Round Cape Horn :

voyage of the passenger-ship James W. Paige, from Maine to California in the year 1852;


TO My Fellow-Passengers,


A voyage round Cape Horn in a passenger-ship is an event of the past. The necessity for performing this perilous voyage has been obviated by the introduction of railroads and steamships. Emigrants and travelers are no longer obliged to risk their lives and waste their time in passing round the Stormy Cape in order to arrive at a point, which may be reached in a week by a pleasant ride across the continent on the railroad; and Cape Horn is destined to become a terra incognita to all but the readers of ancient voyages.

I am not aware that a narrative of a voyage of this description has ever been published; and the hope that a truthful account of the perils, discomforts, and annoyances, as well as the pleasures and enjoyments attending it, may prove entertaining to the reader, has prompted me to send forth this little work to meet the fate or fortune which an enlightened public may award it.

The scenes and anecdotes recorded at the end of the voyage, are given in the hope that they may possess some slight value as conveying an idea--a vague and indistinct one, perhaps--of some of the characteristics and habits of a portion of the people of California in early times.


CHAPTER I. - Description of the Bark--She sets Sail--Uncomfortable Situation--Specimen of our Discomforts--A Squall--Escape from a Water-spout--Approach to the Cape Verde Islands--Religious Services--A School of Porpoises--A Dutch Vessel--A Flying-fish--Annoyances--Bad Cooking--A Practical Joke--Tropic of Cancer  13

CHAPTER II. - Consultations about Cape Verde Islands--Flying-fish--English Steamer--Tropical Showers--Disappointment--Capture of a Porpoise--May-Day at Sea--An English Bark--Letters for Home--Another Bark--Nautical Ceremonies--An Aquatic Bird--Crossing the Equator--Squalls--A Portuguese Brig--Captain J. engages to stop at Rio Janeiro--Land Seen--Cape Frio--Approach to Rio Janeiro-Beautiful Scenery--Disappointment   21

CHAPTER III. - A Mistake Discovered and Corrected--Ill Health--Scenery of the Coast and Harbor of Rio Janeiro--We cast Anchor--Going Ashore--Rambles in the City--Fountains--Markets--Parrots--Hammer-headed Sharks--Monkeys--Slaves--Tropical Trees--Visit to a Hotel--English Gentlemen--Public Gardens    29

CHAPTER IV. - Visit to the Botanical Garden--Description of the garden--Dinner at the Hotel--Third Visit to the City--Impudence of the First Mate--Village of San Domingo--A Walk in the Country--attacked by Dogs--Beautiful Plantations--Civility of a Planter--Elegant Mansion and Ground--A Retreat--A fine Road--Return to the Ship--Supply of Fruit--The North America--Mr. Kent, our Consul   36

CHAPTER V. - Weigh Anchor--Civility of the People of Rio--Temperance--All Altercation--Cold Weather--Cape Pigeons--Large Bird--Our Kitchen Establishment--Stewards and Cooks--Scouse--Inspection of Cooks' Galley--A Joke--A Squall--An Altercation--Captain J. and Mrs. L--Cape Pigeons--Oranges    46

CHAPTER VI. - A Disagreeable Scene--Scarcity of Oil--Lamps and Slush-An Albatross-Ill Manners of the Mate--Cold Weather--The Whiffle-tree Watch--Disagreeable Scene--Magellan Clouds and Southern Cross--An act of Kindness--Turnovers and Sport--Tierra del Fuego and Staten Land--A Perilous Passage--Ducks and Cape Pigeons--A Squall--A Black Albatross--Cape Horn--Stormy Weather--A Gale--Accident at the Breakfast Table   54

CHAPTER VII. - Severe Cold--Furious Storm--Diego Ramirez Islands--Land Ahead--Cape Horn Weather--Two Vessels--Length of Days and Nights--Disagreeable Brawl--Heading North--Patagonia--The Andes--Another Storm-Anxiety of Captain J.--A Lunar Rainbow--Another Gale--Bill of Fare--Filthy Cooks and Impure Water   63

CHAPTER VIII. - Captain Jackson--A Drifting Spar--Approaching Talcahuana--Washing-day--Landscapes--Harbor of Talcahuana--Pelicans--A Visit from Officials--Description of the Town--American Houses--Tremont House--A Dinner   72

