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Full text of "The German emigrants; or, Frederick Wohlgemuth's voyage to California"

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF ILLINOIS' 
LIBRARY 



ILUN01S HISTORICAL SURVEY 



RARY 
UMIVfc- ILLINOIS 






OR 





VOYAGE TO CALIFORNIA 



BY 



f>R. DIETRICH. 



TRANSLATED 



BY 



LEOPOLD WRAY. 



Printed by F. Fechner, Guben. 






CHAP. I. 

Preparations for a Voyage. Taking leave of home. 

In the spring of the year 1851 there was an 
unusual stir and bustle in the village of Joachims- 
thal. The rage for emigration and a restless lon- 
ging to try their luck and perhaps make a fortune 
beyond the seas, had attained a height bordering 
on frenzy amongst the good folks inhabiting that 
part of the country where the village lay. The 
greater portion of the villagers had sold their hou- 
ses and farms, and inscribed their names as emi- 
grants, according to legal enactment. Neither the 
paternal remonstrances of the grey-headed minister, 
nor the brotherly advice of the schoolmaster, a 
man in the prime of life, could avail to shake their 
resolution. The excitement was daily gaining 
ground to such an extent, that the agent of an 
American Emigration Company was welcomed and 
honored as a special messenger sent by provi- 
dence. Such a one it was who had taken up his 
abode in the house of farmer Traugott Wohlge- 
muth, who was more infatuated than anybody else 
with everything American, and heeded neither 
wife or child. 

i 

t 






Wohlgemuth had been very well off in the 
world. He was reckoned an excellent farmer and 
brick-maker, and had formerly been a miner, and 
would have been considered a most worthy man 
by the whole parish, but for one failing, which 
was the being of a litigious disposition. This 
propensity had cost him a deal of money, and had 
entangled him in the outbreaks during the year 
1849. He did not see that he was himself in the 
wrong, but grumbled, and determined to leave 
his native country. His persuasions won over 
his wife Marie and all his neighbours to adopt 
his views. He sold his farm for less than its va- 
lue, and we now find him spending the last day 
in his house, which is already sold. Having talked 
till she was tired, his wife was weak enough to 
follow him unconditionally, while his only child, 
the boy Fred, was quite delighted at the thoughts 
of the voyage. 

Fred was eleven years old, and a pretty, li- 
vely, healthy looking child, but rather greedy and 
froward. He did not get on much with his book, 
at school, but he was very handy at all light 
kinds of work, such as basket weaving, netting, 
and so forth — and he had learnt to beat the 
drum from the village watchman. 

The hour for bidding farewell to their native 
place had now come. The emigrants went to 
church for the last time, and received the minis- 
ter's blessing, many of them shedding tears all 
the while. 



Last of all Fred went to see his godfather, 
the clergyman, who dismissed him with this piece 
of advice: "Let God be ever before your eyes 
and in your heart." 

The coaches and horses stood in readiness 
just outside the village, and the travellers now 
drove to the neighbouring river leading to Bremen 
on the Weser, where a steamer took them and 
their luggage on board, and conveyed them to the 
seaport called Bremerhaven, from whence they all 
embarked in the steamer Columbia, Captain Gott- 
fried. 

It was a bright, beautiful spring day when 
they heaved anchor, and put out to sea. 



CHAP. II. 

The Emigrant Ship. 

During the first day of the voyage, our emi- 
grants felt quite well; the fresh sea breeze agreed 
with them, and the sea was very smooth. They 
lost sight of the coast of their native Germany 
before evening. The rocky shore of the isle of 
Heligoland, lying in the. North sea, appeared 
lighted up by the golden beams of the setting sun. 

After supper, they now went to bed. As 
our emigrants belonged to the less wealthy class 
of passengers, they were obliged to sleep in a 
cabin between decks. Our little Fred did not 
much relish the hard bed, to which he was quite 



unaccustomed. He would much rather have been 
been in the state cabin. Nor were the surroun- 
ding objects more pleasing, as these consisted of 
chests, trunks, and bales of goods. 

During the night, the wind shifted, the sea 
grew rough, and the trunks and chests began 
knocking each other about, while the hammocks 
swung to and fro, and the first symptoms of sea- 
sickness, an indescribable lassitude and heaviness 
in the head, were only the prelude to downright 
vomiting. One passenger was taken after another. 
Five -and- twenty slept between decks, and the 
reader may therefore judge of the cries and groans 
that echoed on all sides, and of the revolting na- 
ture of the scene. Fred kept rolling about on 
his soiled bed, but his lamentations remained un- 
heeded, for his parents were more severely stricken 
than himself, and he now for the first time felt a 
yearning towards the home he had left. When 
he felt somewhat better, he washed himself, and 
arranged the bedclothes, and then went upon 
deck. Though he was still weak, and his head 
felt heavy, the sight of the ocean cheered him. 
He could see nothing but sky and water nor hear 
anything but the roaring of the billows, and the 
screams of the plungeons and seamews that were 
flocking round the ship. His parents were still 
so unwell as to be obliged to remain below. They 
now again came in sight of land — *- namely the 
English and French coasts, but our Fred was not 
much the wiser. 



