has been so rough that it has been impossible to even hunt. The Captain will return there within a day or two to resume the effort. Crossing the channel the Gussie M lost a blade off her propeller, but was able to make port with an improvised sail.”


March 6, 1912 [LAT]: “Santa Cruz Island, off the Santa Barbara coast, is becoming celebrated. It is the place where the seals come from.”


April 24, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez left early this morning on the Gussie M for the islands where he will hunt seal. The seals are already ordered by eastern and European companies.”


June 6, 1912 [SBMP]: “The successful outcome of the recent attempt to picture the Santa Cruz Island seal in their native haunts and in the process of capture, has encouraged the Pacific Motion Picture Company to extend their effort, and to secure a general island film, perhaps 3000 feet in length, and including scenery as well as action. Such advices have come to Captain George McGuire, who is associated with Captain Rosaline Vasquez in sealing operations. Captain Vasquez on the schooner Gussie M, superintendent the operations of the picture company at the island last month when sealing views were taken. Word has just come from Los Angeles that the films are of extraordinary merit, and the company is anxious to complete the series. Arrangements have been made for the second cruise next week, at which time the camera will be able to catch sheep round-up and shearing in full operation. Wine making will also be illustrated. W. H. Clifford, the president of the company, who is also the scenario writer, will accompany the troop. Vasquez is now at the island after seven seals ordered by European zoos through Captain McGuire.”


June 18, 1912 [SBI]: “William H. Clifford, president of the Pacific Coast Motion Picture Company and D. Daniels, manager of the company, returned Monday from the islands where they have been with Captain Vasquez in his boat, Gussie M, taking pictures of seals. While on this last trip they took over 2,000 feet of films. They have completed a series of pictures which show the seal from its babyhood to the time it is captured by the hunter. Three trips to the islands have been necessary to get the films.”


June 21, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez of the Gussie M sailed this morning for the islands with a handsome gold watch presented to him by the manager of the Pacific Coast Moving Picture Company. The company has for the last six months used Captain Vasquez’s boat to carry its picture-making machines to and around the islands while pictures of seals and island scenery were being taken. The manager considers the pictures among the best yet procured and presented the watch as proof of the value he placed on the Captain’s part of the work.”


September 11, 1912 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, Captain Rosaline Vasquez, leaves this morning for Santa Cruz Island to fill an order for seals.”


October 5, 1912 [SBI]: “Three seals from the Santa Barbara islands were taken north Friday to San Francisco on the steamer Santa Clara by Charles Davis. Davis has spent much of his time in Alaska.”


November 23, 1912 [SBMP]: “…The same swell, it may be imagined, has been even more effective in the outer channel, and around the islands. It has kept Captain Vasquez from filling an order for live seals. He returned yesterday in the Gussie M after several days of fruitless efforts.”


November 23, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez returned from the islands Friday afternoon in the Gussie M, without the five seals for which he started out more than a week ago. The weather about the islands has been so rough that seal hunting was impracticable.”


December 7, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez has returned from his seal hunt around Santa Cruz Island without bringing back any seals and without seeing Jack London, who is said to be cruising in his yacht about that vicinity. Vasquez reports rough weather about the Channel Islands.”


February 24, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain George M. McGuire is expecting twenty seals from the islands at any time. He has an order from Europe for ten. The boat has been at the islands on the special venture of capturing seals, although the success of anything of that kind is always a matter of uncertainty. Captain McGuire furnishes the principal zoos of the world with Santa Barbara seals; also circus trainers who educate the seals for unusual stunts. The traffic is one that has been conducted here for many years and has proved very profitable.”


March 4, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain George M. McGuire has received a record catch of seals from the islands. In two days, Julius Valdez with his crew of four expert seal catchers, secured twenty seals. They sailed on the Gussie M. Captain McGuire declared yesterday it was the finest lot of seals ever brought in. There was only one that did not act right, and it was turned back into the sea from the wharf here. Ten of the seals will go to Europe, four to White City in Boston, and five to Captain King of Rochester, New York, where they will be educated for the Campbell circus troupe. The Gussie M was sent to the islands more than a week ago, but the seal catchers were unable to work during the recent storm. They first got down to business Saturday and experienced finest luck. This continued Sunday when they had as many seals as the boat could comfortable carry. The Gussie M was immediately headed for the mainland, arriving here at 4 o’clock. Every animal is slick and intelligent. They range in age from eight months to about four. Unlike most wild animals, the seal does not manifest much anxiety upon being captured. Immediately upon being placed in crates at the wharf they commenced to take an interest in their surroundings, eyeing things curiously. When the wire netting would be touched, they would poke their noses forth with evidence of friendliness. ‘Seals always act that way,’ said Captain McGuire. ‘They will never sulk. It appears to me they try to figure out from the very first what is expected of them.’ The seals will be kept here a few days to make certain all are physically fit before being shipped east.”


March 5, 1913 [SBMP]: “’We don’t know where we are going, but we are on our way, and we don’t care much, mused the old man seal as he gazed through the wickets of his crate at the Southern Pacific freight office last evening. He winked around at the several others of his family, similarly crated in various parts of the station. They winked back good-naturedly, as all polite seals do. Even fresh from their native habitat at the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, this species of seals are the best behaved. Captain McGuire has bought our tickets and he hasn’t showed them to us yet,’ said the old man seal, ‘but I guess we are going somewhere.’ They surely are. It is going to be a trans-continental trip, three to Boston and five to New York. The seals were of the lot captured at the islands Saturday and Sunday by Julius Valdez and his crew of experts in the Gussie M, commanded by Captain Farioli. It was the record catch, and that the animals were in splendid condition was proved by the fact that it was impossible to ship several in short time. Captain George M. McGuire will take extra precautions with the ten that are to be shipped direct to London, and they will not be on their way for a few days.”


March 8, 1913 [LAT]: “Captain Julius Valdez in charge of an expert crew of seal hunters sailing the Gussie M corralled a herd of perfectly conditioned animals ranging in age from eight months to four years, and in two days succeeded in capturing twenty of them. They were brought to Santa Barbara and are being consigned to the larger cities of the East and points in Europe. In making this record catch, Captain Valdez and his crew had many remarkable experiences. For several days they were unable to reach the island caves owing to the rough weather, and when there was a calm, they lost no time in reaching the rendezvous of the seals, but found them to be of the ‘fighting’ variety and suffered no small loss by torn nets through which the stronger animals made their escape. Captain Valdez declared that it was one of the most severe seal hunting trips he ever made, but rejoiced over the fact that there seems to be no shortage in the supply of the animals, and many more expeditions are planned in the near future. Santa Barbara now is the recognized point of entry for seals. Up until a few years ago anyone could go to the Channel Islands and slaughter the seals, but laws were passed giving them protection, and for one to capture them now he must have a permit, which specifies that the seals are to be caught only for exhibition or educational purposes. To capture them uninjured is a job that can be executed by experts only, and as a result there are very few fishermen on the coast who can qualify for such work. Captain George McGuire, who is at the head of the industry here, says the demand from all parts of the world for Channel Islands seals is in excess of the supply, but plans are being made to increase the latter and it is expected that it will not be long until the islands and the State of California will be represented in every nation of the globe through the sealing traffic.”


April 19, 1913 [SBMP]: “A shipment of six island seals started yesterday for London, being warded by Captain G. M. McGuire. Five more will be shipped within a few days to Hamburg, Germany. Captain Ira Eaton of the Gussie M brought a load of seals, numbering 21, from the island caves Thursday.”


