Paul Robins' Journal
Voyage to Quebec In 1846 from Padstow
This diary extract can be found in "The Robins Papers", unknown author, Published: Sydenham Ontario, Anne Dowker available at the National Library of Canada. Another version covering much of the same period was printed in "The Bible Christian" magazine and a transcription is available online on
Phil Ellery's website.
Jan. 16, 1846 Shebbear - The Missionary Committee decided on sending
three additionial Missionaries to America, one to Wisconsin, one
to Ohio and another to Canada West. I offered myself for one. A
Committee appointed to meet again on the 24th of February to
determine who shall go, and at that meeting Brothers William
Hooper, Henry Ebbett and myself were appointed. O that the Lord
may prepare us for the important duties of that new sphere of
labour! - We are all to go to Canada, and it will then be decided
who shall go to Ohio and Wisconsin.
Wed. March 4th. - Preached at Marland and
renewed the tickets, and had a blessed time.- My mind was
somewhat gloomy for a few days, but in prayer at friend Steven's
before we went to the meeting the clouds were all dispersed.
Praise the Lord.
Sun. 8th – Preached at Rowden, Lake
and Black Torrington and slept at Mrs. Danvial’s. The next
morning I departed early for Cornwall, walked to Launceston and
thence to St.Gleer upwards of 30 miles, and was glad to rest,
where I did comfortably at Mr. Mark Daniel’s. -The
following morning I departed for Hared's Foot- attended to some
business about the chapel.-Thence walked to Polperro and visited
John and Mary Langdon, and afterwards walked to Fowey and made
enquiries respecting the Royal Adelaide's sailing to America. A
variety of circumstances, however, caused us to decide on going
by the Veluna from Fowey, appointed to sail April 10th.
– I had a conversation and prayer with some of the friends,
and the next morning, Wed. 11th, went to my sister Betsy's at
Bedwain, where I met with my Mother and brother Matthew, the
latter having come from the Breage circuit to see me. – We
slept that night together at brother Samuel's at Roche.
Thurs. 12th - I rode back to St. Columb and
settled some accounts with Br. Ching. thence back to Dr. Samuel's
and afterwards Br. Matthew and myself went to Providence, where
the friends were holding a Protracted meeting, and Br. M.
Preached. I accompanied Br. Warden to St. Austell to sleep.- The
next day (Fr. l3) we met to settle the affairs of Biscovey and
Tregorrick Chapels and made arrangements for Br. Warns to go to
Padstow to enquire about vessels going to America.
Sun 15. - Preached at St. Austell in the morning; heard
Matthew at Tregorrick in the afternoon, and had a good sermon;
preached myself in the evening.
Mon. 16. - Left St. Austell to return to Shebbear,
called on my sisters Ann and Betsy and walked to Bodmin. Thence I
rode in the van to Launceston, and the next morning departed
early by coach and rode as far as Woodford Bridge and thence
walked home to breakfast, and after consulting with my wife and
other friends decided on going from Padstow. The remainder of the
week was chiefly occupied in preparing for our voyage.
Sun. 22. – Preached at Ebenezer in the morning;
but not having any liberty in preaching, I turned it into prayer,
and the Lord blessed us. In the afternoon I preached at Bradford,
and heard sister M. Thorne at Lake in the evening.
Tues. 24. – Attended the quarterly meeting at
Collacott. The preachers had some profitable conversation about
holiness, and while pleading with God for larger measures of it
we felt much blessed. – Preached in the evening but nothing
remarkable in the meeting.
Sat. 28 – Married Thos. Copp and Mary Ley, and
had a profitable time in conversation and prayer before and after
Sun. 29 – Preached at Rowden in the morning.
Heard Brother J. Thorne preach Mr. Buckinghan’s funeral
sermon in the afternoon, and felt it a melting season, while some
remarks were made respecting the end of that young man,
especially in reference to the deep interest his mother took in
his spiritual welfare and the happy effect it appeared to have on
Mon. 30. – Was up all night and about 3
o’clock in the morning left Shebbear for Launceston with my
wife and Samuel, by the cart which took down the book parcels.
Being too late for the van, we had to make the best of our way of
foot, but at length a conveyance which we unexpectedly met with
took us to Camelford; thence we walked to St. _____ ______ ______
____ to rest. The next morning ____ ____ took us with a horse and
cart to Trevine, St. Minevar, where we were welcomed by Br. and
Sr. Lean. The same day I went to Padstow and saw the vessel by
which we were to sail for Quebec, and was pleased with the
interview I had with the owner and captain. Thence I went to Mr.
