The finding aid for the John Morland Cushing Memoir C057893

T, Keats,J. Davis
Society of California Pioneers
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 150
Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129


B002182 / B-2-1B

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Title: John Morland Cushing Memoir
Identifier/Call Number: C057893
Physical Description: 1 folder 1 Folder (1 typed memoir, 1 typed letter)
Date (bulk): 1905
Abstract: This file contains a 30 page typed memoir written by John Morland Cushing who journeyed from New York, via Panama, to San Francisco on board the ships "Crescent City" and "Niantic" arriving finally in 1849. He stayed some three months in Panama, waiting for a ship to enable him to complete his journey. His date of sailing is unclear, but he left his home for New York, February 1, 1849 and arrived in San Francisco July 3, 1849. Records at the Society of California Pioneers have his date of arrival as October 5, 1849. He would depart from San Francisco shortly after his arrival for the gold fields in Colma.

Scope and Contents

John Cushing sailed from New York with a company of 12 men in early February, 1849. The trip on the "Crescent City" was routine, arriving in Panama after some 8 days. A very large portion of the memoir relates to Cushing's extended stay in Panama, waiting for a ship to take him on to San Francisco. Many ships of that day only sailed as far as Panama and this resulted in a large back up of passengers waiting to continue on to San Francisco. Many reported waiting as long as 2-3 months for passage. While in Panama, Cushing worked for a short time clearing jungle growth for the Corps of Engineers. This ensured his passage on one of the very next ships, the "Niantic", which sailed to San Francisco with 300 passengers. The trip was long and tedious as it sailed south for 20 days before reaching the trade winds. During the trip a group of passengers questioned the Captain, Mr. Cleveland, who in no uncertain terms let them know he was the one who knew the best route and who was clearly in charge. The "Niantic" arrived in San Francisco July 5th, 1849. Cushing and others disembarked and after a short time continued on to the gold fields in Colma.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

A letter included in the file, dated February 21, 1928, from O.K. Cushing and Charles S. Cushing John Cushing's sons, presents the Memoir written by their father, to the Society of California Pioneers.

Existence and Location of Originals

The Society of California Pioneers, 101 Montgomery St. Suite 150, Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco CA, 94129

Preferred Citation

The John Morland Cushing Papers. The Society of Califronia Pioneers.

Biographical / Historical

John Morland Cushing was born in Salem Massachusets on July 16, 1825 to John Dean Cushing and Angelina B. Stuart. He married Anne Mary Kennedy (1829-1923) of Moortown, County Meath, Ireland, on August 10, 1903. They had five children: Alice Gray Cushing, Lizzie Morland Cushing, Oscard Kennedy Cushing, Chalres Stuart Cushing and Caroline Morland Cushing. John sailed from New York for San Francisco in February of 1849, and arrived in San Francisco on either July 3, or October 5, 1849 - sources differ. He served an apprenticeship at the printing business with his father until 1849, when he left for California, partially in search of gold, but principally of health. Three of his children were born in San Francisco (Alice, Lizzie and Charles), and of the other two, Oscar was born in Virginia City, Nevada, and Caroline was born in Harris Valley, Monterey, Californina. Cushing was last known in Oakland, California and employed with the Southern Pacific Railroad. Some of this information was taken from the Society's Biographical Files, and also from Cushing's institutional records. (See related materials below.)

Related Materials

The Society of California Pioneers holds the following institutional records for John Morland Cushing: Archive Record, vol. 1, pg. 263; Marshall's Record, vol. 1, p.29; and Mortuary Record, 1906-33, p.210.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Voyages to the Pacific coast
Panama, Isthmus of (Panama) -- Description and travel.
Frontier and pioneer life – California
Niantic (Ship)
Cushing, John Morland, 1825-1907 or 09