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Henry Long's diary from his voyage from New York to Melbourne on the ALBUS

Date: 1852 - 1853
Dimensions:
Overall: 173 × 110 × 22 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Henry Long
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Diary
Object No: 00000497
Related Place:Good Hope, Cape of, New York, Cape Town, Port Phillip Bay,

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    Description
    A handwritten diary documenting Henry Long's voyage from New York to Melbourne departing on the Sunday December 5th 1852 aboard the ALBUS. The last entry is Tuesday april 5th, 1853.
    SignificanceAustralia was a destination in the mid-18th century foe emigrants to seek a new life. Their voyage on ships such as the ALBUS was dangerous and certainly extremely uncomfortable. Accounts such as this diary by Henry Long tell of the trials and uncertainty faced by all emigrants, even once they had arrived at their 'Eldorado'.
    HistoryThe diary begins on Sunday December 5 1852 in New York when Henry Long boarded the ALBUS carrying 200 passengers to Melbourne. Most of these would have been bound for the gold rush, then about 18 months old. Shipboard life quickly seems to have settled into a routine once initial bouts of seasickness had been overcome. The route taken was the normal one between Australia and the Americas via the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town. This port was reached on February 15 and Long's entries for the next 10 days describe touring the city and its environs. He notes that there are a large number of vessels her bound for Australia. Having left Cape Town his thoughts turn to his final destination. On March 23rd 1853, he writes 'we are quite busy making our tent to live in when we get to the gold mines'. Finally on April 7 'we came in sight of land, the Eldorado of all our hopes, all are straining their eyes to the upmost to behold Australia for the first time'. By April 10 Port Philip Bay had been reached 'This bay of Port Phillip is very fine as well as very large. We let go our anchor at a past 5,126 days from York, the news from the mines [?]Is not very good, but here we are, I suppose we shall have to make the best of it'.
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