SS Danmark

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1880 to 6 Apr 1889
Location: Denmarkmap
Surnames/tags: Ship Danish Emigration
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SS Danmark was part of the Thingvalla Line.

She was previously named Jan Breydel[1]

She was a 3,414 tons gross, 2,587 under deck and 2,236 net ship. She had one funnel, three masts, barquentine rigged, iron construction, 3 iron decks and partly iron awning deck, 5 cemented bulkheads, double bottom aft 68 feet long, 147 tons. Midship Deep Tank 36 feet, 426 tons. She had a single screw and a speed of 11 knots. Propulsion: compound engine with 2 inverted cylinders of 44 and 84 inches diameter respectively; stroke 48 inches; 80 p.s.i.; 400 horsepower; engine built by T. Clark & Co. in Newcastle in 1880 and named SS Jan Breydel (Belgium) untill it was bought by Thingvalla Line in 1888.[2]

On her last voyage, it carried 59 crew members and 665 passengers from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway who were on board for emigration to America.
March 20, 1889, the Danmark began its journey from Copenhagen to New York to deliver its passengers, most of whom were women who intended to go to the West to marry or seek work as domestics. There were also a large number of families with children. The bulk of the passengers were in the steerage, with only 26 passengers in cabins.
By April 5, 1889, the Danmark was in terrible trouble and sinking, having survived high winds but with a severely damaged hull from a hole caused by her propeller shaft when it snapped. On the same day, the SS Missouri came upon the disabled Danmark in bad weather and high seas. All passengers and crew was rescued. Captain C. B. Knudsen was the last to leave the Danmark because he was reluctant to abandon his ship. By nightfall, the Danmark sank, leaving no trace of where it had been.
Other sources disagree that Danmark sank that night. Danish newspapers could on April 13 report: "London, 12. April. A depeche from Queenstown (Ireland) states that the steamer "City of Chester", that has arrived from New York, on 8 April on pos. 4555N/3716W passed the steamer "Danmark" a drift with no one on board. On the afternoon the same day Reuter's Bureau reported that "Danmark" was seen without any of its life boats and with the anchor chains hanging down.

On April 10, 1889, the Missouri, with all the rescued passengers and crew from SS Danmark onboard, reached the Azores. After consultation with the Danish consul and the British governor, it was agreed that 370 single men could be put ashore at St. Michaels until they could be transported to the United States.[3]

The story of the Danmark as it appeared in the New York Times on 23 April 1889:[4]



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