To California by Sea: A Maritime History of the California Gold Rush

James P. Delgado, Author
James P. Delgado, Author University of South Carolina Press $29.95 (237p) ISBN 978-0-87249-673-6
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
A popular concept of the gold rush portrays the overland migration, yet according to the evidence, more people journeyed by sea. The significant factor in this maritime traffic was cargo--supplies for miners and an expanding population. Delgado, maritime historian of the National Park Service, here presents a comprehensive account of shipping during the gold rush era. He reviews briefly maritime trade prior to 1848--furs, hides, whaling--and the settling of San Francisco. He follows shipping around the Horn, steamship service on the Panama and Nicaragua routes and California traffic. Panama steamers carried homebound argonauts and mail until that service was taken over by the U.S. Navy in 1850. Delgado explores the development of the San Francisco waterfront and maritime industries along the coast; he describes shipwrecks and efforts to salvage cargo. This colorful history is a notable addition to the literature of the gold rush. Illustrated. (May)
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