Quarantine and Hysteria

Quarantine!   Its Destruction and           New York        Health Hysteria

Upon the farcical Liverpudlian inspections during THE GREAT STARVATION, the establishment in 1799 of said Station at Staten Island NY; the lavish St. Nicholas Hospital; the Cinderella for the transport of the destitute and contaminated; the CAROLANS among the tides landing in NEW YORK who likely avoided the plagues; stevedores and boatmen; the NURSERY torched: “RIPPED from the pages of FRANKENSTEIN;” the GREAT illustrators of Harper’s and Leslie’s; the DISGUISED and ARMED MOB and the UTTER destruction by fire; the RETURN the following night SAID REBELS FINISH THE JOB; the perpetrators get OFF SCOT FREE; Death Riding on a BOWSPRIT.

During the Great Irish migration to the United States between 1845 and 1853, thousands of immigrants arrived in New York sick with one of the diseases common to sea travelers in the 19th century, and especially to the Irish: smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, or typhus (known as ship fever).  Much of the problem stemmed from lax medical inspections that allowed many Irish emigrants to board the packet ships in Liverpool or in Irish ports already infected with disease related to poverty, malnutrition and starvation.   Many other Irish became sick on the five-to-seven week journey across the Atlantic in the ships into which they were crowded that were designed for freight not people and became known as “coffin ships.”

After their arrival, the immigrants were taken to a quarantine hospital on a populated island six miles south of Manhattan.  Their ships were held in harbor for some times weeks on end, which in turn affected the flow of millions of dollars in international commerce.  After years of the perception of diseases breaking out within their community and contentious debates within the medical community about the efficacy of the entire quarantine system, the Islanders—some of whom were wealthy New York merchants—rose up to remove the pestilence in their midst, with alarming speed and with the tacit approval of both government and respected men of medicine.  This is part of their story.

It began in Liverpool during the Irish Famine, when the Government-appointed doctors at Liverpool were paid at one pound for every hundred passengers inspected, which gave the “doctors” every incentive to pass, as fit, as many passengers as possible and in the shortest possible time.  The pressure was enormous, for in a single day, there could be as many as fifteen ships a day to clear, with the large American packets carrying upwards of 800 passengers.[1]

Vessels entering New York would be inspected more rigorously as the years passed but all it took was a single passenger or crew member with an infectious disease for an arriving ship to be redirected from the docks of Brooklyn or Manhattan to the piers of the hospital on Staten Island. For ships that were unlucky enough to be hit with yellow fever, the �Yellow Jack� flag would be hoisted and the ship would anchor far from the city, in New York’s lower bay, sometimes for six months or more.[2]

Quarantine was essential for the health of the city of New York, said its proponents.  It was needed to prevent �the introduction of all the unclean things that                                                    View of the Quarantine Grounds and Buildings, Staten Island.                                characterize pauperism, and grow the ranker in the
                  Lith. by Geo. Hayward, 120 Water St., N.Y. For D.T. Valentine’s Manual, 1859.                     process of importation.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
There had been a quarantine of sorts at New York since 1799, when the State legislature empowered health commissioners to set up the New York Marine Hospital on Staten Island.  Known simply as the Quarantine�the Hospital was located on a beautiful 30-acre tract of land on the northeastern shore of Staten Island, just a few feet south of where the Staten Island Ferry lands today.[3] [4]

Quarantine laws were early and regular features of American governmental and public health history. John Winthrop recorded that a “great mortality” plagued Barbadoes in 1647 prompting the General Court to issue a classic colonial quarantine order.  By 1717 Massachusetts had a hospital on Spectacle Island and an ongoing policy of directing infected vessels there for the removal of sick persons and infected articles. Ships remained at anchor until granted permission to put ashore by the governor and council, two justices of the peace, or Boston selectmen.

After battling yellow fever in 1798, Massachusetts took to cleansing ships with lime and empowered boards of health in Boston and Salem �to perform quarantine under such restrictions, regulations, and qualifications as they may judge expedient.” Such wide delegation of discretionary authority to administrative boards and officers signaled a new era in maritime quarantine regulation. By 1858 the Health Commissioners of the city of New York found it necessary to publish a separate volume to organize and synthesize the growing multiplicity of quarantine laws, ordinances, regulations, and rules. These included provisions for the operation of the Quarantine Station and Marine Hospital at Staten Island, supervised by a health officer, deputy health officer, physician, assistant physician, apothecary and chemist, and special port warden. These officers were invested with extraordinary powers to direct and remove vessels, persons, and cargo to the quarantine grounds; to inspect, examine, and observe vessels for signs of infection; to determine lengths of stay (up to 30 days); to cleanse, fumigate, ventilate, and otherwise purify vessels, cargo, bedding, and clothing, to destroy andy portion of bedding, clothing and cargo incapable of purification; to vaccinate persons under quarantine as necessary; to administer oaths and take affidavits during examination; to afix colors to quarantined vessels; to place indigent immigrants with the commissioners of emigration; to impose liens on vessels and cargo to cover the expense of removal; and make all necessary rules and regulations for quarantined vessels (even on an individual or ad hoc basis).[4.1]

It was located in Tompkinsville, a small village surrounded by the larger town of Castleton, and administered by both New York State and New York City. St. Nicholas Hospital was the Quarantine�s most prominent building: nearly 300 feet long, 50 feet wide, and capped by an observatory adorned with a statue of a sailor.  The hospital looked out over a large garden sloping toward the water, and on each story were piazzas �on which the convalescing patients were wont to sun themselves on pleasant days, and watch the passing vessels.� [5]

The Smallpox Hospital was one of the oldest structures on the grounds and had six patient wards and the Female Hospital, sometimes known as the Lower Hospital, was a two-story building fronting the Bay.[6]  To the north of the grounds were several buildings owned by the federal government and used by U.S. harbor inspectors, while to the south were several wooden houses where the doctors lived.[7]  Some smaller wooden buildings held offices.

The boatmen who carried passengers from their ships to the hospitals lived in six brick houses, while eight wooden, one-story shanties housed both patients and many of the stevedores who unloaded cargo from the boats. Other buildings included stables,                       View of the New York Quarantine, Staten Island, 1833
barns, coal houses, outhouses, wash houses, and storerooms.[8],[9]                    WJ Bennett (artist & engraver), Lewis P Clover (publisher) National Maritime Museum, London

  Map of the Marine Hospital Ground, 1845                                                                                                                                                                                               
When a medical inspector found one passenger ill on board an incoming vessel, all passengers and crew were grounded at the Quarantine. The Station’s small boat the Cinderella carried passengers from ships flying the yellow flag.  Most ships, however, anchored at the Passenger’s Block on the Quarantine’s longest pier and boatmen carried the sick down from the decks.[10]  Sick passengers and crew had their clothes removed to be washed on the spot, carried to wash houses, or burned. The clothes of those with different diseases were strictly separated. Boatman laid the ill in wagons and pushed them up the pathways to the appropriate hospitals while healthy passengers were kept in hospital quarters for observation. Cabin passengers and crew were put in the St. Nicholas�more a hotel than hospital�and steerage were housed in the shanties. If the healthy did not develop any symptoms of illness over a specified period of time�depending on the disease�they were released. Those who died were buried in a cemetery two miles from the grounds.

By 1846 all vessels coming into New York had to anchor in the �Quarantine Ground,� a stretch of the bay marked by two buoys, and wait to be inspected by a doctor. When THOMAS CAROLANand his wife arrived in July 1847, they were required to pay a head tax of fifty cents, which entitled them to treatment, if they fell ill within a year.[11]  Two months prior to their arrival, in May, a Board of Commissioners of Emigration was finally created, which gave advice and aid to immigrants, helped them find employment, and inspected the incoming ships for possible problems or disease.[12]

Having filled the Quarantine hospitals, all the spare rooms connected with the City Almshouse department were hired  at a dollar per week for each destitute emigrant, and a dollar and a half per week for the sick. But the introduction of fever patients at the Almshouse was attended with too much risk, and buildings were erected for their accommodation on Staten Island. These being still inadequate, the buildings on the Long Island Farms were leased, but the fear of contagion so alarmed the neighborhood, that the buildings were burned by incendiaries.�[13]

   

Former Nursery Torched in Ship Fever Scare

        The children were long gone when angry townsmen
        tore down and burned the original buildings of  the
New York City Almshouse Nursery in a midnight

        raid seemingly ripped from the pages of �Frankenstein.�

The burning referred to in the newspaper accounts was among the first of a wave of public hysteria over contagious diseases that led to the destruction and burning of infirmaries housing primarily Irish immigrants.  Long Island Farms was established in 1832 by the New York City Almshouse Juvenile Department in a move, radical at the time, to separate �destitute children from the horrid examples of their elders at the main almshouse.�  But the almshouse had closed the facility earlier that spring anticipating the completion of its new complex on Randall�s Island, while the children were lodged temporarily at the almshouse proper on Blackwell�s Island.  Ironically, the farms of Long Island would one day supply 18 percent of all potatoes sold in New York City.

Just a month before THOMAS CAROLAN sailed for New                 View of the quarantine grounds and buildings at Staten Island, N.Y                              York with his family, the New York Commission on
                              Leslie’s Monthly Magazine, September 13, 1856                                            Immigration�overwhelmed already with the sick from Ireland needing quarantine�contracted to lease the farm for use as temporary hospitals to help with the overflow.  The Rev. W. W. Niles had recently purchased three of the abandoned Nursery buildings at public auction.  He signed papers with the Commission on Wednesday, 26 May 1847, with the first quarantined immigrant patients expected the very next day. 
 
According to the Williamsburgh Post, a town meeting in nearby Astoria gathered upwards of 70 townspeople, who marched to the site immediately following the meeting, with �but one axe among them, though every man, almost, had a bludgeon of wood.�  The watchman suggested the mob burn the buildings down in daylight, but they replied, ��by that time the contagion would be among them, hence they were resolved to take time by the forelock, and so to work they went.�
 
First, they entered the middle house and from within broke all the windows. This accomplished, they cut up the doors for kindling wood and made two fires, one in the school department, the other in the dormitory wing. They were all-frame houses, and burned with great rapidity.
 
This middle house was consumed first. Indeed the crowd were about to depart, satisfied with the destruction, but on a second thought they returned and carried flaming brands from the burning pile with which they soon set the other two buildings in a blaze.

Give Me Your Poor, Your Starving, Your Sick

If any sick passengers were discovered onboard ships in New York Harbor, they were sent to the Marine Hospital on Staten Island and the ship was supposed to be quarantined for thirty days. However the inspection was not much more thorough than the one at Liverpool.  Ship masters and their officers did what they could to help emigrants pass inspection.  Oftentimes, they might hide them, if necessary, or land sick passengers illegally on the New Jersey shore. There were even cases of quarantined passengers taking themselves off in boats to the city to avoid inspectors.

