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The crossing of the Maryland in 1869


- John Headland / Dolores Shirts

This account is taken from a log kept by John Headland, and was submitted to us by Dolores Shirts


We left Bergen in good weather on Tuesday, April 27, at 10:00 o'clock on the ship Maryland. Ship Alma had started two hours earlier, but we passed them the same day. We had arrived in Bergen on the afternoon of the 23rd, but waited until the 27th to set sail. The tramp boat Bjurgvere pulled us out on the wild sea.

Wed., April 28
We had good wind, made 9 to 10 miles in one watch and passed the Alma.
Thurs., April 29
Quiet, little wind.
Fri., April 30
Quiet, little wind.
Sat., May 1
We sailed 5 miles in the watch, after dinner.
Sun., May 2
We sailed 8 miles in one watch.
Mon., May 3
We sailed 9 or 10 miles in the whole day and night. The farthest we sailed any day.
Tues., May 4
Rain.
Wed., May 5
We sailed 9 miles in a watch throughout the night, good weather.
Thurs., May 6
Ascension Day. We had services in our Salon, and sailed with good speed.
Fri., May 7
We sailed 9 to 11 miles in one watch, with a little better weather. A 9 month old child died that night. At 1 or 2 o'clock it was lowered to the ocean with prayer and song. The ship's captain officiated. Mrs. Healdand was sick in bed.
Sat., May 8
Mrs. Headland sick in bed.
Sun., May 9
Services on deck. Mrs. Headland was better, but unable to attend. The wind was good in the afternoon watch.
Mon., May 10
We passed 3 ships. It was a brisk wind into the night, but we were bothered by fog. One person had to signal to an- other boat to avoid collision.
Tues., May 11
We had to face the wind and fog that came from frozen Iceland.
Wed., May 12
Today we had to face the wind with sunshine and cold. In the afternoon I was with my wife who was sick.
Thurs., May 13
We still faced the wind. Mrs. Headland was still sick.
Fri., May 14
Today is sunshine and still weather. The ship barely moves and it is just as cold, but a beautiful day, the first one of the trip.
Sat., May 15
Absolutely quiet, no wind, nice weather.
Sun., May 16
Pentecost Day. Nice weather, but cold. We passed fishermen on the banks of land. We held services in our quarters.
Mon., May 17
At noon we passed fishermen in open boats. Early in the morn- -ing we passed the banks of land. After dinner we made 8 miles There was no rolling of the ship, it lay as still as if it were in the harbor at Bergen. We danced on deck a long time and then we had rain in the evening.
Tues., May 18
The wind was still, but we had fog. In the evening the fog lifted.
Wed., May 19
In the morning we heard the joyous cry, "Land! Land!" It was Nova Skatian. We had northwest wind, brisk breeze, 10 miles a watch. We met an English boat that sailed beside us but we soon left them behind.
Thurs., May 20
Early in the morning we passed a small island and after that we did not see land for a long time. This island lay in the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. We got a brisk wind again and made 12 or 13 miles in one watch.
Fri., May 21
The wind was against us, but far in the distance we could see Amerika's Northland, with snow on the mountain tops.
Sat., May 22
Today we had sunshine and no wind as we started our trip up the St. Lawrence. We saw many kinds of boats and some of them passed us.
Sun., May 23
As we neared land the stream was entirely still, but toward evening the stream took us to land where we anchored.
Mon., May 24
Today it is still and nice weather and we went forward.
Tues., May 25
We held prayers. Weather foggy at night and still and blue in the daytime. Another child had died aboard and was buried in the river. Prayers were said and 5 or 6 verses of hymns were sung. The parents were from Yustedalen and they were very poor. The child was 1 years old.
Wed., May 26
Good wind until noon going up the river. Still in the afternoon. We were forced back a little by the stream.
Thurs., May 27
We made a few miles forward and weather got still later in the day. We got two "lodser" on board at 8:00 o'clock in the evening. (Lodsers: pilots)
Fri., May 28
Brisk headwind in the morning. At 10 to 12 o'clock a tow boat came and pulled us 22 Norwegian miles and charged us a certain amount for each person. In the evening we danced gaily for the American pilots. Then the captain coaxed me to play my violin, and they laughed heartily to see us dance "Springedans" and "Haling Vosserul". The stream was smooth especially on the south side of the river, and there were numerous houses and a light house.
Sat., May 29
At 4 o'clock we came to the quarantine place and two doctors and 1 Norwegian translater came on board. We were seven miles from Quebec. And thank God all were well except few children had measles. We had to stay over until the morning and then were on our way.
Sun., May 30
At 8 a.m. two doctors came on board again and then found all well except the Children who had measles, one from Voss and two from Stavanger. These children and their parents had to stay and the rest went on in the beautiful sunshine. We saw such beautiful scenery on both sides of the river. I never thought anything could be so pretty in this world. At 4 o'clock we anchored in Quebec. We went before the officer and when they left we danced for joy in the beautiful weather.
Mon., May 31
Everything was quiet on board the whole day.
Tues., June 1
I stepped on land for the first time, in Quebec.

Wed., June 2
We went on board the steamboat which took us to the railroad station. We took the train there at 11:30 and arrived at Montreal 4 p.m.
Thurs., June 3
We had beautiful weather. We came to a long bridge and the whole bridge was in a tunnel, the walls gleamed like lightening to us.
Fri., June 4
We passed many nice towns that were wonderful to see from the train. We could see the house tops as we passed. We went farther and passed many towns.
Sat., June 5
Tonight we came to the United States. We spent the night at a railroad hotel there.
Sun., June 6
We went farther. Passed many towns.
Mon., June 7
We went to Chicago. Arrived there at 4 p.m.
Tues., June 8
We left Chicago, 10 a.m. and arrived in LaCrosse at midnight. And there we went on board a ship.
Wed., June 9
We went down the Mississippi River past many towns, Winona, Alma, "Letchedy" and at 10 p.m. we got to Red Wing where we were headed. We were glad to step on land from that nasty ship. Here we stayed with a Swede, and we slept on a bare floor, like we did in the first town we came to in the United States.
Thurs., June 10
Early in the morning we met some Norwegians and among them was Peter Nokken, son of Peter P. Nokken. He took us to the home of Syri Barlaug where we received food and lodging in her beautiful, comfortable home.
Fri., June 11
In the evening Anders Fedji and young Sjur Satterli came to Red Wing to meet us. Each had a team of horses and we were so glad to see them. We all stayed at Syri's that night. On the morning of the 12th we went to their homes and got there at 9:30 in the evening. On the way up there we met a friend (Ole) and talked with him and went on our way.
Sun., June 13
After we came to our destination we met our friends and visited with them. The Nokken's went on to Kenyon and spent the winter with Mrs. Rorig, Mr. Nokken's sister, who had come to America 3 years earlier.

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