James Marryatt has thoroughly captured my imagination.
He is my 2nd great-grandfather on my father’s side. That alone is significant as I had very little contact with my father and his kin. He was born in Jamaica around 1845 and supposedly ran away from home, becoming a ship cabin boy, at the age of 7.
In the mid 1860s he turned up in the Sierra foothills and joined up with one Clarence King, a surveyor for what would become the US Geological Survey. Long story short, James explored the mountainous West, married, became a father and settled in San Francisco. Moved to Oakland before the quake and became a railroad porter.
So many tantalizing details. So many question marks.