Liverpool Mercury 1913
Journal of the outward voyage in the ship CONSTELLATION
From Liverpool to New York
Sunday, October, 30th, 6am, very rough morning, wind blowing a complete hurricane, sea breaking over ship every 2/3mins.
4 deaths this morning all from fright of last night, very rough throughout the night. During the night she sprung a leak, but not a dangerous one.
10am, breakfast of fishcakes, ham etc, but so rough we could hardly sit still to eat it. All the cooking things in the galley fell off the stove several times on the floor and spoiled what was in them.
2pm dinner of roast mutton, etc, continued rough all afternoon.
Only two sails set, and those, double reefed, we make no way, but lying in the wind.
Not been able to clean ourselves today.
6pm, went to the galley for some tea and was pouring it into the pot when the ship gave a heave and I split the dipper of tea on my left hand and scalded it bad.
A beautiful starlight night, but the wind very high. I can hardly write todays journal. It has not been like Sunday today. Everyone is downhearted, and nearly all the passengers have been in bed all day with fright, the total number of deaths is 14 up to today.
7pm, went to bed, both well.
31st, 8am, fine morning, wind very high, was not able to write todays journal
10am, breakfast, of beef, etc.
It continues rough all day, one woman had her leg broken by the breaking loose of some boxes, and a man fell down the cabin stairs and broke his arm.
2pm, dinner roast chicken, beef, etc.
About 3inches of water on our deck.
[I] – did not get out of bed till 5pm
7pm, went to bed wet up to the knees. Only 3 sails set today, did not make 10miles.
November 1st, 7am, fine morning, high wind.
Washed myself, not able to do so yesterday or Sunday, and put on clean clothes.
10am, breakfast, ham, sausages, etc.
Seven deaths yesterday and four today, an inch of water on our deck today.
2pm, dinner, roast beef, etc.
Wind abated a little this afternoon.
The Doctor came into the galley and said the cause of so many deaths was cholera and some of starvation.
The cause of the latter is the bad arrangements they have made at the passengers galley. A great many passengers gave the cooks a few shillings so they could have their meals cooked 3 or 4 times a day, but those who could not pay did not get a thing cooked for 2days sometimes.
Spent 2hrs in the galley.
7pm, went to bed, both well.
2nd, 5am, awoke with symptoms of the dread complaint, had several attacks during the night.
6am, went to the galley and drank half a gill of warm water with a tablespoon of cayenne in it. Obliged to go to bed after taking it.
7am, no better [I] – got up and went to the galley and fetched me some more cayenne and tea, she put some rum in it, I felt better after that.
8am, Got up again and went on deck, a most beautiful morning, wind light, stopped on deck for 10mins obliged to go down again and go to bed.
10am, Doctor came to see me. He told me it was the cholera and gave me two pills, one to take now, the other in 4hrs.
The Steward came to see me as soon as he heard I was bad.
Provisions gave out this morning, [I] – had to go for them.
The purser was very kind to us, he gave us double our allowance, and so is the carpenter, he always gives us twice the amount of water we should have.
[I] – and his intended wife and sister always spend several hours in the day together.
1pm, Got up a great deal better, sat down and wrote todays journal so far.
A most beautiful afternoon, wind moderate, several deaths today, 3 in the 2nd cabin, one in our deck and 3 or 4 below.
The one on our deck was a young woman going out to her intended, he having sent £15 to send her out.
She had not been dead more than 20mins, when she was thrown overboard, and whilst her companion went on deck for something, some person took the earrings from out of her ears and the beads from off her neck. So if they rob the dead, what will they do to the living, not able to help themselves.
We are placed between several sick persons and god only knows if any of us shall live to see New York.
5pm, a great deal better, the cook came down, I ate a very good tea.
2 more deaths in the lower deck.
6pm, finished todays journal, thinking about going to bed, rest will make me all right again.
To give you an idea of how bad the cholera is on the ship, the brother of the young man that fell down the cabin steps the day before yesterday, and broke his arm. I left him at 6pm last night and this morning at 9am they fetched me word that he was dead and thrown overboard. It is impossible to keep an account of how many deaths there are on board each day.
We left Liverpool with 950 passengers and the Lord only knows how many will live to see New York. It is awful to see some of the passengers go and throw themselves in bed and die with fright.
