Voyage to California (9) – by John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

 

Diary

Started at daylight, and stopped to breakfast at an old scow, that had been fastened, high and dry on the bank, and converted into an eating house. In the course of the morning, several of us took a walk of several miles on shore. In the course of the walk, saw an alligator, also several well-beaten paths made by ants. (?) Lizards from 6 in. to 1 foot in length were numerous. During the day we saw a few monkeys, some iguanas (?), and numerous parrots and paraquets. Before reaching Gorgona passed a ________ banana plantation, ¼ of a mile in length, reaching Gorgona at 3 o’clock. At G is a fine circular beach, covered with gravel. G is situated on a hill, and commands a fine view of the hills and valleys around. Hotels and eating houses, of course, are sufficiently abundant. I contracted to have my baggage conveyed to Panama for 8$ per hundred, took a bath in the Chagres River, and took lodgings at an American hotel.

Journal

Started at daylight and proceeded up the river. Our stopping place this morning was an old scow that had probably been landed on the bank during high water, and then dragged to its present position and labeled “Hotel”. I here procured a cup of coffee to make my crackers, dried beef and cakes go down better. I helped myself pretty liberally to sweetening, and succeeded in making it quite palatable. We saw two or three monkeys on the trees in the woods in the course of the morning, and they were the first and only wild ones I have seen in the course of the journey. The boatmen say they have been frightened away from the immediate vicinity of the river by the constant travel upon it. We also saw a few iguanas along the river’s edge; they are ugly reptiles, something between a lizard and an alligator. A lizard about 10 inches or a foot in length is quite numerous along the edge of the water. They are very quick in their motions. I had three walks on shore today; one across a bend in the river; the other two were taken with a view to lighten the boat in order to facilitate the passage over some rapids. The first walk extended to a distance I suppose, of some three or four miles, and in the course of it I was so fortunate as to obtain a glimpse of a real, live, wild alligator. He was in a quiet, secluded spot in a kind of gulch or bayou, away from the river a short distance. I saw part of his head, back, and tail, above the water, but he sank almost immediately, and I saw him no more. Large paths made by ants were quite numerous in the course of this walk. They are very much such paths as sheep make through the bushes at home, except that the surface is even, and the tracks not perceptible to the naked eye. The ants that make them are not larger than the common large black ant of Chester County. At one place where we designed walking, the water was so shallow that the boat could not go close enough to land us, so the captain took us, one at a time, on his back, and landed us dry shod. A short time before reaching Gorgona, we passed a banana plantation about one quarter of a mile in length; how far back it extended I could not tell, in consequence of the height of the river banks. The banana is a large, strong looking plant, with a stalk about as thick as a man’s thigh, rising to the height of eight or nine feet, surmounted by the leaves and fruit all clustered together. The leaf is some 2 or 2 ½ feet in length by 8 or 11 inches in width, and the fruit, as we saw it, about the size of a large Pennock apple, the shape of a pair with the stem at the large end, and of a purple color. We reached Gorgona about 3 o’clock, and I paid two of the natives two times each for carrying my trunks up to a hotel. Finding Transportation Company to send their baggage across, I concluded to send mine the same way. I accordingly took it to the office and had it weighed. The charge was eight cents per lb. and mine amounted to $13.36, half to be paid at the office, balance on delivery in Panama. After getting the contract completed, I returned to the hotel and got my dinner, for which I paid $0.75. Some of the company started off this evening, intending to walk to the first public house, distant some six or eight miles. I and two others, wishing to go with our baggage, concluded to stay till morning. I took a bath in the Chagres River and retired to rest in an airy apartment, in which sleeping accommodations were arranged very much like berths on ship board. For the first time since leaving New York, I had a place to sleep that was stationary, and I slept very comfortably. The town of Gorgona is situated upon a hill, and commands a very pretty little view of a valley and the hills beyond it, and of a circular bend of the river at the foot of the hill. It is said to be one of the healthiest places on the Isthmus. We were told by a resident there, that there were but two deaths from cholera there during the prevalence of that disease in the country. A fire occurred there about two weeks since, which destroyed a number of buildings, but it is still quite an extensive place for this country. There are two or three hotels kept by Americans, and they are thronged with customers. The food furnished is rough but substantial: charges $0.75 a meal; $0.50 for a nights lodging.

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Voyage to California (9) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary

Started at daylight, and stopped to breakfast at an old scow, that had been fastened, high and dry on the bank, and converted into an eating house. In the course of the morning, several of us took a walk of several miles on shore. In the course of the walk, saw an alligator, also several well-beaten paths made by ants. (?) Lizards from 6 in. to 1 foot in length were numerous. During the day we saw a few monkeys, some iguanas (?), and numerous parrots and paraquets. Before reaching Gorgona passed a ________ banana plantation, ¼ of a mile in length, reaching Gorgona at 3 o’clock. At G is a fine circular beach, covered with gravel. G is situated on a hill, and commands a fine view of the hills and valleys around. Hotels and eating houses, of course, are sufficiently abundant. I contracted to have my baggage conveyed to Panama for 8$ per hundred, took a bath in the Chagres River, and took lodgings at an American hotel.

Journal

Traveling on this river in the cool of the morning is decidedly pleasant. The delightful temperature of the air, the river banks covered with the vegetation of the tropics, as a general thing down to the river’s edge, the songs of small birds, and the screams of the numerous parrots and parroquets flying above us, the perfume of various flowers, and the novelty of the whole scene, after seeing little except water for nearly 1 ½ weeks, these taken all together make the time to be remembered with pleasure. We stopped at 8 o’clock at a hotel for breakfast, and after a short delay, started again. Our men now laid by their oars, and propelled the boat by means of poles. We travel rather faster this way, but it is more laborious for the men, indeed at times, while passing over places where the stream is quite rapid, the labors of the boatmen are quite severe. Our Captain and one of his men are Dutch creoles from the island of Curacoa, – at least so they say, and can converse in English quite tolerably – the other is a black where from I cannot tell, but they are all pretty stout fellows. We stopped at 12 ½ o’clock to dine, and then travelled on till night, when we stopped at another of the hotels on the river’s bank. These hotels are generally built after the native style, and they furnish bread, ham, tea and coffee, at the rate of 75 cts, a meal, or one dime for a cup of coffee or tea. I have not patronized them any as yet, having eaten my own provisions and drank the water of the river, and I have got along very well as yet. We saw 2 birds to day, supposed to be the wild turkey of this region, several pistol shots were fired at them, but without either hurting them or frightening them so as to make them fly away. We also saw stalks of sugar cane at the stopping places. The people here strip off the outside, and chew the balance for the sake of the juice. It is very sweet, and I should suppose quite nutritious. Slept in the boat again, after a fashion.

Tomorrow two of My Ancestors, brothers Robert and Thomas Barnard. On Monday I’ll start posting letters written in 1946. Lad and Marian have just added twins to the family. Dan, Paulette and baby Arla are still in France, waiting for the time when they will be able to travel to Trumbull. Ced is still in Alaska, Dick and Jean are living in the Trumbull house and Dave is finally home from Manila and making plans for the future.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad and Mairan’s Furloughmaybe – April 30, 1944

In January, 1944, Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son, left high school after turning 18 and enlisted in the Army. All five sons are serving Uncle Sam in various capacities. Lad and his new wife, Marian, are in California where Lad is training mechanics. Dan is in London, and since he is a surveyor, I wonder if he has something to do with the preparation of D-Day. Ced is in Alaska, repairing planes and retrieving downed airplanes in the Bush. Dick is in Brazil working in the office that is coordinating with the Brazilian government, and Dave is in Missouri, taking his Basic Training.

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

April 30, 1944

Dear Dad:-

It is 6 o’clock here, but in Conn. it is 9 PM. So I imagine you have finished your weekly chore of writing to your widely separated families by now. I’ve been in bed all day trying to get rid of a cold and Marian seems to have been quite successful as a nurse. I feel a great deal better than I did last night at this time. We got your last week’s letter last night at the P.O on our way home. Your letters are really ever so welcome even though we don’t keep such a regular schedule as you.