*_ 

Thus passed away a whole day. The sea 
had become smoother, and the wind more favo- 
rable, so Fred slept better that night than the 
one before. But the parents showed symptoms 
of an intermittent fever. Nobody now troubled 
themselves about the boy, for each of the passen- 
gers had his own concerns to mind, and the sai- 
lors had their work to do. He had his food given 
him, and that was all! There were all sorts of 
different German races on board, such as Saxons, 
Prussians, Hessians, Swabians, and especially a 
number of natives of Holstein, who were less 
badly off than the rest, from being accustomed 
to a sea -faring life, and to the coarse food the 
ship afforded. The latter had children with them, 
amongst whom was a little Swabian, about eight 
years old, a complete blockhead as he was indeed 
nicknamed on board, who was at once dirty, sickly, 
lickerish, and greedy. One of the passengers had 
brought on board some raisins, and as they were 
lying about near his berth, little tickle - tooth 
made free with them, and Freddy had a great 
mind to help himself likewise, when the sailor 
who was on duty between decks, happened to 
perceive the theft, and seizing the little Swabian 
in the fact, laid him across his knee, and gave 
him ten stripes with a rope's end. The little 
thief bellowed aloud, but the punishment afforded 
our Fred a most wholesome lesson — and he grew 
wise at another's expense. 



CHAP. III. 

Events during the Voyage. 

The dirty, greedy little blockhead was an unlucky 
fellow, for he brought the seeds of sickness with 
him on board, and when such exist, they gene- 
rally give rise to a complication of ailments. He 
caught the measles, and gave them to Freddy. 
There was an infirmary on board, and thither the 
two sick children were removed, and lay and suf- 
fered side by side. The Swabian died on the 
third day of an inflammation of the throat, beside 
of Fred. The body was tied to a plank, and af- 
ter a prayer had been said over it, was lowered 
into the sea. Fred was not allowed to leave his 
bed for a whole week, nor even to speak, as he 
likewise showed symptoms of inflammation of the 
throat. His parents had recovered, but even at 
this stage of their voyage, they already repented 
having left their native country. 

Meantime the ship, being favored by a N. E. wind, 
was approaching the southern zones; and as all 
the sailors had done their duty, she had sailed 
through the seas that skirt the western coasts of 
France, Spain and Portugal, and was now on the 
other side of the straits of Gibralter. The Afri- 
can coast was now in sight. 

The air was hot and sultry, the water grew 
stale, the meat began to be uneatable, and the 
encreasing heat rendered the atmosphere unbea- 
rable between decks. 



The first time Fred came up on deck again, 
lie could breathe more freely, but he saw nothing 
but sky and water. Huge dolphins (large thick- 
headed fishes) were swimming about in the sea, 
and the frightful shark, who devours human beings* 
might likewise be seen close to the ship. The 
sailors hunted down this sea-monster, which has 
been aptly named the hysena of the ocean, by 
flinging hooks fastened to ropes at the shark, 
which they were fortunate enough to capture. 

Fred was vastly astonished, when he came 
to look nearer at the fish, and saw what a quan- 
tity of teeth he had in his jaws, which were quite 
large enough to swallow a man. The shark was 
now hauled on board, and cut up; the fat was 
taken out, the liver was eatable , and in his sto- 
mach were found a quantity of fishes, mostly large 
ones, still fit for human food, that the cook, to 
whom Fred was obliged to lend a hand, drest 
very savourily with a sauce piquante. 

When it was found out that Fred was handy, 
and that he could make nets, some work was 
given him, in return for which he obtained better 
board and better treatment, being thenceforth fed 
from the captain's kitchen. 

You may believe me, children, industry and 
skill are sure to meet with their reward. 

His mother likewise made herself useful as 
under-cook and charwoman, but his father who 
had always preferred his pot of beer to his work, 
would not turn his hand to anything, and had 



8 

therefore to put up with the coarse ship fare. In 
a few days more, they beheld the Peak of Tene- 
rifFe looming from an island in the sea. 

The ship anchored at this island, and took 
in water, fresh meat, and some very fine wine, a 
glass of which Fred had the honor of receiving 
from the Captain, who had grown to like the li- 
vely boy. When the vessel once more heaved 
anchor, and put out to sea, they saw a whole 
shoal of flying gold fishes, which delighted Fred 
amazingly. Soon after, having heard that Fred 
could read, the Captain gave him a book on na- 
tural history, adorned with prints, which proved 
a source of great delight to our little emigrant, 
who was very eager to acquire knowledge — and 
what knowledge is more fascinating to children 
than natural history? I am sure all my young 
readers will be of the same opinion. 

Hitherto the voyage had been a most prospe- 
rous one, the crew had not suffered from scurvy 
or other diseases, they had not been distressed 
by tempests nor foul weather, nor been detained 
by a calm, all of which rejoiced the Captain so 
much, that he ordered divine service to be per- 
formed on board, to testify his gratitude to the 
Almighty. Amongst the passengers, was a school- 
master from Schleswig, who had been dismissed 
from his office, and to whom the Captain had 
granted a free passage, on condition of his dis- 
charging the functions of purser to the ship. He 
was now called upon to deliver a discourse, after 



which, as the greater number of the passengers 
were lutherans and protestants, who had brought 
their bibles and psalters with them, a christian 
hymn was sung, out of the Hamburg psalter. 

The verses selected on this occasion, ran as 
follows: 

How happy he who puts his trust 
With childlike faith, in God alone: — 
All earthly cares then weigh as dust, 
Beneath the shadow of His throne. 

And though in life I've oft been tried 
By all the ills that flesh attend — 
Yet God His help has ne'er denied, 
But shown Himself man's truest friend. 

Everybody was edified, little Fred amongst 
the rest, and his clear, treble voice had joined 
most fervently in the hymn. Just as the blessing 
was about to be given, the sailor, who was keep- 
ing a look out on the topmast, gave a signal of 
distress, and they all looked into the sea — and 
oh! what a sight they beheld! 



CHAP. IV. 

The burnt Sclaver Queen Maria da Gloria. 

No sooner had they perceived the burnt and 
still smoking hulk of a vessel, without either sails 



IP 

or rudder, drifted about on the sea, than the Cap- 
tain dispatched the life -boats, which were quickly 
manned and put out to sea — our curious little 
Fred having jumped into one of them. 

