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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Diary of the Atlantic Telegraph Expedition, 1866
by John C. Deane

Introduction: John C. Deane kept a diary of the 1865 Atlantic Telegraph Expedition which was published in Macmillan’s Magazine for 12 September 1865 and elsewhere. Later in 1865, when the Anglo-American Telegraph Company was formed to lay the 1866 cable, Deane became Secretary of the company and sailed on the 1866 expedition in that capacity.

Deane also wrote an expedition Diary in 1866, with a total of seventy pages. This was not just an official record for the company; it was also intended to be used to promote the cable in the popular press after its successful completion. In his entry for Wednesday 18 July 1866, Deane noted:

“More messages through the Cable, which should be duly recorded, for when this Diary is circulated among the newspapers of the United States within ten days from this date earlier intelligence of European news will be distributed than can be obtained in any other way.”

In order to fulfil these obligations, Deane concluded the first part of the Diary at page 38 with the arrival of Great Eastern at Heart's Content on 27 July 1866, from where it would have been distributed to newspapers in North America. The Newfoundlander (St John’s, Newfoundland) may have been the first to publish the story, which appeared in its issue of Monday 30 July. Later, Henry Field quoted extensively from this part of the Diary in his book on the Atlantic Cable.

Deane then started a second 32-page section of the Diary, which begins with a description of the landing of the shore end of the 1866 cable at Heart's Content on the evening of 27 July (early in the morning of 28 July, UK time) and the festivities surrounding this. It continues with the expedition to recover the lost end of the 1865 cable, which was successfully accomplished, and concludes with the departure of Great Eastern for the homeward voyage, two cables having been completed and handed over in working order. This part of the Diary is 32 pages, with a further four-page “Postscript for the Reader and Printer” detailing corrections to the text.

The transcription of this second part of the Diary follows the messages exchanged between the Queen and the President transcribed below after the first part.

Deane does not describe the events of Great Eastern’s four-day voyage from Sheerness in the Thames Estuary to Berehaven in Ireland, as this was just a positioning maneouvre. However, newspaper accounts of this part of the expedition were published at the time.

The 11,500 word text of the first section of Deane’s 1866 Diary, and the 13,000 words of the second section, both reproduced here, differ from the published version in some of their details. The text is transcribed from one of the original lithographic copies printed on board Great Eastern from Deane’s handwritten description of each day’s events.

The “Programme of Proceedings for Laying the Atlantic Telegraph Cable”, included as pages four through eight in the first part of the Diary, had been previously published at Morden Wharf, Greenwich, on 20 June 1866 for the advice of all staff, together with a further document titled “Instructions for Ship and Shore”.

Willoughby Smith, in his book “The Rise and Extension of Submarine Telegraphy”, writes:

“The engineers’ programme and the electrical ship and shore instructions, printed in leaflet form and freely circulated, were as follows...”

As the Great Eastern was in continual communication with Valentia through the 1866 cable as it was being laid, the ship’s company was able to receive the latest news from Britain and Europe on a daily basis. This was published in the shipboard newspaper “The Great Eastern Telegraph”, and Deane included the most important news in his Diary. Willoughby Smith also quotes extracts from “The Great Eastern Telegraph” in his book.

The artist and author Henry O'Neil was responsible for “The Great Eastern Telegraph”; he also wrote a humorous report of the expedition, published under the pseudonym “Henry Plantagenet Dynamometer”.

Deane’s formatting and punctuation on the news items is somewhat erratic, so for clarity I have indented them all in the text below. I have not otherwise changed any of Deane’s spelling, punctuation, or paragraphing. Notes in [brackets] in the text are mine; these are either explanatory references or minor changes in wording which appeared in the published edition but not in the manuscript Diary.

Notes: The first part of the Diary consists of 38 pages, each 8¼" x 12¼", of the characteristic blue paper used for many of the documents printed on board Great Eastern in 1865 and 1866. The sheets are printed on one side only; some pairs of pages are on a single sheet 16½" x 12¼" folded in the centre.

