Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2014

19 February 2015

Schliemann and the California Gold Rush. The 1850-1852 American Travel Journal of Heinrich Schliemann: a Transcription and Translation

Edited by Christo Thanos & Wout Arentzen

Schliemann and the California Gold Rush. The 1850-1852 American Travel Journal of Heinrich Schliemann: a Transcription and Translation

City: Leiden

Year: 2014

Publisher: Sidestone Press

Series: The Schliemann Diaries 2

Description: Paperback, 214 p., 23 figures, 25,7x18,2 cm


In this second part of The Schliemann Diaries we follow Heinrich Schliemann (the famous 19th century archaeologist, trader and traveller) through his diary on his second journey: his travels to America from December 1850 to March 1853. The original diary was written in English and for a small part in Spanish. This publication is a transcription and translation of Schliemann’s travel diary.

In 1850 the millionaire Schliemann decided to end his job as trader in Russia and to try his luck in the United States. He travelled via Europe to New York and Washington and then via Panama on to the goldfields in California. He made a second fortune in Sacramento with buying gold dust and with banking. After two years he returned to Europe and got married in St Petersburg.

In this diary Schliemann describes his travels from the perspective of a wealthy business man in the mid-19th century and writes about the landscape, his visits to the theatre, the hotels he used, his much discussed meeting with the American president, his lucrative banking business in California, etc. His travels and accommodation weren’t always without danger. Schliemann describes in detail the extreme heat and humidity, fatal illnesses, rainstorms, floods, mosquitoes, robbers, murderers and swindlers.

Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) was a shrewd trader and later in life he became one of the best known archaeologists of the 19th century for discovering the legendary city of Troy and the golden masks of Mycenae. Schliemann also made many travels around the world and recorded his experiences in several diaries. In this series, all Schliemann’s travel diaries will be made available to a wider public by means of a transcription, an English translation and an introduction. These publications will present a new image of the trader and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and the world in which he lived.


Introduction [7]

Wout Arentzen, Schliemann and the making of his second fortune [9]

The Travel journal [9]
The Californian gold rush [10]
A disappointment in love [16]
The outward journey [19]
The shipwreck [21]
The East Coast [24]
A visit to the President [27]
The itinerary [32]
Panama [34]
The journey from Panama to San Francisco [42]
California [46]
Ludwig’s grave [48]
The Sacramento River [50]
The Gold fields [51]
The Banking House of Henry Schliemann [56]
Schliemann – Davidson [66]
A nasty wound [74]
A British sweetheart and a new native country? [78]
Mecklenburg and then home [81]
Later received information [84]
The conflagration of San Francisco [88]
The autobiography [95]
The Bill [96]

Christo Thanos, Schliemann’s dates and whereabouts [101]

Christo Thanos, The transcription [107]

Introduction to the transcription [107]
The journal [107]
Editorial method [108]
Symbols used in the transcription [108]
The transcription of the diary [109]
The transcription of the autobiography [196]

Spanish translation [205]

Nienke Brouwer (translation) and Wout Arentzen (editor and comm.)

List of figures [209]

References [211]

Index [215]


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