contributed by ggg-granddaughter Connie Ganz
Robert Nicholson Tate (1804-1886),
diary account of a trip to England from New York, 1867.
Line to Glasgow),
return on Helvetia (National
Line from Liverpool).
THE STORY OF THE TRIP
On Saturday, August 17th, took passage
on board of iron steamship Iowa at the office of Francis
6 Bowling Green. Took a cabin passage $75. Berth No. 16. Got my berth
secured, and in the afternoon about 3 p.m. moved out into the stream,
and at 4 p.m. cast off from our tender and steamed out to sea. Twenty
minutes past four we were leaving the highlands on the starboard side
with land in sight.
About ten miles off on our larboard side a fine clear
evening with showers at a distance. A fine breeze right aft. The sun
is setting. There is a vessel right between us and the sun, which has
a singular appearance. Time eight minutes to seven, by my watch. There
is yet a small portion of the sun above the watery horizon. Now it
is gone and left the vessel in a fine bright portion of the sky. The
Carey’s chickens are flying around us. They made their appearance long
before we lost sight of land. The superstitious sailors are chasing
a dragonfly, swearing at it and calling it all sorts of names. The
is laboring away. There is quite a large vessel on our larboard side.
She has about three masts and a smoke pipe. It appears to be about
ten miles away from us. The darkened shades of night are fast closing
us. The passengers are fast disappearing from the deck, and so did
I. I next took a glass of wine with my young German friend and retired.
Sunday, August 18th: A fine, pleasant
morning. Heading due east. A large steam vessel passed us on our larboard
side, distant about one mile, an English vessel bound to New York,
at least heading that way. The pilot boat with her white sail is sailing
towards her, ten minutes past 9 a.m. Breakfast time, fresh fish and
Latitude 46 degrees, 1”/longitude 14 deg. Divine service – only eighteen
present. Time 20 minutes to four p.m. another three-masted sailing vessel
on our starboard side, about four miles distant, crowded with canvas,
all she can carry. She looks very pretty. There is nothing more in sight
of all the boundless convexity. We are going merrily. The sun has set
clear. The gulf weed has passed us today. A lot of Mother Carey’s chickens
were in our wake today.
Monday, August 19th: Kept awake a great part of the night.
I finally arose, my mate and I, to ascertain the cause of the stoppage
of our machinery. I saw the cover of an air pump or some such cover,
lying on the deck broken in three pieces. The casting would weigh about
200 pounds and about 30 inches diameter. They had a substitute off
boiler plate and after forming it and getting it nearly ready, accidentally
burned a hole in it in the engine house fire, and so had to make another,
which they finally finished about sunset. This occurrence stopped our
progress for a while. We have not seen a ship of any kind all day.
One of the sailors this forenoon caught a Mother Carey. I had it in
my hand, and after examining it a while, gave the poor mystery its
liberty again. Discovered today that there really were bed bugs in
our berths, but not many. The sailors are painting everything they
can lay their hands on with white lead. The doctor and the purser had
a spat today.
August 20th: Blowing quite strong. Our course south of
east, going briskly. A fine moonlight morning, time 2 a.m. On the evening
of the 19th, the constellation Ursa Major is located in the heavens
over our starboard stern quarter, and the North Star by looking over
our larboard stern quarter and at about equal distance as regards the
elevation and angle. Time half after ten a.m. going finely on our starboard
stern quarter about ten miles distant, a brig can be seen heading WNW.
I have not seen a fish of any kind nor any other bird than the storm
petrie or Mother Carey’s chicken. At nine a.m., we were 45 deg. north
bearing E by N. A small quantity of gulf weed floating past us continually.
We had an addition to the number of our second cabin passengers – a
lady has been transferred to our lot from the first cabin by request.
There is no more motion in the vessel where we are sitting at present
than if we were in a church.
There is in our cabin three ladies and
five gentlemen. A change in the wind – at least we are changing our
course. My berth companion, Adolph Stein, a young German, has just
handed me a specimen of seaweed. It has a strong marine smell and has
otherwise a great many fossil animolecules in it. It was fished up
from the side of the vessel by a Mr. Somebody. Mr. John Wilson, coachmaker
near Glasgow, one of our passengers, tells me he has been in London
and been there long enough to see all the scenes as far as necessary
to be seen and it only cost him six pounds sterling. A smart but short
shower with rain clouds and showers at a distance. Did not take any
dinner today. A fine morning. Ship heading 2 points N of E – 35 deg.,
I had a narrow escape from being blackmailed yesterday night.
