From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall


June 1994

By Dr. Bill Randall

 (Prepared by Jocelean Hall)

Harvey’s First Settler’s Voyage on The Cornelius

The following “Journal” gives a daily account of the voyage of Harvey’s First Settlers on board the Brig. “Cornelius of Sunderland” which left Berwick upon Tweed in May 1837, and landed in Saint John, New Brunswick, on July 12, 1837. It is believed to have been written by James Nesbitt or a member of his family, and was found in a book brought over on the ship by the Nesbitt family. It was copied in handwriting from the original by Thelma Larner (now deceased), a descendant of James Nesbitt, and a copy was sent to me by Sharon Howland of Waltham, Mass., another descendant of the Nesbitt family. This typed version follows as closely as possible the spelling of the handwritten copy, which was presumably the spelling used in the original.


We left Berwick about 10 o’clock on Monday evening 29 of May with a fair wind and ran along with a good pace during the night. 30th and in the morning we came in sight of Life Hills. Many were sick particularly the women, but about 11 o’clock the wind ceased and the ship hovered about without making much progress. 31st we passed Aberdeen in the morning about 8 o’clock and proceeded near to Boughenne and Petterhead. June 1st we were driven back to Aberdeen, there came a contrary wind and what we made in the day we lost at night and a general sickness prevailed amongst us till the 3rd and in the 4th it became calm and we got a good deal better and we were very thankful and sang the praises of God upon the ship’s deck very joyfully but reached no further than Pettershead. The 5th we hovered about making little progress but reached the Calnefs and commenced family worship among us at least in our part of the ship. The 6th we continued we becalmed. The 7th got a good breeze and passed by the town of Catnefs and got through Penthen’d Firth well. The 8th we left the land and entered the West-ron ocean and had pleasant sail. The 9th we lost sight of land and got a gale of wind which drove us on at the rate of 200 miles a day for two days. The 11th we on at a slower rate. The 12th still slow and see’d a number of purposus pass us. On the 13th still slow. The 14th we passed on sharply about 180 miles and saw a grate huge fish. The 15th a good sail. 16th the same. 17th a good gale and heavy at night. The 18th a very heavy gale and the waves lashing over the decks fit to drown us all. 19th it moderated. The 20th it came away again and lashed in upon us so that the hatchways had to be put down upon us and covered over with canvas. The 21st a very fair gale. 22nd we passed a ship buoying at anchor fishing on the Newfoundland banks and we sounded and found 30 fathoms. 23rd a contrary wind and made little progress. 24th nearly the same and born a child belongin to Wm and Elaner Greav upon the New found land. 25th but little way got. 26th nearly the same. 27th contrary wind. 28th still the same. 29th bespook the Pilot London bound for York in Ireland. 30th the spook a ship of Mountreal bound for India. 31st a fairish wind. The 2nd rather becalmer. The 3rd still calm and got my foot scalded. The 4th a child was born by Margrateses for it on bord the fifth contrary wind. The 6th the same. The 7th the same. 8th a fair wind and good brease and passed Granmannances Island. The 9th we cast anchor about two o’clock in the Sabath morning at the Corentine Island (*) within two miles or so of St. Johns in full view of the place and read Corentine till the Tuesday afternoon we weigh anchor and sailed up to St. Johns on the Monday the 12th we got into the steamer and went to Fredericton on the 13th at evening.

(* – this would be Quarantine Island, now Partridge Island. Jh)

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

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