I ask to be excused for mistakes in spelling. With the intention in mind truthfully to write down all my experiences, I have started and completed this book.
It was the evening of December 16th 1853, that I and my daughter Doris traveled with the coachman Dehn from Schleswig to Rendsburg, and from there by train to Hamburg. After having attended to my business in that city, I traveled on the 19th to Oldesloe and Reinfeld to bid farewell to my relatives and friends.
22nd. I returned to Hamburg, and traveled on the 23rd with the Mormon missionary and several Mormons from Holstein and Hamburg to Elmshorn. Here I met with my wife and children and close to 300 Mormons from Schleswig, Denmark and Sweden. Everybody had had to pay their own traveling expenses to Elmshorn. From here our further transportation was handled by Morris & Co's office in Hamburg, the fare for adults from Gluckstadt to New Orleans was 38 Prussion Tahler, and 32 Tahler for children. From Elmshorn we went by train to Gluckstadt, and the same day went on board the English steamer "Quine Ohe Schotland". Here we found our hopes sadly shattered. We had imagined that we were to travel on a ship which was fitted out to carry emigrants; but had to content ourselves with boarding a freighter, and we were not treated much better than ordinary freight or ballast. We were all lying along with our luggage in a room down below, and had to creep and crawl over to one side of the ship. Many families were completely separated from one another, and it was impossible to think of sleeping. A Dane, 82 years old, died today.
24th. We set out to sea. One hardly saw a smiling face any longer, and we were in a sad position. Hot food or warm drinks were unobtainable; most of the passengers were sea-sick, and those who were not sick could become so from listening to the moaning and weeping of the sick ones. The ship had been loaded with coal, and we were all as black as Negroes from the coal dust. We remained in this disconsolate position for 3 days and 2 nights. During this time we had no stormy weather, but the wind was continually against us, and towards evening on the 26th we arrived in Hull. We spent the night at our usual place on shipboard. A child of Danish parents, 4 weeks old, died today.
27th. We obtained orders to make ourselves ready for continuing the journey. As we and our luggage had already been examined by the control, we were taken to the railway station at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Our luggage remained on board, and was to come on the next train. We were not satisfied with this arrangement; but wanted to take our things with us. We began to quarrel with the agents; but had to yeild to force and leave Hull without our luggage. I did not see anything of Hull beyond the streets through which we went to reach the railway station. The railway station itself was beautiful and imposing. The harbor was likewise very beautiful. We left for Liverpool on a special train at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and came through the towns of Howden, Selby, Normington, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfild, Manchester, and Bolton to Liverpool. But as it became dark at an early hour, I saw little or nothing at all of the cities and the country we passed through. The country around Hull was pretty, flat and fertile.
Farther away it was more mountainous. The railway was frequently on a higher level than the towns and villages, and sometimes it also went along below the surface at considerably long stretches. From Hull to Liverpool is a distance of 140 miles. At 10 o'clock in the evening we arrived in Liverpool, and were received by an agent from the office of Morris & Co; who distributed us into two hotels. The place in which I and my family lodged is called "Rheinisoherhof," in Paradis Street. The owner's name is Stern. He was a German Jew, but a friendly and agreeable man.
We all had a thorough clean-up, and everybody was satisified with the service. Liverpool is a nice city, has an extremely good harbor, and wide streets, but these were very dirty. Here is a considerable amount of trade and traffic. There are many large and beautiful stores in the city, and also many factories.
In size and beauty the railway station surpasses everything I have seen so far. Every thirty minutes a train leaves for towns which lie around Liverpool. As far as one can see, many rich people live here; but never have I seen so many poor people and beggars in a city, as I have been here. At this time of year, it is still rather cold and there was snow on the ground. One saw adults and children go around barefoot, and frequently almost quite naked. At every street corner and on every street are beggars who stop one. Today a 70 year old Danish lady died. We were in Liverpool until the 31st. At 10 o'clock in the morning we received instructions, or to be more correct, we were ordered to go on board. But as our luggage had not all arrived from Hull, and as the ship was not yet clean and in order, we refused to obey the order. But tomorrow it was a holiday, and all had to be quiet and peaceful. Furthermore, they had threatened us with leaving us behind and letting the ship depart without us, if we did not obey the command, thus wasting our good money. Finally the agents promised to bring all the luggage on board the ship, and only then did we go on board the three master, "Jessie Munn," Captian Duel. We had only been on board for some hours, when we saw ourselves just as much, or similarly, cheated and disappointed as we were in Gluckstadt. The agents and the crew now treated us as they pleased, and we had to dance entirely to their tune. We stayed in port overnight, I rented a place to sleep in the 2nd cabin, as the room below was not to my liking. We were 27 Germans and 4 Danes in this cabin. For this accommodation each of us paid 1 Specie.
1st. We were towed for a distance of 6 miles by a steamer, and threw anchor, till the
3rd. In these 2 days we received exceedingly bad treatment, neither food nor drink were sent down to us, and many times we quarelled with the helmsman (2nd mate) and other members of the crew in such a manner that it bordered on fighting.
