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The Star December 28th 1874

This fine iron clipper ship, built in Glasgow, commanded by Captain Ogilvie, and owned by Messrs J and C Campbell, and sister ship to the McCallum Mohr, was signalled early yesterday, and ran up to an anchorage off Ripa Island, at 11:30am. Shortly after 2pm, the Health Officer and Commissioners, with a numerous party, went down to the ship in the [our comment - unreadable but probably the name of the tug] and on coming alongside it was found that, although there had been 12 deaths during the passage, there was no sickness on board. The ship was then passed and the party proceeded on board. Of the capabilities of the vessel for carrying immigrants there can be little doubt, and the New Zealand Shipping Company are to be congratulated on having secured so fine a vessel. She has a good sheer, her poop is large and her main deck roomy. Owing to the cabin being bulk-headed for the ventilation of the single girls' compartment it looked confined, but when the temporary fittings are removed, she will compete with any ship in the harbour. Having inspected above, the 'tween decks were visited. First was the single girls' compartment, which was found to be scrupulously clean. There were 59 girls, who came out in charge of Mrs Cowper Lagden, matron, and Miss Randall, sub-matron, and they appear to be well-suited to the requirements of the colony. The compartment was fitted up with a bath, which was filled daily from the engine with hot and cold water [our comment - this "engine" is the condenser which was used to make fresh water from sea water]; there was also an excellent hospital, but the lighting of the compartment was defective. In the married persons' compartment, as well as through the ship generally, cleanliness was most observable. The bunks were roomy, well boarded, curtained, and private, but the bunks had not been fitted up properly. In other vessels, instead of fixing three bunks close up to the skin of the vessel an alloy is made; this allows better ventilation, which must tend to the comfort of the immigrants. The same fault of insufficient light applies to this and the single men's compartments. The galley was large, but was not quite what it should have been, complaints being made that during the voyage it would not act well; the condensor was in good order. A large portion of the immigrants were selected by Mr A Duncan, many of them are farm labourers from Lincolnshire and Staffordshire, and they reflect great credit on this judgement. The scene when Mr Duncan went on board was very exciting. The immigrants are under the charge of Mr Harry Tomlinson, Secretary of the Amalgamated Labourers League for the Laceby district. He states that 200 souls left Great Grimsby Station, and on arriving at Gravesend it was found that all could not be accommodated, some four families being left behind to come on the ship Crusader. There is a sprinkling of Scotch and Irish on board, but the greater number are from Great Grimsby to Caistor. Dr T B Hay, formerly of the ships Himalaya and Ocean Mail, is Surgeon-Superintendent of the vessel, and his duties have been by no means light, he having at one time some 27 cases of measles to attend to. The immigrants speak in the highest terms of the captain, surgeon , and officers, to whom testimonials were presented. The sailors are also entitled to a meed of praise, for getting up concerts for the amusement of those on board. The voyage has been somewhat protracted, 91 days from land to land, and 100 days from Gravesend; this was caused by light trade winds. The ship ran from the meridian of the Cape to the New Zealand coast in 28 days. The following is the captain's report: - Sept 18, left Gravesend and was towed to Beachy Head, wind westerly. Sept 21, experienced a heavy S W gale off the Lizard. Oct 5, sighted the Island of Madeira. Oct 24, passed the Island of St Antonio, and crossed the Equator in lon. 31 deg. west. Oct 28, sighted the coast of South America, having had very light winds the whole way from the English Channel and no N E trades. Nov 20, passed the Cape of Good Hope in lat. 42 deg. S. Nov 21, spoke the ship Schleswig Bride, from Liverpool to Bombay, 75 days out, lat 43 deg. S., lon. 25 deg. E. Dec 19, abreast the Snares Rocks; having made the run from the Cape in twenty-eight days, and experienced N E winds right up to Banks Peninsula. Dec 22, sighted the land at Long Point, experienced light N E winds up the coast; was off Akaroa Heads on Saturday morning, and arrived at Godley heads at daylight on Sunday. The ship has a large cargo, and is consigned to the New Zealand Shipping Company. On Dec 18, John White, one of the immigrants, fell overboard, and was drowned. It appears that some of the single men amused themselves in gymnastic feats on the jib guys, and although cautioned by the officers as to the danger, the practice was not given up. On the night in question, the man had been performing some feats of strength, and being exhausted, he let go his hold and fell into the sea. An alarm was given, life buoys were thrown to him, the ship hove to, and within five minutes the life-boat, with its crew, was afloat. The night was dark, and after a long search the boat had to return, nothing having been seen of the man. The following are the deaths which took place during the voyage: - Sept 21, John Foster, 3 months, debility; Oct 11, William Rownson, 38 years, bronchitis; Oct 13, Emma J Fow, 9 months, convulsions; Oct 21, W H Stone, 11 months, convulsions; Oct 22, D J Paterson, 1 year; Frances Jewitt, 2 years, diarrhoea; Oct 23, Charles Milton, 2 years; Oct 30, Alice Calvert, 1 years; Nov 2, Charles Tomlinson, 1 years, tuberculois (sic); Dec 7, C Travers, tuberculois (sic); Dec 19, J White, 19 years, drowned.