As you may have suspected, there is something behind this letter, and here it is this, and I want an honest answer from you. Sometime after the middle of May, and possibly before the 20th, I can take a 15 day furlough with six or seven days traveling time. Or, I can wait until about June 10th. However, if the Bn. moves from Pomona before I take it, it might mean a cancellation of furloughs. Therefore, I think it is better to take it as soon as possible. However – “the catch”. In June we can possibly finance the entire trip alone, but before June 1, to make it, I shall need about $150. We have estimated that we can make the trip on $300, which gives us a leeway of about $35 for spending, exclusive of traveling expenses. Now what I would like to know is will it be possible for you to advance me the money, to be paid back at the rate of $30-$50 per month? If you can’t do it just say so, please, reasons not necessary, and I’ll try somewhere else or wait hopefully until June. We are both looking forward eagerly to seeing you all.

The weather here has been unusual for California, (it says here in small print), and we have had three days of wet, rainy weather, but it was nice yesterday afternoon and the same this afternoon. With the exception of the cold I’m just getting rid of, Marian and I have been very well. We’ve not had a chance to get our pictures taken due to odd working hours, but we still have hopes. But, if things go as we are hoping, we will see you in person before we could send you a picture anyway.

Possibly you have seen something in the papers regarding the closing of the California – Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) of which Pomona is the general headquarters. Therefore, Pomona Ord. Base activities have been cut to a minimum as well as personnel. There are to be only a few men left here, and as yet we don’t know which companies they will be. Of course we’re hoping that the 3019 will be one of those remaining, but if not, we shall be moving out in a few weeks. So far, we’ve not had a chance to really use our trailer, and I would just as soon not have to use it yet. Incidentally, that is one of the reasons I need help to come to Trumbull.

Marian wants to write a little note so I’ll say so long for a couple or three weeks, we hope. My love to all –

Laddie

P.S. As you can see I received the stationary and it is very nice. Thank you very, very much. And also thanks for the sewing kit. It may come in handy, but I hope I won’t need it. L

Sunday

Hello, Dad, and fellow Trumbullites

How is everyone? Seems to me it has been a long time since I’ve written, but no matter how we slip up, Dad, we can always count on your entertaining letters arriving every week, come h___ or high water! And we do enjoy them so much.

Isn’t it exciting about our “Furloughmaybe”? I refuse to believe it, however, until we actually arrive, but I find myself giving an extra “hop, skip and a jump” every once in a while just thinking about it. (Not that Jeep influence again, I hope!)

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing every one of you, and hope it won’t be too long a time before it happens.

Till then, with love –

Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Voyage to California (8) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary:

(Feb.)  8th.  Started before daylight this morning. Stopped at 8 o’clock to breakfast. On starting again, in consequence of increasing swiftness of the current, the oars were laid aside, and long poles substituted. The labors of the boatmen at times during the day were quite severe. At 12:30, stopped to eat dinner, and then traveled on till night. Stopped for the night at the village, the name of which I did not know. We passed a number of villages today and saw a good deal of handsome scenery. We also saw a pair of a species of wild turkey. Slept on the boat again.

Journal:

8th. Traveling on this river during the cool of the morning is decidedly pleasant. The delightful temperature of the air, the riverbanks covered with the vegetation of the tropics, as a general thing down to the river’s edge, the songs of small birds, and the screams of the numerous parrots and parroquets flying above us, the perfume of the various flowers, and the novelty of the whole scene, after seeing little except water for nearly 1 ½ weeks, these taken all together make the time one to be remembered with pleasure. We stopped at 8 o’clock at a hotel for breakfast, and after a short delay started again. Our men now laid by their oars, and propelled the boat by means of poles. We travel rather faster this way, but it is more laborious for the men, indeed at times, while passing over places where the stream is quite rapid, the labors of the boatmen are very severe. Our captain and one of his men are Dutch creoles from the island of Curaçao – at least so they say, and can converse in English quite tolerably – the other is a black where from I cannot tell, but they are all pretty stout fellows. We stopped at 12:30 o’clock to dine, and then traveled on till night, when we stopped at another of the hotels on the river’s bank. These hotels are generally built after the native style, and they furnished bread, ham, tea and coffee, at the rates of $.75 a meal, or one dime for a cup of tea or coffee. I have not patronized any of them as yet, having eaten my own provisions and drank the water of the river, and I have got along very well as yet. We saw two birds today, supposed to be the wild turkey of this region, several pistol shots were fired at them, but without either hurting them or frightening them so as to make them fly away. We also saw stalks of sugar cane at the stopping places. The people here strip off the outside, and chew the balance for the sake of the juice. It is very sweet, and I should suppose quite nutritious. Slept in the boat again, after a fashion.

