Loss of the City of Quebec, The

DESCRIPTION: "On the first day of April eighteen hundred and seventy two The City of Quebec leaved London with a choice of British crew." Seventeen are drowned in Newfoundland waters.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1961 (Peacock)
KEYWORDS: drowning sea ship wreck
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peacock, p. 941, "The Loss of the City of Quebec" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Roud #9936
RECORDINGS:
Mrs. Mary Ann Galpin, "The Loss of the City of Quebec" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
NOTES: The City of Quebec was lost at Isle Aux Morts, May 8, 1871 en route from London (Northern Shipwrecks Database). Isle Aux Morts is about 12 miles east of Port Aux Basques at the southwest corner of Newfoundland. - BS
Ships named "City of (somewhere)," e.g. City of Glasgow, City of Philadelphia, were characteristic of the Inman Line, which came into being in 1850; according to John Malcolm Brinnin, The Sway of the Grand Saloon: A Social History of the North Atlantic (1986; I use the 2000 Barnes & Noble edition), p. 208, "by 1857 he was carrying one third of all individuals traveling across the ocean." I have not been able to determine whether City of Quebec was an Inman ship, but it seems likely -- and, frankly, looking at the stories in Brinnin at the entries on pp. 111-112 of Paine, they had a *terrible* safety record.
To give the Inman Line its due, one of its primary goals was the relatively efficient transportation of steerage passengers emigrating from Ireland to America. This meant that its ships had to be operated on a relatively low budget and had to carry a lot of passengers (Fox, pp. 174-181). The inevitable result was that, if a wreck happened, it killed a lot of people. At least they crossed the ocean faster than the emigrant sailing ships they replaced, so there were far fewer deaths by disease than on the sailing vessels. - RBW
Bibliography Last updated in version 2.6
File: Pea941

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