Monday, November 24, 2014

Sailing to America

On the General Wayne in 1805:
The hunger was so great on board that all the bones about the ship were hunted up by them and pounded with a hammer and eaten: and what is even more lamentable, some of the deceased persons, not many hours before their death, crawled on their hands and feet to the captain and begged him, for God's sake, to give them a mouthful of bread or a drop of water to keep them from perishing, but their supplications were in vain; he most obstinately refused, and thus did they perish. The cry of the children for bread was … so great that it would be impossible for man to describe it, nor can the passengers believe that any other person excepting Captain Conklin would be found whose heart would not have melted with compassion to hear those little inoffensive ones cry for bread.
Report of Andreas Geyer, Jr. to the German Society of Philadelphia, quoted in Daniel Sargeant, Our Land and Our Lady, NY, 1940, pp. 173–174.