‘It would be very satisfactory to land them all in good health’: Emigrants and their superintendents at sea
On 6 January 1853, the 1,676-ton double-decked Beejapore arrived in Sydney after a passage of 86 days. The vessel carried 967 emigrants including 342 children, from one hemisphere to the other over the longest oceanic route in the age of sail. On this ship, chartered against the better judgement of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners just three months earlier, twice the usual complement of steerage passengers were aboard. They were housed in two lower steerage decks in the belly of the ship. Hence an assistant medical officer was appointed to assist the ship’s doctor, known as the surgeon superintendent, in supervising the public health and hygiene routines on the voyage.
KeywordsMotion Sickness Whooping Cough Scarlet Fever Colonial Government Large Ship
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