The Marine Hospital was in a residential area for city workers, who did not like the quarantine for fear of contamination and because of the noise and the smell of the burial ground. Almost immediately in 1847, the number of arrivals to the quarantine exceeded the number who could housed there, and immigrants were released prematurely.  Consequentially, 2,000 people that summer died in New York City. In 1847, there were 600 cases of smallpox and 3,000 cases of typhus. In 1852 more than one in six of the patients in Quarantine died.[14]

THOMAS CAROLAN and his family were among 47,321 passengers from Ireland and England who arrived in New York between May 5th and September 30th, 1847.  Of these, exactly 3,792 were quarantined and 703 died.  Said the Commissioners of Immigration in October:

�The names, ages, and places of birth, of the dead, are not given.  This is an oversight which ought to be corrected.  It seems, also, that no provision was made for the erection of any mem

orial over their graves.�[15]

Records show the Quarantine sometimes housed more than 1,500 passengers and sailors at one time, and had treated more than 8,000 patients over the course of a year.[16] [17]  In one typical year, the Quarantine required 108,010 pounds of bread, 1,334 pounds of coffee, and 235 gallons of brandy.[18] Another year, the Quarantine purchased                        Inspection at Quarantine, Scribner’s Monthly, 1877
17 barrels of lime, 1,300 leeches, and 556 coffins.[19]

Headed by a state-appointed Health Officer, the hospital relied on two or three in-house physicians appointed by the city, as well as nurses and orderlies, who assisted in treating patients, washing clothes, cooking meals, and handling patient burials. Six to eight boatmen were responsible for the transport of patients from infected vessels, and the hospital employed stevedores–the manual laborers responsible for unloading cargo from infected ships to be destroyed or stored. These dockworkers far outnumbered the rest of the staff, and in some years there were more than 100 stevedores employed at the Quarantine, hired as a group from a stevedore house on Manhattan’s South Street for stints of six weeks to three months.[20]

William Smith, a power-loom weaver from Manchester, England, recorded his experiences in a little book entitled A Voice From the Steerage.  He caught fever and alleges that in the Marine Hospital, the patients were cruelly treated.  The beds, he wrote, were grids of iron bars with a little straw laid on top. The staff inflicted torture on the sick, who were reduced, by fever, to skin and bones.  The doctors were negligent and indifferent, and the male nurses took a delight in abusing and thwarting the helpless, striking them for �innocent errors.�  The food was inedible and conditions horribly unsanitary. The roofs leaked and the patients� beds were appallingly drenched.[23]

Despite several proposals to remove the hospital, the main quarantine station, Marine Hospital, remained at Tompkinsville, at the north east of the island. But by 1849, only immigrants with contagious diseases were sent there. To accommodate the orphans, the convalescents, or the emigrants not ill of contagious diseases, the health commissioners                 View of Ward’s Island State Emigrant Refuge and Hospital Institutions                    opened another hospital in 1847 on Ward’s Island in the East River,                                                                                                                                                  known as Ward’s Island Emigrant Hospital and Refuge. Opened in 1847 specifically for sick anddestitute immigrants, the hospital was the largest hospital complex in the world during the 1850s.  But people at Ward’s Island claimed that there was a lack of food, that the dead were used for medical dissection without the family�s approval, and that due to poor conditions the death rate was extremely high. Some women claimed to have been sexually assaulted by employees or other immigrants and nothing was done.[21]  <>�Many were destitute of clothing, and from May to September (1847), ten thousand three hundred and eight articles of dress were made at Ward�s Island and furnished to them, by direction of the Commissioners.  Hundreds have been provided with employment in the interior of the state, and many forwarded West at the expense of the Commissioners.�[22]
The Wars

After years of vainly arguing for its closure, on the evening of September 1, 1858, �disguised and armed residents� of surrounding communities (Mobs from New Brighton and Edgewater) seized the Marine Hospital and burned down many of the buildings.  The fire department, sympathetic to the mob, arrived and claimed their fire hoses had been cut.  Only one main structure was left standing, the Female Hospital, where all patients were moved. Two people had died, one from fever and another, a stevedore, was shot over an unrelated vendetta.  The following day, a pamphlet circulated that read:
 
A Meeting of the Citizens of Richmond County, will be held at Nautilus Hall, Tompkinsville, this Evening,  Sept. 2 at 7 1-2 o’clock, For the purpose of making arrangements to celebrate the burning of the Shanties and Hospitals at the Quarantine ground last evening, and to transact such business as may come before the  meeting. September 2d, 1858.[24]                                                                                  “Attack on the Quarantine Establishment, on September 1, 1858” in Harper’s Weekly, September 11, 1858.
                                                                              

More than 200 people attended the meeting where resolutions were passed that reiterated the right of the local citizens to rid their community of a public health hazard and that called for the placement of a new Quarantine at the Battery in New York. When night fell, the crowds departed from Nautilus Hall and reappeared on the Quarantine grounds, again carrying camphene, straw, and matches, determined to burn every structure that remained on the grounds.

Two of the hospitals doctors had sent all of the healthy passengers and crew to Ward�s Island and had removed all of the patients to the grass beside the wall before the mob arrived. As the Female Hospital went up in flames, the frightened patients were stuck between two burning buildings and the wall, and the doctors poured buckets of water on the sick to keep their temperatures down.[25]

                        Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,

The gaunt features and sunken eyes of these poor wretches were perfectly visible in the light of the burning dwelling behind them. Burning cinders fell in showers among them. In full view before them was the noble edifice in which they had been sheltered and nursed, now wrapped in flame from basement to dome.  The roar of the flames, the clouds of dense smoke rolling upward, the furious outcries of the mob, crazy with their infernal work, all formed a scene most horrible and impressive.[26]

The body of the engineer who had died during the night of yellow fever remained in the Female Hospital. Jim, the �dead-man� who was in charge of handling patient corpses, �rushed into the Hospital and, seizing the body,  carried it on his arm and laid it on a bier in the open air.�[27] Some patients were eventually moved to a boat docked offshore, but for the length of the night, the patients, the two doctors, the “dead-man,” and the yellow fever corpse were exposed to the night sky and the rain that fell until nearly dawn.

By the morning of September 3, the Quarantine grounds had been scorched clean, and the remaining staff and patients were scrounging a breakfast from the supplies that had been spared by the blaze.  The two doctors, Bissell and Walser, continued to attend to the patients now sleeping under makeshift tarps, though neither had slept in two nights and their spare moments were filled scratching out pleading letters for help to their bosses across the harbor. The Times reported the following day:

        Destruction of Quarantine Buildings Near Tompkinsville”          The appearance of the Quarantine Grounds … was desolate in the extreme.
      in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, September 18, 1858         The Quarantine wharfs were still on fire; the blackened pillars and walls of the Female
Hospital and the adjoining buildings rising out of the ruins that surrounded them, the blue smoke rising over them and borne away by the wind from the south-east that prevailed all day, the smouldering heaps of ashes further back where the dwellings of the physicians and the quarters of the laborers formerly stood–the whole scene was in marked contrast to that which was presented there a few days ago.
[28]

After more than 50 years of opposition, Staten Islanders had erased the Quarantine from existence.  The governor declared the island in rebellion and sent troops against the  Staten Islanders, but without effect. John A. King, a resident of Long Island, was at that time governor.

He proclaimed Staten Island under martial law, but the inhabitants remained obdurate. After destroying 32 buildings, they would never lay down their arms until the Yellow Jack was removed.  Ultimately Richmond County was compelled to pay for all the losses occasioned, but the state receded from its position and abandoned its claim to the right of quarantine on Staten Island. The government at a loss:  several steamships served as floating hospitals for a number of years before two islands were acquired for the new quarantine station of New York.


   

 “Ruins of Quarantine Establishment, Staten Island” in Harper’s Weekly, September 11, 1858.

Thomas Carolan homepage

[1] Hollett, David. Passage to the New World: Packet Ships and Irish Famine Emigrants, 1845-1851. Abergavenny, Great Britain: P.M. Heaton Publishing, 1995.

[2] Testimony taken before Judge Metcalfe in the case of the People against Ray Tompkins and John C. Thompson charged with the destruction of the Quarantine buildings. New York: Baptist and Taylor, Book and Job Printers; 1859.

[3] Committee appointed by the House of Assembly, at its last session, to inquire into the propriety of the removal of the Quarantine establishment. Communication to state of New York, No. 60, in Assembly; January 30, 1849.

[4] Old pamphlet, just found, tells of burning of Quarantine by citizens. Unknown newspaper, undated (probably Staten Island Advance, early 20th century). Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences Quarantine Collection.
[4.1] Laws Relative to Quarantine and to the Public Health of the City of New York. New York: 1858. sec. 14, pp.8-9.  From Novak, William J. The People’s Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

[5] Destruction of Quarantine completed. The New York Daily Tribune 1858 Sep 4;5:1.

[6] Harris E. Description of the Quarantine buildings. The New York Herald 1858 Sep 3;1:1.

[7] Ewen D. Map of the Marine Hospital ground, Staten Island: reduced from a survey made by John Ewen. Albany (NY): R. H. Pease Lith.; 1845 March.

[8] Testimony taken before Judge Metcalfe in the case of the People against Ray Tompkins and John C. Thompson charged with the destruction of the Quarantine buildings. New York: Baptist and Taylor, Book and Job Printers; 1859.

[9] The rebellion on Staten Island. The New York Herald 1858 Sep 4;1:2.

[10] Testimony taken before Judge Metcalfe in the case of the People against Ray Tompkins and John C. Thompson charged with the destruction of the Quarantine buildings. New York: Baptist and Taylor, Book and Job Printers; 1859.

[11] Ernst R. Immigrant life in New York City, 1825-1863. New York: King’s Crown Press; 1949.

[12] Norothy, Ann. Strangers at the Door: Ellis Island, Castle Garden, and the Great Migration to America. Riverside, CT: The Chatham Press, Inc.,1971.

[13] New York newspaper. http://www.dcs.uwaterloo.ca/~marj/genealogy/voyages/newspapers1847.html

[14] Norothy.

[15] New York newspaper.

[16] Testimony taken before Judge Metcalfe in the case of the People against Ray Tompkins and John C. Thompson charged with the destruction of the Quarantine buildings. New York: Baptist and Taylor, Book and Job Printers; 1859.

[17] Annual report of the Commissioners of Emigration, 1860. Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences Quarantine Collection.

[18] Annual report of the Commissioners of Emigration, 1851. Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences Quarantine Collection.

[19] Annual report of the Commissioners of Emigration, 1850. Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences Quarantine Collection.

[20] Testimony taken before Judge Metcalfe in the case of the People against Ray Tompkins and John C. Thompson charged with the destruction of the Quarantine buildings. New York: Baptist and Taylor, Book and Job Printers; 1859.

[21] New York newspaper.

[22] Ibid.

[23] William Smith, An Emigrant’s Narrative; or a Voice from the Steerage (New York: W. Smith, 1850)

[24] A meeting of the citizens of Richmond County [poster] ; 1858 Sep 2. Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences Print Collection.

[25] Stephenson, Kathryn. �The quarantine war: the burning of the New York Marine Hospital in 1858.� Public Health Reports, Jan-Feb, 2004.

[26] The Quarantine conflagration. The New York Times 1858 Sep 4;1:1.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

Hottinguer

The leaving of Liverpool in one of these American packet ships was an emotional occasion for the emigrants, most of whom had never been on an ocean-going ship before. The Hottinguer, commanded by Captain Bursley in 1845, was typical of these ships, being a vessel of 993 tons burthen. She left the Mersey, bound for New York, early on the morning of 6 May, 1845. Among her passengers was the aforementioned Sarah Mytton Maury, champion of the emigrant’s cause, who described in some detail what it was like to be on board one of these emigrant ships, when outward bound from the port of Liverpool.

At 11 a.m. the ship got clear of the dock, and almost immediately the Captain urged Mrs Maury, and the ship’s doctor, to climb on to the roof of the deck house, so that they would be well out of the way, while the muster roll was called. Including the crew and the master there were 433 people on board the Hottinguer – 397 of them being emigrant steerage passengers, the only cabin passengers being Mrs Maury, her son, and a Mr. King, a resident of New York.

Soon they were clear of the Mersey, and at 4 p.m. the steam-tug and pilot left the ship at the Bell Buoy; and at 6 p.m. Sarah Maury watched with interest as Captain Bursley, and his officers, divided the crew into watches.

Packet Ship Great Western
Built 1851, 
Black Ball Line, 1,443 tons. Oil by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921)

    Apart from the commander, first, second, and third mates, the crew of the Hottinguer consisted of the steward ( a black man) – two black cooks, a carpenter, and untypically for a sailing ship, a blacksmith, and twenty four sailors. Managing the crew must have posed something of a problem for the captain and his officers, for it was composed of men from no less than ten nations, England, America, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, Prussia, Holland, Portugal, and Scotland – a fair number of whom had little or no understanding of the English language!

