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ship Dirigo, 1,282 tons, Captain Joseph Trevellick, was orginally scheduled to sail from Birkenhead (Liverpool), around the 23rd June 1854, for Port Adelaide, South Australia . . .

. . . however,
the ship Dirigo was forced to put into Queenstown (Cork) due to a cholera outbreak aboard. The ship was towed back to Liverpool by the steam vessel Minerva, arriving there on July 10th 1854. Of the 518 passengers and 51 crew-members, there were 44 deaths recorded as of July 11th. ... the following extracts are from some of the communications, including lists' of names.
This extract will begin at the end, pages 27-30, as those contain the "Report" presented after the Dirigo finally sailed again from Liverpool on August 9th 1854, with emigrants for South Australia.

    Report | Deaths | Correspondence | Memorialists | more Correspondence & Commendations &c.
Copy of a REPORT from C.S. Bailey, Esq., to S. Walcott, Esq.
The Depôt, Birkenhead,
10 August, 1854.

    I have the honour to report that the ship Dirigo, left the Mersey at 7 p.m. yesterday the 9th instant, to continue her voyage to Adelaide, having 420 statute adults on board, all in good health and spirits.
    I avail myself of this opportunity to furnish you with a report of the circumstances connected with this vessel which have come under my immediate observation.

    She was to have been ready for the reception of her emigrants at noon on Friday, the 24th June, but owing to various delays, the whole of her passengers could not be embarked before the 3rd of July ; and although moved into the Mersey on the 29th June, she could not, from the rainy and tempestuous weather, finally sail until the 6th July.
    At the final muster of the emigrants on the 4th of July, when the sailing orders were delivered, the number on board was equal to 426 statute adults ; and with the exception of diarrhoea among children (a very common complaint in emigrant ships at starting), and the case of an emigrant named Nottage, who was recovering from an attack of the same malady, all the people answered to their names, and were to all appearance in good health.
    I can only add to this, that the Dirigo is a fine large ship of about 1,200 tons measurement, with plenty of beam and lofty 'tween decks ; and that after all the emigrants were comfortably berthed, there were vacant berths sufficient to have accommodated 20 more.
    On the 8th of July, Lieutenant Prior communicated to me the receipt of your telegraphic message, announcing that the Dirigo had put into Cork with cholera on board, and the probable return of the ship to Liverpool. I immediately took steps for providing such out-hospital room for the accommodation of the sick as was at my disposal, and for the reception into the depôt of the healthy emigrants, in case the ship should return to Liverpool.
    Our out-hospital room, I may mention, had some time since been suddenly reduced to one-half of its original accomodation, in consequence of the premptory notice to quit received from the owner of one of the two houses engaged for this object ; and although great efforts had been made by the direction of the Board to obtain other premises, instead of the house given up, they were unsuccessful, and were were able to prepare only 10 beds. These were made ready, and all our depôt arrangements, completed before the following evening, Sunday the 9th of July.
    The Dirigo reached the Mersey from Cork the next morning at five o'clock, but instead of being allowed to enter the Birkenhead Dock, she was ordered to the quarantine station by the Customs' officers at Liverpool. Lieutenant Prior reported to you the subsequent release of the ship, and his unsuccessful attempt to obtain admission for the sick into any of the Liverpool or Birkenhead public hospitals, and also the reluctance of the authorities to allow the emigrants, sick or healthy, to be re-landed at all.
    I may here observe, as a fact coming within my own knowledge, that we were not indebted to the corporate action of the Birkenhead Commissioners, or to that of the Guardians of the Wirral Union, for the eventual landing of the people, or for those other arrangements which we were subsequently able to effect for their well-being. The Board of Guardians of the Wirral Union, as far as I could gather from the desultory nature of the proceedings at the meeting of the 11th of July, which I attended with Lieutenant Prior, concurred, with the exception of two or three of their members, in the opinion expressed by their medical officer, Mr. Stephens, viz., that the emigrants ought not to be removed from the ship, as that was the best place for their treatment and recovery from cholera. But notwithstanding the objection which we knew to exist generally as regards the landing of these people in Birkenhead, I had succeeded, with the assistance of the depôt servants, in bringing ashore in a steamer about 300 of the healthy emigrants, at 1 a.m. on the 11th of July ; large fires at both ends of the dining hall having been previously lighted, and tea already made to serve them. The thankfulness of these people at finding themselves once more in the depôt, and as they said, out of danger, more than repaid the anxiety of those engaged in attending their wants.
    One considerable advantage resulted, however, from the meeting of the Guardians to which I have just alluded. A deputation (consisting fortunately of some of the dissidents from Mr. Stephens' opinion), to which Lieutenant Prior, the Rev. Mr. Welch, the depôt chaplain, and myself were added, was formed for the purpose of waiting upon the officer of the Liverpool Board of Health, Captain Bevis, to ascertain the practicability of having a hulk, then moored in one of the docks, brought out into the river, and fitted in time to meet the emergency of the case ; but while on our way to Liverpool, Lieutenant Prior urged upon the gentlemen accompanying us the superior advantage of carrying out a suggestion, made, I believe, by Mr. Welch, to build an iron house as a cholera hospital in some spot at a distance from the town, which could be got ready in a few hours. This plan, too, it was thought might probably remove the great repugnance which prevailed at the meeting of the Wirral Board of Guardians to adopt any other course than that of keeping the emigrants on board the Dirago, or of removing them into a hulk. Lieutenant Prior's recommendation was finally agreed to at Messrs. Coltart,s, the owners of the ship : thanks to their offer to bear all the expenses connected with the erection of the house. Is is, however, but an act of justice to state that Mr. Case, a member of the Wirral Board of Guardians, afterwards accompanied me to Mr. Laird, who readily granted us a piece of land, and to Mr. Hemming, the iron jouse builder ; and I consider that, but for the assistance of these gentlemen, the great progress which was made towards the construction and putting up of the building, before the close of the same day, Tuesday, could not have been effected. The iron house was calculated to hold about 35 beds, which, together with the 10 beds in our old out-hospital, gave 45 beds in all.
    I have already reported to you the circumstances under which, after our own arrangements for providing hospital room were on the point of completion, we had an offer from the relieving officer at Birkenhead, on Wednesday evening, the 12th of July, to admit some of our cholera patients into the Union Infirmary. Accordingly, a second party, consisting of 65 emigrants, were landed at 3 a.m. on the 13th ; and the sick, in all about 25, were conveyed to that place.
At this time there were only 20 people remaining in the ship, chiefly sick and convalescent ; and when they were landed on the following night, they were divided between the depôt, our own out-hospital, and the infirmary.
    I did not, however, overlook, while attending to my other duties, the importance of carrying out the Commissioner's instructions to induce the people to take daily walking exercise in the country.
    On several occasions I took parties of women and children to spend part of the day in the park, adjoining Birkenhead, regaling them with cakes and milk ; at another time, I hired half a dozen spring carts, and conveyed the whole of the people, men, women, and children, a few miles into the country ; giving them, in addition to their usual rations, which we took with us, a liberal supply of cakes and milk, and a small allowance of beer for the men ; and still further to encourage them to take exercise in the open air, away from the town, a notice was posted at the depôt, that such as might desire it should have cooked rations for the whole day served out to them in the morning.
    I have much gratification in pointing to the success which attended these simple efforts to promote the healthful recreation and amusement of these people ; for instead of leaving, en masse, dispirited and discontented, long before the time came for a general muster preparatory to re-embarkation, good health, good spirits, and confidence were restored, and the number of those who had returned to their homes, instead of being 250, as at first threatened, did not exceed 50 adults altogether ; that is to say, the number in adults of the original passengers who re-embarked was about 300.
    The deaths on board the Dirigo, between the time she left the Mersey and her return to the river on the 10th of July, were 31 in number, viz. 30 cholera cases, including the elder Nottage, and one case (Nottages's daughter) not reported cholera. Ten more died in the river before the last of the people were re-landed on the morning of the 14th of July.
    Out of the 300 healthy emigrants admitted into the depôt on the 11th July, 51 were prescribed for on that day, including cases of cholera, diarrhoea, colds, &c. Eight of these afterwards proving cases of acute cholera, were removed to the out-hospitals. Between the 12th and the 17th, when the last case occurred among the emigrants, only three more cases of acute cholera had been removed, besides one of the depôt nurses ; and patients under treatment at the depôt was reduced on the 21st to two persons.
    There were altogether 58 patients in the depôt, from first to last, labouring under premontitory symptoms of cholera. These, with the exception of those already named as having been removed to the out-hospital, yielded to medical treatment. The number of patients admitted into our own out-hospital was 12, including the depôt nurse. Of these, four recovered, six died, and two were removed to the infirmary.
    The number of patients admitted into the infirmary was 37, including one of the seamen of the ship, who still remains under medical treatment ; of the rest 10 died and 26 recovered.
    There were therefore 47 cases of acute cholera in all after the ship returned to the Mersey, 35 of which were landed in that state from the ship, and 12, who had been admitted into the depôt, afterward attacked. Out of these 47 there were 16 deaths and 31 recoveries. The total mortality from first to last was 57.

I have, &c.  
(signed)    C. Stuart Bailey  .

Copy of a LETTER from W.L. Echlin, Esq., to S. Walcott, Esq.
Dirigo, Birkenhead Dock,  
14 July 1854    
I beg to forward to you a list of the late sufferers on board the ship Dirigo, Joseph Trevellick, commander, which is dated from the 5th to the 14th instant.
I have, &c.  
(signed)    William L. Echlin  .
LIST of Deaths on board the Dirigo, from the 5th to the 14th July 1854
    the families of those marked with * are thought to have continued to Australia aboard Dirigo
  Name Married Single Children  
  James Mathison           1 Diarrhoea
  Eliza Nottage       13     Cholera
  John Nottage 39          
  Edward Bentley 46          
* Jane Turnbull   55        
? Duncan Frazier 28          
? James Kelly 20          
* William McAlpine 55          
* John McAlpine     7       Consumption
  Jane Donkin   20         Cholera
  Mary Foster   31        
  Martha Taylor       17    
  Rose Henry       28    
  Ann Doory       31    
* Andrew Scott     12      
* Martha Winton   21        
  Margaret Ogstone       26    
  William H. Francis         1  
  Flora Kennedy       25    
* James Shelton         1  
* Jennett Amos   28        
  Agnes Dick   47        
? Thomas Millar 35          
  Janet Davidson   48        
* James Turnbull     24      
? John Dell / (Dale ?)         1  
* Mary Assherton   22        
  John Morris           1 (?)
  Shepherd Morris   24        
  David Morris 24          
  William Simpson 22          
  Margaret Simpson   23        
  Hugh Simpson         1  
  Ann Frances       11    
* Charles Sadler         2  
* John Sadler           1 (?)
* James Mullins     26      
* Mary Allebrand   39        
  Mary Kennedy           1
  Ann McKey           1
  James Gellespie 28          
* Lawrence Campbell         3  
* John Shelton 24          
  Michael Nealy 45          
      wife Anne Nealy and daughter Ellen, still sick in hospital as of August 4th 1854.
  Ann Kerr (Margaret ?)       35    
  11 11 4 8 6 5 .....................45
Died at the Depôt to 12 p.m., July 14th .......................4
Total ............49

   the following selected extracts are from pages 16-23
Copy of a LETTER from S. Walcott, Esq., to Lieutenant Prior, R.N.
15 July, 1854.
    I am directed by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th instant, reporting the progress of the emigrants of the Dirigo, and the measure you have taken for purifying the bedding and clothes.
    The Commissioners desire me to express their approval of your arrangements, and their satisfaction at the apparent arrest of the disease. In regard to alleged unwillingness of the people to be again embarked on board the Dirigo, the Commissioners are not surprised at such a a feeling at the present moment. But they trust that when the first alarm has worn off, and the people see the arrangements made for purifying the ship and making her wholesome, they will not object to re-embark in her. Perhaps it would be better not to urge them on the point too soon, but to allow them a little time to overcome their apprehensions.
I am, &c.  
(signed)    S. Walcott  .

