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Title: Letter to Irish Merchants Concerning Provisioning of Vessels.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Genderunknown
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
Recipient Genderunknown
Relationshipre emigration
SourceThe Belfast Mercury 1st June 1784.
ArchiveThe Linenhall Library, Belfast.
Doc. No.9407052
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 04:07:1994.
Word Count416
TranscriptTo the Merchants of Ireland who fit out Vessels
for carrying Passengers to America.
These vessels which are employed in the
passenger trade, ought surely not only to
be stout and well prepared in the respects in
my former letters mentioned, but also to be
well ventilated; and cleanliness on board, likewise
to conducive for preserving and restoring health,
should be a principal object of attention. The
owner of the least vessel capable, with the
prospect of safety, of carrying passengers to
America, ought in so laudable an undertaking
in my opinion, to be encouraged. I leave it therefore
to others to determine what sort and size
of vessels are best adapted to the passenger
trade, but must say, that these [those?] with
effectual means of admitting a free circulation of
the great vivifying principle of the air, have in
this respect a vast superiority over those which
are not provided with such salutary conveniences.
The air with which we are surrounded, and which
is our vital spring, must from its pressure,
elasticity, heat, cold, moisture and above all
from the degree of purity, be a very effectual
means either of removing or inducing disease.
It is allowed by all that the foul air
arisng from filthy or diseased bodies in
barracks, hospitals or transports that are
crouded [crowded?] (especially where
there is an accumulation of corrupted air
and in hot weather) is the
pestilential source of bad fevers and other
diseases: And as the small pox generally
borrow the type of their attendant fever
from the prevailing epidemic, so this disease is
commonly mortal in these vessels where a bad
fever prevails. It is not therefore without
reason that the Messrs. Browns of Belfast
refuse to take any passengers who have not
had the small pox. The [use?] of meats long
salted (which are really tainted and fit for
use) corrupted grain, and foul air, are generally
accompanied with a gloomy train of the most
mortal diseases, among which (especially where there
is a want of vegetables we may reckon scurvy.)
If I were to attempt to enumerate the destructive
effects upon the human species, especially at sea, of
corrupted provisions, foul air, and uncleanliness,
I might fill volumes. Doctor Huxon describes a
most pestilential fever to have raged at Plymouth,
occasioned not only by the number of French
prisoners, but also by the hospitals and other
places being crouded [crowded?] with men taken out of
our own ships, actually ill of distemper.