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We have this Day delivered Plans of the Lines to the Rev! Richard Peters.
If the Indians would but have proceded 12 or 14 Days more, we should have run the length of Pennsylvania. We had many of the Natives of different Nations come to see us, and were all Brothers in every kind and friendly Manner.
At about one Mile and į North of the Line the River Cheat joins the Monaungehela. By Information the Mouth of Redstone Creek is due Nth about 25 Miles from where we cross'd the Monaungehela, and about 5 or 6 miles west of where we cross’d the s? River. Pittsburg bears Nth about 50 Miles (but from better Authority than the Above) it is due NO of the Place we cross'd the Monaungehela.
By all Accounts both from White Men and Indians the End of the West Line will not be above 20 Miles from the Ohio in a West Course, and not above 15 in a N W Course.
We shall now proceed on the measurement of the Tang Line &c. for the Royal Society, having no further Instructions from the Gent. Commissioners to execute.
We are, SP
JERE. DIXON Philadelphia
Jan. 29, 1768.
To Hugh Hammersley, Esq.
AN ATLANTIC VOYAGE IN THE SEVENTEENTH
HENRY F. THOMPSON.
Among the manuscripts in the library of the University of Oxford, generally known as the Bodleian Library, are many documents relating to the marine affairs of Great Britain and her colonies, and the log-books of vessels trading to all parts of the world. Of these log-books, eleven relate to voyages from London to the Chesapeake Bay, and of these eleven two are “ Iournalls,” as they are termed, of voyages which are especially interesting to Marylanders, being, as they are, “ Iournalls of the Outward and Homeward-bound passages” of the ships Constant Friendship and Baltimore, which were in Maryland in the years 1671 and 1673.
The vessels which were in use in the seventeenth century were small, when judged by the ideas of sea-going ships of the present day, for there were few over two hundred tops, as an inspection of the few returns (which are extant) of the naval officers of the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers will show. Although a few ships were from three hundred to five hundred tons, the greater number of them were from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty, and more were under than over two hundred.
They were broad in the bow, the forecastle and the poop were raised high above the main deck, the mainmast was placed in the middle of the ship, the foremast as near the bow as possible and the mizzen where the builder thought fit. The books on navigation and shipbuilding, all speak of top gallant masts and sails but in no one of the log-books is there any mention of a sail above the topsail, although, of course, they speak of making and taking in the sails as well of sending down topmasts and yards. They were but slow sailers and although instances occur of as much as eight miles an hour being made, it was when there was a
fair wind and plenty of it, and with a smooth sea, but at no time was that rate kept up for twenty-four hours. When the wind was ahead, but slow progress was made, for no ship could sail “ close to the wind,” and often four or five miles was all there was to show for a whole day, and there were even times when they were further from their destination at the end of twenty-four hours than they were at the beginning. Rather than keep on against a head wind they would “ heave to ”
as they said in those days. The Bristow arrived in York River on the 8th March, 1701, having left London on the 22nd October, and her Master writes “a more terrible passage has hardly been known by man. I have been on this coast near twelve weeks within forty or fifty leagues by all estimation.” He had become separated from the fleet, for although the Gloster did not arrive until the day after the Bristow, the latter found on her arrival several vessels which left London with her, but which had been in port eight or nine weeks.
Indeed, there is nothing in which a voyage, two hundred years ago, differed more from one to-day, than in the great uncertainty as to the time which was to be spent in going from one port to the other.
When a passenger started from London, he could not say within many weeks, how long he was to be on board the ship which was to take him to Maryland or Virginia, for, of the eleven voyages of which we have the records, they were from forty-seven to one hundred and thirty-eight days from London to the Capes, and from thirty-two days to one hundred and thirteen on their
The same vessel varied from forty-seven days to one hundred and two days, in coming from London, and from thirty-two to fifty-two in returning home.
A ship would often be three or four weeks from London before she took her departure from the Lizard, detained in the Downs or some port by head winds or storms, and it must have been an inspiriting sight, after a storm, to see the numerous vessels getting under way from the Downs; for there would be hundreds of vessels starting out for all parts of the world, the vessels bound for the Chesapeake Bay often numbering forty or fifty, and as the captain of one of them says, “We Virginians keeping together," the name Virginian being often applied to all the vessels bound in the Capes.
When the fleet was clear of the land, they steered for the Azores, and one or more ships generally sighted Flores and Corves, the most westerly of the islands. Then they steered for Cape Henry, and deviated as little as possible from a straight course, for their latitude they could find every day at noon, by means of their quadrants, but their longitude they could only estimate by calculating the distance run and the course steered, making allowances for currents, leeway or a heavy sea knocking them off their course. Notwithstanding this rather uncertain calculation they were not far out of the way when they began sounding to find out if they were near land.
Although a large fleet of fifty or sixty vessels might leave England, they soon became more or less scattered, although there were some vessels always in sight of each other, and frequently in calm weather there were visits between the officers and passengers of the different vessels, who dined or spent whole days, of which custom the following extract from the log-book of the Johanna gives an example : “Mr. Baker hoysted out his boat and came on board of us. We spared them some tobacco to pipe, for it was very scarce with them. About 5 oclocke they went aboard again : the master of her was sufficiently in drink before he went.”
It may be supposed that the great uncertainty as to the duration of the voyage would have caused some trouble in providing sufficient food and water for so many persons, but the food was composed principally of bread or ship-biscuit, salt meat, peas and cheese, all which would keep well for many months, and therefore it was only the space required for enough food and water that gave any trouble, and when it is recollected that it would be necessary to carry food and water for one hundred persons (including passengers and crew) for a voyage lasting perhaps five months it is evident that the provisions which were necessary would occupy a great deal of space.
In a contract made with the owners of the ship Nassau, of five hundred tons, to carry one hundred and fifty or more passengers to Virginia, the following stipulations were made in regard to food. The passengers to have the same allowance of food as the sailors, that is to say: “they were to have their allowance of bread, butter and cheese weekly, and the rest of the provisions were to be distributed daily: each passenger, over six years of age, was to have seven pounds of bread every week, each mess of eight to have two pieces of pork (each piece to be two pounds) with pease five days in the week, and on the other two days four pounds of beef with pease each day, or four pounds of beef with a pudding, with pease for the two days, and in case the kettle could not be boiled each passenger was to have one pound of cheese every day. Children under six years of age to have such allowance in flour, oatmeal, fruit, sugar and butter as the overseers of them shall judge fit.”
There were in this ship one hundred and ninety-one passengers, of whom twenty-five were under twelve years of age, and although there were some of all ranks in life there seems to have been no difference made betwcen them as to diet and lodging. Among them were the Rev. Mr. Latané, with his wife and child, whose descendants are still to be found in Virginia, as probably are the descendants of many others of these French refugees.
The ordinary price of a passage to Maryland or Virginia was six pounds, but for this large party the price was five pounds, for each person over twelve years of age, and half price for children under that age.
The ship Johanna was on her way from London to Virginia in March, 1674, when the following incident occurred, viz. : “About 12 oclock last night some of our people saw something walke in the shape of a dog and after that it was heard betwixt dex cry like a child and sometimes knocking without bord and the dog that belonged to the ship run whineing up and down and crept in among the passengers I pray God dyliver us from all evil.”
Nothing happened to them on the voyage, and they arrived in Virginia after a quick passage, and without any accident, but two years later on the same ship something happened which caused