Robert Whyte'sThe Ocean Plague: The Diary of a Cabin Passenger. 1847


Robert Whyte's immigrant diary, The Ocean Plague: The Diary of a Cabin Passenger, appeared in print in 1848, one year after the author said he made his journey from famine-stricken Ireland to Canada. Whyte later crossed the boarder into the United States. Nothing is known about Robert Whyte, including whether such a person even existed; the name could very well be a pseudonym. All that is left is this diary, published in 1994 by Mercier Press and edited by James Mangan under the title Robert Whyte's 1847 Famine Ship Diary. Mangan also edited the fictionalization of Gerald Keegan's famine journal. Unlike this earlier work (1991), however, Robert Whyte's 1847 Famine Ship Diary is an authentic reproduction of the original text, rather than a dramatization. One could assume, therefore, that Whyte's diary is a relatively more trustworthy account of the ocean crossing.

Robert Whyte's 1847 Famine Ship Diary (Selections)

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