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The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part III: Stuck in Ireland…maybe

Will Hugh be forced to return to Aughalane with his tail between his legs, or will he catch another ship headed to America?  Let’s find out…   (If you missed Part II, read it here.)

13th June

In the course of the preceding 30 hours I had walked upwards of 60 miles without either eating or drinking or sleeping anything of consequence.  Without resting I then got into an open boat where I had suffered much from the rain, cold and sickness.  When I reflected that I had now lost my passage — that my clothes, money and provisions were on board and that I was left in a strange part of the country without the means of carrying me home again — my state of mind can be better conceived than described.

Captain Moses Gale's ship, the "Phoenix."

When daylight appeared, we put off from the Island and arrived at Culdaff in morning.  As soon as my worthy and good-natured friend, Mrs. McCausland got my clothes washed and dried, Mr. Young gave me a horse to ride up to Derry (a distance of about 18 miles) and a servant to bring him back.  I took an affectionate farewell of my acquaintances and set off from this cursed place for Londonderry.  My very unexpected return surprised my friends greatly and my misfortune affected them exceedingly.  The first step I took was to apply to Mr. Geo. Buchanan* for a passage in the ship Phoenix bound for New York and to sail in a few days.  Both vessels [the Perseverance and the Phoenix] were consigned to him and I expected by some means to induce him to allow me passage in her that I might have an opportunity of recovering the articles I owned in the Perseverance.

He assured me that the limited number of passengers were then in town, and that it was out of his power to give me an extra passage as it would undoubtedly forfeit the vessel if known.  Notwithstanding this discouraging reply, I was resolved not to return home without accomplishing the object I set out on, should the consequence be as it may.  I slept this night and the succeeding ones at Mr. Calhoun’s.  The kind attention of whose family contributed materially to alleviate my distress.  In this state of uncertainty I remained until the


Mr. Caldwell (clerk to Mr. Buchanan) introduced me to Capt. Moses Gale, Commander of the ship Phoenix and recommended me to him in terms I shall never forget.  After relating my unfortunate situation to this Gentleman he told me that the quota of passengers which the law allowed were on board but that he pitied the state the treachery of Capt. Elkins had left me in, and that at all hazards he would take me along.  I dined this very day on board with him.  After introducing me to his two mates he assured me that “he would take me along in spite of all their Damned laws and stow me away in the Ballast where the Devil himself could not find me.”  This declaration from a Gentleman on so slight an acquaintance made the impressions that its frankness deserved from me.


* All of the Buchanans mentioned in this journal are related to Hugh; his mother was Sarah Buchanan Campbell.  Hugh is also a distant relative of 15th U.S. President James Buchanan.

Next week: The Voyage Begins

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