John McBean

John McBean

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John McBean was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in 1868. A left-back, McBean played for Kirkcaldy Wanderers before moving to London to work at at Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, one of the government's main munition factories.

Barbour made his debut for Woolwich Arsenal in the 1888-89 season. He joined a team that included J. M. Charteris, Peter Connolly, David Danskin, Richard Horsington, Fred Beardsley, Joseph Bates, Humphrey Babour and W. Scott.

Woolwich Arsenal continued to make good progress and won the London Charity Cup in 1890 and the London Senior Cup in 1891. The club entered the FA Cup in 1892 but was knocked out by First Division side Derby County. During his time at the club he scored one goal in 117 games.

In 1892 McBean moved to the Royal Ordanance where he worked for the next 40 years. In 1932 he received a long service medal from George V.

John McBean died in January 1954.

John (MacBayne) Bean (bef. 1634 - 1718)

John MacBean was born 1634 in Strathdearn, Inverness-shire, Scotland. In the spring of 1650, when Oliver Cromwell threatened to invade Scotland, great numbers of Scottish highlanders enlisted to defend their homeland. The Scots lost the Battle of Dunbar on September 3, 1650, but exactly a year later, a reorganized Scottish army prepared to fight Cromwell at what became known as the Battle of Worcester. It was during this battle, that at the age of sixteen, John was a soldier in General Monk’s army, roughly 12,000 Royalist, Scottish troops.

On September 3, 1651, they went forth with the design to place Charles II as king on the throne which was vacant by the execution of his father King Charles I. Charles II failed to provide the ammunition he had promised, and during the 10 hour battle that ensued, roughly 3,000 Royalists were killed and 7,000 taken prisoner, likely at Tuthill Fields prison in London.

On November 11, 1651, the ship “The Sarah and John” with 272 of these prisoners aboard, set sail for Boston, arriving there on February 24, 1652. Upon arrival in America, the prisoners were sold into indentured servitude. John, and six others worked for Nicholas Lissen, owner of saw mills on the Exeter River and the Oyster River in New Hampshire.

In April 18, 1654, John married Nicholas Lissen's daughter, Hannah Lissen in Exeter, New Hampshire and was given twenty acres of land as dowry by his father-in-law. Hannah and John had three children. Hannah died in childbirth of their third child. John eventually married Hannah's sister Margaret and had another 9 children.

John died in Exeter, New Hampshire at the age of 83 and is buried in the Church Yard of the Congregational Church.


John Bean of Exeter

It was February 24, 1652 in Boston. The sky was dark and there was asure hint of snow in the air. The atmosphere was heavy and the crowd of men who stood around the docks, (some out of curiosity some who were waiting to unload freight from the incoming ship and some waiting to meet friends and kin), pulled their heavy but crude coats closer around them. Some beat their hands to stimulate the circulation of blood to warm them. Some cursed the weather and some just stood around glumly waiting. The northeast wind seemed to be getting ready to drive the expected snow from the Atlantic skies and bury the docks and streets of this American Colonial town.

It was a day when few people had smiles on their faces they all thought of getting home to their warm firesides and close the door tightly against the fierce wind and cold. However, the curious found the attraction of an incoming ship from England of greater pull than the inviting warmth of a stone fireplace, at least for the moment. It was a major attraction at this early colonial town on Cape Cod when a ship docked directly from London, and few people could resist coming to the docks no matter what kind of weather it was. Besides, this incoming ship was not exactly among the usual there was something very special about this one. It was loaded with passengers rather than the full cargo of freight it usually carried. This always meant news from England and perhaps old friends to meet and talk with.

It was not until late afternoon, that a small ship came around the point, and tacked back and forth to get in the right position to enter the harbor. From a distance it could not be determined what ship it was. Visibility got poorer and poorer with the end of the day as the lowering clouds shut out the light before the ship could enter the harbor. It would spend the night at anchor. She would have to wait until morning to dock.

By morning light, even though it was still overcast and dull, it could be determined that the ship was The Sarah and John. She was weather-beaten and covered with ice. Some of the sheets were missing, indicating she’d had a hard crossing. Men soon took their places on the blocks and enough sail was raised to slowly move the ship in toward the harbor and docks. Very slowly she angled in, then the sails were furled and long ropes were cast to the men waiting on the dock. Blocks began to creak and strain, and the ship very slowly slid into its place. Lines were cast snugly and in a few minutes Capt. Jonathan Greene stepped onto the dock.

The decks of the ship were full of men, but these were not the usual people coming to the new land in America to carve out new homes from the wilderness these men were what the English Government of Oliver Cromwell called “ruffians and troublemakers” in Scotland. Oh, but what wonderful ruffians and troublemakers they turned out to be, for they became the builders and designers of a great nation on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean.

On this 24th day of Feb. 1652, these 272 prisoners of war from the Battle of Worcester marched down the gangplank under guard. They had been in a great war but they were not returning home to families and loved ones as heroes they were to be sold as indentured workers to pay the cost of their transportation to America, where Oliver Cromwell thought they would be well out of his way. He could not then look into the future and see that these men and their sons would one day rise up and smite the British nation a terrible blow and break the yoke of oppression that he himself designed.

These 272 men, after spending the long days and nights since Nov.11th in the hold of a small ship, without the things needed to keep clean, actually looked like ruffians. They were ill dressed and ill kept, but undemoralized they all walked down the gangplank with chins high and backs straight. This was not a friendly crowd who met them on the docks Bostonians then were good Englishmen, and loyal to the King and Oliver Cromwell. In spite of the unfriendly populace, these Scottish Highlanders would not cringe nor look crestfallen they could still look any man in the eye and proudly march to an uncertain future, in the strong confidence of their ability to win “a place in the sun.”

These men had nothing to feel crestfallen about. They had fought like “The Scottish Wildcat” against the English Army, and had only lost the war because of treason. They hated Oliver Cromwell only a little less than their own King Charles, who had betrayed them at the critical time of the Battle of Worcester, by withholding ammunition just as the battle was engaged. They had lost a war, but were not defeated. They marched between guards on either side, from the ship to Saugus House, (to the north of Boston) where the auction was to be held, which sold them into indenture.

Among these 272 men were three who seemed to be together all the time. They were Henry Magoon, Alexander Gordon and John Bean. These three men had been buddies throughout the war, and had a special relationship that would last for many years to come, in the new land to which they had been shipped. Perhaps they had all enlisted in the spring of 1650, when Oliver Cromwell made moves that were a threat tot he Sovereignty of their native homeland. If these men were anything, they were patriots and any move against their country was a call to duty. The Scottish Highlanders, and especially The Clan MacBean, never failed to answer the call to arms when an enemy approached their borders.

They all marched through the cold and stormy February day for many miles to Saugus. There a year before, the British Government had built what was to be called “Saugus House,” a name which did not stick very well because all prisoners who were taken there were Scotsmen, so the place ever after was known as “Scotch House.” It was built as a center where all prisoners were discharged or sold into indenture. Those who could not pay the cost of their transportation across the Atlantic had to serve as indentured workers to pay for it the others were discharged as prisoners. The hero of this story and progenitor of a great American family could not pay, so he was sold to the highest bidder for his labor.

John Bean, born as John MacBean, was born very probably in the late months of 1633 or early 1634 (the exact date is unknown), in Strathdearn, Inverness-Shire, Scotland. Tradition tells us that his father was Donald MacBean and that his grandfather was Aaron MacBean, the latter being born in 1570 in Inverness-Shire. They were proud members of the Clan MacBean which had lived in this area since the late 1200’s when the Clan migrated en masse from the east of Scotland. Tradition also tells us that John’s father and grandfather were farmers, leather makers and builders. This tradition would seem to be born out by the various occupations which John chose in America when he settled in Exeter, New Hampshire.

For several years before the war in Scotland, the people, and particularly the Clan MacBean, were very unhappy with King Charles. He seemed to be an opportunist, taking advantage of every occasion to advance aims contrary to the interests of true Scotsmen. There was great controversy over religion. There were periods when the rulers were Catholic and periods when they were Presbyterian. The general populace was, of course, Presbyterian, and when the rulers were Catholic there was great persecution. In young John’s family, they well knew the fear of soldiers coming at almost any time to arrest anyone who was a Presbyterian. Their kirk (church) worship services often had to be held in caves and swamps and out-of-the-way places to escape arrest. With a change of king or queen, conditions would change for a while, but the general atmosphere in the land was tense.

