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The Ship Winter Galley

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Date: 1738 to 1738
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Category:Winter Galley, arrived 5 September 1738

Introduction

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1738 Voyage

Johann Christoph Heller at age 50, and his son Johan Simon age 17 were listed as passengers on the 1738 Voyage of the Winter Galley. There were probably other family members with them but they wouldn't have been listed either because they were women or because they were under age 16.

The literature on European emigration of the eighteenth century is filled with horror stories of sufferings and death. The lack of cleanliness and hygiene adversely affected mass travel, though on the whole, the total German and Swiss migration to North America during that century reveals a rather successful operation in which more than one hundred thousand souls reached America. This was in spite of the fact that many of them did not have sufficient funds to pay for the ocean passage.

The situation in 1738 earned the reputation as the Year of the Destroying Angels. The reference was to Psalm 78, verse 49, "He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels." Events were so horrible that the fatalist mind needed a response.

The six thousand plus emigrants for North America during that year were generally not part of a colonization scheme of any government or proprietor. The would-be emigrants were following a pattern that had evolved since 1717 which had become the typical way of reaching English colonies in America. The emigrants banded together in family and often in village groups and set out for Rotterdam or Amsterdam where they expected to find British ships to take them on to America. Every year a number of British ships, returning with colonial staples, were available for such transport on their way back to America. Passengers were taken aboard after merely signing a contract to pay their fares within a designated time after arrival. This redemptioner system had proven satisfactory for all. Payment could be made by the passengers themselves in cash, from the proceeds of the sale of goods brought along for that purpose, or by relatives and friends already in America, or, what was becoming increasingly common, by parties to whom they indentured themselves to work off the cost of passage.

Preparation for the 1738 emigration season by the shippers was made in the preceding fall and winter months. Germans and Swiss returning for home visits or for purchasing goods needed in the new settlements were approached by shipping firms and individual captains to serve as recruiters. Handsome head premiums and the promise of free return passage for themselves and their goods turned many an incidental traveler into an emissary for shippers and land speculators. These people soon became known as "newlanders."

The colonial destinations for which the shippers could schedule their transports included Georgia, Virginia, and New York. The Rotterdam shippers turned their attention for the 1738 season to the surest of all markets, Pennsylvania. Despite the transports to other colonies, there had been a steady rise of the number of Germans arriving in Philadelphia as shown by 268 immigrants in 1735, 736 in 1736, and 1,528 in 1737. Due to the increased solicitation, a higher figure for 1738 was anticipated by the shipping merchants. All expectations were shattered by the timing and number as groups of emigrants gathered for departure earlier than in previous years and came in larger numbers. Some emigrants set out in March and the first contingents reached the Rotterdam area before ships were ready for loading and, indeed, before some of the regular English emigrant vessels had even arrived in port.

When the first waves of Palatines reached Dutch territory in April 1738, they had to go to a holding area in the vicinity of the ruins of St. Elbrecht's chapel below Kralingen. By law, the Palatines could not enter the city of Rotterdam. No preparations had been made for the temporary sojourn and subsequent embarkation of these early arrivals.

On May 13th the bailiff and court of Kralingen petitioned the States of Holland to have the Palatines either sent back or speedily embarked for America. While "these are already a great burden," the petition hinted at more ominous trouble, namely the outbreak of an epidemic when "in the case of the death of parents the children will be left behind." The Kralingers also had been informed that "shortly a thousand or more such impecunious persons from the same land are to follow."

As the clusters proceeded toward the Dutch border, the British shipping merchants of Rotterdam made their preparations, summoning ships from English ports to augment the regular fleet of emigrant ships. The major shipping firm of Hope readied eight ships, some from their fleet, some chartered. Once the ships became available, they had to be hastily fitted with additional bedsteads.

"Everywhere there were double bedsteads built, or even three on top of one another. Many passengers had their chests broken up and stored their belongings wherever they could (because captains and newlanders themselves had so many chests and goods and there were simply too many people) or they had to leave them behind to be sent later by other ships so that many a garment and linen cloth became rotten or moth-eaten."