Tregaskie's and was kindly entertained for the night. The next
morning I departed before breakfast, went to Trevine and thence
to Wadebridge on my way to St. Austell. Tarried at Mrs. Kellow's
and in the evening went to Associan Chapel and heard a good
sermon from Heb. XLII, 14: "Here have we no continuing city, but
we seek one to come." After meeting visited and prayer with
friend Hocken and family. The next day I went to Bedwain and saw
my mother and sister, thence to Molinos and St. Austell, and
afterwards went to my sister Grace's and slept. On Saturday I
visited friends at Biscovey, Holmbusy and St. Austell, and in the
evening went to Riddle and slept at St. Ann's.
Sun. 5th April - Preached at St. Austell
morning and evening and in the afternoon at Providence. Felt
pretty well in the morning and very well in the afternoon, but in
the evening I could not speak to the satisfaction of my own mind.
After meeting went to St. Anns.
Mon. 6 - Attended some business at Trethurgey, thence I
went to Fowey and saw Br. and Sr. Langden, returned to Sr.
Grace's and went to Dr. Samuel's, where I remained the night.
Tues. 7 - Br. Samuel sent Sampson and myself part of
the way with a horse to Trevine, where we met my wife and Samuel,
and the next day we went to Padstow and met Br. James Thorne and
Br. Hooper and wife and in the evening held a Farewell Service.
Br. Thorne opened the meeting with prayer, after which Mr.
Tregaskie made some remarks on the labours, comforts and reward
of missionaries.- then myself, Br. Hooper and my wife addressed
the meeting on our experience, and feelings in reference to going
to America as missionaries, and afterwards the meeting and
ourselves were addressed by Bros. Prior and Thorne, Br. Tregaskie
enlivening the meeting by many appropriate remarks between each
of the addresses, and Br. Prior concluded with prayer.
Thurs. 9 - Went with Samuel to Br. Samuel's and slept
at Capt. J. Williams. - The next day being Good Friday, I
preached at Ebenezer, Luxillian, in the morning, and at Graika in
the evening, and afterwards went with Br. Samuel and Wife to
Sat. 11th - Went to Padstow and got our
luggage on board and slept there with Samuel.
Sun. 12. - I kept watch on board while those belonging
to our company went to chapel. -held a prayer meeting on board
with the few who remained. Br. Ebbett preached at the Chapel at
Padstow in the morning, and at St. Issey in the evening. Br.
Hooper preached on board the Veluna in the afternoon, at St.
Ervan in the evening and I preached at St. Issey in the afternoon
and at Padstow in the evening. Slept on board at night.
Mon. 13 - Busy in arranging our things and in getting
necessaries on board for the voyage; but a number of visitors,
etc. prevented us from getting prepared for sailing, so that when
the vessel went out the following morning we were in confusion.
Just as we were leaving Padstow I went into the hold with friend
Hambly to put the luggage to rights and got sick, as did also all
our company soon after, with most of the passengers and some of
the crew. This was rather remarkable, as we had a fair and light
breeze. Most of the passengers turned into their berths, and we
turned into ours. with clothes on, and our company was out but
little till the Thursday; we scarcely took any nourishment for
two days and nights, and none of us were well enough to help the
rest, as the least exercise made us ill. It was well for us that
the sea was pretty smooth, as our things were in a bad state to
encounter a storm; but storm or no storm we were obliged to let
everything (remain) in confusion, and had not the captain (and)
the cook been kind, we should not have been able to get anything
to eat or drink. A gentle breeze took us out of the harbour in
the right direction, but in the evening we were becalmed.
Afterwards by sailing close to a westerly wind we passed between
the Land's End and Scilly and sailed on towards France. We passed
Scilly in the morning, but I was to ill to go on deck to see the
islands, though I had a desire to do so. Went on slowly in the
same direction till Thursday morning, when we were at the
entrance to the Bay of Biscay and, the wind shifting, we were
able to, steer a more westerly course; but our progress was very
slow. We saw a large vessel to windward on Thursday morning,
dismasted; but could not get near; we also saw some French
fishing vessels; we also got near to two vessels steering in the
same direction as ourselves, one of which was the of Truro.
Thurs. 16 - Was a fine day, had a little walk on deck,
but still very poorly. Scarcely any wind, but some expectation of
wind before morning. It might have been thought that we should
have done something in spiritual matters; but we were in such a
state from sea-sickness that we were unprepared for anything.
Fri. 17 - Last night about 10 1/2 o'clock the wind rose
suddenly. All hands were called on deck to reef the sails. It
continued a strong breeze from the N.W. all that night and the
next day, but died away at night leaving us nearly becalmed. The
vessel rolled very much, so that it was with difficulty that
those of us who slept at windward could keep ourselves from
falling out of our berths. Felt myself getting much better
towards evening and resolved to endeavour to arrange matters to
be more useful on board.