There was unrest and suspicion between people and king, and especially with King Charles. Therefore in the spring of 1650, when Oliver Cromwell threatened Scotland with invasion, the king tried to raise an army but had no success until he swore to the MacBeans that he would uphold “The Covenant.” Even though the Highlanders did not trust his word, they still enlisted in great numbers to defend Scotland. The Battle of Dunbar on Sept. 3, 1650 was a great loss to Scotland, but the Army managed to regroup and hold the enemy at bay for a time. The army was then reorganized, and General David was put in command a fine, patriotic and competent soldier. On the morning of Sept. 3, 1651, exactly a year after Dunbar, the Scottish army was in a good position to defend itself, but through the perfidy of the king, there was no ammunition. Even so, by the words of Oliver Cromwell himself, the Highlanders very nearly won the day, fighting with their muskets as clubs and using stones and anything they could get their hands on as weapons. However, by the end of the day Cromwell won, and Scotland, as an independent nation, was no more. John MacBean was a prisoner of war and destined to spend the rest of his life in the new land of America.

All of the prisoners were herded under convoy to the Artillery Grounds, Tot hill Field, about a half mile west of Parliament House. About three hundred were selected for transportation to New England, and on November 11th, The Sarah and John left the downs with orders to proceed to Boston with these men aboard. Young John MacBean, without any kin to bid him farewell and alone in the world, must have been a very bitter young man. It appears that the bitterness was in his heart for many years, for it was not until after both King Charles and Oliver Cromwell were dead, that he finally took the oath of allegiance to the crown in 1677.

It was on this ship that John’s name was changed. It is said by Charles Thomas Libby that the ship’s clerk, who made out the lists of men aboard, was an almost illiterate fellow and knew no Scotch Gaelic. He haggled the spelling of all names. With the Highlanders he left off the “Mac” from the names. After landing in America, John seems to have left it that way, and he is forever after known as JOHN BEAN OF EXETER. Many of his descendants wish he had not allowed the change. It is very probable that the two months John spent on board ship to America, was a time of loneliness and searching of his own mind and heart. He would never see any of his family again and he had only himself to depend on in a wilderness country. He knew that his life would never be easy but as is true with all Highlanders, he did not fear, but gathered the courage to be strong, even though treated as a ruffian by those who had charge of delivering him to America. [2]


Death: Jan. 24, 1718, Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA. [3]

Charles Gladding (1828&ndash1894) was born in Buffalo, New York, served as a first lieutenant in the Union Army during the Civil War, and later moved to Chicago, where he engaged in the clay sewer pipe business. Coming to California in 1874 looking for new business opportunities, Charles read an article in a San Francisco newspaper about a large clay deposit near the town of Lincoln, California. Charles Gladding, along with Peter McGill McBean and George Chambers, established Gladding-McBean in 1875. Its original product was clay sewer pipe. By 1883, the company had grown to 75 employees, and it then evolved into a major manufacturer of architectural terra-cotta.

Today Gladding McBean is thriving, with proven clay reserves assuring operations for decades to come. Gladding has combined the old world craftsmanship with new technology such as laser scanning and sophisticated computer-aided design to provide customers with infinite creative possibilities.

An American Family History

Washington County, Tennessee,was established in 1777 as Washington County, North Carolina. From 1784 to 1788,it was part of the State of Franklin.

Nancy (Nanyeh) Ward (1738-1824) was a Cherokee leader in Tennessee who was an important intermediary between European American settlers and the Cherokee people.

Boones Creek is a tributary of the Watauga River.

William Bean was born on December 9, 1721 in Northumberland County, Virginia. He was the son of William Bean.

About 1744, he married Lydia Russell. Lydia was born in 1726 in Northumberland County.

William and Lydia's children may have included:

William Bean (1745),
Robert Bean (1747)
George Bean (1750),
Jesse Bean (1756),
Jane Bean (1764),
Sarah Bean (1768, married John Bowen), and
Russell Bean (1769, married Rosamond Robertson).

In 1762, John built a temporary the shelter that William and Lydia Bean moved into in 1769.

In 1772 he was elected as a commisioner of the Watauga Association.

In 1776 he signed the petition of Watauga settlers asking to become part of North Carolina.

In July, 1776, Lydia was captured, along with 13 year old Samuel Moore, by some Cherokee people prior to an attack on the Wataugua settlement. Her life was spared by Nancy Ward and she was able to return home. Nancy took her into her house and nursed her back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nancy her new loom weave technique, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments. Lydia Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nancy who learned to raise the cattle.

He was granted 3,000 acres by North Carolina for his service in the Revolutionary war.

William Bean was at a court in Washington County on February 23, 1778.

In 1780 Washington County court records:

Ord. William Been build a mill on Boone Creek.

The court have appointed
Wm. Been, Thomas Hardiman and George Russell
to appraise Joab Mitchell Estate.

In 1780, William, John, George, Jesse, Edmund, and Robert Bean were with Sevier at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

In 1787, Bean's sons constructed a fort that became known as Bean's Station at the on the Old Wilderness Trail.

William Bean died in May, 1782.

In 1793, John Alison substituted for William Bean in the Sullivan County Militia.

In 1799, their daughter, Jane Bean was killed by indigenous warriors while weaving outside the walls of Bean's Station.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.

Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Robert R. Bean was born in 1800.

Joseph B. Bacon sued Robert R. Bean in Washington County in February, 1821 for debauchery and impregnating his sister-in-law and servant, Martha Patsy Crouch. Robert and Patsy married one month later.

from Chattanooga Daily Times, 30 Sep 1894, Sun • Page 11


An Interesting Sketch or the Early Day of Tennessee—How Bean Killed Indians—His Descendants Special to The Chattanooga Jonesboro Tenn Sept 29

In writing the history of this upper East Tennessee country historians have usually- begun by stating that in the year 1769 Capt. Wm Bean came from Pittsylvania county Va and built a cabin on the banks and near where Boone's creek empties into the Watauga river. But as to the exact spot where Capt. Bean made the first settlement written history seems to leave the reader in much doubt.

It is a very generally accepted and well authenticated fact among the old citizens living in that immediate neighborhood that Capt. Bean first settled on the farm now owned by Valentine Devault on the north side of the Watauga river and about one mile above the mouth of Boone's creek His cabin or little fort stood very near where Mr. Devault's house now stands and on this side of the river are high precipitous cliffs

It is said that the Indians used to come from down about the Nolla Chuckey river following the old trail that ran near this place—and remains of which can be seen even to this day—up to the Watauga river and would secrete themselves on the high cliff opposite Bean's cabin and watch for a chance to shoot at some of them when they came out.

One day as one of the girls was going to spring an Indian lying high up on the opposite cliff picked her off with his long range rifle. Bean determined to have revenge and so going down the river to the shoal be waded titer ann getting ahead of the Indiaus lay in ambush by the side of their trail and when they come in sight marching in single tile he fired at the foremost warrior and killed him. The Indiaus gathered up their dead brother and continued their march towards the Nona Chuckey. Beau ran off to one side and as he ran loaded his gun and then came in ahead of them dad killed another "heap good Indian" They picked up this dead one and moved forward Bean ran in ahead of them again and getting a good chance fired and this time killed two at one shot Four dead out of a band of perhaps eight so demoralized the remaining Indians that they broke and fled leaving the dead to bury the dead.

On another occasion some of the boys told Bean that they had heard a turkey gobbler over on the cliff and asked if they might go over and shoot it. He told them no that if they went over there they would never get back alive Bean himself went down the river and crossing over at the shoals came up on this side and guided by the peculiar "gobble" of the turkey he slipped up towards the cliff with the stealthiness of a cat and there behind a log lay not a turkey gobbler but a great big greasy Indian hidden behind a log and with his bead-like eyes fixed on the little fort across the Watauga watching for someone to come out so that he could shoot him. Bean put an extra charge of powder in his rifle and took a good dose himself to steady his nerve fired with deliberate aim and there was one more "good Indian" gone. He then cut off the- warrior's head and took it back over the river to the boys telling them "here is your wild turkey!"

Bean afterwards moved over on this side of the river and built a house near Boone's creek. He built a double cabin entered by a single door and under the floor of the room containing the door he had a very deep cellar so when the Indians were around he could remove the puncheon floor and when they came rushing in at that one door they would tumble down into that deep cellar. Then his wife and boys would shoot them or he himself would stand on the edge and knock them in the head. And it is said the old man used to laugh and tell what fun it was to break their heads while they were hopping around in the cellar like so many rats caught in a tub.

