miércoles, 29 de agosto de 2018


Colaboración del C. de N. Edgardo Loret de Mola
Responsable de la edición: Rosario Yika Uribe

Fuente: Cinco siglos del destino marítimo  del Perú, de Esperanza Navarro Pantac: Instituto de Estudios Histórico-Marítimos del Perú, 2016

Efemérides Navales de Hoy 30 de agosto

La célebre fiebre del oro en California parte en el año 1848. Una consecuencia curiosa de la Fiebre del Oro fue que prácticamente todos los buques que llegaban a California quedaban abandonados, porque la tripulación se iba a probar suerte y la bahía se convirtió en un enorme cementerio de buques abandonados. 

Entre el primero de enero y el 30 de junio de 1849 unos 10,000 inmigrantes de Chile, México y Perú arribaron a San Francisco, el principal puerto de la ciudad. Se propagaron los crímenes, el hambre y las enfermedades. Los peruanos no solo eran buscadores de oro, sino también comerciantes y propietarios de barcos. En Lima, el diario "El Peruano" publicó artículos dramáticos sobre su situación. El presidente Ramón Castilla decidió enviar un buque de guerra para asistir a los ciudadanos peruanos. El gobierno de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica protestó, pero finalmente accedió ante la anarquía imperante en la zona. El buque seleccionado fue el bergantín "General Gamarra", construido para el Perú en Trieste, Italia, en 1843, desplazaba 415 toneladas, tenía una eslora de 77 pies, manga de 24 pies y calado de 14 pies. Estaba armado con 16 cañones. La nave poseía una tripulación selecta de 136 hombres bajo el mando del Capitán de Fragata José María Silva Rodríguez. El bergantín partió a California el 25 de enero de 1849 con provisiones para 9 meses y arribo a San Francisco el 9 de marzo tras 45 días de navegación cubriendo un total de 4,010 millas náuticas. El Capitán de Fragata José María Silva Rodríguez encontró a los barcos peruanos "Elisa", "Susana", "Mazzeppa", "Calderón", "San José", "Volante", "Andrea", "Bella Angelita" y "Atlanta" abandonados por sus tripulaciones. Durante la permanencia del "Gamarra", el estado caótico alcanzó niveles superlativos. Infantes de Marina peruanos debieron apoyar a los custodios de la ley estadounidenses para restablecer el orden.
Curiosamente, en inglés el relato del Gamarra en California es más extenso:


In 1848, the gold fever in California had started. The event that was to set the world ablaze and create an empire on the shores of the Pacific was the discovery by James W. Marshall of the precious metal on the American River January 24, 1848. Thousands of men and women from the United States and other parts of the world, among them several Peruvian citizens, moved to the new territories searching for gold.

By the middle of that year, California had already a foreign population of 110 thousand individuals. San Francisco Bay anchored more than 650 foreign ships and during the next several months the town grew within an environment of anarchy and violence. Between the 1st of January and the 30th of June 1849, it was estimated that fifteen thousand had been added to the population of California, of which nearly ten thousand came by sea. Altogether nearly forty thousand immigrants landed at San Francisco during 1849. In the early months the arrivals were principally from countries on the Pacific coasts of America such as Chile, Mexico and Peru (1).

Later in the year, an immense number of Americans came direct from the Atlantic States, around Cape Horn, or by way of Panama, while many foreigners also arrived from China and from various parts of Europe.

This was a period of complete recklessness in which the local authorities had to struggle for order. There were many reckless people and many criminals. In San Francisco there was much destitution, sickness, and even death. Many of the immigrants had landed in a sickly and emaciated city, ill of scurvy and other diseases which their long voyage and hardships had produced. Some three thousand or four thousand seamen deserted from the many hundred ships lying in the bay. Probably two-thirds of all these proceeded to the mines, or to various parts of the interior. Others had miscalculated their own inclinations, and the nature of the place they had come to, and were either ashamed or unable to perform honest labour. Disappointed diggers, returning from the mines with broken constitutions, swelled the destitute population. They probably lived in miserable habitations, sleeping often upon the bare earth. Around them were bustle and lucrative pursuits, while they alone seemed neglected. Then they lost heart, pined, took sick and died, cursing the country and its gold, and the foolish fancies that had led them to it (2).

The Peruvians living in San Francisco were not only gold seekers, but also merchants and ship owners, and their faith became an issue of interest for their countrymen. The newspaper “El Peruano” started to publish in Lima dramatic articles about their difficulties. The number of Peruvians living in California was minimal when compared with other nationalities. However their unbearable situation, mainly that of the ship owners whose crews deserted the vessels to join the gold seekers, persuaded the Government to act on their behalf. Marshal Ramon Castilla decided to send a warship to the coasts of California to protect the merchant interests of the country, to give assistance, when requested, to any Peruvian citizen, and to recover as many ships under Peruvian flag as possible.