Mrs Maury and her son paced the deck until 9 p.m., watching the receding shores of England; observing the Black Rock, Leasowe, Bidston, and point of Ayre lights, and then the rocky coast of Wales. At midnight the Hottinguer sailed silently past Holyhead, and on the following day all those on board could see the coast of Ireland. Under a heavy press of canvas they passed the jagged Tuskar Rock, and lastly Cape Clear. On the morning of the 8th�forty-three hours after leaving the Mersey – they were well beyond the sight of land, far out in the great open expanse of the Western Ocean. It was then that Sarah Maury had the opportunity of watching the emigrants, when they were on the open deck.

Despite all their tribulations, the poor Irish Emigrants remained remarkably cheerful. She watched, with great interest, as several hundred emigrants, mostly Irish, climbed out of the steerage, noting that several of them were carrying musical instruments, which included a pair of bagpipes, two or three fiddles, and some flutes. The musicians took up their positions, and soon they were joined by a whole chorus of singers. Within minutes the deck of the packet ship was akin to events at an Irish country fair, with scores of men, women, and children, laughing, dancing, and jigging around the caboose – making it almost impossible for the sailors to work the ship. The very considerate Captain Bursley tolerated it for some time, then, by way of a kindly ruse to restore order, explained to them that if they continued to dance in that manner they would upset the ship. This seemed to work, for without a murmur they all sat down, becoming as quiet as church mice! The rest of the passage was relatively uneventful – all on board getting safely to the New World, some weeks later. (6)  However, in 1850, the Hottinguer sank (see below).

from: Hollett, David. Passage to the New World: Packet Ships and Irish Famine Emigrants, 1845-1851. Abergavenny, Great Britain: P.M. Heaton Publishing, 1995. p. 124-6.

The following is the obituary for both the Captain and the Hottinguer

The Times, Tue 22 Jan 1850

“THE LOST AMERICAN PACKET-SHIP.- As Captain
Bursley stood deservedly high in the estimation of all who
knew him, and as he was one of the oldest captains frequent-
ing our port, we have gleaned a few particulars of his life,
which may not be uninteresting to our readers. The gallant
captain was born at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the year
1798, and consequently was in his 52d year when he died.
He seems to have imbibed a desire for a maritime life from
his infancy, for before he was 12 years of age he entered the
mercantile marine of the port of Boston, and so quick was
his progress in his chosen profession that before he attained
his 21st year he commanded an East Indiaman from Cal-
cutta to Boston. It is now upwards of 21 years since
he first entered the Mersey as master of the Dover, a
first-class vessel of the original Boston line of packet-
ships, since when he has been a frequent visitor to our
port. At a subsequent period he became connected with
the Black Ball or New York line, in which he com-
manded the Silas Richards and the Orpheus, and after-
wards the Cambridge, belonging to the same line. It will be
in the recollection of many of our readers that the Cam-
bridge was severely tried, as were also the nautical skill
and judgment of her commander, during the great gale of
1839. On that occasion Captain Bursley could not obtain
a tug-boat to tow him out of the river, and when the storm
arose in its violence and might, his ship slipped her anchors
and was driven on towards the Prince’s-pier. Every exer-
tion was made by both master and men to arrest the
threatened destruction of the ship; trusses of hay were
lashed over her sides to protect her, hawsers were made
fast where available, and when every other inducement
failed in procuring a steam-tug, the commander exclaimed
with his accustomed liberality, “1,000l. for a tug.” But none
would venture, so imminent was the peril. In this emer-
gency the remaining anchors were tried, and as they held,
the noble ship was preserved from becoming an immediate
wreck. He has often experienced the hardships of a sea-
man’s life. About 14 years ago (in company with Captain
Marshall, now of the Republic) he was nearly wrecked in
the Orpheus, on which occasion he had to put back to this
port for extensive repairs. Fifteen years ago his brother, then
captain of the Lyons, was lost off Port Patrick, where he was
interred and a monument erected to his memory by the sub-
ject of this sketch. They now sleep in death within 80 miles
of each other. At the close of his career with the Black Ball
line he took an active part in the organization of Fielden’s
line, to which he has since belonged, as master of the Hottin-
guer, a fine vessel, about seven or eight years old. No better
sailor left this port; and it is affirmed of him that no man
knew the Channel better than he did; and therefore the
cause of the calamity referred to remains a mystery at pre-
sent. We believe that he intended that this, if successful,
should have been his last trip; and that he felt delighted at
the prospect of enjoying in ease and happiness, amidst his
friends and in the bosom of his family, that otium cum dig-
nitate to which a long, laborious, and well-spent life emi-
nently entitled him. The deceased was highly esteemed by
all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance as a sincere
friend, an honest man, and a good Christian. He has left a
wife and family to mourn their loss.- Liverpool Albion.”

An earlier report, Fri 18 Jan 1850:

“LOSS OF THE PACKET-SHIP HOTTINGUER.- LIVER-
POOL, Thursday.- We have intelligence to-day of the loss of
the ship Hottinguer, with Captain Bursley and 13 of his
crew. This vessel left Liverpool on Thursday last for New
York, with a full cargo of merchandise and about 20 pas-
sengers. On the 12th, at 6 a.m., during a gale from the east-
ward, she struck on Blackwater-bank, near Wexford. Shortly
afterwards the passengers, with eight of the crew, landed in
the boats at Morris Castle, the captain and the remainder
of the crew having remained on board. On Sunday morn-
ing she floated off the bank, and Captain Bursley endeavour-
ed to take her into Kingstown-harbour, having the screw-
steamer Rose in company acting as pilot. During the day,
however, she struck on Glasmorgan-bank, and a heavy sea
running at the time, the upper works of the vessel were
washed away, and there remains little doubt that the cap-
tain and crew perished in the course of the following night.”

Belcher’s Town

The name means �good cheer� (“bel” means “good”, and “cher” means “cheer”), and the spires of the churches of the town still rise upward toward Heaven as symbols of the region’s Great Awakening heritage. Other noteworthy landmarks in Belchertown include the Common and The Stone House, said to be one of the best small museums in Massachusetts, though the author has yet to visit the establishment.

The town�s rich history includes its first name, Cold Spring, for the discovery of plentiful cool waters by a wayfarer traveling the old trail from Northampton to Boston. The wayfarer reportedly went by the name of Cowles, whose descendant is today the owner of the house in which the author of this webpage and family reside, a stone�s throw from the Gravel Pit, the Dwight Chapel, and the Dwight Cemetery.

The land around Cold Spring was used by Northamptoners for hunting in the early 18th century, and the old New Englanders did not always wage a fair contest with nature: men would go into the woods and start a series of fires that would form a circle, driving the animals towards the opening at one end where they were killed.

The Belchertown Common�replete today with a gazebo, broad manicured lawn, and picturesque New England steeples�was then one of the more frequently burned areas, and known as �Grasse Hill.� The farmers of Northampton and Hadley also drove sizable herds of horses, cattle, sheep and pigs to the center of Belchertown during pasturing season.

The town played a role during the American Revolution, however minor or major relative to the reader: a landmark in Belchertown is said to have been used as a signal station during the Revolution. Later, the Marquis de Lafayette visited another house there. Muster-rolls list the Belchertown Minute Men who marched to Cambridge, Massachusetts (the town of Governor Belcher’s birth) on April 20, 1775 to defend that region during the call to arms that began the American Revolution. As seen from the map, the town has many historic aspirations.

The town has been noted as an agricultural community (dairy-farming and apple-growing) and during the 1800s as a center for the manufacture of carriages, wagons, and sleighs. Several persons of distinction were born in Belchertown, including writer/editor Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland. (Interestingly, Jonathan Belcher’s mother was Sarah Gilbert Belcher, daughter of Jonathan Gilbert.) Dr. Benjamin Rush Palmer, who played a significant role in the history of medicine in Kentucky, did his general practice there.

Ironically, Jonathan Belcher never visited Belchertown.

An Irish Passenger, An American Family, And Their Time 1847 — 2010

 

An
Irish
Passenger, An American Family, And Their Time

  1847
— 2010

The Carolan Family Found! Kells, County
Meath, Ireland
! At long last,
the illustrious family is traced to small mythical village 40 miles
northwest of Dublin, a stonesthrow from the birthplace of the
beloved Irish Bard
Turlough O’Carolan



Read the Details Here

Here
dear reader you will find:  the arrival of THOS.
and
son MICH. and family
to the NEW WORLD in 1847 with Colour
images—-fleeing the
Great
STARVATION; their embarkation from the port of
LIVERPOOL;
specifics of the PACKET-SHIP on which they
made their arduous journey;
the cargo among which they found themselves making HOME for 34 days
of summer; the
prior and subsequent delivery of RELIEF to
their former countrymen by
said Vessel; the THOUSANDS of their fellowes delivered to New YORK by
aforementioned vessel; its
FATEFUL
voyage
in which its BOWSPRIT was CARRIED AWAY and TWO MEN LOST at
SEA;

the DEATHS of ELEVEN SUFFERING POOR; said Vessel’s distinguished
and urbane MERCHANT-CAPTAIN; the lives of
its
owners: the New York
MERCHANT KINGS and so-called
“philanthropists;” Herman
Melville; Prophet Joseph SMITH and Odd Fellows;
BUOYS  and COASTERS;
President DELANO Roosevelt; BRIBERY and OPIUM; the
great age of ARCTIC exploration; a
PORTRAIT found drifting at sea; BELCHERTOWN,
Massachusetts (current
residence of AUTHOR); the
pestilence and QUARANTINE
the tribe may have avoided; their
settling, at last, in the
CITY
OF BROTHERLY LOVE; and their
DESCENDANTS
MIGRATING
to

points
West, South and North.

List of Contents
The Voyage—-in good speed; in sunlight and
humidity; with minimal death, comparatively.
The Ship—-named for great orator; American
built and owned; one of the most profitable.

The Captain—seen with a Shantung silk
umbrella lined with green; liked his rum; bird-watching with John James
Audubon.


A Passenger—laborer of the ancient O Caireallin
(Carolan)
sept with two sons of the
blacksmith trades in 19th-century Philadelphia; begetting hundreds.

The Voyages—many and swift of the ship named
after the great American orator; with lists of
all aboard.

The Cargo—tins and bales; bars and bundles;
kegs and barrels.

The Company—Preserved Fish; Sir John
Franklin; wealth, prosperity, and philanthropy.

The Relief-–bushels, biscuits, and beans for
the tragic victims of the
worst disaster from which the family fled.
The Author and His Sources
.

Note:
Be sure to use Netscape when viewing and CLICK links in
the text.

The
voyage
Liverpool
to New
York        June
23 –
July 27, 1847


The New York
Daily Tribune
:

The
packet ship PATRICK HENRY, Joseph Clement Delano,
master, arrived at
New York
on 27 July 1847, from Liverpool 23 June, with merchandise
and 19 cabin
and 300
steerage passengers,
to Grinnell, Minturn & Co.
“July 2, lat 49 15, lon 23 16, exchanged
signals with ship Samuel Hicks, Bunker, hence, for Liverpool;  7th, lat 44 03, lon 39 15, passed Br[itish]
bark Emigrant of Cork bound East;  14th,
lat 42 20, lon 54 40, passed a ship steering West with a cross in her
foretopsail.”


[
It
does not appear the ship was quarantined on arrival, though 20,000
fellowes died that year en route across the Atlantic or subsequently in
American emigrant hospitals, according to Immigration and the Commissioners of
Immigration of the State of New York
(Frederich Kapp, NY: The
Nation Press, 1870.)   For more, click here.
]

 

The New York Herald:

Maritime
Herald, Port
of New York, July
28, Arrived. Packet ship
PATRICK HENRY, Delano, from Liverpool, 23rd June, with
Grinnell,
Minturn & Co. 25th instant off Nantucket Shoals, saw
packet ship
Hottinguer,
Bursley, hence for Liverpool.
The
P.H. has been 26 days westward of the Banks. In lat 43 13, lon 39 10,
passed Br
bark Emigrant, bound east.

