I read about this item in the third volume of "The History of California" published in 1895. During the Gold Rush of 1849 ships were bringing passengers from the isthmus of Panama to San Francisco. On several occasions, ships were taken over by the passengers, for what they thought was improper function or maintainence on board. Instead of being considered an act of muntiny by the courts, they were considered acts to be commended and no prosecution occurred. "The spirit of independence and determination, not to be imposed upon , among the early Californian adventurers from the Atlantic ports was so well known, that many cautious captains, who had been accustomed to ruling their vessels with despotic sway, declined to accept the command of ships engaged in the trade of carrying them. They said they had brought over large cargoes of immigrants from Europe without fear or thought of insubordination, but those passengers were Europeans who had been in the habit all their lives of being governed and who never dared to ask questions or make enquiries. But it was different with Americans." "No No!" exclaimed one captain, save me from a ship load of Yankee passengers. You will find that just as soon as they recover from their seasickness, they will hold a mass-meeting on the quarter deck without thinking of asking permission of the captain and prescribe rules for the conduct of the ship, or perhaps they will depose the captain altogether and put in his place a popular sailor taken from before the mast, as their idea will be to run the vessel on democratic principiles. So, excuse me from the command of a Californian passenger ship."