Tomorrow another of My Ancestors. On Monday I’ll start posting letters written in 1944 when all five sons are helping Uncle Sam win the War.

Judy Guion

Voyage to California (7) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary:

(Feb.)  7th.  Arrived at Chagres at 1:30 P.M., and were quickly surrounded by small boats from the shore. Engaged a passage in one for $1 and set out. The old Fort, the tropical vegetation, the little fleet of boats and canoes of many different sizes, shapes and structure, the different kinds of people who propel them, the curious little town and the crowds who thronged the shore, all conspired to make the scene at landing novel, picturesque, and beautiful. Procured a passage to Gorgona, and after considerable delay, got started up the river. Night was closing in when we set off, so that but little could be seen, but the stillness of the night, the noises of various insects, and the very motion of the boat, so different from the rolling of the steamer, made the traveling quite pleasant. We arrived at Gatun about 8 miles from Chagres, and stopped for the night. Gatun is a village composed of a few straggling huts built after the fashion of the country, that is, cane, thatched with palm leaves. We passengers, 9 in number, and the captain of the boat, all slept on board, storing ourselves away among the baggage as best we could. On first landing from the steamer today and attempting to walk on shore, I felt as if the ground was in motion under me, and it was not without some difficulty that I could walk steadily.

Journal:

7th.The coast was visible on our left from an early hour this morning; before noon it was visible directly ahead, & at half past one, the rattling of the chain cable and the report of the ship’s cannon, announced that our journeying in the Cherokee * , for this time at least, was ended. The view from the deck of the Cherokee was quite a pleasant one. To our left, at a distance of 8 miles, the buildings of the Panama Railroad Company were plainly visible. In front was a rocky, precipitous coast, crowned by the old deserted castle. A little to the right of the castle, the new town of Chagres, with the shipping in front of it, was discernible. Still farther to the right, the coast stretched away in a line of hills covered with vegetation. The anchor had hardly been cast before boats were seen coming off from shore, and in a short time we had several along side. The first boat that reached us was from one of the steamers, of which there were four lying at anchor at no great distance. It contained some of the officers of the boat, who came over, I suppose, to exchange salutations with the officers of the Cherokee. Our business was with those who came from shore, and a driving of bargains quickly commenced with them. I don’t know that anything was gained, however, by bargaining, for the only prices I heard asked were those which were finally paid. (The Ships Company paid one dollar towards putting us ashore, and it cost us one dollar more each, making a charge of two dollars per man for being rowed about 1 mile.) Six of us had joined together for the passage of the Isthmus, and after considerable delay, we, with a number of others and our baggage, were at length placed in one of the boats. Getting into the boats from the vessel was rather a delicate operation. The ship was anchored about a mile from the shore, where the waves were high enough to keep it constantly in motion, and of course knocked a small boat about a good deal worse, so that in spite of the men in it holding onto a rope letdown for the purpose, one minute it would be up almost against the ship’s side, and the rebound of the wave would send it 6 or 8 feet from it. A little care was therefore necessary to see that the boat was under us and not somewhere else when we stepped off the ladder. We at length left the ship’s side, however, with nothing worse than an occasional shower of spray from the waves that struck the vessel, and once away from it, the trouble with the waves was over: the boat rode them finally, and the light, easy motion, after the heavy role of the ship, was quite exhilarating. In a short time we entered the Chagres River, passed the old castle, situated on its right bank, and came in full view of both the old and new Chagres, one to the right, the other on the left bank of the river. There was a number of small vessels, which I suppose had entered the river at high tide, lying moored at the shore, and a large number of whale boats, common boats, flat-bottomed boats, canoes, hollow logs and all sorts of nondescript water vehicles, tied fast or moving about in various directions. Some were manned by men who probably once passed for white; others by men of various shades, from the indisputably black to the Creole; and a few little canoes were floating about, navigated entirely by native señoritas. The new town of Chagres contains a number of frame sheds, termed hotels, eating houses etc., For the floors of which the proprietors have nobody to think but Mother Earth, and a considerable number of dwellings built after the fashion of the natives, i.e. cane, roofed with palm leaves. After considerable time spent in bargaining, and taking three more into our original company of six, we finally made an arrangement with a boat man to land us and our baggage ([at Gorgona]. After making our bargain, getting our baggage on board, our company, together, ready to start, and paying half the fare, our captain vamoosed, under the plea of getting provisions for the voyage, and remained absent for what seemed to us a long time. At length, however, he came, and we pushed off, but now came a new trial of our patience. The captain said we had to go over to the old town of Chagres for his crew, (consisting of two men) to get their provisions, so there we went, and spent near another hour waiting for them; and it was after sundown when we finally started up the river. I must however, do the captain the justice to say that he has since been faithful to his promises, and prompt in starting after our stoppages, and his men have worked hard and consistently. Our men rowed us this evening a distance of 8 miles to Gatun, a little town of cane houses, here we stopped for the night. The lateness of the hour precluded the idea of taking a view of the town, so we soon set about making arrangements for sleeping in the boat. This was no very easy matter, there being nine of us and the captain, and our boat nearly half full of luggage. The difficulty of the undertaking was also increased by the arrivals of other boats until a late hour, and the exclamations of those in uneasy situations, both in our own boat and those alongside. There was a little dozing, but not much sleeping, done during the night, and the next morning, we were off again before daylight.