 

Passengers
Arrived.

LIVERPOOL�Ship
PATRICK HENRY�Captain H Tuckett and lady, G Ward, Mr Baker, Mr Ellison,
Mr
Allendier, Miss Jordin, Mr Fowler, Messrs Morgan, Culbertson,
McGlashan,
Ashton, Connell, Miss Hey, Miss Lator, Master Ward, Mr Atkinson, Mr
Abraham,
and 288 in the steerage.

 

Arrival of
Strangers in New York.

Astor
House. Capt. Delano-ship Patrick Henry

 

Other occurrences
July 27: Passengers Arrived. London-Ship
Westminster; Londonderry-Brig Philip
Hone; Rio Janeiro-Ship Firmeza;
Charleston-Steamship
Southerner. Ship Rosicuis, for Liverpool,
remains at anchor at SW spit.

 

 

The
Ship

 

FlagThe
PATRICK HENRY was a 3-masted, square-rigged sailing ship
built at New York by Brown & Bell
in 1839, and for twenty-five years was one of the fastest of the great
AGE of SAIL until 1864
when she was sold to Great Britain during the Civil War.  She was
among only four packets of the day—Montezuma,
Southampton, St. Andrew,
and
the prestigious clipper Dreadnought—to make the
eastbound passage from New York to Liverpool in 14 days or less.
Only two transatlantic sailing packets showed a better average speed
record on the westbound crossing (Liverpool to New York) for a period
of twenty-five years or more (33 days) and only one equaled her average
performance. 

 



It has been
said that the vessel, under the command of Joseph
C. Delano
, of

New Bedford, Massachusetts, was a remarkably fine sailer and “made more
money than any other ship belonging to her owners.”


The transatlantic sailing packet of white oak carried wealthy
industrialists, the poorest of
poor Irish emigrants, and tons of food and
relief supplies
to
Ireland and
England.

 


She made more than 45 documented voyages
and served more than 10 different captains in her years of
service at sea in the Swallowtail Line of Packets owned by
Grinnell,
Minturn & Co.
 


She
registered at New York
on 6 November 1839; her measurements:

880 tons/905 tons (old/new) 159
feet x
34 feet 10
inches x 21 ft 10 inches  length

x
beam x depth of hold); with 2
decks and a
draft of 18
feet.1

 

Packet
Columbia
II

Built
1846, Black Ball Line, 1050 tons
similar to Patrick Henry
      

What
better name for a vessel full of the oppressed of England?  For it
was

the passionate and fiery lawyer-orator and governor of Virginia
(1776-78: 1784)
Patrick
Henry, who, seven decades before, had spoken out against England
at a time when most in the colonies wanted to wait and avoid the
REVOLUTION.  Without the “liberty” made possible by
the
PATRICK
HENRY
,
those aboard may well have faced “death” while the British waited idly
by
during the failure of the potato crop and after years of what many call
a slow genocide of the Irish people
.

The PATRICK HENRY mirrored
the namesake in her radical nature. “She is the ne plus ultra, or will be, until
another ship of her class shall be built,” said famed American
politician and
diarist Philip HONE, who, in October 1839, toured the “splendid new
ship” with Henry Grinnell, one of her owners.  For five years, the
HENRY
was the largest packet ship among New York’s eight packet lines.
  She
sailed
in the Blue
Swallowtail Line (Fourth Line) of packets
(flag shown above) between
New York and Liverpool from 1839 until
1852, during which period her
westward
passages averaged 34 days, her shortest passage being 22 days, her
longest 46
days.  In 1851, she was owned by:
Henry Grinnell (3/16),
Moses H.
Grinnell
and Robert
B. Minturn

(8/16), Capt. Sheldon G. Hubbard (1/16),
Capt.
Joseph Rogers (2/16), and Capt.
Joseph C. Delano
(2/16)
.

In
1852, she was
transferred to Grinnell, Minturn & Co’s Red
Swallowtail Line of packets between New York and London. During
this time, her westbound passages averaged 32 days, her
shortest
passage being 26 days, her longest 41 days. 



Perhaps one
of her more difficult voyages, she set out for New York December 24,
1853 from Liverpool.  On the 18th of January, in
latitude 47″, longitude 34 degrees, while hove to, the PATRICK HENRY
was
“struck by a sea which CARRIED AWAY the BOWSPRIT and the knight heads
and all the rigging attached.”  At the same time, washed overboard
was Matthew Barnabb, a seaman, who was LOST.  Two hours later,
Louis Barroch, another seaman, was
clearing away
the bowsprit,
fell
overboard and DROWNED.
Then
William
Wallace, another crewmember, fell from the fore yard and was injured
severely.



“It
was blowing a gale at the time,” reported
Captain John Hurlburt to the New
York
Times,
who brought her to port February 4, after a 40-day
passage “And impossible
to save
them.”  A
ccording to
the
maritime tome, Merchant Sail,
the
ship was not alone that uncommonly rough winter on the Atlantic. The
packet-ship Rosicus was 51 days making the
crossing; the Mary Annah 88
days, and the Celestial Empire took
60, with the loss of a seaman and ten passengers.  On the
following voyage of the PATRICK HENRY, October 1854

(New York Times),
Captain
Hurlburt carried 403 passengers, breaking the law of one passenger per
three ton of
weight, and 11 passengers died at sea.


Still,
The PATRICK
HENRY was considered by writers of the period to be one of the best and
most dependable packets built in the 1830s and one of the most popular
and highly esteemed transatlantic sailing lines during the 1840s and
50s was the Swallowtail,” according to Merchant Sail .

The vessel’s best homeward
crossing of 22 days was better than the crossings of either of the
grander packets: the Swallowtail’s Cornelius
Grinnell
(1,117 tons, built 1850) and the Black Ball Line’s Great
Western
(1,443 tons and
built
in 1851, twelve years
after the PATRICK HENRY).  Her longest run in the
London-Portsmouth run at 41 days was even better the Grinnell (48 days) or the New World (42
days), one of the largest
Swallowtails
at 1,404 tons.

In
1851, Captain S.E.
Hubbard is listed as her master and in 1855, Captain John Hurlburt.
In
1860, Captain William B. Moore became her master. (Queens)

After 25 years of packet service, the PATRICK HENRY was “sold British”
in 1864 (Londonderry) due to the Civil War.


Her final voyage may have been from Pensacola, Florida
on June 26, 1871 to Liverpool, arriving August 19th. 
According
to the American Neptune (Peabody
Essex Museum magazine),

Clipper
Dreadnaught,
built 1853, 1,414
tons. 34 crew.
she

was  hulked
or broken up in
1884.
That year the ship is listed under Master T.E. Sargent

and

registered
at Cork;
Owner: Jas.
E.
Rissa. Last survey Quebec,
6, �76. Signal letters: HDJG.
2,3


 One
of the PATRICK HENRY’S favorite seamen was Peter
Ogden, steward of
the ship in the 1840s, and who, as a member of the Liverpool lodge of
the English Odd Fellows, pursuaded his excluded African American
brethen to apply for a charter from his order.
4.1  


Another
of her famous passengers was cousin to the Prophet of the
Church of Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith.  George A. Smith sailed
from New York to Liverpool with Captain Joseph Delano on March 9, 1840
with five brethren, and, contrary to all other reviews of Delano’s
commandeering, had this to say:


After
a rough and disagreeable passage of 28
days, landed on the shores of Great Britain,”

he wrote in
his

diary. “We had 16 days head wind, and three
heavy gales. I was very sea sick; remained at Liverpool a few
days.” 
He later took five wives who
bore him 20 children.
4.1

Protected
by
waist high
bulkheads painted green on the inside, the PATRICK HENRY and ships of
its class

had clear decks save for “the stern where, wheel in hand and binnacle

containing
the compass before him, stands the helmsman. Forward are two hatches
for cargo
with the ship’s boat on top. Around the
boat
stand our future meals—a
milk
cow, pigs, ducks, hens and sheep! 

 

 

We know that
‘Tween
decks,’ at the bow, is the forecastle. In the center section, if there
is no

Packet Montezuma,
among the 5
fastest
packets across the Atlantic, with Patrick
Henry


fine freight, huddle steerage passengers. It is not a happy sight to
look down
on them because there,
crowded in a common dormitory for 38 days, each
cooks
his fast dwindling
supply of
food.

 

If our ship
has one bath,
it is in the cabin section. The ste
erage
passengers’ bath at best may
be a
bucket of icy seawater, dashed over them on deck. Perhaps
the
plague
breaks out
and no Doctor is on board. The ship’s Captain
does what he can but that
is
little. Below is the usual hold for bulkier freight.

Toward
the ship’s stern is a stairway leading
down
to the ‘Tween Decks.’ A great
halt
forty
feet long spreads out before us.
Here
are
handsome mahogany
tables with
sofas on each side, carved pillars, sometimes mahogany, sometimes cream
colored
ornamented with gold.

Rich
crimson
or gold and white draperies catch the eye. On either side are
staterooms, each
about eight feet square, with latticed window and
door, the upper half
of which
also is latticed to admit air. Bird’s- eye maple woodwork inlaid with
curiously
grained woods is polished to satiny finish.”4


Montage
of sketches depicting life on board an emigrant ship showing
immigrants embarking at the London docks, scrubbing the decks, watching
a passing ship, dealing with heavy seas, catching an albatross, and
queueing at the surgery.
The
Illustrated New Zealand
Herald ,
9 April, 1875.


The safety, sturdiness, dependability, and efficiency of the New York
transatlantic sailing packets can be gathered from the tribute of the New York Herald to a retiring
packet, a ship that experienced every conceivable kind of weather and
seas in by far the most difficult trade route of the globe: “For
twenty-nine years she battled with the Atlantic gales, making 116 round
passages without losing a seaman, a sail, or a spar.  She brought
thirty thousand passengers to this country from Europe, and her cabins
have witnessed fifteen hundred births and two hundred marriages.”
Enthusiasm aside, it was also said that “it took a man every inch a
seaman to reach an American port from Europe with spars and sails
intact and keep his ship off the Long Island and New Jersey coasts in
midwinter gales of thick snow and sleet.”
4

 

The
Captain


The
master of the Patrick
Henry

on the above passage was Captain Joesph Clement Delano (1796-1886), born in New
Bedford into the
prestigious DE
LA NOYE
family,
after a 19-year-old Huguenot Pilgrim of the
name
arrived at Plymouth in 1621 on the ship Fortune.

JOSEPH’s paternal
uncle was great
grandfather of
President Franklin
DELANO Roosevelt, who said in 1944:
“What vitality I
have is not inherited from Roosevelts … Mine, such as it is, comes
from
the DELANOS.”

Captain DELANO was a favorite with the passengers (seasoned
travelers often chose the
vessel
on which they sailed by the name of the master), distinguished for his
intelligence, culture, and urbanity
as well as for record-breaking passages.
He was
able to “maintain discipline and command respect by force of character
without resort to belaying-pin methods.”

 

“A fine
figure he was,”
remembers Captain Ezra Nye, famed commander of the Grinnell, Minturn
& Co.
vessel

Henry Clay, known
in her day
as the “monster of the deep.”  
“[Captain
DELANO]
had mutton chop whiskers, a closely cropped beard
and
mustache, a white stock at his throat, and often a Panama type hat. 
His
suit,
in
summer, was of Shantung silk from China.  He sat on his
sorrel
horse
straight as a ramrod, holding in one hand a Shantung
silk umbrella lined with green. Rain or shine, the umbrella was up to
protect
him from the weather. Everyday, barring blizzards, Captain DELANO would
trot
down to the little tavern; remain outside on his horse until the tavern
keeper
brought him his customary rum. DELANO would hold the drink in one hand
and the
umbrella in the other, and after finishing his liquor, would pay for it
and
trot off on his sorrel, still clutching the open green-lined umbrella.”

