Letter from Abraham Morrell, U.S. Consul at Manzanilla, Mexico
Sunday, August 17, 1862
I returned last night from the wreck of the Golden Gate, having been absent four days. Although the wreck lies but fiften miles from here -- just above the White Rock -- you will scarcely comprehend that to reach it by land requires a journey of ten hours' hard riding, and through a road the worst I have ever seen. My hat was kocked off dozens of times, and was well battered to pieces when I got back. I did not have my clothese off, nor even my boots, from the time I left until I got back. The second day, I was four or five hours exponsed to a heavy rain, and slept that night in my damp clothes and boots, which had only had time to partially dry.
My principal object in going was to bury the dead bodies, which were scattered over the beach for a distanace of four miles. I found 26, and had them all interred as well as could be done under the circumstances. They were all more or less decomposed and of some but little more than the skeleton remained. It is enough to say that they presented a most pitiful sight. I say pitiful, for that expresses the sentiment which I felt. For me there was nothing of disgust. But Capt. Hudson, who went up with ten of his crew, some days ago for the same purpose, came away without doing anything except to vomit up his "tripas," such was the effect produced on him and his men.
I had with me five men, and in eight hours the 26 victims were all interred, and crosses (which I made myself on the spot) were placed over them. Of course, you understand this number to be but a small part of those lost, which amount to 183.
I expect the down steamer will be here in a few hours, and it will depend upon advices received whether I go to Colimka at once, or remain here some days longer; and it will also depend upon those advices whether I go to California or not by next steamer (27th.) From present appearances, I think it very likely I may go. Address your letters to me here at Manzanilla, cre of OHLMEYER & KOCH, so that I may receive them here.
By the way, I forgot to mention that ROJAS has pronounced against OGAZON. Rojas is in Zapottan, with (it is said) 3,000 men; and if Ogazon does not come to give him battle, he (Rojas) will go to Guadalajara. So, you see, we are never to be quiet. I may, perhaps, e able to give you further particulars by next steamer. I must now close -- so adieu for the present.