The warship chosen for this task was the brigantine General Gamarra, built for Peru in Trieste, Italy, in 1843. She displaced 415 tons, had a length of 77 feet, a 24 feet beam and a draft of 14 feet. The ship was armed with sixteen guns. She had a selected crew of 136 men, under command of Captain Jose Maria Silva Rodriguez. The Ship sailed to California on January 25, 1849, with provisions for nine months. She arrived on San Francisco by mid March, after 45 days of navigation covering a total of 4,010 Nautical Miles (3).

In his first report to the Navy, Captain Silva Rodriguez informed that upon his arrival, he found the Peruvian ships Eliza, Susana, Mazzeppa, Calderon, San Jose, Volante, Andrea, Bella Angelita and Atlanta practically abandoned and without crews. During the next few weeks, the sailors from the Gamarra repaired and transported some of those ships back to Peru. The remaining vessels were auction by their owners and became passenger and cargo service vessels on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.

While the Peruvian warship was anchored at San Francisco Bay, violent riots erupted in the city and the local authorities, unable to control them, requested the support of the crews of some foreign vessels. The Commander of the Gamarra sent an well-armed detachment of Peruvian marines to help the law enforcement officers, and order was re-established. The city authorities commended the Peruvians for their order and discipline (4).

Without a doubt the presence of the Peruvian warship contributed to the solution of the problems existing before her arrival. It represented as well Peru’s international prestige, the evolution of its Navy, qualified among the best in Latin America, and showed the professional quality of its officers and sailors, who fulfilled their duties without difficulties in the most adverse circumstances.

Once the task was accomplished, on May 16, 1849, the Gamarra sailed back to Peru, arriving first at the northern port of Paita on July 7th of that year (5).

About this successful mission in California, a proud President Castilla said to Congress:

"To know about the state of our Navy, you do not need intense investigations. All we need is to look at our flag in California, fulfilling with honor duties that other respectable flags have not fulfilled”.

(1) The report presented to the President of the United States by Colonel Richard B. Mason, governor of California, was published in the principal newspapers throughout the world. There he stated that “The gold fever is on and from all parts of the world, companies are fitting out for California. From Sonora in Mexico, thousands of men came overland, while from the coasts of Chile and Peru as many more came by sea”.

(2) The California, launched on May 19, 1848, was the first U.S. Mail steamer to serve on the Pacific. When she reached the Peruvian port of Callao the gold fever had set in. The California was built to accommodate sixty passengers, but only at Callao she had taken on fifty Peruvian passengers for San Francisco, finally arriving on that city on February 28, 1858.

(3) Before her trip to California, the Gamarra held other important duties such as the 1847 “Bolivian Campaign”, in which during ten months she executed interdiction actions in Bolivian waters.

(4) About the law and order situation in San Francisco, Captain Folsom, military assistant quartermaster, wrote to the authorities that acts of disgraceful violence were of almost daily occurrence on the city and board the shipping in the harbor and the officials had no power to preserve order.

(5) On Tuesday, May 1, 1849, the famous steamer California, under command of Captain Stephen C. Forbes, hosted the first steamboat excursion on the Bay of San Francisco. A large number of citizens and numerous officers from the American, English and Peruvian vessels of war in port were invited for this event. In his report, Lt. Thomas A. Budd wrote: “As the fine ship passed down the harbor in front of the town, every person could not fail to remark the picturesque amphitheater-like situation of San Francisco, and its populous and busy appearance, as well as the astonishing evidences of increase in population, wealth and commercial importance which it presented. On passing the Peruvian brig of war General Gamarra, the American ensign was displayed at the fore, and a national salute fired, a most befitting and happy compliment”.

30 de agosto 1863: Nace en Lima el contralmirante José Ernesto de Mora. 

30 de agosto 1946: Se lleva a cabo la ceremonia de lanzamiento del Dos de Mayo, primer buque grúa de la Marina de Guerra enteramente construido en nuestro país en el Arsenal Naval. 

30 de agosto 1975: En un hecho sin precedentes, el presidente de la República, general de división Francisco Morales Bermúdez, preside la ceremonia de presentación del nuevo comandante general de la Marina, contralmirante Jorge Parodi Galliani, que se realiza en la explanada del Ministerio de Marina.

30 de agosto 2008: El Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas ordena el inicio de la ‘Operación Excelencia 777’ de contraofensiva antiterrorista. Las patrullas combinadas intervienen nueve campamentos senderistas en total: Bidón, el llamado ‘santuario de Sendero Luminoso’ del VRAE, José Olaya, Río Seco, Mazángaro, Unión Mantaro, Sanabamba, Jerusalén, Torococha y Jonson. Es la primera campaña de envergadura en la que participan, de manera conjunta, el Ejército, la Marina, la Fuerza Aérea y la Policía Nacional. 

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