BEFORE THE MAST
1855-1856 AGE, 16-17
AUSTRALIA and India swam in the boy's fancy as in a still shining sea of gold.
Australia, the island continent nearly as large as the United States, giving
promise of a great rival, English-speaking republic in the southern
hemisphere, had riveted attention by its gold discoveries in the early fifties
and by the enormous treasure since taken out – equal almost to that of
wonderful California. It was the new land of wealth, where poor, obscure men
in a day rose to riches. India lay like a counterpoise in the mind's picture.
With her jungles and monkeys, tigers and elephants; her painted idols,
fantastical philosophies and poppy smokers – this land of mysteries, old
when the pyramids of Egypt and Syria were young, shone through partings in her
gorgeous tropical foliage with the gleam of gold and precious stones, despite
the pillage of the ages. Whatever the boy had read, from Bible to "Arabian
Nights," in magazine or in newspaper; and all that he had heard, in lecture or
sermon, from traveller or sailor, burned in his imagination and made him eager
to be gone.
The Hindoo was to sail from New York Harbour early in April. On Sunday,
April 1, after Sunday school, Henry George received a Bible and a copy of
"James's Anxious Enquirer"; and the next morning, bidding fare well at the
wharf to his father, and uncles Thomas Latimer and Joseph Van Dusen, his
cousin George Latimer and his friends Col Walton and Joe Roberts, he and
Captain Miller went aboard the steamboat, crossed the Delaware, took train,
and four hours afterwards were in New York. Two letters from him, written from
the ship before she got away, have been preserved. They are in large, clear,
firm hand, with some shading, some flourishes and a number of misspelled
words. In the first, under date of April 6, he says:
"I signed the shipping articles at $6 a month and two months' advance, which I
got in the morning.
"While we were down town we stopped at the Custom House, and Jim [an ordinary
seaman] and I got a protection, for which we paid $1 each to a broker.
"The New York Custom House looks like a cooped up affair along side of the
Philadelphia one – there are so many people and so much business and
"The upper part of New York is a beautiful place – the streets wide,
clear and regular; the houses all a brown stone and standing ten or twenty
feet from the pavement, with gardens in front."
To the foregoing letter was added this:
April 7, 1855
"I was stopped [writing] suddenly last night by the entrance of the men to
haul her [the vessel] to the end of the wharf and was prevented from going
on by their laughing and talking. At about twelve o'clock we commenced and
by some pretty hard heaving we got her to the end of the wharf. It was then
about two o'clock. So we turned in and slept until about half past five. We
got our breakfast, and being taken in tow by a steamboat about 7.30
A.M., proceeded down the stream till off the Battery, where
we dropped anchor and now lie.
"The view from this spot is beautiful – the North River and New York Bay
covered with sailing vessels and steamers of every class and size, while
back, the hills, gently sloping, are covered with country seats....
"I ate my first meals sailor style to-day and did not dislike it at all.
Working around in the open air gives one such an appetite that he can eat
almost anything. We shall go to sea Monday morning early. I should love to see
you all again before I go, but that is impossible. I shall write again
to-morrow, and if possible get the pilot to take a letter when he leaves,
though it is doubtful that I shall be able to write one."
It was in these days preparatory to starting, when there were a lot of odd
things to do, that the boatswain, busy with some splicing, sent the boy for
some tar; and when the boy stopped to look around for a stick, the sailor in
surprise and disgust cried to him to bring the tar in his hand! Another
incident of a similar kind appears in his second letter, which is dated April
9 and is addressed to his Aunt Mary, one of his mother's sisters, a most
unselfish and lovable maiden lady who helped raise the large brood of George
children, and who, until her death in 1875, had never been separated from her
sister, Mrs. George. She was loved as a second mother by the children.
"We are not at sea, as we expected to be by this time, but still lying off the
Battery. The ship could not sail this morning for want of seamen. They are
very scarce in New York now and all sorts of men are shipping as sailors. Two
Dutch boys shipped as able sea men and came on board yesterday afternoon. The
smallest one had been to sea before, but the largest did not know the
difference between a yard and a block.
