Cholera on board the Helvetia 1866

Liverpool Mercury, Thursday, May 3, 1866

Deaths from Cholera in Liverpool

The news of an outbreak of cholera and the deaths from that fearful disease amongst the passengers on board the steamers England and Virginia [New York April 21st, England left Halifax for New York with convalescent passengers, Virginia, 38 deaths on passage, cabin passengers not attacked, 9 deaths since arriving, vessel in quarantine] bound from this port to America, caused great uneasiness in Liverpool. There seems quite an exodus going on from Germany, and scarcely a day passes but hundreds of those who have left their Vaterland may be seen wending there way through the crowded streets of Liverpool from the railways stations to the boarding houses where they are put up. They arrive chiefly at Hull from Hamburg and come to Liverpool en route for America. They seems to be all classes from the well-to-do tradesmen to the humble Rhenish rustic, meanly clad, wearing wooden shoes and with very little in the way of luggage. Many reside several days in Liverpool and for the most part take up their quarters at German lodging houses, many of these houses fearfully overcrowded, consequently sanitary precautions are disregarded. We are informed of one instance where there were upwards of 150 German emigrants sleeping in one house in one night, 50 above the number for which the house was certified fit to accommodate. It was therefore not extraordinary that some apprehension should be felt when it was found that cholera had broken out and had been attended with many deaths among German emigrants who had left this port. It is feared the seeds of this disease might be brought from the continent by these people, or that it might break out amongst them during their stay here.

The latter speculation has turned out to be correct, the disease has made its appearance here among a party of German emigrants and in the case of two persons with fatal results. A number of German emigrants arrived here from Hull a few days ago and several went to lodge in a house in Hanover St, and passages were taken for them to go to America. On presenting themselves for embarkation on board the vessel, some were objected to by the Government emigration officer as being in such a state of health rendering them unfit to proceed on the voyage. Subsequently three families numbering upwards of 20 persons were taken from the house in Hanover St where they had been lodging to the workhouse at Brownlow Hill. A child belonging to the family died on the way to the workhouse, supposed attacked with cholera having shown all the usual symptoms of the disease, vomiting purging etc, but the medical men do not give a decided opinion on the matter A woman the wife of one of the German emigrants named Cornelius SCHAWENBERG, died from cholera at the workhouse last night, and a man named Lasi PETERSON, aged 34, is attacked with the same disease and not expected to recover

Liverpool Mercury, Friday, May 4, 1866

Provision for cholera patients

Monday, a meeting held of the finance and workhouse committees at the board room Brownlow Hill, for the purpose of taking into consideration of the requisite provision for cholera patients in the event of an epidemic, The Government had announced instructions to all British outports to make necessary provisions for such an emergency. With this view Dr TRENCH visited the workhouse and the committees met jointly for the purpose of discussing the best mode of making such provision. After considerable discussion it was carried by a majority that the building in Netherfield Rd at the coroner of Mary Anne St, now used as a workhouse for children, should be got ready for the reception of cholera patients.

Liverpool Mercury, May 4th, 1866

Outbreak of cholera on board the steamer Helvetia

Cholera seems not to need a voyage across the Atlantic, with its attendant miseries in a crowded vessel to fan it into flame. Vessels just clearing our shores find the plague on board and are forced to return. This is the case with the National Steam Navigation Company's steamer Helvetia, Captain William OGILVIE, which left the Mersey on Wednesday for New York. She had a full compliment of German and other emigrants on board, total 925, and called at Queenstown on Thursday as usual, to embark passengers from that port and proceed on her voyage, but, melancholy, to relate, cholera appeared whilst going down channel, by the time she reached Roche's Point, numerous cases manifested and there were two deaths. On this being reported the vessel was immediately ordered by the Emigration Commissioners and Captain OGILVY put the ship about and signalled that he would return to Liverpool She will arrive at the entrance of the Mersey about noon on Friday then she will be put into the strictest quarantine, to prevent infection being conveyed to the town. Dr TRENCH will meet the Helvetia, infected vessels will be compelled to ride quarantine in the Sloyne, opposite New Ferry.

Liverpool Mercury, May 5th, 1866

The cholera

Return of the steamship Helvetia

We are glad to say that up to a late hour last night no further cases of cholera had occurred in Liverpool, the authorities are taking active steps to meet the emergency caused by the outbreak of the dreadful disease, it is hoped their efforts will prevent its spread, and allay the feelings of alarm which has been caused by the turn of events.

The National Steam Navigation Company's steamer Helvetia which left the Mersey on Wednesday for New York, but which was compelled to turn back in consequence of the outbreak of cholera amongst the passengers was off Holyhead yesterday at 10am, and was subsequently reported, "of the port."