CHAPTER IX. - Character of the Inhabitants--Agricultural Implements--Lassoing Cattle--Poncho--A Covered Wagon--Wild Doves--An Earthquake--An Excursion--Dogs, Women, Children, and Shells--A Scotchman and his Wine--An Adventure and the Calaboose--A Chilian Musket Fished up--An Affecting Incident--Fruit Market--Leave Talcahuana--An Explanation--Theft in the Cooks' Galley--Disinterested Advice--Uneasiness of Mrs. L-- and Captain J   80

CHAPTER X. - Religious Services--A Beautiful Bird--Departure of Cape Pigeons and Albatrosses--Stormy Petrels--Amusements--Harmony among the Passengers--Mrs. L--t and her Child--Violence of Captain J.--Our Chaplain turns Poet--Captain J.'s rest disturbed by the Passengers--He threatens to blow them through--Sugar--Petty Annoyances--A Rag Baby--Our Chaplain and his Revolver--Change of Weather--Uncomfortable Condition of the Main Cabin--Theft of Raisins--Ship's Stores--Gross Negligence--Great Waste of Scouse   90

CHAPTER XI. - An Arbitrary Prohibition--Card Playing and Checker Playing--Dancing--Treachery of Mr. Johnson--Some Passengers--A Comical Character, and a Pugnacious Character--A Beautiful Bird--Closing the Hatches--A Question of Jurisdiction--The Hatche's Re-opened--A Sudden Transformation--Neglected Duties of the Chaplain--His Influence with the Captain   99

CHAPTER XII. - Head Winds--The Dusky Albatross--Tacking Ship--Fishing for Birds--Amusement of the Mate and Passengers--A Poet--Fair Winds--A Porpoise--A Fight in the Main Cabin--My Journal--Opinions of Mr. Johnson--Meeting in the Main Cabin--Schools of Porpoises--Narrow Escape from Shipwreck--An Act of Charity   107

CHAPTER XII. - Whales--Sunshine--Pacific Ocean and Tom Moore--Wormy Bread and Impure Water--A Pilot--Arrival in the Harbor of San Francisco--The City--Dismantled Ships--My last Visit to the Bark--Statement and Counter Statement--Angry Remonstrance--Mr. Spring and his two Journals--Final Adieu to the James W. Paige   114

Scenes in Sacramento  121
Cattle Stealing in Contra Costa   123
Felling Trees in the Redwoods 127
Solitude  129
A Collector of Natural Curiosities  130
A Pair of Rattlesnakes  133
A Queer Fellow 135
A Sandwich Island Woman and her Yankee Husband 137
A Party 139
Indians and Their Costumes 145
The Yosemite Falls  148
The Domes   149
Farewell to the Yosemite   151
The California Vulture  152
My Skill at Rifle Shooting  154
Incident at a Camp-meeting  155


Jason Jackson, Master; Horace Atwood, First Mate; Dudley P. Gardner, Second Mate, E. S. Blake, E. P. Holden, Stephen Walker, W. B. Webber, Cyrus E. Gould, Michael Cashman, John Tobin, Hiram Draper, Michael Feeney, M. V. Wall, W. Grant, Philip Keen, George Reynolds, Tim Scannell, Ithiel Gordon, Willard Heath, Elisha Osgood, G. A. Brown, J. S. Brown, Geo. L. Pierce, Leonard Stinson, S. H. Bachelder, J. F. Dolliff, Joel D. Thompson, Eben Toothaker, J. S. Russell, H. Whitney, Geo. A. Emery, Steplien Pierce, A. F. Johnson, William Shaw, Stover Clark, J Wentworth, G. French, W. Marshall, L. Sherman, Alfred Fletcher, G. E. Morton, E. F. Starrr, S. H. Sanger, James Carlow, W. Spring, M. Sawtelle, D. Worster, Ivory Matthews, Rev. John Johnson, S. P. Lawrence ---Hodsdon, William Lamson, Horace McKoy, Charles Hollom, Samuel Murray, J. Lamson, Jonathan Tyler, Thomas Ladd, Noah Andrews, L. Wakeman, J. Colborn, Wm. Smith, O. E. Smith, John Day, Thos. Foster, John Magrath, W. Footman, J. Jackson, James Concord, T. W. Dolliff, David Tinney, J. T. Bickford, B. D. Morrill, J. Montgomery, Stillman Sawyer, J. C. Pullen, S. Kelley, Mrs. Draper, Mrs. Grant, Miss J. Spaulding, Mrs. H. G. Brown, Mrs. S. J. Brown and Daughter, Miss M. L. Brown, Mrs. J. P. Lawrence, Mrs. L---t and Daughter.