Michael White on Building the Guadalupe

Now we're getting into an area of personal interest to me, which is ship building. Y'all will remember that we talked about the Guadalupe in an earlier post: http://ravenjake.vox.com/library/post/the-anchor-of-the-guadalupe.html and her anchor is still at the San Gabriel Mission.

Michael White continued to build ships and sail them; the Santa Barbara and then the Guadalupe, from about 1829-1832. He manages to get through this account without once mentioning Joseph Chapman, clearly not an accident, and also mentions letter writing, which implies that he was literate (and not just getting someone else like Fr. Martinéz to write for him) and that Rosario could read and write as well. 

Michael White's oral history continues: After finishing that job, we built another schooner for the Mission San Gabriel in 1830, that was named the Guadalupe, and put under command of William Richardson, an Englishman, who in after years owned Sausalito and was Captain of the port of San Francisco.

She [the Guadalupe] made a trip to San Blas and came back, and then I took charge of her myself some eight days after I was married [November 22, 1831] to Maria del Rosario Guillen, daughter of the famous centenarian Eulalia Perez, and Miguel Antonio Guillen.

This next paragraph is out-of-order in the narrative, but chronologically it fits here:

I forgot to mention that when I was in San Diego in the latter part of 1831, on the point of going to sea, I received a letter from Father José Sanchez, missionary of San Gabriel, informing me of the events connected with the revolution against Commandante General Victoria; that Captain Romualdo Pacheco had been killed in a fight between Los Angeles and Cahuenga, and Victoria severely wounded, and that my mother in law, Mrs. Eulalia Perez de Guillen, was nursing him.

Victoria brought me letters from home and delivered them to me at San Blas [White did not hear from his family in England until eighteen years after he left home, according to H.D. Barrows]. He [Victoria] was taken there by American ship, [the] California, [by] Captain. Bradshaw from San Diego. By the bye, the old lady married, during my absence, an old Spanish artilleryman named Juan Mariné, a Catalan.I went in her [the Guadalupe] to Mazatlán and San Blas. Richardson and another man named Manuel Somali went with me as super cargoes. The cargo consisted of dry tongues, olives, wine, dried beef, soap, Mission aguardiente [moonshine] and other trifles, and two priests, not of the missionaries here. One of them was Father Jesus Martinéz who married me [to Rosario].

The Guadalupe measured 99 90/100 tons–was a topsail schooner, and carried about 150 tons of cargo.

I was away less than one year and came back in a hermaphrodite Brig called the Eagle, the same one I had charge of some years before in the Gulf of California. I was engaged in trading, working, carpentering and one thing and another during my absence. I wrote to my wife (who thought I must be dead), but got to California before my letters did. I was here about one month before my letters. This brings me to 1832.


Note on ship styles: A hermaphrodite brig, or brig-schooner, is a two-masted sailing ship with square sails on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged sails on the mainmast. It combines the two main types of sail plan, hence the term hermaphrodite.

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~ by ravenjake on January 1, 2010.

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