Capt. Bean did good service here for a number of years fighting Indians and ridding the country of tories. Then feeling perhaps that he was getting too much crowded he moved on down the country and founded Bean's Station.

His son Russell Bean who it will be remembered history mentions as the first white child born in what is now Tennessee remained a citizen of this county where later on he further immortalized himself by resisting arrest which reads on to the sheriff summoning his honor Judge Andrew Jackson himself to get down off the bench and go out and take Russell Jackson went and took him right here on the hill side south of our court house.

After Russell Bean became an old man and while living over on Cherokee south of town it is said that he used to go out in the Cherokee mountains and shoot squirrels on Sunday. Russell Bean's four sons were Baxter, Charles, Joseph, and Robert.

Baxter after living here for many years moved to Middle Tennessee where he died, perhaps sixty years ago.

Charley Bean certainly entertained no prejudice towards Judge Jackson for arresting his father Russell Bean for years after that event along in the thirties when Jackson was President of the United States he stopped here in Jonesboro and held a reception to which pretty much all the people came. Among others was Charlie Bean wearing a coon-skin cap. He came up smiling with the very familiar greeting of: "Why Lord Jesus Christ general I am mighty glad to see you!" Old Charlie left a son Charlie now living on Indian creek, Unieol county

Robert Bean's son Dr Jas B Bean was well educated was a first class dentist and in 1866 went to Baltimore to live. In 1870 he went to Europe under the auspices of the Smithsonian institute and lost his life on Mount Blanc in September of that year.

The Beans as a family were noted for their good common sense and many if not all of them were men possessed of remarkable skill and ingenuity and could manufacture almost any article in first class style too that it was possible to make with tools. Some of them were unexcelled as gunsmiths and made guns remarkable for their beauty of finish as well as workmanship.

But in all this country there is not a single person living by the name of Bean. There are a few persons however by the name of Crouch and Shipley descendents of Wm Bean living out on'Boone's creek in this county near where he settled 125 years ago.

Daniel Boone and Wm Bean were companions and it is said hunted together out in the vicinity of Boone's creek in this county. Boone moved on into Kentucky and became famous as a pioneer a great hunter and a still greater Indian fighter And his fame is now not only national but might well be said to be world wide for even Byron speaks of him in his poems. But while Boone has achieved much greatness and had a still greater amount of it thrust upon him Bean his comrade—his equal in bravery in usefulness—in everything in fact has been left to blush unseen!

Here in this good old county where Wm Bean built the first cabin—planted the first germs of civilization in what is now the great state of Tennessee where he fought the Indianss and where he was so active in driving out the Tories thus giving permanency to civilization and good goverement his name and his great deeds seem to have been entirely overlooked. Not oven a small creek a high ridge a school house a postoffice or a voting precinct anywhere in this couty bears the historic name of Bean! While on the other hand just because Boone passed through this county on his way from North Carolina to Kentucky and camped at a big spring near the head waters of Boone's Creekk and spent some time in hunting that vicinity and "killed bar on tree" that creek has been given the name of Boone's creek and the beech tree where he "killed bar" and the site of his old camp are regarded—and justly so--is places of ? historic interest and have been visited by hundreds if not thousands of people!

from The Millers of Millersburg and Their Descendants

Jesse Beene, Sr. (q. v.) was doubtless a son of Captain Jesse Bean of the Watauga Settlement in Tennessee and this Jesse Bean was either a son or a nephew of Captain William Bean, the intrepid settler of the Tennessee wilderness in 1769.

William Bean was one of the pioneers of that State and one of its foremost historical characters. He was born in Pennsylvania, lived in North Carolina and came to Tennessee from Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

He married Lydia Russell of Virginia and with five children they braved the attacks of Indians and the hardships of the wilderness to settle on Boone's Creek, Tennessee, in 1769. They first lived in a rough cabin erected previously by William Bean and Daniel Boone on a hunting expedition and here was born Russell Bean, "the first child of English parents born in Tennessee."

Captain William Bean and his wife, Lydia (Russell) Bean, had at least six children:
Jane (who was killed by Indians in 1799) and
Russell Bean.

Jesse Bean was one of the Captains of General John Sevier of Tennessee and fought in the Battle of King's Mountain. He was either another son of Captain William Bean or, more probably, a son of the Captain's brother, John Bean of Washington County, Tennessee.

from The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century by James Gettys McGready Ramsey

Of those who ventured farthest into the wilderness with their families, was Capt. William Bean. He came from Pittsylvania county, Va., and settled early in 1709 on Boon's Creek, a tributary of Watauga, in advance of Carter and others, who soon after settled upon that stream.

His son, Russell Bean, was the first white child born in what is now Tennessee. Captain Bean had hunted with Boon, knew his camp, and selected this as the place of his settlement on the account of its abundant game. His cabin was not far from Watauga. He was an intrepid man, and will be mentioned hereafter. Bean's Station was afterwards settled by him.

John McBean - History

We also represented the hopes and dreams of the scientists and engineers who designed the rockets, spacecraft, and experiments. Our skilled instructors and flight controllers were there, too, as were our families and friends and all the American taxpayers who paid the bill. I found out later that as I stepped on the Moon on the morning of November 19, 1969, I represented my forefathers of the Clan MacBean.

The first mention of the Clan MacBean in Scottish history occurred about A.D. 1300. The word "Bean", at that time, meant "the lively one", and the "Mac" signified "the son of Bean". I think my mother would have agreed, when I was in my twos and threes, that she had a lively one.

The clan flourished in the Scottish highlands. John MacBean brought the clan to the new world, but not by choice. He was in the ranks, fighting for the Scottish King Charles II against Cromwell, the British dictator, at the Battle of Worcester. The Scots lost the battle and John MacBean was deported to Boston as a prisoner, arriving there on February 24, 1652.

John Bean (the ship's clerk had anglicized his name) was sold as an indentured servant to a sawmill operator in Exeter, New Hampshire. The boss's daughter quickly fell in love with him and, a short while later, they were married. Pete and Dick have laughed at this story and said, "The gift of great good luck was in the Bean genes even way back then."

Pieces to share

In an old trunk of family memorabilia, untouched for years, we found a travel diary written by John McBean, my wife, Annie’s, great-great maternal grandfather. The diary covers the period March 30 to September 21, 1881, when McBean sailed around the world. The stamp inside the back cover indicates that the diary was supplied by Dunn & Collins, Booksellers and Stationers, Arcade, Smith Street, Collingwood.

I suppose such items are not all that scarce, but McBean’s diary impressed me for a couple of reasons. First, it was lucidly written. McBean narrates an interesting story. Sure there are spelling and grammatical errors, but McBean while possibly not “educated” had certainly had schooling, and possessed a fine hand and a natural and inviting style. Second, McBean’s journey from Melbourne took nearly six months – not the journey of an explorer seeking to visit unknown places, but a journey with specific business purpose, and with the licence to circumnavigate the globe in the process. Was such a journey common for Melbournians in 1881?

So here are some extracts, plus what I hope are helpful annotations. McBean’s habit when at sea was to record the steamer’s daily mileage, and latitude and longitude. I have not included all of these. And I have, with great respect, tidied up the grammar and spelling although retaining some of the forms that we no longer use today. The diary is a lined exercise book with marbled covers, initially kept in black ink, later blue. McBean’s cursive script is sloping and easy to read, with the nib pressed stylishly hard on the downstroke. The pickings are a bit slim early on, but McBean really opens up when he reaches the United States.

Nowhere in the diary does McBean indicate his occupation. The McBean family were owners of a boot-making factory in Collingwood. At the time of McBean’s trip there were a number of grown sons, and we can assume that John McBean, at least, was in the family business - his excursion to the boot-manufacturing plant in Boston and his keen interest in the boot-making trade is consistent with that. His noting of the latest labour-saving machinery suggests an intention to secure some for the family business.

There is no-one living who remembers John McBean, or his son also John McBean, and Annie’s mother died more than a decade ago, so the diary may just as easily have been written by someone quite unrelated…….but that’s not the way it feels.

Wednesday March 30 th 1881. S.S. Cotopaxi. 4025 tons. Captain R. Studdert. Said goodbye to Mr. Hickman, Fraser and Greenan, and sailed away at 12 o’clock sharp. Feel quite lonely. Made the acquaintance of two fellow passengers, one from Fitzroy the other from Hotham. They are very sociable.