Sat. 18 - Got out of bed in good time, shaved for the
first time since leaving Padstow and was very busy nearly all the
day in righting away our things. Bros. Hooper and Ebbett were
busy about preparing some dinner, as both of the women are still
ill, especially Sr. Hooper, who with great effort and assistance
got on deck; but she showed symtoms of getting better towards
night. The Captain gave the sailors the privilege of doing some
things for themselves this day which is usually granted them on
the Sabbeth, so as to have no washing decks tomorrow. Br. Ebbett
is to preach tomorrow at 9 1/2 o'clock if the weather admits, and
I am to preach at three. And we have appointed to have a class
meeting in our cabin at 11 o'clock. May the great Jehovah crown
our efforts with his abundant blessing!- Have had but very little
wind all day, but that nearly fair.
Sun. 19 - A fine, clear, calm day - a fair but very
faint breeze. But it was not progress in our voyage that we
regarded so much as favourable time for our religious services
and this we were blessed with.- Some grampuses played around the
ship in the morning and engaged the attention of the crew and
passengers. (It is a large fish of the whale kind.) Br. H. Ebbett
preached in the morning at 9 ½ o'clock from Luke VII,
11-16. At 11 o'clock we had a Bible Class in which we were joined
by the Captain. Read and conversed about I John 1 chap. and felt
it profitable. At 3 o'clock I preached from Ps. CVII, 30; "So He
bringeth them unto their desired haven." Urged on the crew and
passengers the necessity of using means to secure the haven
above, just as mariners embrace every favourable circumstance to
speed their way to the desired port. Heard that some of the
sailors afterwards raised objections, intimating that there is no
other hell than the suffering of time. Immediately after
preaching Br. Hooper led the class in our apartment, the Captain
joining us, though it was the first class meeting he ever attended.
We had a profitable time. Bros.
Elvins, Hambly and Sr. Husband joined with our company therein.
At 6 ½ we held a Prayer Meeting on deck, and had a
tolerably lively and refreshing time. Br. Ebbett and some of the
passengers remained on deck singing hymns after others of us
retired. Amidst all the disposition manifested by the Captain and
several of the crew to accommodate us, it is lamentable to
contemplate the state of all the ship's company in reference to
religious matters. O that God may help us to live and labour
among them during this voyage that it may result in the
conversion of their precious souls to Himself! Amen. Amen.
Mon. 20th - Rose early. A light breeze carrying us very
slowly too much towards the south. A dry fine day. Agreed to the
following rules; - P. Robins, H. Ebbett and Sampson P. Robins
assist Ann Robins one week and W. Hooper, J. Heal and Samuel
Robins assist Rebecca Hooper the other. The men alternately who
are on duty assisting in the cabin and fetching water, cooking
and doing other requisites on deck. The boys in their turn
attending on the rest to carry nessates and do errands. Those who
are on duty must wait on the rest at Meal times and if necessary
wait for their meals till the rest have done. On Saturday both of
the men and the boy must clean the shoes of all. Take breakfast
at 7 ½ o'clock, dinner at 12, and supper at 5 ½.
Family worship at 8 and 3 o'clock. Those who are thus engaged
instruct the children on board from 9 to 10 o'clock. School among
ourselves on week-days from 1 ½ to 3 o'clock. Bible class
from 4 to 5. A Prayer Meeting and preaching alternately at 6
½ o'clock. We felt the benefit of the foregoing
regulations in the greater regularity of our proceedings and the
increased comfort thereby secured.
Tues. 21. - Calm, pleasant weather and smooth sea, wind
N.W., consequently we are being carried too much to the South.
Matters going on in a regular way except that we lost a half hour
of our school-time among ourselves and have had no public
religious service on deck, and some of the parents rather
objected to send their children for instruction in the forenoons.
Sr. Hooper however has the promise of some tomorrow, and at night
we made arrangements to have public service, when the weather
admits, on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Br. Hooper is to preach
Wed. 22nd. - A very fine day, but making
very little progress. The sea smooth and glassy. Br. Hooper
preached in the evening from Ps. 119, "I thought on my ways and
turned my feet to Thy testimonies." The sailors appeared to
combine not to unite with us, as they carried on their mirth in
the bow of the brig all the time we were engaged in divine
worship in the stern. - The Captain, who united with us, spoke to
them respecting their conduct, but they would not refrain. Br.
Ebbett also gave them a talking to after the service was
concluded. It was a dead calm when we went to bed, but a
comfortable breeze sprang up afterwards which continued all night
in the right direction.
Thurs. 23rd - A fair comfortable breeze throughout the
day. Saw four vessels in the morning, one homeward bound and the
rest apparently directing their course toward the East Indies. -
Had some conversation with Mr. Lanyon, one of the passengers, who
regards the Scriptures as having been written in part at least to
serve the purpose of interested parties. In spiritual matters we
are much like people in fetters, we do not get full victory so as
to triumph above the powers of darkness and bear down the
carelessness of the ungodly.