The pages are numbered consecutively from 1 to 37; sheet 38, with the conclusion of the Diary entry for 27 July 1866, is missing, and the 150 words which would have been on that page have here been taken from the text published in The Newfoundlander (St John’s, Newfoundland, Monday 30 July 1866).

The second part of the Diary consists of 32 pages formatted as above, also consecutively numbered. An edited version of this part, with the text lacking the last five pages of the original, was published in the New York Times issue of 11 September 1866, and parts of the text later appeared in other publications such as the Annual Register for 1866.

The line breaks of the original are not reproduced here, but the page breaks are marked by a short horizontal rule or by the page number of the manuscript.

High resolution scans of each page may be viewed by clicking on the thumbnails.

–Bill Burns


Diary of the Atlantic Telegraph Expedition


The “Great Eastern” laden with a freight in which the whole civilized world is interested took her departure from Berehaven Bantry Bay at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday the 12th of July. During the week she lay in that safe and capacious harbour her coaling was completed and Mechanics and Artificers of all kinds were busily engaged in adjusting and testing the new machinery which has been planned and executed to meet requirements and to guard against contingencies which the experience of last year’s expedition suggested. The deck presented a very animated scene of active labour, and one could scarcely have believed that so much work could have been got through in so short a space of time. The live stock too, had this year to be shipped in Ireland which occupied a considerable time. 10 Bullocks, 1 Milch Cow, 114 Sheep, 20 Pigs, 29 Geese, 14 Turkeys, 500 Fowls were brought on board at Berehaven. There was dead stock too, which consisted of 28 Bullocks, 4 Calves, 22 Sheep, 4 Pigs, 300 Fowls - a goodly supply for the inhabitants of the floating town we live in. The public already know all that occurred during the passage of the ship round from Sheerness. She left her anchorage at noon on Saturday the 30th of June and a telegram from Mr R.A. Glass, the Managing Director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, from Valentia, put them in possession of the fact that the shore end of the Cable having been successfully landed by the “William Cory” Steamer at Foilhummerum Bay on Saturday the 7th of July, had been buoyed on the following morning about 29 or 30 miles from the land. At 6:45 a.m. on the 12th our convoy consisting of H.M.S. “Terrible” 21 guns, and the screw steamers “Albany” and “Medway” both vessels of about 1800 tons each left the anchorage at Berehaven with instructions to proceed where the “William




Cory” left the buoy and await the arrival of the Great Eastern. On the evening of the same day having got up her monster anchors the big ship steamed majestically out of Berehaven, accompanied by H.M.S. “Racoon”. It is about 45 miles from Berehaven to the buoy placed over the shore end. The night was very thick, so much so that the fog whistle was kept constantly going. Wind from the south.

Friday, 13 July.

At a quarter to 3 a.m. we sighted the “Terrible” and the “Racoon” about a quarter to 4. Shortly afterwards we saw the “Albany” and “Medway” and at 5:50 a.m. the buoy was made out astern of the “Albany”. We came up close to it at 7. Signals were made to the “Terrible” and the other ships to send boats. The “Terrible’s” cutter came and made fast to the buoy which was now about a cables length from our stern. At 9:10 the “Albany’s” boat arrived and at 9:30 we made the end of the drum-rope on to the buoy-chain and commenced to haul in the mooring chain on to the end of the shore-end cable. There was a good deal of strain on the chain which was at a considerable angle on the port side. The wind was on the port quarter, canting the ship to starboard – the left hand screw working astern. Captain Anderson, seeing the position of the chain, gave orders to Mr Beckwith the Chief Engineer to disconnect the port paddle-wheel and to reverse full speed with the starboard. This order which was executed in about 18 or 19 minutes brought the stern of the ship in line with the Cable, which was speedily “up and down.” At 11:30 the end was brought on board - by 11:40 it was on the drum. This was the first practical test of the pick-up machinery and steam engine attached thereto made by Messrs. Penn of Greenwich, and nothing could be more satisfactory than the manner




