This past November 3rd, we posted a story about the departure of two ships from Bremerhaven, Germany. That post was titled, The Voyage Begins. The Copernicus and the Johann Georg left on that day in 1838. On New Year’s Eve, we posted the story about the arrival of the Copernicus in New Orleans. That article was called New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. Although these two ships left on the same day from Germany, they did not arrive together in America. The Johann Georg did not arrive until today’s date, January 5th, in 1839.
Hermann Hohurst was the captain of the Johann Georg on its voyage. The passenger list for this ship says that there were 138 people on board when it arrived in New Orleans. One passenger, six month old Friedricke Auguste Barthel, died on the voyage, and no babies were born. Here are the two pages of the passenger list.
Most of the passengers were listed as traveling in steerage. These people had to sleep in the ‘tween deck, which was located between the deck and the storage hold, where all the baggage was stowed.
These accommodations were not the best. During times of high seas, it would be very difficult to sleep or get comfortable, and the farther you were to the front or back of the ship, the worse it was. Here is an artists rendition of what it might have looked like in the ‘tween deck of such a ship.
The clergy who were in positions of leadership in the Gesellschaft traveled in much more pleasant accommodations. They would be located in the cabin portion of the ship. They had more room and better beds than those in steerage. There were two main pastors aboard the Johann Georg…..Rev. E.G.W. Keyl and Rev. C.F.W. Walther. Rev. Keyl came with his wife, who was also Rev. Walther’s sister, and a very young child by the name of Stephenus.
After arriving in New Orleans, the steamboat Clyde was contracted to take these immigrants to St. Louis. They apparently left before the next ship of immigrants would arrive on January 12. Most of the people on the Clyde made the trip as deck passengers. As such, they would just find space on deck to situate themselves. Since they were now traveling north up the Mississippi during the winter, this must have been a very challenging trip for these people. Here is what traveling as a deck passenger must have looked like.
The more I study this immigration, the more aware I become of the hardships these people must have endured as they traveled to their new home in America. I, for one, am very thankful that these people were willing to face these obstacles in order to live in this great country.