May 19, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Vasquez went to Santa Cruz Island in the new powerboat, Otter, yesterday with an order for fifteen seals for Herbert Rogers.”


May 19, 19130 [SBI]: “Ira Eaton returned yesterday from a canvass of the Santa Cruz Island caves for seals for the veteran trader in this business, Captain McGuire. He was fortunate enough to bring home all he went after, six specimens.”


May 20, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez will leave today in his new power yacht Otter for Santa Cruz Island to establish the summer camp which he will maintain at Fry’s Harbor. The equipment has just been received. Sunday he brought over eight seals for H. A. Rogers.”


May 29, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Ira Eaton returned from the islands this morning in his power launch, Gussie M, bringing over three seals for Captain George M. McGuire. This boat has recently undergone a complete overhauling, and shows vast improvement over her former conditions. Captain Eaton is to take a hand at the island excursion business, for which he has put his craft in fine shape. To assist him in handling his boat he has secured the services of Captain James Palmer, who is reckoned one of the most able seamen on Pacific waters, he having, as master, satisfied every ocean known to navigation.”


June 6, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton has returned from Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island, where he went Monday morning on the Gussie M to complete arrangements for his summer camp... Aside from the camp, Captain Ira Eaton will be busy securing seals for Captain George M. McGuire. Eaton now has orders for many seals, including several of the monster Steller species, very difficult to capture and dangerous to approach...”


July 17, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned from the islands last evening with a haul of six seals for Captain George M. McGuire. The seals will be shipped to Europe, to enter on a college training and they may at some future time return to Santa Barbara as the star performers in some ‘greatest show on earh.’”


July 18, 1913 [SBMP]: “A record catch has been made by Captain Ira Eaton, seal hunter for Captain George M. McGuire. Captain Eaton Started from Pelican Bay Tuesday afternoon with preparations to be gone several days in quest of an assortment of seals. In less than four hours the astonished campers on the island saw him return with a capture of nine fine specimens. This catch is undoubtedly the best ever made on these islands in the short space of time. Captain Eaton returned to this city last night with his catch and they will be shipped to Europe to be trained for circuses.”


August 9, 1913 [LAT]: “Baby seals starve as ‘brave’ hunters kill. Shores of Channel Islands filled with dead mothers and dying pups, price of ruthless holiday — charge of law violation — seals hunted in breeding season and shot to death, is alleged… The commercial value of a bull of this breed is $1, and of a cow $1.50…”


August 12, 1913 [LAT]: “H. I. Pritchard, Assistant Fish and Game Commissioner, yesterday denied the truth of the allegation made by Charles E. Davis, who says mother seals are slaughtered are slaughtered at the rookeries…”


August 14, 1913 [LAT]: “Charles E. Davis shows pictures proving slaughter of mother seals on Channel Island…”


August 19, 1913 [LAT]: “Others tell of seal slaughter. ’The butchery of the seals at Santa Barbara Island is a disgrace to civilization. I counted twenty-four dead mothers and from 175 to 200 starving baby seals… It is simply an outrage, and anything I can do to stop the wanton destruction of the seals I will gladly do…’ The allegation made in The Times by Charles E. Davis that the seals on the Santa Barbara Islands are being butchered in the name of sport and the hapless pups being left to die of starvation was substantiated yesterday by P. R. Gordon, A. R. Harvey, E. E. Neis and E. P. Jockinson…”


August 20, 1913 [LAT]: “Commission to hunt hunters. Stop seal murder, say Fish and Game officers… It appears that the alleged seal killing has taken place on Santa Barbara Island, which does not come under the law which protects seals in the waters of the Santa Barbara channel. There has been no violation in the Channel Islands, which have been visited by Frank A. Garbutt and James Rasmussen, our deputy in Ventura… The law reads: ‘It is unlawful to take or kill seals in the waters of the Santa Barbara channel, or on or near thereto.’… So far as any destruction of seals on the islands in the Santa Barbara channel is concerned we are convinced that the law has not been violated there, and we have received no information of unusual conditions on Santa Barbara, San Nicolas or San Clemente islands which are leased to Howland Brothers, and who would probably report anything unusual…”


August 21, 1913 [LAT]: “Letter to The Times. As your paper has printed a great deal about the wanton slaughter of seals, we will ask that you give both sides of the story… There seems to be no question but that the slaughter has been on Santa Barbara Island, which is fifty miles from the Santa Barbara Channel, and is in Los Angeles County. Therefore the law does not cover it. The law expressly covers the Santa Barbara Islands…” signed H. I. Pritchard, Fish and Game Commission. [Note: Santa Barbara Island is in Santa Barbara County.]


August 21, 1913 [LAT]: “The discussion started by Charles E. Davis relative to the murdering of mother seals on Santa Barbara and other Channel Islands, now promises to bring good results. The game commission will very likely… order an investigation. Frank Garbutt is now at the islands and he may have an interesting report to supplement the charges made by Charles E. Davis… The law reads: ‘It is unlawful to take or kill seals in the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel, or on, near, or about any of the lands adjacent thereto.’”


September 9, 1913 [LAT]: “Ringling Circus satisfies spectacular sense. Trained seals from Channel Islands their own argument against killing them… It is declared that the variety of seals amenable to education and training are secured on these islands, and if their destruction is permitted the herd will vanish from sea and tent…”


September 13, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton will leave in a few days for San Francisco to place an order for a new powerboat to be used next season for the increasing island traffic… Yesterday he brought over three live seals for Captain George M. McGuire.”


September 19, 1913 [SBDN]: “Three live seals, barking vigorously as though protesting against being kidnapped, were brought from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon by Captain Ira Eaton in his powerboat, and delivered to Captain George M. McGuire to be sent east.”


September 23, 1913 [LAT]: “Acting on a communication from Charles E. Davis, a naturalist detailing the slaughter of seals on the Channel Islands and alleging complicity by the Fish and Game Commission in an act ‘disgraceful to civilization,’ Secretary Wiggins of the Chamber of Commerce addressed a letter yesterday to Assistant Fish and Game commissioner H. I. Pritchard asking for the commission’s side of the case…”


September 26, 1913 [SBMP]: “Julius Frankenburg, as director, and J. W. Brown cameraman, will go to Santa Cruz Island today to make an entire film for the Santa Barbara county World’s Fair exhibit. They will be accompanied by Herbert Rogers, as the representative of the supervisors. The party will probably return next Sunday evening. It is planned to take all that is of interest during this trip, including the seals. While a number of pictures have already been taken by the American Camera for the exhibit, Santa Cruz Island will probably be the first one completed.”


September 30, 1913 [SBDN]: “Splendid views of the beauties of Santa Cruz Island, the outside and interior of Painted Cave and a fine photograph showing how seals are captured, were taken at the island the past few days by Julius Frankenburg and crew from the Flying A Company. Herbert Rogers accompanied the party and led them to the seal rookeries where he caught the seal. Mr. Frankenburg said today he believed he had obtained some excellent pictures. They will be used in Santa Barbara’s moving picture display at the Panama-Pacific exposition in 1915. A panoramic view, showing the wine industry on the Caire estate, and pictures of pelicans were also taken. The party left last Friday and returned last evening. The weather conditions were perfect all the time for taking pictures. The seal that was captured was brought back on the launch Gypsy and quite a crowd saw the little fellow in his crate on the wharf.”


