One letter from former judge, Robert Ferral, to B.G. Haskell Esquire, dated 01/23/1885. Judge Ferral gives his regrets at
being unable to be an active member of the Central Committee of the International Workingmen's Association due to the time
he has to put into his private law practice.
Robert Ferral was born in Philadelphia on October 13, 1841. Coming to California a boy, in 1852, two years later he arrived
in Tuolumne, in 1854. His active life began with the commencement of his labors in the printing office of the Sonoma Herald,
edited at that time by J. J. O'Sullivan. After a few months he left that employment and entered the office of the Union Democrat,
published by A. N. Francisco, and so acquired his trade of a practical printer. In 1862 he went to Aurora, Nevada, and became
editor of the Daily Times of that town, taking the place of E. D. Draper, who had been shot in a duel by Dr. W. E. Eichelroth.
During his stay in Aurora, Mr. Ferral was admitted to practice law by the Hon. George Turner, Chief Justice of the Territorial
Supreme Court. In the year 1865 he removed to San Francisco, and became editor of the Irish People newspaper. In 1866 he went
to Sonoma County and edited the Sonoma Democrat, at Santa Rosa. In 1871 Mr. Ferral was chosen Chief Clerk of the Assembly,
and shortly after the expiration of his term he proceeded to San Francisco and was appointed Assistant District Attorney,
and afterwards nominated by acclamation District Attorney; but was defeated in a close a contest. Next chosen Secretary of
the Senate, and again Chief Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Ferral was finally appointed, by Governor Irwin, Judge of the City
Criminal Court of San Francisco, and was afterwards elected by the people to the same office.