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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 114, July 20, 1855

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Identifier: DX03907337

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 114, July 20, 1855

Description: Describes his journey across the Atlantic to New York on the Washington.


of life aboard, as experienced by a Second Class Passenger aboard the Washington. You rise at somewhere about 7, descend amid the chaos of boxes, to washing and dressing, then out, and by 8 to breakfast, which is rough but plentiful. Beef steak, veal, lobscouse, old potatoes, rice, and indifferently good tea and coffee are served on thick and well chipped earthenware, the Stewards assistants being civil and assiduous. “Another table” follows the first one, as we have 200 passengers, and this occurs at each meal. Breakfast over you have ll till 1 P M for reading, smoking, idling and general fraternization. The Germans, of whom we have a large number aboard, lie about on bulk heads, pace up and down or congregate together in the fore-part of the vessel, which appears to be particularly their domain. They sport all sorts of queerly-fashioned habiliments, capotes with peaked hood on top, (like to mediavel English citizen dress,) scanty coats of unnatural color, tight pantaloons, loose pantaloons, gaily braided caps, ugly shapeless hats, shoes as if the foot had been dipped in ink and permitted to dry, flabby, sloshing list slippers, gaily worked slippers, and tight, knobby corn-suggesting boots. Among them are wiry haired, grim old men, women who in their youth could never have looked pleasant or feminine, young buxom frauleins, and stumpy, harsh speaking young men. Some are destined for Cincinatti, St Louis and the west, others purpose to remain at New York. Many English we have on board proceed for Canada, where they have, or intend to make homes, some go to the States; but there are (to my present knowledge) only two Americans here, one being chummed in our cabin. Dinner consists of indifferent soup, joints of beef, mutton or veal of endurable quality,

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-07-20

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Immigrants
Clothing and dress
Ocean travel


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