Three or four cabin passengers went forward to see a cockfight on the
forecastle, which was really not more ridiculous than it was amusing.
The two sailors are secured by their shipmates and are nearly rendered
helpless by having their knees and elbows between which is locked a stick
about a yard long pointed at each and, projecting about a foot on each
side, in order to hook under each other and roll each other over. The
successful one counts one for that he is heard to say. The rolled over
cock is picked up and set in front of his opponent again, and they have
another set-to; but the tars have another move on the board besides this,
in which they are all interested, as many of the cabin passengers (as
their loud laughter and heavy betting) as an inducement to come and behold
their rumpus are unsuspectingly chalked on the back. This accomplishment
justifies them in demanding a bottle of rum from the unlucky wight for
his seeing the cockfight. No sooner than they perceived a move by us
to leave them than they. It was faint moonlight. I happened to know nothing
of their game, and so did not make off in proper time, but suspecting
what they were up to, I slipped away and with just haste left the poop
and made for the passage leading to the main deck, but found that there
were ropes stretched across it. I slipped this barrier, but jumped right
into the arms of a tar. I got rid of him, however, and so escaped, as
I thought, until next morning on seeing my shoes all chalked. This, I
was told, proclaimed me a victim and indebted to the sailors for a treat
for going into their dominion to see their cock fight. Several passengers
in the first cabin had to pay for seeing their performance. The temperature
of the sea water is 65 degrees.
August 22nd: The whistle was blown from time to time
by way of safety while we are in and surrounded by fog. The first cabin
passengers are preparing for a performance tonight. They are going
to hold it in our cabin. They have not enough room in the front cabin.
They are rigging a stage with spare hatchways and draping with the
flags of England and America to give a stage appearance. The bills
are published. The performers are all first-cabin passengers. We have
not been thought of as possessing any talent that way. The dramatis
personae are as follows:
|A song, “The Widow Malone,”……………………....
Music on concertina………………………………….
Song, “The Lads of Kilkenny”………………………..
Music and song………………………………………
Recitation, “Lochiel’s Warning”……………………....
Song, “Dreaming of Thee”……………………………
Recitation, “William Tell”……………………………..
Burlesque “The Negro Sermon Burst”………………...
Music on concertina…………………………………..
Recitation, “Gentleman and His Wife”………………....
Recitation, “The Razor Seller”………………………...
Song, “The Thames Steam Boat”……………………..
Song, “The Irish Schoolmaster”…………………….....
August 23rd: Morning rather
cold. The passengers are calling for more blankets. Wind two points
N of E. A species of gull is flying around us. The storm petrel has
made its appearance again. Our cabin here is too warm for our feet.
Saturday, the 24th: Going merrily. Wind right aft on
Friday evening. We had a family concert. Mr. Foy in the chair – each
agreeing to sing a song or pay a fine. Captain, chief steward, and
second steward and purser tabled with us. The passengers were: Mr.
McClain, Mr. John Wilson (coachmaker near Glasgow), Mrs.
Roy (an old
lady), Mrs. Larson (a young lady), Miss Ophelia (the songstress), a
chambermaid (all Irish), an Albany gardener and his maid and child,
a reverend minister, Mrs. and Mrs. Nichols (an odd couple), the painter
Philipps, the ship’s doctor (Mozier). These are all I can bring to
mind, but at the Sabbath meeting there were assembled between 20 and
30 persons. Adolph Stein, my bunkmate, a German about 20 years old;
the old lady Foy; Miss Ophelia; the minister; and several others left
us at Derry, Ireland, where the ship stopped to land them and take
off some freight. The small steamer that came out to take freight and
passengers into port was named Souter Johnny.
The seamen got up a performance
and laughable burlesque. The leader plays a fife and his mate beat
on an old tin pan, followed by two tars representing an Irish farmer
and his wife. The farmer rode a mock horse – at least he seemed to
ride on horseback. The rest of the ship’s crew followed in Indian file
parading the deck. The horse and farmer capering and kicking up their
every one coming near them. Eventually the farmer tried to sell his horse,
and then he had to quarrel with the crowd and then dismount, and his
wife and he and some of the tars had an Irish reel to the music of the
fife and drum. And after this they formed into line again and marched
off to their home in the forecastle.
Sunday, August 25th: Gloomy and rainy. Wind SSE. We are
heading two points south of east. We are using the frames on the tables
that prevents the dishes from sliding. The sailors are shifting the
cargo to counteract their using up the coal so as to keep the ship
trimmed right. Today they took the tickets up and in doing so they
discovered a person who had stowed himself away to get passage free
home. He had been wrecked off Cape Hatteras. The captain ordered that
he should eat at our table. The weather is rather stormy. The passengers
from the first cabin are gradually coming over to our cabin, and we
are having the chequer board and quite a song singing time. This, the
purser, and Miss Ophelia.
August 27th: Better weather this morning.
Wind WSW heading 3 points south of east, but for a short while she
varied, the course heading three points north of E. One of the company
ships, the Columbia, passed on our starboard side about noon. We
passed another bark about nine miles off. The first appearance of a
of gull that frequents the Irish coast passed. A dead whale. The
sea this morning is quite high and frequently peeps over the rail amidships,
rather saucy. Our ship, the Iowa, is 365 feet long and 60 feet wide.
Wednesday, August 28th: Much better weather. A pleasant
mixture of the sky, clouds. A long, rolling sea. Wind on our starboard
quarter heading as usual three points south of east. Three large vessels
are on our starboard side and one on our larboard. The vessel on our
starboard bow a bark. So near as to see her men. She seems to feel
the effects of the liquid undulations. A few gulls in sight. Had some
conversation with an old man named Nichols. The history he
gave of himself was that he was 53 years of age. He had been married
His uncle is about his age. The wind has shifted to the SE. The sun
is just emerging from the ocean, yet almost every way else the sky
looks murky. There is a large vessel passing us now on our larboard
side called the Lady Westmoreland, westward bound, a full-sized ship.
Two bells are now being struck, indicating one o’clock p.m. My time
is 20 minutes to nine. About 20 minutes ago we say a large full-rigged
ship about five miles off, westward bound on our larboard side. All
hands are on the qui vive. About making land tomorrow. Signed a paper
certifying our gratitude to the captain and crew for their civilities.
August 29th: One of our party would not sign the paper,
Mrs. Foy, an Irish lady. They refused to alter her berth; rather a
decent old lady. The ship’s time seven minutes to four p.m. My time
is 27 minutes past eleven a.m. We are to have a jubilee tonight, and
we really had a merry time. There were about 20 of us. Likely the very
last time we shall have on this trip. Among the number were the captain
and lady, the minister and lady, the ship’s doctor Morier, Mrs.
Foy, Mrs. Larson, the Australian lady, Mr. Ross, Mr. Phillips, my berthmate
Adolph Stein, in short nearly all the passengers of both cabins. The
management of the evening was conducted much to the gratification of
all, but most to our cabin passengers (Mr. R.N. Tate is the chair,
assisted by Dr. Morier as vice).
August 30th: Early next morning long before sunrise,
we were called to see land! The Irish coast! Then such a hurrah was
got up to see the green hills of old Ireland. Old Mrs. Foy among the
rest. The Irish Coast as we made it on Friday morning, August 30, 1867.
While on board of the iron steamship Iowa off Glasgow, Captain
Chief Mate Robert Stewart. Rain, rain. We are said to be opposite port.
Rush to the right of which we can barely see the Saints Causeway. The
pilot and custom house officers came on board about an hour ago and
have just left us. Their boats are fine lifeboats built with two bows,
four oars. The steam tug is now come up alongside. She will take about
30 of our passengers from us, among which two belong to our cabin:
Old Mrs. Jane Foy and an Irish girl. From the first cabin will go Mr.
and Mrs. Cunningham, the minister and his wife, together with the little
Nightingale, Miss Ophelia, and quite a lot of luggage and quite a number
of steerage passengers. They cast off the ropes holding the tug and
away they went, and as they rounded to head for the land we discovered
her name, singular enough, The Souter Johnny of London. How she could
be a London boat and have such a name, let doctors tell. Our departed
passengers now came crowding to her stern and waving of hats and handkerchiefs
was the order of the day. For a time the faint drumming of her paddlewheels
was swallowed up in distance. Nothing but the little jaunty bonnet
and light blue veil of the little Nightingale could be seen. We swung
around and in a short time our separation was complete. It is now nearly
dark, eight bells has just rung. My time 20 minutes after three p.m.