The second mate told them to go aloft and slush down the masts. This morning
the smallest went up, but the other could not go up at all. So I had to go
aloft and do it. The work was a good deal easier than I expected. I don't mind
handling grease at all now."
Then the letter proceeds:
"Captain Miller has been ashore all day trying to get men. There is to be one
sent on board in place of the largest Dutchman. I pity the poor fellow, though
to be sure he had no business to ship as seaman. He says he has four trades
– baker, shoemaker, etc. An other man came aboard this morning as able
seaman who could not get into the foretop. They sent him ashore. The captain
shipped to-day as ordinary sea men two lads, one a Spaniard and the other
English, I believe. They are fine sailor looking fellows. The cook, steward
and two of the men are from the West Indies. All sailed in whalers. There are
no cleaner looking men in Parkinson's.
"We have better living than I expected – fresh and salt beef, potatoes
and rice – and all cooked in the finest style; but I cannot like the
coffee as yet.
"They have just brought two men aboard and taken the Dutchmen off. This is the
last letter that I shall have a chance to send till we get to Melbourne, where
I hope there will be letters awaiting me."
"We have just been heaving the cable short and shall be ready as soon as the
tow boat comes. I hope that by this time Morrie [his baby brother] is well. I
could spin out four or five pages, but I have not time. I would have written a
great many more letters, but could not. When you read this letter you must
remember where it was written – on the top of my chest in the after house
(where I sleep, along with Jim, the carpenter and the cook). I have to dip my
pen into the bottle at almost every word. Good-bye father and mother, aunts
and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins and friends. God bless you all and
may we all meet again.
"P.S. I have received letters from Martha Curry and George Latimer and shall
reply the first chance."
"We are now going down the bay in tow of a steam boat and shall soon be at
sea. I shall get the captain to send this ashore by the pilot. God bless you
all. It is cloudy and drizzling – blows a stiff breeze from the south.
So it was that the Hindoo, a full-rigged ship of 586 tons register
– a very large ship at that time – with
500,000 feet of lumber aboard and a crew of twenty men, all told, started on
her long voyage; and as she glided down the bay and through the "Narrows" on
her way to the ocean, on the left bank, eighty feet above the water, stood an
old white house that forty years later, when his fame had spread through the
world, was to become Henry George's home and witness the end of his career.
But the boy, all unconscious of this, had been set to work, as he says in his
sea journal, "in company with the other boys to picking oakum for the
carpenter, who was busy fastening and calking the hatches."
This journal or log, covers most of the voyage, and with the few letters that
still exist, and an account of the passage written by Captain Miller for his
friend, George Latimer, furnishes pretty full and clear information as to this
important formative period. The journal consists of an original in two parts
and three incomplete fair copies. The original parts are quite rough and show
marks of wear and stains of water. One is of white, the other of blue,
unruled, large sized letter paper, folded so as to make neat pages of four by
six inches, and stitched together with heavy linen thread, such as might have
been used in sewing sails. The entries are mostly in pencil, the spelling not
of the best, and the writing not uniform – in some places quite faint
– but generally small, condensed, round and clear. The fair copies are
in a fine state of preservation. They are written in large, bold hand in
commercial blank books and the spelling is correct. Two of them may have been
copied while at sea, but the fullest and best looking one was doubtless
written in Philadelphia after the voyage.
From Captain Miller's account it appears that when the Hindoo cast off
the tug that was taking her to sea, the wind was from the south-east and right
ahead, and the pilot advised him to anchor at Sandy Hook; "but," says the
Captain, "we could not wait. We set all sail and stood E.N.E. until we saw the
rocks of Long Island. We then tacked to the south'd and stood down until we
were abreast the Capes of Delaware. Then a gale of wind from the north-west
commenced, lasting four days; during which time we made good progress off the
coast." The boy's log for these four days runs as follows:
"Tues. 10.... About 12 A.M. we passed Sandy Hook, and a slight
breeze springing up, set all fore and aft sail. About 3 P.M.
discharged the tow boat and pilot. Soon after I began to feel sea-sick, and
the breeze dying away, the tossing of the vessel very much increased it....
