August 31, 1863: San Francisco
[This] morning…I was up at half-past two and took stage, and was far down the foothills before sunrise, breathing clouds of dust. You can have no idea of the dust of these roads in the dry season. I took breakfast at Auburn, then staged six miles farther, where I took the cars.
It was a delight to travel by rail again, the first time since I left the states. At Sacramento I took steamer, and meeting an old friend, had a pleasant trip. On the way down two young men came up to me, asked if my name was Brewer, and introduced themselves as two young fellows just graduated last year in the Scientific School at Yale College, who this summer have crossed the plains. Their names are Gardner and King. Of course I was glad to see them; King I have taken with me on this trip.
We were late in the city, from a curious detention. The alarm was given, “A man overboard!” The steamer was stopped after much delay, backed, a boat sent out, when it was found that a man who lived in a cabin on the river had jumped overboard to swim home, which he did before the boat reached him. It made much excitement and detained us half an hour.