Friday, August 9, 2013

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.

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