After supper all hands were called aft and the watches chosen. I was taken by
the mate for the larboard... It being the larboard watch's first watch below,
I turned in at 8 P.M.
The old ship after twenty-five years of hard service was pretty nearly worn
out, and the log reveals a series of breakages, and some consequent accidents.
"Wed. 11. I was roused out of a sound sleep at 12 o'clock to come on deck and
keep my watch. On turning out I found a great change in the weather. The wind
had shifted to N.W. and came out cold and fierce. The ship was running dead
before it in a S.E. direction, making about 8 or 9 knots an hour. After
keeping a cold and dreary watch until 4 A.M. we were relieved
and I was enabled to turn in again. All this day sea-sick by spells.... It
will be a long time before we are in this part of the world again, homeward
bound. Twelve months seem as if they would never pass. In the afternoon all
hands were engaged in getting the anchors on the forecastle and securing them
for a long passage. The colour of the sea is green on sounding, the shade
varying according to the depth of water, and a beautiful blue outside, and so
very clear that objects can be seen at a great depth.
"Thurs. 12. A brisk breeze all day from N.W. with frequent showers of rain.
Numbers of Stormy Petrels or Mother Carey's Chickens hovering about the
quarter. Weather rather cool.
"Fri. 13. A fine bright day; wind still the same. Hoisting the lower stun'sail
in the forenoon, the halyards parted, and the sail was with difficulty
secured. The sea-sickness has now entirely left me."
"Sat. 14. Commenced with fine clear weather and brisk breeze from N.W. About
5.30 A.M., the larboard watch being on deck, the tiller of the
rudder suddenly broke in half. All hands were immediately called and
everything let go and clewed up. Tackles were got on the rudder and the ship
steered by them, while the carpenter immediately set to work on a new one.
While furling the main top-gallant sail a man belonging to the larboard watch,
John Prentz by name, fell from the yard to the deck. Luckily the main topsail,
which was clewed up, broke his fall, or he would certainly have been killed.
On taking him forward, his arm was found to have been broken in three places,
but otherwise he had sustained no serious injury. His arm was set and bandaged
by the mate. The carpenter finished the tiller about 4 P.M.,
when, everything being replaced, sail was again made on the ship and she
continued on her course with a fair, though light wind. The old tiller which
had suddenly broken, and which outwardly appeared so firm and sound, was in
the centre completely rotted away.... The account which the man who fell from
aloft gave of his mishap when he had recovered his senses was that he was
pulling on the gasket with both hands when it suddenly parted and he was
precipitated backwards. He knew no more until he found himself in the
forecastle with his arm bandaged up."
The fifteenth of April is noted in the log as the "first Sunday at sea," and
that instead of being seated in St. Paul's Church, they were "ploughing the
ocean a thousand miles away." Soon the entries take more of the formal aspect
of a ship's log and less of a personal journal, though once in a while they
relax into general observation and fancy. On May 3, for instance, the ship,
lying in a dead calm, was surrounded by a large school of dolphins, which
presented "a most beautiful appearance in the water, changing to brilliant
colours as they swam from place to place." On May 24 calms and light airs,
with this entry:
"At 8.30 A.M. the mate succeeded in striking one of the
porpoises which were playing under the bows. The fish was immediately run up
to the bowsprit end by all hands, when a running bowline was put around his
tail and he was hauled inboard, where he was soon despatched and dissected. We
had a sort of hash of his flesh for supper, which was very palatable, and the
rest was hung up to the topsail sheets, where it spoiled in the moonlight."