Some anxiety was felt as to the return of this vessel, it being rumoured that several serious cases of cholera had occurred on board. During the day, however, telegrams were received stating that the condition of the passengers was not so bad as had been described.

Arrangements were made that the vessel should be met by a tender at the bar, that she should be taken up to the anchorage in the Sloyne, and that none of the passengers should be allowed to leave the vessel. Steps were taken to provide two hulks for the reception of passengers. This course was taken at the suggestion of Dr BUCHANAN, and met with the full approval of the health committee, the parochial authorities and the National Steam Navigation Company. The vessels which were provided by the company, and in which the passengers are to be temporarily located pending their re-shipment, are the Jessie Munn and the War Cloud, the sick to the Jessie Munn, those in health to the latter vessel. The vessels are fitted up with berths, and everything is being done which circumstances will permit to secure the comfort and health of the passengers.

As soon as information was received that the Helvetia had arrived in the river, Dr BUCHANAN medical officer to the privy council, Dr GEE of the workhouse, Mr CROPPER, Mr MARTIN, Mr HAGGER, clerk to the select vestry, Messers, ROBERTS and SWEENEY, of the emigration office, went on board a tug at the Prince's Landing-stage, for the purpose of boarding the vessel. They met the Helvetia near Rock Ferry, went on board and proceeded to inquire into the condition of the passengers.

The report of the medical men, gives, one case of decided cholera on board, one of the passengers a German being very ill, and there were other cases which would require close supervision. These persons will be transferred to the vessel set aside for them as soon as possible. All communication with the Helvetia has been stopped, no person will be allowed to go on board without a pass from the proper authorities. As soon as the necessary arrangements have been made the Helvetia will be thoroughly disinfected so as to guard against a fresh outbreak of the disease on board.

We understand that the directors of the National Steam Navigation Company held a meeting on Thursday at their offices in Liverpool, at which a resolution was adopted to put a stop to the conveyance of foreign steerage passengers between Liverpool and North America. This company, last year carried upwards of 37,000 steerage passengers without any casualty.

The different lodging houses in the town resorted to by foreign emigrants have been kept under strict supervision day and night by the officers of the health committee. There are very few German emigrants in the town at present, the last batch having been despatched by the Helvetia. Inspector WILSON stated at the special meeting of the health committee yesterday that steps would be taken to prevent overcrowding, nearly all the German lodging houses had been cleared, and a telegram had been sent to Rotterdam advising intending emigrants not to leave the continent at present. On the other hand, a telegram was read stating that 1000 emigrants were on their way from the continent to Hull.

Some persons may be disposed to cavil at the action of the authorities of the town, as not being warranted by the circumstances, and being in reality in excess of their power. Some of the measures taken may possibly not have been authorised by law, but at periods of danger, when the public health may be affected by the visitation of a fearful epidemic, it is the wisest course to take prompt action in the matter irrespective of strict legal rights. The authorities in the actions they have taken, have been actuated with one desire, namely, that of providing for the safety of the inhabitants, and no doubt their conduct will meet the approval of the public. If necessary application might have been made that the Disease Prevention Act should be brought into operation, but inasmuch as no cholera cases have occurred in the town excepting amongst German emigrants, such a course was not considered desirable. Should, however, things assume a more serious aspect, no doubt such a step will be taken. It was stated yesterday that an order in Privy Council had been received in town to prevent the landing of passengers supposed to be affected with cholera. Such authority has not been received, although it might be had if applied for. The authorities in Hull have been communicated with in order that they might co-operate with the health officials in Liverpool in preventing serious consequences arising from the arrival in this country of cholera infected persons from the continent.

Liverpool Mercury, May 7th, 1866

Cholera on board the Helvetia

We regret to say that two more passengers on board the steamship Helvetia have been attacked with cholera. Late on Saturday night information was brought on shore by the river police and conveyed to Dr TRENCH, medical officer of health for the borough that two persons on board the vessel were suffering from what was believed to be a choleraric attack. Dr TRENCH communicated with Mr CARR, governor of the workhouse and went on board the Helvetia about midnight accompanied by a properly qualified nurse from the workhouse hospital. The doctor on reaching the vessel found two persons suffering from cholera, both persons are German, one is a child, who is not expected to recover. Remedies were promptly applied and the persons were left on board the Helvetia in charge of the nurse. No doubt they have since been seen by medical men, and everything that was possible done to alleviate their sufferings.

The Jessie Munn the vessel set aside for the reception of the sick passengers on board the Helvetia was to have been fitted up on Friday with 30 beds and a staff of nurses were sent on board from the workhouse hospital, but in consequence of it being reported that there was only one case of cholera then on board the Helvetia it was not deemed necessary to put up more than twelve beds. This was done under the direction of Mr CARR, who placed on board the hospital ship a head nurse and seven under-nurses, twelve sets of bedding, and the usual requisites for dealing with cholera cases.

