Old California Days – St. John Men who went out in 1849 – On the 18th Aug. 1849 an advertisement appeared in the ‘Courier’: To sail from St. John, N.B. for California, the new clipper built barque “Teal”, Alfred G. GRAY, Esq., Commander. For terms of passage apply to the captain on board or the Counting House of Robert D. Wilmot, South M. Wharf. The “Teal” sailed on Tuesday Sept. 25 with the following passengers: John Boyd QUINTON, house joiner; John SIMONDS, attorney-at-law; Thomas D. RUDDICK and Duncan MAGEE, ship carpenters; Thomas McNAUGHTON and J. DONNELLY, joiners; Charles HENDRICKS, Edward PERLEY of Oromocto and a Mr. NELSON, wife and child of Fredericton. Capt. GRAY, who commanded the vessel, was a brother of Hon. John H. GRAY, now a judge in British Columbia
and for a mate a Mr. HAYDEN. The “Teal” was a new vessel built at Oromocto by Messrs. Wilmot, 364 ton register. She carried as a cargo house frames, boards, shingles, bricks, window sashes and the frames of two saw mills owned by Mr. Nelson. She arrived May 2, or after a passage of 218 days. The Argonauts of “Teal”, though the first vessel to leave, were not the first New Brunswickers to reach the land of promise. The barque “Ada”, Capt. Watson, which left St. Andrews in the latter part of Sept. arrived on April 7, after a passage of 195 days. She had 24 passengers. The brig “Brazilian”, Capt. Watson from the same port, arrived on the 8th, after a run of 190 days. Before the “Teal” had reached the end of her voyage, eleven more vessels had left St. John for the same port, and all eventually arrived there in safety. Of those on board the “Teal”, Capt. Gray, who is still living, was for many years afterward in command of one of the Panama steamers. John B. Quinton was a brother of the late James QUINTON, M.P.P. He was a member of the St. John Lodge of Masons of this city and built a Masonic Temple in San Francisco.
He died in California. James SIMONDS returned to New Brunswick and died at Sussex a few years ago. He was peculiar man and it is said that he never wore socks. Charles HENDRICKS, after reaching California, became connected with a cattle ranch at Stockton. He subsequently traded along the coast and died at Callao. Edward PERLEY went to Stockton and practiced law. In June 1850, he was engaged in a case in which one Marshall was defendant. During the heat of the argument, Marshall grossly insulted him. Mr. Perley instantly drew a pistol and had the drop on his opponent who pleaded he was unarmed and cried for quarter. It was granted. The next day Marshall sent a challenge which was accepted. The parties met and exchanged two shots. Both of Marshall’s fell short, but the first of Perley’s went close to Marshall’s head and the second through his hat. Mr. Marshall thereupon declared that his honor was fully satisfied and the pleasant occasion ended. On Dec. 3, the schr. “Clairmont” cleared with a general cargo. She was of 50 tons register and was owned and commanded by Capt. Albert BETTS. Thomas P. CRANE of this city went as a passenger. Capt. Betts was the father of Capt. Albert Betts who came into prominence in connection with the revenue service a few years ago. The “Clairmont” had a good passage and after her arrival in San Francisco was sold for $2,500. Capt. Betts made some money in California and started to return home in 1853. While coming down the Chagres River, in comapny with Capt. VROOM, who had gone out in the brigt. “Arabia”, the canoe upset and Capt. Vroom was drowned. Capt. Betts escaped, but lost all the gold which he had spent years to gather. He died in St. John a few years ago. The “Arabia” mentioned, sailed on December 5th and arrived on the 9th of August. She was a vessel of 91 tons, owned in Digby, N.S. where Capt. Vroom belonged. The barque “James” cleared on December 12 and arrived on August 26. She was in charge of Capt. John THAIN and a Mr. BELL was mate. James N. THAIN, who kept a store on the South wharf and married a daughter of Capt. Simeon KINNEY, went as supercargo. Joseph THAIN was a passenger. Other members of the THAIN family followed at a later date. They subsequently went to British Columbia with the exception of Robert THAIN whom is believed to be still in San Francisco. John and James traded to the Society Islands for a time. They died several years ago. The “James” had a valuable assorted Cargo shipped by A. McL. Seely, N.S. DeMill and others. The cargo was sold to good advantage in San Francisco and that is all the consignees ever heard of it. No returns were ever made by the captain. In unloading the cargo, Joseph THAIN fell from a scow and was drowned in the harbor. The vessel was afterwards beached and used as a dwelling until it burned in one of the big fires of 1850. Among the crew of the “James” was Albert CRAFT. He settled in San Francisco