Thoughts kept reverting to home, and there is more than one entry like: "Would
have given anything to have been back to breakfast." Then came the Fourth of
"Wed. July 4. Commenced with a fresh breeze from N. At 5 A.M.
wind died away; at 8 A.M. came out from S. At 12 M. double
reefed topsails and single reefed mainsail. During the rest of the day
showery. Lat. 33 S., lon. 6 W. At 12 o'clock last night the day was ushered in
by three discharges from a small swivel, which made a great deal of noise,
rousing up all who were asleep. As soon as the smoke cleared away and the dead
and wounded were mustered, it was found that it had not been without
execution, all the glass on one side of the house being shattered (a loss not
easily repaired) a port blown out; and the waddings (made of rope yarn, and
very hard) had passed, one through the head of the new water cask, and another
through the new foretopsail, which had not been bent a week. The wind, which
had been strong from aft the day before, during the middle watch died away and
was succeeded by a calm until 8 A.M., when a stiff breeze from
the South sprang up, accompanied by showers of rain. At 12 M. all hands were
called to reef. While reefing the foretopsail the parrel of the yard gave way,
causing a great deal of trouble and keeping all hands from dinner. It was 2.30
P.M. before our watch got below to their plum-duff, which had
been allowed in honour of the day. The rest of the day was rainy, with wind
constantly varying, keeping us hauling on the braces. Thus closed the most
miserable 4th of July that I have ever yet spent."
On the ninety-seventh day out the Hindoo passed the Cape of Good Hope,
though far to the south of it, and entered the Indian Ocean. Thence to Port
Philip (Melbourne) came a succession of gales from the westward, with heavy
squalls of hail and rain, hut the ship driving before them made good progress.
"Sun. Aug. 12. Commenced with cloudy weather and stiff breeze. At 6
A.M. shook a reef out of topsails and set topgallant sails, but
at 12 M., wind increasing and barometer falling, (although the sun shone
brightly and gave promise of a fine afternoon) furled topgallant-sails and
close-reefed topsails. At 4 P.M., blowing a heavy gale from W.
by N., furled mizzen topsails and reefed foresail. At 8 P.M.,
wind increasing, furled fore topsail. During the night tremendous squalls of
wind and hail. Ship constantly heaving water on deck, one sea which she took
in at the waist running completely aft and filling the cabin with water.
"Mon. Aug. 13. Strong gales from W. with heavy squalls of hail and rain.
Weather very cold, the hail sometimes covering the deck. Looked more like
winter than any weather we have yet experienced. It is impossible to describe
the wildly grand appearance of the sea and sky."
At last, on the one hundred and thirty-seventh day out from New York, the
first land of Australia was sighted, and with that flamed up the desire of the
crew to get ashore and strike out straight for the gold districts, where men
with little more equipment than pick and pan were, so far as the sailors'
knowledge went, still washing for tunes out of the soil.
"Fri. Aug. 24. Commenced with strong wind from N". Furled jib. At 4
A.M. wind hauled to N.W. Course N.E. At 4.30
A.M. hove the lead, without soundings at 60 fathoms. When
daylight came at last the anxiously looked for land was nowhere to be seen.
Squally and showery, with very hazy weather. At 6 A.M. shook a
reef out of main topsail. Two coasting schooners in sight steering about
E.N.E. At 10.30 A.M. I had just turned in, having given up all
hope of seeing land to day, when all hands were called to close reef main top
sail and furl mainsail. While reefing the main topsail we were agreeably
surprised by the joyful sound of 'Land ho!' from the second mate, who was at
the weather earing. 'Where away?' shouted the captain. 'Right ahead,' was the
reply; and sure enough there lay the long looked for land directly before us,
looming above the horizon like a dark blue cloud, the first solid ground we
had looked upon for 137 days. By the time we [the larboard watch] turned out,
12 noon, we were about 2 miles distant, running along the land. Our captain
had hit the exact spot, Cape Otway, the light house on which was now plainly
to be seen. After dinner all hands turned to get the anchors over the bows. It
was a beautiful afternoon. The clouds, which in the morning had obscured the
sun, had now vanished. The ship was sailing smoothly along before the wind at
the rate of 4 or 5 knots. Numerous birds, a species of Albatross, were flying
around us, now and then darting down after a fish. The land was high and
apparently thickly wooded, and although winter in this part of the world,
presented a beautiful, green appearance. It was looked upon by most of the
crew as the Land of Promise, where gold was to be had by all; and most of the
men were engaged in laying out what they would do, and where they would go,
and how they would spend their money when they got it. While getting the
anchors over, one of the small coasters which we had seen in the morning
passed our bows under a press of sail, and stood in closer to the land. At 6
P.M. we furled the mizzen topsail, and at 8 P.M.
backed the main top-sail and laid to all night."
