Joey Gougenheim vs. the Glimpse

Martha Wallace has compiled a series of databases from records located at the National Archives in San Bruno.  She is working with San Mateo County Genealogical Society to put them online.   The most recent database is Admiralty Case Files 1855-1863. A description of the database and a sample case can be found on the SMCGS Blog.  See below for a list of other blogs on the files.

Josephine Gougenheim and her sister Adeline were famed actresses of “high comedy.”  Their  1857/58 Melbourne season began 2 December 1857.  By the concluding performance 6 March 1858 they were embroiled in a great deal of controversy. Josephine was sued twice by one performer for non-payment of wages and had insinuations publicly leveled at her by another over the same issue. (The Age (Melbourne), 18 Jan 1858 p. 5)  Capture

The season over, and perhaps knowing it was time to leave Australia,  Josephine’s agent Ripley A. Eddy arranged with Master S A Dayton, for passage for the sisters, himself and at least one other person for £200 ($982) on the barque, Glimpse, a few weeks before it was set to sail for San Francisco.  According to Eddy and Josephine, the verbal agreement was that they would have exclusive use of the after cabin, fresh meat, meals delivered to the cabin as needed, and ship’s crew to serve them whenever wanted.  He let the master know that the sisters were prone to seasickness. They also stated that it was agreed that they would sail direct with no stops on the way to San Francisco. (Keep in mind that the usual passage at the time was £30-35 ($172) and the after cabin would normally hold six people in berths.)

And thus began what for both sides seemed the journey from hell. First the extra person who was to travel with the sisters, a notorious pugilist of  Australia, was arrested in Melbourne for burglary before the barque sailed and did not join the party.   Second the sisters did become ill almost immediately and quickly asked for broth made with fresh meat.  All sides agreed that the chickens had missed the boat and the cook would not agree to kill a sheep just for broth without direct orders from the master.

From there it all went downhill, and at the end of the voyage Joey sued for costs and $5000 for her pain.  Court documents give two sides to the story.

It is not argued that after seven weeks the barque stopped in New Kahaven in the Marquesas Islands for fresh meat.(1) Josephine and Eddy both attested that during that time Dayton had been rude and sullen.  They claimed that the master had told the other passengers that they were “asking for hell and they shall get hell.” Josephine asked to be put ashore in New Zealand if they were unable to fulfill the contract. The master said it was an oversight that the fresh meat was not on board and that he would stop in the Pitcairn Islands to get some.  Apparently the winds blew them further north, and they ended up in the Marquesas instead.


NY Public Library Collections – Gougenheim Sisters

Before we go on to it is worth exploring the food situation. According to the statements of witnesses (A Davis, Solomon Golland, and T W Freelon) those in the after cabin had lobster, canned salmon and beef, potatoes, coffee.  One sheep was killed for fresh meat each week and there was also fresh pork, chicken and turkeys.  They generally had coffee in the morning, breakfast at 10, lunch at 12, dinner between 3-4, tea between 8-9 and supper at midnight as well as snacks as requested all day long.  This they stated was far better than the fare of the regular cabin passengers, and they thought their fare was fine.

The sisters on the other hand complained that they were denied even the necessities of potatoes, salt and sugar, and that the bread was unwholesome and unfit to eat.  The captain did agree that at one point when sugar was short, they were denied sugar for their lime drinks, everything else he disagreed with.  The witnesses and master agreed that the sisters were sharing their delicacies with steerage passengers and the master told his crew to stop that from happening.

Well, back to the tale.  One fact agreed to by all was that Dayton did drink a bit too much in New Kahaven and was a bit drunk on reboarding the barque.  The sisters and Eddy claimed that he nearly wrecked the barque as they left the Islands.  They also claimed that he was ranting against the sisters and that his own wife had to put her hand over his mouth to keep him quiet.


Daily Alta California 5 November 1858

Two weeks after the stop in the Marquesas, the Glimpse was again without fresh meat and Dayton headed for the Sandwich Islands. In Honolulu a petition from the other passengers was given to the US Consul asking that the sisters and their agent be removed from the ship.  Eddy was arrested when A Davis said his life had been threatened by him.  Eddy said that on being brought before the magistrate, Davis was reprimanded by the judge.  Whatever the truth, the ship, now re-provisioned continued on its way with the passenger list intact. The Captain on the other hand said the Consul told him to put Eddy in irons, leave him ashore, or confine him to his cabin.  Eddy promised to behave and Dayton allowed him his freedom on board.

Josephine filed her libel shortly after disembarking the Glimpse in San Francisco.  Testimony included statements, by those that had made the Australia to San Francisco run more than once, that vessels always stopped at least once along the way.  There was also testimony that unfavorable winds had slowed the journey.  Statements, such as “master was a liar, thief and common scoundrel” … “not fit to crawl upon the ground she trod upon” and a few others that are so politically incorrect today that I won’t repeat them, were attributed to the sisters.  On 7 Feb 1859 the libel was dismissed, and libellant, Joey, was to pay costs.

