The Bolivar sailed from Porsgrunn to Quebec with
emigrants in 1852 and 1853, mastered by Capt. P. M. Pettersen.
Newspaper report based on a letter from Captain P. M. Pettersen on the Bolivar
This is a transcription of the letter that was sent to the Skien newspaper "CORRESPONDENTEN" and printed September 1852
With the last postal arrival came a letter from ship Captain P. M. Pettersen, master of the
ship "Bolivar", which left Porsgrund July 19th, with 250 passengers for Quebec. Most of the passengers
came from Telemark.
This letter was dated Quebec August 21st, and Capt. Pettersen reports that he,
3 days after the arrival in Quebec, on August 6th, that would be the 9th, personally guided the passengers up to Montreal, to see them well on their way with a steamship the following days. It is believed that the "Bolivar" passengers could not have been among the passengers traveling on the steamboat Atlantic, which was involved in a collision near Buffalo, and sunk with more than 300 passengers. The distance from Montreal to Buffalo is believed to be so short that the "Bolivar" passengers, on the date of the accident the 19th of August, must have been way past that spot. They would probably already have arrived in Milwaukee in Wisconsin. We want to make this facts known, so that those who have family and friends who traveled on the "Bolivar" should not be worried.
The Norwegian emigrants involved in the collision on Lake Erie must have been passengers on the Argo arriving at Quebec Aug. 12th from Christiania.
The letter below with a recommendation was sent home for publishing in the newspaper by the passengers on the Bolivar, and was dated on August 8th.
Recommendation for emigrants
To our fellowmen in Norway, who intends to emigrate to North America. As passengers on the ship
"Bolivar", which arrived in Quebec today, we feel obliged to let our fellowmen, especially those
who intends to emigrate, know about the advantages of this ship. The ship is equipped so well to
maintain the health and welfare of the emigrants as one could ever demand.
1) Due to the size of the ship there is a lot of space to share for everyone, and under deck there
are fitted two rooms, one for staying during the day, where the passengers has their berths, which
has so much space that every grown person of average height can sit upright. (!!)
2) The under-room, or the cellar as we call it is for storing lots of goods, like beer, and wine and more.
3) The ship is equipped with good ventilation pipes, so that the passengers are not bothered with
unhealthy and sickening air.
4) It is a good sailor, and very confidently to be in on the great ocean.
What concerns the master, Mr. Captain Pettersen, we must state that he after our experience, not only
is social and proper, but also a human person, who with neutrality and religiousness, has treated
every decent emigrant. Of that we have many proves, and in the beginning of our journey, there were
many of us that was haunted by sickness, which was caused by the sea-air, and made us loose our
courage. Not only had the captain a little knowledge about medicine, but he also gave it away free,
and visited the ill at their berths several times a day, to cheer them up, and give them courage,
to go on diet, to make the medicine work better.
It should almost not be necessary to say that he is a skilled master, as the rumors say that he is
an intelligent sailor, and a man of goo judgement, and for our own eyes we have seen that the ship
"Bolivar" always has won the competition against other ships. The quarantine officials also stated
that they had never witnessed a ship and passengers in such a proper and clean state.
A. Halvorsen, H. Bjørnsen, Ole Herbjørnsen Øiene from Tind, E, Endresen, Jens
Paulsen Blom, Kittil Høljesen, Thov Olsen, Stener Mikkelsen from Laurdal, Ole Halvorsen Venløs
Sidsborg, John Olsen Magnushommen, Andreas Olsen Saugvolden from Tveten, Syvert Syvertsen Kallerud
from Kongsberg, Poul Halvorsen Svervelien from Flaaddal, Hølje Olasen Satin from Flaaddal,
Jacob Peersen Kjeldalen and Ole Jacobsen Kjeldalen from Eidanger, Aanund Gundersen Nordtvedt and
Ole Wetlesen Bergland from Mor parrish, Tarje Gundersen Findreng from Vraadals Annex, Hans Olsen
Keangnæs from Vraadals Annex, Lars Tarjesen Revskjel, Ole Halvorsen Gadeholdt and Aadne
Tollefsen from Laurdal, Thorgrim Thorgrimsen Uvaas from Hjertdal, Knud Halvorsen Gryde from Moland.