The National Steam Navigation Company have placed a tender at the disposal of the authorities for the purpose of facilitating the necessary communication with the Helvetia, which is at present anchored in the Sloyne.

On Saturday morning Drs TRENCH and BUCHANAN went on board the Helvetia to ascertain the condition of the passengers. They found the health of the passengers generally good, there being then only one case of cholera and directions were given that the nurses who had been taken on board the Jessie Munn should be taken on shore again.

Dr TRENCH is of the opinion that if the patients suffering from cholera are to be removed at all from the Helvetia to the Jessie Munn, the hospital ship should be placed alongside the steamer. None of the passengers have as yet been transferred from the Helvetia. The Jessie Munn is to be placed alongside to receive passengers as soon as it may be found necessary to remove any.

There are among the passengers on the Helvetia 500 British subjects. These will be transferred upon the War Cloud, but for the present the German passengers will remain on board the Helvetia. I, however, the state of their health remains favourable they will be transferred to another vessel and the Helvetia will be thoroughly fumigated.

The person suffering from cholera on board the Helvetia when she returned to port is recovering.

Liverpool Mercury, May 8th, 1866

The cholera

We are glad to say that no further cases of cholera have occurred on board the Helvetia. during the afternoon the Jessie Munn was brought alongside the Helvetia and the passengers suffering from cholera and the suspect cases were taken on board the hospital ship under the direction of Dr TRENCH, and were left in charge of medical men and four competent nurses from the workhouses. The child reported ill from cholera on Saturday still continues in a dangerous state.

From the reports of the medical men there appears to be no spread of the disease on board the Helvetia or on shore.

Arrangements have been made and will be carried out today, for the removal of those emigrants who are British subjects on board the Helvetia to the War Cloud. This will have good effect allowing much more room to be appropriated to the accommodation of those passengers who remain on board.

The vessels continue under the supervision of the medical officer of health, who receives every assistance from Mr M'ALISTER, the manager and the different officials of the National Steam Navigation Company.

The health authorities have great difficulties to contend with dealing with a class of houses which are much resorted to by intending emigrants. When a lodging house is under the Lodging House Act, and is subject to inspection by the officers of the health committee, overcrowding can to a great extent be checked. But there have recently come into existence, since the number of German emigrants coming into Liverpool for embarkation has so much increased, a class of houses which are in fact lodging houses, but in regard to which, so far as inspection and regulation go, the health officers are almost powerless.

Under the 125th section of the Sanitary Act, it is enacted in regard to lodging houses that public houses and houses licensed for the sale of spiritous liquors are exempt from the operations of the Liverpool Lodging House Act. The consequence of this is that premises which are licensed by the magistrate as public houses are used as lodging houses, where large numbers of emigrants are crowded together, and in regard to which the officials of the health committee have little or no control. The parties holding the licenses are amenable to the magistrates and, no doubt, if it could be shown that a public house was conducted in such a way as to endanger public health, their worships would not be slow in bringing about a remedy. We have it on the best authority that parties are in the habit of taking respectable looking public houses, or "hotels" in order that they may accommodate emigrants without being under the supervision of the health authorities. The subject is one of considerable difficulty, for to place all licensed houses and hotels under the inspection of the officers of the health committee would no doubt lead to serious inconvenience. The subject is worthy of consideration and it is hoped that the magistrates and the health committee may be able to agree on some plan of action to prevent the overcrowding that has existed in a certain class of hoses, and which has done so much to jeopardise the health of the community. We understand that in the case of the lodging house in Hanover St, where the Germans conveyed to the workhouse were residing, that an inspection has taken place, and the room where 40 persons lodged, and which was said to be of sufficient dimensions to accommodate 60, has been pronounced by Dr TRENCH to be arranged that if it were certified under the Local Act, only 20 persons would be allowed to sleep in it.

A supplement to the Gazette says that if any vessels arrive with cholera on board, no person shall land within three days, and in the event of death on board the body shall be buried at sea, and the clothes disinfected or destroyed.

Liverpool Mercury, May 9th, 1866

The cholera

Further deaths amongst German emigrants

The frightful disease appears still to linger among the unfortunate German emigrants, and seems to baffle the skill of the medical men to eradicate it. Late on Monday night Mr CARR the governor of the workhouse, received information that three more deaths had occurred among the emigrants on board the Jessie Munn, the ship lashed alongside the Helvetia for the reception of the cholera patients and that the bodies were required to be brought ashore. Mr CARR at once directed the hearse should be in readiness to meet the tender, and at 2 o' clock the bodies were brought on shore and transferred to Walton for interment. The three persons, a man, a woman and a child who have succumbed to the disease are Germans.