 

DELANO
began his packet service in the London Red Swallowtail Line, as master
of the
Columbia (built 1821, 492
tons),
in 1826.  At

noon on April 1, 1830, he drove her from pilot in Portsmouth, England
before a following east wind
(rather than the usual troublesome westerlies) to Sandy Hook at the
opening of the New York harbor, where she was becalmed.

DELANO arrived during the night of April 16, after–it is claimed–a
record westbound passage of only 15 days and 18 hours during which the Columbia‘s average
speed was 8 1/2 knots. 
She passed
the Sandy Hook lighthouse at 6 a.m., Saturday, the 17th,
and
DELANO
established a westbound
speed record that stood for 16
years.

“There was a fine following wind all the way, as both
ships (the Black Baller Caledonia)
plunged through the seas with every sort of spare sail set to catch the
welcome breezes,” writes Robert Albion in Square Riggers on Schedule.  “Travelling
the celebrated sea lane faster than any packet had yet done, the Columbia was off Sandy Hook by
dawn on April 17.”

The Caledonia (built 1828 by
Brown and Bell, 647 tons) sailed from Liverpool the same day as the Columbia and arrived
off Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, about the same time (in the middle
of the night) after a run reported at 15 days, 22 hours out from
Liverpool.  The actual time, port to port, was 17 days for both
vessels, but who is counting anyhow?5


Joseph
DELANO’S first
wife, 20-year-old Alice Howland
went to sea with her new husband onboard the COLUMBIA
in
January 1827,
a month after
their extravegent wedding.  According to Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains
Under Sail,
packet-ship
commanders not only had to drive the ship “like the very devil,
but were expected to charm gentleman, tycoons, dowagers and debutantes
in the after cabin as well, and so for a man like Captain Joseph
DELANO, a personable, fashionable wife could prove very useful.”
4

In
1831,
Captain
DELANO hosted
the
famed natualist
and bird-painter John James AUDUBON on several

Joseph Delano and Alice Howland, 1827
voyages of the
Columbia, during which
Audubon,

among others,
shot two
dozen PETRELS.
On another venture, AUDUBON spotted and recorded sketches of hundreds
of PALAROPES
along a bank of sea-weeds and froth
, 60-miles
off the coast of Nantucket
.

 

In
1833, DELANO transferred to the Liverpool
Blue
Swallowtail Line, first as master of the ROSCOE.
  In
1834, Alice died in childbirth in New Bedford, and three years later,
in
his 41st
year, Captain DELANO married the 30-year-old Sylvia Hathaway
Swift.  The following year, 1839, he
captained the “new, bigger, and better Packet Ship Patrick Henry,” 880
tons and
159 feet length, built by Brown and Bell.
He saw his old ROSCOE sold to the Baltimore-Liverpool service, in
1843. 

The Patrick Henry turned
out to be one of the most profitable ships for the firm, and Captain
DELANO was
1/8th owner.

In 1842,  Presbyterian clergyman and popular religious writer
Theodore Ledyard CUYLER sailed with Captain DELANO to Liverpool on the Patrick Henry.
DELANO was a “gentleman of high intelligence
and culture,” Cuyler wrote inRecollections
of a Long Life.
“After twenty-one days under canvasa and the
instructions of the captain, I learned more of nautical affairs and of
the ocean and its ways than in a dozen subsequent passages in the
steamships.”

In 1845,
CAPTAIN DELANO bought the big stone home whose grounds
covered a full
block in New Bedford.
K
nown as one
who
could
always see
around the corner, DELANO sensed the coming importance of
manufa
cturing,
and
that sailing ships were about to have their final
fling.

In
1846, between passages, he joined  Joseph
Grinnell
, one of
the
founders of Fish, Grinnell & Company, in starting a new cotton mill.  In 1847, the
year the CAROLANS sailed, he
become one of the original directors of Wamsutta
Mills, the first cotton mill established at New Bedford.  DELANO
‘s
interest in
trade, transportation, and manufacturing further were whetted by his
directorship
in this cotton mill.  He withdrew as Captain of
the
PATRICK HENRY in 1848
(although
he commanded the
Patrick Henry on one
passage in 1849)

and was
said to have
retired from sea.



However,
Captain DELANO did commandeer the
Packet-ship Albert Gallatin (Grinnell
Minturn) in 1851 and was an
outspoken proponent for a standardized American harbor BUOY
system.


He wrote to the Light House Service in November that year
complaining that “Ignorant men,
pilots, captains, coasters, anybody, in fact, are employed by contract
to place
the buoys, and they are seldom placed alike for two successive
years….


It
often happens that a black buoy will be found … where the chart calls
for a
white one, as the person who superintends this operation disdains
reference to the
coast survey, most likely because he could not understand it.”

 

In 1859,
Joseph
DELANO brought over bog head coal from Scotland,
and at the foot of South
Street,
he distilled from retorts
the first kerosene made in New


South Street, New York
City

Bedford.  He
later became
president
of the New Bedford
Port Society and
was

an  active member of the
American Association of Science.  He
died at New

Bedford
October 16, 1886.
the family
The DELANO
family has a long and prosperous legacy in the exploring, shipping and
international merchant
trades.  Joseph’s brother, John Allerton
DELANO
(1805-1883)
,
commanded several Grinnell vessels throughout the 1850s to the 1870s,
including the PATRICK HENRY, the
GALLATIN, and the CORNELIUS GRINNELL, named for a later owner of the
firm.  He was first mate to his brother on the PATRICK HENRY in
1845.

Joseph’s
cousin,
Franklin H. DELANO—namesake
of the President—married an Astor and
became a partner in Grinnell,
Minturn & Co.
  Another cousin, and grandfather to FDR,
Warren Delano II
(1809-1898), was among the merchant-captains, who along with
British counterparts, bribed Chinese officials in the early- to-
mid
nineteenth century to allow chests of opium from British-ruled India
into the
lucrative Chinese black market, starting what were known as the Opium
Wars (1839-1842). 
Joseph
and his these two cousins,  Franklin and Warren, together
formed
the Riverside Cemetery Corporation in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
4,5

Another
seafaring relation was Amasa
DELANO

(1763-1823),
who
at age fourteen was a private in the Continental Army, a privateersman
at sixteen, and a master shipbuilder at twenty-one.  He and his
brother, Samuel, built the sealers Perserverance
(200 tons) and the smaller Pilgrim.
He ecame the first to circle the globe three times and the first
to copy
down an account from the mutinous survivors of the H.M.S.Bou
nty.  In 1810 the authorities
of St. Bartholomew, West Indies, tried to seize the Perseverance for an alleged  
violation
of the revenue laws, but he
put to sea under fire of their batteries and escaped.


Warren
Delano II

His experiences
at sea in the days of New England
supremacy
were recorded in


Narrative
of Voyages and Travels in the
Northern and Southern
Hemispheres,
Comprising
Three Voyages Round the
World
(1817)
.  This
was the basis for
Herman Melville
‘s
other masterpiece, the short story Benito Cereno
(1856), a harrowing tale of slavery and revolt aboard a Spanish
ship.

It was these
ancestors—who overcame
misfortune with stoic perserverance, kept up appearances befitting a
proud old family, and shunned no risk to get to the top—from whom
President DELANO
Roosevelt
took his “vitality.”  
Biographers of FDR cite his fascination with the history of
the
seafaring DELANO ancestors and their sagas (he sought the post of
Assistant Secretary of the Navy) as providing him the strength of
character and moral fortitude to stand his ground during the most
difficult hours of his presidency.

 

Two New Yorkers:
Editor and Sea Captain, 1833

Article about
Captain Joseph DELANO


J C Delano Letters, 1812-1818

Captain
Joseph DELANO on board Ship
Arab, Ship
Virginia, and Ship Ladoga.

 

 

 

a passenger

Thomas
Carolan (1807-1870)
was 40-years-old when
he crossed the Atlantic Ocean
aboard the
packet ship Patrick
Henry
  June 23 to
July
27, 1847 with his family.  The family came from County Meath, the
parish of Kells, about 40
miles northwest of Dublin. During the Great Hunger when
the Carolans fled, the population of Kells dropped 38 percent
and the workhouse and fever hospital were described as “full to
overflowing.”
In Irish,
Kells is
spelled Ceanannas and means “Great Chief Abode.”
A monestary
was founded in 804 A.D. there by
monks fleeing the Vikings. Kells is the site of many battles between
Anglo, Irish and Norman fighters, and was the home of the famous
illuminated Latin manuscript of the Four Gospels, the “Book of
Kells.

In Griffith’s Land Valuation of 1848-64, a Michael Carolan is found
(possibly father of Thomas) in the Drumbaragh
Townland
in Kells parish.  He is renting 10 perches
(1perch=272 square feet) from Robert Woodward with “house and garden”
for 10 shillings a
year.  Nearby, he rents 16 acres from Woodward for 7 pounds and 10
shillings, and in turn, obtains rent on the land and cabins from two
other renters, James Casserly and Sam Swift. It is possibly from these
plots of land where Thomas and his family came.

According to
Catholic Church
records
from Kells parish, County Meath, Thomas married
Elizabeth Smyth (1817-1875) on July 2, 1841, with Ann Ferly and Mary
McEvoy as sponsors to the marriage. Elizabeth’s parents were likely
John and Mary Smyth, who appear as sponsors at the birth of their son.

Born to couple were Catherine on November 23, 1842, Michael
(pictured) on July 24, 1844, and

Michael
Carolan, @1900, Philadelphia
Ann on July
29, 1846.

The
year of their voyage on the Patrick Henry was at the height of the
Great
Hunger—the famine that decimated Ireland’s
population and
began a new chapter in American history. Nearly two million
people left between 1845 and 1854, more newcomers than America had ever
seen in such a short timespan, or ever would see again.

Less than a
month before the Carolans embarked for America, the Patrick Henry had just
delivered, “for distribution to the famishing poor,” provisions worth
$1,166 to Ireland—the irony being the vessel’s hold contained food
on one
passage and, less than a month later, contained the very people
for whom the food was for.  “We hope that our mite may arrive in time to alleviate
the miseries of a few of the many sufferers of your devoted
countrymen,” wrote the Brooklyn New
York Irish
Relief
Committee on May 11.
6

The Carolan family first had to travel to an Irish port city and cross
the Irish sea to
Liverpool
on a steam ferry.  There, they likely purchased
their entire passage on the Patrick
Henry for less than
$20.  The Carolans were lucky.  A month before they departed,
the Cork Examiner published the
following (19 May 1847):

SUFFERINGS
OF EMIGRANTS IN NEW YORK–The paupers who have recently arrived from
Europe give a most melancholy account of their sufferings. Upwards of
eighty individuals,

almost dead with the ship fever, were
landed from
one ship alone, while twenty-seven of the
cargo
died
on the passage,
and were thrown into the sea. They were one hundred days tossing
to
and fro upon the ocean, and for the last twenty days their food only
consisted of a few
ounces
of

meal per day, and their
only water was obtained from the clouds.


The ratio of sick per one thousand passengers
that year was 30 on board British ships and about 9 passengers on board
American ships (Kapp, 1870).  The Carolans sailed June 23 and
arrived 34
days later
at
the South Street Seaport
in New York on July 27th
with mostly Irish
passengers
and much

merchandise.
Newspaper
accounts and passenger manifest show discrepancies of 13 passengers,
who
likely died on the voyage.  The Carolans lost their two daughters
Elizabeth (age 13) and Ann (age 01)
on the
voyage or shortly after
, while
daughter Catherine (age 4) survived.

