Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More utter goodness from the 1865 Philadelphia Inquirer, Part 3

Our previous forays into the August 29, 1865, edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer have focused on baseball, a major trial and crime.

We'll start this installment with the newspaper's reports of the comings and goings of steamships:

  • The North American1, from Liverpool on the 17th by the way of Londonderry on the 18th, passed Father Point2 yesterday morning. Her news is one day later than by the City of Washington. The North American is bound for Quebec.
  • The Hansa3, from Bremen and Southampton, also arrived at New York yesterday morning.
  • The steamer Propontis arrvied at Boston yesterday morning.
  • A telegram to Queenstown, dated August 17th, says that the Great Eastern arrived at Crookhaven on that morning. The previous report, by the Terrible, of the breaking of that cable on the 2d, and the subsequent attempts at grappling, are confirmed. The Great Eastern behaved in the most admirable manner, and will sail from Crookhaven to Sheerness. A fortnight had expired after the cable signals had ceased and before the Great Eastern had arrived. The public anxiety in England had greatly increased. The impression was very general that the Great Eastern must have met with an accident to her machinery, although some believed that she had gone on to Newfoundland.4

* * *

[The following article refers to the Fourth Cholera Pandemic of 1863 to 1875.]

The Cholera. — The cholera continued its ravages at Ancona. Up to the 12th instant the number of deaths that occurred from it reached seven hundred and eighty-one.

The cholera had increased in intensity at Constantinople. The total number of deaths on the 12th reached three hundred and eighty-four. Business was generally suspended.

The Marseilles papers state that on the appearance of the of the cholera in Egypt the municipal authorities in Marseilles desired to place all ships entering that port from the Levant in quarantine. For that purpose they applied to the Board of Health in Paris for permission to do so, but their application was refused. They add that as yet the inhabitants of Marseilles have not suffered from cholera, although no quarantine has been enforced.

* * *

NEW YORK SOCIETIES IN THE CITY. — Last evening the Arion and Colonia German Singing Societies, about one hundred in number, from New York, arrived in this city. They are the guests of the Young Mænnerchor. In honor of their arrival, the latter society will give a grand pic-nic and summer night's festival today, which will be strictly private, and none but those invited will be allowed to join in the festivities. The guests will be conveyed in carriages to the pic-nic grounds, leaving Fourth and Vine streets at one o'clock P.M. They will pass down Fourth street to Walnut, out Walnut to Nineteenth, up Nineteenth to Green street, and thence to Fairmount Park. From Fairmount Park they will visit Girard College, and then continue on their way to where the festivities are to take place.

More in this series

1. A steamer named the North American sank in January 1865 (eight months before this article), killing about 200 passengers, many of whom were "invalid soldiers." It's possible that, after the sinking, the former Union and USS Fort Jackson was refitted as the new North American that is mentioned in this August 1865 news item.
2. Father Point is the English name for Pointe-au-Père, Quebec.
3. This might be the Hansa that is mentioned in the Inquirer.
4. The SS Great Eastern (pictured at right) was a famous steamship in its time. According to Wikipedia: "She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refueling. Her length of 692 feet was only surpassed in 1899 by the 705-foot, 17,274-gross-ton RMS Oceanic, and her gross tonnage of 18,915 was only surpassed in 1901 by the 701-foot, 21,035-gross-ton RMS Celtic."

Per its name, it was intended for voyages to the Far East, but it only ever made trips across the Atlantic. And, in fact, its maiden voyage was marked by a fatal explosion. Later, it was converted to a cable-laying ship, and, even later, was used as a floating music hall. Here's a public domain image of the Great Eastern before its launch in 1858.

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