Yesterday afternoon information was given to the parochial authorities that another German emigrant had died on board the Jessie Munn.

There are now three Germans on board the Jessie Munn suffering from cholera, in charge of the nurses sent from the workhouse, we understand that Dr TRENCH has intimated that there is a great want of additional medical aid. The crew and officers seem to be panic struck, and in consequence considerable difficulty is found in dealing with the cases under treatment. In view of this state of affairs Mr CARR offered the assistance of eight men from the workhouse, who had volunteered to go on board the Jessie Munn to render what assistance they could in carrying the sick etc, and in helping to disinfect the Helvetia. These volunteers went on board last night.

Arrangements have been made for the reception of those German emigrants who are well, and who were on board the Helvetia, at the Emigration Depot at Birkenhead. The work of cleansing and fumigating the Helvetia will be commenced today.

A number of Germans still continue at the workhouse, and we regret to say, that not withstanding the precautions which have been taken cholera has broken out amongst them. A Hollander, the father of a child who died a few days ago from cholera while being taken from a German lodging house in Hanover St to the workhouse and on whose body an inquest was held before the borough coroner, has been attacked with the disease, and is lying at the workhouse in a dangerous condition. No fear, need be felt of the disease spreading to any extent in the workhouse, as the governor, who has had considerable experience in cholera cases, has taken the necessary steps for the isolation of those who are now attacked by the disease. The fact of this man being seized by cholera suggests the probability that the germ of the disease may lurk in the system for upwards of a week before it develops itself.

There are three cases at present on board the Jessie Munn, but whether the parties are suffering from a choleric attack has not been stated. Since the Helvetia arrived in the Mersey seven cases have occurred among the passengers on board. Locking at this fact and the occurrences on board the England and Virginia, we do not think the wisdom of the course adopted in bringing the vessel back to port, instead of continuing the voyage across the Atlantic with a germ of a fearful disease among the passengers, can be for a moment doubted. Several lodging house in the town resorted to by Germans are still very much crowded. The health officers are keeping a strict supervision over them, and in many cases where more than the proper number is located steps are being taken to clear the houses. Application has been made to the parochial authorities in case any of the emigrants should be left homeless for them to be accommodated at the workhouse.

Large numbers of German emigrants still continue to arrive in town, on Monday night 191 Germans arrived at Lime St, Station from Hamburg, via Hull, and late the same night about 200 arrived at Tithebarn St, Station from the same places.

Liverpool Mercury, May 10th, 1866

The cholera

We regret to say that the cholera is spreading among the emigrants shipped on board the Helvetia, up to yesterday it was confined to the German portion of the emigrants, but unfortunately it has since spread, and three natives of Ireland have become prostrate under it. Altogether six new cases have broken out among the emigrants since Tuesday. The parties attacked are two Germans, a Swede and three Irish people. A death has also occurred among the emigrants, a girl [the daughter of a Dutch woman who died a few days previous from cholera], having fallen victim to the disease yesterday. The Irish people who have been attacked with cholera were a few days ago apparently in good health, and were removed with the other healthy British passengers on board the War Cloud, but on symptoms of the cholera manifesting themselves the three were transferred on board the Jessie Mann.

Between 10 and 11 on Tuesday night Dr TRENCH went to the workhouse accompanied by some of his staff, about 200 emigrants who had been turned out of the various lodging houses in the town and had been walking the streets, Mr CARR, the governor of the workhouse, was placed in a difficult position on how to deal with these people. They were not paupers, and did not profess to be such, for they had plenty of money and protested that they were, "able to pay for their lodgings" Mr CARR in his dilemma consulted with some of the select vestry who lived near, and ultimately that the emigrants under the circumstances could not be received into the workhouse as paupers, but, the hour being late he thought it would be ungenerous and inhuman to turn the poor people away, and compel them to wander the streets all night. He therefore decided without bringing them into the workhouse, to throw open for their accommodation, the waiting room of the relieving department, a spacious and well-ventilated apartment, lighted a fire, placed seats and benches for their accommodation, and did everything that circumstances would allow to make the poor people comfortable. Later on in the night Mr CARR directed that each of the unfortunate adjourners should have a pint of coffee and a loaf of bread supplied. The Germans seemed thankful for the shelter afforded them for the night and left their quarters about 8am.