Extract of a LETTER from Lieutenant Prior, R.N., to S. Walcott, Esq.;
dated Government Emigration Office, Liverpool, 15 July 1854.
    I beg to enclose the medical report of Dr. Holcombe from Birkenhead. The ship Dirigo is now undergoing a thorough cleaning, and I intend, as early as possible, to commence fumigating. The sailor who was expected to die is recovering, and is the only one on board the ship ; he was not sufficiently recovered to be removed.     *     *     *     *     I have given Dr. Echlin 48 hours' leave after his long and trying duties, which I believe he has performed with untiring attention. I feel confident the Commissioners will approve of this. I have also seen Mr. R.P. Evans, and Dr. Echlin's opinion is, that he will answer ; I have therefore ordered him to produce such documents as are necessary to satisfy me as to his general conduct.

My dear Prior, Birkenhead, Friday night, 14th July 1854
    Since yesterday I am sorry to say the cases of diarrhoea at the depôt have been on the increase, but for today I have had to prescribe for 18 others ; these, with 29 of yesterday, make 47 ; but I am happy to say many of them are not at all alarming, and after a dose or two of medicine will, I doubt not, do very well ; but this morning I was obliged to send a man and a boy to the workhouse hospital. Last night, or, more correctly speaking, this morning, between one and two o'clock, we landed the last of the sick passengers, who are going on well at the hospital. I was anxious to have landed them at an earlier hour, but the authorities would not hear of it, for fear our doing so would excite a mob. These landed, I ordered the boat to return to the ship for a corpse (one of the sailors), which was at once taken to the dead-house. As regards the landing of the sheeting and bags with clothes, at the onset, we met with an obstacle on the part of the crew ; the men refused to work in consequence of their comrades having caught the disease ; however, after a little coaxing, they consented, but, with the exception of two or three, they have abandoned the ship. Many of the passengers must have taken their clothes out of their bags (for the bags could not be found) and transferred them to boxes ; these therefore must be landed tomorrow.
    The report of the number of deaths having varied, I have just returned from the hospitals, and find only two died yesterday and two today, a much smaller number than was circulated abroad. I am happy to say they are all going on as well as can be expected. The rain of today has interrupted the progress of the iron house, but it is sure to be completed tomorrow.
    The doctor of the ship will wait upon you tomorrow at 10 o'clock.
Believe me, &c.  
(signed)    Charles Alexander Holcombe  .
    There is one sailor still on board too ill to be landed.
    Mr. Smith informs me that all the sheets and bags containing clothes are to be dipped into a solution of chloride of zinc. Will you give me orders about this ? only remember that the fluid is a bleaching liquid, and coloured things may be destroyed by so doing.

To the Government Colonial Land an Emigration Commissioners.
The Humble Memorial of the Passengers per Ship Dirigo.
    Most humbly showeth,
    That we consider the ship Dirigo quite unfit for us passengers to proceed in, as she is at all times damp, and very much given to leakage. We have the opinion of many of the sailors as to the above-mentioned fact, together with our own experience. We were on board for 14 days, and during that length of time she was constantly wet ; and we consider that the damp state of the ship tended greatly to the progress of the disease we had amongst the passengers.
    Memorialists are ready to give their sworn testimony as to the facts stated in this memorial.
    The passengers beg leave to state that our medical attendant allowed diseased passengers to come on board, which we consider was the first and principal cause of the fatal disease that swept so many of our passengers to an untimely end, as the passengers up to that unfortunate day were free from any infectious disease.
    Many of the memorialists further beg to state that the doctor wilfully neglected to attend many of the dying when called upon to do so, he not being occupied at the time more than walking on deck. Memorialists have many minor complaints to make that they consider too numerous to put here, as they hope for an inquiry into the whole case.
And memorialists, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
Archibald Kennedy Patrick Cacey James Clark
Robert McBeath George Hogarth George Thomson
John Hartnett Francis Omara John Laidlaw
Andrew Eglinton James Mahar Walter Laidlaw
Patrick O'Brien Richard Harnett Thomas Scott
Michael Davoren Michael Harnett Garrit More (Garrett Moore)
John Shelton James Milne Thomas Dale
James Davoren Andrew Thomson James Crowe
William Rogers Nathaniel Butterworth Henry Jennings
Thomas Byrns Patrick Crowe Thomas Hubbard
James Morony Maurice Moore James Newton
John Scott Michael Moore William Dale
Denis Davoren Daniel Omara Samuel Mindman (Hindman)
Samuel Inglis James McGregor Christian Ingles
John Gardiner Robert Marshall Isabel Turnbull
William Collie Charles Macleod Janet Turnbull
Robert Oliver William Bell Agnes Turnbull
John Denniston Thomas Thorpe Margaret Turnbull
John K. Inches James Turnbull Mary Hogarth
Thomas Stanton John McEwen Helen Hogarth
Angus Mackay Andrew Hogarth Helen Waters
Robert Dalgliesh William McAlpine Isabella McAlpine
William Lauder John McDonald Christina Spalding
Andrew Brookman Alexander Ross Jane Thomson
Robert Smith Martin McDonald Jessie Thomson
James Outon George Amos Ellen Power
George Inglis John Dale Mary Delany
Donald McBeath John Nicholson Elizabeth Hobkirk
John Duncanson Edmund Retchford Margaret Spalding
John Wilson William Nolan Jane King
William Mills Edward Nolan Christian McAlpine
Walter Holkirk / Hobkirk Daniel Polson Jessie Gollam
David Kirkwood James Henry Margaret McIntyre
George Dick Richard Retchford Margaret Hemption
Ewen Rankin John Corbet Marian Ross
James Turton his
Michael    X     Durick
Margaret Milroy
John Huffer Isabella McKinnan
John Mullins Jane Goray
John Lynch William Winton Elizabeth Ramsay
Thomas Matthews Jasper Muir Anne Duguid
    15 July 1854.
The majority of the 118 passengers who signed this memorial, re-embarked on Dirigo, see passenger list ; note the name spelling variations and / or spelling errors even included within the list above. Some for example, like Edmund & Richard Retchford (and mother Mary Ann) and Archibald Kennedy and family appear to have embarked on the James Fernie, which departed Liverpool August 18th and arrived at Adelaide six days before Dirigo.

