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Passage Contract - New York to Bremen - 16 March 1859

Passage Ticket, Black Ball Line, 16 March 1859 on the Packet Ship "Yorkshire" - Nicholas Fish, New York to Bremen.

Passage Ticket, Black Ball Line, 16 March 1859 on the Packet Ship "Yorkshire" - Nicholas Fish, New York to Bremen. GGA Image ID # 129a1313a8

Summary of Passage Contract

  • Date of Purchase / Voyage: 16 March 1859
  • Steamship Line: Black Ball Line
  • Steamship: Packet Ship "Yorkshire"
  • Route: New York to Bremen
  • Ticket Type: Passage Contract
  • Voyage Class: Unknown
  • Name on Contract: Nicholas Fish
  • Etnicity of Passenger(s): American
  • Contract Terms: Not Stated
  • Cost of Ticket: Not Stated

London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Havre, Hamburg, Bremen and Southampton Office,

146 Liberty Street, New York

Where passages can at all times be engaged on reasonable terms, either to or from the above ports, in Sailing Packets or Steamships.

Berth No. ___ New York, March 16, 1859

This Entitles the Bearer, Nicholas Fish to a "Fb" passage, this present voyage, (the dangers of the seas excepted,) hence to Bremen in the Packet Ship Yorkshire.

To be Exchanged at 146 Liberty Street

/s/ M. P. Phillips

Note: Nicholas Fish would have been 13 Years Old at the time of this voyage.

About the Passenger: Nicholas Fish:

Nicholas Fish II, Circa 1882

Nicholas Fish II (1846-1902) was the father of the late Hamilton Fish of Roosevelt's rough riders, brother of Stuyvesant Fish, President of the Illinois Central Railroad, grandson of American Revolutionary War soldier Nicholas Fish and son of Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. Nicholas Fish II was a U.S. diplomat, who was appointed second secretary of legation at Berlin in 1871, became secretary in 1874, and was charge d'affaires at Berne in 1877-1881, and minister to Belgium in 1882-1886, after which he engaged in banking in New York City.

The photograph of the Hon. Nicholas Fish II dates from circa 1882 taken after he left his post as Minister of Switzerland. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.

His death as reported by the New York Times was after being assaulted by a man selling jewelry at a Saloon. Mr. Fish was at the saloon in the company of two women. Two men entered the saloon and began to quarrel with Mr. Fish. After some minutes, Mr. Fish started toward the door, the other man pursuing him. On reaching the street door, it is said that the younger man struck the banker, but not hard enough to fell him.

But in an instant, he struck him again, this time causing him to fall to the pavement on his head. He was taken to Roosevelt Hospital and regained consciousness long enough to agree to have an operation performed (trephining his skull). He died a half hour after the operation started at 2:45 am 16 September 1902 with Mrs. Fish at his side. Mr. Fish was 56 years old.

Read about his Funeral

Brief History of the Packet Ship Yorkshire

Built in New York by William H. Webb in 1843, it was listed at 996 tons, 167 feet in length 36 1/2 feet wide. She was lost at sea in February 1862 - less than three years after this voyage. It took almost a month to make the voyage from New York to Bremen at that time.

Her cabins were seven feet in the clear, light and airy, finished with highly polished mahogany panels, with white polished rectangular columns slightly gilt. There were stained glass windows, rosewood and crimson sofas, Turkey carpets, etc.

The staterooms have interior communications with one another, well lighted from the deck, and each has a window on the side that may be opened to admit air. Berth boards were polished mahogany, and all the necessary accompaniments of the sleeping room including a toilet.

From the ladies saloon, there was a private staircase to the promenade deck. There were also two entrances to the gentlemen's cabin (smoking room) from the after part of the same deck. The ship is furnished with the newly invented patent steering apparatus (Note 1), and the men at the wheel were perfectly sheltered from the weather.

The crew were amply provided for under a quarter deck forecastle, with ingress and egress free from the inconvenience of a perpendicular ladder. Her between decks present a most sightly area for steerage passengers, being seven feet in the clear, fore and aft.

The Yorkshire of the Black Ball Line had the record for continuous short passages, for she was so built and rigged that her master, Captain David G. Bailey, could keep her closer hauled than any of her competitors.

Information about this Ticket

  • Date: 16 March 1859
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.5 cm

Note 1: Phineas P. Quimby of Belfast, Maine, created an apparatus that introduced a lever for the purpose of moving the rudder with the same length of tiller, through a given space with less turns of the wheel that can be done in any other way with the same pitch of screw. Mr. Quimby was issued Patent No. 7197 dated March 19, 1850 by the U. S. Patent Office.


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The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.