Winter Chronicle or New Georgia Gazette (NWT, 1819-1820)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Winter Harbour, Melville Island, Parry Islands, North West Territories, Canada

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  No. 1-21; Nov 1, 1819 to March 20, 1820.

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Edward Sabine, Captain of the Ship Hecla.

Title Changes and Continuation:

General Description and Notes:

“Written, produced and circulated in Mss., by members of the Parry expedition while they were at their winter quarters in the Arctic, and published, in printed form, after the expedition’s return to London under the title:  North Georgia Gazette, and Winter Chronicle.

 “When the expedition arrived in the Arctic, Parry called the group of islands he discovered the “New Georgia Islands,” but having afterwards remembered that this name was already used in another part of the world he decided to change it to “North Georgian Islands” to honor George the Third.  This change accounts for the variation in name as used in the title on the manuscript copy and that used on the published editions.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Rare Book & Special Collections Library, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

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The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Shipboard the Hougoumont, the last ship to transport convicts from England to Fremantle, Australia

Frequency:  Seven issues of the newspaper were produced, each issue carefully laid out and decorated by hand. Only one copy of each issue was made, which was then read to the convicts aloud.

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, no. 1-7, 9 Nov. – 21 Dec. 1867

Size and Format:  Ledger (7 3/4 x 12+)

Editor/Publisher:  Irish “Fenian prisoners:” John Flood, John Boyle O’Reilly and John Casey

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Wild Goose was, according to a Wikipedia article, a

“handwritten newspaper created in late 1867 by Fenian prisoners aboard the Hougoumont, the last ship to transport convicts to Australia.

“Seven issues of the newspaper were produced, each issue carefully laid out and decorated by hand. Only one copy of each issue was made, which was then read to the convicts aloud. The aim was to provide entertainment and encouragement aboard the ship during its long and arduous voyage to Fremantle. The title refers to the Wild Geese: the Irish soldiers who had left to serve in continental European armies since the 16th century.

“The major contributors were John Flood, John Boyle O’Reilly and John Casey.

Irish Fenian Volunteer Poster (re. Wild Goose [AUS, 1867])

Irish Fenian Volunteer Poster (re. Wild Goose [AUS, 1867])

The documents provide a fascinating insight into life aboard ship. The documents contain songs, stories, articles, advice, poems, and even comedy. In addition to the diaries of Denis Cashman and the journals of John Casey and Thomas McCarthy Fennell, the journey of the Hougoumont was well recorded.

“One passage describes Australia and its history with more than a little sarcasm:

“This great continent of the south, having been discovered by some Dutch skipper and his crew, somewhere between the 1st and 9th centuries of the Christian era, was, in consequence taken possession of by the government of Great Britain, in accordance with that just and equitable maxim, “What’s yours is mine; what’s mine is my own.” That magnanimous government in the kindly exuberance of their feelings, have placed a large portion of that immense tract of country called Australia at our disposal. Generously defraying all expenses incurred on our way to it, and providing retreats for us there to secure us from the inclemency of the seasons…

“All seven issues survive, and were passed on by John Flood’s granddaughter to the Mitchell Library in 1967. The papers are bound into one book and are now part of the State Library of New South Wales collection.”John Boyle O’Reilly penned several poems for the paper, including The Flying Dutchman and The Old School Clock.

“On 9 September 2005, a memorial was unveiled at Rockingham beach to commemorate the Catalpa rescue. The memorial is a large statue of six Wild Geese.”

According to the Freemantle (Australia) Prison historical website,

“The Fenian movement, or Irish Republican Brotherhood, was a secret society that flourished during the 1860s. Its activities included an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland, which failed for a number of reasons. In 1865 hundreds of men were arrested in Ireland on suspicion of complicity. There were two elements amongst the men charged and convicted: those who were civilians, and those who were currently serving in the British military services. The civilian element were treated as political prisoners, whilst the military element were treated as ordinary criminals. In 1869 the civilian element were granted clemency and freed, whilst such consideration was denied the military element (Erickson pp.115-156).

John Boyle O’Reilly [emphasis added] was an NCO in the 10th Hussars (the prestigious regiment of the Prince of Wales) when arrested in 1866 for assisting fellow soldiers to join the rebellious Fenian movement. Found guilty at his court martial, his death sentence was commuted to one of 20 year’s penal servitude which automatically meant transportation (anyone sentenced to seven years or more was transported).

“He sailed, along with 280 other convicts — 62 of them Fenians — on board the Hougoumont from Portland in October 1867. They arrived at Fremantle in January 1868, the last convicts to be sent to Western Australia. Their arrival also signalled the end of the convict era in Australia.”

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography:  Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Goose;  Laubenstein, William J. The Emerald Whaler London: Deutsch, 1961; Stevens, Peter F., The Voyage of the Catalpa (ISBN 1-84212-651-2); Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 1969, volume LXXIV; http://www.fremantleprison.com.au/History/theconvictera/characters/thefenians/Pages/default.aspx

Locations:  Wikipedia: “All seven issues survive, and were passed on by John Flood’s granddaughter to the Mitchell Library in 1967. The papers are bound into one book and are now part of the State Library of New South Wales collection.”

 

Sussex Owl (Eng-India, 1866)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the British troop ship HMS Sussex from Kingstown, England to Kurrachee, India (now Karachi, Pakistan?)

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  September-December 1866

Size and Format:  426 pages

Editor/Publisher:  T.S. Bigge, Captain, and authors A. Lot and A. Nicols

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

This is a 426-page handwritten newspaper, published from September-December, 1866 on board the British troop ship Sussex during her maiden voyage from Kingstown, England to Kurrachee, India.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Woodson Research Center, MS231 (in bound volume), Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX, woodson@rice.edu

The Shark (MA-CA, 1849)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Shipboard Duxbury en route to California gold fields from Boston

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  “Issued on The Duxbury throughout the spring of 1849” (Lewis)

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  Possibly continued by The Petrel, after departure from Rio De Janeiro

General Description and Notes:

The Shark seems to be the first handwritten newspaper aboard the Duxbury.  Extant copies of The Petrel, published on the Duxbury apparently during the same voyage, were possibly published after the ship’s layover at Rio, although the issue numbering suggests that both papers may have been published contemporaneously.

According to Lewis, the Duxbury left Boston for the California gold fields in February, 1849, carrying the Old Harvard Company, one of the hundreds of New England joint-stock companies organized to capitalize on the gold of California.  One writer states that during 1849, 102 joint stock companies sailed from Massachusetts alone, the number of their members ranging from five to 180, the average being around 50, and their total exceeding 4,200.  Each member paid an equal sum into the common treasury.  Each had an equal voice in its management and stood to reap an equal share of the profits.  Often there was also a board of directors, chosen from among the town’s leaders, older men who helped finance the expeditions, but who remained at home. (Lewis, p. 22).

One passenger observed that there was “too much praying on board.”  Each morning the Duxbury’s preacher, the Rev. Brierly, read a chapter from the Bible, offered a prayer, and delivered a brief sermon.  On Wednesdays he presided over a prayer meeting; on Sundays he preached “a full-length sermon” and followed this with a class discussion group; on Tuesdays and Fridays he conducted a lyceum.  This was during the early stages of the voyage; later this comprehensive program collapsed, as it did on so many other ships, and during the final weeks of the Duxbury’s company seems to have been without religious instruction of any kind.

Hard feelings developed between officers and passengers aboard the Duxbury on the first leg of its voyage.  The chief complaint was against the food and the manner of service.  The Duxbury, an ancient three-masted craft, so hard to maneuver that she was said to require all of Massachusetts Bay in which to turn, left Boston so loaded that the galley space was inadequate.  After a week of subsisting on two sparse meals a day, the passengers met and made known their grievances.  For a long time their protests were disregarded.  “Petition after petition was sent in to the captain without producing any other effect than the reply, ‘If it is not enough, go without.'”  The group continued on short rations–“we were allowed one-half pint of weak tea a day and three pounds of sugar a month’–until the Duxbury reached Rio.  There a committee of passengers related their troubles to the United States Consul.  The result was that the capacity of the galley was ordered enlarged and the passengers thereafter fared rather better.

Lewis notes that this and other shipboard newspapers (see, e.g., Barometer, The Emigrant, and The Petrel) “lacked the formality of print but more nearly approached conventional journalism” than the various travel journals and diaries kept during the voyages.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Oscar Lewis, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields:  The Migration by Water to California in 1849-1852 (New York:  A.A. Knopf, 1949), pp. 22-29, 89-92

Locations:  Four numbers at the Huntington Library, Manuscripts Division, San Marino, CA; accompanies the published Journal of the Duxbury Voyage, Boston-San Francisco, by William H. DeCosta, 1849, Feb.-June 23 (HM 234)

The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

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The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  “On board Ship Duxbury,” clipper out of Boston en route to the California gold fields)

Frequency:  Weekly; irregular; “published every Monday morning”

Volume and Issue Data:   Vol. 1, No. 1, March 26, 1849; Vol. 1, No. 2, April 2, 1849; Vol. 1, Nos. 3-7 and 9, no dates; Vol. 1, No. 8, lead article dated June 10, 1849; Vol. 1, No. 10, no date, but article on “Celebration of American Independence.”  The third number has no title or volume-number.  The term “petrel” apparently refers to various sea birds.

Size and Format:  8 x 10 in.; oil cloth-like paper; two columns; pen and ink; illustrated; 2-4 pp., variable

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown (“Smike, Jr.”?)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Continuation or contemporary of Shark (See Shark) published aboard the Duxbury on same voyage

General Description and Notes:

The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

The Petrel was published onboard the Duxbury apparently during the same voyage as produced the Shark.  The issue numbering suggests that both papers may have been published contemporaneously.

The Duxbury left Boston for the California gold fields in February, 1849 carrying the Old Harvard Company, one of the hundreds of New England joint-stock companies organized to capitalize on the gold of California.  One writer states that during 1849, 102 joint stock companies sailed from Massachusetts alone, the number of their members ranging from five to 180, the average being around 50, and their total exceeding 4,200.  Each member paid an equal sum into the common treasury.  Each had an equal voice in tis management and stood to reap an equal share of the profits.  Often there was also a board of directors, chosen from among the town’s leaders, older men who helped finance the expeditions but themselves remained at home. (Lewis, p. 22).

The first issue, published March 26, 1849, contained the following introduction:

 “Ourselves.”  We appear before our readers to-day, for the first time, with our weekly budget of fun, fact, and fancy, for the particular edification our amusement of the passengers on board of the Ship Duxbury now on her voyage from Boston to San Francisco.  We shall continue its publication as often as circumstances will admit, and should be pleased to receive well written communications upon any subject that may be thought interesting to the “crowd.”  All communications must be handed in as early as Friday morning.–Smike, Jr.

The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

One passenger observed that there was “too much praying on board.”  Each morning the Duxbury’s preacher, the Rev. Brierly, read a chapter from the Bible, offered a prayer, and delivered a brief sermon.  On Wednesdays he presided over a prayer meeting; on Sundays he preached “a full-length sermon” and followed this with a class discussion group; on Tuesdays and Fridays he conducted a lyceum.  This was during the early stages of the voyage; later this comprehensive program collapsed, as it did on so many other ships, and during the final weeks of the Duxbury’s company seems to have been without religious instruction of any kind.

Hard feelings developed between officers and passengers aboard the Duxbury on the first leg of its voyage.  The chief complaint was against the food and the manner of service.  The Duxbury, an ancient three-masted craft, so hard to maneuver that she was said to require all of Massachusetts Bay in which to turn, left Boston so loaded that the galley space was inadequate.  After a week of subsisting on two sparse meals a day, the passengers met and made known their grievances.  For a long time their protests were disregarded.  “Petition after petition was sent in to the captain without producing any other effect than the reply, ‘If it is not enough, go without.'”  The group continued on short rations–“we were allowed one-half pint of weak tea a day and three pounds of sugar a month’–until the Duxbury reached Rio.  There a committee of passengers related their troubles to the United States consul.  The result was that the capacity of the galley was ordered enlarged and the passengers thereafter fared rather better.

The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

Lewis notes that this and other shipboard newspapers (see, e.g., Barometer, The Emigrant, and The Petrel) “lacked the formality of print but more nearly approached conventional journalism” than the various travel journals and diaries kept during the voyages.

Greever reports that Easterners frequently chose to go to California via ship around Cape Horn.  “Between December 14, 1848, and January 18, 1849 [probably about the time the Duxbury embarked on its voyage], sixty-one ships with an average of fifty passengers each sailed for California from New York City, Boston, Salem, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk.  In the month of February, 1849, . . . seventy [ships sailed] from Boston  . . . .” (pp. 21-22)

“The trip around from the East Coast around the Horn and up to San Francisco often took more than six months; the average time was 168 days” (p. 23)

“If Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Fourth of July occurred during the trip, there would be quite a celebration” (p. 22).

The two highlights of the journey around South America were stops in Rio and at Juan Ferdnandez island. The Petrel recorded the pleasures of shore leave and even illustrated the events in later issues (see The Petrel figures).

Captain DeCosta also imitated newspapers of the day with an entry that read:  “By telegraph–We have, says a New York paper, just received intelligence from a California-bound vessel, stating that they have a very rare animal on board, which was caught crossing the line . . . .”  While the story was a hoax, the joke could only have worked if the passengers were familiar with the “telegraph news” system of the day, and took the practice of ship-borne intelligence for granted.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  See Oscar Lewis, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields:  The Migration by Water to Californiain 1849-1852 (New York:  A.A. Knopf, 1949), p. 89.  See also G.B. Worden letter to Ira Brown:  Rio de Janeiro, ALS 1849 April 23, University of  California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Manuscript Collection, Mss C-B 547:138; and William S. Greever, Bonanza West:  The Story of Western Mining Rushes,  1848-1900 (University of Idaho Press, 1963), pp. 21-23

Locations:  Eleven numbers:  Huntington Library, Manuscripts Division, San Marino, California; accompanying the journal of the Duxbury voyage, Boston-San Francisco, by William H. DeCosta, 1849, Feb.-June 23 (HM 234); 10 numbers:  University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Manuscript Collection, Mss C-F 147; three numbers: (no dates, circa Feb.-July, 1849) Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

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Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the ship Norwood on its journey from England to Western Australia with convicts, April 27 (date of first issue) to July 6, 1867

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  “Introduction” issue, April 27, 1867

Size and Format:  See image of the front page of April 27, 1867

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Convict shipboard paper en route from England to Western Australia. Irwin’s published account includes it as “Norwoodiana, or, Sayings and doings on route to Western Australia : a manuscript journal made during the 1867 voyage of the convict ship Norwood, April 27 to July 6, 1867.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography: William Irvin, Journals on board the convict ships Palmerston, 1861, Belgravia, 28th Apr. 1866-23rd June, 1866 and Norwood, 27th Apr.-6th July, 1867 [microform], reproduction of typescript; transcribed by Bob & Tops Dent 1996 with permission of the Mitchell Library from the original manuscript held by the NSW State Library.

Locations:  State Library of Western Australia; thanks to Annette Delbianco of the SLWA.

Illustrated Arctic News (ENG-AK, 1850-1851)

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Illustrated Arctic News (Eng-AK, 1850-1851)

Entry Updated: December 21, 2016

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  On board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., in search of the expedition under Sir John Franklin looking for the “Northwest Passage”

Frequency:  Five issues; frequency unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  October 1850-March 1851

Size and Format:  44.5 x 27 cm.; printed facsimile is folio, 12 x 19 inches, 57 pp

Editor/Publisher: Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall?

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

Illustrated Arctic News (printed) (AK, 1850-1851)

Printed and published after the H.M.S. Resolute expedition returned home, from the five numbers originally issued in manuscript, October 1850-March 1851, on shipboard during the wintering of the H.M.S. Resolute in Barrow Strait.

The H.M.S. Terror, captained by Sir Franklin (and its companion ship, the H.M.S. Erebus), which the Resolute’s crew and other expeditions searched for over a period of 11 years, was finally found at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle in September 2016, according the The Guardian (Sept. 12, 2016). The H.M.S. Terror was located 168 years after it went missing off King William Island in eastern Queen Maud Gulf in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, Canada (see map below). The H.M.S. Erebus had been found several years earlier just to the south of where the Terror was later located.

hms-terror-map-northern-canada-arctic-ocean

Map: The H.M.S. Resolute wintered on the Barrow Strait in search of the Sir Franklin expedition. The H.M.S. Terror and its companion ship the H.M.S. Erebus were found, more than 160 years after they went missing, off King William Island in Queen Maud Gulf.

The H.M.S. Resolute, on which these handwritten newspapers were produced, became famous in politics and popular culture long after its retirement. Wood from the ship was later made into two desks, one of which the English crown gave as a gift to the United States President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. That desk still sits today in the Oval Office of the White House. That desk was also featured (as was its origin from the H.M.S. Resolute) in the popular film, National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), starring Nicholas Cage.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall, eds., Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, Published on Board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., In Search of the Expedition Under Sir John Franklin (London:  Ackerman, 1852)

Links: Captain Horatio T. Austin;  Sir John Franklin Northwest Passage Expedition; “Ship Found in Arctic 168 Years after Doomed Northwest Passage Attempt”; Franklin’s Last Voyage.

Locations: British Library (?);   Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England; Metropolitan Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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