News summary from 1880: Ismays travel around the world

Mark Baber

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13 March 1880: Oceanic I (Capt. J. Metcalfe) leaves Liverpool for Hong Kong
via the Suez Canal, to return to the White Star/Occidental & Oriental
service in the Pacific after refitting by Harland & Wolff; among her
passengers are Thomas and Margaret Ismay, their son James, a maid and about
twenty friends. Oceanic has been at Belfast having her boilers replaced, her
engines overhauled, her cabin accommodations remodeled and a device
installed to allow her watertight bulkhead doors to be closed from the
saloon deck. (Sources: Daily Alta California (San Francisco), 16 and 28 April
1880; The Newfoundlander (St. John's, Newfoundland), 13 July 1880
(republishing a New York Herald article of unspecified date); New-York Daily
Tribune, 22 June 1880; The Times (London), classified ad, 1 March 1880.)

26 March 1880: Oceanic I arrives at Suez, where most of the party
accompanying the Ismay family leaves the ship to return to England. Staying
on with the Ismays are a Mr. and Mrs. Barrow. Oceanic will reach Pointe de
Galle on 7 April, Penang five days later and Singapore on 15 April.
(Sources: New-York Daily Tribune, 22 June 1880; The Newfoundlander, 13 July
1880 (republishing a New York Herald article of unspecified date); The
New-York Times, 22 June 1880.)

22 April 1880: Oceanic I reaches Hong Kong in a record time of 36 and a
half days from Liverpool. Upon her arrival the Ismays and Barrows leave the
ship to travel by steamer to Canton, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Kobe and Yokohama.
(Sources: The Times (London), 24 April 1880; The New-York Times, 22 June
1880; New-York Daily Tribune, 22 June 1880. Note: The 22 April arrival date
comes from The Times' general shipping news columns; all of the later
reports, which focus on the Ismay trip, give this date as 25 or 27 April.)

23 May 1880: Oceanic I sails from Yokohama for San Francisco, with the
Ismays and Barrows back on board. Part of Oceanic's cargo consists of 1,500
tons of tea, "including the first consignment of the new crop." (Sources:
Daily Alta California (San Francisco), 7 June 1880; New-York Daily Tribune,
22 June 1880; The New-York Times, 22 June 1880.)

6 June 1880: Oceanic I arrives at San Francisco and the Ismay and Barrow
families register at the Palace Hotel. The voyage from Yokohama is
considered remarkable for the fact that Oceanic spotted no other ship while
en route, "showing that on this route there is at present no danger of
collisions." After a stay the duration of which I have not yet discovered,
the party will cross North America by railroad, leading Thomas Ismay to
express surprise at the increase in the area of cultivated land since he
last crossed the continent, which seems to have been in 1875. (Sources:
Daily Alta California (San Francisco), 1 October 1875 and 7 June 1880; The
New-York Times, 7 November 1875 and 22 June 1880.)

19 June 1880: The Ismays and Barrows arrive at New York and register at the
Windsor Hotel. Their arrival is noted by several newspapers which comment on
the fact that they have thus traveled 22,320 miles in 66 days (not counting
stops along the way) and with nine more days of travel ahead will complete
their trip around the world in five days less travel time than Phileas Fogg.
(Sources; The New-York Times, 22 June 1880; New-York Daily Tribune, 22 June
1880; The Newfoundlander, 13 July 1880 (republishing a New York Herald
article of unspecified date).)

3 July 1880: Celtic I (Capt. Gleadell) sails from New York for Liverpool
with the Ismays and Barrows on board for the last leg of their trip around
the world. (Source: The New-York Times, 3 July 1880.)

13 July 1880: Celtic I arrives at Liverpool and the Ismay family's trip
around the world is completed, again prompting newspaper comparisons between
Thomas Ismay and Phileas Fogg (Source: The Times (London), 14 and 19 July
1880.)
 
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