Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Unhappy Passenger

As will be obvious from reading the posts on this blog, many passengers were unhappy on board. According to an article in the Daily Southern Cross, problems may have continued once they arrived in Auckland (this article was useful to put names to some of the Tornado's crew):

Captain Aitken, of the "Tornado" appeared to answer the charge of George Anderson, a passenger, for a breach of the stipulations contained in his contract ticket, by neglecting to supply him with provisions, etc, as per said contract ticket.

George Anderson, sworn— l was a passenger by the "Tornado," from Liverpool to Auckland; but I am bound to Wellington; that is the contract ticket; it is in the same condition as when I received it. On Saturday, 24th September, we arrived in Auckland. I still occupy my berth on board. On the following Wednesday, about 2 o'clock, we were served with a tin of preserved meat and some potatoes, for 61/2 adults. On Thursday, we received nothing from the ship but a piece of raw pork. My family consists of myself and wife and two children. On the Friday we had the same piece of pork, and on Saturday we had nothing served out. We had neither peas nor rice during the week. We had flour, which should have been served out on Monday, but was not served out till Saturday. There were several things not supplied to us. I complained to the Captain, who told me that he himself had difficulty in getting his own provisions. The Captain was sober. I was obliged on several occasions to purchase provisions on shore. I spent at least one pound.

Cross-examined by Mr. Russell I understood the Captain to say he could not get his provisions cooked or uncooked. I was told the Cook was drunk but I did not see him. The word Wellington was inserted in the contract -ticket before it was signed. The bulk of my luggage is marked passenger for Wellington.

Thomas White Young deposed— l am a passenger by the "Tornado," about to proceed to Wellington. On Wednesday, there was nothing served out at the proper hour but a little after we had some preserved meat given to us. On Thursday we had a piece of uncooked pork brought down. On Friday the same piece of pork cooked, and on Saturday the remains of Friday's pork.

For the defence Samuel Smythe, Purser of the "-Tornado." Last week I sent for the steerage passengers to get their provisions. Complainant said the steward ought to buy them. Up to last Monday week, Mr. Anderson was in the habit of coming for his provisions. He was offered a passage from Manukau to Wellington in the steamer but he refused, because we would not give him a saloon passage. The reason the provisions were not served out in time was, because up to the last I was negotiating with complainants for their passage to Wellington. The pork was not cooked on Friday, because the cook was drunk. The first irregularity as to the issue of the provisions arose from the idea that the passengers were all going to Wellington by the steamer.

Cross-examined by Mr. Wynn The first Monday after we arrived in Auckland, fresh beef was issued to the Cook, and I suppose the passengers received it, as I heard no complaint. No bread was issued, nor flour, nor oatmeal. On Wednesday I was present, when Mr. Anderson came to the storeroom. He took some of the provisions away, viz., flour, butter, tea, and sugar. I don't know what was issued on Friday. During the voyage the stores were generally served out on Monday's and Tuesday's. During the week in question, salt meat was offered to complainant, and refused - he wanted fresh. This week the provisions were issued altogether. I did not tell complainant the contract ticket was a forgery. I won't swear that I did not make use of the word forgery but I swear that he told me himself that he had nothing to complain of, except the cooking. My duty in the ship is to see that the passengers have their provisions, and are fairly treated. If the cooking is bad, the passengers complain to me and I see it rectified during the week in question. They obtained more of some of the articles than they were entitled to, and during that time Mr. Anderson made no complaint, except as to the cooking.

Alfred Smith Fulljames said— He was assistant purser and passenger on board. It was his duty to attend to the issue of stores. Last week complainant had all the provisions mentioned in the contract ticket, exceept beef, and for that he took pork. The steward for the second cabin obtained salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, rice, and sometimes preserved potatoes, and delivered them out daily. Last Friday the cook got drunk.

Cross-examined He has been drunk several times. There has not been much drunkenness on board. She is a sober ship compared with others. Complainant preferred pork to beef.

Robert Askew was assistant steward for the second cabin Last week the provisions were served out as usual. Complainant refused the salt meat - he wanted fresh. They had fresh beef on Monday, and had it cold on Tuesday. I gave it to them myself. On Wednesday, a tin of preserved meat was issued. On Thursday they had pork, but the cook was drunk.