Hotham is today’s North Melbourne. The Cotopaxi was built in Glasgow in 1873. She was wrecked on May 15 th 1889. All on board were saved by the German steamer, Setos. A photograph of an engraving put loosely into McBean’s diary by some later reader shows a foundering ship, with laden lifeboats pulling away, and the caption: “Sinking of the Steam-Ship Cotopaxi in the Straits of Magellan”.

Had dinner at one o’clock and they gave us a first class dinner. Passed through the Heads at half-past-three, pilot left us at four. Passed the Cape Otway at nine o’clock. Ship going along beautiful. So far escaped sea sickness.

Thursday March 31 st . Had a good night’s rest, got up at six o’clock, had my first bath. Very high sea running. Ship rolling very much, a good many of the passengers sick, myself included.

Friday April 1 st . We arrived at the Semaphore at nine o’clock – went up by rail to Adelaide, about nine miles. Met a friend and went to see the Botanical Gardens, they are very beautiful gardens, better than we have in Melbourne. We also went to the Museum and Public Library. At night we went to the theatre and saw the play Blow for Blow. Stayed at the Coffee Tavern.

Did the terms of passage require the passengers to find accommodation on shore while the ship was in port, or was this McBean’s choice?

Saturday April 2 nd . After breakfast had a walk through the town. It is a very fine town, built mostly of white sandstone, and the buildings not too high, which gives it a light appearance. Took a car and went down to a place called Kensington. It is a pretty place, at the bottom of a range of hills, with gardens and vineyards on the slope of the hills. Fruit is very cheap, beautiful grapes at a penny and tuppence a pound. Went on board at one o’clock and the ship started on her journey again at four. Met with a loss that rather annoyed me. An old gentleman who left us at Adelaide took away my overcoat by mistake, and left his own. The worst part of it was that my Bible was in the pocket.

Sunday April 3 rd . Went to church this morning. Captain read from Church of England service. They gave us a very good dinner – fowls, roast meat, pudding and fruit. Latitude at noon 35 degrees 20 south, 133 degrees 20 east. Distance run 260 miles.

Monday April 4 th . Had our first game of quoits. Weather warm and sultry.

Wednesday April 6 th . Passed Cape Leeuwin, the last land we see of Australia. Weather rough. Ship rolling very much. Passed the mail steamer. She left Adelaide 24 hours before us.

Friday April 8 th . Passed large sailing ship, the first we have seen.

Saturday April 9 th . We expect to be in tropics tomorrow. Weather sultry. We have had a good shower of rain.

Tuesday April 12 th . One of the ladies in the First cabins gave birth to a daughter this morning. So far they are both doing well. It must be very uncomfortable for her as the weather is excessively hot.

Wednesday April 13 th . Weather very warm, occasional showers, just like living in a vapour bath, everything feels damp.

Thursday April 14 th . First cabin invited Second cabin passengers to a concert. It passed off very well. We have some first class musical talent on board, amongst them the leader of the Australian Band.

Monday April 18 th . We have this day crossed the Line and it is raining heavily. We were to have Easter sports to-day but owing to the rainy weather we have postponed them. Latitude at noon 0 degrees 44 north, 62 degrees 6 east. Distance run 300 miles.

Tuesday April 19 th . We had Easter Sports day to-day and spent a very enjoyable day’s fun, Second class passengers carrying off most of the prizes.

Thursday April 21 st . Sighted land this morning, Cape Guardafui. It is a wild looking coast and the cliffs stand very high. It is a headland of Central Africa, and near the country that Livingstone explored.

David Livingstone, Scottish physician, Christian missionary, and explorer, spent years searching for the source of the Nile River, believing that the fame that would result would give him enough influence to abolish the East-African slave trade. He was a national hero in Victorian times, and his life - and death in the jungle in 1873 - would have been well known to McBean.

Friday April 22 nd . We passed Aden today, a very ancient town. There are two large wells cut out of the solid rock and supposed to date back as far as the times of King Solomon. We passed through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, the Gate of Tears, or as it is called by the sailors, Hell’s Gate, owing to so many ships being wrecked there.

The Strait is the narrow opening to the Red Sea, Africa on the port side and the Arabian Peninsula on the starboard.

Saturday April 23 rd . We are now in the Red Sea and the heat is something unbearable. I slept on deck last night, but did not get more than four hours’ sleep. We passed by two steamers that had been wrecked on this coast, one of them a very large ship lying on a sandbank with her hull under water. The land that we now see is part of the coast of Abyssinia. We also passed a large troop ship supposed to be taking soldiers home from India. We passed close by her and gave her three cheers. She is called the Jumna.

The inadequate Wikipedia entry says Jumna, a 1048-ton iron sailing ship, was launched in 1867, and transported Indian indentured labour to Trinidad and Fiji. There is no mention of her role as a troop carrier, or of her fate.

Tuesday April 26 th . Weather much cooler. Saw a high mountain in the distance, supposed to be Mt. Sinai. Arrived at Suez at half past 10 o’clock. Anchored there all night.

Wednesday April 27 th . Several small boats came alongside the ship this morning with Arabs selling curios. They are a strange-looking people and they are worse than Jews in making a bargain. [Were these sentiments typical of the times? Was McBean prejudiced, or merely being observant?] We started on our journeying again at half past seven a.m. We are now in the Canal with a lot of Arab boys and girls running along the bank, following the ship, asking for pennies. We have some fine sport with them. It is a barren desert country without any vegetation. Passed the P & O mail boat Pekin. We had to put into one side so as to let her pass. Arrived at the Isthmus of Suez. Passed by the Palace of the Khedive of Egypt. It is a large square building with a flat roof.

Thursday April 28 th . Passed droves of camels travelling over the desert. The ship ran on to a sandbank but we soon got off again. The country that we are travelling through is sandy desert as far as we can see. There is nothing but sand. Arrived at Port Said at one o’clock. Went on shore and had a walk through town. A miserable looking place, houses mostly built of wood and so small that you could not swing a cat in them. They are a mixed lot of people that live here - Turks, Arabs and Egyptians, and the place is full of beggars. The streets are lined with stalls. If you buy anything from them they generally ask double what they will take. We visited some singing and dancing salons, and during all the time we were there we were followed by droves of beggars. Three of us got on Jerusalem donkeys and galloped through the town, which caused great amusement to ourselves and those that were looking at us. The ship started on her journey at seven p.m.

The Nubian donkey, also called the Jerusalem donkey, has a black mane and a black line running from that mane down its back, and a black line across its shoulders to complete the cross. Legend says that such a donkey carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Sunday May 1 st . Weather very rough, several of our passengers sick myself included. We are now on the coast of Italy and Sicily, see Mt. Etna smoking in the distance.

Monday May 2 nd . We are now entering the Bay of Naples. A beautiful bay, said to be one of the finest in the world. We anchored at Naples but had not time to go ashore and were much disappointed, it is a fine looking city. It lies at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius, and we saw thick clouds of smoke coming out.

Thursday May 5 th . We are now off the coast of Spain. We see the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada, the first snow I have seen since I left home. It is a beautiful sight. We passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, but it was too dark to see the fortification.

Sunday May 8 th . Still in the Bay of Biscay, expected to be in Plymouth tomorrow. Latitude at noon 46 degrees 53 north. Longitude 6 degrees 49 west. Distance run 286 miles.

Monday May 9 th . Arrived at Plymouth at six o’clock and stayed there two hours. Several of our passengers left us. We are now on our way to London and expect to be there tomorrow.

Here McBean discontinues his diary for 65 days, resuming as he is about to leave Glasgow. I assume that during these two months McBean stayed with family, most likely Scottish. I also assume that he did not venture to the Continent, otherwise he would have taken his diary.

Thursday July 14 th . Said goodbye to Cousin Jeanie at St. Enoch Station, Glasgow. Took train to Greenock. Went on board ship Ethiopia, Archibald Campbell captain. Sailed away from Greenock at eight p.m.

Greenock is downstream from Glasgow, near the mouth of the Clyde River. The S.S. Ethiopia, of 4004 gross tons and launched 1873, was operated by the Norwegian Anchor Line. It plied the Glasgow/New York service until 1898 and was scrapped in 1907.

Friday July 15 th . Arrived at Moville, Ireland, five o’clock a.m. A very pretty little town. Sailed from there at three o’clock p.m. As usual my troubles began – was very sick, went to bed early.

Moville is near the north-east corner of Ireland, beyond Belfast. The route to New York was around the north of Ireland.

Sunday July 17 th . Sea still running high, and blowing very hard. It is the roughest sea that ever I was in. Still sick. Distance run 282 miles.

