Death Ships

I have had lots of enquiries about the status of my book about six big North American built ships: Shackamaxon, Beejapore, Ticonderoga, Marco Polo, Wanata and Bourneuf. I know many of you are undertaking family research and have identified one of these ships as transport to the colonies for family members.

The manuscript has been finished for sometime and edited. I think we are a step closer to publication. I had hope it would be available by now but publication at the best of times is a lengthy process.

The discovery of gold in 1851 is central to the story as it caused an incredible amount of disruption to life and work in the colonies. As a consequence of so many workers departing to the gold fields there was an urgent and enormous demand in the colonies for replacement labour.

This is where the six big ships enter the story as transport for the replacement emigrants. The story is complicated by the use of Liverpool as the point of embarkation and by the fact that there were many epidemic and endemic diseases in the community during the Victorian era.

Each of the six ships were magnificent looking newly built clipper style vessels (like the Marco Polo below) but their use as transport for large numbers of emigrants was unfortunate and tragic.


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