* – CHEROKEE
1245 tons, length 210.7 ft x beam 35.3 ft, wooden hull, side paddle wheels, three masts. Launched 12th Jun.1848 by William H.Webb, New York for the New York & Savannah SN Co. and sailed for Savannah on 3rd Oct.1848. Purchased by Howard & Aspinwall, she was used on their New York – Chagres Line from 13th Dec.1849. She burned at her dock at the foot of Warren Street, New York on 27th Aug.1853, scuttled and later re-floated, she did not re-enter the Chagres service and was owned by the United States Mail SS Co. in 1855.

This information was recorded in a comment from an earlier post about John Jackson Lewis’s Voyage to California, from a fellow Blogger, Mrs. P, (https://mpozzanghera.wordpress.com/), who has a remarkable knack for finding things on the internet. I could never match her expertise.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1943. Life is getting interesting for Lad in California.

Judy Guion

Voyage to California (6) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

February

Diary:

(Feb.)  5th.  Sea rough this morning, enough so to produce sea sickness with some of the passengers, and some sensations of the kind with myself. No land in sight to day, and nothing unusual to note. Sat in the cabin in the evening, and listened to an old captain and some young sailors (our passengers) sailing their voyages over again. They appear to have traveled quite extensively, Valparaiso, Rio Janeiro, Marseille, the Mediterranean, China and other parts being frequently mentioned. I have been much interested in noting the variety of professions, locality, and destination of those who are thrown together in this hurly burly scrambled for gold. Distance- 213 miles.

Journal:

5th. More of our old kind of seas this morning; some of our passengers sea-sick again, myself slightly so. The captain’s observations to day give us a distance of 213 miles in the last 24 hours, and a distance from Chagres (Panama) of 476 miles. I sat in the cabin in the evening for a considerable time, listening to an old captain and some young sailors who were among our passengers, sailing their voyages o’er again. They appeared to have traveled quite extensively: Valparaiso, Rio Janeiro, Marseille, the Mediterranean, China, San Francisco, and the West Indies being frequently mentioned. It is curious to observe the variety of professions, localities, and destinations, of those who are thrown together in this hurly burly rush for gold. Besides those already mentioned, we have machinists bound for Chile, laborers for the Panama Railroad, passengers for Jamaica, the wife and sister of a man who runs boats at Chagres, the family of a resident of Panama, a man formally one of the dignitaries of Nova Scotia, with his wife and servant, bound for San Francisco, one or more bound for Oregon, one I have been informed bound for China, besides a variety of others, as advertisements have it, “too tedious to enumerate”, amongst whom stands the quiet and unassuming writer of these lines, bound for San Jose.

