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than when he is brought face to face with nature upon the ocean. See him as he scans the horizon with anxious and fearful eye, watching for an enemy which he knows is his master; mark him, when that enemy appears, cringing and shrinking from the shock of battle, his ship tossing helplessly with folded and bedraggled wings, as if seeking to become so small and insignificant that the storm will sweep over her bowed head in contemptuous pity.
But what a different aspect man presents when braving and contending with perils such as those to which our overland immigrants were exposed. They were not so much at the mercy of capricious elements, to drive them hundreds of miles out of their course or retard their journey for months. Upon their own strength, courage, and endurance they relied. Having determined their route they set their faces westward, and westward by that route they went until their goal was reached, opposing force with force, meeting danger, difficulty, and hardship, without flinching, conquering every foot of the way by their own indomitable will.
Yet, alas ! many here fell by the way, as we have
THE VOYAGE TO CALIFORNIA-NEW YORK TO CHAGRES.
Some set out, like crusaders of old, with a glorious equipment of hope and enthusiasm, and get broken by the way, wanting patience with each other and the world,
EVERYBODY is supposed to know, though everybody does not know, that Phryxos fled from the wrath of his father Athamas, king of Orchomenus, in Boeotia, riding through the air to Colchis upon the ram with the golden fleece, which was the gift of Hermes. The ram was then sacrificed to Zeus, and the fleece given to King Ætes, who hung it upon a sacred oak in the grove of Ares, where it was guarded night and day by an ever-watchful dragon. Pelias, king of Ioscos, in Thessaly, sent Jason his half brother's son, who claimed the sovereignty, with the chief heroes of Greece, in the ship Argo to fetch the golden fleece. Jason obtained the fleece, though Pelias had hoped he should have been destroyed. Of the Argonauts there were fifty in number, and among them Hercules, and the singer Orpheus, Castor and Pollux, Zetes and Calais, Mopus, Theseus, and others, the stories concerning whose enterprise, it is thought, grew out of the commercial expeditions of the Munyans to the coasts of the Euxine. Ulysses, returning from the seige of Troy, made a ten year's voyage, being driven about by tempests, during which time he underwent many strange adventures. Other Mediterranean mythological voyages there were, and hypothetical navigations to the near shores and islands of the Atlantic and Indian oceans; following which were
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the voyages of the Scandinaviars, those fierce Norsemen that were the terror of all the maritime nations of northern Europe, and the first known discoverers of America. Then there were the voyages of the Portuguese round Africa, and of the Spaniards to America; there were the Dutch voyages for conquest, and the English voyages of circumnavigation; there were voyages of discovery, commercial voyages, voyages for purposes of war, science, and religion, for pleasure, profit, and proselyting, but never since the sea was made has there been seen such voyaging as the trip to California during the flush times. And never shall the sea behold such sights again; never shall tempest sport such tangled human freight, nor the soft tropical wind whisper of such confused and desultory cargoes as those which swept the main in ships from every point in search of the new golden fleece.
As compared with contemporaneous trans-Atlantic navigation, the voyage from New York to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus presents entirely distinct features. It was an episode individual and peculiar; a part, and no small part, of the great uprising and exodus of the nations; it was the grand pathway of pilgrims from all parts of the eastern world; it was brimfull of romance and comedy, of unnumbered woes and tragedy, enlivened now and then by a disaster which sent a thrill throughout the civilized world. It was a briny, boisterous idyl, where courage bore along slippery passage-ways, and love lounged upon canopied decks, and sentiment in thin muslin cooed in close cabins, and vice and virtue went hand in hand as friends.
The California voyage occupied twice the time of the trans-Atlantic; the steamers employed in the former were large, standing well out of water, and capable of carrying from 700 to 1,500 passengers, while those of the latter were lower and smaller. In the character of the passengers, those by European
ABNORMITIES OF THE JOURNEY.
vessels were more homogeneous, more alike one another, each ship carrying a fraternizing cargo whatever the caste, a cargo of nearer kinship in origin and destination, while on the Californian steamers all was babel-tongued discordant conglomeration. _In scenery the California trip, as compared to the European, is as kaleidoscope to spy-glass; there are seas that lash themselves into angry foam, seas that race their blue billows along, swirling and shaking their crests in careless wantonness, and seas glassy as mountain lakes, mirroring the luxuriant green of tropical isles and mainland. Within the three weeks allotted to the trip the voyager passes under the influence of the four seasons, is introduced to wonderful lands, and made acquainted with strange peoples. Nature and human nature assumes phases altogether new; unique experiences and wide prospects sharpen the faculties and enlarge ideas. A sort of inspiration follows; the windows of the mind are opened and immensity rushes in, even sea-sickness is an inspiration, or is followed by keener thoughts and an inspiriting frame of mind.
The reasons why there never again can be such seavoyagings are obvious. This planet has no other California left, no other Pacific coast, no further stretch of gold-besprinkled unoccupied temperate zone. Gold discoveries there may be, and possible uprisings and rushes, but the earth is now belted by railways and telegraphs, and all parts of it worth rushing to, all parts of it possible to seize, pleasant to live in, or profitable to subdue are now occupied and guarded by civilized or semi-civilized nations. There never will be another crusade for the recovery of the holy sepulchre, nor another ten centuries of religious wars, nor another Bartholemew massacre, nor any more old-fashioned voyages of discovery, nor any more California gold-hunter's voyages of adventure. History may repeat itself; so may nature, progressional phenomena, and fundamental social laws, but mon
strosities, aberrations, and abnormities, never. The early voyage to California, like everything purely Californian, is and ever shall be sui generis.
On the 24th of February, 1852, accompanied by my friend Mr Kenny, I set sail from New York in the steamer George Law for Habana. There were then two steamship lines in operation between New York and San Francisco-one by way of Nicaragua,
— · and the other by way of Panamá. By the Nicaragua route, passengers were conveyed direct to San Juan del Norte, or Greytown, where they took a small steamboat and were conveyed up the river San Juan and across Lake Nicaragua to Virgin bay, Rivas, or Nicaragua, as the landing was severally called; thence by land to San Juan del Sur, and again by steamer to San Francisco. Two steamers of the Panamá line, sailing one from New York and the other from New Orleans, met at Habana. There the passengers and mails of both were transferred to a third steamer and conveyed to the port of Chagres, where, disembarking, the Chagres river was ascended in small open boats to Gorgona, or Cruces, thence by saddle and pack mules to Panamá, where the Pacific Mail Steamship Conipany's steamer lay waiting to sail for San Francisco, touching at Acapulco.
As early as 1835 the attention of the president, Andrew Jackson, was called by Henry Clay to the subject of inter-oceanic communication, and Charles Biddle was appointed commissioner to examine the several routes and report thereon. Nothing, however, was then accomplished. In 1847 the vexed question of the boundary line between British Columbia and Oregon haviny been settled by treaty of the United States with Great Britain, it was deemed desirable, if possible, that some shorter and safer route should be found to the rich valleys of the Northwest Coast, which were then rapidly being settled, than the savage path across the plains, or