In this section
by Jon Malings


It has been doubted by some persons that the mortality on board the ship Brutus was entirely occasioned by cholera; and that the answer from on board, when hailed at sea by other vessels, was that there was a very bad fever in the ship. We give this report just as we have heard it. We have also heard from a respectable medical gentleman who visited the Brutus on Saturday se’nnight, and made particular inquiries into the circumstances of the recent calamity, that the typhus fever was in the ship. On making inquiries amongst the passengers he learned that a poor family, from the neighbourhood of Manchester, had been afflicted with the typhus, some time before they came to Liverpool for the purpose of emigrating to America, and that the trouble, fatigue, and anxiety, consequent on securing their passage, and getting out to sea, their poverty, and the badness or insufficiency of their provisions, produced a relapse amongst them, and the disease was communicated to their fellow passengers, who, from the latter causes, were nearly all, more or less, predisposed for the reception of that or any other infectious disease.

Our only object in publishing this paragraph is to allay, as much as is in our power, the panic which the mortality on board the Brutus excites in this town. There was, in all probability, a complication of disorders, occasioned by the shameful mode of stowing the passengers, which is permitted by the law, an abominable law, as we last week showed, when we compared it with the humane regulations respecting emigrants in the United States of America.

That there. were other disorders on board the Brutus besides cholera, is rendered almost certain by the testimony of the medical gentleman who interrogated the passengers in the Brutus, as we have just stated ; and the fact derives farther confirmation from the following letter from one of the persons now on board the lazaretto ship in our river. The letter appeared in the Lancaster Herald, and the writer would hardly have made such a statement if it were wholly unfounded : 

Liverpool, Lazaretto Ship, June 20, 1832 

Dear Uncle,—I write these few lines to let you know that we are all very well at present ; thank God for it. I am sorry to say that my father died on the 5th June of the cholera morbus.  Here have ninety-three died of the smallpox and cholera morbus. We had got about half way over when it first broke out, and the Captain was obliged to return on account of the loss of so many of his sailors. My brother Thomas was very ill of the cholera, but he soon recovered when we got back to Liverpool.  None of us were permitted to land ; but those who were well were ordered to ride quarantine in a fresh vessel, called the Newcastle Lazaretto Ship. Those who are ill still remain in the ship Brutus.  We think of returning home if it please God to spare our lives ; but we don’t know how soon we shall get onshore, as we have to remain ten days after the cholera has subsided. 

It appears from a paragraph in the Liverpool Courier of the 29th ult. that there were on Saturday, amongst the passengers remaining in the Brutus, eighteen sick of the small-pox, and only four of cholera. Are we not then as justified by all the facts we have here stated, in concluding that the mortality on board that ill-fated ship, and which has been ascribed to cholera, was the result of a variety of diseases, aggravated by the manner in which the British laws so disgracefully permit proprietors to stow the passengers on board emigrant ships? Some persons may, perhaps, say, “What matters it whether the passengers died of Cholera, cholic, typhus or small-pox? it cannot be denied that they did die, and that is the main question.”

In reply to so superficial an observation, we should say, it is, in the present state of excitement, a matter of great importance to show that the mortality arose, in some degree, from other causes than the cholera, because such knowledge must have a tendency, in some measure, to allay the panic which is now doing so much mischief the country.