About 10am yesterday a pauper assistant who had been sent on board the Helvetia returned to the workhouse and requested Mr CARR to supply them on board the vessel with 20 additional sets of bedding and appliances necessary for the treatment of the cholera cases, stating that there were seven additional cases on board the vessels. Later in the afternoon Mr CARR met the medical officer in charge of the emigration depot in Birkenhead, at the request of Dr TRENCH, Mr CARR sent two nurses over to Birkenhead to take charge of the cholera cases that had broken out there. Mr CARR also made arrangement for sending on board the Jessie Munn an additional medical superintendent Dr RAYNER, of the workhouse medical staff, and he had instructions by Dr TRENCH to keep close supervision over the passengers to watch for every symptom of cholera that may be manifested on board the Helvetia, and to take the medical charge of the Jessie Munn.

The German attacked by cholera in the workhouse appeared somewhat better last night, but we regret to say that a woman, a German emigrant located in the establishment was attacked by the disease and has been transferred to the cholera ward. Everything is being done by the medical men and parochial authorities for dealing promptly with cases of cholera that may appear among the passengers shipped on board the Helvetia. Four additional assistants have been sent on board the Helvetia and Jessie Munn from the workhouse, which makes 19 staff of the workhouse now attending the cholera cases.

Liverpool Mercury, May 11th, 1866

The cholera more deaths among the emigrants

We regret to say that cholera is on the increase among the emigrants who were on board the Helvetia, 6 more deaths have occurred since Wednesday night, 11 persons have been attacked with the disease and are placed on board the Jessie Munn. Those who have succumbed to the disease since Wednesday are three Irishmen, a Dutchman an American and a child belonging to German parents.

The epidemic has spread to the crew of the Helvetia, one of the stewards of the vessel has been taken on board the Jessie Munn suffering from the disease.

The conduct of the head nurse, the assistants and the surgeon belonging to the Helvetia, under peculiarly trying circumstances is worthy of all praise. Since the outbreak they have done everything in their power to alleviate the sufferings of those attacked and counteract the ravages of the disease.

Dr TRENCH who has been unremitting in his attention to those on the Helvetia, and has exerted himself to the utmost in making arrangements for the accommodation of the sick and healthy, went on board the War Cloud yesterday and intimated to the passengers that in a few days they would resume their voyage. This announcement seemed to give great satisfaction and the doctor was lustily cheered on leaving the vessel. The health of those emigrants on board the War Cloud is satisfactory.

We understand the Mr CORBETT, poor law inspector of the district has intimated that he will apply to the Government for the use of barracks to be given at a moderate charge for the accommodation of the German emigrants, who, in the present state of affairs may be rash enough to come to Liverpool. It has also been stated that in a few days the local authorities will see their way to finding accommodation on shore for the healthy emigrants. It was rumoured yesterday that the crew of the Helvetia had sent a request to the Mayor to be allowed to come on shore from the vessel.

An intimation being sent to Mr CARR the governor of the workhouse that more deaths had occurred among the emigrants, the hearse was sent from the workhouse and the bodies of the deceased were conveyed to Walton Cemetery and interred. Additional men have been sent from the workhouse to the Helvetia to assist in attending the sick. The German attacked by cholera in the workhouse is recovering, and his improved condition is said to be owing to ice being employed as a remedy in the case.

Last night between 30 and 40 emigrants went to Lime St station, having, as they stated, been sent on shore from the steamer City of New York, those in charge of that vessel refusing to take them. An interpreter from the office of Mr INMAN proceeded with them to the workhouse, in order that they might be provided with accommodation, as they could not find lodgings in town. The nature of the accommodation to be afforded to them was explained at the workhouse, but they refused to accept it, and after the poor creatures, men, women and children, had been walking around the streets with their baggage for some time, they returned to Lime St, station. The officials there seeing the sad condition in which the emigrants were placed, would not turn them out into the streets, and in the absence of better accommodation would no doubt remain there for the night. They stated they paid "through rates" from Germany to New York, and their lodgings in Liverpool were included, and that a German lodging house keeper in the neighbourhood of Oldhall St was the party who entered into the contract with them.

A number of Germans went down yesterday to a vessel bound for New York, but some Irish passengers on board, no doubt from a dread of cholera, objected to the Germans going in the vessel, and it is said they were forcibly put on shore.


We regret to say that two deaths have occurred among the German emigrants who were removed from the Helvetia to the Birkenhead emigration depot on Tuesday last. A man and a woman about 40 years of age each, were seized with cholera a few hours after being admitted to the depot. The woman died at 9pm on Wednesday, and was buried at 6am the following morning. The man lingered till 6am yesterday, his burial taking place 4 hours afterwards, both interments took place at Flaybrick Hill Cemetery. Yesterday a man and two children showed symptoms of the disease, but in the afternoon were said to be progressing favourably. The sick are under the care of Mr E. L. JACOB surgeon and Dr ROBINSON, medical officer of health, the latter having the direction of the sanitary arrangements of the depot. Dr ROBINSON has adopted the most stringent measures to prevent, if possible, the further spread of cholera.