We are now passing a large pig iron factory and furnace on the Ayreshire
side of the Firth and heading for Cremora Light. It is now quite dark.
We expect to be at Glasgow tonight, or early in the morning. All the
porter, ale, and wine is used up. The steward declares he is a broken
merchant. I have had a cold nearly all the way across. We are running
up the Firth by the screw and forestaysail. The distance between the
saloon and the forecabin is on the main deck twenty-one yards. We have
passed the Tower point light. It is a revolving light. Heading for
Clough Light. Midway between each on the Ayreshire side stand the Castle
of Montgomery (of Burns’ Highland Mary). It would appear that there
were two large islands at the mouth of the Clyde, one on the Argyle
side on which stands the Cremora Light; the other on the Ayrshire side,
the Clough Light is on the mainland. The numerous dwellings that are
seen at the mouth of the river are watering places. As we proceed up
the Firth we passed several towns of which nothing could be seen, being
night, but long rows of street gas lights. As we passed up things and
places could only be guessed at, it being quite dark. I retired to
bed and during a night of Durdom and Yo Heave Oh, we jam our way up
the narrow river, scarcely wide enough for our noble ship to swing
around. At length down dropped the anchor.
We were really now at Glasgow.
In the morning we arose and took our last meal on board the Iowa, and
packed off to the tavern after a very brief inspection by the Custom
House officer. As he was assured by our worthy fellow passenger, Mr.
William McLean, who assured him we had no tobacco, Mr. McLean took
us to a very respectable house to put up at, and we soon found ourselves
in comfortable quarters. I had scarcely got seated when I missed my
shawl. Back I scampered to the ship and found it hanging up in my stateroom.
But during the short time I was away, oh, what a change! All was torn
away. Berths, tables, all former signs of a cabin was gone. I got my
shawl, however, and returned to the hotel, where I remained until night.
The Dr. ungenerously took dinner at my table and left me to pay his
bill. Sloan, the Albany gardener, got drunk and I picked up
his watch under the table. The disgrace, I am sure, would grieve him
became sober, but he had got back to Glasgow; that was enough. And
this is the last I have seen of any of them. I ought to have bid farewell
to Mr. John Wilson, carriage maker of Patrick near Glasgow. I now
sought Adolph Stein , and we remained there until car time. I bought
a suit of clothes and a Highland bonnet. Poor Adolph said he had lost
a pound note soon after he and I took the cars for Carlyle, where we
parted, he to Antwerp and I to Bp. Wearmouth, and this is the very
last of Adolph Stein. We parted at one o’clock Sunday morning, September
RETURN TRIP TO AMERICA
October 21st, 1867: Steamed up about twenty minutes to
four p.m. Captain H.D. Cutting, on Wednesday.
October 23rd: Mr. Alexander,
Mrs. Armstrong, and your
humble servant, on the steam tug. So to our steamship Helvetia. Mrs.
Armstrong alluded to above is the daughter of Mrs. Coplestone, the
hostess of the Clifton House situated at No. 41 Islington, Liverpool.
Her first husband’s name was Clark. The father of the above Mrs. Armstrong,
Mr. Clark, died, and Mrs. Clark married a Mr. Coplestone, proprietor
of the Clifton House. He afterward died of cholera, and after his death
Mr. Alexander, boarding at the Clifton House, engaged to keep the books
and accounts of the widow, and this was the condition of affairs when
I went there to board on the 17th of October, 1867. During my stay
there, which was about six days, Miss Clark, the oldest daughter of
Mrs. Copelstone, married Mr. Armstrong. Armstrong hails from California,
hence the bride and groom sails with me. On the eve of the 23rd of
October, 1867, we left the port of Liverpool and after crossing the
Irish Sea, rounding Cornsore Point, took a beeline for the Cove of
Cork, Ireland, to call at Queenstown to take on more passengers. The
tug that brought them on board of us, on Thursday at five p.m., we
there took on board 140 passengers and several cabin passengers. Accompanying
the tug were a bevy of peddlers, some with fruit and some with poultry,
vegetables, etc., and one of them had sets of bog oak jewelry. I bought
and several of the passengers bought, and I believe he would have sold
all he had had not the tug rung her bell. So this paddy Moses had to
scamper on to the tug. We swung around into the channel again. It was
growing dark. Passed Kinsale Light. This was Thursday night. We had
now made since we left Liverpool 300 miles, about 8 deg. 20’ west of
Greenwich, 1 deg. 35’ south, and 5 deg. 10’ west of Liverpool. Once
clear of Kinsale, we soon bid farewell old Ireland. We coasted along
during the night, leaving cape clear far behind in the morning. The
sun arose and such a lovely morning, but the wind was on our starboard
Friday, October 25th: Altho we had most of our sails
set going on very pleasantly, that fine vessel, the City of
that left Liverpool a short time after we did, now appeared on our
starboard quarter and soon heading us and sailed across our bow and
bore away in gallant syle. It is asserted she will be in New York Harbour
three days before we will. She is deep laden and has her full complement
of passengers, 500, and about 25 in the cabin. We have seen very few
vessels today. Our consort has outrun us and disappeared. On we jog,
the wind is not favorable, inclining to storm. Wind, increasing, misty
all around the horizon, threatening rain. Wind WNW. Very few astir
this morning. Our passengers and names become known to us and the familiarity
of sea life is fast growing everywhere. Sea running a rough day upon
the whole. Wind toward night increasing. The rolling and pitching of
the vessel is very uncomfortable to all, but we are not to grumble.
We are on the ocean on the tail end of October. A rough night threatens
us, with the wind nearly dead ahead. Roll, roll, clatter, clatter,
creak, creak, grumble, grumble. Fudge, fudge. This will be rough among
the steerage passengers.
Sunday, October 27th: We have been now 89 hours at sea,
time 9 a.m. The ship has been on the other tack ever since four o’clock
this morning. The wind shifted round to the north yesterday morning.
It is said we are only making four knots an hour. We are doing much
better now, however. Mrs. Armstrong has only been once on deck since
the storm began. Mr. Armstrong has taken no breakfast this morning,
nor was any of the ladies astir. There is a good arrangement for the
ladies, an appropriate apartment is set apart for their convenience
during stormy weather, and they are provided with every convenience.
The stewardess can administer to their wants, and they are in a better
shape to assist each other. They are excused from sitting at table,
take their meals there, and not to be seen if seasick. Time 11 a.m.
Sea running high. Wind moderating. No minister astir today. Of course,
no divine service. Time 4 p.m. Weather more moderate, yet we roll very
disagreeably. We have now, Sunday 10 p.m., been 108 hours at sea. If
we have had an average speed of 8 knots per hour, we will have come
816 miles. I took no notes on Monday, Tuesday. Yesterday we had a game
at leaping frog. The captain, in leaping over W.C.’s back, the unbearer
broke down, the captain rolled over, lost his hat overboard, and is
supposed to have gone back to Liverpool.
October 28th: Arose this morning
at seven o’clock a.m. Nearly all our sails set. A complete rainbow
seen to windward; not much apparent increase to our speed. The ship
is heading two point N of W, a steady, unbroken, rolling sea. I omitted
to state yesterday evening, the ladies had a private concert in their
sanctum. The captain and lady were there.
October 29th: This is the first really clear day since
we left Liverpool. It cleared up prior to noon. The captain and mates
took the sun today. This is the first observation I have seen during
the voyage. This sunset, unseen by the crowd after supper. The amusement
consisted of various tricks and sports. The following are among the
many performed. A circle consisting of the performers standing up,
the larger the crowd the better. In the center, a person placed with
a cloak on. To the lower hind part of the cloak they tie a small whistle
connected by a piece of string about 18 inches long. The cloaked man
or woman is surrounded by the party, securely blindfolded, and the
players take every advantage of his condition and blow the whistle
in turn while he takes the most dexterous means to grab the blower,
he keeping all the time swinging around, this causes a tug on the whistle,
gives him an idea in what direction to grab the teaser or blower, who,
if grabbed, the penalty is to wear the cloak and whistle in turn.
Captain’s Conundrum – Captain B.B.B.B. sent his C.C.C.C. to the D.D.D.D.
Knox’s feat – an empty wine bottle is placed on the deck of the
cabin, and a person sits down upon it. He has then to cross his legs,
allowing only the heel of one of his boots to touch the floor. He is
now requested to thread a needle without any assistance from any part
of his person. To prevent him from rolling over, our friend the giant
Mr. _______ proposed a mathematical puzzle. He requests Jones to put
down three figures of any number he chose. Jones did so, thus 746.
