The Fischer family, migrants from Germany, arrived in Sydney on board the sailing ship Caesar in March 1855. It was a different sort of arrival to ours in Sydney Harbour in 1973, having sailed on the Ellinis from Southampton. We had been at sea for … Continue reading Arriving in Sydney 1855
The Caesar made its first landfall in Australia at Twofold Bay, near Eden on the south coast of NSW. Ernst Middendorf's relief is palpable, and understandable in light of the length of the voyage that preceded it. Like generations of Europeans since then, he is … Continue reading Eden: oysters and chickens
The Caesar sailed south to Cape Town and then east across the Roaring Forties (latitude 40 degrees south), which seemed not to be roaring much that particular year, according to Middendorf’s description. Unlike the 10 day storm that we experienced crossing the Southern Ocean in … Continue reading Australian landfall, March 1855
The voyage of the Caesar wasn’t all misery. Ernst Middendorf does capture some of the wonder and romance of a long sea voyage in his descriptions. His favourite pastime was to climb into the crows nest and observe the world from high up. I think … Continue reading Sailing south
The Sydney Morning Herald of Tuesday 27 March 1855 carried the final death toll for the emigrant ship Caesar, from Hamburg. A scan of the original can be seen online here. Mar 26 – ….The Caesar has had a long passage of 116 days from … Continue reading Cholera deaths on the Caesar. 1854.
Some years ago I did a course in refugee health which had a strong focus on health care in the context of complex humanitarian disasters. One of the situations we discussed was how to handle a cholera epidemic. One thing I remember from that course … Continue reading Cholera on board
The Fischer family and Johann Holtorf were landlubbers; they had never been to sea. After leaving the sheltered waters of the Elbe on their respective migrant ships they traversed a corner of the North Sea and then entered the English Channel. The Fischers sailed on … Continue reading Seasick… the English Channel