William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By Olive Risley Seward; William Henry Seward | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER II.
FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO JAPAN.

The Vessels of the Pacific Mail Line.--Our Fellow-Passengers.--"The Great Company of the Preachers."--The Chinese Passengers.--The Great Event of the Voyage.-- The Moods of the Sea.--A Still Greater Event.--The Loss of a Day.--The Gyascutus.--The Beginning of the End.--The Coast of Japan.--The Ocean-Fisheries.

Steamer China, Pacific Ocean, September 1, 1870.--Our party having received its promised accessions, we embarked at noon. More kind friends could not have come on board to take leave if we had been long residents of San Francisco. If Mr. Seward had been thirty years younger, such a parting would even then have taxed his strength.

We passed the sometimes turbulent, but always majestic Golden Gate, with scarcely a disturbance of the ship's balance, and began our voyage on a calm sea and under a bright sky.

September 4th.--The vessels of the Pacific Mail Line are sidewheel steamers, and in accommodations and appointments are surpassed only by the palatial boats on the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. The China, four thousand three hundred tons burden, is the smallest of them all. We enjoy an uninterrupted promenade seven hundred feet in circuit on the upper deck. We have sixty cabin-passengers, and might carry comfortably twice that number. Among them are General Vlangally, the Russian Minister returning from St. Petersburg to Peking, and half a dozen English civil officers coming from "home" to their posts in Japan and China. "Great," it must be confessed, "is the company of the preachers:" Fifteen American missionaries with their

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