October 2, 1913 [SFC?]: “Santa Barbara. October 1. Hope of saving the schooner Santa Cruz, which ran onto a reef off Rincon Point, fifteen miles southeast of here, ten days ago, has been abandoned and it is said the vessel will be allowed to break up. The boat is owned by the Caire estate of San Francisco, was valued at $15,000 and has been used for years in the trade between here and Santa Cruz Island, which is also owned by the Caires. The boat was steered upon the rocks during a heavy fog, Captain Nidever and his assistants declaring that it was impossible for them to see their course. The boat was being brought from San Pedro, where she had undergone repairs costing about $1000. For several days after the boat was beached she appeared to be in good condition, and there was hope of getting her back into deep water. Several tugs were brought to the scene from San Pedro and tried to pull her off at high tides, but were unable to move her from a bed of rocks. Everything of value has been taken from the vessel, and it is said no further attempts will be made to float her.”


October 2, 1913 [SBMP]: “Unique methods will be adopted in a final effort to save the schooner Santa Cruz from the rocks on Rincon beach. After having decided to abandon the vessel following several attempts to float her, it was suggested to Mr. Caire, the owner, by a practical builder, that a dry dock could be constructed around the schooner and she be raised by mechanical means into such a position that repairs can be made to the broken hull. Then, by the use of ways, she will slide into deep water. Arrangements to do this have been completed, and the work will soon begin. Captain Nidever is still in command of the stranded boat, with the full crew.”


October 2, 1913 [SBDN]: “The schooner Santa Cruz may be saved by building a dry dock about her, and after making the necessary repairs, slide her into deep water by the use of the ways. While A. J. Caire is here superintending the work of rescue, Captain George Nidever is personally in charge, and maintains confidence that the boat will yet be saved. John Williamson, the local contractor, has been engaged to repair the ship.”


October 24, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton arrived yesterday in his launch, Gussie M, from Santa Cruz Island with two seals for Captain George M. McGuire.”


November 25, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain McGuire shipped two large seals to San Francisco by the Coos Bay this afternoon. They represent two of the finest specimens of Santa Cruz Island seals captured in a long time.”


December 5, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain McGuire received four seals from the islands this morning by the Gussie M, Ira Eaton being in charge. They are selected specimens, and represent about the best catch made on Santa Cruz Island in a long time. One of the seals was so far tamed by the time it arrived here that the little animal seemed to like the attentions showed it, and permitted Captain McGuire to stroke its glossy coat without any sign of resisting the familiarity. The seals are to be shipped to professional trainers abroad.”


December 6, 1913 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, Captain Ira K. Eaton, brought five live seals from Santa Cruz Island yesterday for Captain G. M. McGuire.”


December 10, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Vasquez arrived this afternoon from Santa Cruz Island bringing seven seals for eastern shipment. The animals are selected and represent a very high grade seal. Some will be shipped from New York to Germany, and all will be trained as performers.”


February 4, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Vasquez with the launch Otter is at Santa Cruz Island after a consignment of seals for Herbert Rogers.”


February 22, 1914 [SBMP]: “The launches Gussie M, Captain Ira Eaton, and the Otter, Captain Rosaline Vasquez, arrived from the islands yesterday, reporting quiet weather on the north side of the archipelago, the islands protecting the sea against the southeast blow. Both boats brought several live seals, and Captain Eaton had several hundred pounds of crawfish.”


March 3, 1914 [SBMP]: “The powerboat Otter, Captain Vasquez, goes to Santa Cruz Island today to take some workmen to the Caire Ranch and take over and bring back mail. Then Captain Vasquez will go on a seal hunt to secure twelve of the species to fill an order received by Herbert Rogers.”


March 12, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez goes to Santa Cruz Island in the Otter today for a good dozen live seals from the island caves.”


March 15, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton is at Santa Cruz Island with the Gussie M, intent on the capture of eighteen young seals for Captain McGuire. The seals are to be shipped to eastern and European cities to be educated and trained for work in circuses and zoos.”


March 21, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Eight fine specimens of island seals were brought to Santa Barbara from Santa Cruz Island this morning by Captain Vasquez of the launch Otter, and will be shipped to Buffalo, where they will be trained. This makes 16 seals Captain Vasquez has brought in this week. Among the lot received this morning was one immense bull seal, savage as a tiger, and ready to fight at the motion of a finger.”


March 22, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who returned from Santa Cruz Island last Friday night with eight seals for Herbert Rogers, left at six P.M. yesterday with twenty members of the Flying A Company for Valdez Cave, where the party will spend Sunday, returning this evening.”


April 19, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton came from Santa Cruz Island in his powerboat yesterday morning, the Gussie M, with 28 live seals for Captain McGuire. This is declared by the latter, who is certainly good authority in the subject, to be the largest capture of seals ever made from the island waters…”


April 20, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The launch Otter arrived this morning from Santa Cruz Island with ten seals for shipment east.”


April 20, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira Eaton returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with twenty-eight seals for Captain McGuire, who will ship them to the east to a trainer.”


April 21, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who went to Fry’s Harbor in the Otter yesterday, took along a lot of equipment for his camp… As soon as Captain Vasquez gets the camp plans started, he will set out for the island caves in the hunt for seals, he having an order for ten.”


April 25, 1914 [SBMP]: “Yesterday Captain George M. McGuire shipped by express fifteen seals, the last of the big catch made by Captain Ira Eaton in the Santa Cruz Island caves a few days ago, numbering 28, the record catch for these waters. The shipment today was of fifteen seals. All of the 28 are now on their way to Europe, where they will be trained for park, zoo and circus attractions.”


June 2, 1914 [SBMP]: “Steller sea lion captured by Eaton. Strange creature is said to be second alive in captivity. Captain Eaton came to town in his new power yacht, the Sea Wolf, early yesterday morning with the air of a conqueror home from the wars. The cause of the captain’s elation was the capture of sixteen seals that he had made at the islands the day before for Captain George M. McGuire, and the star feature of the achievement was a piece of wonderful good fortune in the taking of a Steller sea lion alive. Specimens of this species, alive or dead, are in great demand because of the fact that they are so difficult to secure. There are comparatively few of these creatures… The kingly specimen captured by Captain Eaton and his expert assistants last Sunday was secured on Richardson’s Rock…”


June 2, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned from the islands yesterday in his launch Sea Wolf, with a lot of seals for Captain George M. McGuire. The seals were caught on San Miguel Island.”


June 3, 1914 [SBMP]: “Steller sea lion arousing interest. Unusual catch is now securely housed at the wharf. Many people, interested by the story in yesterday’s issue of the Morning Press about Captain Ira K. Eaton’s notable catch of seals last Sunday, went to the wharf yesterday to see the queer denizens of island caves and rocks at Captain McGuire’s seal house, where they are confined in individual cages awaiting shipment to the east and to Europe…”


June 15, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Tomorrow the Otter takes to the camp a party of Los Angeles people, and will sail from the camp after several seals specially ordered by a London trainer.”


June 19, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton is at the islands in his boat, the Sea Wolf, after seals for Captain McGuire, the order being for eight.”