Next day they took a pilot and at 3 P.M. cast anchor in
Hobson's Bay, opposite the Light house. Several American ships, some that had
sailed before and some after the Hindoo, were also at anchor there. Times were reported to be "very hard ashore, thousands
with nothing to do and nothing to eat." Notwithstanding this, the crew wished
at once to get away.
"As the captain was getting into a boat to go ashore, the men came aft in a
body and requested their discharge, which being refused, they declared their
intention of doing no more work. After supper the mate came forward and
ordered the men to pick anchor watches, which they agreed to do after some
parley. The mate told Jim and me to keep watch in the cabin until 12 and then
call him. This I did until 10, when, after having a feast of butter, sugar and
bread in the pantry, I turned in, leaving Jim to call the mate."
For several days the men refused to work, demanding to see the American
Consul, and on Wednesday, four days after casting anchor, the captain got the
Consul aboard. The Consul "took his seat on the booby hatch with the shipping
articles before him," and called up the crew one by one. He finally "told the
men that, as the passage would not be up until the cargo was discharged, he
could do nothing until that time; but that Dutch John (the man who in the
early part of the passage fell from the main topgallant yard) was entitled to
his discharge if he wished it." The captain then promised that if they would
"remain by the ship until she was discharged, he would pay them their wages
and let them go in peace." They demanded this in writing, saying that he might
change his mind, "but the captain refused to give them any further guarantee
than his word." As they still desisted from work on the Hindoo, they were
taken off in a police boat, and sentenced to one month's hard labour in the
prison ship, at the end of which time, still refusing to work, they would
perhaps have been sentenced to further imprisonment if the captain had not
reached court too late to appear against them. Before he sailed, the captain
had to ship a new crew.
There is nothing in the journal to indicate that the boy thought Captain
Miller unjust, but the incident made an indelible impression, revealing the
tremendous powers for tyranny the navigation laws put into the hands of a
captain, and this was to inspire a remarkable fight for sailor's rights in
years to come.
The ship lay in Hobson's Bay twenty-nine days discharging charge and taking
in ballast. Captain Miller in his account says: "Henry went up to Melbourne
once, but did not see much to admire." Perhaps the boy saw more than the
captain realised, for thirty-five years later, in a speech in Melbourne, he
said, that he had a vivid recollection of it – "its busy streets, its
seemingly continuous auctions, its crowds of men with flannel shirts and long
thigh boots, its bay crowded with ships." No letters written from there now
exist, but it is clear that the Australia of his dreams did not appear to be
such a wonderful place after all; that there was not much gold in sight and
that in this respect the "Land of Promise" was something of a disappointment.
Land monopolisation and speculation had set in and cut off the poor man's
access to nature's storehouse.
Other dreams were to be dissipated on reaching India. The best description of
the passage and arrival there is found in a letter to his father and mother,
dated Calcutta, December 12, 1855.
"We hove up anchor in Hobson's Bay about 11 o'clock on the 24th of September,
made sail, proceeded down the bay under charge of a pilot, and at about 5
P.M. passed the heads and discharged the pilot. After leaving
Port Philip and until we had rounded Cape Lewin we had strong winds, mostly
head, and cool weather.... Then the weather gradually became milder as we got
to the northward, with fair, though not very strong winds. Near the line we
had light airs, not even sufficient to fill the sails, but under the pressure
of which the ship would go two or three miles per hour. We crossed the line
November 5, when 42 days out.... From this place until we arrived at about
10° north we had the same fair airs as on the other side of the line, with
every prospect of a short passage. Then the wind became stronger and more
variable, but dead ahead. It would seldom blow from one point of the compass
for more than an hour. Indeed, it seemed as if a second Jonah was aboard, for
tack as often as we would, the wind was sure to head us off.... Progress under
the circumstances was impossible. For over a week we did not gain a single
inch to the northward. What she would make one hour she would lose the next.
