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George E. Tirrell Papers, 1851

Manuscript Collection #418

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: George E. Tirrell Papers
Creator: Tirrell, George E.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1851) including photographs, sketches, photocopies, correspondence.
Extent: 0.055 Cubic feet, 15 items , consisting of photographs of sketches and photocopy of correspondence.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

August 27, 1980, 15 items; A letter (1851) and photographs of sketches reflecting an ocean voyage to California. Copies of originals in possession of Capt. David E. Perkins, Sunbury, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

George E. Tirrell Papers (#418), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Capt. David E. Perkins

Processing Information

  • Processed by E. Scott, October 1983

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

George E. Tirrell was one of a crew of approximately fifty who left Boston in March, 1849, en route to San Francisco aboard the bark FLETCHER. An artist by nature, Tirrell had been hired by William Wright of Boston to work in the gold mines in the interest of Wright's company. During the voyage, Tirrell captured his experiences in several sketches, which he sent to his sister on July 14, 1851, along the route to California and the island of Juan Fernandez, Chile, where he went ashore.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Tirrell's letter is divided into twelve sections that correspond to his sketches. Most of the sketches are of vessels encountered during the voyage, but others represent Pierce's Hut at Juan Fernandez, the bay at Juan Fernandez, the entrance to San Francisco Bay, and an adobe house at Nicholas on the Feather River in California. References are made to such extreme sea and weather conditions as gales and calms, and snow and sleet in the summer months off Cape Horn. Tirrell utilizes a narrative form in his descriptions of the mechanics of sailing the FLETCHER during various weather conditions. Also of interest are Tirrell's descriptions of experiences at Juan Fernandez, including a mountain climb, a meal of fried goat, and a sleepless night in Pierce's Hut.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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