Extracts from a letter by John Mackinnon, about the loss of his children to which Margaret Macleod refers in her letter, saying:-
'Oh Sandy! throwing out my two boys into the deep sea, it will never go out of my heart. The youngest died with the measles crossing the line, and the other six days after with a bowel complaint. Disease raged greatly in our ship among children. Fifty-three children died, and two women in childbed, and one sailor. We had too many on board... '
...Now Sandy, it is no profit to me to tell you lies. That I will not. I heard at home good accounts of Australia, but I never believed it till I saw it with my own eyes... ...I think this is the richest town of its size in the world. All the go is gold, gold, gold. They do not care about a sovereign here more than you about a penny at home. And I will tell you that I am only six weeks and two days at work, and I have in my possession this night £20 sterling. How long would I be in Skye before I could gather as much! But oh! Donald Campbell, what are you doing in Roag with your strong family? But I would not advise a man with a weak family to come; but it is all for fear of the passage.
Read the text then answer the following questions.
- How many died on the passage to Australia?
- Why did so many die?
- What is he hinting at when he says to Donald Campbell, " ...what are you doing in Roag with your strong family?"
- What does he see as the worst thing in emigrating?