Good heavens! what a sight lay before them! 
The burnt or lacerated bodies of black slaves 
bound together with cords, were floating on the 
waters, not far from the corpses of the sailors 
belonging to the vessel. 

The Captain now ordered the boats to put 
back, fearing that the powder stores on board 
the luckless vessel should blow up — nor was he 
mistaken in his anticipations. 

Scarcely had the boats returned towards the 
ship, when a fearful explosion that seemed to 
shake the very ocean, blew up the remains of 
the slaver. 

Rafters, boards, planks, sail -yards and ship 
fittings of all kinds were now scattered over the 
roaring, bloodstained waters. An enormous black- 
ish grey cloud, emitting a strong smell of gun- 
powder, was hovering over the spot where the vessel 
sunk, and imparted a dreamy tinge to all sur- 
rounding objects. More lacerated corpses were 
drifted along, and from under them emerged a 
black slave, who seemed to have been saved by 
miracle, and now swam towards the life-boat. 
He was taken on board the moment he reached 
it — but what a pitiable state he was in! His 
body bore the marks of burns that were still 



; KARY 
OF THE 
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



11 

bleeding; he was emaciated and half starved, and 
covered with loathsome vermin. The compassio- 
nate Captain took pity on the unfortunate crea- 
tine, and after having ordered him 1o be cleaned 
with sea water, and his wounds to be drest, he 
took him on board. As both the black slave and 
the captain could speak English, the latter bid 
him relate the particulars of his sad fate, which 
he afterwards repeated to his passengers in Ger- 
man. 

Fred's mother had the care of the negro 
slave, and it became Fred's duty to watch over 
him when his mother was away — but we cannot 
say he had much relish for performing the part 
of nurse. 

And now I dare say my young readers are 
eager to hear the story of the freed slave, and 
of the slave-ship. — So here it is. — 

Only, first of all, mind and have by you a 
map on which Africa, America, and the Atlantic 
ocean are all laid down, to enable you to follow 
my narrative, which I hope will prove instructive; 
and no doubt it will be all the more interesting 
to you, as affording a glimpse of slave life, which 
has recently been the object of so much attention, 
owing to that world-famous novel "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." 

Slave life presents so unique a phase of so- 
cial existence, that it becomes a necessary branch 
of information to young people, especially as none 



IS 



of them know but what, sooner or later, they 
may emigrate with their parents or relations to 
those countries where negro slavery is tolerated 
by law. 



CHAP. V. 

History of a Slaver , and of the sufferings of a 

Negro Slave. 

The Queen Maria da Gloria was a Portuguese 
vessel, belonging to a company of merchants who 
carried on a trade in slaves. They purchased 
their slaves in the interior of Africa, and sold 
them in America or in any other places where 
slavery was tolerated. The negroes on board 
this unlucky vessel, belonged to one of the finest 
negro races, and were taken prisoners while 
fighting against a neighbouring tribe. 

In that country, the conqueror has the right 
either to kill and eat his prisoners of war, or to 
sell them as slaves. A hundred negroes had been 
token prisoners, according to the account given 
by the freed negro, who bore the odd sounding 
name ofQuaquatalexera, which means rolling thunder, 
in his language. Ten of these were slaughtered 
at the sacrifice offered to appease the wrath of 
their idols; the best pieces of flesh were burnt 
as sacrificial offerings, and the rest was roasted 
and eaten. Our black friend , who was a chief in 



13 

his own tribe, would have been sacrificed like- 
wise, had they not perceived that he was one- 
eyed, which made him ineligible, as every victim 
must be without a blemish, in order to please 
their sanguinary idols. 

He was consequently sold. His purchaser 
w r as a Portuguese slave trader, who bought him 
for fifty ducats — for even negroes are well ac- 
quainted now with the value of gold. The slave 
dealer bought others, for whom he paid respecti- 
vely twenty or forty ducats, as the case might 
be. 

The slave -dealer having soon recognized the 
superiority of our negro, promoted him to be 
overseer over all the others, allowing him to walk 
about the ship without fetters, and to eat the 
remains of the captain's table, on deck. 

The other slaves lay chained to one another, 
and with heavy iron rings fastened to their feet, 
in the hold of the vessel, where they were packed 
like so many herrings in a cask; here they were 
stiffed with foul air and filth, while their fare con- 
sisted of black biscuit^ and Indian corn, cooked 
in salt water. 

There were, besides, a quantity of rats, that 
would gnaw and bite the slaves when asleep. 
The vermin, too, kept daily encreasing, as is al- 
ways the case, when cleanliness is not attended 
to. If the slaves complained, they were merci- 
lessly flogged. Many died, and indeed they were 



all destined soon to come to an end of their suf- 
ferings. 

The ship's cook of the Gloria was a wicked 
drunkard, who fulfilled the office of slave-driver 
and was a relentless tyrant over the poor slaves. 
One day, when he was so drunk as scarcely to 
be aware of what he was about, on the captain's 
ordering him to tap a cask of rum, he staggered 
up to it with a light in his hand, and drew out 
the bung, when lo ! the flame set fire to the stream 
of rum that kept pouring forth, the drunkard's 
clothes caught fire, and thus he became the first 
victim to the raging element that spread throughout 
the vessel. 

The flames made such rapid havoc, that be- 
fore any measures could be adopted for quenching 
them, the whole ship was on fire, and every soul 
on board perished, except the negro who endea- 
voured to save the captain. Accordingly they 
both clung to a plank, which bore them, as the 
sea grew calmer, towards the emigrant ship, which 
they had seen from afar. 

The captain carried his pocket-book in the 
breast-pocket of his coat, which so encreased the 
difficulty of clinging to the plank, that he sunk; 
a lucky chance now drifted the plank towards the 
emigrant ship, where it stopped , and as the crew 
saw the pocket-book fastened to the board, they 
fished it up, and on opening it, found it contained 
bank-notes to a large amount. 