June 20, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The sea lion industry at Santa Barbara has developed quite a lively activity. This morning Captain Vasquez brought in five splendid specimens, and yesterday Captain Ira K. Eaton delivered several. Lately a demand has come for the Steller seals, which according to Captain Waters and others familiar with the Channel Islands, abound there. They reach an immense size, and are not as easily trained as the sea lions more commonly known. The Stellar is the graceful creature, which Seal Rocks at the Cliff House, near San Francisco, is noted for. The creatures are of a tan color, and vicious. When the calf is roped the mother becomes pacified, and is easily taken, going into captivity without an effort to resist. Between Captain Vasquez and Captain Eaton the demand for sea lions is being supplied steadily. Shipments are made to all parts of the country and to Europe, and prove quite an advertisement to the Santa Barbara islands. Among the shippers here are Captain George M. McGuire and Herbert Rogers.”


July 4, 1914 [SBMP]: “The building formerly occupied by the La Petite Theatre will be thrown open today for a place of general amusement. There will be many attractions, but the most conspicuous will be the seven huge sea lions captured recently by Captain Ira Eaton in the rookeries of the Channel Islands. These seals are well worth seeing. They are of unusual interest, and this afternoon at 5 o’clock a novel exhibition will be given when the big fellows are given their daily mess of fish.”


July 9, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton is at the island with the Sea Wolf, hunting seals for Captain George McGuire. The boat is scheduled for an excursion voyage to Pelican Bay on Wednesday of each week, but she was not in port yesterday, and it is supposed the omission was caused by Eaton’s delay insuring the big game of the deep that he went out to seek.”


August 19, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, who returned this morning in the Sea Wolf with his wife and daughter to their island resort, expects to be back tomorrow afternoon with five seals for Captain George M. McGuire...”


August 20, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton left for Pelican Bay in his powerboat, the Sea Wolf, yesterday morning, with several passengers who will stay at his island resort for several days, and with an order from Captain George McGuire for eight seals that are wanted for eastern zoos. The search for the seals will be made in the caves of San Miguel Island.”


August 23, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton came in from San Miguel Island yesterday morning with four seals to fill an order that Captain George McGuire has from an eastern zoo. After he delivered his catch, Eaton left with his boat for Ventura, where he has a charter that will keep him for several days at the command of a party of veterans who will go to Pelican Bay to enjoy camp life on the island.”


August 24, 1914 [LAT/SB]: “The European war has affected one of Santa Barbara’s unique industries, the seal business. Captain George M. McGuire, seal shipper and trainer, has orders from Germany and England for seals, but the war prevents shipment. Santa Barbara is the only shipping point for these interesting creatures. Under Captain McGuire’s direction the industry has become noted. It is said that every seal now in captivity has originally come from here. This morning Captain Ira Eaton returned from the seal rookeries on Santa Cruz Island with four splendid specimens of seals which Captain McGuire will send to Washington, New York and Cincinnati.”


August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain George M. McGuire now has four seals ready for shipment to an eastern zoo. The seals were brought here Saturday from the islands by Captain Ira Eaton in the Sea Wolf. Captain Eaton is expected to be here again this evening.”


September 15, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Nine seals wanted for eastern zoos are still enjoying liberty because Captain Ira K. Eaton cannot reach their lairs, as the water is too rough around the islands where they live.”


September 29, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira Eaton is again at the islands intent on getting the seals which Captain G. M. McGuire ordered five weeks ago, and which continuous rough weather has made them impossible to get. Captain Eaton said when he left here he believed the weather was now calm enough for seal catching.”


October 7, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton arrived from the islands this afternoon in his boat, the Sea Wolf, with eight seals for Captain G. M. McGuire and 200 pounds of smelt.”


October 14, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton is out after six seals in his powerboat, the Sea Wolf, his order being for six specimens for Captain McGuire, who has many orders ahead for the coming winter. Eaton has had a strenuous time in this quest for the past six weeks, during which time he has been able to capture only six seals, the cause of the trouble being the almost unprecedented continuance of rough water from high winds or ground swells that made it impossible to operate the nets inside the island caves…”


October 14, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, in his launch Sea Wolf, has started after six more seals for Captain George M. McGuire. Many orders from the east for seals have been received by Captain McGuire, who has a busy winter before him in his seal business.”


October 27, 1914 [SBDNI]: “With an old order for seals still unfilled because high seas and bad weather have made seal catching impossible, Captain G. M. McGuire has now an order from eastern museums and entertainment houses for 15 more. Heavy swells and high winds continue, despite good orders, to make the seal business impossible.”


December 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “After nearly four months of patient waiting, their efforts to catch the sleek animals having been frustrated repeatedly by ground swells, the powerboat Sea Wolf, Captain Ira Eaton, owner, returned this morning from Anacapa Island with a dozen as fine, healthy, sleek and irritated seals as were ever caught. The pretty half-aquatic animals were not in a pleasant mood this morning when they were swung up from the boat in wooden cages and dumped down on the dock. Their shiny teeth tore at the wooden slats, ripping off pieces of wood. They barked shrilly. One big grand-daddy seal grunted hoarsely like a disturbed porker. Another tried to bite off the fingers of a man who wanted to pet him. Captain G. M. McGuire, who has orders for the seals from vaudeville actors and circus performers who train them, was on the dock and superintending placing the seals in wire cages with board bottoms, where they will be fed and watered until New Year’s when they will start east, to Chicago, Buffalo and New York to begin their vaudeville education. The seals were caught at China Harbor, Anacapa Island [Santa Cruz Island?]. Nets were used to capture them. In the gale of last week, the Sea Wolf lay at anchor in Potato Harbor, safe from the fury of the storm. A dozen other boats were assembled there for shelter. Captain Eaton was ill this morning, suffering from stomach trouble. A taxi carried him to his home.”


December 25, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton came in from the islands yesterday with his staunch little powerboat, the Sea Wolf, bringing thirteen seals that he had captured at China Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, an order from Captain George McGuire. This ends Captain Eaton’s sealing operations this year, and he has good reason to feel satisfied with his work I that line, for in that time he has caught 130 seals, as many as have been taken from these waters in any year since the hunt for California seals was started, about twenty five years ago, and a great many more than were caught by any other sealer during this year…”


January 6, 1915 [SBDNI]: “A pup seal, only six months old, and so good-natured that he wants to be petted like a dog, is the unusual animal pet which Captain George M. McGuire possesses. The little seal, which was included in the capture of a dozen made two weeks ago by Captain Ira K. Eaton for Mr. McGuire, is as tractable and jolly as the newly-caught seal is savage. Captain McGuire has named his pet ‘El Capitan.’”


January 16, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain George M. McGuire has at his seal house on the fisherman's wharf, what he calls a phenomenon in seals. It is a pup from the last lot of seals caught by Captain Ira K. Eaton for Captain McGuire and brought to the mainland about ten days ago. The baby is six months old, and his owner, who has christened him El Capitan, declares him the most intelligent, as well as the best natured seal he ever saw, from the start... Captain McGuire is getting so fond of his pet pup seal that he seriously doubts whether he will be able to part with him.”


January 19, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Bringing in a ton and a half of fish, mostly rock cod and whitefish, Captain Ira K. Eaton’s powerboat, the Sea Wolf, came into port this morning with catches from the fishermen on Santa Rosa Island. This is considered a fair catch, according to the Larco Fish Company, which reported this morning, however, that fish still continue scarce, and that they are quite expert in keeping away from the fishing boats.”


March 9, 1915 [SBMP]: “Eaton after seals. Captain Ira K. Eaton left for Santa Cruz Island Sunday noon after seals for Captain George M. McGuire. Eaton is expected to take on Scotty Cunningham and Charles Larson at Pelican Bay to aid him in his expedition.”


