||George E. Tirrell Papers
Tirrell, George E.
||ECU Manuscript Collection
||Papers (1851) including photographs, sketches, photocopies, correspondence.
||0.055 Cubic feet, 15 items ,
consisting of photographs of sketches and photocopy of correspondence.
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.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
George E. Tirrell Papers (#418), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Capt. David E. Perkins
Biographical / Historical Note
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.
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.