Towards the close of the nineteenth century the city of San Francisco was totally ingulfed by an earthquake. Although the whole coast-line must have been much shaken, the accident seems to have been purely local, and even the city of Oakland escaped. Schwappelfurt, the celebrated German geologist, has endeavored to explain this singular fact by suggesting that there are some things the earth cannot swallow, — a statement that should be received with some caution, as exceeding the latitude of ordinary geological speculation.
Historians disagree in the exact date of the calamity. Tulu Krish, the well-known New-Zealander, whose admirable speculations on the ruins of St. Paul as seen from London Bridge have won for him the attentive consideration of the scientific world, fixes the occurrence in A. D. 1880. This, supposing the city to have been actually founded in 1850, as asserted, would give but thirty years for it to have assumed the size and proportions it had evidently attained at the time of its destruction. It is not our purpose, however, to question the conclusions of the justly famed Maorian philosopher. Our present business lies with the excavations that are now being prosecuted by order of the Hawaiian government upon the site of the lost city.