My grandmother, Sarah Campbell, was born in Port Ellen on the Isle
of Islay, Scotland, on August 13, 1722, to pious parents who instructed her
in the Christian religion. When she was about nineteen years old, her
father went to Pennsylvania, and finding land suitable for his family, he
wrote for her mother and the children to take passage in the first vessel
and come to Pennsylvania. Her mother, with three daughters, left on
board a large ship. On July 28, 1741, they sailed from Glasgow, Captain
Knight commander. For some time after they sailed, they had pleasant
weather, and everything was agreeable, excepting their seasickness. The
ship’s company daily assembled on the quarterdeck for prayers, which
were performed alternately by four or five of the passengers, to the great
satisfaction of many on board.
When they had been about three weeks at sea, a mortal fever broke
out and spread through the ship’s company. Not one was able to help
another. Sarah’s mother and her children were preserved and restored
to health, though many died around them.
After ten weeks at sea, they were visited with a violent storm. Waves
rose above the mast, and a ceiling of water blew from peak to peak above
them. Their ship was damaged, and they were all very near being lost.
The captain said they were close to land and expected every day to make
it. But the violence of the storm drove them to eastward. Their masts
gave way, and they were in a distressed situation.
At that time the captain thought proper to put all hands on allowance, as he did not know where the ship was or how long they should
be continued in their present situation. He knew not where to steer his
course. One biscuit a day, a small portion of meat, and a quart of water,
was all their allowance. This was continued for ten or twelve days, and
then they were put upon half allowance, excepting the water, which was
continued the same. Then days after, they spoke a ship, which supplied
them with provisions, but their allowance was not increased.
October 28 they made land on the eastern coast and found it to be a
desolate island a mile from shore, inhabited only by a few Indians, called
Seguin. The ship was anchored, and they remained a few days on board.
The captain and others took the longboat and went hoping to find some
French inhabitants but returned without success. The passengers were
then ordered to land. Many boatloads of people were scattered round the
island, without any food. The number of people could not be less than a
hundred. They were told that the last boats would bring them provisions