Monday July 18 th . Weather still rough. Lady passengers all sick, and a good many of the gentlemen. Made very short run to-day.

Wednesday July 20 th . We have got about half of our journey over. Weather fine.

Thursday July 21 st . Weather very cold. We are in the vicinity of icebergs and are passing through thick fogs.

Friday July 22 nd . Weather still foggy. We had a fire on board ship. It broke out down among the coals. Fortunately it was discovered before much damage was done. It caused great excitement among the lady passengers, several of them fainted. Before going to bed everything was restored to order. Distance run 280 miles.

Saturday July 23 rd . We are now in better weather. We had a mock trial on board to-day. Two of our passengers made a bet with reference to the distance that we would run, and through some misunderstanding each thought that he had won. So we formed ourselves into a court. We elected a judge and six jurymen, and we had some fine sport. The plaintiff was nonsuited and had to pay for nine bottles of ale.

Sunday July 24 th . Had a service on board to-day by a missionary from Japan who gave a very interesting lecture about that country. Took the pilot on board and expect to be in New York tomorrow night.

Monday July 25 th . We are in very fine weather and are anxiously looking for the land. We had a concert and dancing on deck. Ten o’clock p.m. sighted Fire Island Lighthouse. Distance run 298 miles.

Tuesday July 26 th . Arrived at quarantine. Doctor came on board and passed the emigrants. I very near got myself into trouble with the Customs House officers. They found some presents in my trunk and I thought I was going to lose them. We landed in New York at 8 o’clock p.m. [Surely McBean means a.m.] I posted my letter and then went sight-seeing. New York is a fine city but I would not care to live in it. [New York population 1880 1207000. Melbourne population 1881 293000.] We went down the harbour to a place called Coney Island. First we went to the beach where we saw men and women all bathing together. Then we went up an elevator 300 feet high and had a beautiful view all over the Island. Next we went to a pavilion where there was singing in one part and dancing in the other, and there were thousands of people all over the Island. And they tell me it is like this all the summer months. They like to have everything on a large scale. This whole Island is covered with shows, merry-go-rounds and dancing salons. We returned to the city. At night we wandered through the town. There is a lot of drinking here. There are large pavilions where you can go in and have a glass of beer and listen to music played by women, and in some of them there are very fine bands. I am writing this before going to bed and it is very warm. It was 97 degrees in the shade to-day

Wednesday July 27 th . Took a bus this morning and rode a distance of about six miles for five cents, to a place called Central Park. It is a large fine park with Museum and wild beasts. I was a little disappointed with the Museum. It is not near so good as the one we have in Melbourne. It is a fine park. They have an obelisk supposed to be three thousand years old, brought from Egypt. There is a fine lake in the centre of the park where you may have a boat. New York is a great place for large buildings, there are some of the largest buildings here that ever I saw and some of them are very fine. They have also Elevator Railways. They are raised about 30 feet above the road and made of light ironwork. Trains run on top, and the road traffic is underneath. They are very convenient, but they spoil the look of the city.

The 200 tons Cleopatra’s Needle obelisk was a gift to the United States from the Khedive of Egypt, and was erected on January 22, 1881, a mere six months prior to McBean’s visit. The illustration (which wrongly claims that the obelisk was in Central Park in the 1870s) vividly shows that the damage caused by New York pollution in 130 years has been far greater than that caused by harsh Egyptian conditions in over three millennia.

Thursday July 28 th . Sailed for Boston on board Palace steamer Bristol. It has five decks beautifully fitted up and carries a splendid band. We are sailing down what you would think was a river but is an arm of the sea with little bays all the way down, something like Sydney Harbour. Studded with gentlemen’s villas, and as we are sailing down I count about 50 boats going out with us, mostly sailing boats. They tell me that it is about 120 miles before we get to the open sea.

Bristol was a side-wheel paddle steamer of 2962 gross tons, launched April 4, 1866. It was destroyed by fire at the Newport dockside, on December 30, 1888. Its luxurious accommodation had earned it the title “Palace”.

Friday July 29 th . After a very pleasant sail we arrived at a place called Fall River. At 4 o’clock in the morning took train from there to Boston. Arrived at Boston 7 a.m. Had a look through the town, it is a very fine town with a population of over 300000. Took coach to Lynn which is about eleven miles from Boston. Saw Mr. Colbath’s brother. He first took me through the town. This is the Paradise of shoe makers. There are large blocks of buildings six and seven storeys high, and there are about 100 of them manufacturing boots. They will turn out over 100000 pairs per day. He took me through one of them, and it is wonderful how they get through them. It takes about twelve men to make one pair of boots. They work in teams. I have made a few notes of some of the machines I thought useful. Kays Sole Tacker which tacks the sole after it has been lasted in a few seconds price 4 pounds, Bencells Patent Trimmer for trimming round the edges which is also done in a few seconds price 60 pounds, Fitifeila and Dodges edge setter price 50 pounds, Swain and Fuller sand paper buffer price 20 pounds. Came back to Boston and wound up this day’s amusement going to Oakland Gardens, a fine garden lit up by electric light, with different kinds of amusement. There was one very large pavilion with a good negro and comedy entertainment.

Not surprisingly after 139 years, I have found no reference on line to the boot-making machinery manufacturers Kays, Buncells, Fitifeila and Dodge, and Swain and Fuller. I have not probed deeply. I expect that there are no longer any boot-makers in Boston, certainly not in the close-in suburb of Lynn.

Saturday July 30 th . Went out to Hyde Park and saw Mr. Raymond’s brother. I shall never forget his kindness to me, both he and his wife could not have been more kind to me if I had been his brother. I stayed with them all night. The following day he spent with me showing me through the town. One of the principal places he took me to was a bank where his son is at work. It was built thoroughly fire proof, built of marble, and one of the finest buildings that ever I saw. In the afternoon he took me to the Boston Museum where there was an Opera Company playing The Mascot. It is a fine house and they had a very good company. After spending a very pleasant day I said good-bye to Mr. Raymond and started on my journey for Chicago at six o’clock, July 30 th . I have taken a sleeping car and they are very comfortable.

Sunday July 31 st . After a good night’s rest we got up and had breakfast, there is a dining car travels along with us. The country that we are now travelling through is nearly all under cultivation, principally oats, wheat, Indian corn and potatoes. We are running along the side of a canal just now where they bring down large quantities of timber. Stopped a short time at a large manufacturing town called Rochester, with a fine river running through it. Here you see a fine fall of water called Genesee Falls. Arrived at Buffalo, the American side of the Niagara Falls. We stayed here for half an hour. I went down and had a look at the Falls from the suspension bridge, but the finest view that we had was on the Canadian side and it was beautiful. There was the river stretching away as far as the eye could see, and the Falls right in front of us shooting up clouds of spray, and the sun shining on it gave it a grand effect. With my glasses I could see a small boat with two men in it just above the rapids. Thought they were almost too close to be safe, it would be sudden death to them if they came over the Falls, nothing could live in the whirlpool of water that is below the Falls. The next place we arrived at was called Le Trout where there was a large river we had to cross. They put the whole train on a large steamboat. The river was about a mile across.

Monday August 1 st . We arrived at Chicago at nine o’clock p.m. Just before we got in we saw Lake Michigan, a very large lake, so large that we cannot see the other side. First thing that I did on arrival at the hotel, which is a very large one, was to have a bath as you get very dirty travelling here by rail, and I felt very much better after it. There is a bathroom off each bedroom. Hotels in America are something grand. The next thing that I did was to go and get my ticket for San Francisco. I could have bought it cheaper in Glasgow. After, a ride through the city, and it is the finest city that I have yet seen in America. It is quite a new city, it was nearly all burned down in 1871, and now has a population of half a million. At night I went to the theatre and saw the Sensational Drama of the World. It was one of those blood and thunder pieces, and I did not think much of it. Coming from Boston I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who had a flax mill in Kentucky. We kept together while in Chicago and I spent the time very pleasantly. We exchanged cards, he said it was quite possible that he might visit me in Australia.

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8 th to 10 th 1871 killed 300 people, left more than 100000 homeless, and devastated 3.3 square miles of the city destroying 17500 buildings including much of the central district.

Tuesday August 2 nd . Started again on my journey for San Francisco. It takes five days from Chicago and if possible I will go straight through. We are passing through some very rich agricultural country, large fields of Indian corn. This is a fine part of the country, fine soil and large rivers. We have just crossed the Mississippi at a place called Rock Island. A very large river, at this part it is about a mile wide.