and did so well that a committee of citizens presented him with an address to leave the city. He returned to St. John some years later and had a bar in Paddock’s building, Prince William street. He is dead. When the gold fever reached the East, the barque “James Stewart” was catching whales in the Japan seas. From there she went to England and thence to St. John. On Jan. 4, 1850 she sailed for San Francisco under the command of Capt. Joseph KINNEY, now of Liverpool, England and had a general cargo shipped by Charles C. Stewart. Two scows were carried on deck. Reaching San Francisco the cargo was disposed of at retail and the barque was sold to be used as a storeship. The passengers were Nathaniel MILBY and William J. BRADLEY of Saint John; John RUDDOCK of Portland and J.A. MILES of Fredericton. Milby had been in partnership with James U. THOMAS. He subsequently returned to St. John, went back to California and thence to British Columbia where he died. Miles was related to Conductor MILES of the New Brunswick Railway
. He died in Montana. Bradley, who was a blacksmith, worked at his trade in San Francisco in later years. Ruddock was a ship carpenter. The crew of the “James Stewart” was composed of men well known here. Samuel SHANKS of Portland was mate. He afterwards served in the civil war, but has been lost sight of for years. Hugh FRASER, a Scotchman, was second mate. He is now living at Annapolis, N.S. The seamen were as follows: William DAVIS, Portland, who went to Oregon and married an Indian maiden; John LEMONS, Portland; William BURNS, Dipper Harbor, who went to Australia later; John DORMON, St. John, who settled in San Francisco; Simeon ANDERSON, St. John, who settled in Sand Francisco; William PADDOCK, Kingston (Kings Co.) who mysteriously disappeared from one of the steamers between San Francisco and Panama, while returning home. James HUMPHRIES of Kings Co.; Duncan ROBERTSON, Queens Co., a brother-in-law of Chief of Police Marshall and now at Kamloops, B.C.; George CRAIG, St. John, who returned home and took his family back to California; Robert BARTLETT, Nashwaak, who returned home and died there; Charles VENNING, Saint John, brother of Fishery Inspector W.H. VENNING, James W. HAMILTON, brother of the late Dr. George A. HAMILTON, who made some money, returned home and was in business at the corner of South wharf and Ward street until he died some twenty years ago. Alex. RANKINE, now of the firm T. Rankine & Sons. Daniel COOMBS was steward and Thomas ANDERSON and H. Adam GLASGOW were boys. It is not known what becae of Coombs. Anderson settled in San Francisco. Mr. Glasgow returned to St. John in 1853 and is today as genial a companion as one would want to meet. On 16th March, the brigatine “Lion”, 112 tons, Capt. E. HOOPER sailed from St. John. The passengers were Mrs. HOOPER and child; Capt. Hugh Williams CHISHOLM, late of steamer “Fairy Queen” and George GRASSIE, jr. of Annapolis. On the way the “Lion” stopped at Valparaiso and sold her cargo, to be delivered at Coquimbo, and then to load potatoes at San Carlos for San Francisco. Capt. Chisholm remained in California for several years, returned to St. John and for a long period was in the service of the International line. Capt. Hooper was a newphew of John HOOPER, editor of the old ‘British Colonist’. He left the “Lion” at Callao and opened the Globe Hotel which he ran for several years. Capt. Michael DRISCOLL, now of Carleton, was also on the “Lion”. The barque “Duke of Wellington”, Capt. Simeon Kinney, cleared from St. John on April 6 with a cargo shipped by Allison & Spurr. Thomas M. DEBLOIS, so well known in later years in connection with the St. John News room, went as supercargo. On April 20, 1850, the barque “Bethel”, 379 tons, McMurtry master, sailed with a cargo shipped by William Leavitt, Thomas E. Millidge, Thomas Wallace and D. Leavitt. Henry LEAVITT went out with her as consignee. This was the last of the original forty-niner fleet. Besides the men already mentioned, numbers of other well known citizens went to the land of gold, either as sailors around the horn or as passengers by the Isthmus. It was the latter route that James E. CARMICHAEL and Otty CUDLIP left on Oct. 24, 1849. Carmichael had been in command of the provincial revenue schooner “Phantom”. Joseph HOPLEY, Matthew COX, Nathaniel HICKS, Mr. ORR, a wine merchant, George TRAVIS, recently of the inland revenue service and Joseph HAMM of Water street, were among the forty-niners. .. William Paddock, Adam Glasgow and James PERKINS were among those at the mines. They paid $1.25 a pound for flour and carried it 21 miles on their backs in two fifty-pound sacks… At the corner of Montgomery street and Sacramento wharf, San Francisco was a resort known as ‘Tontine’. The St. John men called it ‘Tisdale’s Corner’. (see original)