Adolphus Wesley Vroom d 5 Dec 1850

Adolphus Wesley Vroom was born 1 July 1815 in Clementsport, Nova Scotia, the son of Henry and Abigail (Ditmars) Vroom.  In 1847, he married Emaline Ditmars.  He was a sea captain, and went to California during the gold rush of 1849-1850.  In the 1850 census, he was living in Sacramento.  The New Brunswick Courier, published 4 Jan 1851, tells the story of his death. 

Capt. Albert BETTS who sailed from here upwards of a year ago in the schr. “Clairmont” of 50 tons, owned by himself, arrived here this week from California. We are sorry to state that while descending the Chagres River in a boat on his way across the Isthmus, the boat upset and he lost one of his trunks containing $1500, besides other valuable property and letters for parties in this city, narrowly escaping with his life. Capt. VROOM, a native of Nova Scotia, who went from here as Master of Brigt. “Arabian” was drowned at the same time with two other passengers, owing to the difficulty of their swimming with quantities of gold on their persons.

The “Clairmont” had a good passage and after her arrival in San Francisco was sold for $2,500. Capt. Betts made some money in California and started to return home in 1853. While coming down the Chagres River, in comapny with Capt. VROOM, who had gone out in the brigt. “Arabia”, the canoe upset and Capt. Vroom was drowned. Capt. Betts escaped, but lost all the gold which he had spent years to gather. He died in St. John a few years ago. The “Arabia” mentioned, sailed on December 5th and arrived on the 9th of August. She was a vessel of 91 tons, owned in Digby, N.S. where Capt. Vroom belonged.

Jane Vroom, sister of Adolphus Vroom and my ancestor John Ditmars Vroom, kept a diary.  The following is her entry regarding his death: 

1851 Went to Clements on New Years day on the 5th the death of my dear brother Wesley reached there, another of our number has gone, he was drowned on the 5th of December on his way home from California, by the up setting of a boat in the Chag(zes) River, Edward Ray a cousin that went (with?) him died of Cholera at Sacrementa on the 11th of Oct., it was a year the 11th of Dec. last, since they left St. John, why they must go away there, from all earthly friends? to die, eternity will unfold. 

The last will and testament of Adolphus Wesley Vroom of Clements, was dated 3 Dec 1849 in Saint John, N.B. It named his wife Emeline, his daughter Amanda Evelin, his step-son John Lynch Burns.  The will establishes that Vroom was part owner of Brig ARABIA. The will was probated 26 Mar 1851.


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