Mary Seacole in Independence Hotel, Cruces, Isthmus of Panama - 1851, at night

from Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands, pages 9; 22:

Early in [1850] my brother [Edward] had left Kingston [Jamaica] for the Isthmus of Panama, then the great high-road to and from golden California, where he had established a considerable store and hotel [The Independent Hotel]. Ever since he had done so, I had found some difficulty in checking my reviving disposition to roam, and at last persuading myself that I might be of use to him (he was far from strong), I resigned my house into …   more >>

cite as

Mary Seacole, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (London, July, 1857), p. 9; 22. accessed: 25 June, 2024

location of experience: Independence Hotel, Cruces, Isthmus of Panama


Mary Seacole
businesswoman, Nurse, traditional healer, Writer

Listening to

hide composers
The Fandango, sung and danced performed by Spanish women

Experience Information

Date/Time 1851, at night
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, outdoors, in public


Prior to the establishment of the Panama Canal, Cruces was a staging post for travellers drawn to the California Gold Rush. Seacole stayed at Cruces for two years, noting in her memoir, ‘‘Four crowds generally passed through Cruces every month. In these were to be found passengers to and from Chili [sic], Peru, and Lima, as well as California and America. […] The great majority of the travellers were rough, rude men, of dirty, quarrelsome habits; the others were more civilized and more dangerous. And it was not long before I grew very tired of life in Cruces, although I made money rapidly, and pressed my brother to return to Kingston. Poor fellow! […] He stayed only to find a grave on the Isthmus of Panama (p. 37)’.

Originally submitted by 5011Henning on Tue, 10 Aug 2021 08:44:25 +0100
Approved on Sun, 15 Aug 2021 11:02:09 +0100