Fri. 24. - Sailing on comfortably all day in the right
direction. - A good Prayer Meeting at night. We were obliged to
make our things secure at night, as the vessel rolled a good deal
as she went before a fair breeze.
Sat. 25 - Fair breeze, but the vessel rolled a good
deal, so that we had some difficulty in taking our dinner:
Indeed, I had a tumble on the floor while endeavouring to save
the pudding which we were to bake for our Sunday's dinner. Saw
two young whales playing around the ship.
Sun. 26. - Br. Andrew Elvins preached in the morning
from Rev.VII.14-17. In the afternoon Br. Hooper preached from
Heb.11.3: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation."
Some of the breakers had a roll over the deck as he was
preaching. After the preaching we held our class meeting in our
cabin and had a quickening time, and in the evening we had a good
prayer meeting. The wind changed from East to S.E. while we were
drawing the prayer meeting to a close. The breeze increased in
the night which caused the studding sails to be taken in, which
had been set all the day before.
Mon. 27. - In the morning spoke to two vessels homeward
bound, a French barque and a Scottish brig from Dundee, and just
afterwards the attention of the passengers was engaged by a large
sperm whale on the starboard side.
List of Passengers.
Paul Robins, Ann Robins, (their two children) Sampson Paul
Robins, Samuel Robins, William Hooper, Rebecca Hooper, J. Heal,
Henry Ebbett, Thomas Powell, Betsy Powell, Wm. Hainbly, John
Tupper, Thomas Grigg, Wm. Hawse, Ann Hawes, (their six children)
William, John, Ann and Mary Jane, Thomas and Matilda Hawes, Wm.
Oliver, Honor Husband, Philippa Husband, Isabella Whitehair, John
Lanyon, Hesther Lanyon, (their four children) Caroline, Esther,
Kate and John Lanyon, John Ellott, Mary Ellott, (their three
children) James, Maryann and Elizabeth Ellott, Alfred Penphrase,
Andrew Elvins, Thos. Best.
Joseph Prophet, Mate; Thos. Henry Sloggett, Carpenter; Thos.
Horsewell, 2nd Mate; Thos. Robert Langford, Sail-Maker; Thos.
Thomas, seaman; Josiah England, Cook; Thos. Hoskin Jennings,
Seaman; Richard Bolt, Seaman; Edgar Octavius Broad, Cabinboy;
John Sandry, Apprentice; Thos. Cook, Apprentice; Jonathon Webber
Phillips, Apprentice; Joseph William, Steward.
The wind increased through the day and there were indications
of a rough night. The canvass was accordingly lessened on her
gradually till night. At midnight it blew very hard. All hands
were called up to take in or reef the sails. Very few of us slept
after midnight and in the morning when I went on deck the sea was
running very high, and nearly all the canvass was taken in from
the brig. The fire was not lit by the passengers till towards the
evening on the Tuesday, as several were sick and the ship rolled
so much that there was scarcely any standing. And our company
were nearly all sick besides (except) myself and the boys and I
felt qualmish. It was Bros. Hooper and Heal's week for cooking
and doing the work. On Monday they pared some potatoes and made
some dough for a pie, but they could go no further, and I was
obliged to make the fire myself or go without dinner. Indeed, as
it was, it was near supper as dinnertime when it was cooked. We
went to bed with things in sad confusion and by the morning they
were much worse. I got up and by great effort set things a little
straight, but the rolling of things from side to side in the
cabin, with the upsetting of cups and bottles and myself rolling
about after them while hardly anyone rendered any assistance, was
a trial to my patience and I was almost ready to leave it as
carelessly as my companions did; but most likely their not
lending a hand was more for want of ability than through lack of
inclination. However, after great effort for some hours and after
breaking a plate and a cup or two and upsetting a number of
things, I got things a little more comfortable and took a little
piecrust for my breakfast. The wind died away in the day and the
sea became more still, so that in the afternoon I was able to
read a little on deck.
Wed. 29. - The wind that died away the preceding
evening rose high again in the night and the additional canvass
that was previously spread was taken down before morning. In the
morning the wind was high and against us, and the sea ran high
all the day. Consequently we scarcely made any progress and the
vessel rolled so much that we could scarcely stand, sit or lie
without holding fast. In fetching the water in the morning Br.
Heal was thrown from one side of the ship to the other and struck
himself against the bulwarks and knocked off the handle and
otherwise injured the tin can. It took three of us to cook a
pancake, one to hold the pan on the fire, another to turn it and
a third to hold the dish, for each one was obliged to hold fast
by one hand while he worked with the other, and the wind blew
plenty of ashes in our eyes as well as in the pan. In the evening
I had prepared some fish and potatoes to boil, but before I set
it on the fire the sea broke over us, gave me a good drenching
and away went the saucepan, fish and potatoes over the deck and I
after them over shoes in water. After much ado I succeeded in
recovering the fish and most of the potatoes again and at lenght
succeeded in getting a supper. This was the third ducking I had
in the day and my feet were not properly dry after the former
before they were thoroughly wet again by the latter. We have had
no rain for the day. Besides being drenched in seawater I had two
or three tumbles in the day, in one of which I bruised my arm and
Thurs. 30. - The vessel rolled much in the night. Found
the wind that was blowing from the S.W. when we went to bed
blowing from the N.W. when we got up. The wind was but little
through the day and that little against us. The captain informed
us that we had gone only about 6 miles in the right direction
during the 24 hours past. Had a prayer meeting in our cabin in
the evening, but not full victory.