A small child
died aboard the ship. The boys were distressed by the even and thought
their parents would prevent the burying of the body in the ocean. They
apprehensively watched the burly sailors cut and sew a small canvas
coffin. The child was placed in the middle of it, sand was poured in
around the body and the coffin was sealed. Then they placed it in a
larger canvas coffin, filled the remaining space with sand and sealed
it up.
A plank was extended over the
water off the side of ship. A solemn
crowd
gathered as the crew hoisted the heavy package onto the plank’s end and
the
Captain lifted the inner end of the board and rolled the child’s body
into the
sea.
After the child was
buried, a large shark
followed

the ship for two days.
–George
Hopkins, Diary, British Barque
Union, June 17,
1835

.



Illustration
from The Famine Ships, by
Edward Laxton


Thomas
and Elizabeth went to Moreland Township in Montgomery County,
Pennsylvania,
a rural community north of Philadelphia, where Thomas

worked as a
farm
laborer.
There, the couple had six
more children
in
the
early 1850s: Julianna (1849), Caroline (1850), Martha (1853-1930),
Thomas Spencer (1854-1915), Josephine I. (1857),
Elizabeth
(1858), and
Lydia
F. (1862).

 

 

The Carolan
surname survives through
the family’s two sons, Michael and his younger brother Thomas
,
both blacksmiths who owned shops within miles of each
other in north Philadelphia for most of their lives.
  Michael
was born in Kells parish, County Meath, on married an Irish girl named
Anna Lawrence (1853-1901) in 1869
and had 18 children, six of
whom lived
into adulthood: Elizabeth (McDonald) (1873-1919); Matthew William
(1871-1942); Emma Mary (Roth; Merritt)
(1875-1958);
Helen “Nellie” Ann (Heidenfelder) (1875-?);
Anna
“Nan” (1879-1950); and
Caroline “Carrie” Veronica (McGrath) (1883-1946).


Their
son Matthew married

Wilh
elmina
Koenig (1879-1963) in 1901.  They had three

children:
Ann Marie
(1902-1997), Matthew George (1904-1994), and Walter Charles
(1908-1969).

Walter Charles married Verna Mae Rose (1910-1956) in

1932.  He was one of the first
Carolans to
leave
Philadelphia when he moved to Kansas City in the early
1940s.
Their
sons,
Walter Jr.
and
William
George, my father, live in Kansas City.  Their son Robert
(1939-1979) grew up there as well.

Ann Marie married John Carroll
Moerk (1898-1989) in 1933.  Their children, Alice and John Jr,.
live in Florida.  Ann Marie’s son, Jack Robinson (1925-1943), from
a previous marriage, died in World War II.  Matthew George married
Eleanor Tompkins (1906-1968) in 1938 and had two children, Jack and
Constance.  Matthew
George married Hattie Gertrude “Trudy” Felt (1916-2001), my maternal
grandmother, in 1970.

 


Thomas Spencerwas
born near
Hatboro in Moreland Township in 1854. 
When
Thomas Spencer was 16-years-old, he lived with Michael in Abington
Township, Montgomery County, according to the 1870 census. 
Around
1880, he married Elizabeth Evans
(1854-1902), with British parentage.
  He ran
the carriage house and blacksmith shop for a large estate, said to be
part of Widener University, and bought a large house on the corner of
Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike.  The house was not far from
where his brother Michael lived in Fitzwatertown in Montgomery County
and then Feltonville near Rising Sun Avenue in Philadelphia.
Thomas built and owned housing for other Irishmen along the Pike.
After Elizabeth died in 1902,
Thomas
remarried Sarah Tobias, said to have been born in England.

Thomas and Elizabeth’s son,
Harry Spencer (1892-1952)
married Mary
Elizabeth
Hesson
(1895-1970), around 1913.  
They
had six children,
several
whom are still living.   James Joseph Carolan (1932) is a
professor of
mathematics living in Wharton, Texas, and  Ann Marie (1921) lives
in
Warminster, Pennsylvania.


Third from
left, Thomas Spencer Carolan (1854-1915),

 boy in foreground:
Harry
Spencer Carolan
(1892-1952
)
L
imekiln Pike
and Washington Lane, Philadelphia, “Helltown,” 1894

The
photograph was provided by Michael
Thompson and was obtained from James Joseph Carolan. It is a tintype
made in 1894.

Several hundred descendants of Thomas Carolan (1807-1870) from the Patrick
Henry
live in the United States today.  We
are at
work tracing the family to a specific county in Ireland. 
Please
email mcarolan@charter.net.

 

The VOYAGES

LIVERPOOL � NEW YORK PASSAGE

(except where
noted; bolded have passenger lists available through the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
website)

 

Arrival Date    Captain

2/1/1840
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

5/27/1840
DELANO,
JOSEPH
C

9/27/1840
DELANO,
JOSEPH
C

1/16/1841
DELANO,
JOSEPH
C

5/24/1841
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

9/24/1841
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

2/3/1842
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

5/28/1842
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

9/24/1842
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

2/4/1843
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

5/23/1843
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

9/22/1843
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

1/25/1844
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

5/27/1844
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

9/16/1844
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

1/9/1845
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

4/24/1845
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

8/21/1845
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

12/26/1845
DELANO,
JOHN A

4/25/1846
DELANO,
JOHN A

7/31/1846
DELANO,
JOHN A

11/20/1846
DELANO,
JOHN A


4/5/1847
DELANO, JOSEPH
C

7/27/1847
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

12/1/1847      DELANO,
JOSEPH C
4/3/1848
DELANO,
JOSEPH C

Packet
New World, Swallowtail Line,
1404 tons

7/24/1848
DELANO,
JOHN A


11/20/1848
DELANO,
JOHN A


3/31/1849
DELANO,
JOHN A


8/8/1849
DELANO,
JOSEPH C


12/5/1849
GORDON,
ROBERT


4/8/1850
GORDON,
ROBERT

7/24/1850
GORDON, ROBERT

8/8/1850
HEWES,
WILLIAM
BELFAST

11/6/1850
GORDON, ROBERT

7/29/1851

UNKNOWN

DUBLIN
11/3/1851
MULLAND, J E

LONDON
3/8/1852
HUBBARD, SHELDON G      LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

6/9/1852
HUBBARD, SHELDON G      LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

2/4/1853
HURLBURT, JOHN

LONDON
5/5/1853
HURLBURT, JOHN

LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH
5/12/1854
HUBBARD, SHELDON G     LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

10/1/1854
HURLBURT,
JOHN
LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

2/12/1855
HURLBURT,
JOHN
LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

11/15/1855
HURLBURT,
JOHN
LONDON,
PORTSMOUTH

3/26/1856
OWEN, PETER

LONDON
8/22/1856
GIFFORD, THOS.

LONDON
12/12/1863
ROBINSON, HENRY

8/18/1864
sails from New York
10/28/1864   departs New York
8/19/1871
arrived LIVERPOOL


List
courtesy, in part, of Peg and John Faludi, and the New York Times.


American
Naval Architecture:
Cheap
Travelling to Europe — Reduction of Fare

From
The
Yarmouth
Herald, Nova Scotia, November 15,
1839:
On
Wednesday morning a new ship of one
thousand tons burthen was
launched from the yard of
Messrs. Webb &
Allen,
and as she dipped into the water, was named New York.
  Her
contour
is very
much like the Patrick Henry, and if there is any difference, it
is in
the more perfect symmetry of the bows of the New York. William C.
Barstow,
Esq., formerly of the South America, will take command of her,
and he
sails hence for Liverpool (England)
on the 7th of November. 

The
cabins of the New York
will surpass every thing of the kind afloat — even those of the famous
English
yacht belonging to the Earl of Yarborough. They will cost, when
finished,
$8,000, and the ship altogether $80,000.
There are to be forty berths
in twenty
state rooms, each to be finished off in the highest style of elegance.
The
doors, pilasters, pannels, &c. in the cabins are made of rose and
satin
woods, mahogany, heart of black oak, and bird’s eye maple, the whole to
be
relieved with white enamelled cornices, and gilt mouldings. The
curtains in the
berths are of beautiful figured
silk, which, together with the linen,
blankets,
silver and crockery ware, curtains, &c. cost over �800; and the
wine
vaults, the camboose [the on-deck cooking room of a ship], the ice
house, the
cow house, the place for fowls and such things, have been so improved
upon,
that fresh eggs, fresh milk, cool wines and fresh meats, will be on the
table
every day during the passage across the Atlantic, and what more can a
sea
voyager wish? 

With
the launch of this ship commences an entire new system with three Liverpool lines of packets. The price of passage
in the New York, Virginian,
Patrick Henry, George
Washington, United States,
South America, North America, Independence,
Westchester, Sheffield, Oxford, Cambridge,
Europe, Columbus,

and Roscoe, has been reduced to $100. Thus every person who
crosses the
Atlantic in the above named ships, will save forty dollars each trip,
have all
the same comforts that they would in the steam ships at 170 dollars, or
in four
other Liverpool vessels at 140 dollars. — From the New York
Herald.

The Cargo


Foreign
Importations. July 27, 1847. nEW YORK HERALD.

LIVERPOOL�Ship
PATRICK
HENRY�32 cse mdse J Gihon & c–8 cks J Gill–100 bxs tin J M Bruce
&
son–11 bales Cameron & Bland–38 Beals, Bush & co–3 J A
Underwood–16
Riggs, Jenkins & co–2 J & J Stewart & co–8 T Jones &
co–1
Wickham & Hutchinson–1 Parmalee, Rogers & co–1 J W Harris–1
Smith,
Torrey & co–3 H Farsham & co–15 W Redmond–18 bdls iron J S
Bruce–302 bars D W Wilson & co–5 ca J Falconer & co–17 H
Blackburn–1 N Ludlam–8 Nevius & co–1 J Brown–1 Russell &
Marsh–1 T
Lownds–13 J Robinson & co–13 Godfry, Pattison & co–2 C J
Brown &
co–5 Walker & Bros–5 Smith, Thurgar & co–7 W M Titus–1 F S
& S
A Martin–6 cs 2 bales Hughes, Ward & co–1 cs G Hastings &
co–1 A
Armstrong & son–3 D Haddon & son–9 ca 3 bales Paton &
co–7 cs M
J Duffey–120 bars iron 303 bdls Jo D M Wilson–712 bars 61 bdls
Rogers,
Ketchum& co–2 cases J Ryle–2 H Jessup–7 J Hudson–1 cask R S
Stanton–1
E R Mann–50 Wight, Sturgis & Shaw–3 J Stewart & co–1 J W P
Lewis–37
bdls steel 1 cask E Clark & co–41 Graydon & Swanwick–3 J
Graydon–100
tons lead 1 box 1 pel D Coldon–63 cs 2 bs Reiss, Bros & co–2 cks
Walshy
& Mallory–1 cs 2 cks Coffin, Bradley & co–15 ca 1 bale McCall
&
Strong–7 cs 2 bs C Buckingham–2 C W Field & co–5 Lee &
Case–1
Adriance, Strang & co–3 ca 3 bs A R Eno–1 cs W M Loomis &
co–4 bs F
S & D Lathrop–20 cs 1 bale D Oakey & co–27 ca J & J
Stowart &
co–1 Elliman & Bros–37 do 2 bs Butterfield, Bros & co–1 G
Hollman–14 A Mitchell & co–27 cs 2 bs Huot Bros–18 Watt &
Sherman–11 W Benjamin–1 Stanton & Barnes–2 cks F Leisse–9 ca
Stanton,
Kaapp & Woodruff–1 Blackwell, Whetmore & co–1 Manning &
Pritchard–1 G Hunt–19 cs F Marriot & son–737 bars iron E
Atwater–73 ca
S Cooks–10 cs Wolfe & Gillispie–347 bxs Wight, Sturges &
Shaw–1 cks
F Tomes & son–1
Barton
& co–23 cs Sands, Fuller & co–6 E
S
Clark–35 R L Crook–1 Ludwig, Goldschmidt & co–186 bars 160 bdls
iron E
Clark & co–3 bdls F Hart & co–9 W B Bond–2 G Pierce &
co–19 W
Stevens–1 S & L Holmes–1 S Rosevelt–A S Stewart–15 Watts &
Sherman–7 Benkard & Hutton–1 Bramnall, Abernathy & co–6 C W
Churchman–3 L & V Kirby–1 J Conklin & co–1 Van Dusen, Jagger
&
co–13 Hall Bros & co–1 ck 1 cs H T Cooper–16 ca H Sheldon &
co–1 M
Thomas & co–1 W S Martin–2 T Lowndes–3 Spaulding, Thomas &
co–3
Newstedt & Burnell–1 bdl 1 cs Hurlbut, Switzer & co–729 bars
400 bdls
iron Kemeys, Sampson & co–1297 bars J H Abeel & co–383 bdls
do
Bleecker & Oothout–1 Lockhart, Gibens & co–27 cs 17 bdbls
Phelps,
Chittendon & Bliss–7 cs I bbl H Irvin–61 cs 354 bxs tin Phelps,
Dodge
& co–16 cs J C Petrio–2 F S Winston–2 bbls H Andrews–2 do
Maitland,
Phelps & co–1 J R Jaffray & sons–1 W H Smith & co–J N
Alcot–2 R
Ewing–3 cs 1 bbl J Kelly–11 cs 1 bale Russell & Marsh–11 ca
Bancroft,
Beaver & co–10 Atwater, Gould & co–5 do 1 bbl Halstead, Hains
&
co–36 Wight, Large & Lattemar–3 W Bradford & co–1 L B
Curtis–10 do
1 bale Greenway, Henry & Smith–2 C Cope–1 Lewis & Farrman–1
Riuchards, Bassett & co–1 A Aruald–3 J Lefferts &
co–
Taylor
& sons–7 Clark, Southworth & co–9 Bancroft, Beaver &
co– 
1
Brown,
Seaver & Dunbar–1 Benedict & Rockwell–2 Jackson &
Underhill–3 J
B Worrell & son–5 A M & W N Strong–4 Austin, Shears &
co–1 A H
Mallory–2 bbls R N Timson & co–3 G W Betts–4 cs Mellvaine &
Williams–3 Davis & Jones–5 J T Jones & co–1 bale 1 cs Van
Duzen
Jagger & co–3 Field & Merritt–3 do 2 bales Allen, Hazen &
co–3
cs 2 bales Adriance, Straug
&
Black Ball Packet
Orpheus Leaving the East River (NY) in 1835