During this time the weather was delightful, warm without being uncomfortably
so, and so pleasant that sleeping on deck could be practised with impunity.
"At length on the morning of the 29th of November the colour of the water
suddenly changed to green, and by noon we were abreast of the lightship, which
marks the outer pilot station. The tide was running so strongly that with the
light air we could hardly hold our own against it. About 3
P.M., in obedience to a signal from the pilot brig, we cast
anchor with 30 fathoms of chain, furled all sail, and cleared up decks for the
night. At 8 P.M. set anchor-watch and turned in for all
Then came the first impressions of the country – impressions that always
afterward remained vivid and helped before long to direct thought to social
questions; that changed the fancied India – the place of dreamy luxury,
of soft and sensuous life – into the real India, with its extremes of
light and shadow, of poverty and riches, of degradation and splendour; where
the few have so much, the many so little; where jewels blaze in the trappings
of elephants, but where, as he has since said in talking with his son Richard,
"the very carrion birds are more sacred than human life!" These impressions
are preserved in a description of the trip to Calcutta up the Hooghly branch
of the Ganges River scribbled in pencil on the back pages of one of the
ARRIVAL AT GARDEN BEACH AND
IMPRESSIONS OF THE TOWN.
"Mon. Dec. 3. We turned out about 3 A.M. and after some heavy
heaving got up anchor. About 5 A.M. we were taken in tow by the
steamer and proceeded up the river. The night air was misty and chilly and a
monkey jacket proved very comfortable. The day soon began to break, revealing
a beautiful scene. The river, at times very broad and again contracting its
stream into a channel hardly large enough for a ship of average size to turn
in, was bordered by small native villages, surrounded by large fruit trees,
through which the little bamboo huts peeped. As we advanced, the mists which
had hitherto hung over the river cleared away, affording a more extensive
prospect. The water was covered with boats of all sizes, very queer looking to
the eye of an American. They were most of them bound to Calcutta with the
produce and rude manufactures of the country – bricks, tiles, earths,
pots, etc. They had low bows and very high sterns. They were pulled by from
four to ten men, and steered by an old fellow wrapped up in a sort of cloth,
seated on a high platform at the stern. Some had sails to help them along, in
which there were more holes than threads. On the banks the natives began to go
to their daily toil, some driving cattle along, others loading boats with
grain, while the women seemed busy with their domestic affairs. As we
approached the city, the banks on both sides were lined with handsome country
residences of the wealthy English. About 10 A.M. we came to
Garden Beach, where, as there was no Harbour Master's Assistant ready to take
us up, we were obliged to drop both anchors. After getting fairly moored we
had a little time to look around us. The river which here takes a sudden bend,
was crowded with ships of all nations, and above nothing could be seen but a
forest of masts. On the right hand or Calcutta side, are the East India
Company's works, for repairing their steamers, numbers of which, principally
iron, were undergoing repairs. On the other side was an immense palace-like
structure (the residence, I believe, of some wealthy Englishman) surrounded by
beautiful lawns and groves. The river was covered with boats and presented a
bustling scene. One feature which is peculiar to Calcutta was the number of
dead bodies floating down in all stages of decomposition, covered by crows who
were actively engaged in picking them to pieces. The first one I saw filled me
with horror and disgust, but like the natives, you soon cease to pay any
attention to them.
"Tues. Dec. 4. About 4.30 A.M. the Harbour Master came along
side and we were roused up to get up anchors.... It astonished me to see with
what ease the pilot took the vessel up... steering her amidst the maze of
vessels as easily as if she was at sea. The port seemed crowded with vessels,
a large proportion of them American, some of which I recognised as having seen
at Philadelphia. At length about 10 A.M. we cast anchor off our
intended moorings. About 2 P.M. we hauled in and made fast
along side of an English clipper, the British Lion. After getting all
fast we had dinner and cleared up decks and squared the yards."