in which it did its work. Preparations were now made to make the joint and the covering wires having been taken off the rope the skilled workmen from the Gutta Percha Works soon settled themselves under shelter of Mr Canning’s office on deck (it had been raining in torrents since 9 a.m.) and completed making the joint at 1:30 p.m. Mr Willoughby Smith the Chief Electrician lost no time in testing the insulation of the Cable to shore, which was found to be perfect. The making of the splice was now commenced - by 2:30 p.m. it was completed and coiled in the after cable tank. Just as the hands of the clock indicated 3:20, Greenwich time, the Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1866 commenced to pass over the V wheel at the stern of the great cable ship. A hearty cheer from those who witnessed thus far the success of the start, the firing of a couple of guns, the hoisting of the ensign, and of that compound flag of nationalities the Union-Jack and the Stars and Stripes which has been in the service of two previous Atlantic Telegraph expeditions made up all the demonstrations which could be mustered. The “Racoon” gave us one parting gun, and availing herself of as fair a wind as could well blow in her favour, set every stitch of canvas and left for Valentia. The course of the ship was now settled W.N.W. for 33 miles, to be changed about 9 o’clock to N.W. by W. which will take us quite clear to the southward of our route relative of 1865. The following programme of proceedings for laying the Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1866 had been proposed by Mr Samuel Canning, the Chief Engineer so far back as the month of May last and approved of by Mr Glass, the Managing Director. It will be seen that punctuality up to the present moment has been pretty strictly maintained.




Programme of Proceedings for Laying the
Atlantic Telegraph Cable.

1. The S.S. “William Cory” having received on board the shore end for the Irish Coast, and machinery at North Woolwich will leave the Thames not later than the 30th inst. and proceed to Berehaven to be in readiness to lay the shore end when the weather is sufficiently fine.

2. The S.S “Albany” having her recovering machinery, ropes, buoys, & stores on board, will leave the Thames on the 26th and proceed to Cardiff, fill up with coals, and go from thence to Berehaven to assist the “William Cory” in laying the shore end. She will afterwards accompany the expedition to Newfoundland.

3. The S.S. “Medway” having all her coals, cable, and machinery on board, will leave the Thames about the 5th July and proceed to Berehaven to join the “Great Eastern” and be ready to accompany her in laying the Cable.

4. The “Great Eastern” will leave Sheerness on the 30th June for Berehaven to complete her coaling, and be ready to steam out to the buoy on the shore end on or about the 10th July. The splice to the main Cable will be made on board the “Great Eastern”.

5. After the shore end is laid by the “William Cory” & buoyed, if the weather is fine she will remain by the buoy, and the “Albany” will return to Berehaven for the “Great Eastern”.

6. Upon commencing to lay the Cable from the “Great Eastern” the position of the “Terrible” will be ahead of the “Great Eastern” on the port or starboard bow, to keep other vessels out of the course, and the “Medway” will be on the port and “Albany” on the starboard quarter in readiness to pick up or let go a buoy or other work as may be signalled from the “Great Eastern”.

7. All the accompanying ships to keep their allotted positions, and within signalling distance of the “Great Eastern”.

8. The speed of the ship over the ground, in paying out the Cable should in no case exceed six knots per hour.



9. In laying the Cable of 1865, the average slack paid out through the deep water was 15.6 per cent, at an average speed of ship of 6.34 knots per hour, and with a strain ranging from 10 to 14 cwts.

10. The total length of Cable taken out this year being 2,724 miles, it will be seen from the following estimate that 764 miles will be left to complete the line 1865:—

  Distances Cable required
Shoal water Deep water Shore
7 p. cent
Deep water
20 p. cent
Valentia to Hearts Content 1,670 1,960
1866. Valentia to end of shoal water
Lat 52°21', Long 14°40'
164 175.5
Deep water 1,333 1,599.5
Hearts Content to end shoal water.
Lat 49°17', Long 49°40'
173 185
Totals for line of 1866. Distance 1,670 miles Cable 1,960 mls.
1865. From the end of Cable of 1865
to Hearts Content
173 427 185 512.5
Totals for line of 1865 Distance 600 miles Cable 697.5 mls.



Taking this 697.5 miles from 764, we have 66.5 miles of Cable left, and the Cable of 1865 must, therefore, be grappled and spliced within this distance from the end.