Fri. May 1. - Wind N.W., progress little. Spoke to the
"Crown" from Orkney Isles, bound to Quebec. We saw them ahead in
the morning and passed them about noon. - The hobby horse was
kept up on board by the sailors, but such a combination of
filthiness and folly I never before witnessed.- The second mate
was foolish enough to be the principal actor in the disgraceful
scene. An ugly mask was provided and a covering of a tarred
canvass came down over the body of the person and a pole went out
in front with something at the end very imperfectly resembling a
horse's head and a kind of tail hung behind. This person with
this disgusting mask over his person ran about the deck after the
sailors and passengers, and afterwards the sailors greased and
smutted their hands and rubbed them over the faces of those
persons they could catch. Most of us kept below, but Br. Hooper,
who was cook, got some black marks on his face and would have
fared worse had he not threatened to defend himself with the
poker. John Heal and Sampson shared the same fate. I felt quite
ashamed and disgusted at such folly and was really mortified that
such an exhibition should be made within view of the crew of
another vessel, and told the captain so. He said he thought it
should be the last time that he would allow it. I expect the
discountenance we gave it checked their proceedings, so that in
the evening, when we were given to understand that it should be
practised more fully, there was but a very feeble attempt and it
died quite away. May it die to live no more! Amen. Amen.
Sat. 2nd. - The Captain corrected one of the
apprentices in the morning for not readily doing what he was
told. It was I believe Painful to the feelings of all. Some were
disposed to blame the Captain, thinking it is wrong to chastise a
person of man's stature with a rope, but the captain of a ship is
certainly in a critical place, and it is absolutely necessary
that his authority should be maintained; otherwise the safety of
the ship and the lives of all on board would be in jeopardy. For
anything we have before seen to the contrary, the Captain is
certainly a very quiet, and well disposed man. Some person took a
loaf of bread belonging to us out of the oven. The captain said
he would punish all the sailors if it were not returned, but I
begged him not to punish all for the sake of one.
Sun. May 3. - Wet and windy and the wind against us. -
We had a comfortable class meeting in our cabin in the afternoon,
but no public service for the day. The rolling of the ship made
most of us feel qualmy.
Mon. 4th. - A stormy night, wet morning and wind
against us. - About noon the wind became more favourable, but it
died away towards evening. The last two or three rough nights we
have made a wreck of our things, and the wind and rain made
cooking on deck very uncomfortable. I got several knocks and
tumbles. Saw a large barque swiftly sailing before the wind in
her homeward course, but did not get near enough to speak nor to
see what vessel she was.
Tues. 5th. - In the morning it was a calm,
the helmsman had foresaken his post, but after a while a breeze
sprung up and wafted us in the right direction. At noon the wind
considerably increased and drove us between 8 and 9 knots an
hour, but toward evening it veered around nearly west again and
blew almost a gale. The rain in the afternoon kept most of us
below with the hatchway shut and a candle burning to give us
light. Some time was spent in singing.and in reading William's
Wed. 6th. - A very cold damp air in the morning with
mist, but it cleared up afterwards, though it continued cold all
day. Wind against us. The Captain said that we have not sailed
more than 100 miles towards Quebec for (during) the last week.
Purposed having a prayer meeting in our cabin, but seasickness
came on Sr. Hooper, which prevented it.
Thurs. 7. - A fine morning, not so cold as yesterday.
Wind rather more favourable, though as it became favourable it
died away. The Ocean's Queen, a briganteen, passed to the
windward of us in the morning. She showed her longitude 41- ours
was computed to be only 36'10. When first seen by friends on deck
she was nearly as far astern as they could see and about noon she
was so far ahead as to be nearly invisible. Our vessel sails well
with a fair breeze, and she passes over the waves without
shipping scarcely any sea, but she will not sail so close to the
wind as some ships that we have met within our passage, which
makes considerably against our progress with a contrary wind. In
the afternoon we saw a steamer homeward bound but she was several
miles to windward. Had a prayer meeting in our cabin in the
afternoon and felt it a good time. Proposed having a prayer
meeting tomorrow to pray for a fair wind.- We spent a
considerable time in the steerage singing hymns and joining in
prayer at the close of the day.
