Voyage to California (6) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

"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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


(Feb.)  7th.  Arrived at Chagres at 1:30 P.M., and were quickly surrounded by small boats from the shore. Engaged a passage in one for $1 and set out. The old Fort, the tropical vegetation, the little fleet of boats and canoes of many different sizes, shapes and structure, the different kinds of people who propel them, the curious little town and the crowds who thronged the shore, all conspired to make the scene at landing novel, picturesque, and beautiful. Procured a passage to Gorgona, and after considerable delay, got started up the river…

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One thought on “Voyage to California (6) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

  1. Janet, Thank you for sharing the story of the Voyage to California about my ancestor, John Jackson Lewis. It gives us great insight on how difficult trvel was back then, and yet, many people did travel – across the pond and across this vast country of ours.


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