About the author: Cornelius B. Gold (1839 — 1921). From the description of his papers in Connecticut College,
Cornelius B. Gold was born in 1839 to Catharine B. and Job Swift Gold in the small town of Washington in western Connecticut. He attended the Gunnery, an academy operated by the staunch abolitionist Frederick Gunn. Like so many of his classmates at the Gunnery, he volunteered for the Union cause in 1861, but was turned away due to his weak condition.
In December of 1861, Gold sailed for Hong Kong aboard the ship Oriental with a cargo of coal. In Hong Kong, he found passage on the Jabez Snow to Liverpool with a load of hemp and sugar. From Liverpool he made his way to Cork and then sailed home on the City of Manchester, arriving in March, 1863. In August of 1863 he was enrolled in Company B of the 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.
Gold joined his regiment in Hilton Head, S.C. in October of 1863 and was soon assigned to be secretary in court martial proceedings. In the spring of 1864, the Connecticut 6th Infantry moved to Bermuda Hundred, Va. and then participated in the Petersburg Campaign. During this time he spent some time in Balfour Hospital in Portsmouth, Va. and was considered for a medical discharge due to his frailty, but was ultimately returned to his company.
In November, 1864 Gold received a transfer to the U.S. Navy where he served as a paymaster. He signed letters through the spring and summer of 1865 from the USS Vincennes, Stockdale, Circassian, and Anderson in Mobile Bay, and from Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla. By the beginning of 1866 he was back home in Connecticut.
After the war, Gold married Margaret Shedd and served as treasurer for the executive comittee of the New York State Prison Association. Gold died in Litchfield, Conn. in 1921.
Poor’s Manual of Railroads, Volume 26 of 1893 lists Cornelius B. Gold as a member of the board of directors of the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway Company.
About the diary: Manuscript, Journal of journey to Hong Kong, 1861-1863. In the Cornelius B. Gold Papers, Shain Library, Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives, Connecticut College. Facsimile scans and transcriptions discovered through the paper, Faculty–library collaborations in digital history: A case study of the travel journal of Cornelius B. Gold by Ann Marie Davis, Jessica McCullough, Benjamin Panciera and Rebecca Parmer.
The Philippine Diary Project contains only the portion of the diary devoted to the author’s visit to the Philippines, July 23 to August 9, 1861.