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Lammershagen, Immigrant Voyage to Queensland 1872-73

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SV Lammershagen, sailed October 1872
Master:- H. J. Paul; Surgeon Superintendent:- F. Schmidt;
"THE German immigrant ship Lammershagen, which arrived from Hamburg on Tuesday [7 January], has, we regret to say, been placed in quarantine, owing to the fact of there being typhus fever on board. At the present time there are several cases amongst the passengers, one of which is looked upon as hopeless. During the passage, eight deaths occurred ; but these were from various causes, typhus fever having, we understand, only broken out during the last two or three weeks. The Steamer Kate, on her arrival from Ipswich yesterday evening, was despatched to the Bay with every requisite obtainable for making the passengers as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. The intention is to tow the vessel tomorrow morning to Peel Island, where the immigrants will be landed, and provided with tents, a temporary wooden hospital being erected for the use of the patients, who will be separated as far as possible from the remainder of the passengers."[1]

"The following list of the deaths on board have been furnished to the Immigration Agent:-

  • Carl Anton Neilson, aged 20 months, died October 30, from peninguitis ;
  • August Wilhelm Wruck, 31 years, died November 11, from consumption ;
  • Maria Christina Petersen, 6 months old, died of hydrocephalus on the 26th November ;
  • Johann Emile Heimann Wruck, 7½ years, fell over- board November 26 ;
  • Maria Helena Frederick, 9 months, December 9, died of hydrocephalus ;
  • Johann Hausen Petersen, 18 months old, died December 7, of peninguitis ;
  • Maria Magdalina Jacobsen, l8 years, died December 29, of typhus fever ;
  • Sorrn Christiansen Sorensen, l8 years, died January 11, of typhus fever.

This latter death was the only one which occurred since the vessel went into quarantine."[2]

A progress report is in the The Brisbane Courier on 24 January. The article says the Lammershagen was still anchored near Peel island, with all her passengers landed on Peel Island. There were currently two cases of typhoid fever and two of typhus fever. Another patient was suffering from the effects of bathing in the sun. Johann Johannson died from consumption while on Peel Island. The majority of the immigrants were from Norway and Sweden. The first case appeared on November 4, when a Dane had the symptoms of typhus, was ill for forty five days and then recovered. Eight cases of typhoid fever followed, most of which continued for three weeks. The Surgeon Superintendent, Dr Theodore Schmidt, attributed the outbreak to the bad quality of the water on board, he had requested the German Emigration Agent, Mr. Kirchner, to supply a condensing apparatus, but it was not erected before the vessel left the port. Dr Schmidt also stated: "The Scandinavians ... came on board very scantily clothed, and the blankets supplied by the contractor at Hamburgh for their use were miserable rags." The article continues: "The races of Northern Europe are not noted for their cleanliness of living, and it was no doubt impossible to compel such a number of half clad people as these appeared to be, to preserve those habits of personal cleanliness which are strictly necessary to the carrying out of proper sanitary regulations on board a crowded immigrant ship. The Lammershagen is represented as a fine vessel, containing all the necessary accommodation for the conveyance of passengers, and judging by her size and dimensions, there does not seem much to find fault with in her case. She is 845 tons register, British measurement has a breadth of beam of 31 feet, and is 171 feet long. In the steerage there is a clear width of 17 feet between the row of bunks, and the between decks has a clear height of 7 feet 3 inches. This, we think, equals the steerage passenger accommodation of the majority of immigrant vessels of this size trading to Queensland. Now that the immigrants are supplied with plenty of fresh provisions, and are required to keep themselves clean, the disease seems to have been checked, and there is no doubt that in the course of a few weeks they may be with safety brought up to the city."[3] The immigrants were in quarantine until 26 February.[4]

Complaints were made against Surgeon Superintendent Dr. Schmidt and an Enquiry was held. The three man Board found the charges brought against Dr. Schmidt "frivolous in the extreme, and, so far from having been either inattentive, unkind, or harsh to the immigrants under his charge, we believe him to have discharged his very difficult and responsible duties, both on board ship and also when in quarantine on Peel Island, in a highly praiseworthy manner".[5] Mr Charles G. Campen disagreed and wrote a letter to the Editor, calling for an enquiry into who allowed Dr. Schmidt to leave the colony without being called to account because he "has not conducted himself properly, and has, amongst other things, committed an act of great cruelty in placing a woman passenger under a tree, which he himself called "ein galgen" (a gallows), she being for three hours ( from midday) exposed to the hot sun, without any cover-an outrage from which she is still suffering."[6] Another letter to the Editor about the Enquiry and a missing petition, from a passenger on the Lammershagen, who says, "it is highly probable that the results of such an enquiry would have been quite different from those obtained from the enquiry which took place last week after the doctor and the principal complainants were out of reach".[7]


  1. 1873 'TELEGRAPHIC.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 10 January, p. 2, viewed 4 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1306195
  2. 1873 'TELEGRAPHIC.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 14 January, p. 2, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1306521
  3. 1873 'SHIPPING MATTEBS', 'SHIPPING.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 24 January, p. 4, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1307364.
  4. 1873 'TELEGRAPHIC.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 27 February, p. 2, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1310238.
  5. 1873 'THE LAMMERSHAGEN ENQURITY.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 14 May, p. 5, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1316819.
  6. 1873 'THE LAMMERSHAGEN ENUQUIRY.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 12 May, p. 3, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1316637.
  7. 1873 'THE LAMMERSHAGEN ENQUIRY.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 14 May, p. 5, viewed 29 March, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1316809.

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