March 10, 1915 [SBMP]: “London orders seals from here. Captain George M. McGuire, famous the world over as the principal dealer in California seals, was greatly surprised yesterday on the receipt of a mail order from London for six of these animals, for the Regent’s Park Zoo, the largest in England. Captain McGuire has long been convinced that he would do no business with seals in Europe so long as the war lasted, and the order was wholly unexpected…”


March 10, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton is scouring the caves of Santa Cruz Island for seals for Captain George M. McGuire, and hopes to be back within two or three days with ten specimens for which the latter has orders from eastern zoon and circuses.”


March 12, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island in his powerboat Sea Wolf, in which, accompanied by Scotty Cunningham, he had been hunting seals in the island caves. The hunters brought home one seal, they having found very unfavorable conditions of water in caves. A heavy ground swell had torn their nets badly and they had to postpone their quest until a better state of water came. They will resume the hunt today.”


March 17, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton came in from Santa Cruz Island in the Sea Wolf yesterday morning with a prize cargo of 16 California seals for Captain George McGuire. Three of these seals were shipped to San Francisco by the steamer Homer last night, and they will constitute an important and attractive exhibit at the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Of the remaining specimens, six will be sent to fill an order from London where they will be a star attraction at the zoo in Regent's Park, and the rest will be distributed among zoos and circuses in eastern cities in this country.”


March 17, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Of 16 seals captures at Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands by Captain Ira K. Eaton for George M. McGuire, three have been shipped to San Francisco for exhibition at the fair, six are going to London for the Regent’s Park Zoo, and the remainder will go east to become trained vaudeville and circus performers.”


March 19, 1915 [SBMP]: “To Pelican Bay. Yesterday morning Captain Ira K. Eaton went to Pelican Bay in the Sea Wolf to take over a party of fishermen who will make camp there to engage in fishing operations. Eaton will return to the mainland today, and it is probable that he will leave tomorrow on another seal hunting expedition for Captain George M. McGuire, who has just received a new order for these queer denizens of the deep.”


March 19, 1915 [SBMP]: “Eaton will return to the mainland today, and it is probable that he will leave tomorrow on another seal hunting expedition for Captain George M. McGuire, who has just received a new order for these queer denizens of the deep.”


May 6, 1915 [SBMP]: “Yesterday afternoon a giant seal appeared on the rocks near the bath house and caused a deal of interested admiration among the people at the beach. The visitor was variously estimated at from eight to twelve feet in length, and probably some of the excited spectators thought him even larger…”


May 18, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, accompanied by his trusty first mate, Scotty Cunningham, will go to the islands in the Sea Wolf today in quest of seals for Captain George M. McGuire, who has an order for 26 California black seals and four Steller lions. The latter, which are very much harder to find and to capture than are the black fellows, are said to be in rather larger supply this year than for many seasons past. They are to be found only on the almost inaccessible rocks of San Miguel, much of the year impossible to approach on account of the rough water surrounding the island, and the finding of these wild and vicious sea animals is the smallest part of it, for it takes real bravery and a high grade of special skill to capture them.”


May 19, 1915 [SBMP]: “Too rough for sealing. Captain Ira K. Eaton had planned to go to the islands for seals in the Sea Wolf yesterday, but the high winds and rough water made that sort of an expedition impractical, as it would be impossible to enter the cave in small boats. He will leave for the quest today if conditions of the water should be more favorable.”


May 23, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton left for the islands in the Sea Wolf yesterday morning on a sealing expedition to get a lot of seals for Captain George M. McGuire.”


May 25, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain George M. McGuire has received an order for six seals for Regent’s Park in the city of London, war or no war. This is the outcome of a correspondence that has been going on between the curator of the Regent’s Park Zoo and Captain McGuire for several months. The zoo representative wanted the captain to ship the seals subject to delivery in London, but the shrewd Captain had heard of predatory German war craft, and flatly declined to ship anything so far and take the chances of the consignment falling into the Kaiser’s clutches, and he firmly held to his view of matters, with the result that the deal was closed with the agreement that the seals were to be delivered to Wells Fargo in New York City, and London takes its own chances on its own importation case.”


May 26, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Lying side by side in death, the little boy’s tiny body nestling in the arms of his mother, Mrs. Clarence Libbey and her five month-old son, Clarence John Libbey, were laid to rest this afternoon in Santa Barbara cemetery, three days after the young wife killed herself and her baby while fearing her husband intended to take the child away from her. Both bodies lay in a white casket, the mother’s arm gently clasping the form of her little son. The funeral was held from the home of Mrs. Delia Mullenary, 222 East Montecito Street, a sister-in-law of Mrs. Libbey. Reverend Warren D. More, Dr. D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, read the beautiful words of the burial service. The casket was almost hidden in masses of flowers. The funeral, which was held at 2 o’clock this afternoon, was private, only the husband, Clarence Libbey, the family, and a few intimate friends being present. Mrs. Libbey’s mother, Mrs. Russell, and Mrs. Andrew C. Nebbia, a sister of the husband, attended from Los Angeles. The pallbearers were chosen from among friends of the family. Charles McDermott, as funeral director, had charge of arrangements.”


May 29, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Seventeen fine, fat, husky seals are reposing in unaccustomed quarters here today, having been brought in from the sea caves at Anacapa Island last night by Captain Ira K. Eaton in the Sea Wolf. Attempts were made to capture Steller lions at San Miguel, but the water was too rough.”


June 1, 1915 [SBMP]: “Yesterday Captain George M. McGuire shipped five seals east by express. Two went to Milwaukee, two to New York, and one to Cleveland, all for zoos. The captain will within a few days ship six large seals to London, and several others to circuses in different parts of the east.”


June 2, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Captain George M. McGuire got one more seal than he bargained for in the last shipment he received from the Channel Islands for export to the east. A baby seal was born in the crates yesterday, and when Captain McGuire went to look at his seals he found the little fellow just as much at home in the crate as he would have been on the native rocks. The pup is in fine health and vigorous. He will make a great seal for some eastern showman to train.”


July 9, 1915 [SBMP]: “Six native Santa Barbarans are sailing on the Minnehaha and can be expected to share her fate, whatever that may be. The six are seals from the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, shipped a couple of weeks ago by George M. McGuire, the destination being London, and it is understood two of the animals were to be placed in a garden in Dublin. Under ordinary conditions, the animals would have been shipped C.O.D. London, but Mr. McGuire in this instance insisted on payment at New York, which was finally agreed to. The ocean trip was consequently taken at the risk of the new owners.”


July 9, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Because of the present perilous condition of the Atlantic vessels, Captain George McGuire demanded that a shipment of seals for London now aboard the Minnehaha be paid for in New York instead of being landed C.O.D. in London as has been his custom. Captain McGuire understands that two of the Santa Barbara Channel Island seals are to be pets in a Dublin garden.”