Yesterday morning there was a meeting of the hospital committee of the Birkenhead guardians, and instructions were given to Mr REDDING, the master of the workhouse, to furnish immediately two or three wards for the reception of cholera patients, should the disease unfortunately break out in the district.

Liverpool Mercury, May 14th, 1866

The cholera 10 more fatal cases

Death of the doctor of the Helvetia

We regret that 6 more deaths have occurred since Friday night from cholera, among these are Dr ROSS, a young medical man who was attached to the Helvetia, and one of the stewards of that vessel. Four of the deaths occurred on board the Jessie Munn, [including the above named persons] and two at the workhouse. One of the persons who died at the workhouse was a German woman who was sent to the establishment from the Brunswick Hotel, and the other was a German emigrant who had been taken to the Birkenhead depot, and thence to a lodging house in Kent Square. A man, whose illness was mentioned at the workhouse a few days ago is rapidly recovering. There are 20 sick persons on board the Jessie Munn and in each case the patients have cholera or have shown symptoms of the disease. 8 are reported as getting better, 2 are in a dying state and 10 are dangerously ill.

Since Saturday 10 persons have been sent to the workhouse from the sheds at Bankhall, of these 3 have cholera, they are 3 German and 2 Irishmen.

In accordance with the arrangements made by the authorities, the emigrants in good health were landed on Saturday from the Helvetia and War Cloud. The Helvetia is now cleared of her passengers, but a few sick still continue on board the War Cloud in charge of the medical attendants and nurses. No more sick persons will be taken from the War Cloud to the Jessie Munn, as there is ample accommodation on board the former vessel for those who may be attacked. Two steamers were obtained for the conveyance of the emigrants from the Helvetia and War Cloud to a place of landing near the sheds at Bankhall, where they were temporary housed. On the steamers nearing the pierhead the dockmaster called out and wanted to know by what right they were there, whether they had permission from the dock board as orders had been issued that none of the passengers or crew of the Helvetia were to be landed. Dr TRENCH who was on board one of the steamers said he had not the authority referred to, but, would take the responsibility of the people being landed. The emigrants were accordingly landed on the quay and with the assistance of Inspector WILSON and 8 sanitary staff, they got off with comparative order and without any of them straying away. Mr J. W. CROPPER, Mr HAGGER, vestry clerk, and Mr CARR, governor of the workhouse, were present, and afforded Dr TRENCH all the assistance in their power in providing for the comfort of the people. Dinner and tea were provided by the workhouse authorities for the emigrants. Some of the Irish emigrants showed a decided antipathy against their German companions, and it was feared some disturbance might take place, application was made to Major GREIG for the services of some policemen to preserve order, the request was immediately granted.

Everything possible has been done to make the people comfortable in their new quarters, as a rule the emigrants are in a cheerful mood and seem to approve of the change in their location at the depot. Any person suffering from the slightest ailment, together with their bed and bedding will be at once removed from the depot so as to prevent the spread of cholera. Mr J. W. CROPPER has been indefatigable in his efforts to assist the authorities, and by conversing with the German emigrants in their language and encouraging them he has done much to make them satisfied with their present condition. The rooms occupied by the emigrants in the depot are emptied once a day of all their occupants and purified with chlorine gas. It was stated yesterday that notwithstanding the efforts of the police and those in charge of the sheds, some of the German emigrants had left the depot and were wandering about the streets in the town. Mr CROPPER, Mr MARTIN, Mr HAGGER, Mr CARR, Mr NEWLANDS, the borough engineer, Major GREIG, Mr CURWOOD, the deputy town clerk, have visited the depot a different times since the arrival of the emigrants.

William HEWITT one of the crew of the Helvetia who was taken into custody on Friday on the charge of refusing to do duty on board the vessel was brought up before Mr RAFFLES and discharged, Mr MURPHY having announced that the charge against him was withdrawn.


The cholera still prevails among the foreign emigrants at the emigration depot, Birkenhead. Two children died late on Friday evening, and two adults a man and woman, expired yesterday forenoon, and were interred at Flaybrick Hill, Cemetery in the afternoon. The woman was attacked on Thursday, her husband who was taken ill at the same time is doing well. Altogether there have been 6 deaths in the depot, and last evening there were 11 affected with the malady, 4 or 5 being children the rest adults, with one exception all the deaths have taken place amongst the Dutch. Everything is being done to ensure the comfort and health of the poor people, they are supplied with excellent food, and a number of benevolent individuals in the town sympathising with their condition have sent, brandy, fruit, tobacco and other luxuries. There are 4 nurses in constant attention on the sick, Mr E. L. JACOB surgeon, acting on behalf of the National Steam Navigation Company has the medical supervision of the depot, and Dr LAMBERT one of the parish medical officers is also in attendance. Dr PARKER of London arrived in Birkenhead last evening, and will act as assistant-surgeon.

