maandag 28 april 2014

J. Tyrwhitt Brooks -- 29 april 1848

• J. Thyrwitt Brooks is een pseudoniem van Henry Vizetelly (1820-1896), een Engelse uitgever. In zijn boek California geeft hij een dagboekverslag van vier maanden goud zoeken in Californië.

April 29th.— This morning we all rose early, and went on shore. The little baggage we had we took in the boat. Malcolm told me that he had heard the war was over between the United States and Mexico, and I bitterly congratulated myself on experiencing my usual run of bad luck. We made our way to Sweeting's hotel, which Malcolm and McPhail had visited yesterday, and stated to be the best of the three hotels which have sprung up here since the Americans became masters of the place.
Malcolm intends making an excursion to the interior. He proposes to visit the American settlements, and to satisfy himself as to the reputed advantages which California presents as an agricultural country. I have agreed to accompany him. We have fallen in with two very pleasant American gentlemen at our hotel to-day—one, a Captain Fulsom, holding some appointment under Government here; the other, a young friend of his named Bradley. We had some conversation together on the subject of the Mexican war, in the course of which I learnt that Mr. Bradley has been a resident in California for the last eight years, and that he was one of the officers of the volunteer corps attached to the army of the United States, while military operations were going on in this country. I told him of my desire to enter as a surgeon in the service of the States, and he promised to speak to Captain Fulsom on the subject, and obtain from him a letter to Colonel Mason, the new governor; but he is afraid there is little chance of my meeting with success, as nearly all the volunteer corps have been, or are about to be, disbanded. Both Mr. Bradley and Captain Fulsom speak very favourably of the climate and soil of California, and say that an enterprising agriculturist is sure to make a speedy fortune. Mr. Bradley, who has agreed to accompany us on our trip, strongly advises Malcolm to shift his quarters from Oregon, and settle here, saying that he is sure my friend will do so when he has once seen the farms in the Sacramento valley, whither we are to start early next week. McPhail left us to-day, to make a trip to Sonoma.
San Francisco, although as yet but a poor place, will no doubt become a great emporium of commerce. The population may be about a couple of thousands; of these two-thirds are Americans. The houses, with the exception of some few wooden ones which have been shipped over here by the Americans, are nearly all built of unburnt bricks. The appearance of the native Californian is quite Spanish. The men wear high steeple-like hats, jackets of gaudy colours, and breeches of velvet, generally cotton. They are a handsome swarthy race. The best part in the faces of the women are their eyes, which are black and very lustrous. The Californian belles, I am sorry to say, spoil their teeth by smoking cigarettos.

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