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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 119, July 23, 1855

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Identifier: DX03911758

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 119, July 23, 1855

Description: Describes a meeting onboard the Washington to discuss the poor quality of food offered to the passengers, and a subsequent argument with the Captain about it.


23. Monday. Since midday yesterday we have had pleasantish weather, sunlight occasionally, and no rain or dampening spray. The morning passed as usual, in reading, smoking, miscellaneous converse, and loafing about, but after dinner a great epoch occurred. T’was noised about that a general meeting of the Second Class passengers was to be holden in the fore cabin, there to denounce the present style of provant, and to intimate to the Captain a desire for better. Now as there is cause of complaint, as the salt beef is decidedly horsey, as the potatoes are ancient and uneatable, as soup made from dishcloths was once served up at table, and as no water appears at dinner, only being procurable by private entreaty of friendly waiters, — I for one, was willing to go in for the meeting. [Charles] Halsey we made chairman, and a pretty good cabin full of people got together, of different nations. I led off with preliminary speech, others joined in, the jist of each was translated to the Germans and French; and finally a deputation, consisting of Halsey, [Henry] Stansfield, myself, the Americanised German, another German and a Frenchman were nominated to wait upon the Captain, while the meeting remained en performance to await our report. We penetrated to the aft saloon, Captain preferred walking forward on deck, Halsey said a few words, leaving me to do the talking, consequently I went in for it, Stansfield backing up well. Captain got out of temper, and a very stormy scene ensued; Captain talked like a pig headed, illogical, and irate Dutchman, denied truth of complaints, said ‘twas a row provoked by two or three, spoke of satisfaction of former passengers &c cooling as he progressed. Others struck in a little, but Stansfield and I had to do all the raving. Steward had up, and Steward, in dread

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-07-23

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Germans
Ocean travel


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