Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST, Jim Hancock Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast (40) RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast 22 Jan 07


From a technical point of view it doesn't ring true, people are just not heavy enough to act as ballast on a sailing ship, even if you laid them one on top of another right down in the bottom of the ship.
How many tons of people would you need to effectively balance each ton of coal? Far easier to put the coal in the hold and charge the people to ride on top. In any case you don't need to feed 20 tons of rock.
It's worth remembering that the causes of cholera and similar diseases were not fully understood at the time, Cholera was endemic throughout Europe and outbreaks were common on all ships regardless of the passenger manifest. However the cheapest emigrant ships were also the slowest, consequently although emigrants already infected certainly took passage an all ships the longer crossing time gave the disease a greater opportunity to take hold.

All the best

Jim Hancock


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.