Wednesday August 3 rd . After a good rest we reached a place called Council Bluffs where we changed carriages and stayed there three hours. We have now crossed the Missouri River, another fine river, about half a mile wide. Stopped forty minutes at Omaha. It is very warm here and reminds me of towns you see in Queensland. We are travelling over the Prairies, beautiful flat plains covered with natural grasses which grow abundantly.

Thursday August 4 th . After another good night’s rest we arrived at a place called Sidney where we had breakfast. It is a small town in the centre of large cattle stations. Since we left Omaha we have been travelling uphill and are now 4073 feet above the level of the sea.

We are now at the top of the Rocky Mountains at a place called Sherman, 8242 feet above the level of the sea. A wild looking place, great rocks standing by themselves looking like monuments. We had a very heavy thunderstorm here passing over the Mountains. I saw a prairie dog, very much like a possum only much larger. We also saw an antelope, a very pretty animal something like a deer but not so large. There were several shots fired at it from the train but it got away.

Friday August 5 th . We are coming down the Rocky Mountains, a barren country and good for nothing. It is all sand without any vegetation. Along this part of the line they have snow sheds, wooden tunnels to keep the snow off the line. In the distance we see high mountains covered with snow. For some time we have been travelling through some wild looking country down a valley with high rocks on each side of us. Some of them two and three hundred feet high, and at some places you would think they were hanging over the train. They have different names, Hanging Rock, Finger Rock, and Castle Rocks. We have just passed a place called The Devil’s Slide. This rock runs to the top of the mountain with an opening up the centre. It is said that you can slide from the top to the bottom, but I do not think the devil himself would care about the slide. We meet a lot of Indians here. Their skin is a dark red and some of them dress in gay colours. The women carry their children in a kind of cradle, and in their habits are something like our Australian natives and not over clean.

Saturday August 6 th . We are now at Salt Lake City, the Mormons’ country. The train runs along the banks of the Lake for several miles. Thirty-three years ago the whole of the country a thousand miles in any direction was uninhabitable and almost unknown to white people. Now it is a very prosperous place. Arrived at Carlin, sent telegram to Willie. We are now within twenty-four hours ride of Dixon and I am glad it is near the end. Railway travelling is very tiresome. We are now crossing the Nevada Mountains, a very wild country. We follow the course of the river through a pass with mountains on each side of us covered with fine trees. Snow falls very heavy here in winter and they have snow sheds 40 miles long to keep the snow from drifting on to the line.

Dixon is a city in California, 23 miles north-east of the State capital, Sacramento – which, in turn, is 88 miles inland from and to the north-east of San Francisco.

Sunday August 7 th . We arrived at Dixon 7 p.m. Willie was at the station waiting for me. We recognised one another about the same time, and it was a very happy meeting. Willie explained to me his reasons for not writing, he has a great many troubles. From the train we went to his home, and he introduced me to his wife, who is a very nice woman, such a woman as any man might feel proud of. Her whole thought is to make him happy, and he is very fond of her. I shall never forget her kindness to me. We have some very pleasant evenings. [This sentence is the first direct evidence that each day’s entry was not necessarily written by McCabe contemporaneously.] She plays the piano beautifully and Willie sings a very good song.

Here there is an unexplained break in the diary, which resumes on…………

Sunday August 14 th . On the 14 th went to San Francisco and were there for three days. The first place we went to was Haverly’s United Mastodon Minstrels, the finest Negro group that ever I saw. There were forty of them, amongst them Billy Emerton. It was their last night and the house was full.

Cliff House has had a number of incarnations over its 157-year history. The one visited by McBean in 1881 had been built in 1863. A wing of the building was destroyed when a schooner ran aground nearby, then exploded. It was re-built and then burned down in 1894. Its replacement, of extraordinary ornate architecture, survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake unscathed but was destroyed by fire in 1909. There have been three versions since.

Wednesday August 17 th. Willie spared no expense in showing me round, and would not allow me to pay for anything. San Francisco is a gay town. Theatres and all places of amusement are open on Sunday and it is the most immoral town that ever I was in. After seeing all that was to be seen in San Francisco we came back to Dixon where I will now rest until I leave for Australia.

Thursday August 18 th . Dixon is a small town with a population of about 1000. Willie has a fine store with a good stock and is doing very well. He is going to take the shop next door and going into groceries.

There is a further unexplained break in the diary, from August 19 th to August 27 th .

Sunday August 28 th . I said good-bye to Willie. I felt it very much leaving him, not knowing if we will ever see one another again. I will always remember with pleasure the many kind friends that I made in Dixon, first among them Lilly, Willie’s wife, and her relations. Their kindness and hospitality I will never forget. We sailed away in the S.S. Zealandia 2730 tons, Henry Chevalier, Master, at half past 2 p.m. Passed through the Golden Gate at half past 3 p.m., the entrance to San Francisco Harbour, and as we pass the Cliff House it makes me feel quite sad when I think it was only the other week Willie and I spent such a pleasant day together. Pilot left us at 4 o’clock. We are now in the Pacific Ocean and I shall be glad when we get to the end of our journey. I long to see the little ones at home. As usual before going to bed was sick.

The S.S. Zealandia, an American 4-masted sail-steamer, was launched 1875. The manifest of McBean’s voyage lists 38 saloon passengers (of which McBean is one) and 23 steerage passengers – 61 passengers all up - with a total crew of 99, comprising 37 officers, able seamen and engineers, 27 stewards and “general servants”, all British, and 35 firemen, coal passers, and kitchen staff, all of whom were from China. The Zealandia ran aground and was wrecked off Southport, England, on April 2 nd 1917 on route from New York to Liverpool by which time she had become a carrier of general cargo with crew of 47. Two of them perished.

Monday August 29 th . Weather fine. We are out of the tracks of ships and not likely to see much between here and New Zealand.

Wednesday August 31 st . We had a full table this morning. There are 96 of us in the cabin [presumably meaning Class]. Amongst them are the Boston Quintette. They are coming to Melbourne. They are said to be very good. Distance run 312 miles.

Thursday September 1 st . Weather is getting warm. Had our first sweep on the run the ship would make. My number won it.

Sunday September 4 th . Sighted Honolulu, a wild looking coast. And as we pass along we see large groves of coca nut and banana trees. We pass an extinct volcano, there are several of them on this island. We landed at Honolulu, a very pretty little town, and with four of my ship mates went for a ramble through the town. The inhabitants here are English and American. There are also a great many Chinamen. The buildings are mostly wood. The King here has a very fine palace built of stone. The natives are called Kanakas. In features they resemble Chinamen but a much larger race of people. There are some fine made men among them and they are very industrious and grow cotton and sugar. Also bananas and dates, some of which we saw growing. Dates grow in large bunches like grapes. It is a very pretty island. We gathered a lot of seeds of trees which I intend bringing home. After exploring the town we went up a mountain, about 300 feet high, on the top of which was an extinct volcano, and had a beautiful view all over the island. There is always plenty of rain here, and the hills and valleys are green. I never saw anything where growth was so abundant. After a ramble of six hours we returned to the ship. We left Honolulu at 5 o’clock.

Wednesday September 7 th . Made a good run to-day. Distance run 319 miles.

Friday September 9 th . Crossed the line this morning. Beautiful cool breeze. Distance run 310 miles.

Monday September 12 th . Passed the Navigator Island this morning at 4 o’clock. It is a small island. It was too dark to see anything on it. We have been shipping large quantities of water all night. The sea is very rough.

The Navigator Islands were later named Samoa.

Friday September 16 th . On account of the ship crossing the 180 degrees of longitude we jump a day. We passed the Island of Sunda, one of the group of Friendly Islands.

Saturday September 17 th . We expect to get into Auckland to-morrow. We had a theatrical performance on board. It was called Little Toddlikins and went off very well.

Sunday September 18 th . Arrived in Auckland at half past 6 p.m. They have a fine harbour here. Had a ramble through the city which is very hilly. After a stay of six hours started on our journey. We are now running north along the coast of New Zealand and expect to be within sight of land for another day. As we sail along the coast we can see large clouds of steam rising from the hot springs.

Monday September 19 th . Lost sight of new Zealand this morning. Distance run 307 miles.

There you have it. The distance runs for the next two days were 314 miles and 296 miles respectively. There is nothing further, and no mention of arrival in Melbourne.

So the reason for McBean’s trip? There is no specific diary reference to the purpose but I’ll buy that it was a business trip to Boston, with the opportunity taken to catch up with relatives along the way. The long sojourn in Britain suggests that he was staying with family, and the embarkation ex Glasgow, seen off by cousin Jeanie, suggests that he had been staying in Scotland for much of the time. The extended visit to Dixon near San Francisco with Willie also suggests a family connection.

