A Written Account of the Unbelievable Hardships of Sailing Across the Atlantic in the 18th Century (Part I)

by Owen James Burke

Gottlieb Mittelberger set sail on a passenger ship from Germany in 1750 looking for a better life in the New World. Finding conditions unsuitable for humanity aboard the vessel, Mittelberger realized there was little he could do but try to console the distraught souls and write about the experience as a fair warning for others before they stepped onto a ship. But the terror and anguish of the two to three months at sea didn’t stop once in port. If they had not succumbed to starvation, scurvy or madness, many passengers were sold into slavery upon landing in Philadelphia.

Below is the first part in a series of excerpts we’ll be publishing from Mittelberger’s book, Journey to Pennsylvania in the Year 1750 and Return to Germany in the Year 1754 — OJB

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Sadly, most children didn’t last long, and families were ravaged by their losses:

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