Burning of the Steamship “Golden Gate” July 27, 1862. On her Voyage from San Francisco having on board 1,400,000 in treasure, 242 Passengers and a Crew of 95 persons of whom only about 100 are known to have been saved.
During the 1860s, a raging conflagration at sea
On July 27, 1862, during the American Civil War and enroute to Panama, passengers slumbered aboard the Pacific Pacific mail steamship S.S. “Golden Gate” when a fire quickly burst out, mid-ship, out separating those fore and aft. While life preservers were on board, they were with boats and not easily reached.
Panic ensued when passengers and crew realized the flames were raging out of control. Many passengers leapt into the sea and drowned. Other passengers, clothes on fire, likewise had no choice but to leap into the sea. Eventually, the ship struck about 300 yards from the beach, near Manzanilla, Mexico. Those survivors who made it alive to the beach then spent a miserable night; burrowing in the sand for warmth and fending off mosquitos and tormenting sand-flies.
A dramatic image showing the steamship with raging flames and survivors in launch boats plying the waves. The hand coloring of this present example seems remarkably realistic.
Description: Burning of the Steamship “Golden Gate” July 27, 1862. On her Voyage from San Francisco having on board 1,400,000 in treasure, 242 Passengers and a Crew of 95 persons of whom only about 100 are known to have been saved.
New York: Currier & Ives. [ca. 1862.] Lithograph, colored by hand. 11 x 15 inches. Excellent coloring. Small discreet tape repair to corner of blank recto; some light, and generally even, toning. A striking example. In archival mat, mylar sheet.
Peters, Currier 1323. 1. From plate 100 within California on Stone, p183.