[I] – quite well, thank god.
3rd, 8am, fine morning, wind moderate, I am a little worse than when I went to bed last night.
9am, cook sent down to see how I was and if I wanted anything.
10am, washed myself, ate a little breakfast of bacon and fried onions, then went up into the galley and took a tablespoon of cayenne.
I stopped on deck for an hour then had to come down, I felt bad.
The Doctor made me take more medicine.
12noon, took a fancy to some cheese, [I] – went and begged some for me.
2pm, felt a little better after some dinner of some gruel, able to write todays journal so far.
6 deaths this morning a young man in the next berth to us not expected to live much longer.
A beautiful afternoon, wind fair, ship has all her sails set, going 10mph.
3pm, went on deck again, two fights on deck this afternoon between a lot of Irishmen, about stealing one anothers victuals from the cooking galley. In the row several pans were thrown over board with their contents.
4pm, wind fell off, a small mistling of rain, had to go below.
5pm, had a little tea of fish.
6pm, cook made and sent us some soup, several more deaths today, besides this morning, cannot learn how many.
It was reported several sharks about the ship this afternoon, did not see them myself, [I] – did, talking in the galley about reaching New York in 14 to 16 days. I hope we may. [I] – has a slight headache.
7pm, just going to bed when cook came down to see me, we had a long chat he did not leave till 8pm.
Had to write the remainder in bed, cannot say either of us is well tonight.
4th, Nov, spent a very bad night last night, had not been long in bed before I was taken very bad. At 11pm I got up and went on deck. I walked about then laid down between some loose ropes till 3am, then obliged to go down again.
Laid myself down by some of our boxes till 4am, then undressed and went to bed again, very bad.
4.30 to 5am, thought I was going to die. Remember kissing [I] – and bidding her farewell, and requesting her to pray for me, remember nothing till 7am when the cook came to see me but was not able to speak to him. He sent a beautiful breakfast but I was unable to touch it.
8am, the Doctor came down.
9am, the Captain and the Steward came down.
10am, took a turn for the better, fell into a sound sleep and did not wake till 1pm.
Ate a little arrowroot for dinner fell asleep again till 5pm, felt a little better.
5.30pm, cook sent down fried ham and the leg of a chicken, toasted bread and preserves, ate a little.
7pm, got out of bed while [I] – made it. After I got in it again felt a little worse. Fell asleep when the Doctor came round and gave [I] – some more medicine for me.
After I woke, I took the cramp in the calf of the leg, when [I] – rubbed it out.
Cook sent me some strong tea and asked how I was, felt a little better.
After tea sat up and wrote todays journal, best part from [I] – ‘s memory.
Several deaths today, do not know how many but there was one in the 2nd berth from us, and one in the poop.
8pm, [I] - , came to bed and I may thank the Lord and her for being here at the present and able to do what I am doing.
5th, 7am, Awoke very fresh, quite another man, but very weak, cannot sit up in bed without being supported by pillows. Had a good nights rest.
Cook came to see how I was then the carpenter.
8am, Ate a hearty breakfast of toasted bread and bacon.
Seven deaths this morning making a total of 49 up to today.
There are four men sick, all next to us, three on one side, two the other, all taken bad last night.
It appears to be among the men on our side of the ship, the women are in good health, except one taken bad this morning.
10am, cook sent arrowroot and wine. Steward inquired of [I] – how I was.
Thinking of getting up, expect the Doctor any minute. Propped up in bed to write the journal this morning.
11am, [I] – cut her finger for the want of something to do.
Got up and washed myself, Doctor requested I go up on deck.
Went on deck, stayed for an hour and came down
12noon, dinner of bacon and dumplings, a great dish on board amongst the passengers.
1pm, going on deck again before going to bed.
2pm, went as far as the galley, they were very pleased to see me, [for, as the song says, the cook made sure I had seen my own coffin].
They made me some soup and I ate some roast beef and potatoes, cook gave [I] – some roast beef and several pancakes.
4pm, came down and finished todays journal and went to bed.
Had not been long in bed when a child died in the next berth but one to us, the father of the child bad himself. [I] – alright thank God.
Copyright 2002 / To date