Forty-Niners 'Round the Hornby Charles R. Schultz
Forty-Niners 'round the Horn recounts the thrilling-and at times harrowing-maritime adventure of fortune hunters who sailed from the east coast around Cape Horn to California during the gold rush of 1849. In the first book devoted to the onboard life of thousands of gold seekers, Charles R. Schultz paints a vivid picture of the eighteen-thousand-mile odyssey through several climatic zones and around the vicissitudes of Cape Horn. Drawing upon more than one hundred unpublished diaries, Schultz profiles the individuals who embarked on such journeys and demonstrates how markedly the gold rush voyages differed from general commercial trading and whaling ventures.
Incorporating generous excerpts from logbooks and journals, Schultz allows seamen and passengers to recount much of the experience in their own words. Of particular interest, he includes passages about their hopes upon embarkment, perceptions of such ports as Rio de Janeiro and Lima, and impressions of California.
Schultz finds that the gold seekers, most of whom were men in their twenties, had never been away from home, much less on a lengthy voyage. They traveled in vessels of all sizes, with the number of passengers ranging from as few as ten to as many as two hundred. The voyages lasted between four and eight months, with most vessels making one or two stops for fresh provisions but a handful making no stops.
Schultz describes the preparations made for the trip, onboard provisions, and activities for the passengers such as types, quantity, and quality of food and drink; forms of entertainment; religious observances and the marking of national and state holidays and special occasions. He also records thechallenges and discomforts inflicted by alternating hot and cold temperatures and frequent storms; disputes among passengers, crew members, and members of joint stock companies; and problems with vermin, theft, drunkenness, sickness, and death.
Meet the Author
Charles R. Schultz is a professor and the Clements Archivist at Texas A&M University in College Station where he has served on the faculty since 1971.
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