Fri. 8. - Head wind and very squally- cold- showers of
hail.- Felt blast in the prayer meeting. May the Lord answer our
supplication and waft us on to our destination!
Sat. 9. - A calm fine day, but wind still ahead. Nine
vessels in sight.
Sun. 10. - Head wind and blowing fresh and cold- a very
different day from yesterday except that the wind is the same way
it has been for the last nine days, quite against us.- Preached
in the steerage at 2 ½ o'clock to the passengers and
captain, but no one of the ship's company beside the captain was
present. Alas! They live as though salvation was a subject that
did not belong to them. I felt blest in preaching from Johr
III.19 and spoke as plainly and pointedly to them as I could.-
After preaching we had a profitable class meeting in our
apartment. It was a thick cold fog so that we could hold no
meeting on deck, therefore some of the friends spent some time
together in the steerage reading the Scriptures.
Mon. 11. - Fair in the morning and two of the studsails
were put up, but the wind soon veered around towards the west and
obliged them to be taken down again. Some of us began to suspect
that we were getting on the Banks of Newfoundland, and the
requisites were set in order for sounding. It was not done,
however on that day.
Tues. 12. - Sounded at 8 o'clock in the morning and
found ourselves on the Banks in 40 fathoms of water.- The course
of the vessel was altered to avoid the Virgin Rocks. Pretty
strong wind most of the day with a thick fog and at times a heavy
rain which made it very difficult getting on deck or keeping our
hatchway open. - Indeed some did not get up all day and those who
did were obliged to shut themselves up and burn a candle below,
and then the dropping of the rain on them together with the
rolling of the vessel and great cold made their situation
extremely uncomfortable. The horn was kept blowing all day and
last night and yesterday to prevent accident by other vessels
coming in contact.
Wed. 13. - A dry clear day, very different from
yesterday, though it continues very cold. A blessed time while
Br. Hooper was praying in the evening. Tacking about to get
further South. Got out the Book parcels and dried them as they
were wetted with the heavy rain which came into our chest
yesterday.- The captain gave me some old canvass to tie them
Thurs. 14. - Finished the "Emigrators' Handbook",
furnishing I should judge useful information to such as emigrate
to the States. A very fine day- becalmed, but unfortunately the
water was too deep to catch any fish. The Captain informed me
this evening that we are about 90 miles further South and the
same distance further East than we were two days ago, and unless
the wind blew in a different direction than that in which the
very gentle breeze which sprung up before we came below, that
they must alter their course and go further East still, before
Fri. 15. - Tacking about all day in consequence of
contrary wind. Saw an iceberg in the horizon on the starboard
side of the vessel.- A fine clear day, but we found it difficult
to keep ourselves warm, the air being so very sharp.
Sat. 16. - Wind still against us.- Saw several icebergs
in the course of the day, particularly towards evening; but
happily they were all at a distance. Saw a great number of
ice-birds, some resembling larks, though larger and of a deeper
colour, blackish on the back and white under the belly. They
would sometimes dive under the water and remain a considerable
time. Some on board amused themselves in shooting at them.
Several were killed and we saw one that was wounded struggling in
the water as we sailed past it. And another large bird that was
shot dead was followed by its mate, which hovered round and at
length settled by its dead body as it floated on the water. This
was all done wantonly, as there was no prospect of getting any
that were shot. (In) The evening we gave the crew a cake each and
some cocoa, at which they were much pleased. It was intended to
hold a meeting afterwards, but a coldness of the weather made it
inconvenient to have it on deck and there was no other place
convenient. We therefore judged it best to put off the meeting
Sun. 17. - We were becalmed in the evening and the
Ship's company with the passengers who were not pious let down
their fishing lines to endeavour to catch some cod. We signified
our disapprobation and were very glad that all their endeavours
were fruitless.- No fish were caught; so about noon a little
breeze sprung up and the Captain ordered the sails to be spread
to the breeze and we were wafted onward in our course.- The wind
however did not blow fair but a very few minutes till it got
nearly west again, a direction in which it has been blowing with
but very few hours exception for the last 17 days. This afternoon
Br. Ebbett gave us an address on Prov. "Blessed is the man that
findeth wisdom", and compared human life to a voyage, showing
that a strong ship, experienced commander, necessary provision
and a successful termination constituted a happy voyage, and
showed this was to be obtained by sailing in the ship of true
wisdom or piety. Held our class meeting afterwards.
Mon. 18. - A calm in the forenoon, so the sails were
pulled up and nearly all hands went a fishing, but with all our
attempts we caught but four. The Captain divided these between
the ship's company and the passengers, assigning one to the
forecastle, another to the cabin, the largest to the passengers
in the steerage and the smallest to us, as we were so many fewer
than they. We saw some fishing vessels lying at anchor near us
having apparently a plenty of fish on board.
