James Adam diary: 1857-1863 (Ms. Codex 1948)

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Diary comprising two volumes spanning the years from 1857 to 1863 written by James Adam. Volume 1 contains Adam's descriptions his journey from Scotland to India as a medical officer. On August 15, 1857 Adam departed from London on a steamer ship the Candia. He wrote of his sea voyage including officers he traveled with, the weather, landscapes, missing his family, sea sickness, and miles traveled. He arrived at Kalkota on November 5, 1857. Adam worked at a hospital and witnessed a portion of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In February 1858 Adam was deployed to the ship Belgravia to take charge of the wounded and sick at the South African Cape. He traveled with his servant Harold. Once anchored at Table Bay Adam described the native people, seeing Dr. Livingstone. Adam noted he had a muster of forty natives whom he reluctantly treated for skin diseases. There is a copy of a letter to his parents and pencil drawings of the Cape of Good Hope. On the journey back to Calcutta there was an incident with the captain regarding ailing horses. In June 1858 Adam mentioned seeing cholera cases, reading Waston and works on homeopathy. Adam also worked off of the H.M.S. Proserpine. In March 1859 Adam began his voyage back to England on the Ivanhoe he mentioned playing chess and catching fish. Reading volume 1 from back to front are poems and songs. One of the poems was "written on board the Candia". Tables of daily latitude and longitude for the voyages to India and England are in the volume. Some accounting of receipts and expenditures is in the volume. Adam arrived back in Edinburgh on August 5, 1859. Volume 2 commences in 1861. In sporadic entries Adam described his arrival and work at Bethnal House Asylum with Dr. Ritchie. and Dr. Miller. In August 1863 Adam wrote of his trip to Scotland and attending a wedding in Portobello. He mentioned seeing family members in Edinburgh. Reading volume 2 from back to front is a clipping of an epitaph for Lord Clyde pasted over writing in pencil. Adam wrote an autopsy of a young woman named Ann Jones aged 23. A majority of volume 2 is blank. Inscribed on the first leaf of volume 1: J. F. Adam journal, commenced August 13, 1857 on leaving home for the first time to sail for India. Inscribed on the last leaf of volume 1: James F. Adam, Surgeon, H.M.S. Proserpine. Volume 2 is inscribed: Private, Jame Adam M.D., January 20, 1861. https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9977359130603681

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entirely. It is very slow work however we are only going 6 1/2 knots an hour last night we were going 11 knots with the steam. The sea is running very [written above mountains scored through] high today. I have often heard of mountain high waves but I see them here today at one time the waves open up & leave us in a deep valley at another they close & raise us upon the top of a mountain of water. it is a grand & terrible sight & when we think that in a moment we might all be swallowed upon the raging deep & how soon all the wisdom & skill of man might prove of naught. We have shown to us in an unmistakeable manner the benificence & forbearance of God to fallen man. I have had strange dreams every night of late. I have imagined I was at home again that I was once more among you all every one of your faces was distinctly before me & so strong was the impression left that in the mong. [morning] I could not believe I was in that berth on board the "Caudia". We have an officer on board who is a most notorious liar but still one cant help laughing at his stories the following is a specimen He says he was out hunting in India one day

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when he saw a large snake crawling along which immediately on his coming up made off to his hole he followed up & caught it by the tail just as it was disappearing & pulled it out again [Sunday scored through] A thunder storm at 12 oclock rain in torrents sea high lightning vivid thunder deafening. got on steam again poultry let loose Lat 13.45 N Long 26.43 W Distance run 210 miles.

