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VIPS in the Port of San Francisco

Civilian, April 5, 1850

Cochituate, Massachusetts.

On the East Coast, groups of men formed corporations with the sole purpose of hiring a ship to bring them to California's gold fields where they would then work together to strike it rich. The groups had mixed success; problems began even before they reached the West Coast in that divisions developed in some groups during the difficult passage.

August 2, 1999: John Ireland provided the following from The Argonauts of 'forty-Nine: Some Recollections of the Plains and the Diggings, Argonauts of '49. Scholar's Choice Edition. He adds: "I can't locate who "Sn of Salem" is. No index in book but it has information on 124 mining groups in the appendix, usually including name of ship, captain, mates, and some officers of the mining company."

FOR CALIFORNIA! 
The Good Schooner
CIVILIAN

Civilian to California.

170 tons, newly coppered, and four years old, Commanded by Capt. Thomas Dodge, of Chatham, will sail for California Oct. 20th.

She is owned by the "COCHITUATE COMPANY for California," now nearly full.

She is fitted up with Superior Accommodations, is a fast sailing vessel, and offers advantages equal to if not superior to any vessel that has yet been put up.

Please call for information at No. 69 Commercial Street.

E. W. JACKSON Agent., Boston, Sept. 27th, 1849.

Cochituate Mining and Trading Company

Sailed from Boston, November 6, 1849, on schooner Civilian, Thomas Dodge, master; John Dillingham of Brewster, mate; Paul Howes of Dennis, second mate. The shares were two hundred dollars each and Captain Dodge was given one free for his services.

The Civilian was a nearly new schooner of 170 tons and she arrived at San Francisco, April 5, 1850, making the fast passage via Magellan. 43 in company.

The topsail schooner Civilian, Captain Thomas Dodge, sailed from Fisk's Wharf, Boston, for California, November 6, 1849, carrying the Cochituate Trading and Mining Company. The company was raised by Josiah Hayward and son of Salem and numbered sixty men from towns in Essex County and Cape Cod. The shares were two hundred dollars each and the captain received one free for his services.

The Civilian stopped five days at St. Catherine's and five at Valparaiso and arrived out in one hundred and forty-five days, going via Magellan. The company divided up one hundred dollars a share.

The Civilian left San Francisco in 1850 and was sold to Peruvian parties.

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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