Voyage to California (27) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


Day clear and pleasant.  In sight of the coast part of the day.  A gambler on board opened a monte bank in the steerage cabin last evening and was reported to have made $75 by his operation.  Distance 205 miles.


Nothing remarkable to note of this days occurrences, in sight of the coast part of the day, pleasant weather, and 205 miles accomplished, being the chief events.  The monte banker plied his trade again in the evening, and, as one who played with him and lost by him informed me, made about $100.  A number of the passengers are quite dissatisfied at such proceedings being permitted on board.

I will continue this story next Saturday.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting more information about the Rev. Elijah and Clara Guion and their daughter’s marriages. 

Next week, I will continue this story at the very beginning with Reminiscences of Alfred D. Guion, my Grandfather’s memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, New York in the 1880’s and 1890’s. 

Judy Guion


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