On board ‘Jessie Munn’
Transcription of a diary written aboard the emigrant ship ‘Jessie Munn’ in 1861-2.
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Courtesy of Mrs Nan Elliott
This account of a three-month journey to Australia in 1861 was written on board the emigrant ship ‘Jessie Munn’ by an unknown young woman. Her reasons for emigrating are not given but it seems from a letter at the end of the diary that she hoped to better her standard of living.
What is certain is that she had a brave and adventurous spirit to travel 15,000 thousand miles, unaccompanied by friend or family, through some of the roughest seas in the world wholly dependant on the skills of the captain and crew and the sea-worthiness of a small sailing ship.
Indeed, she was fortunate in her choice of the ‘Jessie Munn’. The Australian Board of Health inspector commended the cleanliness of the ship and, unlike many other voyages of the time to the Antipodes, there was no disease or deaths among the passengers.