While the ship lay at her moorings, visits were made to Barrapore, eighteen
miles away, and other places of interest in the vicinity, and the boy saw
those things that are observed generally by travellers. But the event of
perhaps most interest to him was the receipt on December 10 of letters from
home – the first since he had left. His father sent family news and said:
"Your little brig is safely moored on the mantelpiece. First thing when we
wake, our eyes rest upon her, and she reminds us of our dear sailor boy."
The mother's letter also touched on family matters, but gave chief place to
other things engaging her devout mind.
"And now for the news. The best news just now is the religious news – a
great work going on in New York and Philadelphia and all the principal cities
of the Union; prayer-meetings all over the land; all denominations uniting
together in solemn, earnest prayer; Jayne's Hall (you know its size) is
crowded to excess, even those large galleries literally packed with men of the
highest respectability – merchants, bankers, brokers, all classes. Those
who have never entered a church and have hitherto scoffed at religion meet at
this prayer-meeting every day to hear the word of God road and solemn prayer
offered for their conversion.... I might fill many pages to show you that this
is truly the work of God – the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.... That
same Holy Influence will be given to all that ask for it in simple faith:
'Lord, teach me to pray.'"
The event to the lad next in interest to the receipt of home letters was the
acquisition of a pet monkey, of which he wrote in later years:
"I bought in Calcutta, when a boy, a monkey, which all the long way home would
pillow her little head on mine as I slept, and keep off my face the
cockroaches that infested the old Indiaman by catching them with her hands
and cramming them into her maw. When I got her home, she was so jealous of a
little brother that I had to part with her to a lady who had no children."
In his account of the voyage, Captain Miller says that the ship left Calcutta
with quite a menagerie of monkeys and birds aboard, but that before long
"Harry's was the only survivor." The others died or got away, two of the
sailors without intentional cruelty throwing theirs over board to see "which
would swim ashore first," but the animals quickly drowned. The boy cherished
his little creature most fondly; though for that matter he always showed a
warm love for animals, and this was but one of a great number that he had
about him during his life.
On the 15th of January, 1856, the Hindoo having completed her loading,
consisting of nearly twelve hundred tons of rice, seeds, etc., took a new crew
aboard and started down the river, homeward bound. Henry George at the time
estimated that he would have when he reached New York and settled his accounts
"about fifty dollars to take clear of everything – not much for thirteen
or fourteen months." The distance down the Hooghly from Calcutta to the sea is
eighty miles, but what with head winds, the scarcity of tow boats and a broken
windlass, the vessel was twenty days making the passage, during which time the
hot weather played havoc with the fresh provisions, so that the crew was the
sooner reduced to "salt horse and biscuit." Light winds blew down the bay of
Bengal and the ship crossed the equator on the 23rd of February. On the 27th
the cook, Stephen Anderson, fell sick and young George went into the galley
temporarily. The journal says:
"Wed. Feb. 27. Cook laid up. Went into the galley.
"(Not having written down the events of the intervening space, I do not
remember them fully, being obliged to work pretty hard.)
"Sun. Mar. 2. Fine clear day. Breeze from S.W., course, S.S.E. For several
days there have been thousands of fish playing around, but, although the men
tried hard to catch them, they were unsuccessful until this morning, when an
albicore was captured. The mate made sea-pie for all hands for supper. 8
P.M. sail in sight.
"Mon. Mar. 3. Calm all day. The cook so weak that he cannot raise a spoon to
his mouth. I think it a chance whether he lives.
"Tues. Mar. 4. Calm, fine day. Cook seems a little stronger, but can scarcely
"Wed. Mar. 5. Commenced with breeze from W.N.W.; course S.S.W. Four sail in
sight. Last evening the cook appeared a great deal stronger, getting up and
moving about, turning in and out; but still could scarcely speak. About 7
A.M. he was taken with a fit, when he was brought on deck and
laid by the capstan. About 11.30 A.M. he died. He was sewed up
and buried at 5 P.M."