11. In the event of any unforeseen occurrence in laying the Cable of 1866, by which the Cable could not be recovered in the deep water, it becomes necessary to fix upon the length remaining on board with which it would be prudent to start again from the point lat. 52°51' N long. 14°40' W or 164 miles from Ireland.

Taking the figures in the previous paragraph with 20 per cent of slack through the deep water, and 7 per cent through the shoal water, the length of Cable required between Ireland and Newfoundland, is 1,960 miles; this taken from the total length




2,724 miles leaves 764 miles which could be paid out, and yet have sufficient Cable left to begin again if an accident happened at that place; but as the Cable can be grappled in between 200 and 300 fathoms depth at lat. 52°21' N long. 14°40’ W this would give 175.5 miles to be added to the 764 miles, making 939 miles, which might be paid out and yet have sufficient Cable to commence again at the above position & reach Newfoundland; but, in deciding upon a point of such importance, I consider a larger margin ought to he allowed, & should not therefore advise re. commencing at the end of the shoal water if more than 830 miles had been paid out when the end of the Cable was lost.

In the event of such an occurrence the expedition must first return to Berehaven or some other port, where the Cable can be transhipped from the “Medway” into the “Great Eastern” before making another attempt.

12. The disconnecting gear on the “Great Eastern” should be tried on the passage round to Berehaven to ascertain how she will answer with both paddle and screw.

13. In case of a fault been discovered, a signal from the testing room will be immediately made by gong to the bridge & paying-out machine to reverse the engines, and by electric bell to the coil, and as soon afterwards as possible, with safety to the Cable to commence hauling back.

14. Should a fault occur, a buoy placed ready at or near to the stern will be immediately attached to the Cable to buoy up the bight. The ship would then be kept as near this position as possible, and other buoys can be attached at intervals if necessary, and if the weather is such that, from the drift of the ship or other causes, too much cable is being lost, and it is necessary to cut the Cable, the end will be moored and buoyed with a large ocean buoy.

The latitude upon which the cable will cross each degree of longitude to be given to each officer in charge of the “Medway” and “Albany” in order that, should the ships part in a fog, any ship




having missed the “Great Eastern” can steam ahead to a meridian where she can be sure the “Great Eastern” cannot have reached, then steam slowly back with the view of picking up the “Great Eastern” which may be engaged recovering a fault.

Both Maryatt’s and Colomb’s signals to be used, the latter method having been already applied to the codifying of all probable signals.

At any time the “Great Eastern” may be heard firing guns, it is to be understood by the accompanying ships that they are desired to close with the “Great Eastern.”

In case of fog on approaching the Newfoundland coast, the “Terrible” will keep close ahead to the “Great Eastern” and direct the latter to alter course by firing one gun to port helm and two guns to starboard same; three guns danger ahead. If the “Great Eastern” fires one or more guns, attendant ships to close in with her.

If when near the land, our position or Trinity Bay cannot be ascertained on account of the fog, and the weather is calm, the “Great Eastern” can be kept nearly in her then position with the Cable, or, if for the safety of the ship, it is necessary to keep further from the land whilst the fog lasts the Cable can be cut, moored and buoyed, and watch buoys put down to facilitate in finding the Cable buoy.

This could also be done should a gale of wind be blowing up Trinity Bay, or whilst making the splice, so that it may be considered dangerous or unadvisable for the “Great Eastern” to go nearer the land.

As soon as the “Terrible” has taken in coal, she will proceed with the “Albany” to the position about 1 mile from the end of the Cable of 1865 and place mark buoys for guidance in grappling. The “Medway” and “Great Eastern” will follow as soon as they have coaled; but should they not join the “Terrible” and “Albany” by the time they have placed the mark buoys, the “Albany” will proceed to grapple for the




Cable, and if she succeed in grappling it, she will lift it as far as possible without approaching the breaking strain, she will then buoy the grapnel rope, and grapple for the Cable again further on. By continuing this she may succeed in lifting the bight or an end to the surface, and buoy it in readiness for the “Great Eastern”.

Should the “Great Eastern” and “Medway” arrive before the bight or end of the Cable is grappled or raised, they will take up their position and commence grappling.