Copy of a LETTER from S. Walcott, Esq., to Lieutenant Prior, R.N.
19 July, 1854.
    I am directed by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to inform you that they have received and had under consideration a memorial from a number of passengers by the Dirigo, complaining that the vessel is damp ; that passengers were received on board in a state of disease, and that the surgeon neglected his duties. The memorialists, on these and other grounds which they do not specify, request an inquiry into the whole case.
    The Commissioners request you to assure the memorialists of their anxiety to promote in every way the comfort and well-being of passengers sent out in Government ships. In respect to the alleged dampness of the Dirigo, the Commissioners apprehend that the extreme dampness of the weather at the time she sailed would have made any ship damp, and that the fault was not in the ship itself. The memorialists may feel confident that every precaution will be taken thoroughly to dry the ship before any persons are re-embarked in her, and you will, of course, look to the caulking of the deck and topsides, in case it may have suffered since the ship was originally inspected.
    In respect to the presence of passengers in a state of disease on board when the Dirigo sailed, there seems so reason to doubt that when the ship cleared out the passengers were all apparently in good health. Sickness having broken out so immediately afterwards, shows, no doubt, that the seeds of it were latent in the ship at that times ; but that is a fact which human skill is unable to detect, especially in the case of cholera, where the disease often appears in its most malignant form without any warning at all. Nothing can be further from the practise or wishes of the Commissioners than to allow any vessel to proceed to sea, in an unhealthy condition.
    With respect to the alleged neglect of the surgeon, the Commissioners observe that the complaint is not concurred in by all the memorialists. They can scarcely doubt, from the accounts transmitted to them respecting the surgeon, that the complaint has arisen from some mistake, perhaps not unnatural in the agitation and alarm of the moment, in regard to the surgeon's conduct. You may assure the memorialists, however, that the Dirigo will not be sent to sea again without a second surgeon on board to assist Mr. Echlin in his arduous duties, and without a full supply of medicines and medical comforts. And the Commissioners hope that her future voyage will be as prosperous as those of other ships which have in the same way put back with sickness, and have, after being cleansed and purified, beend sent to sea again and reached the Australian colonies without any return of sickness.
I am, &c.  
(signed)    S. Walcott  .

Copy of a LETTER from Lieutenant Prior, R.N., to S. Walcott, Esq.
Government Emigrantion Office,
18 July 1854.    
    I beg to send forward a letter received from the surgeon-superintendent, with remarks on the ship Dirigo. With regard to hospitals, I quite agree with the surgeon as to the desirableness of having the hospitals placed in the poop, as also his suggestion as to the appointment of nurses for the hospitals. With regard to the pumping of the ship, I will see it carried out in the Dirigo, and all other ships, if it meet the approbation of the Commissioners.
    I also enclose a list of passengers who rendered great service during the sickness on board the Dirigo. I would beg to recommend them to the favourable consideration of the Commissioners. The patients are all going on well, both in the hospital and the iron house.
I am sorry to inform you that one of the nurses appointed to the depôt hospital has been seized with cholera this morning, which I fear will be fatal. There has also been one of the passengers sent to hospital as a doubtful case.
I have, &c.  
(signed)    T.H. Prior, Lieut. R.N.  
Government Emigration Officer .
the unnamed nurse did die of cholera

Sir, Birkenhead, 18th July 1854
    I also draw your attention to the position of the male and female hospitals on board the ship Dirigo, now in the Birkenhead Docks.
    These hospitals are situated at the extremities of the lower deck, in juxtaposition with the healthy.
    Around the male hospital the first cases of cholera took place, and many of the passengers would not be persuaded to occupy their births on account of their proximity to the hospitals.
    Had the situation of these hospitals been in a different part of the ship, the sick could have been instantly separated from the healthy, and by doing so prevent the possibility of a panic such as took place.
    The part of the ship that I would recommend for an hospital would be the poop-deck, as it is isolated from all other parts of the ship ; it is light, cool, well-ventilated, with bath-room attached, and easy to access.
    I would also recommend for your consideration that four nurses be appointed, or one for every fifty passengers (two male and two female nurses.)
    I would also draw your attention to the pumping of the ship ; the water is very offensive, and ought to be carried from the pump to the outside of the ship by means of a hose.
    Hoping that you will excuse me troubling you with these few remarks,
Lieutenant Prior. I have, &c.  
(signed)    William L. Echlin  .
Surgeon Superintendent    

Birkenhead, 18th July 1854
    I beg to forward to you the names of those persons who were on board the ship Dirigo during the late outbreak of cholera, and devoted themselves to the services of their afflicted fellow-passengers.
The matron, Miss Carter Jane Gray
Margaret Anderson Margaret Milroy
Elizabeth Ramsey (Ramsay) Mrs. Eggleton (Eglinton)
Ellen Rooney Mr. and Mrs. Short
Isabella McGregor Thomas Staunton (Stanton)
Lear Larmouth ? John Saddler
Eleanor Harrison William Garth
with the exception of the matron, Miss Carter, and the yet unidentified "Lear Larmouth" and Margaret Milroy,
all these passengers re-embarked on Dirigo
    There are 13 of the ship's company whose names willl be forwarded to you tomorrow.
Lieutenant Prior. I have, &c.  
(signed)    William L. Echlin  .
    the sailors' names were not included in the papers

