These sources were consulted:

Original Documents & Site Reconnaissance:

San Francisco Public Library, Historical Section: Alta California newspaper microfilm from 1850s and 1860s; Old San Francisco city maps; S.F. - Peninsula train route maps.

In the basement of the Bank of California building (which became the Union Bank of California, then just Union Bank) on Sansome and California Streets in San Francisco, a William Ralston museum is maintained, including many photographs and artifacts from the Ralston era. These photographs show the employees and some details of the bank building itself, which was destroyed by fire in the 1906 earthquake.

Starting on Mission Street in San Francisco, drive west, then southwest until Mission becomes the Old County Road flanking the San Bruno Mountains, and this eventually feeds into El Camino Real on the peninsula and continues south. This is the route that Ralston took when racing the trains from San Francisco to his home in Belmont.

Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley: William Ralston correspondence; Report of the Commissioners ... in Regard to the Sutro Tunnel, referenced below, from which I used direct testimony given by both Sutro and the witnesses.

University of Nevada, Reno: Comstock Lode and Virginia City Maps and geology.

I made two trips to Virginia City where I inspected Piper's Opera House, the original Bank of California branch office of William Sharon, St. Mary's in the Mountains, and took a tour of the Savage Mine. Heading east out of Virginia City on what is now called Highway 79, one travels down the eastern face of Mt. Davidson and, at the eastern edge of town, the road becomes the old Six Mile Road. This is the same road traversed by Adolph Sutro from his home in Dayton, and also referenced several times in the text, including Ch. 12. The scenery hasn't changed much in the last 160 years (one suspects) and driving the road gives one a good feel for what travelers saw as they approached the Comstock Lode.

Books:

Nothing Seemed Impossible
William C. Ralston and Early San Francisco
David Lavender
American West Publishing Co., 1975

 

Adolph Sutro, A Biography
R.E. Jr. and M.F. Stewart
Howell North Books, 1962

 

Ralston's Ring
California Plunders the Comstock Lode
George D. Lyman
Charles Scribner's Sons
NY, NY1937

 

Report Of The Commissioners And Evidence Taken By The Committee…In Regard To The Sutro Tunnel (1872)
The Advantages Of A Deep Drain Tunnel For The Great Comstock Ledge
Adolph Sutro
San Francisco, Feb. 1865

 

The Roar and the Silence
The History of Virginia and the Comstock Lode
Ronald M. James
U of Nevada Press, 1998

 

Men to Match My Mountains
Irving Stone
Doubleday & Co., 1956

 

The First Tycoon
The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbil
T.J. Stiles
Alfred Knopf, New York 2009

 

Commodore Vanderbilt
Alfred A. Knopf
1942
By Wheaton J. Lane

 

The Vanderbilt Women
Dynasty of Wealth, Glamour, and Tragedy
Clarice Stasz
1991

 

Commodore: The life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
Edward J. Renehan, Jr.
Basic Books, NY 2007

 

Commodore Vanderbilt, An epic of the steam age
Wheaton Lane

 

Fortune’s Children
The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt
Arthur T. Vanderbilt
William Morrow & Co.
New York, 1989

 

Foreign Dialects
A Manuel for Actors, Directors and Writers
By Lewis Herman and Marguerite S. Herman
Theatre Arts Books, New York

 

The Barbary Coast
The Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld
Herbert Asbury
Brown and Nourse, 1949
Copyright 1933, Alfred A Knopf, Inc.

 

The Man Who Built San Francisco
A study of Ralston’s Journey with Banners
Julian Dana
NY, The Macmillan Co., 1937

 

William Chapman Ralston
Courageous Builder
Cecil G. Tilton
1935

 

Golden Gate Country
Gertrude Atherton
American Folkways
Duell, Sloan & Pearce, NY 1945

 

Coins in History
John Porteus
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
200 Madison Ave. NY
1969

 

The Discovery of Gold in California
Article by Gen. John A. Sutter
Hutchings’ California Magazine
November, 1857

 

Europe, A History
Norman Davies
Oxford University Press
Oxford – New York, 1996

 

A History of Europe
J.M. Roberts
Allen Lane, The Penguin Press
NY, 1996

 

The Sierra Nevada
A Mountain Journey
By Tim Palmer
Island Press
Washington, D.C. 1988

 

City of Women
Sex and class in New York, 1789-1860
Christine Stansell
Illiam Books
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1982

 

Roughing It
Mark Twain
A publication of the Mark Twain Project
of The Bancroft Library
University of California Press
Berkeley, CA

 

Life on the Mississippi
Mark Twain
Oxford Mark Twain
Oxford University Press
1996

 

The History of the Comstock Lode
Grant H. Smith
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
University of Nevada
Reno/Las Vegas
1943, 1998

 

A Short History of Germany
The MacMillan Company
1909
Norwood Press, JS Cushing Co.
Norwood, Mass.

 

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany
Martin Kitchen
Cambridge Univ. Press
1996

 

A History of United States Coinage
Ted Schwarz
A.S. Barnes & Co.
The Tantivy Press
San Diego & New York
1980

 

Sketches of Early California
Compiled by Donald DeNevi
Chronicle Books, San Francisco
1971

 

A Yankee Trader in the Gold Rush
The Letters of Franklin A. Buck
Compiled by Katherine A. White
Houghton Mifflin Co.
The Riverside Press Cambridge
1930

 

The Fire Horses of San Francisco
Natlee Kenoyer
Westernlore Press, LA 1970

 

Victorian Working Women
Wanda F. Neff
1966

 

Victorian Life and Victorian Fiction
A Companion for the American Reader
Jo McMurtry
1979, Archon Books, Hamden, Conn

 

Women Have Always Worked
Alice Kessler-Harris
1981

 

Women in the American Economy
W. Eliot Brownlee and Mary M. Brownlee
1976

 

American's Working Women
A Documentary History
Linda Gordon, Rosalyn Baxandal, Susan Reverby
1976

 

Paddy and the Republic
Ethnicity and nationality in Antebellum America
Dale T. Knobel
Wesleyan U. Press, 1986

 

Confessions of a Shanty Irishman
Michael Corrigan
AmErica House
2001

 

Comstock Women, The Making of a Mining Community
Ronald M. James and Elizabeth Raymond
U of Nevada Press, 1998

 

Madams of San Francisco
An Irreverent History of …
Curt Gentry
Doubleday, 1964

 

The Big Bonanza
Dan De Quille
Knopf, 1947

 

Comstock Mining and Miners
Eliot Lord
Howell-North
1959

 

Old San Francisco
The Biography of a City
From Early Days to the Earthquake
Doris Muscatine
Putnam, 1975

 

The History of the Comstock Lode
Grant H. Smith
Nevada Bureau of Mines, 1943

 

Dictionary of Tools
Used in Woodworking and allied trades c.1700-1970
R.A. Salaman
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York

 

Slang, Today and Yesterday
Eric Partridge
1933, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd

 

An Irish Journey
Sean O'Faolain
1940, Longmans, Green & Co.
London

 

A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
Eric Partridge
1961 New York
The MacMillian Co.

 

English as We Speak it in Ireland
P.W. Joyce
1910, Longmans, Green & Co.
London

 

The Vocabulary of Anglo-Irish
James M. Clark
Folcroft Library Ed 1974

 

A Dictionary of Hiberno-English

xxx

 

1848, Year of Revolution
Mike Rapport
Basic Books, 2008