According to the Rotterdamse Courant, five of the ships operated for the firm of the Hopes were ready on June 22nd. They were the Queen Elizabeth, Thistle, Oliver, Winter Galley, and Glasgow.

The fleet proceeded to English ports for the customs clearance required by the Navigation Acts. The captains of the Queen Elizabeth and the Winter Galley headed for Deal.

The Winter Galley arrived first in Philadelphia on September 5. Captain Edward Paynter submitted his account of 252 passengers. If the news of the dismal situation in Kralingen had not yet reached Philadelphia, the emigrants themselves now spread the story. As usual during the arrival season, Germans, some even from remote settlements, crowded the harbor to greet relatives, friends, or just people from their old home place to hear news and maybe find mail.

Four days later, the ship Glasgow and the snow Two Sisters arrived. The recently installed new governor, George Thomas, attended the oath swearing ceremonies to acquaint himself with the situation. He also was present when the next three vessels arrived with Palatines, the Robert & Alice, the Queen Elizabeth, and the Thistle, Captain Walter Goodman of the Robert & Alice sent a letter back to Germany on October 19th. Excerpts were published in the Rotterdamse Courant.

Two months later:

"On the 4th of July last I sailed out of Dover in England and arrived here on this river on the 9th of September with crew and passengers in good health but on the way I had many sick people, yet, since not more than 18 died, we lost by far the least of all the ships arrived to-date. We were the third ship to arrive. I sailed in company with four of the skippers who together had 425 deaths, one had 140, one 115, one 90, and one 80. The two captains Stedman have not yet arrived and I do not doubt that I shall be cleared for departure before they arrive since I begin loading tomorrow. I have disposed of all my passengers except for 20 families."

Another letter, dated October 18th, was sent by Christoph Sauer of Germantown to friends in Wittgenstein who were eagerly awaiting news of several emigrants from Elsoff. Sauer wrote:

"The Elsoffers have not yet arrived. Everybody wonders where their ship is, and besides that vessel, 3 to 4 ships with people are still expected. According to all reports, they have been at sea now for a quarter of a year."

As to the vessels that had come in, Sauer remarked:

"The throngs of people who let themselves be seduced this year to come into the country are raising much lament here. Besides, as so many hundreds died from sickness aboard ships at sea, the survivors, if there is any left of a family, must pay or go into service which causes so much indigence and privation among a people which is hard to describe.

"This ship lost near 160 persons, and another one that arrived the day before, more than 150, and on one that came in the following day, only 13 healthy people are said to remain. Still another one arrived meanwhile on which out of 300 freights only 50 are left. Most of them died from dysentery, head sickness and violent fever, also some captains and many seamen. Altogether of 15 passenger ships only 2 seem to have arrived with the people tolerably healthy and well."

The author estimated about 1,600 people had died on the fifteen ships which had arrived so far. On November 20th another letter from the people in Germantown to the people in Wittgenstein was sent. The letter concludes with an upward assessment of the total number of victims: "There has been a cruel, destroying angel among the travelers this year for the number of those who died so far on the voyage and here has reached about 2000."

Fifteen leading men of various religious backgrounds from Philadelphia, Germantown and nearby communities agreed to band together for whatever help they could render and to compile a comprehensive account of the recent events. But, they were also concerned about the general situation for colonists in Pennsylvania, the solicitations by newlanders, and the pitfalls which must be considered during travel to the seaport and during the voyage. The arrival of Palatine ships throughout the autumn of 1738 pervades every part of their Send-Schreiben. And, the reader is assured that their description of the events was carefully gathered from accounts of nearly 100 eyewitnesses. Their comments were intended to be published as a guide and a warning to prospective emigrants.

The content of this collective missive, dealing with the situation in and around Rotterdam and at sea, has been used in the material here. In the personal recollections of the signers it was the first time that emigrant transports of an entire season were affected by disease. They recalled the singular case of the Love and Unity four years earlier when two-thirds of the Palatine passengers died of starvation during a voyage of nine months in which a lively trade in rats and mice among survivors marked the last stage of the trip. They also recalled a ship with English passengers that was wrecked on the New England coast with more than one hundred people drowned. For the current year, 1738, a special name was needed, the Year of the Destroying Angels.

