Monday 5 September 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

SEPTEMBER 5.-This morning succeeded the roughest night we had yet experienced. Last evening, at about 6 o’clock. the wind, which had been brisk all day, began to increase. The sky darkened, and rain soon followed. All the passengers were instantly ordered below, at least, all the ladies, but some of the gentlemen chose to remain on deck. The ship, which for the last three weeks had been lying on the starboard side, on which our cabins were situated, was now shifted to the other, and leaned so much to larboard during the whole night that it was with difficulty we could keep ourselves in bed. So apprehensive was I that the children in the next cabin would fall out of their berths, as Mary and Helen slept in the upper one, that soon after midnight I got up and dressed myself to be in readiness if anything should occur to require my assistance. Fortunately, nothing of any consequence happened to them, but the doctor, whose cabin was opposite to ours, was called about 2 o’clock to a woman in the steerage, of the name of Paul, who had been taken ill. This had been expected for some time, and consequently all the men in that part of the vessel were instantly turned out of their berths and sent upon deck for two hours, which in the midst of a cold, dark, and stormy night could not be very agreeable. In the meantime, however, a new passenger made his appearance in the form of a male infant, thus bringing the total number of souls on board to exactly one hundred. The child was born amidst the roaring of the wind, the splashing of the waters, and the incessant rocking of the ship, and was afterwards named James Africaine, in memory of his having been born on that vessel.


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