Voyage to California (23) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

In a few words, this moment in history is retold for posterity which becomes the richer for the disclosure.

"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.


The steamer left Acapulco shortly after 12 o’clock last night, and this morning we were again upon the ocean. The noise of weighing anchors and stowing away the chain cable in the immediate vicinity of my eirth awakened me occasionally but did not seriously impede my slumbers. I am becoming accustomed to sleep amid noises. This morning I heard, with surprise, that there was a death in the steerage last night about 10 or 11 o’clock. The man was a foreigner, unknown to nearly everyone on board. At 8 o’clock the preparations for…

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2 comments on “Voyage to California (23) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

  1. Judy Guion says:

    Thank you Maureen for continuing to share this story with your readers.It pleases me when others can share these slices of life – another time and another place.


    • My dear Judy, yours is a family story that, as an enthusiastic amateur historian, is irresistible. I have loved history since childhood when my aunt gave me a book on William the Conqueror. Yours is a story that is all the more exciting because it is a substantiated family story.


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