R. J. Whaley’s Trip to Europe: Part I

In early July 1878, R. J. Whaley departed from Flint, Michigan with Sam Androus to tour Europe and attend the International Exposition (World’s Fair) being held at Paris, France.

The following extracts are a transcription of R. J.’s  journal where he recorded his thoughts and the sights he saw.  Please note that spelling and punctuation are R. J.’s.

This first entry to East Kearsley Street Notes from R. J.’s journal covers his departure from New York City aboard the Anchoria to his arrival in Ireland.

July 6th 10 – am

Steamer Anchoria of the Anchor Line

we are now fairly on board ship. with a nice little room whitch is pretty well filled with the little baggage we have I was very much surprised to meet Will Brown + wife1 I saw him but did ^not notice him until Sam2 brought him to me he was married the 26th of June to a Miss May of Kalamazoo She is very pleasant and said to be very accomplished

Met Mr + Miss Pierson of Cincinnatti also Miss Freeman they are lively and full of fun and I think will add much to the pleasure of our Sea voyage


July 7th Sunday

The weather is very pleasant very few are sick. Mrs Brown is one of the few we had service in the cabin to day I did not here it but I sat on deck with Miss Pierson

We saw so many Porpoises jumping out of the water.

I shall be sorry to part with the Pierson.s. Have met many Gentleman and all seem intent on haveing a good time It is getting colder and I will put on my blue shirt at tea I sent Mrs Brown some lemons with my compliments which she no doubt will appreciate


Monday July 8th/78

It was pleasant this morning though the air is a little more bracing I called upon Mrs Brown and found her some better – drank to her health – Mr Kelch was tried and convicted of stealing a cork screw and a cent I was one of the Jurors. The Judge fined him 1 Bottle of Whiskey Mr Packer was indighted for passing counterfeit money will probably be tried tomorrow

I have not read even the papers as yet for I have not felt like reading anything We had plenty of music this evening also singing Androus is a little off. I hope we will neither of us be sick Mrs Brown is better I sent her some more lemons which please her very much. I dont think her husband is very devoted

Tuesday July 9th

The wind is blowing harder than yesterday though it is pleasant

Sam through up his chips last night + the Brandy was uncorked I am all right as yet and am havening lots of fun. shall be sorry to leave the Pierson family.

Sam came out this evening all right. We had the Bag Pipes on deck and the boys had great fun We also had singing as usual. I nearly forgot to mention that we saw a whale this afternoon also hosts of porporses

The boys are playing Draw Poker in the Smoking Room and seem to enjoy it They barely stop to eat We have only five meals each day though four does me very well

Wednesday July 10th

All my friends appeared this morning except Mrs Brown who is not as well. We are off the banks of Newfoundland and it is very foggy. Mr Pierson very soon surrendered and shortly after I had the pleasure of escorting Miss Pierson to her room I am sorry to loose them from the deck they are so pleasant + agreeable. I am not one that surrenders without a struggle

Thursday July 11th/78

Nothing unusual has occurred this morning Miss Pierson is on deck once more Mrs Brown still remains in her room I am sure Brown spends very little time with her. The Bancrofts are charming as ever

The wether is more pleasant though the fog has not entirely cleared away. Mrs Brown came up in the evening and we are all happy. I have commenced to read Bonny Kate3

Friday July 12th

We are all out this morning. It is not cold neither is it pleasant I would like to see the sun once more I saw a small Whale this morning but it was quite a distance from the Ship

Mr Whipple was arrested by Mr Longmire for breach of promise and tried by a jury of 12 men + fined $10000 —– It was very interesting as Longmire had a dress from some place Those from the forward part of the ship call him “the great eastern”


Saturday July 13th

Nothing unusual occurred today

I presented Longmire with the picture which Miss Carter sketched of him as the Madam in the Breach of promise case It was very good and created quite a laugh among the boys

I finished “Bonny Kate” today It was splendid

Sunday July 14th/78

I was up early this morning for Sam is angry because I would only give a cent to see the engine and would not say a word ^to me I told him once before not to tackle me in that manner I guess he will learn after a while that he is not talking to Mrs Youngs. He can speak when he likes I shall not hurry him I have just discovered the fact that out of 13 ladies at our table only two are married I am perfectly astonished but tis true I met Miss Lake of Watertown NY who is very pretty also Miss Bogan of Rochester NY they are awfull nice. We also saw eight bottle nosed whales this day so far

We have just come from Church in the Dining Room Mr Bancroft made a few very excellant remarks also so did Mr Payne all hands joined in the singing. We now expect to reach Moville tomorrow night when we take a small steamer for Londonderry.

Monday July 15th/78

It is very quiet this morning nearly every one is finishing up their letters and directing them so as to be ready as soon as we reach Moville which is now said will not be untill tomorrow towards noon. for to day at 12 o clock we had 264 miles yet to go I have taken off my Blue Shirt and am ready at any time.

Every few minutes I write my name in someones Album. and all seem to think that we are soon to seperate perhaps = forever. very many of us leave the ship at Moville though our noble friends go to Glasgow

I think we will meet the Piersons in London also the Browns. + Miss Freeman in Paris. Brown is better to day and goes to Glasgow

Tuesday July 16th

We have just come to Inistrahill’s Light House It looks good to see land once more It is a large rock off from the main land + looks as if it was all rock ugly the Cambria was wrecked on this rock some 5 years ago next comes Inisholen Head

We are now on the little boat and have bid those of our friends that are left a last fare^well and up Loch Foyle we go to Londonderry Tis sad to part with friends made on ship board and I shall ever thank the good ship Anchoria for bringing us safely across the water

1What the connection is between Will, Sam, and R. J. is unclear. In the 20 July 1878 edition of the Wolverine Citizen, the following article appeared:

We find the following pleasant item in a late number of the Kalamazoo Telegraph. “Will” has many friends in Flint, who will be glad to hear of his happiness. We congratulate him and his bride, and wish them fair weather on their voyage to Paris, for which place they left, after the ceremony.

Married.-In this village, at the residence of the bride’s father, Gen. Dwight May, by Rev. Dr. Brooks, President of Kalamazoo College, assisted by Rev. J. H. France, William Nathaniel Brown, Esq. of Mt. Pleasant, Isabella County, and Miss Minnie Kellogg May.

2“Messrs. R. J. Whaley and Alderman Sam N. Androus left on Monday morning, en route to Paris.” Wolverine Citizen, 6 July 1878.

Sam was the owner of S. N. Androus & Co., a cigar and tobacco store located on Saginaw Street in Flint and resided on the southwest corner of Kearsley and Avon Street, a short walk from the site that would become R. J. and Mary Whaley’s home seven years later. R. J. and Sam did not spend their entire trip in Europe together and they did not return to the United States on the same ship. Of all of R. J.’s traveling companions in Europe, Sam is the only person that is identifiable.

3A romance by Christian Reid. The Whaley family’s personal library is probably the largest single family collection at Whaley House Museum. Unfortunately, R. J.’s copy of Bonny Kate has not yet been located.

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