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Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 2]
Title : Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 2] Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 2]
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Creator : Gemmell, Thomas
Source : Gemmell, Thomas, D 7730(L)
Date of creation : 1840
Format : Manuscript
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Michael Gemmell. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Michael Gemmell and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :


In page 2 of his letter home Thomas describes the passage of the India down the Atlantic Ocean; passing the Canary Islands, whales and schools of porpoises. They passed a number of ships and Thomas considered that the India was one of the fastest ships. There was a little difficulty at one of the islands it called at when the governor refused to let the passengers ashore. This order was later rescinded. The passengers bought lots of oranges and other fruit here. After crossing the equator, where he was shaved as part of the 'crossing the line' celebrations, Thomas took his bedding on deck and enjoyed sleeping in the open air.

Thomas Gemmell was born in 1820 and was not yet 20 years old when he embarked on his voyage to the other side of the world. The India arrived in Port Adelaide in February 1840 after a hard passage in which it was dismasted twice. Thomas eventually settled in Strathalbyn in South Australia and successfully cultivated wheat for several years before changing to sheep raising. He died in 1897.
Related names :

Barr, William

Coverage year : 1839-40
Further reading :

Adelaide Observer 19 June 1897 page 24, col. a-b The late Mr Thomas Gemmell

Gemmell, Nancy, Old Strathalbyn and its people, 1839-1939 Adelaide: National Trust of South Australia, 1995

Haines, Robin Life and death in the age of sail: the passage to Australia Sydney, N.S.W.: University of New South Wales Press, 2003

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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