The cook having gone, the boy, to his great satisfaction, for he had an
extreme distaste for the task, was superseded in the galley by one of the
crew, who remained there for the rest of the voyage. The ship passed the Cape
of Good Hope on April 13 and within sight of St. Helena on the 27th. On May 12
she crossed the equator for the fourth time during the voyage. Long before
that date the journal entries had become short, and after May 6 stopped
altogether, possibly because there was a great deal of work to do in handling,
cleaning, repairing and painting the ship. April opened with this entry:
"April 1, 1856. Lat, 31, S.; long, 40, E. One year has passed since the
Sunday when I took farewell of my friends – to me an eventful year; one
that will have a great influence in determining my position in life; perhaps
more so than I can at present see. O that I had it to go over again! Homeward
bound! In a few months I hope to be in Philadelphia once more."
And it was not long before he was home, for on June 14, after an absence of
one year and sixty-five days, and from Calcutta one hundred and fifty days,
the Hindoo completed her long journey and dropped anchor in New York Bay.
 When a boy, his mother would frequently buy a piece
of sweet suet and melting it down, would mix with its oil or fat a little
bergamot, thereby making a pomade for the hair. Henry George never during his
life liked fats with his meat at the table, and at times would say in the
family that it was because when a boy he had to put it on his head. Not
withstanding the use of the hair preparation, he and all his brothers followed
their father and grew bald early.
 "In the last generation a full-rigged Indiaman
would be considered a very large vessel if she registered 500 tons. Now we are
building coasting schooners of 1000 tons" – "Social Problems," Chap. V.
(Memorial edition, p.46.)
 In the back pages of this little journal are some
historical, scientific and other notes probably made while reading. These bear
date as late as April, 1859, at which time its owner was in California.
 "In later years I have sometimes 'supped with
Lucullus,' without recalling what he gave me to eat, whereas I remember to
this day ham and eggs of my first breakfast on a canal-packet drawn by horses
that actually trotted; how sweet hard-tack, munched in the middle watch while
the sails slept in the trade-wind, has tasted; what a dish for a prince was
sea-pie on the rare occasions when a pig had been killed or a porpoise
harpooned; and how good was the plum-duff that came to the forecastle only on
Sundays and great holidays. I remember as though it were an hour ago, that,
talking to myself rather than to him, I said to a Yorkshire sailor on my first
voyage: 'I wish I were home, to get a piece of pie.' I recall his expression
and tone, for they shamed me, as he quietly said: 'Are you sure you would find
a piece of pie there?' Thoughtless as the French princess who asked why the
people who were crying for bread did not try cake, 'Home' was associated in my
mind with pie of some sort – apple or peach or sweet-potato or cranberry
or mince – to be had for the taking, and I did not for the moment
realise that in many homes pie was as rare a luxury as plums in our sea-duff."
– "The Science of Political Economy," p.352.
 "Thirty years ago ship-building had reached such a
pitch of excellence in this country that we built not only for ourselves, but
for other nations. American ships were the fastest sailers, the largest
carriers and everywhere got the quickest dispatch and the highest freights.
The registered tonnage of the United States almost equalled that of Great
Britain, and a few years promised to give us the unquestionable supremacy of
the ocean." – "Protection or Free Trade," chap. XVIII. (Memorial
Edition, p.186). Captain Marryat, a by no means flattering critic of
Americans, in his "Diary in America" (First Series), Philadelphia, 1839, says,
p.186: "It appears, then, that from various causes, onr merchant vessels have
lost their sailing properties, whilst the Americans have the fastest sailers
in the world; and it is for that reason, and no other, that, although sailing
at a much greater expense, the Americans can afford to outbid us, and take all
our best seamen."
 Sunrise Case in San Francisco.
 "The Science of Political Economy," p.30.