The majority of the emigrants appear in good spirits, they heartily engage in various amusements, singing, dancing and music. With the view of preserving health the authorities deemed it advisable to give them outdoor exercise and on Saturday afternoon and yesterday, those who were able, men, women and children, were taken for a walk as far as Bidston Hill and the neighbourhood, they walked in companies attended by two policemen in plain clothes and an interpreter. They remained out about 3 hours each day, some persons have expressed fears that this mode of exercising the emigrants may spread the disease in the township, but we think there need be no apprehension on this point as in their walks they are not allowed to come into contact with the inhabitants.

There are about 50 Catholics among the emigrants and the Rev Father Theophilus of St Werburg's Chapel, Grange Lane, is in constant attendance on them, the Rev Mr SANDBERG, incumbent of St John's Church [who is a native of Germany] has also visited the depot.

Liverpool Mercury, May 17th, 1866

Cholera more deaths

Officials at the workhouse attacked

A death occurred yesterday at the workhouse from cholera, the deceased is an Irish girl admitted on the previous day from the sheds at Bankhall. The fireman from the Helvetia admitted on Tuesday continues in a low state, the other patients are progressing favourably, although one is not out of danger. 12 cholera patients remain in the workhouse hospital.

The disease has unfortunately spread to two of the workhouse officials who have been attending the cholera patients, a female nurse who had been assisting in the hospital was attacked yesterday with the disease and Mr LOVELADY, a parish official engaged in assisting at Bankhall was taken ill about 5pm yesterday and was removed to hospital with symptoms of cholera.

No further deaths have occurred on board the Jessie Munn, the 12 persons who remain on board the vessel are progressing favourably.

A communication was received yesterday by Mr RAFFLES, stipendiary magistrate, from a number of German emigrants representing the whole body at present located at the sheds, Bankhall, Bootle. The emigrants say that previous to their leaving Germany they entered into contracts in that country with agents to take them through to New York, but on their arrival in England their contract tickets had to be given up, that the agents obtained new ones in conformity with the Emigration Act, that in case of the emigrants being in such a state of health as to prevent their passing the inspection of the emigration officers they were entirely without redress, and that the agents kept the passage money paid to them. In consequence his worship directed the necessary inquiries to be made. Yesterday Major GREIG the chief constable, in conjunction with Mr CARR the governor of the workhouse, Messers HORNE and COUSENS, of the detective department and a gentleman from the office of the German consul, visited the sheds and interviewed the emigrants. The parties repeated what they had stated to the magistrate, and also made certain allegations about matters which at present we are not in a position to publish, but it is possible the result of the inquiries will be embodied in a report to be submitted to the proper authorities for consideration.

The National Steam Navigation Company have come to the conclusion of having all the berths and bedding of the Helvetia together with the passengers bedding which has been in use burned. A similar course will also be adopted with the bedding on board the War Cloud and the Jessie Munn, as soon as the latter vessel is cleared of the convalescent patients. This course will involve a great loss to the company which has already suffered so much by the outbreak of the cholera but they consider it imperative, so as to prevent the disease breaking out again or spreading. They are determined to spare no expense to put the vessels in proper order, and will reimburse those emigrants whose bedding may be destroyed.

The passengers luggage was landed yesterday and sent to Bankhall, and will be given to the emigrants when applied for.

Reports received from the Helvetia are to the effect that the crew are in good health and contented

Three steamers belonging to the National Steam Navigation Company , which recently sailed from Liverpool with a large number of emigrants on board, arrived at America without a single case of cholera having occurred. The Erin sailed on the 11th April for New York 1ith 1069 adult passengers, among the passengers 700 Germans and no case of cholera occurred during the voyage, the only deaths being three children who died from the effects of sea-sickness. The Queen and the Louisiana subsequently sailed for America with a complement of passengers, a number whom were German, and arrived without the disease manifesting itself.

Liverpool Mercury, May 21st, 1866

The cholera

Two deaths from cholera have taken place on board the Jessie Munn since Saturday, one was a woman who was convalescent, but who had a relapse and succumbed under the disease, the other person was a Dane employed on the War Cloud, and who was attacked by the disease three days since.

A Dane an inmate at the workhouse hospital died on Saturday of cholera. There are now 6 cholera patients under treatment in the workhouse. Since Saturday 5 patients have been discharged from the workhouse cured. A boy, the son of the Dane who died on Saturday, was admitted to the hospital suffering premonitory symptoms of cholera.

