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Judge Monson's First Cabin Passenger Receipt, #1! [158892]

Currency:USD Category:Artifacts / Shipwreck Artifacts Start Price:500.00 USD Estimated At:1,000.00 - 0.00 USD
Judge Monson's First Cabin Passenger Receipt, #1! [158892]
SOLD
850.00USD+ (170.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2022 Dec 03 @ 10:22UTC-8 : PST/AKDT
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The order of issuance of the SSCA passenger receipts began to become clear after we were able to interpret the very old handwriting that suffered 150 years underwater, aptly conserved by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover. While reviewing the receipts, most of which had previously been sorted by Purser Hull, there appears a pattern of issuance. That pattern suggested they might have been issued in the relative order of the importance of the person. This is a difficult interpretation because the relative importance of a person in 1857 can be quite different than our interpretation of a person today.
Nonetheless, the passenger receipt #1 for First Cabin belongs to Judge Alonzo C. Monson. Monson was a Judge for the 6th District in Sacramento. He had resigned his position two days prior to leaving San Francisco and was returning to his native New York.
Monson journeyed to California in 1849, though he is not listed in Bancroft, but he may have been a member of the Territorial Pioneers of California in New York, a different organization than the Society of California Pioneers, and one in which a key member was John Little Moffat.
Klare reports that Monson lost his home to Sacramento Union owner Paul Morrell in a poker game, which we cannot verify. Monson began his legal career in Sacramento with Eugene Gillespie as Gillespie & Monson in either late 1849 or early 1850. Later, his law partner was Milton Latham, who became Governor of California. In the early 1850s, he was active in Whig politics, and became head of their regional organization. By 1854 he had been elected District Judge, a position he held until his departure in August, 1857. He also served as interim Judge for Yolo County in 1857. In a Sheriff's sale held on July 24, 1857, The Sherrif sold a lot near Sutter's Fort belonging to Monson that he had purchased from Gillespie. On about August 1, 1857, Monson announced his plans to leave California, resign his Judgeship, resign is presidency of the Pioneer Association of Sacramento and return to New York for family matters for 6 months to a year, then return. While the Sacramento Bar Association wanted to throw a party for Monson, he declined because of the lack of time prior to departure, and instead met them all at the docks on August 17 a noon for his departure. Monson was a friend of Herndon's and a popular man among the passengers. He perished at sea.

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Provenance: SS Central America Collection