February 27, 1849 (Tuesday)

Still rainy and very stormy.  The Ship Levant left this place today for California, notwithstanding the rough and boisterous state of the weather.  The yellow fever prevails still to a considerable degree.

Did not go out this evening.

The California Gold Rush was well underway and Philadelphians were not immune from the mania.  The Levant left the Dock Street wharf at 5:00 a. m. with forty-nine passengers and the heaviest load to date of any ship leaving Philadelphia for San Francisco.  The manifest was seventeen feet long and the cargo was valued at $200,000.  According to the February 26 issue of the North American, framing for ten houses, two steamboats and eight sailboats were among the items carried by the Levant.

Yellow fever outbreaks in Barbados and Jamaica were in the news.  The British Royal Mail steamer, Trent, was prevented from docking at Chagres, Panama because seventeen passengers were ill with yellow fever and seven others had perished since the ship left Kingston, Jamaica.  This would have been very worrying to would-be gold rushers since many ships bound for California stopped at Chagres.

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