**************************************

Diary:

(Feb.)  6th.  Sea rough and when higher than yesterday, the ship rocking a good deal, probably owing in part to its increasing lightness from the consumption of coal and water. A good deal of card playing, and some gambling on deck today. Card playing is a good deal resorted to by the passengers to pass away the time. Distance 243  Miles, distance from Chagres, according to the captain’s computation, 233 miles.

Journal:

6th.  Sea rougher and when higher than yesterday, the ship rocking a good deal more, I think, for the amount of wind, then in the former part of the voyage. This is probably owing to the increasing likeness of the vessel, from the consumption of fuel, water, and provisions. A good deal of card playing and some gambling on deck today; indeed cards, backgammon, checkers and chess have been a good deal resorted to throughout the voyage, to while away the time. Distance last 24 hours, 243 miles.

The Voyage continues next Saturday.

Tomorrow,I will begin a week of letters written in 1946 with more exciting news for the Guion family.

Judy Guion

Voyage to California (5) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (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 going from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary:

(Feb.) 4th. A beautiful, calm, tranquil day, the seas so smooth as to have a somewhat glassy appearance. It must not be supposed, however, that a glassy sea is smooth like a mill pond; there is still a very perceptible wave; it does not break, however, and foam at the top, but retains a smooth and somewhat glassy surface. When I went on deck in the morning, the Island of St. Domingo lay to the left but a few miles distant, appeared quite hilly and rough but the hills were covered with vegetation. So something like a town on the coast, but the haze was too thick to admit to seeing it distinctly. Parts of the Island were visible all day, in the evening, but a few miles distant. A part of the Island of Cuba was visible this morning but at an extreme distance. Flying fish quite numerous this morning. Several sail seen during the day, but nothing peculiar in that line. Weather very much like harvest whether at home, the sea and sky beautiful indeed. Distance – 210 miles.

Journal:

4th. A beautifully calm, tranquil day, the sea so smooth as to have a somewhat glassy appearance. It must not be supposed, however, that a glassy sea is smooth like a mill pond; there is still a very perceptible wave; it does not break, however, and foam at the top, but retains a smooth and somewhat glassy surface. When I went on deck in the morning the island of St. Domingo lay to our left but a few miles distant, but the sun had risen immediately behind it, and this, together with the thick haziness of the atmosphere, prevented us from seeing any thing with distinctness, except the mere outline of the country. The country appeared very hilly and uneven, the hills covered with vegetation. Something having the appearance of a town was perceptible on the coast, tho’, for reasons already given, but very dimly. Parts of the island continued in view all day, most of the time at an extreme distance, but in the evening again within a few miles. A part of the island of Cuba was also visible a short time to day, but at an extreme distance. Flying fish very numerous this morning. These little creatures will start out of the water and fly along near the surface for a distance sometimes exceeding 50 yards before they drop. They are apt, however, to touch the tops of the waves about once in every 10 or 15 yards. A gentleman on board tells me that they will fly until their wings get dry. Five or six will frequently start up at once and fly in different directions like a flock of partridges. I saw one in the hands of one of our passengers a few days ago. It was very much such a fish as our sucker, except that it was darker colored on the back, it’s fins or wings were set higher up on the back, and were longer and broader. Several sails were seen during the day, but had nothing very peculiar in their appearance. The weather to day is very much such as one of our most beautiful days in the sixth month at home; quite warm, but with a delightful breeze, the sea and sky beautiful indeed. If all ocean travel could be done beneath such a heaven, and upon such a sea, well might the poet rave, and the landsman rushed to enjoy it. I expect I appreciate it more keenly from the fact of my previous experience as being entirely the reverse. Distance to day 210 miles.

The Voyage continues next Saturday.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting another story about one of my Ancestors, Joseph Marshall, 1672 – 1722.

On Monday I will begin a week of letters with more  news for the Guions written in 1944.  All the boys are scattered around the world in the service of Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion