November 1849-May 1850


"Journal of a Voyage from Eastport ME To San Francisco_U_C In The Herm' Brig Amelia. Captain Joseph Clark Mate Charles Folsom 2d J.D. Norwood". Twenty-thousand word journal featuring a watercolor frontispiece and seven well-drawn tipped-in watercolor illustrations. Kept by Capt. Clark, with additional daily entries by D.C. Powers of Eastport, Maine, describing his voyage aboard the hermaphrodite brig Amelia from Eastport to the California gold fields, commencing November 12, 1849 and terminating in the harbor at San Francisco on May 3, 1850. Well-written in a legible hand. Watercolor illustrations depict highlights from the voyage, including a highly detailed hand-drawn and colored map of Amelia's track around Cape Horn. With title page, printed list of passengers and crew, Abstract Log, map of rounding Cape Horn, and a daily journal of the voyage with additional illustrations of the voyage. Later leather and marbleized covers, the interior front cover marked with a list of the various owners (see provenance below).

Track Around Cape Horn - Frontispiece
Cape Horn Bearing NW by W - Opposite entry for Feb. 10
Brig Amelia in a Gale of Wind - Entry for Feb. 16
Critical Situation for the Brig Amelia - Entry for Feb. 27
Island of Massafuero - Entry for March 7
Cumberland Bay, Juan Fernandez - Entry for March 12
Drawing of a (Devil) Fish - Entry for May 8
13.5" x 8.5".
Condition: The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance:
    D.C. Powers, Eastport, Maine.
    Captain Joseph Clark, Eastport, Maine.
    Herman M. Lowe, Eastport, Maine.
    Florence Lowe Green, Eastport, Maine.
    Edna Green (1925).
    Alice Marion Green.
    Edward 'Ted' Thomas.
    Hyland Granby Antiques, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
    The Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts.

    This is a rare and important Gold Rush-era document that chronicles one "forty-niners" journey by sea to the California gold fields. It includes descriptions of daily life aboard ship, the harrowing passage around Cape Horn and the author's impressions of San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. Information regarding the hermaphrodite brig
    Amelia so far is purely speculative -- the illustrations show a relatively small vessel rigged in this fashion, with a clipper bow with a figurehead and a square stern with no galleries, a fairly common design for Maine-built ships. It is likely Amelia was launched from one of the northern yards in the Machias district of Maine. Fairburns records no vessel of any rig named Amelia whose construction date would coincide with the dates of the voyage.

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