Lot 99: Manuscript Travel Journal, New York to Australia, Gold Rush 1853

Fascinating first hand account of one young man's journey from Ohio, to New York, then onto Victoria, Australia aboard the ship Barque Oregon in 1853. Manuscript journal, bound but boards detached, 6" x 7 1/2". Pages numbered up to 149, starting on page 3. The author, who we can narrow down to three names based on passenger lists and geneological records, as well as clues within the text, begins his journey aboard a train in Ohio, where he is from. He has come back from the California gold rush, only to hear about the Victorian gold rush, specifically in Bendigo. His journey begins on March 14th, 1853, and he writes most days until his last entry 5 months later. The early entries deal with his journey from the Midwest to New York City, the bulk of the journal focuses on the non-stop voyage to Australia, which the author secures with a $175 payment for first class passage. He writes extensively about other first class passengers, with candor and judgement, including the famous British painter Henry Gritten. The author provides latitude and longitude for most of his entries while at sea, and besides the foibles of his fellow passengers, writes about the weather, ships they pass along the way, and the death of a young crewmember who fell overboard. The last section of the journal details the experience of landing in Melbourne, making the trek to the Bendigo gold fields, and beginning work as a miner. A fascinating and historically significant account.

Estimate: $900 - $1,200

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