Tues. 19. - Thick fog with rain and a brisk breeze most
of the day. The Captain has been unable to take the latitude by
the sun since Saturday. As we get in the neighbourhood of land
with this thick fog, he felt rather anxious, especially as the
land was on our lee. In the evening the wind changed suddenly and
soon after died away.
Wed. 20. - A clear fine day, very different from
yesterday, though the weather has been cold, particularly in the
morning, the night was very cold with heavy rain and sleet which
froze in the rigging, and the men had to get up two or three
times in the night to reef or alter sails, as it blew a strong.
Saw a great number of porpoise and sea birds, among which was a
species of gulls of finer plumage than those in England.
Thurs. 21. - A fine day and fair wind, but it became
cold towards evening.
Fri. 22nd. - The past a severe night, strong
wind with rain, sleet and snow which froze about the mast and
rigging, but the weather became more and more pleasant throughout
the day and a little after sunset land was discovered on our
larboard bow - Cape Breton.
Sat. 23. - A delightful day, sailing before a gentle
breeze all day with Cape Breton in view on the larboard side. In
the evening we came in sight of St. Paul's at the entrance of the
Gulf. We saw the revolving light of its light-house while on deck
before we went to bed. It cheered all our hearts to see land
after being so long without seeing anything besides sea and sky
with the exception of now and then discovering a vessel. We saw
no less than 11 vessels sailing in the same or nearly the same
direction as ourselves and were near enough to two or three of
them to see their names with the spy-glass.
Sun. 24. - Sixth Sabbath on the deep. We entered the
Gulf last night, and just as we were entering it, lying almost
becalmed, suddenly a strong breeze sprang up. - The Captain was
below undressed, but as there was a great deal of canvass on the
vessel he ran on deck instantly undressed as he was and soon all
hands were busily engaged in taking in sail.- In the evening we
passed the Bird Rocks. Large rocks in the Gulf where many a
vessel has been lost and where the fowls of heaven remain
unmolested. by thousands, except when some sailors choose to land
for the sake of taking their eggs. - We also saw Magdalen Islands
on our larboard bows. Br. Hooper preached in the evening from I
John "If we say we have no sin, " etc. and my wife preached in
the afternoon from . "Return ye to the strongholds, ye prisoners
of hope." We intended to have a meeting again in the evening, but
the sailors were busy setting stun-sails and very few seemed
inclined to engage in a divine service on deck. Our class meeting
was held as usual and in the evening my wife had some
conversation in our apartment with Honor Husband.
Mon. 25. - The last night it was very heavy rain with
thunder and lightening, but though the sailors got wet jackets we
neither felt nor saw it, as we were snug in our berths. We
however heard the rain pouring down copiously on the decks above
our heads. The day had been fine and wind fair so that we are
making considerable progress. In the after part of the day we
have had the main land in sight on our left and Anticosti on our
right, though the latter was nearly obscured by mist.
Tues. 26. - Wind fair except for a few hours when we
were nearly becalmed and carried by the current towards the South
coast which was visible all day, is very mountainous and mostly
covered with wood.- We could see the snow on the mountains
several places, and this the Captain told us is the case all
through the summer. One mountain which could be seen towering
above the rest in the distance and called St. Ann's is 4000 feet
high. The captain said it is visible 80 or 90 miles distant.- We
also saw several fisherman's houses on the beach looking very
white. The land on the North side was also visible at certain
times, but it was more distant and much obscured by fog.
Wed 27. - Damp foggy weather.- Sailing up the right
before a fair breeze.- Were more and more delighted with the
appearance of the country.
Thurs. 28. - Arrived at the Quarantine ground early in
the morning. Several vessels waiting to be visited by the Dr. and
some detained by sickness.- The smallpox had afflicted some on
board one vessel. We saw a number of persons on the Quarantine
ground cleansing themselves and their apparel before they would
be allowed to proceed. The Dr. went into the steerage and looked
into our apartment and numbered us. He was highly pleased and
readily gave the captain a certificate telling him that it was
the cleanest ship and passengers he had passed during the spring.
Here we learned that the Clio which sailed from Padstow 4 days
before us., had passed up the river 9 days before us. After
having been detained 4 or 5 hours waiting for the Dr. we sailed
up to Quebec and arrived thither before the steamers sailed for
Montreal, but we could not leave the vessel before we were
boarded by the customary officers. The Physician and another
officer (tide waiter, I think) boarded us the same evening, but
the Custom house officer did not come until about 3 o'clock the
next day, though we were ordered to have all our things on deck
in readiness to be examined at 9 o'clock in the morning. We were
very busy in the morning packing and getting out our things and
after they were taken on deck they lay there for hours in the
rain without any covering. All were very anxious for his coming
especially the barge man whom the Captain hired to take us to the
steamer and who had waited for us from 3 o'clock in the morning.
