|Title:||Kerr, James to Graham, James and David, 1852|
|Collection||Dear Uncle. Immigrant Letters to Antrim from the USA (1843-1852) [R.H. Roy]|
|Destination||Newpark, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland|
|Recipient||Graham, James and David|
|Genre||account of passage|
From James Kerr to James and David Graham
On Board the Olympus
Lying off Greenock
January 29th 1852
You will not be a little surprised to hear from me at this time and how
I am situated. You have perhaps heard that I left Liverpool in the Olympus
for New Orleans but any further you are no doubt ignorant I will give you
a detailed account of our adventure.
I arrived in Liverpool on Friday morning and had my luggage
removed to Mr. McHenry's store and waited upon Jas. Lawther who went
with me to the shipping office where we made our arrangements for my
passage. I had my luggage removed the same day on board the ship where
it stopped until we put to sea, which was on the following Sunday the 18th
I believe. The wind was blowing from South, our Captain came to the
conclusion to sail North about as the wind was favourable for that course.
We had favourable weather until Tuesday morning 20th when the wind
shifted round the West by South and blew a perfect hurricane (we were at
that time round the North of Ireland) which contained till Friday night the
24th when it calmed a little, on Saturday it was more favourable, and we
were able to reach Greenock on Sunday about 2 o'clock p.m. with loss of
sails, main mast sprung and some other damages.
The carpenters are busy in repareing our damages. It will take them
about 8 days so that it will be 10 or 14 days before we will be able to put back
to sea. There has not for many years been so many vessels put back for
stress of weather as at this time. Had not our ship been a good one we would
never have reached port indeed our chance was but small as the ship was
unmanageable on account of the loss of sails and the wind driving us
towards the land we would have been stranded had the wind continued a
little longer. I heard our Captain say he never expected to see any port
We have few passengers, our number being about 30, the greater
part are from the South of Ireland, the most dirty, lazy, ignorant, degraded
and superstitious set I ever saw. I am very well situated considering
everything. I have a berth to myself so that I can keep from coming into
contact with those priest-ridden wretches, disgraces to humanity. If it was
not that there are a few Scotch and English people on board I would be most
wretched. If you have not written to John yet mention to him the cause of my
delay. Excuse these hasty lines and give my respects to Dr. Hall, Mr. Orr
and all my enquiring friends.
I remain yours truly,
P.S. I expect an answer on return of post direct to me on board ship.
Olympus, lying off Greenock, Scotland and I think there is no doubt but I
will get it.