Cross examined— There were 25lbs of pork issued that week, and three pieces were boiled on the Friday. The pork was issued on the Thursday morning - that was not the proper day to issue meat but there were some pieces left from the last week. I don't know how much pork the passengers are entitled to. I have cooked meat for the passengers that was brought from the shore by them. I can't swear that Mr. Anderson gave me any to cook for him.

By the Court— l know there were 25 lbs. of pork issued that week, because the purser told me so.

His Worship said that no difficulty would have occurred had the law been complied with, that provisions should be issued daily, and issued cooked. The contract ticket was not in accordance with the law, but that was not the fault of the Captain. The evidence was most contradictory, had it not been so, and a conviction had taken place, he wished it to be distictly understood that the penalty would not have been a light one. Case dismissed.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Wreck of the Tornado

The Tornado was very fortunate to avoid being wrecked on its passage to New Zealand. Her quick thinking Chief Mate, James Carmichael, clearly thought better of having another voyage with Captain Aitken and found alternative employment:
Daily Southern Cross, Volume XVI, Issue 1268, 11 November 1859
The Tornado sailed from Auckland to Callao on October 31, 1859, with Captain Aitken still in charge.

Daily Southern Cross 28 November 1859_Tornado
 She was apparently meant to pick up a cargo of guano from Callao and then, in October 1860, take passengers from Galsgow to Otago (according to this advertisement in August).
Falkirk Herald August 02 1860
Luck wasn't with her on the return voyage though. She was wrecked in the Straits of Magellan, her crew rescued by HMS Mutine.
Stirling Observer August 23 1860
News of her loss eventually filtered back to New Zealand in October 1860. Perhaps some of her passengers weren't entirely surprised at her fate!
Daily Southern Cross 26 October 1860

Friday, August 9, 2013

Advice for Future Emigrants

From: Our Voyage to New Zealand Per the Tornado (by a Glasgow Emigrant) Glasgow Herald December 19, 1859 

I have given all the particulars of our voyage at all interesting, though very probably they may appear very tame to you; but before concluding, shall make a few remarks which may be useful to other parties coming out; and as the greatest inconvenience, at least as experienced by me, arose from the badness of the water. I shall speak of it first. Parties who had been to sea before said it was not bad considering, but to me it was quite unpalatable, its taste being very bad, and its smell altogether overpowering. We mixed it with lime juice, with spirits, and all we could think of, but whilst we were in the tropics it grew daily worse. During the last three weeks of our voyage, however, we got water which was very good, although much older than what was served out to us at first. Having previously made the voyage between Liverpool and Melbourne and back, but being in iron tanks, it was in a very good state of preservation, and had a fine flavour. It would certainly add much to the comfort of passengers should similar tanks be adopted in all vessels, and if they are not suitable for wooden ships, the chemist who could invent some ingredient to freshen stale water would deserve the heartfelt thanks of all emigrants to the Antipodes. As it was, we felt thirst much, and as ale and porter were one shilling a bottle, those who gratified their appetites with these beverages did so at considerable expense. I would, therefore, advise emigrants to take on board with them a few dozens of ale or porter bottled for export, or table beer, which would be preferable could it be made to keep long enough and stand the heat. Effervescing powders, too, highly flavoured with ginger or other strong aromatics, are of great advantage.

The most of emigrants take with them some money, generally in the shape of a bank order; but one of our fellow passengers told me he had lodged what money he was possessed of with the Oriental Banking Company, who have a branch in Edinburgh, and they allow him 4 per cent on it from the date it was lodged in Edinburgh, until such time as he may wish to lift it in Auckland. This I therefore consider to be the best way of bringing out money, as interest at 4 per cent during a three month voyage comes to something; at all events I would advise all intending emigrants to make inquiry about it. I made all the inquires I could think of in Glasgow as to the best mode, but unfortunately heard nothing of this plan.