Saturday Augt 29th 1857

fortnight since we left. past Cape Verde Captain fishing caught nothing. Another torrent of rain. reading Scotts poetry with view of Edin. from Libberton Hill Aug 30th Heat not so oppressive good breeze no service owing to squally weather Aug 31st Storm at 5 last night top gallants & royals taken in. quieter this morning wind high & sea running high Lat 5.42 N Long 22.58 210 miles Sept 1 How time is past on board ship beautiful sunset & evenings clear moonlit. Land only once seen since

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We left Lat. 4.5 N Long. 21.28 West 140 miles. Sept. 2 We will cross the line tomorow. No ceremony. Ceremony as it used to be Complaint about dinner. Lat. 1.50 North Long. 21.2 Sept. 3rd. Crossed the line. Wind ahead at 11 o'clock. Signalled the "Ville de Aigue Morte" & asked them to report us. Wind changeable. Lat 00.55 S 21.34 W 149 miles. Sept. 4th. Spoke the Schooner reward from L'pool to Cape Town had been 42 days at sea. We had been 18 days Lat 4.8 South Long. 22.52 W. 219 miles Sept. 5th Notice up to prevent Cards on the Quarter deck. Lat 4.16 S Long. 23.4 W, 204 miles No singing after 10.30 at night. Sept. 6th. Service today by the purser & surgeon on q deck large attendance. Fine pleasant day. Sails all set. Lat 10.33 S Long 25.31 W 231 miles Sept. 7th First appearance of the Candia Gazette. Lat 13.53 South Long. 24.4 W. 229 miles Sept. 8th Hailed the Maryanna from L Pool to Bombay. She had been at sea 50 days. Singing in the leeway to commemorate Sebastopol. Weather fine. port open 16.31 S Long 28.20 W 185 miles.

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Sept. 9 passed a large Clipper this morning. Supposed to be the "James Baines" Saw this evening first time Southern Cross & Crown. passed 3 sail this afternoon. nearly dead calm. Lat. 18.48 S. Long 28.1 W. 148 miles. Sept 10th passed the "Sir R Sale" and "Owen Glendowr" the first with companies troops on board. The other had the 7th Fusiliers on leaving them band struck up Auld Lang Syne Lat 21.2 S. Song 26.56 West 158 miles. Sept 11 "Spoke the Walmer Castle" at 6 this morning she had left England 38 day with the 49th Highlanders on board. Lat. 2.31 S Long 25-18th W. 159 miles. Sept 12th 4 weeks since we left England. Saw Cape pigeons & Careys chickens. Lat 25.40 Sout. Long 23.25 West 209 Sept 13th. beautiful morning breeze light Service by Chief Office & Surgeon. Lat 28.04 South. Long 21.48 W 180 miles. Sept 14th. Ship rolling heaving last night. Saw albatross this morning. Lat 30.13 South Long 20.20 West 156 miles. Sept 15th. Fine breeze in the afternoon. Lat 32.68 Long 17.58 W. 169 miles. Sept 16th. Good days sailing 237 miles. Lat 33.45 S. Long 13.57 W. Sept 14th Weather cold. fishing and shooting albatross. Lat 35.29 S. Long 9.43 West.

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Course South 64° East 234 Current Setting to the westward. 20 miles in 24 hours.

Sept. 18th. thermom[eter] down to 50° this morning Queen of ondes natives. difference in temperature during the voyage.

Sept 19th dancing this afternoon on the quarter deck. finished with a fight. Morris blanketted Lat 38.46 S. Long 152 West 220 miles.

Sept 20. Time now seems to pass quickly passed Tristan de Cuhha and Goughs island Lat 39.29 S. Long. 2.14 E. 205 miles.

Sept 21. Eugenia put in view Kept in 24 hours. This eveng concert. Hoblyn Surg. Laura. Lat 39.46 S. Long. 5.59 W. 186 miles. ,

Sept 22. Theatrical performance this evening. Slasher & Crasher & Box & Cox married & settled Sailor Russell danced a hornpipe. Usual theatrical cries by Slade & others, Fox of the 34th. Sweeping the floor. Lat 39.45 S Long 13.49 E. 203 miles

Sept 23. Squally weather. Sudden squall took us aback at 5 o'clock & carried away main top studding sail loose. repaired during the night L

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