Now I will add three figures, 651. Now you add three, 348. Oh, fudge.
November 2nd, 1867: Time 11 a.m. We have now been 235
hours at sea. Time 8 bells. All inclosed in murky clouds. It cleared
again about noon. The captain and mates are busy with their quadrants
again. A fine day. Enough sail set to keep her steady. They do us no
good otherwise. A muss among the steerage passengers. Three or four
Irishmen nearly choked a poor Jew. The captain threatened to put them
in irons. This has settled the matter, and all is quiet again. A very
fine night, a new moon, but head winds blowing all the time. Steady from
the NW shifted my bed. We will soon have been nine days at sea. They
are betting that we will be at New York by Wednesday at four p.m. Weather
coolish. The steerage passengers are kept quiet by plenty of good victuals
and fresh air. They are brought upon deck early in the morning until
breakfast is nearly ready for them. They are then permitted to remain
but a short time after breakfast below, and are hustled up on deck
again in bad weather, which has been very seldom. There is less to
be seen of them, but invariably they are by far the greater part of
the time on deck. This morning about 2 a.m. the wind blew strong. The
ship is scudding away. We have been taking in sail. The wind is a little
more moderate. The squall has passed us. The fog is gathering around
us, so much so that by four a.m. we were perfectly certain of our whereabouts
as far as the Bahama Banks is concerned. Precaution was now necessary
to avoid collision while we are in this fog. The whistle is blown quite
frequently. It is beginning to clear away again. The vessel is now
going about 8 knots. We have made the best day’s work today of any
day since our start, 260 miles since yesterday noon. 4 p.m. foggy yet.
For about 2½ hours in the middle of the day the sky was quite clear.
They have drawn up a lottery of 24 numbers. For each number you pay
two shillings, equalling 48 shillings. This is awarded to the person
drawing the number of the boat that brings us our first pilot. I say
the first, because we take two. Scudding away. The wind is increasing.
Now 11 a.m., wind NNW, blowing fresh. The bank fog is fast disappearing.
It is not very cold. The ship is rolling (she rolls too much) at times,
looking down upon the ocean from the poop is grand, apart from the
general dark green, sometimes the light striking through the broken
crest of the wave is a fine transparent crome green, but otherwise
the sea is without much variation in colour, a cold dark bottle green
and nothing more. Time 11 a.m. Going 9½ knots. Our canvas is two trissils.
The wind is too strong to carry more. Wind NNW. Last night, Friday,
we had a game at cards. The doctor, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, and myself,
we had too a little champagne, sherry, and brandy. I went to bed at
11 p.m. Tonight they have been playing cards at the other end of the
table, but two have quit. The most of them all gone to roost. The captain
sang something to the giant, making him laugh. The scene closes.
Sunday, November 3rd, 1867: Time 4 a.m. Wind increasing.
Blow, blow. A small gale almost from the W, of course right ahead.
We pitch but don’t roll. The sea is bespattered with foam all over,
heavy vibrations and thundering blows are received in quick succession,
yet on we go, on we go. The sun is struggling through the mist and
the clattering of plates announces breakfast at five a.m. The constellation
Orion on the larboard bow and the Pleides on the starboard, and numerous
others of the heavenly hosts. I went on deck after breakfast and remained
until after noon. The highest waves yet. The ship’s motion is too much
for the crowd, altho the wind has abated some. There was divine service
in the saloon this forenoon, but Mr. Knox, his daughter, and I were
not present. The general [James Garfield – later President Garfield
, as later entry will confirm] has crowded the [Tate’s] Glengary Bonnet
on it – don’t seem to be a bad fit after all, but it is quite pliable
and elastic. He is the very model of a Highland Chief. He has by far
the largest head of us all. The sea is going it.
Monday, November 4th:
Time 7 a.m. A fine morning, much more pleasant of course. Much less
sublime. Yesterday was a great and glorious day. We are spreading
more sail. During the blow yesterday, we had every sail snugly brailed
and stowed away as snug as possible, our yards pointing to windward.