October 2, 1915 [SBMP]: “White seal is given fair warning. Pasadena society men aboard Dreamer are about to storm Santa Cruz Island… Exploration of a mysterious cave extending back into Santa Cruz Island for thousands of feet, it is believed, will be undertaken by Lionel Armstrong of Altadena and E. Crawford May, assistant cashier of the Security National Bank of Pasadena. Using a 2000-candle acetylene searchlight brought from San Diego, they will explore the great cavern in a gasoline launch. They hope to clear up the tale that is told that white seal have their home in this cave. They do not believe the story, but will attempt to show whether it is true or false. They will start their cruise tomorrow. This adventurous voyage will be made in the schooner-yacht Dreamer…”


October 12, 1915 [SBMP]: “Seek white seal in island caves: Pasadena naturalists reach channel on quest of rare specimen. The beautiful schooner yacht, Dreamer, bearing a distinguished party of Pasadena high society scientific servants, called at this port briefly last Sunday for supplies for its camp on rugged San Miguel Island. The expedition has for its main purpose the plan to capture a white seal, which the head of the party considers easily feasible because somebody has told him that there are such rare creatures among these denizens of the island caves, and to the glory of Pasadena exclusive society he purposes to get one at any cost. The seal sharps are anxiously awaiting the result of this scientific quest. Captain George M. McGuire, who has handled practically all of the seals shipped from here all over the world for the past twenty years or so, when asked yesterday if he had caught many white seals in his time, merely gave the inquirer a pitying glance and moved away, as though he felt disinclined to take any chances with a demented person. Captain George Gourley, similarly interrogated, referred the questioner to Gelette Burgess, who had discovered the ‘purple cow,’ and Captain Ira Eaton, who has caught nearly all the seals that have been captured in the island waters during the past few years and seen a few hundred times as many as he has taken from their amphibian habitat, merely remarked in reply ‘No these island seals are mostly magenta.’”


January 20, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, who came over from Pelican Bay last Monday in his powerboat, the Sea Wolf, with a good catch of fish, leaves for the island caves this morning in search of seals, he having an order for eleven of the amphibians [sic] for Captain George M. McGuire. The seals are for a trainer in London, but the buyer receives and pays for them in New York, Captain McGuire declining to take chances on the depredations of German submarines.”


January 20, 1916 [SBDN]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton left this morning in his powerboat Sea Wolf, for the seal rookeries on Santa Cruz Island, to secure eleven seals for Captain McGuire. The seals ordered for a London trainer.”


January 21, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton came over from Pelican Bay last Monday in his powerboat, the Sea Wolf, with a good catch of fish. He leaves for the island caves this morning in search of seals, he having an order for eleven of the amphibians for Captain George M. Maguire. The seals are for a trainer in London, but the buyer receives and pays for them in New York, Captain Maguire declining to take chances on the depredations of German submarines.”


January 25, 1916 [SBMP]: “Santa Cruz Island seals going to London. George McGuire to ship eleven for professional trainer. Yesterday morning Captain Ira Eaton came over from Pelican Bay with eleven seals caught in the island caves for Captain George W. McGuire. The seals are to be sent to London to a professional trainer who will educate them for performers in zoos and circuses. This has grown to be a great industry that reflects the light of fame on Santa Barbara. It is a fact that the California seal is the only kind of its species susceptible to training for exhibition purposes, and also a fact that the amphibians of this particular kind have their sole habitat in and roundabout the caves of the Channel Islands. The only shipping point for them is Santa Barbara, so when a performing seal is seen anywhere in the world it may be known that it came from Santa Barbara, California.”


January 25, 1916 [LAT]: “Eighteen seals, the biggest catch made in years, were brought in tonight from Santa Cruz Island by Captain Ira Eaton for Captain George M. McGuire. Five will brave German submarines in being shipped to a London trainer. This will be the first seal consignment crossing the Atlantic since the war began. Six will be turned loose in Guadalupe Lake, in the northern part of the country, to this out the fish. The lake, a private property owned by the Guadalupe Gun Club, is overstocked with fish. They are so numerous that there is actually not swimming room. This is the first time the lake has been known to become overstocked.”


January 28, 1916 [Lompoc Journal]: “The biggest catch of seals made in two years was brought to Santa Barbara Monday by Captain Eaton from Santa Cruz Island for Captain George M. McGuire. There are eighteen seals in the catch, all of them in the pink of condition, and declared by Captain McGuire to be about the finest lot yet brought to the mainland. Five of the seals go to London for a trainer. They will be shipped immediately, and en route will have care at Kansas City and Chicago, in fact there will be no time but that the express company will have them under careful watch. At New York they will be turned over to agents for the London firm, and there Captain McGuire's responsibility will cease. This will be the first consignment of seals crossing the Atlantic since the war. They will have to run the submarine blockade. Six of the seals will be turned over to the Guadalupe Gun Club, to be released in Guadalupe Lake. The lake, or lakes, are overstocked with fish and the gun club believes that the six seals will soon reduce the number. The fish are so plentiful that they are actually crowded for swimming space. No such condition has obtained in the lake ever before, so far as known. The remainder of the seals will be shipped to various parts of the United States. Captain McGuire states that all the seals trained for the circuses come from the Channel Islands. On the trip just so successfully ended, Captain Eaton was the only man along with any experience capturing the seals, but the catch was made without difficulty or mishap.”


January 30, 1916 [SBMP]: “Two of six seals that were placed in Guadalupe Lake the other day, floundered their way across the country Friday night, and when the station agent at Guadalupe arrived for duty yesterday morning, the animals were in the baggage room…”


February 17, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton left for Santa Cruz Island in his boat, the Sea Wolf, yesterday morning with an order for six seals for Captain George M. McGuire. The seals are to go to eastern trainers who will fit their pupils for the Vaudeville stage. Captain McGuire is not sending any seals to Europe these days, the war having done away with the demand for these wonderful amphibians. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the ocean freight on seals for Europe since the beginning of the war has advanced from about $3.50 to $4 for each animal to an approximate charge of $50.”


April 19, 1916 [SBMP]: “Yesterday the carcass of a huge seal was washed by the tide up onto the beach near Castle Rock. It was probably the luckless combatant in a seal duel on the island shore that had been driven across the channel to the mainland by the force of the tides.”


April 25, 1916 [SBDNI]: “Santa Barbara seals, shipped east by Herbert A. Rogers a year ago to a trainer, are now entertaining large crowds at the Portola. They are a part of the Strassle animal show, now at the theatre. The seals are splendidly trained. They ride horses, play tunes on musical instruments, juggle with fire, and perform many other remarkable feats. There are also trained birds and dogs on the program, whose stunts are very entertaining. Raynor and Belle present a singing and whistling novelty that is highly pleasing, Belle proving to be a very clever whistler. Their act contains plenty of acting, and a number of good songs which they know how to sing. Miss Bennett of the Flying A sings a number of selections in her usually winning way. The motion pictures, in addition, are very good, the program as a whole setting a new record for this popular house of entertainment.”


April 28, 1916 [SBDN]: “Orders for twenty seals have been received by Captain George M. McGuire, and Captain Ira Eaton, now at the islands in the Sea Wolf, will try to bring back the number that is needed. Among the orders which Captain McGuire has received is one for two seals of a rare species, wanted for the National Park in Washington, D.C.”


April 30, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Having located all the seals he wants, Captain Ira K. Eaton is now waiting for calm weather so he can go to San Miguel Island and capture the sleek animals. The captain returned last night from a scouting trip of several days around the island, taken to locate the seals. The swell was so heavy, however, that he was unable to come near enough to capture them. Captain Eaton plans to leave Monday, and will return with 15 seals.”


May 2, 1916 [SBMP]: “...Captain Eaton returned to Pelican Bay a few days later to hunt for seals for Captain George M. McGuire, his order being twenty seals.”


