Sea Routes to the Gold Fields
Sea Routes to the Gold Fields tells the story of one of the most exciting mass movements in history: the migration by sea of the tens of thousands who joined the headlong race to California’s newly discovered gold fields. This work fills an important gap in the literature of the Gold Rush, for while numerous books have been written about those who traveled overland to California, this is the first to give a comprehensive picture of the other half of the migration, of those Argonauts who made the journey in the slow, tiny, and incredibly crowded sailing ships and steamers of a century ago.
It presents a colorful, varied, and extremely interesting picture of life on the gold ships during the months-long voyages, of the emigrants’ accommodations, food, and recreations, of their intermediate stops en route, and of what befell those who made the isthmian crossings at Panama or Nicaragua. Based mainly on the diaries and letters of pioneers who made the journey between 1849 and 1852, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields is a fascinating record of one of the most dramatic episodes in the nation’s history.