The rescued negro recovered in a few days, 



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15 

and was found very serviceable on board the 
emigrant ship, for he was a second Uncle Tom, 
who could adapt himself to any situation, and 
was always ready to lend the sailors a helping 
hand. He had grown very fond of our little Fred, 
and in the evening he would help him at his 
netting, and teach hirn how to make fishing lines. 
Thus the days flew past, and now the fertile 
isle of Cuba lay before them, and they came into 
the port of Havanna, where the captain had 
some business to dispatch. Fred marvelled at the 
beauty of this opulent port — and how delighted 
was he to walk on terra firma once more! — he 
was now quite cured of all longings for home ! 
Still his parents and himself were to go through 
a great many more trials, as well as to see and 
enjoy a good deal more, before they reached the 
end of their voyage. But more of this anon. 



CHAP. VI. 

In which we find Fred amongst the negro slaves 

of Havanna. 

The ship came safely into the port of Ha- 
vanna, which gives its name to the town* The 
anchor was cast under the direction of the pilot 
(viz. he who steers the ship) and officers of pu- 
blic safety, as well as custom-house officers came 
on board to examine the goods and the passports. 



16 

And it was only after all these formalities had 
been gone through, that the passengers were al- 
lowed to take a boat and go ashore, a permission 
of which Fred's parents availed themselves, as 
the invalided father was desirous of consulting a 
German doctor. Fred was quite amazed on en- 
tering the town, which together with the whole 
isle of Cuba is under Spanish rule. The catholic 
religion is prevalent throughout Spain and her 
colonial possessions, which were formerly far more 
extensive, and the churches are truly magnificent 
in Havanna. 

Fred entered one of these during service time. 
The lighted tapers, the golden altars, the perfume 
of the incense, the chanting in the choir, the pro- 
cession that moved solemnly through the church, 
and ended in kneeling, all combined to fill the 
boy's heart with child-like feelings of devotion, 
and he too fell on his knees, and said the Lord's 
prayer in a pious, humble spirit. 

They now left the church. 

"What a beautiful place this is!" cried Fred, 
on reaching the market place. 

Laurels and palm-trees stood before each 
house, the air was scented with tea and coffee- 
trees in full blossom, while the market exhibited 
a collection of the most exquisite fruits, that are 
not even known in Europe. 

Feeling hungry, the family entered a tavern, 
but how surprized were they when, instead of 
the beer and the broth they called for, they were 



n 

presented with a bottle of exquisite sweet wine, 
and a cup of dainty chocolate. 

The bread here was like a kind of rice cake, and 
every thing was so splendid that the parents were 
overawed, and began to be afraid of calling for 
the reckoning. 

"You are Germans," now exclaimed a gentle- 
man, who had observed their admiring looks, 
"and therefore as a countryman, 1 bid you wel- 
come; you must be my guests to-day, and you 
must allow me to pay for whatever you eat and 
drink, and to buy some sweetmeats for the little 
boy. But you look ill, father," continued he, ad- 
dressing Fred's papa, "and I would have you 
beware of the air hereabouts, which carries the 
poisonous seeds of yellow fever to the slimy sea- 
shores." 

Fred's father replied: "I am a German, and 
come from Thuringia, where I lived in a poor vil- 
lage. The taxes kept encreasing, and as we 
read in books that we could live in luxury in 
America, we determined to emigrate, and God 
grant that we may not repent so doing." 

"I wish indeed that it may turn out so," re- 
plied the German, "but what is the name of your 
village?" 

On the father's telling him, the stranger ex- 
claimed: "Then we are indeed not only country- 
men but near neighbours. I am the son of the 
doctor who lived in the nearest town to your 
village, and I am here assistant surgeon to the 

„ 2 



18 

head physician of the great hospital, who is like- 
wise a German, being a native of Leipzig, and 
does a deal of good amongst his countrymen. 
He will give you both advice and assistance." 

"You come like an angel sent from Heaven," 
answered the father, for this was the very man I 
was wishing to find." 

"Then follow me, and he will give you phy- 
sic and what restoratives you may require; but 
first of all, eat your till, and drink a glass of 
Cape wine." 

They now followed their kind conductor. 

After walking through several streets, they 
came upon that which was a new sight to them, 
and anything but an agreeable one — namely 
the slave market. Here stood hundreds of negroes, 
leashed in couples like so many heads of cattle, 
either naked, or merely covered with a shirt or 
an apron.. Old men, men in the prime of life, 
youths and boys, old women, and mothers with 
infants at the breast — all were on sale; and 
parents were arbitrarily separated from their chil- 
dren, as well as husbands from their wives, and 
when such separations took place, they would 
howl and gnash their teeth, and the slave driver's 
whip would belabour their bleeding backs. The 
slaves already purchased, were at work in a 
neighbouring yard. They had to carry heavy chests 
turn handmills or transport stones; and every 
blunder they committed was visited by the same 
sanguinary punishment. 



<* 






^ 



B9 

Fred's heart bled, and he turned quite pale 
when the slave-driver ran past them with upraised 
whip, after a poor negro boy, who had slipt out 
of the ranks, and beat him cruelly. 

They now left the slave yard, and reached a 
street where thev observed a house, where a num- 
ber of black, brown, olive colored and white 
children were going in and coming out. 

"Let us go in," said the young German doc- 
tor, 41 I want to speak to the master, as it is I 
who attend the sick children of this school, which 
is for the children of freed slaves, and of mongrels 
born of black and white parents It is under the 
direction of a missionary." 

So they went in, and the schoolmaster greeted 
them. About a hundred children of all sorts of 
mixed races, were squatting on the floor; and 
on a huge black board were traced, in gigantic 
characters, the letters of the English alphabet, 
which the master spoke out aloud. 