If the three ships are grappling for the Cable at the same time, their relative positions will be - the “Medway” to the West, with the greatest lifting strain, the “Great Eastern” in the middle, and the “Albany” to the East, with the least lifting strain; so that if the Cable is broken by the “Medway”, the end will be secured either by the “Great Eastern” or the “Albany”.

The ships will be provided with grapnels both for breaking and holding the Cable.

It the ships have hold of the Cable, and a gale of wind springs up, so as to prevent the possibility of raising the Cable to the surface, buoys are provided for buoying the grapnel ropes, and watch buoys placed to assist in sighting the grapnel buoys, in case the ships are driven away from their position.

(signed)    Samuel Canning
approved     R.A. Glass.
Managing Director




Saturday, 14 July,

Course during the night NW by W. wind WSW to WNW. A homeward-bound steamer passed us about 11.30. About 2 a.m. a message arrived from Valentia for Mr Canning from Mr Glass intimating that at a meeting held yesterday on the Island at the instance and at the invitation of Mr Henry Bewley of Dublin for the purpose of invoking God’s blessing on those engaged in the undertaking, the warmest sympathy was expressed towards all on board the “Great Eastern”. A reply was sent by Mr Canning thanking Mr Glass for these good wishes and conveying the intelligence that everything was progressing most satisfactorily: and that the greatest confidence was felt in success. The paying out machinery is working to perfection. The Cable comes up from the tank with great ease and facility. The cable-watch are clothed this expedition in canvass dresses which fit over their ordinary clothing. They are fastened from behind. The officer in charge is clothed similarly to the men. The “Terrible” “Albany” & “Medway” are keeping their allotted position. Weather fine - smooth sea. At noon, ship time, we were 135.5 miles from Valentia and 1,533.5 from Hearts Content. - had payed out 144.58 miles of Cable. Lat 52°0'15" Long 14°0'3".




Sunday, 15 July.

All through yesterday the paying-out machinery worked so smoothly - the electrical tests were so perfect - the weather was so fine that fresh confidence in the ultimate result has been naturally inspired. The recollection, however, of the reverses of the expedition of 1865 is always before those who have the greatest reliance in success; and there is a quiet repose about the manner of the chief practical men on board which is an earnest that they will not allow themselves to be carried away by the smoothness of 24 hours events. The convoy kept their position accurately during the day. The “Terrible” signalled to us at 1.45 p.m. that a man had fallen overboard. Her cutter was speedily lowered. The sailor had, however, laid hold of a rope thrown to him from the frigate before the boat reached him. At 10:45 p.m. Mr Willoughby Smith sent us the latest news from Europe, set up in this form:—

The Great Eastern Telegraph.
Saturday evening, 10.45 p.m. July 14, 1866. Vol 1 - No 1 “General Cialdini is moving upon Rovigo with au army of more than 100,000 men and 200 guns. The Austrians have evacuated the whole country between the Mincio and the Adige”.

“Seems it not a feat sublime
Intellect hath conquered time”

The welcome arrival of this message (and by concert with the shore we shall be kept advised of all the leading European news) is a practical proof of the value of our Chief Electrician’s arrangements, for while the message was being transmitted to us, the insulation tests were continuously going on.

The fundamental difference between last year’s system of testing and that of the present expedition is that now all the ordinary tests for continuity &c. may be made simultaneously with the test for insulation which is not interrupted at all; whereas last year during half the time spent in laying the Cable, the Insulation test was wholly neglected, as will presently be shown.

Last year, each hour was divided into four parts. The first half of the hour was spent in testing for insulation. During the second half,




