Tag Archives: Bennefabble

The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part I: The Adventure Begins

Wel­come to the first install­ment of Hugh Camp­bel­l’s Jour­nal!  If you need some back­ground, here is the intro/bio of Hugh, and click here for the mem­o­ran­dum he wrote for the jour­nal.  Enjoy the story!

The first page of Hugh’s jour­nal. Notice he took the time to draw faint lines to ensure even spac­ing on the page. We do not have the orig­i­nal; this is a copy that was pre­sent­ed as evi­dence in Hazlett Camp­bel­l’s pro­bate case.


Jour­nal of a Voy­age from Ire­land to the U. States

June 4th, 1818

Left a beloved home at three in the morn­ing and joined the Ship Per­se­ver­ance of Capt. Elkins, at Der­ry about nine.  Being unfor­tu­nate­ly con­nect­ed with Robt. Phillips and fam­i­ly, I was involved in one con­tin­ued scene of trou­ble and con­fu­sion too tedious and painful to relate until this.


After the cus­tom­ary exam­i­na­tion by the may­or, we dropt down to Cul­more this evening.  The Capt. returned to Der­ry to pro­cure the Cus­tom House cer­tifi­cates, etc. and left orders with the pilot to car­ry the ship no far­ther than Moville, until he would join her.  The pas­sen­gers kept con­stant­ly on deck on account of the warm weath­er, and beau­ti­ful scenery on each side of the Riv­er Foyle, and I soon got acquaint­ed with them.  The greater num­ber of our steer­age pas­sen­gers (in order to dri­ve away the sor­row which a sep­a­ra­tion from their native land pro­duced) entered into the great­est extrav­a­gance of danc­ing, drink­ing, singing, etc.  But some of the more aged, gave them­selves up to the deep­est melan­choly.  Our cab­in pas­sen­gers, besides Mrs. Phillips and myself were Mr. Ewing, and Mr. Orr.

Mr. Ewing had a great part of his fam­i­ly in Amer­i­ca and was now going to live with one of his sons at his own request; he was old, reli­gious, and deaf, and of course was almost a blank in our soci­ety.  Mr. Orr on the oth­er had, was a young, gid­dy, proud, good-natured fel­low, who served his appren­tice­ship in the Gro­cer Busi­ness, and goes out as much an adven­tur­er as myself.  It can­not be expect­ed that such a mot­ley set of com­pan­ions would con­tribute much to restore the hap­pi­ness I was deprived of at part­ing my friends, but I tried read­ing and every ratio­nal amuse­ment to rec­on­cile myself to my sit­u­a­tion.  Hope still point­ed out some way of mak­ing amends for the pri­va­tions of a sea voy­age, in a for­eign land if Prov­i­dence allowed me health.

Malin Tow­er

11th June

We anchored this morn­ing at Moville and Capt. Elkins came on board in the evening.  After giv­ing orders for fas­ten­ing the mov­ables and prepar­ing to sail next morn­ing at 10, he called me down to the cab­in and request­ed me to go to Malin Tow­er for R. Phillips who had con­cealed him­self from his cred­i­tors there, and agreed to give the Capt. five Guineas* for send­ing in his boat for him when the ves­sel would leave the riv­er.  Mrs. Phillips observed that he (Mr. P.) might with safe­ty come on board at Green­cas­tle and that if any oth­er per­son went he might mis­take them for a Bailiff and not dis­cov­er him­self.  The Capt. assured me that the dis­tance was tri­fling and that he would not sail with­out me at all events.


The geog­ra­phy of Hugh’s journey

I new that a rough gale might ren­der it unsafe for the ves­sel to wait near such a dan­ger­ous coast for R. Phillips to come aboard, and there­fore deter­mined to go for him.  I was set ashore accord­ing­ly late in the evening by the Capt.‘s  boat near Ben­nefab­ble.  On enquir­ing I found the dis­tance to be upwards of twen­ty miles through the wildest part of Innish­town but I expect­ed to be able to go there and return before the time the Capt. appoint­ed to sail next morn­ing by walk­ing all night.  I tried to hire a guide to accom­pa­ny me but the small quan­ti­ty of cash I brought with me, as pock­et mon­ey, would not allow me.  It was now after sun­set and I was oblig­ed to set out alone.  Made inquiries when I came to any soli­tary house on the way and wan­dered on when I could find none.



* Five Guineas are the equiv­a­lent of about $500.00 in mod­ern U.S. dollars.

Up next:  Hugh has a long night, day, and sub­se­quent night that fea­tures drunk con­sta­bles, pos­si­ble jail time and a race to catch the Per­se­ver­ance.  Be sure to check in next Fri­day for the next install­ment of this excit­ing story!

Part II:  Hugh Gets Arrested