But my sleuthing instincts are tweaked by McBean’s August 28 th diary entry: “I long to see the little ones at home”. An understandable entry when turning for home, but it’s the only diary reference to McBean’s domestic situation. It highlights the question of why the trip was so extended. If McBean was such a family man that he enjoyed catching up with remoter relatives – for 9 weeks in Britain and for 3 weeks based at Dixon, California - why was he so committed from the outset to spending, all up, 175 days away from his “little ones”?

John McBean - History

Gladding-McBean (GMcB), California’s oldest and largest pottery, was founded in Lincoln, CA in 1875 by Charles Gladding, Peter McBean and George Chambers. As with many other pottery manufacturers during the period, they specialized in architectural tile, bricks and other building materials to support the California building boom. In 1923, the company acquired a majority holding in Tropico Potteries (a producer of faience and floor tile producting) giving GMcB access to additional plant and mining facilities as well as new product lines. More importantly, Tropico’s location in Glendale gave GMcB a stronghold in Southern California. The expanded company continued to produce ornamental tile for commercial and residential buildings. In 1924, they added garden pottery to the product lineup selling through wholesalers or pottery yards. As demand for clay building materials increased, GMcB continued their acquisition spree in the 1920s, purchasing Calco Tile Manufacturing, Pomona Tile Manufacturing, Northern Clay Company, and Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company (and several others!).

Like all other pottery producers in the area, the 1927 Southern California real estate crash and the subsequent 1929 stock market crash hit the company’s bottom line as demand for building materials dramatically declined. By 1931, the company was teetering on bankruptcy and needed to find new products to bring to market. In 1932, seeing Bauer Pottery and Pacific Pottery‘s success with consumer pottery, they began experimenting with making dinnerware. In testing their early ware, they found that pieces crazed badly. They were able to resolve this issue by switching to a patented clay body type called “malinite.” Malinite’s one-fire clay body resisted crazing, a point the company used in marketing the wares. Adding to their production capability, GMcB purchased the west coast properties of American Encaustic Tiling Company. As part of that purchase, they acquired Prouty tunnel kilns essential for the efficient production of dinnerware in 1933. American Encaustic had purchased Proutyline Products of Hermosa Beach in 1926. GMcB established the Hermosa Beach plant as the headquarters for their tile production under the trademarked Hermosa Tile brand until 1937.

The company began producing dinnerware in the Glendale plant in 1934 under the leadership of Frederic J. Grant. His wife, Mary K. Grant, a former art director at Macy’s Department Store in New York City, is credited with the design of the art and dinnerware sets produced by the company, including their inaugural colorware line, El Patio. GMcB quickly followed with the Coronado line in 1935. Another notable dinnerware line of the 1930s included the solid-colored Montecito line, along with several pattern derivatives.

The company marketed dinnerware lines under the “Franciscan Pottery” name, which was officially changed to “Franciscan Ware” in 1936. GMcB is also credited with marketing the first “starter sets” of dinnerware in 1936: four place settings bundled together in a single package and popular as wedding gifts. They produced a wide variety of accessories and additional place setting items as open stock. By the end of its long run in 1954, GMcB glazed El Patio in approximately 20 different colors.

In 1937, GMcB purchased the assets of Catalina Island Pottery, the pottery division of the Santa Catalina Island Company. The purchase included all of the master molds, existing inventory, “Catalina Pottery” brand name, and plant assets. GMcB continued to produce many of the dinnerware pieces and added new table- and decorative ware under the Avalon, Aurora and Encanto art ware lines. The dinnerware line was relaunched as Catalina Rancho, which they produced at the Glendale plant from 1937-1941. The GMcB Catalina pieces can be differentiated from original Catalina pottery by the backstamps and marks: GMcB often included a “Made in U.S.A” mark, and “Catalina Pottery” brand original Catalina pieces are marked “Catalina Island Pottery.” GMcB Catalina pottery is not as collectable or desirable as original Catalina pottery.

Facing hard times, GMcB sold the Franciscan division to English pottery company Wedgwood in 1979. By 1984 all Franciscan ware was being produced in England, specifically the popular Desert Rose (1941-) and Apple patterns, still made today. GMcB exists today as a producer of clay tiles, terra cotta, garden pottery and pipe.

John McBean - History

Founded in 1736 on the western bank of the Savannah River, Augusta, Georgia became the second town of the 13th British colony. General James Edward Oglethorpe, the colony&rsquos founder, ordered the settlement and chose its location at the head of navigation of the Savannah River below the shoals created by the fall line. Oglethorpe&rsquos vision was to establish an interior trading post for purchasing furs and other commodities from Native Americans to compete with New Savannah Town, a small outpost on the South Carolina side of the river.

Harris-Pearson-Walker House
Historic Augusta, Inc

As traders populated the town, they brought their wives and began to have children. The desire for a more civilized atmosphere dictated the need for a church. As a British colony, Georgia petitioned the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for a minister after constructing a church building in 1749. The first minister, the Reverend Jonathan Copp, arrived in 1751 and began conducting services according to the rites of the Church of England. After Georgia&rsquos division into parishes in 1756, the Augusta District fell into St. Paul&rsquos Parish, and the Augusta church became known as St. Paul&rsquos Church.

During the French and Indian wars, refugees from the surrounding countryside came to Augusta, taking shelter in the fort and church. The building suffered significant damage in that period and was replaced in the 1760s. Soldiers coming to Georgia during the war spread the word about fresh lands, and in the early 1770s new settlers arrived to claim land grants in the surrounding countryside. Many had formerly been tobacco planters in Virginia and the Carolinas. They transported their tobacco culture to Georgia, where tobacco soon became the main cash crop of the colony. In approximately 1797, one of the last important tobacco merchants in Augusta built the Ezekiel Harris House (also known as the Harris-Pearson-Walker House), which is representative of that nearly forgotten economic factor in Georgia&rsquos history.

Augusta played a significant role in the American Revolution as one of the westernmost towns in the 13 British colonies. The first of the two battles fought here, the Siege of the White House, resulted in the hanging of 13 patriot soldiers by Tory forces under Colonel Thomas Browne. After the second, called the Siege of Augusta, patriot forces, under the command of General &ldquoLight Horse&rdquo Harry Lee, retook the town. The British erected Fort Cornwallis on the site of the former Fort Augusta and in the process destroyed St. Paul&rsquos Church. After the Revolution, a new church, built between 1786 and 1789 and lasting until 1820, served all denominations, although much of the time it had a resident Episcopal minister. The present building, the fifth on the site, dates from 1918 after a terrible conflagration destroyed 30 city blocks in 1916.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Historic Augusta, Inc.

After the Revolution Augusta became the temporary capital of the new state of Georgia between 1786 and 1795, and many of the leaders of the government moved to the town. One of the most notable was George Walton, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, who built his home, Meadow Garden, on what was then the outskirts of town. Walton held many important offices, including Governor and Judge. Walton Way, named in his honor, is the main artery through the Summerville Historic District, a suburban village originally laid out by Walton in the 1790s. In 1799 Christopher Fitzsimmons, a prosperous Charleston shipbuilder, built another outlying plantation house on his productive Savannah River plantation, the Fitzsimmons-Hampton House on Sand Bar Ferry Road. Henry Turknett lived at College Hill, another 1790s house, on property once owned by George Walton, who hoped to have the University of Georgia built there. Turknett Springs, located behind the house, provided Augusta&rsquos first municipal drinking water, piped down the hill in hollowed out logs beginning in the 1820s.

The town continued to grow in size and population governed by a group of Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County. In 1791 they added Telfair Street, named for Georgia Governor Edward Telfair. Telfair Street today is another major artery through the Augusta Downtown and Pinched Gut Historic Districts. President George Washington&rsquos visit in 1791 was a highlight of this period. Legend has it that Augustans planted the large ginkgo tree in his honor at the proposed site of the Richmond County Courthouse, constructed in 1801 and now known as the Old Government House. The Trustees of the Academy built a new school building in 1802, the old Academy of Richmond County.

Augusta&rsquos first suburb, part of the Augusta Downtown Historic District, was originally the village of Springfield, developed on lands confiscated from James Grierson, a Tory during the Revolutionary War. Captain Leonard Marbury laid out lots there on the west side of Augusta and built some houses. Augusta included Springfield within the city limits at the time of its incorporation in 1798. Because of their displacement from the Silver Bluff Plantation in South Carolina during the Revolution, a large population of free African Americans settled in Springfield by 1787. They established the Springfield Baptist Church there, one of the oldest independent black congregations in the United States.