"However, this year the sea has held quite a different harvest, because by moderate reckoning, more than 1800 died on the 14 ships arrived till now. While there are still two missing, we have reasons to assume them lost for they have been at sea for more than 24 weeks."

The Send-Schreiben noted the bad situation on the shore, off the ships:

"Although several houses outside the city were rented by captains for the care of the sick by order of the authorities, as it happens, it is easy to see that the burden falls mostly on those Germans who still have some love left for their countrymen. There have been frequent collections taken, and the charity was then distributed to these starving, miserable human beings but it is shocking to witness the envy, the jealousy, and the malice among the survivors."

The writers of the letter relate how some ships were prevented from disembarking their human cargoes and ordered to sail back below the city for fear of spreading contagion:

"Those in town and in the country, who look people into their homes, contracted the same disease and several have suddenly died. It looks as if the sickness will spread throughout the land. The stench alone is so horrible on the ships, and with the people who came from them, that anyone who is easily disgusted will feel sick right away. That has made the inhabitants shy away from the diseased people."

The Pennsylvania Gazette, which usually reported the arrival of emigrant ships, did not refer to any untoward conditions until late in October. On September 7th it carried the news of the landing of 360 passengers of the Winter Galley (Captain Paynter reported only 252 men, women and children on September 5th). The issue of September 14th registered the Two Sisters, Glasgow, and Robert & Alice with 1,003 people aboard (618 according to the statements of the three captains). There is no ready explanation for the discrepancies in numbers because the discharge of some 500 passengers along the river or at the wharves would hardly have remained unnoticed. There was, however, a tax of 40 shillings levied on every reported Palatine passenger entering the province which might possibly explain the under reporting by captains.

1. This article is derived from the same material used in a longer article, "The Emigration Season of 1738 – Year of the Destroying Angels," which appeared in The Report, A Journal of German-American History, volume 40, published by the Society of the History of the Germans in Maryland, 1986. The ninety-six references in that article are not given here.

2. P.O. Box 98, Edinburg, VA 22824.

Passenger List for the WINTER GALLEY with ages

Women and any children under the age of 16 were not listed. Only men over the age of 16 were listed.


