He was supposed to be opening a grocery shop in Boston, Lincs. But instead he booked them onto a ship from Liverpool to New York, telling his wife they were going to Scotland for a few days to see friends.
When they got to New York on this unnamed ship, he wasted their money in idleness then wanted to go on to California. At that time it was seen as a land of opportunity, including for gold prospectors.
But 'his wife having no faith in him, refused to accompany him and decided to return to England.'