Benjamin S. Buckley: Journal of the voyage from Boston to San-Francisco

About the Project

This is a journal of a Gold Rush voyage aboard the Boston ship Capitol, transporting around 200 forty-niners from Boston out to San Francisco for the California Gold Rush. Journal keeper Benjamin S. Buckley was in his late 20s when he went, and he describes daily life aboard a ship full of young men setting out to seek their fortunes just a few weeks after the finds of gold were verified at Sutter's Mill, CA. His detailed account of games, songs, debating society, fights, thefts, patriotic celebrations of Washington's birthday and the 4th of July, as well as rather graphic description of the layover in Valparaiso, Chile provide a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of a six-month trip to California in the mid-19th century. Unlike most forty-niners, Buckley made a fortune mining, and he sent several thousand dollars back to his family in New England.

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