Saturday, February 7, 2015

Journey To Penn. In The Year 1750

Journey To Pennsylvania                                   

[Copied From "Journey To Penn. In The Year 1750",                                                
By Gottlieb Mittleberger]           

The Journey To Penn. Fell Naturally Into Three Parts.

  The First Part, And By Far No Means The Easiest, Was The Journey Down The Rhine To Rotterdam Or Some Other Port.            This Journey Lasts From The Beginning Of May To The End Of October, Fully Half A Year, Amid Such Hardships As No One Is Able To Describe Adequately With Their Misery.  The Cause Is Because The Rhine Boats From Heilborn To Holland Have To Pass By 26 Custom Houses, At All Of Which The Ships Are Examined, Which Is Done When It Waits The Convenience Of The Custom-House Officals.  In The Meantime, The Ships With The People Are Detained Long, So That The Passengers Have To Spend Much Money.  The Trip Down The Rhine Lasts, Therefore, Four, Five, Even Six Weeks.  When The Ships Come To Holland, They Are Detained There Likewise Five To Six Weeks.  Because Things Are Very Dear There, The Poor People Have To Spend Nearly All They Have During That Time.   

The Second Stage Of The Journey Was From Rotterdam To One Of The English Ports.  Most Of The Ships Called At Cowes, On The Isle Of Wight.  Another Harbor In Holland, Which Was Frequently Used As A Starting Point For The Ocean Journey Was Amsterdam.  From There Two Ships Went To Dover, Two Ships To Portsmouth, Two To Gosport, Three To Cowes, One To Tingmouth In Devonshire, One To Shields, On The East Coast Of England, And One To Aberdeen.     

        The Third Stage Of The Journey, Or The Ocean Voyage Proper, Was Marked By Much Suffering And Hardship.  The Passengers Being Packed Densley, Like Herrings, Without Proper Food And Water, Were Soon Subject To All Sorts Of Diseases, Such As Dysentery, Scurvey, Typhoid, And Small-Pox.  Children Were The First To Be Attacked, And Died In Large Numbers.  Mittelberger Reports The Deaths Of Thirty-Two Children On His Ship.  Of The Heartless Cruelty Practised, He Gives The Following Example:  One Day, Just As We Had A Heavy Gale, A Woman In Our Ship Who Was To Give Birth And Could Not Under The Circumstances Of The Storm, Was Pushed Through The Porthole And Dropped Into The Sea, Because She Was Far In The Rear Of The Ship And Could Not Be Brought Forward.   

          When At Last The Delaware River Was Reached And The City Of Brotherly Love Hove Into Sight, Where All Their Miseries Were To End, Another Delay Occurred.  A Health Officer Visited The Ship And If Any Persons With Infectious Diseases Were Discovered On The Ship, It Was Ordered To Remove One Mile From The City.    

        The Account Of The Arrival Of A Ship In 1769 Follows:   

         After Much Delay, One Ship After Another Arrives In The Harbor Of Philadelphia, When Thorough And Severe Winter Is Before The Door.  One Or More Merchants Receive The Lists Of The Freights And The Agreement Which The Emigrants Have Signed With Their Own Hand In Holland, Together With The Bills For Their Travel Down The Rhine And The Advances Of The " Newlanders" For Provisions, Which They Received On The Ships On Account.  Formerly, The Freight For A Single Person Was Six To Ten Louis D"Ors.  Before The Ship Is Allowed To Cast Anchor At The Harbor Front, The Passengers Are All Examined, According To The Law In Force, By A Physician, As To Whether Any Contagious Disease Exists Among Them.  Then The New Arrivals Are Led In Procession To The City Hall, And There They Must Render The Oath Of Allegiance To The King Of Great Britain.  After That, They Are Brought Back To The Ship.  Then Announcements Are Printed In The Newspapers, Stating How Many Of The New Arrivals Are To Be Sold.  Those Who Have Money Are Released.  Whoever Has Well-To-Do- Friends Seeks A Loan From Them To Pay The Passage, But There Are Only A Few Who Succeed.  The Ship Becomes The Marketplace.  The Buyers Make Their Choice Among The Arrivals, And Bargain With Them For A Certain Number Of Years And Days.  They Then Take Them To The Merchant, Pay Their Passage And Their Other Debts And Receive From The Government Authorities A Written Document Which Makes The Newcomers Their Property For A Definite Period.     