which was divided into three periods of ten minutes each, tests were made to ascertain the resistance of the conductor and to prove the continuity of the same. All these tests were of such a nature as to afford no criterion whatever of the state of the insulation during their continuance, so that during the half of each hour, or in other words, during half the time spent in laying the Cable, the insulation test was neglected. Also, while the insulation test was being made, there was no means of communicating with the shore, as the observations were taken on board only. This year, a test for insulation is constantly kept on, and by Mr Willoughby Smith’s arrangement, corresponding observations are made both on ship and shore. At stated times during the hour, the continuity test is made at the shore station by means of a condenser applied to the conductor of the Cable. The effect of this is to increase the deflection on the ship’s insulation galvanometer, thus serving as a continuity test. Communications from shore to ship are also made by these means. Ship can send signals to shore by simply reversing the current for certain lengths of time, answering to some understood code, or by increasing and diminishing the tension of the line according to a pre-arranged plan. All these operations may be performed without interrupting the insulation test except for a few seconds while the current is being reversed. So far for the new system in the electrical room as compared with last year. And now a word or two about the paying-out and picking-up machinery of 1866, and we shall see how the experience gathered from 1865 has been practically carried into effect. The paying-out apparatus is the same as used last year with the exception of a stronger drum, which is necessary for the purpose of hauling in the Cable at the stern, if required. Powerful gear has been placed by the side of the machine so that by means of clutches the drum can be reversed and the Cable hauled back in case a fault is discovered. This gear is driven by a 40 horse power engine made by Messrs. Penn, and supplied with steam from the main boilers of the ship which insures a supply at any moment. The hauling-in machine for grappling placed at the fore part of the ship is more powerful than the one used last year and consists of two




drums of 5 ft 8 in diameter each by 20 inches broad connected by gear with a Penn engine of 40 horse power similar to that attached to the paying out machine. The rope or cable passes over both drums and an arrangement is made for “fleeting” the grapnel rope or cable on the drums by means of small rollers placed between the drums and each roller guiding a turn of the rope or cable as it passes from one drum to the other. This engine is also supplied with steam power from the ship’s main boilers. At 10 minutes past 10 p.m. the “Albany” was observed to drop astern, and we learned through the medium of Colomb’s admirable flash signals at a distance of about 8 miles that she had lost the bolt of her excentric. At daylight the damage having been repaired she was again in position. The system of signalling on board is very perfect and the convoy like the “Great Eastern” has been supplied by the admiralty with experienced signalmen. We sent early this morning the news of Cialdini’s advance upon Rovigo to Captain Commerell of the “Terrible”, and to Captain Batt R.N. and Captain Prowse, R.N. who are on board the “Albany” & “Medway”. Messages are to be sent every morning to the convoy giving Greenwich time [by Rede’s cone telegraph]. The cone being opened two minutes previously, at 10:30 it will be collapsed and the time will be given accurately. Divine service was performed in the Dining Saloon by Captain Anderson. From noon yesterday to noon today we had payed out 138.97 miles.

Slack of Cable on distance 8.57. Lat. 52°l’15” Long 17°29' Course N 89.40 W. Distance 128. Distance from Valentia Telegraph Office 263. From Office at Hearts Content 1406. Another message has arrived and hag been duly published in the “Great Eastern Telegraph”:—

“Italy has declared to France not to accept separate armistice. Impressions here very warlike, chances of peace having declined. French fleet on its way to Venice and French Commissioners ordered to Venetia. Notice sent head-quarters of Prussian Army to announce armed mediation of the Emperor – Paris 10 July evening.




Monday 16 July.

Still everything going on well. The sea like a mill-pond. The paying out of the Cable from the after tank progressing with uniform certainty and steadiness and the electrical tests perfect. We are now paying out some of the cable of 1865. This tank contains 839.685 miles of which there are 267 miles of the old cable. The fore-tank from which we shall pay out next, holds 670.83 miles with about 3 miles of shore end and the number of miles stowed in the main is 865.439. Mr Canning calculates that we shall have payed out the remaining portion of the old cable by tomorrow morning, and if nothing arises in the way of accident that by Thursday night or early Friday morning the after tank will be emptied. We ought to be then pretty nearly half way to Hearts Content.

We had a second edition of the “Great Eastern Telegraph” at dinner yesterday giving us the following news which was speedily transmitted later in the evening by Colomb’s flash signals to Captain Commerell of the “Terrible” who can lay claim to being the first Captain of Her Majesty’s Navy who enjoyed the luxury of getting news from Europe twice a day on the Atlantic ocean.

“China arrived - Money abundant - gold 153 1/8. Exchange on London 167. Dreadful fire at Portland - half city burnt - 2000 families homeless. Damage ten million dollars.”

Saturday’s News. - No alteration in bank rate. Prussians have declined armistice. Consols 87½. - Cork steamer “Osprey” in collision with H.M.S. “Amazon” for Halifax, off Portland, July 6th. Both foundered - Dozen drowned. Rest reached Torquay in boats. “Amazon” put helm hard starboard”

Our track is about 30 miles to the South of that of last year, and at that distance we passed parallel to where the Telegraph Cable parted in August 1857. The depth of water during yesterday was between 1950 and 2100 fathoms. Temperature 58°. Average strain indicated by the Dynamometer 10.54. Our average speed has been about 5 knots. We were obliged to stop the screw-engines in order to bring her down to that speed, and moreover, to reduce the paddle boiler power. Captain Anderson’s ingenious mode of cleaning the ship’s bottom which he sedulously carried out during last winter at Sheerness, has proved to have effected this very desirable object; for Mr Beckwith, the




Engineer, is now enabled to regulate and adjust her speed, and get more out of the ship if necessary than he could last year, when her bottom was an encrusted mass of mussels.

We exchange latitude and longitude daily with the convoy. Staff Commander Moriarty takes his observations independently; and Captain Anderson and his officers take theirs: so whenever the sun gives them a chance many sextants are at work.

More news from Valentia, but alas! how sad in some respects:—

“Cholera broken out in Liverpool - Several deaths - Yellow fever raging in Vera Cruz. Birmingham Banking Co stopped payment on Saturday - Liabilities over two millions - 800 shareholders. Darmstadt, July 12, 2 a.m. - Princess Louise of Hesse gave birth to a Princess. S.S. “Hibernian” left Greencastle for Quebec 6 a.m. Friday. Drammen, Norway. Fire. 300 houses burnt, 6000 persons homeless, July 13th. House of Lords, Friday. Enfield rifles to be converted into breech loaders.

Captain Moriarty has just issued his bulletin – we learn that since noon yesterday we have payed out 136.88 miles of Cable. Per centage of slack 18.82. Distance run 115.2 miles. Distance from Valentia 378.2. From Hearts Content 1290 miles. Latitude 52°6’ long. 20°36’.




Tuesday, 17 July.

Another twenty four hours of uninterrupted success. All day yesterday it was so calm that the masts of our convoy were reflected in the ocean, an unusual thing to see. A large shoal of porpoises gambolled about us for half an hour. A glorious sun-set, and later, a crescent moon which we hope to see in the brightness of her full, lighting our way into Trinity Bay before the days of this July shall have ended. At 7:55 a.m. Greenwich time the remaining portion of the Cable of 1865 had been payed out of the tank, and we are now rapidly getting rid of the new Cable. At 9.10 the screw engines were slowed to 18 revolutions, and the paddles slowed to 4. We set some canvass, too, with a steady breeze for the south and a smooth sea. Our average speed since we left has been about 5. The strain indicated by the dynamometer since yesterday at 12 o’clock has been 11. After breakfast we saw a bark to the Northward steering Eastward.

Our progress since yesterday is thus indicated in the official paper posted in the cabin:—Distance run 117.8. Cable payed out 137.70. Slack on distance 16.91. Total payed out 557.82. Lat. 52°15' Long 23°48’. Distance from Valentia office 496.1. To Hearts Content office S. 89.35 W. 1173. Depth of water 1950. Wind south.

News from London just as we were at lunch.

“Prussians had successful engagement before Olmitz yesterday. Captured six guns. Further fighting expected today. Austrians withdrawing from Moldavia towards Vienna. London, Tuesday.




Wednesday, 18 July.

