Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
James Quimby papers, 1852.
BANC MSS 2015/201 oversize folder 1
Collection Overview


James Quimby papers, 1852


Quimby, James, creator, creator.


Fanand, Nancy, correspondent.


Contains a poem, a page of journal entries, and a letter from James Quimby, who attempts to go to California via Cornelius Vanderbilt's Accessory Transit Company, presumably for the gold rush, but has to turn back in Nicaragua and return to New York due to various delays, accidents, and political unrest. He returned to New York in May, 1852 and eventually sued Vanderbilt's company for breach of contract. He won his case in the Court of Common Pleas (New York) which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the State of New York in 1858. (Quimby v. Vanderbilt, 17 N.Y. 306, (N.Y. 1858))
Written off Sandy Hook at sunset, Quimby bids an elaborate, poetic farewell to his girilfriend, Nancy Fanand, on Valentine's Day. The poem consists of 15 verses of four lines each and begins, "Farewell Miss Nancy Fanand - perhaps forever, Thy black eyes may gaze on me no more. A mounful presage tells my heart that never, Jim Quimby's form shall pass again thy door...."
Short, periodic dated journal entries with details about Quimby's time in Nicaragua and his susequent voyage back to New York, arriving there on May 4, 1852.
Written while still in Nicaragua waiting for the steamship North America to take him to San Francisco, Quimby receives news that the ship has wrecked and will have to wait for another one. Quimby is willing to wait a few days but writes that if it doesn't arrive soon he will return to New York and sue Vanderbilt's company. Quimby gives numerous details of his daily life in Nicaragua, particularly the abundance of food, but laments his time away from Fanand, "I do not know how I am to live two years without seeing you, the time seems so long so very long but I strive to think only how happy we shall be when we get together again...."


1852 (issued)


Quimby, James -- Correspondence
Fanand, Nancy -- Correspondence
Compañía Accesoria del Tránsito.
North America (Steamer)
Voyages to the Pacific coast -- Personal narratives


James Quimby papers, 1852, BANC MSS 2015/201, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Purchase; Stuart Lutz; 20151023.
The steamer North America, captained by James H. Bleven, ran aground on a clear, moonlit night, 70 miles south of Acapulco on February 28, 1852. All passengers and baggage were safely evacuated to shore and the ship was declared a total loss.
In English.


Love letters.

Physical Description:

3 (1




BANC MSS 2015/201 oversize folder 1