May 7, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton spent yesterday on the mainland, he having brought over from the islands a lot of seals, twenty in number, that he had caught in the island caves for Captain George M. McGuire. He still has an order for one of the enormous Steller's seals, but has had no chance to find them as yet, they being discoverable only on San Miguel Island or in rookeries between here and Monterey. Of the seals secured, Mr. McGuire has shipped six to London and the others to various points in this country.”


June 3, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton came over from the islands in his powerboat, Sea Wolf, last evening with eight fine seals taken in the island caves for Captain George M. McGuire. The lot included three very large bulls, weighing from 500 to 600 pounds each.”


June 3, 1916 [SBDN]: “Eight fine seals were brought from the islands late yesterday afternoon by Captain Ira K. Eaton for Captain George McGuire. Captain Eaton proposed to start his regular Sunday excursions to the island a week from tomorrow.”


July 9, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned from the island in his powerboat, the Sea Wolf, yesterday morning, with two seals for Captain McGuire…”


September 12, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned from Santa Cruz Island last Sunday evening, bringing over… five sea lions for Captain George M. McGuire. The seals will be sent to a trainer in Virginia. The traffic in these wonderful amphibians has fallen off to nearly nothing since the war began, as they were mostly sent to trainers, parks and zoos in Europe, and there is naturally no demand for them there now…”


October 12, 1916 [SBMP]: “Early yesterday afternoon Captain Ira K. Eaton left for Santa Cruz Island in the Sea Wolf with a commission for the capture of sixteen seals for Captain George M. McGuire. Captain Eaton was accompanied by his wife and his regular sealing crew, and they will make their camp at Pelican Bay. It was hoped that the party would be able to return to the mainland with the catch by tomorrow, but it all depends on the conditions prevailing in the matter of weather and water. Sometimes the sealers have to wait several days or abandon their quest altogether on account of rough water making it impossible for then to enter the island caves in search of their game.”


October 12, 1916 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton left for the islands late yesterday to get sixteen seals for which George McGuire has an order.”


October 18, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, who came over from the islands last Sunday with fourteen seals for Captain George McGuire, returned to the same hunting grounds yesterday morning after six more of the amphibians to complete an order lately received by Captain McGuire from eastern zoos and trainer. With good luck, Eaton will be back with his game within a day or two, but you can never tell.”


November 11, 1916 [SBMP]: “H. C. Rogers shipped by express to Chicago yesterday, eleven live seals that area destined to compose the star attraction in a winter show running in the big city named. The seals were caught by Captain Ira K. Eaton in the island caves about two weeks ago.”


January 27, 1917 [SBDN]: “Killing the island seals, doing away with the maximum limit on crawfish, and cutting out all restrictions on abalones except to protect them against men in diving suits and against canneries are means of reducing the high cost of living suggested by Howe Deaderick, chairman of the board of supervisors. Mr. Deaderick claims there are 10,000 seals on the islands and that each seal eats or destroys 55 pounds of fish a day, making the loss in fish 275 tons a day…”


March 1, 1917 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara. What is declared to be a record order for seals has been received by a local dealer. A London amusement concern wants 100. The animals will be captured at Santa Cruz Island.”


March 14, 1917 [SBMP]: “Many are waiting for island voyage. In meantime, Captain Ira Eaton is ‘on the ways’ in homeport with grip. Captain Ira K. Eaton, long known to the island transportation circles and the sealing industry, has been ‘on the ways’ in his home port for the past ten days, with a severe attack of the grip, which, however, is about conquered. About the time he was obliged to take to his bed, the captain received an order for twenty seal lions for Captain George M. McGuire. He put Captain Frank Nidever aboard Sea Wolf and sent him over to the islands to hunt for the game. The substitute is himself, a master hand at this sort of hunting, but as nothing has been heard from him in the matter, it is supposed that the rough water that has lately persisted along the island shore has made it impossible for him to get into the caves to look for his quarry. It is thought probable, however, that the water conditions will soon improve, and that it will not be long before Captain Nidever will report at the home port with at least a good installment of his order...”


May 22, 1917 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers yesterday shipped to New York, for billing to European points, two seals weighed which were obtained at Santa Cruz Island. One of the seals weighed 225 pounds and is said to be the largest ever taken from Santa Cruz. The other seal is smaller. The animals were sent via Wells Fargo Express.”


June 28, 1917 [SBDN]: “Captain Ira Eaton sails tomorrow for the islands with an order from Captain George M. McGuire for an even dozen seals. The order comes to Captain McGuire from three of the biggest zoological gardens in the country. The seals will be brought here and shipped direct. Captain Eaton has been very successful as a catcher of seals, having in the past few years executed many similar orders for Captain McGuire, the largest seal shipper in the country.”


April 5, 1918 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez’s Mary B returned from Dick’s Harbor yesterday with ten large sea lions, the first to be brought over from the islands in many months. They will be sent east and tamed for an animal show.”


May 8, 1919 [SBMP]: “Two sea lions, one male and the other female, captured at Santa Cruz Island, helped to win the World’s War. There is no end to the ingenuity of the naval authorities. This story of a pair of Santa Cruz Island sea lions trained to hunt submarines may sound like a fairy tale, but it is true in every detail. In the summer of 1917 the British Admiralty hit on the scheme of tracking German U-boats. To do this, the two tame Santa Cruz Island seals could be taught to distinguish the noise of a submarine’s propeller and to follow it in hope of getting food. A buoy was attached to the animal, and a trawler would follow the buoy and drop a depth charge when the sea lion appeared to have found the submarine. The sea lions were to be released when a boat was suspected of being in the vicinity. The animals were fitted with small wire muzzles to prevent them from going on a fishing expedition of their own. One of the remarkable features of the early stages of the experiments was fast displayed by the sea lions. The male was found to be much more intelligent than the female. Perhaps the fact that he had been a longer in captivity and was older had something to do with it. The animals were lost several times, but they always returned to English submarines on noises being made underwater. In order to train the sea lions in a most thorough manner, noises were made under water on one side, and the animal, on jumping in, heard the noise and swam toward it, being rewarded when he found it by a feed of fish. The noise was made by an electric buzzer under the water. After a large amount of practice, the animal was able to locate the sound each time.”


June 7, 1919 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton and a sealing crew are at the islands in the power launch Sea Wolf, their purpose being to fill an order from Captain George McGuire for eight sea lions for zoos in New York and Philadelphia. It is generally conceded that the majority of the performing seals in the world have come from Santa Barbara. Their habit is the Channel Islands, and practically all of them have been sold by Captain McGuire, who has for many years been in close touch with the trainers who make a specialty of graduating this particular class of animal talent. During the past 15 years, up to the beginning of the war, McGuire has shipped abroad and to zoos and parks in this country, an annual average of from 120 to 140 of these wonderful amphibians. For the past eight years most of these have been captured in the island coves by Eaton and his trained crew.”


June 10, 1919 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton returned with the Sea Wolf from the islands Sunday, where, with his sealing crew, he spent 10 days in an unavailing quest for sea lions, on an order from Captain George McGuire. He reported the waters in the island caves where the seals are found so tempestuous that the disappointed hunters finally sought other fields in hopes of better luck at Santa Barbara Island. The result of this, however, was still worse fortune, for here they not only failed to secure any of the game sought, but through ground swells of terrific force, two big nets, valued at $200 each, were lost. The captain is not given to dismay over disaster, however, and yesterday he and his crew returned to Santa Cruz Island with the material for replacement of the lost tackle, to resume their quest for seals.”


