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Mercer's Maids Links

Mercer's Maids
The beginning of the story of 11 ladies that traveled from Massachusetts to Washington Territory in 1864 and links to pages for each of the girls.
Branching Out! Peri's Genealogy Home Page
A little information about Peri, her family and her genealogy

Peri Muhich

pmuhich@yahoo.com

The Voyage West

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In New York Mercer's small group boarded the S. S. Illinois (along with 786 other passengers) which was to take them to Aspinwall, Panama ( now known as Colon, Panama). The ship sailed March 14, 1864. The Illinois arrived in Aspinwall on March 24, 1864 at 5:30 am. Mercer's group was held over there while awaiting the arrival in Panama City of the S. S. America, which was to take them to San Francisco. The S. S. America arrived in Panama City, from San Francisco, on March 30, 1864 with 450 passengers, after experiencing bad coal and a leaky boiler in route to Panama City. The Captain also reported the deaths of Stewart Kennedy, a fireman, and L. Rowell, a passenger. These problems had cause them a delay of several days. Mercer's group made the 45 mile trip across the Isthmus by train from Aspinwall, and left Panama City aboard the S. S. America at midnight on April 3, 1864. After a voyage of 15 days and 14 hours the S. S. America arrived in San Francisco on April 19, 1864. Mr. Mercer had intended for his group to board a steamer for Washington Territory but due to their delay in Panama they had missed the monthly sailing. Instead of waiting for the next monthly steamer Mr. Mercer obtained passage for the group aboard a lumber bark the Torrent. (Owned by Puget Mill Co., Captained David Robinson, native of Main, born 1837) It sailed from San Francisco for Puget Sound on April 28, 1864. The bark arrived in Teekalet (now Port Gamble) on Sunday, May 15, 1864, The next day about noon they boarded the sloop Kidder which took them to the port of Seattle. They arrived about 11:00 pm. Due to the late hour of their arrival they were escorted to the only hotel in Seattle, owned by A. P. Delin, for the night. The people of Seattle held a reception for Asa Mercer and his company at the University Hall on Tuesday afternoon, May 17, 1864, where they welcomed the new comers to "our youthful country". "A vote of thanks was tendered to the young ladies for the self-sacrificing spirit they had manifested in leaving the loved firesides of happy homes to plod life's weary way on this North Western coast". After giving Mr. Mercer a vote of thanks for his efforts in behalf of the Washington Territory the reception was adjourned to the grounds of the University where everyone beheld a beautiful western sunset before seeking their respective homes.