This path was created by Derek James Rachel.  The last update was by Erika Strandjord.

Star of the Sea : A Postcolonial/Postmodern Voyage into the Irish Famine

Coffin Ships

“[…] Friendless emigrants stowed away like bales of cotton, and packed like slaves in a slave ship; confined in a place like that, during storm time, must be closed against both light and air, who can do no cooking, nor warm so much as a cup of water…. Passengers are cut off from the most indispensable conveniences of a civilized dwelling… We had not been at sea one week, when to hold your head down the forehatchway was like holding it down a suddenly opened cesspool.”
- A ship’s officer (qtd. in Litton 105).

Coffin Ships received their nickname for a reason. Conditions aboard such a ship would include disease-ridden quarters, non-existent hygiene situation, and no food and water for the one to two month trip ahead. Some coffin ships landed at their destination with more passengers dead than alive. However, there were only a few coffin ships that proved to be the exception. These coffin ships would have a better crew and enough supplies to last everyone for the entire journey. Explore further the conditions on coffin ships, and more information on the different coffin ships that sailed during the famine years. 
Researcher/Writer: Ellen-Marie Pedersen
Technical Designers: Derek Rachel and Amanda Lundeen

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