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The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part IV: The Voyage Begins (really)

Alright.  Hugh hitched a ride to America.  How is this shady situation going to play out?  Let’s find out….  (If you missed last week’s installment, read Part III here.)

17th June

I took leave of my friends in Derry with a mixed sensation of joy and regret – joy that I had found in Capt. Gale a friend disposed to make amend for my great disappointment – and regret that I was perhaps forever separated from everything dear to me. It is unnecessary to repeat the obligations I lay under to Mr. N. Boyle’s family as they are already known and I hope duly appreciated by my mother’s family. ‘Tis enough to say that his parental advice and kind attention were never more required nor never given with more liberality than of late. The impression his friendship made will be long remembered. This evening, having all passengers in board we dropt down to Culmore Bay about 6 p.m.  There we were obliged to remain two days until the mayor would go through the customary forms of examining the passengers and crew. This  ceremony past, we again weighed anchor and sailed down to Moville on the evening of the


The Capt. having returned to Derry to process the necessary papers was detained there a few days during which time the vessel was under the control of the Pilot. Our sailors were indulged by the good-natured Capt. while at the quay in every kind of licentiousness. Want of subordination and disobedience of orders was the consequence. In order to put down this disposition among our crew the first Mate, Mr. Ladieu, beat a stubborn Black sailor
most unmercifully for some trifling fault as an example to the others and put him three days in irons.

As an extra passenger my situation was peculiarly disagreeable. It was necessary that no suspicion should be excited amongst either passengers or visitors least information would be lodged and the ship detained. For this reason I was seldom seen on deck or in the steerage unless when I wished to converse with my worthy friend Mr. Reed. I was fortunate in having this young man for a companion aboard. From my first acquaintance with him I promised myself much satisfaction in his company and was never deceived.

I was now in the same place where I parted the Perseverance and every unfortunate circumstance connected with that transaction returned to my mind with double force when I compared my present situation in the Phoenix with what it was in the other vessel. In the Perseverance I had procured everything calculated to make a sea voyage comfortable. But in this – without money and without clothes — I was a complete dependent on the Capt.’s liberality even for my boarding and passage.

20th June

For the last time I took an affectionate farewell of my dear brother Andrew*, who came down to see me. At this time my state of body and mind were nearly alike worn down by fatigue. My health had suffered materially and the sorrow of parting my last and best  friend added to other troubles of which I had enough in all conscience for any person. Contrary winds and Custom House delays detained us at Moville for several days during which time the passengers made the necessary preparations for the voyage. Trunks and boxes were fastened. Messes were formed and regulations were made for keeping the ship clean.

A Methodist laid hold of the occasion to impress on our minds the awful uncertainty attending our situation. For some time his prayer meetings were attended to but at length, having given offense to a certain sect, he met with considerable opposition. Like all other zealots he continued his labors while persecution appeared. But either from want of abilities in the preacher, want of variety in the subject matter, or want of amusement in the theme – the preacher in a few days “ceased his Labours”.

On the evening of the 23rd the Capt. joined us and gave orders for sailing early next morning.


* Andrew Campbell remained in Ireland, and he had ten children who continued the family line.  Hugh did not have children and Robert did not have grandchildren, so Andrew’s descendants were the Campbells who received an inheritance from Robert’s estate when his son Hazlett died in 1938.

Next week: Away We Go

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