There are now three regular lines of ships to New Zealand - two from London and one from Liverpool (the White Star line of Messrs. Wilson and Chambers, by whom the Tornado was sent out), and it is most convenient for parties from the west of Scotland to go from Liverpool; and I must in justice admit that the provisions served out to us were of excellent quality, though the style in which they were cooked was certainly not what it should be, it being often just a destruction of food; and the steward's attendance, also, was far from what might be expected. However, if a little improvement was effected in these particulars, I do not think that emigrants could do better than come by this line; but they should make themselves certain that their passage is secured on terms as favourable at any rate as those obtained by other parties, as I have ascertained that some of the other passengers have got out for £20 (and some for even less it is said), whilst they received the same accommodation and provisions as we did who paid £25 each - so let those who are coming out look sharp in making their bargain. Our family (four in number) came out in the second cabin, and were the purser or mate to sit at the head of the table in the second cabin, and see that things were made as they should be; it might be made a very comfortable place for a family wishing to come out in a moderate way. But were I coming alone, or only with a party of young men, I would certainly go in the steerage, and lay out a little money in buying cheese, ham, a box of Nova Scotia herrings, and I would make myself equally comfortable almost, as well as be a good deal cheaper in the end.

Life on Board the Tornado

From: Our Voyage to New Zealand Per the Tornado (by a Glasgow Emigrant) Glasgow Herald December 19, 1859

The voyage to Auckland terminated on the one hundred and sixth day from that of our departure from Liverpool. It is reckoned an average passage, though there is no doubt but it should have been done in much less time when the sailing capabilites of the ship are taken into consideration; but unfortunately we crossed the line far to the westward, and got jammed up on the South American coast. The winds until we got this far were favourable though light; but afterwards  we had seas which caused the vessel to rock considerably. There was nothing, however,  to speak of until we got round the Cape of Good Hope, where we had some weather, which, though considered rough by us passengers, was only termed a smart gale by the Captain and crew. The heat in the tropics was not so great as I expected; and, as the ship was about nine feet between decks, we did not feel it so much as we would have done had the space been less. It was felt most oppressive during the night. However, after crossing the line it gradually diminished, till, when off the Cape and until we rounded Tasmania, the cold was very sharp, and, as during that time there was a good deal of rain falling, with an occasional shower of hail or snow, while the ship rocked often to such an extent that we could scarcely keep our feet on the deck. We were almost debarred from taking the exercise necessary to produce a genial warmth; and as there were no stoves or fires below, we had just to put on as many clothes as possible. When the vessel rolled much, she would often ship huge seas, which rushed along the deck to the depth of six or seven inches.

 There were two newspapers started shortly after we left port, but they both died from inanition - the news being absolutely nil, and the talen necessary to carry them on being but small. In the clear, calm nights, too, there was often a dance on the quarter-deck, to the music of a violin, played by one of the passengers, who was afterwards discovered to be a stowaway, but not until we had been about ten weeks out; and during all this time he had managed not only to elude discovery, but also to get his provisions along with the other steerage passengers. There was also an amusement society formed, to which a small subscription was made by the passengers for prizes, to be awarded to the successful competitors in the different games. They were begun with a cock hunt. In this a cock was let off with its wings clipped, and the competitors chased it round the decks with their hands tied behind their backs and to the one who first caught it with his teeth the prize was awarded. Then there was potato picking. In this, twenty five potatoes were placed in a row along the deck, the first at the distance of five yards from the starting point, and the others farther on, two feet separate. The party who picks them up runs from the starting point, lifts the one near it, runs back and drops it into a basket placed to receive them at the starting point, he runs again for the next , and returns with it and continues to do so with the others, always running from the starting point and coming back to it with each potato singly. The shortest time in which it was done was three minutes and twelve seconds. Sack races followed, which gave great amusement; the sailers were capital at them. The proceedings were wound up by diving for money thrown into a large tub.