The children repeated them, and a bamboo 
cane was flourished over the shoulders of all the 
idle ones. 

The schoolmaster now dismissed his class, 
and talked to the doctor. Fred was soon on very 
good terms with the negro, mulatto, and mongrel 
children. As soon as negroes and men of colour 
enjoy the rights of liberty, they generally become 
better and more kindly. And this improvement 
is observable in the children of such as have ob- 
tained their freedom. 



-2 



v 



go 

On leaving the school, Fred accompanied his 
parents to the physician's , where the father re- 
ceived buth physic and advice, and was comforted 
with the prospect of amendment. 

In the evening, they returned on board. 



CHAP. VIZ. 

Fred visits the coffee and tobacco plantations. 

The ship remained a good while in port, for 
the captain did some profitable business in Ha- 
vanna, and during the whole time of this pro- 
tracted stay, he boarded his passengers at his 
own expense, and in the handsomest manner; and 
they were allowed to go ashore. 

Our Fred, having got rid of many of his bad 
habits, since he was on board, had grown so 
great a favorite with the captain, who was fond of 
children, that he had a little sailor's suit made for 
him, and promoted him to be his jockey, which 
was tantamount to his errand boy. 

Fred fulfilled his new office vastly well, but 
we will now accompany him and the captain 
(mentally at least) to a plantation where coffee 
was raised, and then to another where tobacco 
was cultivated. 

The coffee plantations are very beautiful to 
look at; they are situated in a more healthy neigh- 



ai 

bourhood than other plantations, and are chiefly 
managed by negroes. 

Wise and humane planters take care of 
their slaves, for only healthy slaves have the 
strength and the will to work. The planter in 
question was the captain's intimate friend. 

Fred was quite astonished when he entered 
whole groves of blooming coffee trees, and inha- 
led the refreshing fragrance of their blossoms. In 
one sheltered valley the fruit was already ripe. 
The trees bear a fruit resembling a scarlet cherry, 
which contains the coffee-berry in its kernel. 

The cherries must be gathered, and the ker- 
nels divested of their husks, all of which, as well 
as the carrying away the sacks of coffee-berries, 
and the making these sacks of bass (which is the 
bark of the linden tree) is performed by the sla- 
ves. 

The owner of the plantation, at whose house 
the captain put up, gave them some coffee made 
of fresh berries, for breakfast. 

This was a most delicious drink, which our 
Fred relished exceedingly. After breakfast they 
went to see first the plantations of tea-trees, and 
then the tobacco-fields. Tracts of land, more than 
a mile in circumference, were planted with tobacco, 
and being in full blossom looked like flowery 
meadows. 

Hundreds of slaves were busied here in 
plucking the leaves and hanging them up to dry; 



S3 

and in a large shed, near at hand, the dried leaves 
were made into cigars. 

But this was not a very dainty process, as 
the negroes roll out the tobacco on their bare 
thighs, which are often scored with wounds and 
sores inflicted by the whip. The negro boys made 
up the rolls of tobacco. 

After sunset, the planter gave them all a ho- 
liday, in honor of bis guests, and the slaves ate 
and drank and danced. Ail was life, animation 
and joy, and their sufferings appeared to be quite 
forgotten. 

And now the guests were summoned to sup- 
per at the master's table, which stood under a 
palm-tree, and was spread with the most dainty 
fare. 

The night was lovely. The beautiful sky pe- 
culiar to a southern latitude was arching over 
their heads, and all was gaiety around them. 

But their joy was to be disturbed by an 
alarming piece of news. And what may that be? 
will our young readers exclaim. This they shall 
learn in the next chapter. 



CHAP. VIII. 

An attach, Fred appears in the character 

of a drummer. 

A mulatto messenger panting with fatigue 
and dripping with perspiration, now brought the 



as 

news that a corps of American volunteers had 
suddenly come into a neighbouring creek on board 
of pirate vessels, and that their outpost was al- 
ready approaching the seaport. Their object was 
to incite the slaves to rebellion, and to free 
Cuba from the Spanish yoke with their assistance. 

The planter answered : "My slaves will be 
faithful to me, and I shall arm them and all my 
friends. Let those who have courage follow me!" 

They now rose from table, the alarm drum 
was beaten, and the slaves armed themselves. 

The captain was quite ready to take part in 
the affray, for in the case of an irruption, it would 
have been useless to attempt to escape, as the 
enemy surrounded them on all sides, and there 
was nothing for it but to expose one's life and 
try to make the best of the scrape they were in. 

"But what shall I do with you?" said he to 
Fred , who young as he was, seemed quite willing 
to fight. 

"Give me a drum," answered Fred, "the old 
watchman of our village, who was once a drum- 
mer in the army, taught me how to beat the 
drum, and I know how to play a march." 

"Well! you shall have your way," said the 
captain. 

So Fred had a drum given him, and he be- 
gan beating a march. The people were soon ar- 
med, and rushed forward to meet the enemy; 
the slaves remained faithful to their master, and 
he was able to trust them all with weapons. 



»4 

This was his reward for having treated them 
with more humanity and justice than most of the 
other planters. 

They now reached the creek. The enemy 
had landed, but had not been able to disembark all 
at once. They had expected no opposition, and 
thought to win over all the slaves to their side. 
In this, however, they were deceived, and met 
with resistance. 

The fight now began. 

Fred went on beating his drum fearlessly, 
and did not tremble even when the wounded and 
the dying were falling around him. When the fight 
was over, and the enemy were beaten, and their 
leader taken prisoner, and Fred had to beat the 
homeward march, he heard some one groaning 
behind a bramble bush, and on turning round, 
he saw the planter lying wounded, and bathed in 
his blood. 

