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Mode of travel from Maine to California, 1850-1860
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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Kyla
I have ancestors that migrated from Maine to California in the 1850-1860 time period. Some were gold miners and some went to farm. One gold miner left his wife behind, never to return. One farmer brought his children and wife. Another farmer went alone first and later his wife and children came. I suspect some went via sailing around Cape Horn. I am wondering how likely it would have been to travel over land.

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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Virginia

Hi, I have a family member who went to San Francisco in 1849.  He went by steamer out of New York City around the Horn and up the west coast of South America.

He actually went to California several times, but I'm not sure how he travelled on the later trips.

He was a merchant and a writer,  and he sent regular dispatches back to his hometown of Portsmouth, NH, which were published in the Journal of Literature and Politics.

I have several copies of his personal notes to his wife and nephew, and also copies from the newspaper items, and I am currently publishing some of these letters in the Essex Genealogist.

His name was Ezekiel Fitzgerald, Jr. (1810-1864)  He was my great-grandfather's uncle.

Ginny


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Created By:Heather
My 3x great grandfather was George Emerson (1817 - 1890), son of Romanus Emerson and Jemima Burnham.  He was born in South Boston.  I was told he went to the 1849 Gold Rush in California via covered wagon, and that the wagon was named "Leonore".  However, after much research, I found his name on the list from the New England and California Mining and Trading Company expedition from Boston to San Francisco, on board the ship "Leonore" which had been built in Newburyport.  Three generations of Leonore's were born in my family tree.  He went via the horn, and came back later via railroad across Panama.  I think that as coastal New Englanders, the trip by sea was quicker and more economical, and probably safer than overland travel, even though the sea trip was pretty dangerous.
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Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 2


Created By:Kyla
Thanks Virginia and Heather for the very interesting posts in response to my question. I think my ancestors probably went by sea to California too.

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