       But In Spite Of All Difficulties And Hardships, New Settlers Continued To Come.  The Wonder Is Not That So Many Succumbed, But That So Many Faced All Hardships Uncomplainingly, And After A Few Years Of Service Emerged From All Difficulties As Successful Farmers, Who Made The Country Blossom As A Rose.  It Only Shows Of What Sturdy Stuff These Pioneers Were Made.            
[Compiler's Note]     On The 26 Dec 1738 A Ship Of 300 Tons Was Castaway On Block Island [Rhode Island]. The Ship Had Sailed From Rotterdam In August, 1738, Last From Cowes England, With 400 Palatines, Destined For Philadelphia, Only 105 Landed At Block Island And Of These Only 90 Lived.  The Chief Reason Alleged For This Great Mortality Was The Bad Condition Of The Water Taken In At Rotterdam.  It Was Filled In Casks That Had Contained White And Red Wine.  [Penn. Gazette  8 Feb 1739.]    M.O.R.            

[Compiler's Note]   No Records Have Been Found Indicating Any Passengers Were Returned To Point Of Origin.  It Is Very Possible That Passengers Not Disembarked Officially  At Philadelphia, Were Later Put Ashore, Unofficially, In Pa, Or Officially/Unofficially In Maryland, Virginia Or The Carolines.  M.O.R.                                    -------------------------------------------------                                

Captain's Agreement With Passengers            

The Following Was The Usual Form Of Agreement The Captain Of The Ship Made With His Passengers;            Those Who Pay In Amsterdam Before The Ship Leaves, To Pay For One Person Whether  Man Or Woman [Children Under 4 Years Old Being Free] .  From 4 To Under 14 Years Six And One Half Guineas.  From 14 Years And Older 13 Guineas.  A Guinea Was About $5.00.            Those Who Settle [Pay] In America.    [Children Under 4 Years Old Being Free] .  From 4 To Under 14 Years Six And One Half Guineas.  From 14 Years And Older 15 Guineas.  Those Who Pay Their Passage In America Shall Be Bound To Produce It Within 10 days.                                                            


The Distribution Of Food To Be Made Daily Among The Passengers, To Wit, To One Full Passage [ A Half Passenger In Proportion, And For Children , Nothing ].            

Sunday;          A Pound Of Beef With Barley.           

Monday;          A Pound Of Flour, And A Pound Of Butter Good For The Whole Week.           

Tuesday;         A Half Pound Of Bacon, Cooked With Peas.           

Wednesday;    A Pound Of Flour.           

Thursday;      A Pound Of Beef With Potatoes           

Friday;           One-Half Pound Of Rice.           

Saturday;     Peas. A Pound Of Cheese, Six Pounds Of Bread For The Whole Week, And One-Half Pound Of Bacon.            

Quart Of Beer And A Quart Of Water Per Day.  Since Beer Sours During The Voyage,  Only Enough Beer For Part Of The Voyage Will Be Taken Along And When This Is Gone A Double Portion Of Water Will Be Given.  Half Of The Water Will Be Supplied For Cooking.    Each Morning A Small Glass Of Holland Gin And Each Week Now And Then Some Vinegar.           

The Agents Who Worked Up The Immigration Parties For The Ship-Owners, Urged Each Family To Take Such Food As Dried Beef, Peas, Oatmeal And Butter Along.          

When One Was Without Money His Only Resource Was To Sell Himself For A Term Of 3 To 8  Years, Or More To Serve As A Slave.  These Were Known As "Redemptioners".  All This For The Money That They Owed The Captain For Bringing Them Over.  And Yet They Were Only Too Glad That After Waiting  Long, They At Last Found Some One Willing To Buy Them.            The Ships Used In The Trans-Atlantic Travel Were Small Sail Boats About One Hundred Tons Burden.  The Accommodations Were Crude, Often Overcrowded;  The Sailing Uncertain And Of Long Duration, Sometimes Taking As Long As Twenty-Five Or Thirty Weeks.  But Our Immigrant Ancestors Were Willing To Bear All This In Order To Escape The Tyranny Of French Rule.             

Let Us Remember That Alsace Lorraine, From Which Some Of Our Immigrant Ancestors Came, Was Orginally Part Of The German Empire, But From 1681 To 1871 It Was In The Possession Of The French.  When Alsace Lorraine Came Under French Rule Those Of The Protestant Faith Who Would Not Accept Catholicism Were Gradually Forced To Leave Their All And Were Driven Out By The French---- Through Belgium And Switzerland, Some Going To Holland And England, Others Coming To America To Find New Homes Where They And Their Children Might Worship According To Their Religious Beliefs Without Interference.                                                                             


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