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The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part XIII: Almost There!

The passengers and crew get some more food and a dose of good news.


29th August
W. Lon. 68 Degrees, N. Lat. Degrees

At sea everything attracts attention that varies the monotony of the surrounding expanse. A shoal of porpoises, Grampuses, flying fish or a shark was sure to excite lively sensations for the moment. But if a solitary sail was seen gliding along the edge of the horizon our deck would be crowded with the passengers. How interesting to them, this fragment of a world hastening to rejoin the great mass of existence! And what a variety of curious suppositions on the subject!! Almost every day we came in sight of 2 or 3 vessels but spoke not more than 4.

The discontentment on board increased so much that the Capt. had resolved for 2 or 3 days past to go aboard the first vessel that approached near enough and purchase a supply of tobacco and other necessaries for the passengers. This morning a small vessel appeared in view bearing towards us under a light breeze. Our jolly boat was got out and the Capt. went on board of her. She proved to be a small schooner called the Mary bound from Baltimore to Annapolis, Nova Scotia. The owner and Capt. were both on board. After
remaining about 2 hours with them, our Capt. returned with a supply of rum, lime juice, oranges, sugar, pork and biscuit.

Sandy Hook

Part of these he paid for and part were bestowed us. He brought also the joyful tidings that we were in Lon. 68 degrees and that the schooner was in sight of Sandy Hook* three days ago. This supply, together with the cheering news with which it was accompanied, produced an excellent effect on the drooping spirits of the passengers and put a complete end to their grievances. The discontent of a tedious voyage was forgotten in the joyful expectancy of shortly landing on the shores of the great “land of promise.”


September 1st
W. Lon. 70 Degrees, N. Lat. 41 Degrees

As we approached the land the Capt. began to put things in a train for entering port. He engaged me to settle his accounts with the sailors and make out manifests and other papers to be handed in to the Custom House on his arrival. I was thus employed every day until we came in sight of land and everything was in the best train I was capable of putting it when we came to anchor. The Capt. was highly pleased with everything and the crew were very well contented with the state of their accounts.


* Sandy Hook is a large land spit in New Jersey at the mouth of Lower New York Bay.

Next week: Land!

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