Search billions of records on

Wellington, March 20, 1876 

Dear Parents, Sisters and Brothers – Greetings! 

I must inform you I arrived safely to New Zealand. 

We sailed from Hamburg the sixteenth November and we cast anchor at Lingston, the 18th March, being on the ocean four months and two days. After we past the Canal we didn’t see land for sixteen weeks. That was a long time, but we had good luck with us, no storms to hurt us and we had plenty of provisions to sustain us. 

There were six born, and eight died (two children and six adults) during this long voyage. A mother died leaving six small children, oldest eleven years, youngest eight months. It was mighty hard for the husband to come to a strange land with his little children. The last person to die was a Danish woman, and we had only thirty hours left before landing. 

For those who were sick, it was pitiful, because a great deal of medicine was ruined during the severe storm in the North Sea, but otherwise didn’t harm us. Didn’t have another storm until we were far past the Cape of Good Hope, then we had wind in back of us so wasn’t too bad. 

After three weeks of sea going, we didn’t know of any winter- it became warmer every day so we became barefoot on deck. We passed the equator on Monday before Christmas. It was very warm. We then had sailed only a third of our voyage. 

We had a very pleasant Christmas with the finest weather one could wish. We also had a fine Christmas tree, which was decorated with all sorts of flags raisons and prunes. We had Evening Prayer and fire rockets were used for celebration. The regular food was served even during Christmas: it was all tasty and wholesome. We were given fresh meat three times a week and salt pork three times a week.  

Peas, rice, prunes or raisin soup every other day. 

Every morning we got coffee, butter and biscuits; every evening tea or soup. Daily we were given three pints of water to drink and what we didn’t drink we used to wash ourselves. It took five hundred cans of water a day, which was cleaned by a water machine. 

On Sundays we listened to a service, but it was all in German, four ministers (all German) on the boat were going as missionaries to preach to the heathens. 

We were four hundred immigrants on the boat. The ship was called Terpiskori. It was a large sailing vessel. 

For Fourteen days I was sick but not too ill. When nice weather, I felt fine, but as soon as the boat began to heel (sway) then I had to throw up, but could lie down, whenever I wished, however not the sailors. When they became sick, their medicine was “Rap your noodle” and go ahead, wash the decks. And so it was for them every day. 

I must not forget my kind companion. He was so faithful to me, and helped me very much. He knew how to talk and make friends with everyone. 

Now I’m so glad I have safely arrived to New Zealand. It has been a long time, likewise a very long voyage. It was beyond my expectations, now but a dream. 

Barely fourteen days before we arrived a ship with emigrants from England was ship wrecked just north of New Zealand. Only twenty two of three hundred survived. 

The letter ends with greetings and a promise to write again.

Transcribed by Ellen Munson Neitz of Illinois, USA in 1951. She was a  niece of Nils Peter Manson