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art (Ware's Folly)
Historic Augusta, Inc.

After the seat of the state government moved to Louisville and subsequently to Milledgeville, Augusta continued to grow fulfilling the prediction of William Bartram, the naturalist, who said it would become the metropolis of Upper Georgia during his visit of 1774. Robert Mills, America&rsquos first native-born architect, won the competition to design the First Presbyterian Church built between 1809 and 1812. Nicholas Ware built Ware&rsquos Folly (Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art) in 1818 in the Federal style, reportedly for the astounding cost of $40,000.

As Georgia expanded westward and the states of Alabama and Mississippi attracted many of its prosperous planters, Augusta&rsquos economy began to stagnate. The Charleston and Hamburg Railroad in South Carolina reached a point directly across the Savannah River from the heart of downtown Augusta in 1832. In 1833 the Georgia Railroad, chartered in Athens, Georgia, began building westward from Augusta toward a yet unnamed settlement that would eventually become Atlanta. Constructing the railroad attracted an Irish immigrant population to Augusta that has an important presence in the city today. Many were Roman Catholics, who joined the already well established Church of the Most Holy Trinity, founded in 1810 by French Catholics who settled in Augusta after the slave revolts on the island of San Domingo in the 1790s. For years the church&rsquos name was Saint Patrick after its patron saint, in deference to its large Irish population.

Brahe House
Rebecca Rogers

Augusta prospered again on the eve of the Civil War as evidenced by several buildings and homes constructed during that period. Noted architect, Charles Blaney Cluskey, who lived in Augusta at the time, designed the Old Medical College of Georgia built on Telfair Street in 1835 to house the state&rsquos first medical school. The Brahe House, a fine example of a typical house type in Augusta known as the Sand Hills Cottage, was the creation in 1850 of German immigrant and jeweler, Frederick Brahe. Later it became the first house in town to have electric lighting. Suburban Summerville Historic District became the summer residence of choice for wealthy Augustans, who believed it was healthier due to its higher elevation and lack of mosquitoes. Two fine houses there are the 1849 Reid-Jones-Carpenter House and the Gould-Weed House, circa 1860. Dennis Redmond, a noted horticultural editor, constructed Fruitlands in 1853 on his Washington Road plantation, which became famous under the ownership of the Berckmans family as a fine nursery and still more famous in the 20th century as the clubhouse for the Augusta National Golf Club.

The Confederate government established the Confederate States Powder Works on the Augusta Canal in 1862, at the present site of Sibley Mill. A United States Arsenal, erected in approximately the same location in 1819, moved to the village of Summerville in 1827, after the commandant determined it a healthier location. The original arsenal buildings remain largely intact as the centerpiece of Augusta State University, with the Commandant&rsquos House, known as the Stephen Vincent Benét House, used as an administration building. During the Civil War, gunpowder made at the powder works was moved to the arsenal to pack munitions sent to soldiers in the field.

King Mill
Rebecca Rogers
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

Following the Civil War, Augusta&rsquos economy struggled but rebounded with the enlargement and expansion of the Augusta Canal in 1875. Several large new cotton mills were built along its banks. The old 18th century village of Harrisburg gained new life, as a large mill village grew around the Harris-Pearson-Walker House. Continuing expansion to the west, the City of Augusta completed its first major annexation in 1880 by taking in what is now the Harrisburg&mdashWest End Historic District.

Many of Augusta&rsquos Irish immigrants lived in a section of town then known as Dublin. The surrounding streets developed as enclaves for various immigrant groups in the 19th century, including African Americans. By the turn of the 20th century, because of Jim Crow laws legalizing segregation, this area, the Laney&mdashWalker North Historic District, became predominantly black. A few blocks to the south is the Bethlehem Historic District, created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries exclusively by and for African Americans. The Sand Hills Historic District, adjacent to Summerville, is another historically black neighborhood that developed parallel to a predominantly white business and residential area after the Civil War.

As the old city continued to expand, most religious denominations realized the need to establish a second congregation in the western end of the city, and often a third or fourth in the suburban areas. Consequently, the Church of the Most Sacred Heart established at Greene and McKinne (13th) streets in 1874 became the second Roman Catholic parish in Augusta. A magnificent new building was constructed between 1898 and 1900 beside the original church, which became a school. Greene Street Presbyterian Church, founded in 1875, was an attempt by the First Presbyterian congregation to expand its influence. Curtis Baptist Church, also founded in the 1870s, and Saint James Methodist Church, dating from the 1850s, were other examples of efforts to evangelize in the city. Most denominations also established a church presence in Laney&mdashWalker, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Summerville and Sand Hills in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

Set up in 1874, the Augusta Cotton Exchange moved to an impressive permanent headquarters building constructed in 1887 in the Queen Anne style. With the expansion of the Augusta Canal, the city was once again a thriving center of a cotton economy. Cotton warehouses lined Reynolds Street between St. Paul&rsquos Church on the east and 9th Street on the west. One can still find the last cotton warehouses, now converted to restaurants and shops, along 9th Street in the Augusta Downtown Historic District. Mills along the Augusta Canal manufactured cotton goods, including the antebellum Augusta Factory (razed in the 1960s), Enterprise Mill, Sutherland Mill, King Mill, and Sibley Mill.

The Partridge Inn Exterior at Night
The Partridge Inn

A horse drawn street car was first put into operation in 1866, connecting the neighborhoods that now comprise the Pinched Gut, Augusta Downtown, Broad Street, Harrisburg&mdashWest End, and Summerville Historic Districts. In 1890, electrified streetcars provided more access between Augusta&rsquos neighborhoods and its suburbs. This development also sparked Augusta&rsquos tourist industry with the construction of the original Bon Air Hotel in Summerville in 1889-90. The Bon Air attracted wealthy northerners who wanted to escape harsh winters. Soon Summerville had a lively cottage industry of winter boarding houses.

The Partridge Inn emerged from one of these boarding houses, evolving into its present state over a period of thirty years. Pleased with the southern climate, some of the winter visitors built their own homes, or remodeled or enlarged existing cottages in Summerville. Golf came to the village when the hotel established the Bon Air Links as a recreational opportunity for its guests. This course, originally sand, became the Augusta Country Club in 1899. Forrest Hills Hotel and Golf Course, laid out to the west of Summerville in the 1920s, had a complete automobile suburb featuring curving brick streets and Georgian Revival estates on large lots.

Founded in the early 1930s, Augusta National Golf Club is on the Fruitlands property on Washington Road west of Augusta on the northern border of Summerville. Also in the '30s, the club established the Masters Golf Tournament, which has become golf&rsquos premier event in the United States.

A military town since its beginning as a military outpost in the 1730s, Augusta served as a place of refuge in the French and Indian War and passed back and forth between American and British hands during the Revolution. The city hosted a United States Arsenal beginning in 1819. During the Civil War, it was a center of military preparedness, supplies, industrial output, and support of Confederate troops from the domestic front. The United States government established Camp McKenzie at Augusta during the Spanish American War and Camp Hancock in World War I.

In 1940 shortly before the United States entered World War II, the Federal Government founded Camp Gordon about 10 miles from downtown Augusta in south Richmond County in an area historically known as Pinetucky. After the war started, Augusta became a major military town again. Available space became additional housing, with many of the antebellum and Victorian homes converted to apartment buildings. The resort hotels became year-round commercial hotels. Soldiers in uniform were everywhere. The old arsenal buzzed with activity with high security around the clock. Augusta would never be quite the same.

Downtown Historic District - Broad Street
Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division

Today, Augusta&rsquos downtown is on the rebound with shops and restaurants opening on Broad Street and near the river and many facades of historic buildings restored. An Artists Row helped stimulate new energy and became the impetus for a monthly street festival known as First Friday. A reclaimed levee built in the 1910s to hold back the worst floodwaters from the Savannah River is now a park called the Riverwalk. Between 5th and 10th streets, the park has outdoor historical exhibits, developed in the 1980s and 1990s, to interpret the city&rsquos history. Regular festivals are held near the Riverwalk and on a new green space called the Augusta Common, which is in the 800 block of Broad Street. The Augusta Common features a statue of Georgia and Augusta founder James Edward Oglethorpe. A second statue of soul singer James Brown of Augusta overlooks the Common from Broad Street.


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