Gold, Silk, Pioneers & Mail: The Story of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company

Overview

One of the primary players in the development of San Francisco, the West, and the entire Pacific Basin economy, was the US-flagged Pacific Mail Steamship Company, established by William H. Aspinwall of New York in 1848 -- 160 years ago -- to carry passengers and mail to California via the Isthmus of Panama. What he didn't know was that -- before his first wooden sidewheeler would arrive at Panama's Pacific Coast, the world would learn that gold had been discovered in California, and the future of his risky ...
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San Francisco 2007 Softbound Very Good Quarto, glossy paper covers, xii, 52 pp., b/w photos, bibliography, index. Foreword by James P. Delgado. Copy 21 of 500 copies. Inscribed ... by the author on the first blank page. Read more Show Less

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2007 S paperback Good Cover lightly rubbed, edges lightly bumepd, corners lightly rubbed; edges lightly soiled; ffep has erasures; rfep has statement "Limited to five hundred ... copies of which this is number ___, " however this copy unnumbered; binding tight; cover, edges, and interior intact and clean except as noted. Due to the size of this item, additional shipping charges may apply on International or Expedited orders. Read more Show Less

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Overview

One of the primary players in the development of San Francisco, the West, and the entire Pacific Basin economy, was the US-flagged Pacific Mail Steamship Company, established by William H. Aspinwall of New York in 1848 -- 160 years ago -- to carry passengers and mail to California via the Isthmus of Panama. What he didn't know was that -- before his first wooden sidewheeler would arrive at Panama's Pacific Coast, the world would learn that gold had been discovered in California, and the future of his risky venture would be assured. The authors have told the story of Pacific Mail's expansion from a pioneering Gold Rush carrier through its introduction in 1867 of the world's first regular trans-Pacific steamship service, which brought waves of immigration from China and Japan, and the advent of burgeoning Pacific trade and investment. These great historic achievements are told through fact-filled narrative that is punctuated with never-before-published letters written by arriving miners and pioneers who settled San Francisco. The book is richly illustrated with more than 60 images of Pacific Mail vessels, artifacts and ephemera from the Gold Rush and the trans-Pacific eras, taken from the authors' collections. Published by the Friends of the San Francisco Maritime Museum Library (Glencannon Press), it holds the Coke Wood Award from Westerners International as best published historical monograph. The successor to Pacific Mail is today's APL (American President Lines), a global container and logistics operator that is today part of Singapore's NOL Group.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889901411
  • Publisher: Friends of the San Francisco Maritime Museum Library
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Series: Pacific Maritime History Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Chandler, PhD, is the Senior Researcher for Historical Services, Wells Fargo Bank, and has written some 50 articles on Wells Fargo and Civil War California history.

Stephen J. Potash, Potash & Company, is a long-time public relations consultant to the international trade and freight transportation sectors, and a 25-year Pacific Mail collector.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    Moi Chung, my paternal grandfather, arrived in America aboard S.S. Mongolia, a Pacific Mail steamer from China, as so many others did in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He had arrived on June 17, 1912 at the Port of San Francisco from the Port of Hong Kong to study as a missionary. 'Gold, Silk, Pioneers & Mail' gave me a fascinating and rewarding glimpse into the era of great steamers in the Pacific trade and immigration. I read interesting letters from immigrant passengers describing their journeys. I saw illustrations of rare and unpublished images of some of the steamers that brought them, including my grandfather, to these shores. If you are a steamer buff of that era, you will truly appreciate and enjoy 'Gold, Silk, Pioneers & Mail.'

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