Timaru Herald December 30th 1874

Forty-seven and a half adult immigrants from the Geraldine Paget, and five from the Duke of Edinburgh, were brought to Timaru yesterday by the steamer Bruce. The former vessel's immigrants comprised seven families sixteen single men and seven single women. As regards their occupations, there were 21 labourers, 1 shepherd, 1 carpenter, the remainder being domestic servants (single girls).

Timaru Herald December 30th 1874

We learn that the John White referred to in the report of the voyage of the Geraldine Paget as having been drowned when near the Snares, was a brother of Mr A White, of the firm of Gedye and White of this town.

Taranaki Herald September 11th 1875

Mr Burton In Lincolnshire
To the Editor of the Taranaki Herald.
Sir, - Having seen in a recent issue of your contemporary, some strictures and criticisms on your emigration agent and his work in England, and knowing how uninformed on the subject the writer must have been, and having myself been witness to the diligent, discriminating, and unremitting toil with which Mr Burton has spread information, selected suitable emigrants, and the remarkable success which has met with meriting labours, I feel I cannot do less than send a short note of information.

Mr John H. White is the North Lincolnshire Emigration Agent, who is acting in conjunction with Mr Burton in procuring emigrants for this Province (Taranaki) and Colony. Mr White was appointed by Dr Featherston and has been co-operating with Mr Duncan, from Canterbury Province, in his tour through North Lincolnshire. Mr White accompanied a party of nearly 150 souls in September of last year to London. They came out by the ship 'Geraldine Paget,' and one of their number, kept a diary of his voyage out, which has been published here, and when it is stated that two thousand have been sold within a radius of some 30 miles, it will be understood that a consequently favourable impression as regards emigration to New Zealand has been made. Mr and Mrs Burton's names are household words through the whole district. He looked for men here of the right stamp.

In spreading information advertisements are practically useless so far as the farm labourer is concerned, for as a rule he does not read. The same class really assemble, as they have no political voice or social standing, and there are few rooms available for any meeting on their account. Then their knowledge is so limited that they can hardly be persuaded of the truth concerning the Colony, and their means so small that it is almost an impossibility to raise clothing for the voyage, let alone ship kits and railway fares to the ship. (Mr Duncan paid all railway expenses for last year's party to Canterbury, some 70 besides finding clothing for some at the expense of the Province he represented) Again in months of our winter, November to March, it is impossible to get them to move; so that coping with these difficulties and others I will point out it speaks volumes for
Mr Burton's energy and discretion that 500 souls have left Lincolnshire for Taranaki in April, May and June. Another difficulty and great one lies by the bulk of our influential dwellers in the rural districts.

Laceby, the centre of our operations. A four mile dusty drive to Grimsby, Mr Burton and Mr White booked the train to Humber. Reaching this place by twenty miles rail-travel, we walked after tea some four miles to a secluded village further inland, also on the river bank, called South Ferriby. Here lay our night's work - a public meeting duly advertised by the Labour League, to which many of the men of the district belong. The place of the meeting was to be of necessity out of doors. No school-room was obtained. Announced to be taken at half-past seven, the chair, and, being the only seat, well called the chair, was vacant till eight, no resident daring to occupy it. By this time the tardy gathering counted some one hundred and fifty squattered on the green bank of a retired highway leading from the village. Mr Burton outlined the Government Scheme of free passages, detailing its conditions.

Long walks, and protracted meetings, repeated interviews, and tedious and multiplied letter writing, besides a number of nameless yet necessary duties, have filled up Mr Burton's time as none in the Colony can understand; nor will the worth of his work be known till the physical, social, and moral value of the emigrants he has selected is shown in a prosperous community, an increased revenue and the national consolidation which will, I feel sure, ensure, and be owning to the conscience which your agent has put into his work. Hoping some of my own late neigbours and friends are amongst you ere this arrives, and that you will treat them well, as being good men they deserve to be treated, - I am, &c., John H. White, The North Lincolnshire, N.Z. Emigration Agent. Laceby, near Grimsby, 8th July, 1875.

Thanks to Kiwi Graeme Roberts for publishing this item.