With the discovery of gold in 1848, California became a magnet for adventurous, fortune-seeking men throughout the nation. One who was drawn to the Promised Land was twenty-four-year-old Thomas Whaley, member of a prominent New York City family and a businessman of versatile talents-not only merchant, but also architect, artist, gambler, explorer, and civic leader. This book contains the journal and letters written by Whaley on his 15,000-mile, 240-day voyage to California on the Sutton.
Here readers get a firsthand, personal account of the customs and concerns of the day. Whaley shares with them the adventures, thrills, everyday events, pastimes, animosities, tragedies and living conditions that marked his less than serene trip on the sailing vessel. He describes the personalities of his fellow passengers, violent storms with mountainous waves, flying fish, a shark that was caught, almost unbearable tropical heat, felt all the more because of cramped quarters, quarrels between the captain and his mate, a drowning, a suicide, and the landing on deck of an albatross.
In Consignments to El Dorado readers will enjoy a lively, vividly written piece of Americana and obtain a colorful view of life aboard a sailing vessel more than 150 years ago.
Paperback - 268 pages