ANDICH, Willelm Zacharias...................18

ARMBROST, Cristofell..........................28

BACK, Jacob..........................................20

BACKER, Henrich..................................20

BALIEN, Lorance....................................24

BARNTZ, Johanis....................................42

BARTLEME, Jacob.................................40

BAYER, Philip.........................................29

BEFT, Wilm.............................................26

BEGTHOLD, Johanis...............................22

BERGER, Casper.....................................30

BEYER, Andres........................................57

BEYER, Jan Jacob....................................22

BEYER, Martin........................................18

BEYER, Philip..........................................20

BING, Andres............................................24

BING, Jacob..............................................50

BRACK, Paul............................................21

BRUSH, Augusteen...................................14

BRUSH, Michel.........................................19

BULLINGER, Henrick...............................28

BURCHART, Peter....................................38

BUTERFAS, Daniell..................................19

DEBELL, Jacob.........................................26

DECK, Simon............................................35

DEEAHUSE, Jacob....................................18

DOODWILER, Hans Jacob........................28

DRAUT, Wintell.........................................49

DROONBERG, Jan Daniel..........................21

DUST, Conrad.............................................38

EBERARD, Albreght...................................20

EBERARD, Godlief.....................................18

EBERT, Johanis...........................................19

ELIE, Niehell................................................27

ESHBAY, Henrich........................................32

ESTLINGER, Conrad...................................21

FAAS, Jurig..................................................23

FAAS, Philip.................................................20

FARION, Fredrick.........................................36

FEHLE, Henrick............................................27

FILLINGER, Ludwick...................................27

FOLLINGER, Jurg Philip..............................20

FREDRICK, Andres......................................21

FREYLIGH, Johan Danl................................39

GAREGILLON, Jan......................................45

GARLEGILLON, Charley.............................19

GENTSLEN, Mathias....................................20

GERTH, Hans Jurg........................................43

HAAS, Fredrick.............................................24

HAAS, Fredrick.............................................21

HAN, Jacob...................................................21

HARLASH, Philip.........................................22

HELLER, Simon...........................................17

HELLER, Stofel............................................50

HENN, Lorance.............................................56

HITTEL, Jurg Michl......................................23

HOFFMAN, Jan Peter...................................27

HOFFMAN, Jurg..........................................37

HOFMAN, Adam..........................................23

HOGLANDER, Hans Michell.......................32

HOOK, Andreas............................................35

IDE, Georg....................................................30

JAGER, Johanis.............................................36

JANIGH, Christian.........................................42

JANS, Wilhelm...............................................24

JOGHIM, Jurg................................................27

KELSENDORF, Wilm....................................17

KINDER, Hans Adam.....................................24

KIRPER, Abraham.........................................38

KLINGLER, John Henrick..............................50

KNNAP, Michael............................................20

KOCHLER, Hans Philip..................................21

KRAFT, Fredrick.............................................52

KRAFT, Jacob.................................................38

KRANISTER, Johanis......................................30

LANDGRAAF, Henrick...................................20

LANG, Stephen................................................35

LEMERD, Valentine........................................50

LIGHT, Hannis................................................56

LINGEREDLER, Johanis.................................20

LINTHELL, Jurig Ernst....................................27

LOCKMILLER, Jurig.......................................24

LOSSCHET, John Wintell................................30

MAGER, Adam................................................30

MATTHYS, Hans Michell................................22

MEYER, Ludwick............................................20

MEYER, Martin...............................................18

MEYER, William.............................................16

MILLER, Jacob................................................22

MILLER, Johan................................................32

MILLER, Johanis Peter.....................................49

MILLER, Markes..............................................38

MOOKE, Samuell..............................................20

NESH, Adam....................................................60

PARROTT, Frans Ludwig................................39

REMER, John Michell......................................23

REPEL, Nicholas..............................................23

RONK, Jacob....................................................22

RORE, Johanis..................................................22

RUSHELL, Hans Michell..................................26

SAIM, Andres...................................................20

SARDORIOUS, Balthasar................................27

SAUVAGE, Johan............................................40

SCHREYNER, Hans Adam..............................52

SCHREYNER, Michell.....................................28

SEDELMEYER, Sebasting...............................50

SEEBOLT, Johan Philip....................................26

SEELE, Frans...................................................17

SHEFER, Jan Adam.........................................24

SHLER, Rudolph.............................................31

SHRINER, Martin...........................................20

KURGNER, Paul.............................................40

SIBERT, Jurig.................................................25

SMITH, Conrade.............................................44

SMITH, Hans Jurig..........................................21

STALL, Jacob.................................................30

STALL, Melchior............................................21

STOOP, Andres...............................................34

STORFF, Henrick............................................

STUCKER, Valentine......................................19

STUPE, Jan Adam...........................................21

THRONBERG, Fredrick..................................29

TIECH, Henrich...............................................29

ULRICK, Matheys...........................................28

URICK, Stoffell...............................................25

VIALL, Hack...................................................29

WABER, Philip...............................................20

WAGENER, Johan..........................................16

WAGENER, Peter...........................................16

WAGENER, Philip..........................................20

WAGNER, Jno. Christoff.................................40

WALL, Adam...................................................21

WALTER, Nicholas..........................................41

WEIKER, Johan Philip......................................20

WEIS, Melchior................................................20

WENIGH, Jacob...............................................19

WEYSHART, Henrich......................................30

ZADLER, Jacob................................................20

ZIMMERMAN, Conrad.....................................22





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On 25 Apr 2017 at 01:17 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

Gail, I created a category structure for this ship. Could you please add this page to Category:Winter Galley, arrived 5 September 1738 ?

On 10 Mar 2017 at 18:11 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

Please consider adding this wonderful page to Category: Palatine Ships.

On 9 Mar 2017 at 00:02 GMT Robin (Felch) Craig wrote:

Phillip Harless-8 is "Philip Harlash"