The ceremony of examining our luggage was soon over when
commenced and after a hard tug we first got all our luggage on
board the barge and then got it on board the Montreal steamer,
and by persuasion through the intercession of Mr. Harvey, with
whom Mr Hambly was acquainted, we had a passage in the saloon or
steerage fare, a favour for which we were heartily glad, as the
steamer was thronged with Irish. Before the steamer sailed, some
of us went into the town for a short time, and about 5 o'clock
departed for Montreal, a distance of miles, whither we arrived a
quarter before six the next morning.
Sat. 30. - We worked hard and were as expeditious as
possible in getting our things on the quay. Then we left the
greatest part with the goods while some of us went to make
enquiries about a conveyance to Kingston. At length we agreed to
go in a steam boat by way of Bytown and accordingly left Montreal
about 5 o'clock in the evening. It was well for us and our
luggage that the day was fine, as it was exposed in the open air
all day till we got it on board the Bytown Steamer in the middle
of the afternoon.
Sun. 31. - All day going up the canal.and river to
Bytown, whither we arrived about 10 at night. We were hindered
about two hours in passing the locks, and by landing some of the
passengers whose room was better than their company. We were
sadly afraid of the vermin, as we saw some of the Irish picking
off the lice from their apparel in large numbers.- One family of
Methodists however was (formed) an exception and were very
decent, sober and agreeable fellow travellers. We were very sorry
to spend our Sabbeth without any means of grace.
Mon. June 1. - Yesterday and today very hot indeed. At
a place where we got some milk, butter and bread the people
informed us that they had this weather here about a fortnight.
What a contrast between this and the Banks of Newfoundland!
Tues. 2. - Arrived in the morning at Kingston, a
quicker passage than they ever had before by the Canal. Got our
things on board the Chief Justice Steamer and in the afternoon
departed for Cobourg.
Wed. 3. - Early in the morning arrived at Cobourg; met
Br. Rippin on the wharf and were conducted to the preachers'
home. In consequence of no place being provided for us to stop at
we had additional trouble and expense, as we had to put our
things into a store till arrangements were made. In the course of
the day we got comfortable lodgings and had our luggage conveyed
thither. We were a little disappointed in two things. First,
Cobourg and other towns that we saw were so much like the towns
at home that we could scarcely imagine ourselves so far from our
native land. And secondly we were disappointed in the chapel and
preachers' house at Cobourg, not finding them as neat and
comforttable as we anticticipated.- Men were at work however
about the Chapel, having made considerable addition thereto.
Sat. 6. - Been busy since Wednesday unpacking our
things, etc. By some means the bookcase in which some articles of
apparel, china and glass had been packed got sadly handled and
the wet had penetrated all through our end. The bookcase itself
was broken, as was a great part of the glass and china, and some
of the linen and a few books completely soaked with water.
– Went out this day as far as Precious-Corner and saw W.
Cook from Brighton, Mr. Jennings from Somerset and other persons
Sun. 7. - Heard Br. Hooper preach in the evening at the
re-opening of Cobourg Chape, and preached myself the afternoon
and evening. Had a pretty good day and the collection was good
also considering the liberality displayed before. Nearly all the
expense of enlargement is met.
Tues. 9. - Brs. Christopher and Thomas Courtice having
come to Cobourg from Darlington the preceding evening, Br. Hooper
and myself left with them early this morning for Darlington,
where a meeting was appointed to arrange respecting our stations
the following Thursday. Called on Mr. and Mrs. Allin from
Sutcombe on the way, at Newcastle, whom we found very comfortably
situated having this day moved into a new and commodious house
which Mr. Allin has built. It is however far from being finished.
Here we met with Br. Tapp and he pressed me to accompany him to
his appointment about 4 miles to the North. Saw Mrs. Hooper whose
husband was killed with the mill. Had few people at the meeting,
as both the Methodist and Church of England ministers were
preaching at the School house - both had appointed to preach at
the same time, but one had to wait, I suppose till the other had
Wed. 10. - Met with Brs. Green, Rippin and Ebbett at
friend Elford's, where we also found Br. and Sr. Elford from
Trewidland. We judged, as some misunderstandings existed in
reference to Br. Bynon's going to England, that it would be best
to go to Bowmanville this afternoon and have an interview with
Br. Bynon and the other brethren. Accordingly, leaving Br. Ebbett
to preach, we departed, Br. Rippin and myself in a light wagon
and Brs. Green and Tapp on horse-back. We found the advantage of
this arrangement and our meeting the next day went off very well.
Br. Hooper is to go to Wisconsin, Br. Rippin to Ohio, Br. Ebbett
to Darlington, us (we) to Petersborough, and the other
appointments to remain as ordered by the District Meeting. Saw
Br. and Sr. Thorne and family, Rd. Harper, Br. and Sr. Werry, G.
Pound and many other friends. All appear well pleased with
America, and certainly not without cause.
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