This is a journal entry from my great-grandfather Matthias Lair Harter of Troy, Ohio. He was a passenger on the steamer Chesapeake, en route from Panama to San Francisco:
Sabbath, San Rosario, Apr. 21, 1850 We are unable to obtain anything more than beef and wood here. We are out of water, consequently cannot have tea or coffee. We have sent a no. of wood choppers ashore but the Mexicans charge $40.00 a cord to deliver it at port. We want to get wood to run 8 or 10 miles up further around a shoal, and then we will be able to obtain wood and water without much difficulty save a high surf. We sent a boat this morning around the shoal but it has not returned. I dreampt of death last night.
San Rosario, Apr. 22, 1850 Sad News came this morning of the boat we sent around the Point yesterday. It was capsized 3 times. The last time Judge Linn of Rising-Sun, Ind., was lost. The crew were saved by great exertion. Judge Lynn was a very fine pleasant gentleman, esteemed by all of the passengers. He leaves 4 little children orphans to the cold charity of this world. His comrades made him a coffin of the bulkhead. His body was drifted ashore by the tide, also the boat. Sad to tell, we are here suffering for water. We have not a drop to quench our thirst. We have nothing to eat but beef. Then a troop of soldiers here prevent the natives from giving us help. If I was at home I would remain there. He only who suffers really knows what it is to want. I have been heading my journal Santa Rosa when, in truth, we are 7 miles off. I'm going to San Rosa tomorrow morning. On the map it is called San Rosario.