The wind screamed through the wire rigging while our noble ship dashed
away fearlessly through the angry foam. The screw is beat, beating,
sometimes heavy and sometimes faint. Time nearly 10 a.m. I am busy
plotting how to conceal my traps. We have gone 200 miles in the last
Tuesday the 5th: A fine morning. All the sails are set
for the first time nearly during the entire trip, and she is going
gloriously one point W of due south, or rather one point S of W. The
sea is rolling us moderately. I have not seen a fish during our whole
passage, nor did I see any on our passage out. There are a few ducks
or something of the kind skimming over the waves in various places,
numbering from 6 to 12 in a flock, flying close to the water. Otherwise,
the world’s great ocean that encircles us is all our own. This is the
coldest morning I have experienced since I left home (Rock Island)
[Ill.]. Yesterday, while in my stateroom, I imagined I heard [wife]
Margaret call “Pa” quite plainly. It caused me to turn around quickly,
for I thought the voice came in at my stateroom lense from the ocean.
Tuesday noon a small bird came on board and flew around us, alighting
on the spars and ropes to rest. Sometimes by its long absence we thought
it left us and we should see no more of it until back it would come
and rest again. There is a large vessel in sight, a barque about 8
miles from us. We are as we left – have a game of shuffleboard on the
saloon deck. This game has given us a great deal of amusing recreation.
It suits the general [Garfield] to a T. We have made, since we left Liverpool,
10 deg. 80’ latitude and 54 deg. 28’ longitude.
Wednesday, November 6th, 1867:
Made land about 10 a.m. We passed a tall lighthouse, now we are running
along the coast about
six miles from shore, I should think. Wind is quite brisk and dead
ahead as usual. Took a pilot on board last evening after sunset about
three-quarters of an hour. The wind has been right ahead all night.
This morning was pleasant, but we are having a cold fresh breeze. Vessels
all around us and land a continuous line of sand banks, scattering
trees, village steeples, and small craft close in shore. No log displayed
today, we are steaming against a smart breeze right ahead. We are now
entering the Bay and rounding into the narrows of our port. The Highlands
of Neversink to our bert [sic] in the North river until long after
sunset. Passed the white triangular harbour light in the middle of
run up to quarantine and stopped. A small tug came steaming towards
us, rounded under our stern, and came gently up on our larboard side.
The tug’s name was the George Birbeck. She is owned
by the line as a tender. General Garfield’s valuables were
put on board of her, so were the General and his lady. He came from
his stateroom about the
time the tugboat boarded us. He came to me, he and his lady, and quite
politely returned my Highland Bonnet and thanked me very much for the
use of it. Got on board of the tug. Being United States Senator, the
customs had no power to examine his luggage. Garfield is gone
for aye, and one or two of our passengers have also stolen off (sunset).
are now steaming up to the City [New York] and will come to anchor
at Christe Street. Took supper and went to bed.
Thursday, November 7th: Thursday morning all our trunks
were put on board of a small steamer and landed on the customhouse
pier, and there examined. I concealed the lense, but acknowledged to
the microscope. “Bring it along,” said the officer, entering the office.
I was to confront a number of officers sitting around a table. I had
deranged the instrument so as to (if not compelled to produce it) have
some use of it. Nevertheless they taxed me $16.75 for opticks. I had
the lense of 4½ diameter in my breast pocket and a Dyer telescope (small)
around my neck and 14 yards of silk hanging inside my overcoat down
my back, and I got off very easily. Mr. Kuffman had to pay a large
bill for dresses, 90% on silk. The Rev. Mr. Williams had to pay 14
pounds sterling on a gross of silver forks. The lamed man from Canada
was still fighting the custom house officers. He had employed a lawyer
and I hear has made worse of it. He says he had three dresses. Mr.
Knox also paid heavily. A lady is said to have passed with an enormous
lot of plunder in a large packing case by declaring it was only bedding. “You
may break it open an examine it.” We were set free at last. The cab
man nearly worried us after all, but did not. We were now taken to
the Lovejoy Hotel, a temperance house where the Armstrongs will remain
until Monday, and then they will depart for California. I think the
Rev. Williams will go with them after dinner at the Lovejoy. The Armstrongs
and I went to make our exchanges again. I had to exchange 198 sovereigns.
Each dollar in gold is worth $1.40
END OF TRIP
TheShipsList®™ - (Swiggum) All Rights Reserved - Copyright © 1997-2015
These pages may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion
without written consent of
Last updated: January 21, 2005 and maintained by
and M. Kohli