February 28, 1849 (Wednesday)

Another day of the same sort as yesterday.

Another vesel [sic], the “Newton” left Chestnut Street wharf to-day, for the “El dorado” of the west, where all one has to do to procure wealth is to pick it off the ground.  Called on J. Morgan.

The schooner Newton left the Chestnut Street wharf for Tampico, Mexico en route to California with approximately forty passengers. Among them the “California Company of Reading,” a group of eighteen men from Reading, Pennsylvania who formed a company to exploit the potential of the California mines. The passengers would disembark at Tampico and travel overland to Mexico’s Pacific coast where they would board another vessel for the final leg to San Francisco.

That gold nuggets were available for anyone who had the ability to bend over and pick them up was a common sentiment of the time, no doubt promulgated by those people who could enrich themselves by transporting or outfitting the would-be gold miners. Nathan is young, male and unattached, seemingly a good candidate for a western adventure.  Is he catching gold fever?

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