June 26, 1868

On this day June 26, 1868, the Emerald Isle stopped at Queenstown, Ireland (called Cobh today) for water. The device the ship used to convert sea water to drinkable water was not functioning and the crew member aboard responsible for its use was unable to fix it. They docked at Queenstown to take on fresh water.

An important device used on sailing ships during this time was called an evaporator. It was able to take in sea water and through boiling it, distilled water would then be drinkable by the crew and passengers. Because the device was not functioning on this voyage, water was taken on at Queenstown which became stagnant and spoiled over the long journey. This fresh water and the device used to make drinking water was ultimately responsible for the poor conditions over the next six weeks.

Hans Jens Hals

25th The machine that was to make salt water to fresh was tried but it didn’t work as the one who had charge of It didn’t know how to make to work. Smith and I counciled with the captain to dock in Queenstown, Ireland and get water on board.

26th We came to Queenstown’s large harbor. The captain docked. Many came and offered bread for sale, I helped the Saints to buy bread, and several small things which they needed. In the afternoon we had a dance on the deck, both the English and the Danish.

27th The emigrant inspector came on board and asked the Captain and I many questions. He took Smith, I, and the Doctor on land in Queenstown. After we had been there a little while we went, by train to Cork. Went back to Queenstown by train, bought a few things for the Emigrants and looked about town. Ate at a large hotel, end went on board in the evening with a large amount of water.

28th Get more water on board. We held a meeting on the after deck … the Sacrament was administered. Talked for the enlightenment of the Saints. Ws raised anchor, and a steamer pulled us out.

Later on the voyage Hans Jens Hals recorded this passage.

6th (Aug) Visited the sick, we made a new hospital, and put several sick in there, there were 150 sick on board which had its origin from the water which had become spoiled. The illness was brought from the land.

Over the next six weeks the Saints endured much hardships, from the crew and from sickness. There was 37 deaths recorded on this journey to New York. Once the ship docked in New York it was immediately quarantined.

As the Emerald Isle continues her journey to New York, I will make posts during the six weeks with clips of journal entries and other details about their journey. No doubt the Thorsted family was stuck in the middle of this difficult situation. With her husband gone, Ane must have felt the full weight of responsibility to ensure her family was safe during this journey.

June 20, 1868July 4, 1868

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply