I have just recently started to be interested in the excellent book about the family history that my father has written.
He wrote it many years ago, long before the internet gave us all sorts of facts we might need for writing, and very luckily it does. Instead he was going through lots and lots of old letters and documents to find all the stories that would make the whole book complete.
So, I have started to write about this in my Swedish blog.
And today I studied a part with a young boy, Christian Petter Kockum born 1829.
When the boy was 11 years old his father died. Three years later he left his mother and became a ship’s boy on the ship “Bernadotte”.
The noble lady above did only once more, briefly, meet her only living son.
“Bernadotte” was wrecked four months after Christian had signed on, in a fierce storm in the middle of the night. Christian was below deck in his bunk when he heard the captains alarm. He quickly put on his boots and rushed up and they all worked very hard with frightening waves rolling over them, but in the end the beautiful ship crushed into the hard rocks. Christian and the others managed to save themselves into land and people helped them there.
Quite a wake up for the teenager. After that he takes work wherever possible, always on ships.
In 1846, 18 years old, he sends a letter to his mother and tells her about his plans for going to America. He has bought books in English and practices a lot. He listens to other sailors about how to work on the ships that goes over there.
1847 his letter to the mother tells:
The journey to the free country went fairly well……… Yesterday I signed on a cargo ship called New World, it is going to Liverpool, it is the biggest cargo ship from America
Obviously he works for some time on “Liverpool” and the next letter describes how he got excellent recommendations from his Captain for signing on an East India freighter called “Paul Jones”, travelling for Canton . He also mentions a friendship he has made on board. With a young man whose name was “Kellogg”.
He was very kind to me and gave me clothes, taught me the English and all while he was a gentleman and did sailing only for the health, without salary…..he showed me around in New York everywhere.
Christian speaks of their farewell as very sad on both parts.
He travels to East India, 19 years old, with the “Paul Jones” and describes that in only one letter home, which is a unique eyewitness report on his first meeting with the Chinese land at that time. He sends it when he is back in New York again and while there, he is invited to meet the Kellogg’s again, among others. It is clear he feels very comfortable in the American surroundings.
A year later, when he comes back from Canton with the ship “Candace” he starts to tell home about the acquaintances he makes in Providence.
That’s all for now!
The story of Christian Petter Kockum: To be continued………
If you recognize any of this or get some inspirational thoughts please feel welcome to comment! It would be very interesting!
Lovely thoughts to you all!