Copy of a LETTER from William L. Echlin, Esq., to Stephen Walcott, Esq.
Sir, Birkenhead, 24th July 1854    
    Enclosed is a Post-office order for 3l., less the office charge, the property of James Kelly, who died on the 9th instant on board the Dirigo, from cholera. He was in possession of 5l. 4s. 3d. and three copper tokens ; this sum he wished divided between his mother Margaret Kelly, of Gorthalough, county Clare, Ireland, and his cousin, Mary Kelly, a passenger. To the latter, 2l. 4s. 3d. and the tokens were given (to Mrs. Kelly [Mary Kelly, cousin & wife of James ?]) in his presence, and with his consent ; the balance is enclosed in the Post-office order to you, to be forwarded to Margaret Kelly, care of Miles Kean, Mall Ennis, county of Clare.
    Margaret Kerr, a single woman, who died on the 9th instant, has left in my charge a gold watch, seal, key, two gold rings, a purse containing 3s., three keys (box), and a steel guard chain, to be given to Joseph Kerr, of the vessel Joseph Rowan, of Adelaide ; she made no mention about the disposal of her boxes.
    Mary Carter, the matron of the ship, whose conduct has been most praiseworthy during the period of sickness on board, wishes for her sister, Elizabeth Wallis Carter, a seamstress and domestic servant, to accompany her to Adelaide as a Government emigrant, if it would meet with approval of the Commissioners.
    I would beg to draw your attention to the capacity of the boats on board the Dirigo, seven in number, whether they would afford suffiicient accommodation in case of accident for the passengers and crew. The average number of persons that these boats could carry would be about 50 each, which multiplied by seven, would give space for 350 adults. The numbers on board at the time of sailing were 426 adults, or 517 souls, and a crew consisting of 51.
    I would recommend the addition of two more life-boats, and in addition a few dozen of life-belts ; the latter, if not required, could be returned to England for the use of other ships.
    I would also recommend an extra supply of good vinegar for fumigation, instead of so much chloride of lime ; the former has the disinfecting properties of the latter, soon dries, which the chloride does not. I believe that vinegar is generally used in the Royal Navy.
    I would also draw your attention to the advantage it would afford to the emigrant (who seldom is in possession of a greater amount of clothing than that prescribed by the Government regulation) to have a washing machine, such as exhibited at the Polytechnic Institution, Regent-street, London, sometime since. This appeared to me at the time I viewed it as complete, cheap, and portable ; the washing and drying taking place in a very short space of time.
    It could conveniently be fixed next to the coppers, and quite separated from the kitchens ; by having such an apparatus on board it would promote cleanliness amongst the emigrants, and prevent the slop that must necessarily take place, for although washing is done on the open deck, it is quite impossible to prevent the traffic from the upper to the lower deck.
    The depôt has been under my charge since the 19th instant, and I am happy in stating that only three cases of incipient cholera have appeared, and these are nearly recovered.
    Dr. Holcombe, who is attending upon the fumigation and cleansing of the ship, will soon bring his labours to a close.
    Hoping that you will excuse the liberty I have taken in making these few remarks,
I remain, &c.  
(signed)    William L. Echlin  .
in later communications the Commissioners allowed the sister of Mary Carter, the matron, Elizabeth Wallis Carter, to qualify as a Government emigrant, however, after the 27th of July, Mary Carter and her sister decided to postpone their emigration to a later time, on another ship. Agnes Short, wife of David Short then assumed the position of matron aboard Dirigo.

Source: British Parliamentary Papers, 1854 (492) XLVI.463 31pp.

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