Ticket to board the clipper ship Ascutna

Thomas Pierson sailed, with his wife Frances, and son Mason, on the clipper ship Ascutna from New York to Port Phillip on a ticket costing $450.00.  This ticket afforded them a 1st class cabin, exclusively for their use.  A large crowd of well wishers joined the owners and agents of the ship on the steamer tug boat which ferried the Ascutna down to Staten Island.

"There was shouts of hurahs, cheers, waveing handkerchiefs, hats etc etc, firing of pistols, farewells, music etc whitch was continued both on our ship and the steamer until she faded from our sight. One person hid himself on board our ship hoping he would not be noticed and get on free, but he was found and put ashore."

A slight breeze and heavy rolling seas made for a slow start to the voyage:

"...ship pitched so much we could hardly walk, Frances and Mason sea sick, me well. Franny drank salt water and at middle of the afternoon a good deal better. Mason better also.  About 30 on board very sick... ...a young man who engaged as assistant steward was very sick, he took his luggage and went back with the pilot 'to die' as he said."


Thomas Pierson, Diaries (2 volumes). 30 September 1852 - 12 April 1864


Accession number: MS 11646


From the State Library of Victoria's Manuscripts Collection.


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Thomas Pierson