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The Joys and Sorrows of an Emigrant Family
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Another great adventure story.
The year was 1853, the crossing sickening, crowded, terrifying and almost unbearable, and yet this family of six survived forty miserable days and nights in the dark hold of the John Ruttle, a sailing ship built to haul freight, not passengers.
"One who has never had the experience of a voyage across the sea cannot imagine the outpouring of joy as object after object became more visible along the shore," said author, Joseph Ruff. In recalling the experience, he wrote, "You could not induce one out of ten who have once crossed in one of those sailing vessels to attempt it again even though they were allowed free passage. I don't know whether I could be induced to try it again if they should offer me a whole German city. "
Setting foot in New York City was only the beginning of a harrowing tale that reads like a modern adventure novel. How fortunate that family members saved the original story for over 100 years!