The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part IV: The Voyage Begins (really)

Alright.  Hugh hitched a ride to Amer­i­ca.  How is this shady sit­u­a­tion going to play out?  Let’s find out.…  (If you missed last week’s install­ment, read Part III here.)

17th June

I took leave of my friends in Der­ry with a mixed sen­sa­tion of joy and regret – joy that I had found in Capt. Gale a friend dis­posed to make amend for my great dis­ap­point­ment – and regret that I was per­haps for­ev­er sep­a­rat­ed from every­thing dear to me. It is unnec­es­sary to repeat the oblig­a­tions I lay under to Mr. N. Boyle’s fam­i­ly as they are already known and I hope duly appre­ci­at­ed by my mother’s fam­i­ly. ‘Tis enough to say that his parental advice and kind atten­tion were nev­er more required nor nev­er giv­en with more lib­er­al­i­ty than of late. The impres­sion his friend­ship made will be long remem­bered. This evening, hav­ing all pas­sen­gers in board we dropt down to Cul­more Bay about 6 p.m.  There we were oblig­ed to remain two days until the may­or would go through the cus­tom­ary forms of exam­in­ing the pas­sen­gers and crew. This  cer­e­mo­ny past, we again weighed anchor and sailed down to Moville on the evening of the


The Capt. hav­ing returned to Der­ry to process the nec­es­sary papers was detained there a few days dur­ing which time the ves­sel was under the con­trol of the Pilot. Our sailors were indulged by the good-natured Capt. while at the quay in every kind of licen­tious­ness. Want of sub­or­di­na­tion and dis­obe­di­ence of orders was the con­se­quence. In order to put down this dis­po­si­tion among our crew the first Mate, Mr. Ladieu, beat a stub­born Black sailor
most unmer­ci­ful­ly for some tri­fling fault as an exam­ple to the oth­ers and put him three days in irons.

As an extra pas­sen­ger my sit­u­a­tion was pecu­liar­ly dis­agree­able. It was nec­es­sary that no sus­pi­cion should be excit­ed amongst either pas­sen­gers or vis­i­tors least infor­ma­tion would be lodged and the ship detained. For this rea­son I was sel­dom seen on deck or in the steer­age unless when I wished to con­verse with my wor­thy friend Mr. Reed. I was for­tu­nate in hav­ing this young man for a com­pan­ion aboard. From my first acquain­tance with him I promised myself much sat­is­fac­tion in his com­pa­ny and was nev­er deceived.

I was now in the same place where I part­ed the Per­se­ver­ance and every unfor­tu­nate cir­cum­stance con­nect­ed with that trans­ac­tion returned to my mind with dou­ble force when I com­pared my present sit­u­a­tion in the Phoenix with what it was in the oth­er ves­sel. In the Per­se­ver­ance I had pro­cured every­thing cal­cu­lat­ed to make a sea voy­age com­fort­able. But in this – with­out mon­ey and with­out clothes — I was a com­plete depen­dent on the Capt.’s lib­er­al­i­ty even for my board­ing and passage.

20th June

For the last time I took an affec­tion­ate farewell of my dear broth­er Andrew*, who came down to see me. At this time my state of body and mind were near­ly alike worn down by fatigue. My health had suf­fered mate­ri­al­ly and the sor­row of part­ing my last and best  friend added to oth­er trou­bles of which I had enough in all con­science for any per­son. Con­trary winds and Cus­tom House delays detained us at Moville for sev­er­al days dur­ing which time the pas­sen­gers made the nec­es­sary prepa­ra­tions for the voy­age. Trunks and box­es were fas­tened. Mess­es were formed and reg­u­la­tions were made for keep­ing the ship clean.

A Methodist laid hold of the occa­sion to impress on our minds the awful uncer­tain­ty attend­ing our sit­u­a­tion. For some time his prayer meet­ings were attend­ed to but at length, hav­ing giv­en offense to a cer­tain sect, he met with con­sid­er­able oppo­si­tion. Like all oth­er zealots he con­tin­ued his labors while per­se­cu­tion appeared. But either from want of abil­i­ties in the preach­er, want of vari­ety in the sub­ject mat­ter, or want of amuse­ment in the theme – the preach­er in a few days “ceased his Labours”.

On the evening of the 23rd the Capt. joined us and gave orders for sail­ing ear­ly next morning.


* Andrew Camp­bell remained in Ire­land, and he had ten chil­dren who con­tin­ued the fam­i­ly line.  Hugh did not have chil­dren and Robert did not have grand­chil­dren, so Andrew’s descen­dants were the Camp­bells who received an inher­i­tance from Robert’s estate when his son Hazlett died in 1938.

Next week: Away We Go

2 thoughts on “The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part IV: The Voyage Begins (really)

  1. Pingback: The Journal of Hugh Campbell: Part III | Campbell House Museum's Blog

  2. Pingback: The Journal of Hugh Campbell: Part V | Campbell House Museum's Blog

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