June 10, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira Eaton of the Sea Wolf is mourning the loss of two valuable nets swept overboard last week while hunting seals off Santa Barbara Island. Eaton and his crew spent ten days in an unsuccessful survey of the island coves, where they went in quest of seals and sea lions to fill an order from Captain George McGuire. Weather conditions and the roughness of the water were mainly responsible for the crew’s failure and Eaton expects to return soon with new apparatus, and every hope of success.”


July 22, 1919 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez of the launch Estrella, arrived at the pier yesterday with the vanguard of a camping trip that has been sojourning at Fry’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, for the past week. On the passenger list were also three young seals captured by Vasquez with the help of the campers...”


February 4, 1921 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara. February 3. Ten seals have been brought here from Santa Cruz Island, where they were caught, for shipment to London, England. They were ordered from Captain George M. McGuire, seal exporter of this city, for an English road show. They will be taken in hand by a trainer on their arrival in London, and it is said by July each will be able to perform any and all of the marvelous stunts which make the seal a feature of the American circus. Captain McGuire states that England and the Netherlands are the only countries that so far have ordered seals since the war closed, and before, all the other countries, he says, apparently having as much as they can do to feed themselves. Germany, which before the war was one of the largest users of Santa Barbara island seals, has not begun to order the creatures as yet.”


October 7, 1921 [LAT]: “Twenty-five seals from Santa Cruz Island will be shipped to Chicago to form part of a zoological collection being gathered over the world by Mrs. Harold McCormick, who proposes, it is said, to donate the ‘zoo’ to Cook County. Captain Ira K. Eaton of the Sea Wolf will have a chance of catching the seals. He has succeeded Captain George M. McGuire in the seal shipping business here, and has his crew ready to make the McCormick catch as soon as telegraphic instructions are received from Chicago, where a retreat for them is being made ready.”


June 18, 1922 [SBMP]: “Sea lion convention. Several thousand sea lions are now holding their annual meeting ‘convention’ off San Miguel Island, near here. Leper seals, black seals, gray seals, even Alaskan fur seals may be seen basking in the sunshine on the rocks, each bull with a harem of perhaps a dozen cows.”


October 19, 1923 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton of the Sea Wolf is expected to return to Santa Barbara today with 10 seals from Santa Cruz Island. An order was received Wednesday from an eastern firm, according to Harry Greenwood, and Captain Eaton left immediately to fill the order. Upon is return here he will take on a crew to work on the wreck of the steamer Cuba on the north end of San Miguel Island, leaving some time this evening.”


February 28, 1925 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira Eaton of the Sea Wolf left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday to trap 40 seals to fill orders received by George M. McGuire. According to Mr. McGuire, a telegraphic order for 35 seals, one of the largest ever received, came to him yesterday and Captain Eaton was immediately dispatched to the island. The seal trapping season is just opening in Santa Barbara from where most of the trained animals in captivity are secured. Captain Eaton will endeavor to bring in the entire 40 in one load which will be a record capture if he is successful.”


August 21, 1926 [SBCS]: “Santa Barbara, Aug. 20. In an attempt to be the first to swim from Santa Cruz Island to the mainland, a distance greater than across the English Channel, Zane Steenrod, telephone lineman, will take the water off Point Diablo between 10 and 12 o’clock tomorrow night. The Sea Wolf has been chartered to convoy Steenrod on his swim and a limited number of passengers will be taken along. The distance from Point Diablo to the Santa Barbara mainland is 26 miles. The English Channelis 22 miles.”


July 2, 1928 [SBMP]: “Ten seals, trapped on Santa Cruz Island by Ira K. Eaton, were delivered to Captain George M. McGuire yesterday. Six of them will be sent to New Orleans to be placed in a new $100,000 pool, recently completed. The others have various destinations. Captain McGuire said that the weather had been so windy recently that it was difficult to trap the seals on the island.”


July 10, 1933 [SBMP]: “Each day Santa Barbara’s old salts scan the waters of the channel for their two pals of long standing, now among the missing. And likewise the yachtsmen, fishermen and other frequenters of Stearn’s Wharf eye the green depths of the sea around the piles. Peggy and Paddy, the pet seals of Santa Barbara’s waterfront have not yet appeared, and the summer yachting and fishing season is in full swing. The first to greet new boats coming into the harbor, Peggy and Paddy in years past would play around in the waters all day long…”


December 27, 1938 [LAT]: “…Circus men and zoo men all over the world know Captain McGuire as the seal-catcher. The slogan on his stationery reads: ‘I supply the world with sea lions.’ And that is no idle boast… when he gets an order McGuire calls on Al Newman and Danny Pico, fishermen who used to be cowboys. Danny says he is a direct descendant of Governor Pio Pico… When the seals find they are fenced in and try to leap the fence the ex-cowboys get busy with lariats. They rope the seals they want!… Thirty-six years ago Captain McGuire wasn’t a captain at all. He was a landlubber in Detroit, in the advertising business. A want ad interested him. A man sighing himself Captain Mullett wished a partner to engage in the seal-catching business in California! McGuire had never seen a seal. He thought all seals were seal skin coats in the raw. The advertisement read like gold-rush news to him and he became Mullett’s ‘angel.’…”


December 27, 1938 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara. Santa Cruz Island seals sent by train to New York. Shipment of six males will undergo training before exhibition debut. Six husky male sea lions from the rookeries of Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands chain are headed out of this port, with the New York World’s Fair as their ultimate destination. Captured by Captain George McGuire, who has been hunting seals, sea lions, otters and other sea-going animals out of this port for 36 of his 85 years, the noisy cargo made the voyage from the island aboard Pelican, formerly owned by the late Captain Ira Eaton…”


January 14, 1953 [SBNP]: “Four recent residents of Santa Cruz Island boarded the Southern Pacific today on a trip to New York, where they will continue by plane to Germany. The four sea lions, commonly known as California seals, comprised the latest shipment under the direction of Captain George McGuire. Captain McGuire, who will be 100 on March 14, estimates that he has shipped nearly 3000 seals from here since 1902, to circuses and zoos all over the world. The last four were caught Monday and yesterday by a party of three headed by Captain Walter Miller... They were caught... under a special permit granted by the Fish & Game Commission...”


June 9, 1957 [SBNP]: “The oddest jobs… Most unusual occupation hereabouts is that of Walter O. Miller, who has caught sea lions for a living for the past 19 years in Santa Barbara. Formerly he was associated with the late George M. McGuire. Now he is associated with George Howe, McGuire’s nephew in the business. Miller, with the aid of John Gomez, his helper, catches from 100 to 150 sea lions each year.”


February 8, 1959 [SBNP]: “Pair find it’s a man-sized job capturing sea lions. Richard Headley, a Santa Barbara fisherman, captures sea lions for a living. ‘Trainers buy most of the sea lions we get,’ said Headley. ‘They order them, along with zoos and circuses, and we catch on order.’ Most of the sea lions are caught off Santa Cruz Island…Headley, returning from his first trip to Santa Cruz this year, said: ‘It took us 14-1/2 hours, counting the four-hour trip each way, to get our first sea lion.’ The 100-pound captive was crated and sent railway express to the South Daytona Beach Sea Zoo in Florida…‘It’s a rough business, and I’m too old for it now. Those sea lions can bite off a couple of fingers, or your whole hand when you’re lassoing them in the nets and pulling them in,’ [Walter O.] Miller said…”