ARRIVAL OF THE JOSEPH FLETCHER
The New Zealander October 20th 1855
The favourite passenger ship, Joseph Fletcher, Captain Foster, which had been signalled from an early hour on Wednesday morning, continued to be becalmed the greater part of the day. Between 1 and 2 p.m. a fine steady breeze set in from the NE and by 3 p.m. she reached her anchorage, after a fair and pleasant passage of 102 days from the Downs, whence she took her departure on the 7th July. They crossed the equator on the thirty-third day. On the 4th September, passed the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope in the 40 degree S lat. Passed to the southward of Van Diemens Land and on Sunday last, made the Three King's about 1 p.m. Her cargo and passengers all for Auckland and we cannot but command the prudence and propriety of this course which is sure, in the long run, to prove the most advantageous to the ship, shippers and consignees. The Joseph Fletcher is unusually deep, having 200 tons of coals, a number of fire bricks and a considerable quantity of iron on board. She has also made an addition to our stock by the introduction of a young Durham bull and eight Southdown rams. There are 92 passengers in all; amongst them a considerable portion of assisted immigrants, and if we may judge from appearance, as well as from report, of a class likely to prove serviceable colonists.Capt. Foster continues to maintain his high reputation as a popular commander of a popular ship. All of his passengers are eloquent in his praise and three separate addresses have been presented to him. This, we have given to understand is likely to be his last voyage. On this next return, he will, in all probability, become a resident, as may be gathered from the address of the Cuddy passengers, a copy of which is subjoined.
DEAR SIR - After a prosperous and pleasant voyage of rather more than three months, we find ourselves brought within a few days sail of Auckland. We have assembled together this evening for our last weekly reunion, around the cuddy table, which you have presided with such unvarying kindness to all of us. And we therefore think there can be no more fitting opportunity, than the present for expressing to you our sincere and warm regard for you as a man - our high estimation of your ability as the commander of the noble vessel which has been to us so happy a home. Over the health and comfort of each and all of us, you have watched with an unremitting attention that has made us, from the outset to the termination of this voyage, of more then 18,000, look upon you as a personal and valued friend. Anxious, therefore, as we all may be - some to rejoin our families in New Zealand, and others to find ourselves actually in that 'new land of ours' to share in the advantages of which we have left our Mother Country, perhaps for ever; - we should have reason for regret if our arrival there proved the termination of our acquaintance and intercourse. But we are glad to learn that you, yourself, are likely soon to return, also to become a citizen of that thriving young Anglo-Saxon state, which we believe to be destined, under God's providence, to be the Great Britain of Australasia. And when you have taken this step we hope that many, if not all of us, may be able to welcome your arrival with your family, and so renew that friendship which has been so happily formed on board the Joseph Fletcher. We would also wish through you, to express our send, not only of the ability of your officers, but of their constant and obliging attention to us, as passengers; - and to offer our best thanks, therefore to Mr E. J. Hammond, surgeon, Mr H. F. May, chief officer and Mr Nelson, second officer, of whose professional prosperity and promotion we hope hreafter to learn. In conclusion we have again to thank you for your kindness to all, and to add our hope that you may have a safe and speedy voyage home, and as safe and speedy a passage on your return to Auckland, not as a commander, but as a permanent settler in New Zealand.
To Captain John Foster, Commander of the ship
SIR - At the close of our safe and pleasant voyage, we , the passengers of the Joseph Fletcher, feel called upon, before landing and separating, to tender you our unanimous thanks for the care you have taken for the comfort and well being of all on board; and to express our high opinion of the admirable discipline maintained by you and your officers. We sincerely wish you a safe and speedy passage back to England - and again thanking you for your kindness and courtesy.
We remain Sir, Yours very respectfully,
John Kinder. M.A. Hon. Chaplain
Thomas Norrie, Minister of the Free Scotch church
David Burns Jnr.
Eugene Montagu Scott
Thomas A Stewart
Robert M Scott
Jane James & children
Wm Welsh and wife
David Allan Mitchell
Ralph Osbaldistone & wife
Samuel Hodge wife & 2 children
Charles Newberry & 3 children