Fred instantly beat a roll-call, which brought 
together some of the dispersed riflemen, as well 
as a surgeon, who stopped the flowing of the 
wounded man's blood, and thus saved his life. 
Without Fred he would certainly have been lost, 
for nobody would have gone to look for him just 
there. 

The victory was complete. The commander- 
in-chief of the troop of volunteers, having been 
taken prisoner, was condemned and executed. 
The same fate befell all the officers, and the sol- 
diers became prisoners of war. 



to 



Uh,v <nZ 



"JJNOls 



25 

Both honor and reward accrued to the now 
recovering planter, and many thanks were ten- 
dered to the captain whose ship was once more 
ready to sail. The planter presented Fred with 
a hundred gold pieces, and asked him if he would 
stay and live with him. 

"No," answered Fred, "I must live with 
my parents, and go with them where they are 
going." 

"That's right, youngster," said the captain, "I 
shall not lose sight of you nor of your parents, 
but shall take them to a settlement where they 
will find a livelihood, and perhaps make a fortune. 
From this time forth, you shall he cahin guests, 
and I'll engage to provide for you, and you shall 
be well off, if you are but honest." 

In a week's time they heaved anchor. The 
first goal of their voyage was a seaport in North- 
America, where they landed the greater portion 
of the emigrants, after which they steered for Ca- 
lifornia. Fred's parents resolved on performing 
this distant voyage, as the land of gold presented 
great attractions to them. 

It was a new life to Fred to be promoted to the 
cabin. The fare was far better ^ the berths were 
neater and cleaner, and what was best of all, the 
captain had a number of beautiful books with pla- 
tes, and maps j which Fred was allowed to make 
use of for his improvement. But he was likewise 
very active in his service, and it was the means 



26 

of teaching him to be obedient, and how to keep 
a house in order, besides accustoming him to ci- 
vility, punctuality and cleanliness, all of which 
qualities are indispensably necessary on ship board. 
Thus they sailed through the torrid zone. 
When they came to the spot where the sun stood 
perpendicular over their heads, and day and night 
were of equal length, the jolly sailors prepared 
for the ceremony of crossing the line, according 
to ancient custom. 



CHAP. IX. 

Fred crosses the line. 

The sun had risen in all its splendour, and 
shed its glowing rays upon the billows of the 
ocean. Fred, who had now made friends with 
all the sailors, was just about to boil the cap- 
tain's coffee, when a most outrageous noise was 
heard on deck. Some were blowing horns or 
puffing away into shells, the rowers were striking 
the waves with their oars, the flags were hoisted, 
and the sailors were drest up in fantastic and 
terrible disguises; some of them resembled wild 
men of the woods, others looked like the bears 
or sea-lions, whose skins they had wrapt around 
them, and roared and showed their teeth, just like 
the beasts they represented. 

It was, to be sure, a curious scene! 

The steer's mate, who was well acquainted 



21 

with all the seas, was dressed up as the sea-god 
Neptune; he wore a long white beard, and held 
his formidable trident in one hand, while he car- 
ried a leathern bottle filled with salt water in 
the other. He now got upon a cask, and made 
a very powerful speech, to which everybody lis- 
tened attentively; he then brandished his trident, 
and, as lord of the sea, ordered all those who 
were passing the equinoctial line for the first 
time, to submit to be baptized with salt water. 
Then turning to Fred he said in a rebuking tone: 
"You little black-eved land lubber, come and kneel 
down, and let us christen you." 

Fred knelt down, and IVeptune poured the 
vessel full of salt water over him. Thereupon 
the other sailors placed him, wet through as 
he was, on a chair, fastened a coffee bag 
round his shoulders, lathered his face, and then 
shaved him with a wooden spoon. Thus was the 
ceremony of passing the line completed. 

Fred was then hugged and kissed, and de- 
clared to be a genuine seaman; his parents re- 
ceived the same honors, and then all the newly 
christened passengers were to treat the crew to 
a christening banquet. They contributed money 
to purchase rum and bacon, which was furnished 
out of the ship's stores. 

The captain gave six bottles of wine and 
a ham as Fred's share. 

The remainder of the passage was very pro- 
sperous. They sailed round ilmerica, and steered 



8S 

through the Pacific ocean, and then again directed 
their course northwards. Wind and weather re- 
mained favorable, and the crew kept healthy. 

The negro who had been rescued from the 
slaver, had remained with the captain, and be- 
come an excellent sailor, besides which he was 
an expert fisher, and caught many a dainty fish 
for the captain's table. In his leisure hours, he 
busied himself with our Fred, who thought the 
weeks and months flew with great rapidity. 

One lovely morning, they sailed past a group 
of little islands. 

"We shall soon have reached the end of our 
voyage," said the captain, "therefore let us per- 
form our devotions to-day , and thank God for 
having conducted us thus far in safety." 

This was accordingly done. The whole crew 
having assembled on deck , and having turned 
their thoughts to holy things, one of their num- 
ber who performed the office of chaplain, held 
forth on the following text: "Thank the Lord, for 
He is merciful, and his goodness is everlasting!" 
At the conclusion, they sang the last verse 
of the beautiful song: "Great God we fall down," 
which runs thus: 

Fill us, Lord with grace divine, 
To walk for ever in Thy ways: — 
And make our hearts a holy shrine, 
So pure that we may sing Thy praise. 
Scarcely was this strophe ended, when a milk 
white dove flew over from the shore, and perched 



»9 

on the mast, while the sailor who was keeping a 
a look out aloft, cried out: "Land — land — 
land! 1 ' 

Soon after, the coast of the celebrated land 
of gold, California, was distinctly visible. 



CHAP. X. 

Arrival in California. 

The captain gave orders for all the sailors 
and passengers to put on their holiday suits, as 
it is the custom amongst sea-men to go ashore 
in tidy clothes, and in a cheerful mood. 

