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# 17 Thomas Bell



The British bark Thomas Bell, commanded by Captain James Low, of which destination was the Sandwich Islands, having arrived early yesterday morning, April 13, 1888, at Honolulu port bringing 144 men, 66 women and 184 children, a total of 394 immigrants.

On the ship there were 22 stowaways from the island of Madeira, and it took several days shipping the immigrants and their baggage. After leaving Funchal, Madeira, a series of gales were encountered. On November 20th, we exchanged signals with the bark Parthaton of Swansea, bound north. On December 13 and the early part of the 14th, strong NW and NE gales split the sails. Jibbon carried away on the afternoon of the 26th of December, reduced sails, and the gale increasing top sail and fore sails were taken in. Weather moderating on the 28th of December, another jibbon was run out, the immigrants assisting.

Afternoon of December 30th we spoke to the ship Alameda of Bath, from Swansea, bound for San Francisco, 50 days out, and also we spoke to bark Liverpool from Newcastle at noon on December 30th.

Heavy gales, lasting until mid-night, and on January 1, 1888, we sighted the Mystic Belle for a second time and exchanged signals with her. January, we shifted cargo in a gale, righted as much as possible the next day. January 4, 8, 9, 10 and 12 were days of gales. On the last date, the ship strained heavily. On the 12th of January, latitude 46.34 South and longitude 86.83 West. The condenser broke down and the ship was forced to land in Iquique, Chile to have it repaired. We arrived in Iquique 97 days out of Madeira. At Iquique, one of the immigrants decamped, leaving his wife and family to fate and was not seen again.

March 31st, we lost another jibbon in a squall, and sails were split, proceeded in fair weather the rest of the way, arriving in Honolulu and anchored in the stream on April 13, 1888. There were 14 births and 14 deaths on the voyage. Deaths were 2 men, 4 women and 8 children. The Minister of the Interior boarded the ship and finding no sickness, ordered the immigrants to land on the Kakaako Depot, which was done this afternoon.

Note: Excerpts taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser Hawaii State Archives




Excerpts from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Hawaii State Library - microfilm; Hawaii State Archives

You may also want to read:
___ A Journal of the 156 days trip from the island of Madeira to the Archipelago of the Sandwich isles was kept by Joao Baptista d’Oliveira and Vicente d’Ornellas. It was translated from Portuguese writings by Lucille de Silva Canario, daughter of Reverend Ernest G. de Silva, pastor of Central Christian Church in Hilo from 1902 to 1955. Reverend de Silva was 14 years old at the time of his arrival on the Thomas Bell, and the widow of Joao Baptista d’Oliveira gave the manuscript many years after his death to Pastor de Silva. Read the Journal

Thank you to Sandy Sakai for this contribution.
© 2003 Melody Lassalle

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