Quote of the day, 25 April: Mother Clare Joseph, OCD

24 April 1790
We took a yeat [yacht] & Sail’d to the texel [island], where we arrived about 12 o clock Sunday noon [25 April]. we were all Sick in the yeat excepting mr Neale [The Rev. Fr. Charles Neale, their chaplain]. we Lodg’d in it all night & a very unpleasant Lodging we found. we came on board the Ship call’d the Brothers commanded by Captain Mack=duggle [McDougall], who was not then arrived, he came on Wednesday with 6 passengers a man his wife & 3 small children. 2 maids [unclear], Such a Set of Low Lived quarrelsome geniuses as before we never met with. the accomodations we found were very well as to the room, having one entirely to ourselves. the Captain afforded us Subject of trial from his Stingy dirty dispositions. his ill breeding, want of attention &c. the Steward was a Catholic much too good for his Master.

1 May 1790
We came on board Sunday the 25 of April. We set Sail from the texel about 12 o clock [noon] with a fair wind. & good weather. We went [sail’d] about 8 mile an hour.

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

Journal of a Trip to America, 24 April, 1 May 1790

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755–1830)

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers, which departed from Texel, Netherlands on 25 April 1790, bound for New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”.

Baltimore Carmelite historian and journal editor Sister Constance FitzGerald, O.C.D. offers the following comments concerning the ship:

According to Norman Brouwer, the historian of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York, “Brothers” was a 200-ton full-rigged ship built in New in 1776. She had, therefore, three masts with square sails on all three. By 1790 she was British owned and in that year the Lloyds register of London gives among the fifty or so ships called “Brothers” this one owned by Capt. McDougall and Co. She was built of live oak and her voyage is recorded in the registry as from London to New York. D.J. Lyon of the National Maritime Museum in London states: She was probably a tween decked vessel with proper stern windows, a bow with a figurehead and rails, and with both forecastle and poop, which is what frigate normally meant when used to describe a merchant ship.” In other words, “frigate” was another name for a full-rigged ship. This means “Brothers” was only loosely connected to the warship type called a frigate.

Dickinson, CJ & FitzGerald, C 1990, The Carmelite adventure: Clare Joseph Dickinson’s journal of a trip to America, and other documents, Carmelite Sisters, Baltimore MD.

Featured image: The English Merchant Ship ‘Malabar’ is an oil on canvas painting executed in 1836 by William Clark (1803–1883), a 19th-century British artist who specialized in maritime paintings. This is one of many artworks in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Image credit: Art UK (Public domain).

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