In one of islands which they now sailed past, 
they observed a pretty creek, in which a little 
brook flowed into the sea. The captain bid his 
men cast anchor here, and after dressing himself, 
determined to visit the islet, for which pur- 
pose he got into a boat with the negro and little 
Fred. On reaching the islet, they landed, but 
had literally to fight their way through the pin- 
guins, mews, and other birds of similar species, 
that nestled and hatched their young in this spot, 
to say nothing of wading through the accumulated 
masses of dung, known in Europe under the name 
of Guano, which answers the purpose of a most 
valuable manure. 

A dull kind of roaring echoed from the further 
extremity of the island, and our travellers were 



30_ 

not a little surprized and startled on finding it 
proceeded from large flocks of sea-lions that were 
swarming on that part of the shore. These enor- 
mous and dangerous looking animals often weigh 
two thousand pounds. They come on shore to 
bask in the sun, and to disport with their young. 

After having surveyed the island, the captain 
returned on board, determined to lay in a cargo 
of Guano on his return, which would yield him a 
very good profit. 

Everybody on board was already drest in their 
best, and now they heaved anchor once more, and 
steered towards the seaport. The coasting pilots 
came to meet them, and by sunset, they had 
reached the port, and saluted it by firing a can- 
non, which was soon answered by another from 
shore. 

Thus was the voyage accomplished by the 
help of God. 

The port looked very animated, for on the 
preceding day several ships had arrived bringing 
settlers on board. 

One of the pilots told the captain that one 
thousand fresh settlers had landed in a single 

month. 

California is a country that contains untold 
treasures, but they are only to be won by perse- 
vering labor and activity, for the lazy and the 
quarrelsome cannot make their way there at all, 
while a thief speedily comes to the gallows. Its 
fruitful soil begins to be turned to horticultural 



°^th 



fjAHf 



H-UHOIS 



J* 



s& 




31 

purposes; grain is brought hither from a distance 
by sea, and the position of the country, which 
now belongs to the United States, is well calcu- 
lated to carry on a traffic between America and 
Asia. It had already been decided to undertake 
an immense work, being no less than the forma- 
tion uf a canal, which is to cut through the isth- 
mus of America, and thus bring California some 
thousand miles nearer Europe, and open a new 
field for the commerce of the world. Thus much 
for generalities. 

We now request our young readers to cast 
a glance at the map of America, and continue to 
give their attention to the adventures that befell 
our Fred, who. on the day of his arrival, just 
entered his twelfth year. 

Eefore the passengers disembarked, their pass- 
ports were examined, and a medical officer ascer- 
tained that there were no cases of contagious 
disorders on board. They then landed, and the 
passengers took up their night's quarters in a 
large inn set apart for all the emigrants that ar- 
rived. 

By consent of his parents, Fred remained 
with the captain, who still lived on board, though 
he hired a lodging in the town. He gave five 
ducats a day for a single room, which answers 
to about sixteen Prussian dollars. 

Everything is enormously dear in that place, 
but on the other hand, as plenty of money is in 
circulation, labor is well remunerated. 



38 

A cook can earn one hundred and fifty dol- 
lars a month, besides her board; a washerwoman 
is paid from ten to fifteen dollars per dozen ar- 
ticles, whether large or small. A tailor or any 
other journeyman can earn from five to eight 
dollars a day; and women's work is in great de- 
mand. 

They reckon there by dollars, and one of 
their dollars is about equal to one dollar and ten 
silver groshen of our money. 

Fred's mother found a situation as cook, and 
his father's services were acceptable as a brick- 
maker, an employment he undertook all the more 
willingly, as the state of his health did not allow 
him to go into the mountains. 



CHAP. XI. 

Life in San Francisco. 

Such was the name of the town where Fred 
and his parents now lived. It seemed to have 
sprung out of the earth as if by miracle; but un- 
fortunately it was not built so as to be fireproof. 
The greatest luxury now reigns on the very 
same spot where, thirty years ago, the few set- 
tlers who inhabited the neighbourhood, and traded 
in furs, which they hawked about amongst the 
wild Indians, their associates, made use of a spe- 
cies of fruit somewhat resembling an apple, in 



33 

place of bread, and ate lizards and such ser- 
pents as were not poisonous. 

The flesh of serpents seemed more dainty to 
them, than fish had formerly been to their palates. 

The Indians lived like swine ; they ate raw 
tripe, and their filth and gluttony were beyond 
description. But now they have altered their ways, 
and have learnt to enjoy life and grown accus- 
tomed to work. 

But we will now return to the emigrant ship. 
The captain had brought a cargo of cloth and 
linen, with which he drove a thriving trade; and 
as the master of the ship had given him leave to 
remain as long as he liked in San Francisco, he 
let his ship to a trading company, and having in- 
sured it, set off for the gold diggings with the 
negro and Fred, to whom he promised a ducat 
a day; and thither we will now accompany him. 

This time, Fred was drest as a miner, and 
his master had likewise provided himself with a 
miner's attire. On the third day, after their de- 
parture, they reached the mountains, where they 
found hundreds searching for gold. The precious 
metal is to be found partly under the sod, and 
partly in brooks, as very small grained gold sand. 
Pick-axes, shovels, spades, yea, even large knives 
were in requisition to throw up the earth, and 
men furnished with baskets and bags, were busy 
collecting this gold dust and little gold grains, 
and carrying them away to be put into the smel- 
ting pot. But provisions are very scarce in this 

3 



34 

neighbourhood, and there is a complete dearth of 
all the comforts of life; besides which, envy, strife, 
and violence have converted the diggings into a 
kind of pandemonium. 