2016-07-27 11.57.52

Josephine Gougenheim vs. the Glimpse has been compiled into a leather bound document,

Josephine appealed the original decision and on 2 Jun 1860 the court decreed that libellant be paid $700.  This was less than her original payment of  £200.  As this included costs she probably ended up paying at least the normal cost of passage for three people.

There are more juicy details in this case, Martha and I had fun reading though. The description of meals were enough to make us hungry, and other details gave a glimpse of life at sea.

The case as written up in the Sacramento Union Vol 16 #2417 25 Dec 1858 gives the story from Josephine’s point of view.

Other NARA Record Posts on the SMCGS Blog

Other resources

(1) This is undoubtably Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands

Posted in California Genealogy, California Repositories, California Websites | Leave a comment

CSGA and SMCGS General Meeting & Joint Seminar – October 29, 2016

California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA) and San Mateo County Genealogical Society (SMCGS) General Meeting/Joint Seminar

Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, California 94403

DATE:  Saturday, October 29, 2016     TIME: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Program Schedule
10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Coffee, pastries, introductions, etc.
10:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. Speaker: Cath Trindle
“Alphabet Soup: Records of the Great Depression”
11:10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. Break
11:20 a.m. to 12:00 noon Speaker: Janice M. Sellers
“Why Would They Put It Online If They Didn’t Want Me to Use It?:  Copyright Issues for Genealogy”

A CSGA board meeting will follow the scheduled program.   For more information, contact Catherine Luijt at moc.l1477223757iamg@1477223757rekeo1477223757zpo1477223757 or visit the SMCGS website for map and driving directions at:

The seminar is free and everyone is welcome.

Posted in California Genealogy | Leave a comment

IAJGS 2016 Seattle Conference – August 7-12, 2016

Posted in California Genealogy | Leave a comment

CSGA 2016 Fall Elections

The CSGA nominating committee which includes Barbara Perez (lead person), Janice M. Sellers and Elizabeth O’Neal will be seeking volunteers to fill the CSGA officer positions for the new 2017 term.

The available positions are CSGA President, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer and (3) Director at Large positions.

We hope you will consider volunteering for one of these positions for the new term and the future of the California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA).

If interested in volunteering for any of the positions, please contact Barbara Perez at moc.o1477223757ohay@14772237579amgb1477223757rab1477223757.

Best Regards,

Catherine Luijt, CSGA President

Posted in California Genealogy, CSGA News | Leave a comment

California State Archives and Google Partnership

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Google Announce Partnership to Digitize State Archives Exhibits
Google Arts and Culture
Today ( June 28, 2016) Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced a new partnership between the California State Archives, a division of the Secretary of State’s office, and the Google Cultural Institute.

This partnership will make State Archives exhibits available to a global audience online. The first three exhibits highlight the history of California state parks, the California Secretary of State’s office, and showcases campaign materials created by the nation’s first political consulting firm, Campaigns Inc.

Click here to view the California State Archives’ exhibits available via the Google Cultural Institute.

archives“The historical treasures of the State Archives belong to the people of California, and they should be easily viewable,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “Our partnership with the Google Cultural Institute will allow us to use materials from the State Archives to share stories about the rich history of California. These stories deserve to be shared with the world.”

“Preserving history, art, and culture is crucial to remembering where we’ve come from and who we are as people. Google is thrilled to partner with Secretary Padilla and the State Archives to bring archive collections onto the Google Arts & Culture platform and make them accessible the world over,” said Mufaddal Ezzy, Google’s California State Manager for Government Relations.

“State Archives staff has worked diligently to compile and digitize rare photographs, personal correspondence, videos, and other original documents to showcase and share via the Google Cultural Institute. These exhibits allow us to view the colorful history of the Secretary of State’s office, the creation of our state parks, and the campaign work of the nation’s first political consulting firm,” Padilla added.

As part of this partnership, the State Archives will continue to digitize exhibits for inclusion on the Google Cultural Institute. “This is only the beginning of our partnership with Google. We look forward to sharing more digital exhibits in the months and years to come,” Padilla added.

About the California State Archives:

California’s first legislature, meeting in 1849–50, charged the Secretary of State to receive “…all public records, registered maps, books, papers, rolls, documents and other writings . . . which appertain to or are in any way connected with the political history and past administration of the government of California.” The California State Archives, a division of the Secretary of State’s office, continues to serve in the spirit of those early instructions, providing a repository for the state’s permanent governmental records as well as other materials documenting California history.

About the Google Cultural Institute:

Since its launch in 2011, the Google Cultural Institute has worked closely with museums, foundations, archives, and others—from Carnegie Hall to the Musee D’Orsay in Paris to the British Museum in London. The Google Cultural Institute now has more than 1,000 partners from over 70 countries making a total of 6 million artworks, photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history accessible to all online and by doing so, preserving it for future generations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  June 28, 2016  CONTACT: Sam Mahood (916) 653-6575

Posted in California Genealogy, California Repositories, California Websites, Records | Leave a comment