25 September 1859

25 - The pilot again came on board in the forenoon, and after the anchor was raised the ship was got farther into the harbour, and moored opposite the town, a short distance from the wharf.
The town of Auckland has a remarkably fine appearance, and presents a striking resemblance to some of the best watering-places on the Clyde. Being busy writing, in order to catch the mail, which leaves tomorrow forenoon, I have not had time to go on shore and take a nearer view of it; but some parties who have been report very favourably of it; and, to show the greatest difference between the climate at home and this, I may mention that they regaled themselves with a green gooseberry tart.
The scenery in the bay is really splendid, and the sunrises and sunsets I have seen in it appear to me unsurpassed even by the finest seen in the tropics. Our destination is in the meantime Wellington; and, as we shall have a few days here, I epxect to be able to see something of the country before leaving it.
The Tornado had on board 247 passengers besides the crew. Of livestock there was 30 sheep, 20 pigs, and 5000 fowls for the use of the first cabin; there was also a cow on board, and, belonging to the various passengers, there were a Leister ram and three ewes; two goats, one of which died on the passage; four or five dogs; a couple of bantams, of which the hen died from the effects of the cold; a canary, and a pair of larks, but the latter, I am sorry to say, died from the effects of the heat.
Our Voyage to New Zealand Per the Tornado (by a Glasgow Emigrant) Glasgow Herald December 19, 1859

Sept 25th. A very beautiful morning. We lay at anchor until noon when we made our way with wind and tide towards the pier. We had many visitors come on board us amongst whom was an Emigration agent to see if we were healthy and fit to be landed among them. He took account of our numbers, names and trades. We learned that the mail closed on Monday at 11 o'clock so we sat down in the midst of the bustle to write our first letter to old England and did as we best could although in the greatest confusion.
Booth, Thomas. Papers, 1857 - 1859. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/56.

24 August 1859

24 - Descried some of the buildings of Auckland, and met the screw steamer Lord Ashley coming out of the harbour. We were hailed with "Are you the Tornado?" and some called out, "Is it to starve that so many of you have come to New Zealand." The pilot came on board about six pm and the anchor was dropped a few miles from the town, the wind not allowing a nearer approach. The agent of the White Star line and a number of other parties came on board. They were asked all sorts of heterogeneous questions. One of them, a friend of one of our passengers, who had come out some months ago, in reply to a question regarding the free land grants, said he had an order for 180 acres, that he had looked for a good place, and having fixed on what he considered a good section, applies at the Land Office for authority to occupy it, when he found the same piece had been fixed upon by another party, Lots being cast for it, fortune favoured his rival, who the day after got the offer of £5 per acre for it.
 Our Voyage to New Zealand Per the Tornado (by a Glasgow Emigrant) Glasgow Herald December 19, 1859

September 24. Anchored.
 Campbell, Alexander. Letters and papers, 1859 - 1870. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 50.

24th. Last night I was amongst them that kept watch on deck. It was very fine. We had a light head wind by which we might have got safe into Harbour but the passage is so intricate and intersected with small islands that a stranger cannot find his way in. Our sails were hoisted out of the wind and she waited  for daylight at day break. A sail was seen (....?) but the wind was dying away and although we were (...?) we had to wait for the wind a little of which came again about 2 o'clock and we moved very slowly and about 4 o'clock a packet was seen steaming towards us. This news struck an indescribable thrill of excitement amongst the passengers in every part of the ship. Some could not stop below to get tea but came running on deck jumping and clapping. The hands expecting that as we had a steamer to tow us out from Liverpool this one was coming to fetch us into Auckland but The Lord Ashley went smoking away past us. But presently a small sailing boat came alongside and put us a pilot on board who was received amid hearty cheers from the passengers. We were conducted to the Harbour mouth about 5 or 6 miles from the wharf. The wind dropped suddenly and we were obliged to cast anchor and take up our quarters for the night which was extremely still clear and fine.
Booth, Thomas. Papers, 1857 - 1859. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/56.

23 September 1859

23rd. A fine morning but a strong head wind threatening us with more cruise time before we are to see the desired port about dinner time. The wind settled very much and soon died away. The afternoon was fine, the sun warm and the scene was grand. The sea being studded with small islands all around and each clothed with vegetation of some kind like little shrubbereries all bearing of a genial climate and a fruitful soil. They are elevated a great way above the sea by an immense rocky base footed by a nice sandy beach. After sundown we had a light head wind against which we beat up a little way by crossing about like an overloaded animal up a steep hill.
Booth, Thomas. Papers, 1857 - 1859. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/56