There was great California excitement about this time, and other parties had come to the conclusion that the Prince de Joinville was probably the fastest ship taking freight for San Francisco. I saw them accept of offers at $1.50 per foot, when their contract with me was for less than half that price, which would make a difference of several thousand dollars in their favor. So, if the balance of my houses did not arrive within the time stated in the contract, they would not be taken on that vessel, and my speculation ruined. The time was up the next day at twelve o’clock. I was down on the Battery the next morning early watching for the tow, with the barge with my houses. The ship was at the dock in the East river. About ten o’clock, A.M., I had the good fortune to see the barge rounding the Battery. I cried out to the captain to cut loose from the tow, employ the first steam tug and I would pay the bill, which he did, getting on the side of the vessel by eleven o’clock, thus saving my contract by one hour. But they did not commence taking them on board, so the captain of the barge put a demurrage of $20 per day for detention. In the meantime, I had bought my ticket to sail by the steamer Georgia to the Isthmus to go on the 1st of July which was but a few days off. They, seeing that I had them on my contract, came to me and said that my houses should go on their ship according to contract, if they had to throw other freight out, and that they would sign a regular bill of lading for all the material deliverable to me upon the arrival of the Prince de Joinville at the port of San Francisco, and take my carpenters’ specifications for the description of them, which seemed all right to me.
The following is an article from the Albany Evening Atlas of June 23, 1849: