Although Ambrose Bierce was already in San Francisco in late September 1875, a lot had changed in the city, and not necessarily positively. Like other states, San Francisco was locked in the throes of a bone-crushing depression occasioned by the failure of Jay Cooke and Company, the premier banking house of the nation, as well as the subsequent panic due to the failure among the financiers of Wall Street. The state of economy was very unstable in San Francisco. Rarefied financial dealing greatly affected the immediate job prospects of Bierce in the autumn of 1875. In 1877, Bierce was hired as an associate editor of Argonaut, a new publication in San Francisco. Depression was worsening and everybody blamed the Chinese for all the woes.
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