GOLDSEEKERS-L ArchivesArchiver > GOLDSEEKERS > 2003-04 > 1051371058
From: "Helen Rappaport" <>
Subject: [Seekers] Panamanian Isthmus Route 1850s
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 16:31:36 +0100
I have just joined in hopes that members with in-depth knowledge might be
able to help fill me in on the Panamanian Isthmus route, and especially
Cruces, in the period 1850-3, which I am researching as part of my work on a
My subject, the Jamaican nurse and healer, Mary Grant (later Seacole), was
in the Isthmus during this period, running her 'British Hotel' at Cruces. It
was a stopover for many American gold prospectors en route to Panama and the
short cut to California. Her brother, Edward, also ran the Independent
Hotel in Cruces. Mary later had a similar, short-lived venture at Gorgona.
Has anyone ever come across mention of these hotels in any contemporary
In her memoirs Mary talks of a trigger-happy US gambler and gold prospector
named Dr Casey, who had been hunted out of San Francisco, and who ran a
gambling table at her hotel. Can anyone identify him for me?
Many American prospectors fell sick with yellow fever and cholera during
their time in Panama and Mary became legendary among them as 'The yellow
woman from Jamaica with the cholera medicine'. I would love to hear from
anyone who has come across any mention of her in Gold Rush travelogues,
letters or memoirs.Her clients included several ladies of dubious character
from the US South!
Thanks a lot. Helen Rappaport, researcher and writer, Oxfordshire, England