No persons have been admitted to hospital from Bankhall during the last three days and the last report is that the emigrants are doing well, however, the emigrants who have been resident there are leaving the place in numbers every day.

In some of the boxes and luggage distributed yesterday to the emigrants it was found that the provision were stale, butter, cheese, brown bread, black-pudding etc, altogether unfit for food. Although the emigrants were cautioned of the danger of eating some of the provisions found, it is said in some cases they persisted in doing so.


No fresh cases of cholera have occurred during the last two days amongst the emigrants at Birkenhead, and those who have had the disease are progressing towards convalescence. It was resolved at a meeting of the guardians to remove the healthy emigrants, about 170, from the emigration depot to the hospital, Higher Tranmere, the hospital adjoins the workhouse, is a large building, lately completed and is capable of accommodating a large number of persons. They were removed on Friday evening, where they were received by Mr and Mrs REDDING, the master and matron of the workhouse. They were not long in expressing their pleasure at the superiority of the accommodation afforded them at the hospital, as compared with that at the depot. Everything is being done by the guardians and officers of the establishment to render them comfortable and happy. Several have repeatedly spoken of their gratitude for the kindness and attention bestowed upon them.

Liverpool Mercury, May 22nd, 1866

The cholera

Three persons who had been taken to the workhouse suffering from cholera have been discharged cured since our last report. There are three persons remaining, two are convalescent and expect to be discharged in a day or two

The emigrants located at Bankhall continue in excellent health, and there have been no fresh cases of cholera in the last four days.

All the patients on the Jessie Munn are convalescent. Orders have been received from the Government officer of the port to stop all communications between the Jessie Munn and the Helvetia, the persons remaining on the Jessie Munn will be provided with provisions direct from the workhouse authorities.

The War Cloud has been dismantled and put into dock.

Liverpool Mercury, May 23rd, 1866

The cholera

Another emigrant was taken to the hospital at the workhouse yesterday from Bankhall suffering from cholera, a German Jew, attacked suddenly by the disease, he was immediately transferred and remedies being promptly applied he is now doing well. This is the only patient remaining in the hospital in a dangerous state. There are three other patients convalescent who will be discharged in a day or two.

The medical officers, nurses and convalescent patients who remained on the Jessie Munn have all been transferred to the workhouse. These patients, 12 in number are all convalescent, and might have been discharged but it was considered prudent to place them for a few days under observation. The Jessie Munn will be immediately dismantled

The emigrants in the workhouse are all dressed in the garb worn by the inmates, their own clothing having been destroyed. The authorities will find the poor fellows clothes, as they are entirely without the means of obtaining any themselves.

The workhouse nurse and Mrs LOVELADY who were attacked with cholera, have, we are glad to say, recovered.

The emigrants at Bankhall appear in excellent health, but are most impatient at being detained, and are wishful to be re-shipped in order to proceed to their destination. A slight disturbance took place yesterday at Bankhall, a number of emigrants came over from Birkenhead to claim their boxes. Some were in drink and exhibited marked antipathy to the Irish portion of the emigrants. A quarrel took place and it was deemed necessary to send for the police, but by the tact of Mr CARR, the governor of the workhouse, who happened to be present, the emigrants were quieted, and no serious results happened.

The examination of the emigrants boxes continues to disclose a strange taste that some of them must have for using unwholesome food. All sorts of provisions in a very bad state were found in the boxes, and it has been suggested to the authorities that steps should be taken for the examination of the boxes on shipment, in order that they may be prevented from using unwholesome food during the voyage.

Liverpool Mercury, May 26th, 1866

The cholera

We are glad to say since our last report there are no further deaths from cholera and there are only four cases remaining in the workhouse, three of whom are almost well. The little boy who was attacked with the disease on Wednesday is recovering. Yesterday some of the officials of the National Steam Navigation Company were sent to Bankhall to examine the tickets of the emigrants and to issue new ones where necessary. The company have announced by placard that the emigrants at Bankhall will be re-embarked on Monday and will proceed on their voyage on Tuesday.

The convalescent patients who were taken to the workhouse from the Jessie Munn will not be permitted to sail on the Helvetia, but will be forwarded by some other vessel belonging to the company. If they should prefer not to proceed to America, the whole of the passage money will be returned to them.


The general health of the emigrants located at the new Birkenhead Hospital continues to be remarkably good, not a single case of cholera has occurred among them. The disease, too, has almost disappeared from the emigrant depot, there being only two young females confined to their beds, and they are progressing favourably. The other emigrants who were affected by cholera are convalescent and allowed to walk about. Altogether there have been 9 deaths at the depot.

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