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Title: David McCullough, New Zealand, to Family, Co. Down.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileMcCullough, David/38
SenderMcCullough, David
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlabourer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew Zealand
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientMcCullough, Sam and Margaret
Recipient Gendermale-female
SourceCopyright Retained by Sandra Gilpin, 15 Windmill Hill, Comber, Co. Down
ArchiveUlster American Folk Park
Doc. No.9702289
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 24:02:97.
Word Count1031
TranscriptDunedin June 4th 1876

Dear Father & Mother and sisters
I am pleased to inform you
that we arrived safely at the above port on the 19th
May after a very tedious and long voyage of 123 days
from London you will see by this that we did not leave
early as we expected but our time was pretty well
occupied in London sightseeing and of these there
were plenty We had a pretty comfortable lodging close
to the railway station but at last we got orders from
the ship owners to be on board the "Andrew Reid" on
Saturday January 16th and accordingly we bid good
bye to London we had plenty of room on board as
there were only 20 passengers on board and we
got on very comfortable together when we started we
expected to get at our journeys end by the 20th April
13 weeks but through bad weather we were more
than 17 weeks you will like to hear about our
voyage we had to get our meals and provisions
served out once a week. Well we left the docks
on the 18th at 9 o'clock and towed down
the Thames to Gravesend where we took about
8 tons of Gunpowder on board we started
again next day but only got to bear a very strong
gale blowing at the time. here here (sic) we saw
a German brig run into by a barque and it sunk
almost immediately but all hands were saved on the
22nd we saw first whale on the 24th lost several
sails the sea coming over her sides and filling
our cabins with water 3 or 4 inches deep after this
for five or six days we went on fairly till on
the 29th about 11 o'clock at night we were nearly
run into by a three masted schooner it was within
a few inches of us next day we saw some hundreds of
porpoises but could catch none nothing occoured
[occurred?] till the 13 February when we passed a vessel
called the whitehall which left 3 days before us then on
the 17 we had the first of the sailors days called the dead
horse it is this way before the sailor leaves London
the [they?] generally have an allowance of one
months pay and the [they?] call this the dead
horse because the [they?] have to work for nothing
that month like and when that month is up the [they?]
make up something like a horse and then the [they?]
draw him up the mast and sing a comic song and then cut
him down and away he goes with the waves it was fine
fun for us all this day was also the Captain's
youngest boys birthday and we all drank his
health in the Captains cabin on the 19 we caught
some flying fish the [they?] were rather nice on
the 24 came the second sailors day Father Neptune
this time the seamen dress up in all kinds of dress
and walk about the vessel the [they?] then call upon
the passengers who have not been to sea before and
shave them and give them a bath everybody enjoyed
this much on the 27 we crossed the line about 12
o'clock March 1st had a tremendous thunderstorm
such as is not seen on land the lightening
shivered our foremast and went into the forecastle
dashing the mugs out of the sailors hands who were at
breakfast on the fourth one of the men drew his
knife to the first Officer but was kept quiet after
on the 8 we nearly caught a shark but the confounded
rope slipped and we lost him on the 22 we caught
5 Albatrosses a very large bird living on the sea
and measuring from 18 to 20 feet from end to end
of wings on the 28 we were fortunate and caught a
shark he was 16 feet 4 inches from his nose to his tail
such an ugly brute the sailors dont show them any
mercy the [they?] soon cut him up and we tasted him
for breakfast it was not very nice on the 30 we lost
more sails 12 April saw Hogg Island and had a heavy
fall of snow on the 14th had some tremendous seas and
come over our sides and broke away about 16 feet of our
bulwarks on the 23 lost more bulwarks 27 saw another
whale after this we went pretty well till the 1 May
when we lost nearly every sail we had a tremendous
gale coming up at 4 in the morning and continued all
day till at last we were compelled to heave to at 5
o'clock on the 18 came joyful cries of land Ho land
and we saw first the Mountains and then the land
came in sight we were very glad to think we were at
our journeys end we did not come here till next day
we parted with some of our passengers as I said before
there were only 20 only an old gentleman a youth
steward his wife and three children in our cabin we
always had a game of cards at night we learnt 2
new games cribbage and whist sandy and me is working
together from eight to 12 shilling per day is paid
to labouring men and we think that any amount of
Agricultural Labourers & Tradesmen can find plenty
of work at good pay board and lodging the best
1 pound per week three meals a day anything you call
The mails closes to day so I must
say good bye. I hope you are all well let me know
how all our old neighbours are getting on and all the
moneyrea people uncle Robert's ones and Grandmother
the gardner and missus and Mr Mehaffy
Tell Johnny Frame to write till me. I
Send him a paper
let me hear from you all soon you will hear at the
post office when to write so good bye with love to you
From your affie [affectionate?] son
David McCullough

please address post office Dunedin
New Zealand
To be left till called for