Faithful of Days

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In spite of failing all three sea trials, in late 1853 the SS San Francisco set off on her maiden voyage. She was carrying a US Army regiment from New York to California by way of Cape Horn and was heavily overloaded. Two days out, she had the misfortune to run into the worst storm of the century. Her engines failed and then an enormous wave swept over the decks, taking with it about 140 souls, the lifeboats and all the auxiliary sails, leaving her completely disabled. Two ships found the SS San Francisco but sailed away and a third managed to rescue about a hundred people before the storm tore the two vessels apart. Then cholera struck. All that stood between the survivors and almost certain death was Scotsman Robert Crighton, Captain of the Three Bells. His ship had also been badly battered by the storm, but he stayed beside the stricken vessel for four days, risking the lives of everyone on board his own ship and jettisoning most of his own cargo. Using chalked boards held up by the crew, he sent the San Francisco a message later immortalised by Walt Whitman, ?Be of good cheer, we will stand by you?. Eventually, and with the help of another ship, all were rescued. Robert, to his great surprise, became an overnight hero - in America. What happened on his return to Scotland was another matter. With meticulous research and using contemporary documents, Clare Abbott has pieced together Robert's fascinating life, the life of a Victorian sea captain who sailed the world in the great age of Empire. It is a story of outstanding courage and love but also of greed, betrayal and hypocrisy.


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Author(s) - Clare Abbot | Clare Abbot | Clare Abbot | Clare Abbot


Published Date -

ISBN - 9781909644342

Dimensions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2 cm

Page Count - 225

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