co–3 H
Bayli–25 Robbins, Hill &
co–3
Bramhall, Abernethy & Collins–4 Updyke & Hall–75 bdls

by
John
Stobart, courtesy of Maritime Heritage Prints, Boston.


bags
Grinnell,
Minturn & co–2 bales 4 cs Stone, Swan & co–6 E J Brown &
co–18
bales Watton,
Johnson & co–226 cs 8 bales 2 crates 78 pkgs to
order.

The Company

 

Grinnell,
Minturn
& Co.
—This very
prominent transatlantic packet
company (owners of the PATRICK
HENRY
), which
later had great
success in the
California
clipper trade, was founded in about 1822 as Fish, Grinnell & Co
(the senior
partner of which had the memorable and improbable name of
Preserved
Fish
),
their first ships the
Silas
Richards, Napoleon, George,
and York.
Its first major endeavor was its Liverpool
Line,
known as the Blue Swallowtail Line (1822-1880) from
its
distinctive
blue and
white swallowtailed house flag (in which the dividing line between blue
and
white followed the shape of the swallowtailed fly). The line was called
the �Fourth Line of
Liverpool Packets� and originally sailed monthly. Like the other
Liverpool-
New York
packet lines,
it did a thriving business in the wave of Irish immigration. They
did
business with
Cuba, China, and England, until they
eventually
extended their trade and shipping links to all parts of the globe.
The
company
entered
the
London market in
1923 with its
London
(Red Swallowtail)
Line, which also endured until 1880. The flag was the same as for the
Liverpool line, but
with red at the hoist
instead of blue.8  



Some
significant ships in the
Blue Swallowtail fleet include the Plymouth
Rock
,
Constitution, Queen of the West, New
World
, Henry Clay, Ashburton, and
the Albert
Gallatin
. Red Swallowtail
packets included the Sir Robert
Peel
, London,
Prince Albert,
Yorktown,
and Rhine.
   Their blue
and white, or red and white, Swallowtail House flags flew over more
than fifty vessels, including several of the finest clippers ever
built.

In
New York,
the
company had offices at the South Street Seaport between Malden Lane and
Burling Slip.  Their London Red Swallowtail Line was the last
transatlantic sailing packet line to remain in service.  The Cornelius Grinnell (1,117 tons)
and the Ne Plus Ultra (1,534
tons) ran on schedule until 1881.  The last sailing packet to
cross the Atlantic Ocean westbound was the Ne Plus Ultra, which arrived in
London May 18, 1881.   The Swallowtail packet Liverpool (1,077 tons) held the
record for the longest service in the transatlantic packet run at 37
years.

Franklin
H. Delano—cousin to Captain Joseph C. Delano of the Packet-ship Patrick Henry on which the CAROLAN family
sailed for New York in 1847—
had a share
of the firm and represented
its concerns on the board of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance
Company, the oldest mutual marine insurer in New York, founded in
1842.
Franklin H. was the namesake
of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

 “Packet Row”
South
Street Harbor          New York
City, 1851

Mr. Preserved
Fish
was born on
3rd July,
1766, the son of a one Mr. Preserved Fish, a
blacksmith.
The name was handed down
through generations and rumor had it that the name was given to him by
a
fisherman, who found him as an infant, adrift at sea in an open boat.
Fish worked
with his father at first,
then tried farming, but didn�t like it and shipped on a whaler for the
Pacific.  By the age of twenty one had risen to captain,
and soon became a merchant at
New Bedford. He moved to
New York, and it was in 1815 that
he joined forces with Joseph, Henry, and Moses Hicks Grinnell,
marketing part
of New Bedford’s whale oil output, prior to setting up a firm to
compete with
the Black Ball Line.

In 1825 the firm of Fish and
Grinnell, in
which his brother Joseph was partner, was dissolved by the retirement
of
Mr. Fish, whereupon Henry joined the new firm of Fish, Grinnell &
Company.  Compelled to retire by ill
health Joseph
Grinnell left the firm in
1829, and Robert Bowne Minturn took his
place, the firm subsequently becoming Grinnell,
Minturn & Company. Under
the new name the scope of the firm’s operations was greatly


expanded by its
entry
into the general shipping business, until it became one of the
strongest
mercantile houses in
New York�much of  this rise being due to the
new partner,
Robert Bowne Minturn
.
Preserved
Fish


In the late
forties, the firm was engaged in the transatlantic, China,
and Cuba trades, and needed a new clipper to get into the California
trade. All the New York yards were busy building clippers for their
competitors, so Grinnell sent their agents out to scout the New England
shipyards to find them such a clipper ship.

Moses Grinnell bought the Flying Cloud,
from owner Enoch Train for
$90,000.

The
vessel was so enormous,
magnificent, and beautiful, to
be seen with
gales in her topsails, that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was said to have
composed By the Seaside in
its honor:
The moon and evening star/Were

Clipper Flying Cloud

hanging in the
shrouds/Every mast, as it passed/Seem to rake the passing clouds.

designed by the legendary
shipbuilder Donald McKay,

 

1,750
tons, launched April
15, 1851

   

 

 

 

GRINNELL,
Joseph, merchant
, born in
New Bedford, Massachusetts,
18 January 1789; died there, 7 February, 1885, at the hearty age of 97.

He came to
New York, and in 1815
aided in establishing
the firm of Fish and Grinnell. His two younger brothers became members
of the
firm in 1825, and in 1828 Joseph retired, and his place was taken by
Robert B.
Minturn. Joseph resided at
New
Bedford for
fifty-six years, and was president of the Marine Bank, the Wamsutta
Mills
company, and the
New
Bedford and Taunton railroad. He
was a
member of the governor’s council in 1839-41, and in 1843-51 was a
representative in congress, having been elected as a Whig.

His
brother
Henry
grinnell
, merchant, born in New Bedford,
Massachusetts, in 1800;
died in New York City, 30 June, 1874, was made a member of the firm of Fish
and
Grinnell, afterward Grinnell, Minturn and Company. He was much
interested in
geography, and especially in arctic exploration, and in 1850, at his
own
expense, fitted out an expedition to search for the famed arctic
explorer Sir John
Franklin
,
from
whom
nothing had been heard in five years.

The
expedition sailed from New
York in May, 1850 and discovered
land in
lat. 75� 24′ 21″, which was named Grinnell Land,
in honor of Mr. Grinnell. In 1853, he spent
$50,000 in the
equipment of the second Franklin
search expedition, giving it also his personal supervision. This
expedition was
placed in charge of Dr. John Kane,
and the government bore part of its
expenses.  Mr. Grinnell also contributed
freely to the
Hayes expedition of 1860, and to the “Polaris” expedition of 1871.

Throughout
his life, he was an earnest
advocate
of the interests of sailors, and was the first president of the
American Geographical
Society, in 1852-3, and a vice president from 1854 till 1872.

His
daughter, Sylvia, married a British Naval Admiral, and in 1886
presented to the Society a crayon portrait of her father,
framed in wood and salvaged from the ship Resolute.
The Resolute was among the four ships
abandoned in the arctic ice that were part of an expedition led by Sir
Edward
Belcher (1799-1877). Belcher
went searching for Sir John Franklin in 1852, and while the expedition
whas unsuccessful, it brought back McClure’s party, who had been ice
bound for three years.

 

The
Resolute, from which
Grinnell�s portrait was recovered, was found floating in open water and
was
subsesequently purchased by Congress, refitted, and presented the
British government.  The ship is said to be the source
of wood
of the       presidential desk in
the Oval Office of the

Sir Edward
Belcher’s Arctic Exploring Expedition, 1865
White
House.

left: “Intrepid” (tender
to “Resolute”) Right: “Pioneer”

Wood
engraving, ca. 1865 in modern hand coloring.

 


Sir
Edward Belcher, its
captain, is the great grandson of Jonathan Belcher, governor of
Massachusetts
and New Jersey (1681-1757).
  Jonathan
Belcher owned territory in the
Pioneer
Valley in
west-central
Massachusetts
that was
named in his honor (
Belcher�s
Town
)
in 1731, and which, two-hundred and
seventy-three years later, would become, in 2004, home to the
author
Belcher’s
Arctic Route, 1852-54


of this
webpage and his patient and
loving
family: Ruth
Ann, Liam Michael Bresnan, and Hattie Claire.

 


Another brother of
Joseph,
moses
hicks
, born in New Bedford,
Massachusetts, 3 March, 1803; died in New York City, 24 November, 1877.
In 1825
he became a member of the firm of Fish and Grinnell. Between 1839 and
1841 he was
a
representative in Congress, having been elected as a Whig.  A
meeting of shipmasters, pilots, stevedores, mates and seamen was held
in Franklin Square, New York City, on October 28, 1840 to nominate him
for Congress:

 

“Shipmates–Moses H. Grinnell is one of us, and
from among us.  He is one of our own make. He has not gone upward
through the lubber hole, but he has gone up like a man. Shipmates ahoy!
Turn out, turn out, for all is not well.  A storm is brewing, and
we start the Ship of State for a four years voyage. What master at the
helm is better than an old salt.”  (The “lubber hole” was a term
given to relatives and friends of shipowners and merchants who bypassed
much of the long, hard apprenticeship of the older generation through
favoritism and who were promoted over the heards of more experienced
and deserving men.


On February 18, 1847, at a national meeting
held in Washington, DC,
he signed a Presidential resolution �that the famine now existing in Ireland
is so extensive, and is attended in many places with such appalling
scenes of
distress, as to present a proper case for national sympathy and
charity.�6

He was said to have forgone a “sumptuous dinner worth three
hundred sixty dollars to furnish an additional fifty barrels of wheat
flour for Ireland” and soon became part of the affluent group of New
Yorkers who worked in the Help
Ireland movement
.

