Voyage to California (22) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

An unforgettable glimpse into history as it happens to a real family.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


Washington’s birthday. Two guns were fired at sunrise. At 8 o’clock the vessel was decorated with flags. The U. S. Union Jack was hoisted at the bow, the U.S. Mail, English Union Jack, French Tri-color, and Chilean at the foremast; the Mexican and New Grenadian at the missen mast; and the stars and stripes at the stern. A single pennon was exhibited on the mainmast for an hour or two; then the Union Jack and a flag bearing the name of the vessel were hoisted. We arrived at Acapulco about 11 o’clock. A…

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