On reaching this district, and perceiving 
the danger, our travellers retreated into a mountain 
pass — but what a sight awaited them there! On 
a tree was hung a man, whose body bore marks 
of wounds, and they were still contemplating this 
monument of lynch law, when their ears were 
struck by the sound of sighs and groans. After 
preparing their weapons, they proceeded to ascer- 
tain whence came the moans, and presently 
found a man bound with cords, lying on the 
burning sand. 

He was an Englishman. On being delivered 
from his bonds, he informed them that he and his 
companion, the man who was hung, had been 
found searching for gold, and robbed of all the 
gold they had collected; and if his life had been 
spared, it was only that he might point out, where 
lay the auriferous ore. This was expected of him, 
because he was known to be a miner and smelter; and 
he was to lie there till the robbers came back, which 
would be before long. 

The captain and his party now retreated out 
of sight, on hearing a noise. Three armed men 
came forward, and advanced towards the spot 
where they had left their captive bound. On fin- 
ding he had escaped, they cursed and swore they 
would bring both him and his deliverers to a 



35 

cruel death. Being accompanied by a dog be- 
longing to the race of blood-hounds, they now 
set him on the scent, when he challenged, and 
soon discovered the place where the captain and 
his companions had taken refuge. He was about 
to fly at Fred, when the captain sent a bullet 
through his brains. 

The robbers now determined to venture on 
an attack, and they were just taking aim, when 
the negro shot one of them dead; the second rob- 
ber's gun missed fire, which gave the captain time 
to load again, and discharge his piece with uner- 
ring aim; while the miner seized a pickaxe and 
rushing on the third robber, felled him with a 
blow on the shoulder, before he could make use 
of his weapon, and down he sunk with a yell. 

The danger was now over. The wounded 
wretch confessed, in the agonies of death, that 
envy and rapacity had goaded them on to crime, 
and that they were well aware that an experienced 
miner, like the one present, would be able to 
discover veins of gold, especially as he had a 
divining rod in his possession. 

The captain now asked the miner who he 
was, and revived him by giving him some bread 
dipped in wine. It was Fred's business to carry 
the provisions. 

The Englishman informed him that he was a 
miner and smelter, and had the knack of finding 
ore, for which he trusted to the direction of the 
divining rod. 



36 

"Well then, let us seek," said the captain, 
"nature has many an unknown power, and she 
often points out the way for us to discover her 
secrets." 

"Be it so," answered the miner. "The divin- 
ing rod is still lying on the spot where I lay bound, 
hand and foot. I will fetch it, and make the at- 
tempt. Vegetable earth, brooks and stagnant water 
give indications, and a rod will give token where a 
lode is to be found, if applied after addressing a 
fervent prayer to the great spirit of the mountain. 
Everything, in this glen, denotes that ue shall 
not dig here in vain." 

He then advanced into the middle of the glen, 
where flowed a little rivulet, and Fred brought 
him the divining rod, which consisted of a flexible 
hazel twig. 



CHAP. XII. 

The Divining Rod. 

They all now folded their hands with devo- 
tional feelings, and even Fred who, though so 
gay, was a pious boy, repeated the Lord's prayer 
with great fervour. 

The miner now took hold of the divining rod, 
and as it turned round in his hands, they began 
to break up the earth. They first cleared away 



g*Wl 



4 ***§£ 



Of 



"JJHOli 



37 

the soil, and scarcely had they turned up a few 
shovelfuls of mould, than they found some gold. 

"Gold! gold! gold!" they all exclaimed. 

The gold lay in an ingot, and was recognized 
by the miner to be of sterling worth. 

It stood to reason that where one nugget 
was found, others would be forthcoming. The 
captain therefore took possession, and leaving the 
negro and the miner to watch the new found vein, 
he went to show their prize at the nearest guard- 
house, after which he repaired to San Fran- 
cisco, to proceed legally, and being back some 
miners. Sure enough he found several miners 
from the Hartz mountains, in search of work, 
whose services he engaged, and with whom he 
returned next day to the lode they had discovered. 
They too confirmed him in the hope that it con- 
tained immense riches. 

Amongst the miners was a guitar player, who 
on the following morning, when they repaired to 
work, after having prayed and rung the little bell 
they had brought with them, took up his instru- 
ment, and sang the following mining song: 

"Awake!" cries out the tinkling bell 

"Ye miners all, awake — 
The morning stars already tell 

That daylight soon will break." 

Up gets the miner, nor delays, 

When duty calls him forth; 
But straight prepares to thread the maze, 
Deep, deep within the earth. 



38 

Yet ere he goes, he takes a peep 

At each infantine head 
That cradled lies in sweetest sleep, 

Upon its little bed. 

Then from his fond, parental breast 

Joy gushes like a flood — 
While fervently his lips have blest 

The Giver of all good. 

"Thou Father of all thruth and love, 
Again throughout the night, 

Thy mercy watching from above, 
My lov'd ones kept in sight. 

"Then take my heart that unto thee 

In gratitude I give: 
In spirit meek, and lovingly, 

I'll henceforth ever live. 

"My fate, Lord 1 thankful bless; 

And 'neath Thy loving care, 
may I once forgiveness 

For all transgressions share ! 

"And may'st thou o'er my trusty wife 

Extend Thy powerful arm 
And let Thine angels guard her life, 

And shield her from all harm." 

So sang the old man, and then they fell to 
work. The results were considerable, and the 



UfilVERi 



vt 



IL LtNOt$ 



39 

captain determined that all his companions should 
participate in his good luck. Fred had his share 
like the rest, and his parents forthwith removed 
to the diggings. The captain surrendered the 
command of the ship to another, and remained 
with his companions; and before the year was out 
they were all rich people. 

Fred is now grown to a youth, and sends 
his best wishes to the juvenile readers, who have 
taken an interest in his adventures, and I too 
close this marrative with saying good speed! to 
you all, that being the favorite toast among miners. 



!♦<-«♦*■