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Finding aid of the James H Gager Diary C058476
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""Six Months on Shipboard" being a Journal of a Voyage to California from New York commencing January 22, 1849 and ending on August 5, 1849, by James H Gager, Passenger on board ship "Pacific". Left with a view to future reference and as a rememberence log" is the hand lettered title page of this 130 page daily dairy of the journey aboard a sailing ship around Cape Horn to San Francisco. Brief daily entries record life on the ship, and the tedium of being at the mercy of the wind and waves on the 14,000 mile voyage. The ship stops at Rio de Janero, Callou and Lima and Gager write extensively about those places.
Little is known of James H. Gager's life before his trip to California on the ship "Pacific". The "Pacific" was scheduled to leave New York on January 5, 1849, and it was the ship's first voyage to the gold fields. Advertised as $300 per passenger. The ship was quickly booked by at least four companies, two of which were: the New England Trading & Minig Company, and the CMT Company (the Connecticut Mining & Trading Company), with other individual passengers booking as well. It was captained by H.I. Tibbetts. A quite detailed account of the journey, referencing James H. Gager, can be found in From New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn in 1849: The Gold Rush Voyage of the ship "Pacific" - an Eyyewitness Account. by Salvador A. Ramirez (Carlsbad, CA:Tentacled Press, 1985). Ramirez blends the accounts of four well-known passengers: Charles H. Williams, Mark Hopkins, Jacob D. B. Stillman and J. Ross Browne. The book lists the roster of passengers at the end, which is derived in part from James H. Gager's passeneger list ( published in Stillman's account of the voyage). The information on each passenger, which Ramirez gleaned from various sources, was the only information able to be found on Gager. It is as follows: James H. Gager, from New York, aged 37 at the time of his sailing (putting his date of birth at 1812. Ramirez's book notes the following: "(Gager) Stranded in the mountains around Lassen's Ranch during the winter of 1849, Gager had by 1861 established residence in San Francisco where he was employed as a bookkeeper, secretary of the Sacramento Valley Railroad in 1865, and stockbroker in 1870. Between 1873 and 1880, he was connected with James Flood and William O'Brien, Kings of the Comstock Lode and owners of the Nevada Bank in San Francisco, as a bookkeeper." This diary is therefore, the fifth account of the voyage of the "Pacific".
1.0 folder 1 diary, handwritten, 130 pages
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