Navigation and Travel Manuscripts from the William Reese Co.
Not all of these travels were quite so difficult and unpleasant. Arthur W. Morrell was a clerk for British Admiral Baird, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Station. He was assigned to the Pacific Station in 1884, but first he had to get there. Evidently no ships were headed that way at the time, as Morrell was placed on a Cunard ocean liner to make the trip from Liverpool to Boston. From there, he traveled by rail across America to San Francisco. Then he was finally able to hook up with his ship. Morrell recounts these journeys in a manuscript he kept from 1884-86, along with adding 27 pen or pencil sketches and one watercolor illustration. It all seems like a pleasant trip. Morrell was quite pleased with the cuisine offered by Cunard, and by how much more comfortable the American sleeper cars were than those provided by British railways. Much of his narrative, both on the trip there and on his ship which sailed the coasts of North and South America, are focused on social interactions. There seems to have been much socializing on his trip, and in the ports of call, such as a dinner, dance, cricket match and carnival he attended in Chile. Item 24. $2,500.
Item 30 is a pair of mid-17th century letters from Spanish King Philip IV concerning explorer Don Pedro Porter Casanate. Casanate conducted several explorations in the Gulf of California between 1635 and 1653, all of which was quite remarkable since he received little funding from the Crown. However, the King did give him free reign to explore the area on his own. In one of these letters, King Philip instructs the Viceroy of New Spain to provide him with detailed reports on the progress and costs of Casanate's mission, and to provide assistance if the latter found anything of value, such as pearls. In the second letter, written the same day (August 6, 1650), the King writes Casanate, denying his request for a judgeship of Sinaloa, but encouraging his explorations and demanding a full report when he finishes. Denying the judgeship must have been a disappointment for Casanate as it would have provided a backdoor means for Spain to provide him with financial support. Nonetheless, Reese points out, the King was well prepared to partake of any spoils Casanate might find in his explorations. $35,000.
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