San Francisco Points of Interest

<em>To Remember Robert Louis Stevenson</em>
17 May 2012
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To Remember Robert Louis Stevenson
Portsmouth Plaza
Unveiled 1897

Robert Louis Stevenson lived near Portsmouth Plaza at 608 Bush Street from December 1879 to March 1880.

The monument was designed by Bruce Porter, landscape designer of Filoli Gardens and architect Willis Polk. The inscription reads:

To Remember Robert Louis Stevenson

To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little, to spend a little less - to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence - to renounce when that shall be necessary, and not be embittered - to keep a few friends but these without capitulation - above all on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself - here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy

The quotation is from Across the Plains, Chapter 12, A Christmas Sermon.

Across the Plains is the middle section of Robert Louis Stevenson's three-part travel memoir which began with The Amateur Emigrant and ended with The Silverado Squatters.

The book contains twelve chapters, each a story or essay unto itself. The title chapter is the longest, and is divided into seven subsections. It describes Stevenson's arrival at New York as an immigrant, along with hundreds of other Europeans, and his train journey from New York to San Francisco in an immigrant train.

Stevenson describes the train as having three sections: one for women and children, one for men, and one for Chinese. He notes that while the Europeans looked down on the Chinese for being dirty, in fact the Chinese carriages were the freshest and their passengers the cleanest.

This description of Across the Plains is from Wikipedia.

Portsmouth Plaza is where San Francisco began.

Points of historical interest associated with Portsmouth Plaza and Gold Rush San Francisco:

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