Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Churchill Series - Dec. 18, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

November 8, 1895 Churchill, a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday, was aboard Cunard's RMS
Etruria and nearing the end of his first trans-Atlantic crossing.

In a letter to his mother he wrote:

I do not contemplate ever taking a sea voyage for pleasure, and I shall always look upon journeys by sea as necessary evils which have to be undergone in the carrying out of any definite plan. ...

[Although the weather gave some] bad moments we were never seasick. ...

There are no nice people on board to speak of - certainly none to write of. ...

There is to be a concert on board tonight at which all the stupid people among the passengers intend to perform and the stupider ones to applaud.

The days have seemed very long & uninteresting.
The following day Etruria and the very critical young Churchill sailed through the Narrows into New York harbor. To starboard he could see Brooklyn, where his mother, Jennie Jerome, was born and grew up. Directly ahead was Manhattan.

A few hours later Churchill set foot in America for the first time.
Randolph S. Churchill,
Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874 - 1900. (pgs. 256-259)