I therefore warn everyone of my countrymen against the office of Morris & Co. in Hamburg and their agents in Hull and Liverpool, and against transportation via England altogether. Today the captain, our luggage and provisions came on board. The anchor was raised and the voyage continued in the Atlantic ocean. Our position was improved in some respects, thus we obtained both food and drink.
4th. Extremely good wind. Today everybody was looking for their luggage, of which much was missing. Some boxes and packages had been opened and pilfered, and many trunks and packages had completely disappeared.
5th. No wind at all. Many passengers were sea-sick, and so was I and my family. The calm lasted only until 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Then it began to blow, and during the night we encountered stormy weather, which, as we were not yet used to it, made us much afraid. But neither men nor ship suffered from it, and as the wind came from the Northeast it was to our advantage, and we covered a good distance. The storm kept up until noon of the
7th. Then it decreased in strength; but it carried us rapidly forward. Today a child of Danish parents died, 2 1/2 years old.
8th. Also today the wind remained good. I and my family except my oldest daughter, have overcome the sea-sickness. A child of Danish parents died. It was 3 weeks old.
9th. Calm. Today we had the joy of seeing several of the sick ones on deck again. Since we left Liverpool we have not experienced any cold weather, and now the air begins to be warm. A child of Danish parents died, 2 years old.
In the evening a storm was blowing, and it kept on until 8 o'clock in the evening of the
10th. This time no damage was done either, nor was the fear as pronounced as during the first storm at sea. During the last few days we only rarely saw a ship. Today we saw 5.
11th. Eastwind. We made good speed. 11 degrees heat. There is great discontent among the passengers, because there is not handed out as many provisions as was promised us in the contract.
12th. Wind and heat as yesterday. Besides, a rain. A child of Danish parents died, 2 years old.
13th. Calm until evening. Then a strong easterly wind. It rained all day. Today a couple married.
14th. Strong East wind, at the same time warm air and steady rain. Many on board were sick.
15th. Wind and air like yesterday. Today we saw 2 islands. They were unknown to the Captain, and he dial not know their names. This seemed unusual to me.
16th. Calm, and at the same time unusually warm. A child of Danish parents died, 4 years old.
17th. Good wind. 14 degrees of heat. The idleness bothers me.
18th. Wind and weather as yesterday. The voyage went rapidly forward today. A Danish woman lost her mind.
19th. Oppressive heat. All the sick had to come out on deck today. The beds were aired, the sleeping places fumigated and cleaned. The number of sick people is increasing. Today a child of Danish parents died, 1 year old.
20th. Continuously favorable wind. The sun rose at 5 o'clock, and set at 6 in the evening. Today I saw fish from 12 to 16 feet in length.
21st. Strong north-easterly wind, which drove us rapidly forward. I saw 3 fish which were about 50 feet long.
22nd. Wind and weather as yesterday, thereat oppressively hot. Today I saw flying fishes. They were quite white, about a foot long, had a pointed head, used the fins instead of wings, and flew approximately 50 yards before they dived again.
23rd. Wind and weather still like yesterday. Towards the evening the wind gained strength. Everybody was afraid of storm; but we were spared from it, however. I saw many water-swallows, which look very much like land-swallows. Today died in our cabin a child of German parents, 1 1/2 years old. (Enrich's child).
24th. The East wind today changed into storm. The main mast broke in two, 2 sails blew into the ocean carrying pieces of wood and rigging with them. Many of the sick fell out of their beds. The crying and screaming of the sick and healthy during the storm cannot be described; even the Captain and the entire crew seemed to be discouraged. The storm continued until 9 in the evening. A Danish woman, 70 years old, died in our cabin.
25th. Calm. A steady rain fell during the entire day, thereat the air was oppressively hot. I cannot remember having experienced such a warm day in Germany. Several thefts have been committed lately, and today 2 watches were stolen in our cabin.
26th. Still calm weather and steady rain. Today I observed that also the rain is salty.
27th. Good wind, continuous rain. I saw flying fishes. 2 of the crew became angry at each other, and fought with each other so long, that both fell breathless to the deck, unable to fight any longer.
28th. Strong easterly wind. We made 10 mile every hour. Fishes of about 40 feet in length and 10 feet in diameter let themselves be seen near our ship. They were blue and seemed to be quite daring.
29th. Calm. 16 degrees heat. Ever since we have been on the ocean we have not had such beautiful and pleasant weather as we had today. Many of the sick were out on deck. All were happy and content, and there was dancing in the evening. Yesterday the last quarter of the moon was still visible, and this evening the new moon shown quite brightly.
30th. Calm. 13 degrees of heat. One certainly does not see cities and beautiful landscapes. It is now 15 days since we saw land, and this was only in the distance. But, nevertheless, the sea-voyage also had its pleasant side. One feels happiest with good health and a good wind, and also with friendly association. Also on the ocean many beautiful things, are seen which frequently far surpass in beauty, what one sees on land. When one views the beautiful clear sky, and the rising and the setting of the sun, then it must be admitted that this is far more majestic to behold on the ocean than on land.
31st. Still calm weather, as well as being oppressively hot. Today work went on to repair the broken mast, during which a sailor was injured. This evening there was dancing again.
Emigrant Ship, C.C.A. Christensen 1867
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