He was a
presidential elector on the Fremont
ticket in 1856, and in 1869-70 collector of the port of New York.
He became president of the chamber of commerce in 1843, was a member of
the
original Central park commission, and
in
1860-5 a commissioner of charities and correction. He gave liberally
toward Dr.
Kane’s arctic expedition of 1853, and toward the National cause during
the
civil war.  Mr. Grinnell was one of the
merchant princes of New York,
and enjoyed the friendship of Daniel Webster and William H. Seward.9

MINTURN,
Robert Bowne, merchant,
born in New York City, 16
November, 1805; died there, suddenly of paralyis, 9 January, 1866. The
son of wealth, he received an English
education,
and, though compelled by the death of his father to leave school at the
age of
fourteen and enter a counting-house, spent his leisure in study, so
that he
gained an extensive acquaintance with general literature. He was
received into
partnership in 1825 with Charles Green, whose clerk he had been, and in
1830
entered the firm of Fish and Grinnell, which was from 1832 afterward
known as
Grinnell,
Minturn and Co. after the deaths of the two original partners. He
declined all public office except the post of
Commissioner
of Emigration, which he supposedly accepted from a wish to secure the
rights of
emigrants.


In 1846, at the time of the Irish Potato
famine, Minturn’s fortune was estimated at $200,000.
He
was an active manager of many charitable associations in New York City,
aided in establishing the
Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and was a founder
of St.
Luke’s Hospital.  Robert Minturn was active in the Ireland
famine relief
effort as
well. He served as Commissioner of Emigration at New York to improve
the condition of incoming foreigners and was part of a U.S.
committee that pledged three thousand pounds sterling and food for
delivery
to Ireland
in 1847.6


At the
same time, Minturn was among a select
group of merchant-kings
(most of the shareholders of Grinnell and Minturn) who claimed
philanthropy but profited heavily from the trade in human
cargo.


At one point, Minturn
noted
that
the $5 million spent by emigrants on ship fares in 1847 substantially
reduced the cost of carrying freight, and thus lowered the cost of
American
cotton and grain to English buyers.  The profit motive rather than

humanitarian impulses drove the business of immigration, and
because government regulatory agencies and private philanthropies were
unwilling or unable to exert much control over that business,
19th-century emigrants were often literally treated as human freight.

 

Nevertheless, Robert Minturn was
among a small group of
wealthy New York
civic visionaries instrumental in the development of the world famous
Central Park,
which was based on Birkenhead
Park, Merseyside,
near Liverpool.
He was described as a tall, handsome man, who was generous, modest and
humane–his sense of social responsibility growing with his fortune.

His
son, Robert Bowne, is the author of New York
to
Delhi
(New York, 1858).
10

Brown
& Bell, shipbuilders
Between the
War of 1812 and the Civil War, more than
thirty
shipbuilding
companies
were operating in yards located along the
section of the East River
between the
Battery and 14th Street in New York City. In the
transitional period when steam and iron were beginning to be used, and
wooden ships were being brought to their peak of perfection, the most
significant shipbuiding events in the world occurred on the East River
in New York and the Clyde River near Glasgow. Clyde took the lead in
iron hulls and screw propellors, while the East River held a
commanding position with its packets, pilot boats, clippers, and wooden
sidewheel steamers.

The
East
River industry was dominated during this period by three major
yards, originally operated by Henry Eckford,
Christian Bergh, and the brothers Adam and Noah Brown. They were
succeeded respectively by William H. Webb, Jacob A. Westervelt, and
Brown & Bell
(builder of
the PATRICK HENRY)
.
All
of these yards were on the Manhattan shore of the
river. 
Brown & Bell operated at
the
foot of Stanton Street.  Brown constructed all the
Black
Ball Line of ships for many years, many of the Swallowtail line, and,
at the end of this period, built
several successful clippers and two of the original Collins
steamships.  The East River yards were noted for the quality of
their ships, scarcely equalled in the world.  Stiff
prices were charged, but it became known that vessels were well worth
their cost.
  Consequently,
the East River eventually represented
the greatest concentration of shipbuilding in America.11


The relief

 


John Laird, Sons & Co.
shipyard at Birkenhead, near Liverpool, 1857

The
PATRICK HENRY was one of a fleet of several
dozen packet and steam ships that carried millions of dollars of food
and clothing contributions from American donors to ports in England
and Ireland
during the famine years.  Much of the
relief came from American cities and was routed through New York, where
prominant and influential merchants, bankers, and philanthropists
organized the Help
Ireland movement
of 1847 and 1848.  It was, however, first and
foremost the Quakers, in Ireland and America, through the Society of
Friends, who mobilized significant support in Ireland and
from America on a scale
never seen
before.  All told the Central Relief
Committee was responsible for 9,911 tons of American food that was
received at
a value of nearly 134,000₤.  Some 37,000
letters, recommendations
and reports were dispatched through the
Central Relief
Committee, culminating in 200,000₤ worth of donations, or more than $11
million
in today�s values.

 

The
Quakers kept meticulous records and were also responsible for the soup
kitchens
that later became a model for government relief.  Almost
three hundred boilers were supplied to
27 counties, with recipes.  The Committee
also looked beyond immediate distress to longer-term recovery such as
assistance through grants, loans, and training.
This included seed distribution, land cultivation, fisheries,
industrial
employment and improvement of agricultural holdings.

 

The PATRICK
HENRY
was a part of this effort and
its owners, Grinnell and Minturn,
were members of relief committees.  In
1847,
Captain Delano made two voyages�May 6, 1847
and September 7, 1847�in the record
from New York to Liverpool
carrying relief worth nearly 200₤.6

 

September
7
Voyage

Letter: New York,
31st of August, 1847.


It is most
grateful to every Irish heart, to find the
continued good feeling that
exists in this great country, and to find
the
continued stream of provisions that
flows from the far west to-wards
this city
to aid the starving Irish. I am now shipping
by the packet-ship,
“Patrick
Henry,” to sail on the 6th proximo for
Liverpool;
and
will continue to send hereafter to that port, as provisions arrive.


(Signed)


JAMES REYBURN
,
Treasurer.

 

Donations
on Board

Irish
Relief Committee, New York,

Myndert
Van Schaick, Chairman      70
barrels flour

34
barrels meal

5
boxes barley

5
barrels wheat

51
barrels rye flour

3
barrels beans

1
barrel peas

14
packages clothing

179
barrels corn

2
barrels pork

8
barrels sundries

Irish
Re1ief Committee, Brooklyn,

New York, per
William M.
Harris

and
others.
220
barrels meal

 

Inhabitants
of Burlington, NJ:   
3
bags corn

 

Relief
Committee, Albany,
NY:
36
barrels meal

State
of Ohio:

2143
bushels corn

25
bushels of rye

 

Inhabitants
of Rochester, NY:
197
barrels meal

13
barrels corn

26
barrels flour

Letter to
London, aboard the Patrick Henry

2
barrels wheat

 

in Port New
Orleans, January 29, 1845

4
packages of clothing.

 

 


May 6 Voyage

Letter:
Brooklyn, N. Y.,
11th of May, 1847

On
behalf of the citizens of Brooklyn,
we have shipped to your
address,
by the
�Patrick Henry,� for
distribution to
the famishing
poor, the provisions specified in the enclosed invoice,
amounting
to 1166 dollars, and for which a bill of lading is attached. We hope
that our
mite may arrive in time to alleviate the miseries of a few of the many
sufferers of your devoted countrymen. 


We would desire to call your
attention,
as to the distribution of this shipment, to the locality of Newry; and
if in
your opinion it will do most good in that district, to direct a portion
or all
to that point; we, however, do not intend to direct you, having every
confidence that you will give it such direction as will carry out the
desires
of our citizens-that of relieving the greatest distress. We have
requested it
to be insured.

 

On
behalf of the citizens of Brooklyn,
and by order of the executive committee.

(Signed)

WILLIAM
M.HARRIS,
DAVID LEAVITT,
FREEMAN HUNT, JUN

From
the Irish Relief Committee,
Brooklyn,
New York

Donations
on Board

Irish
Re1ief Committee, Brooklyn,

New York, per
William M.
Harris

and
others.
78
bushels

300
barrels biscuit

18
bushels wheat, rye, and beans

2
cases clothing

 

Irish
Relief Committee, Rochester,
NY,

Silas
Cornell
160
barrels meal

 


 


Web site created, researched and
written by Michael Carolan,
son of William, great grandson of the first
Michael

mcarolan@charter.net

c. 2006

1. Robert
Greenhalgh
Albion. Square-riggers on
Schedule:
The
New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports
(Princeton:  Princeton University
Press,
1938), pp. 278–279, 282-283, 299, 314; Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp.,
List of
American-flag Merchant Vessels that received Certificates of E
nrollment
or
Registry at the Port of New York, 1789-1867 (Record Groups 41 and 36),
National
Archives Publication 68-10, Special Lists 22 (Washington, DC: National
Archives
and Records Service, 1968), p. 546.
Provided courtesy Michael Palmer.  Speed of passage and
rough seas from 

Fairburn, William
Armstrong.
Merchant Sail . Center
Lovell, Maine: Fairburn Marine
Educational Foundation, 1945-1955. V.II: 1164, 1279.

Hone quoted
from “The
Diary of Philip Hone, 1828-1851.” p. 386. New York: Dodd, Mead &
Co. 1889. Carl C. Cutler. Queens of
the Western Ocean: the Story of America’s Mail and Passenger Sailing
Lines.
Annapolis, Maryland: U.S. Naval Institute. 1961.
2.
Record of American and Foreign Shipping
from Surveys Made and Compiled Under Direction of the
American Shipmasters� Association.
New York: American Bureau of Shipping, 1884.

3. New-York
Historical Society,
letter to Michael Carolan from Miriam Touba, researcher, 5 Mar 1999

4. Two
New-Yorkers,
Editor and Sea Captain, 1833. [Francis B. Whitlock, Member of the
Newcomen
Society, Vice President, Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., New York. The
Newcomen
Society of England  American Branch. New York. 1945.] Fairburn, Merchant Sail, p. 1177 (packet
longevity)

4.1 Charles H. Brooks,  The Official
History and Manual of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America
(New
York: Books for Libraries Free Press, 1971 [1902]; and
Times and
Seasons
, the
periodical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, November 15,
1840.

http://www.delanoye.org/Primary/Newcomen.html

5. Albion,
pp.
162-163, 334. Fairburn, p. 1078 (
Columbia fast passage).  Excerpt of
letter from Captain J.C. Delano,
November 25, 1851, from
New Bedford, Massachusetts in U.S.
Light-House
Establishment, Compilation of Public Documents, 744.  Marshall,
Amy K. Frequently Close to the Point
of Peril: A History of Buoys and Tenders in U.S. Coastal Waters,
1789-1939.
Thesis, Department of History, East Carolina
University, Master of Arts in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology. Druett, Joan.
Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains
Under Sail.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

6.
Irish Relief
Committee, Brooklyn, New York.
Transactions
of the Central
Relief Committee of the Society of Friends during the Famine in Ireland.
Dublin:
Edmund Burke Publisher,
1852. (1996).
7.  United States Census Bureau. Annual Census. Hatboro
Post Office, Moreland Township, Montgomery
County, Pennsylvania. 1850.
8.   Joe McMillan, J. House Flags of US Shipping Companies.
2001. www.hampshireflag.co.uk
9.  http://www.famousamericans.net/josephgrinnell
10.  http://www.famousamericans.net/robertbowneminturn
11.
Hollett,
David.
Passage to
the New World: Packet Ships and Irish Famine Emigrants, 1845-1851
.
Abergavenny, Great Britain: P.M. Heaton Publishing, 1995.

Other
sources:
Kapp, Frederich.
Immigration
and the Commissioners of Immigration of the State of New York.

NY: The Nation Press, 1870.

 


 

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