A fresh breeze from the southward - a dull grey sky, with occasional rain, and a moderate sea prevailed from noon yesterday, At 5.28 p.m., Greenwich time, a bell in connection with the Electrical room sounded in the tank. Mr Temple, one of Mr Canning’s staff, being on duty, immediately pressed the valve of the steam whistle which is fitted [at Mr Latimer Clark’s suggestion] at the stern and communicates by compressed air through piping to the screw, paddle engines and helm, a similar apparatus being fitted in the bows of the ship. The signal to stop was so promptly answered by the Engineers that the Great Eastern was stopped in less than her own length. Mr Clifford hearing the bell ran at the top of his speed to the paddle engine hatchway, but long before he could reach it, they were stopped. Of course great anxiety arose to ascertain what was the matter. We were all delighted to learn that it was a false alarm. One of Mr Willoughby Smith’s assistants having by mere accident touched the spring of the bell. We had however practical proof from this incident that every one was at his post; and Captain Anderson, ever thoughtful & watchful took advantage of what occurred to make some alterations in concert with Mr Canning in the instructions to the officer on duty so that he should verbally communicate with the Engineer if a similar alarm was given, and not trust entirely to the whistle system effective though it is in working. All went on well until 12.20 a.m. Greenwich time, when the first real shock was given to the success which has hitherto attended us, and this time we had real cause to be alarmed. A foul flake took place in the after tank. The engines were immediately turned astern, and the paying out of the Cable stopped. We were all soon on the deck and learned that the running or paying out part of the [Cable] coil had caught three turns of the flake immediately under it, carried them into the eye of the coil fouling the lay out and hauling up one and a half turns from the outside, and five turns in the eye of the under flake. This was stopped fortunately before entering the paying out machinery. Stoppers of hemp also were put on near the V wheel astern, and Mr Canning gave orders to stand by to let go the buoy. This was not very cheering




to hear, but his calm and collected manner gave us all confidence that his skill and experience would extricate the Cable from the obvious danger in which it was placed. No fishing line was ever entangled worse than the rope was when thrust up in apparently hopeless knots from the eye of the coil to the deck. There at least 500 feet of rope lay in this state, in the midst of thick rain and increasing wind. The cable crew set to work under their Chief Engineer’s instructions to disentangle it. Mr Halpin was there too patiently following the bights as they shewed themselves. The crew now passing them forward - now aft, until at last the character of the tangle was seen and soon it became apparent that ’ere long the Cable would be cleared and passed down to the tank. All this time Captn Anderson was at the taffrail anxiously watching the strain on the rope, which he could scarcely make out the night was so dark, and endeavouring to keep it up and down, going on and reversing with paddle & screw. When one reflects for a moment upon the size of the ship and the enormous mass she presents to the wind the difficulty of keeping her stern under the circumstances over the Cable can be appreciated. The port paddle wheel was disconnected but shortly afterwards there was a shift of wind and the vessel canted the wrong way. Welcome voices were now heard passing the word aft from the tank that the bights were cleared, and to pay out. Then the huge stoppers were gently loosened and at 2:5 a.m. to the joy of all we were once more discharging the cable. They veered it away in the tank to clear away the foul flake until 3 a.m. when the screw & paddle engines were slowed so as to reduce the speed of the ship to 4½ knots. During all this critical time there was an entire absence of noise and confusion. Every order was silently obeyed and the Cable-men and crew worked with hearty good will. Mr Canning has had experience of foul flakes before this, and shewed that he knew what to do in the emergency. But what of the electrical condition of the Cable during this period? Simply that through its entire length it is perfect or as it is technically called O.K. We lost the Terrible in the thickness of the night and save for a few minutes, did not see her till 7 this morning.




The “Albany” and “Medway” shewed on the starboard & port quarters at 5 a.m. The weather is still very hazy. More messages through the Cable, which should be duly recorded for when this Diary is circulated among the newspapers of the United States within ten days from this date earlier intelligence of European news will be distributed than can be obtained in any other way. Here are the messages of yesterday’s “Great Eastern” Telegraph”:—

“6.0 p.m. Home news. Money market firm. Bank rate 10. French bonds risen ½ per cent. Birmingham Bank to be wound up in Chancery. Much local but no general suffering. London prices unaffected. Ex-chief Baron Pollock to be a Baronet. Lord Henry Lennox is now Secretary to the Admiralty.

Foreign news. Cialdini occupies Padua and Venice, both on the line of Railway connecting Vienna and the Quadrilateral, Venice, Padua is only 23 miles from Venice. The only Austrian troops now having railway connection with Venice are those in Venice itself. Conflict between Prussians & Federals on 13th. Prussians completely victorious. Federals evacuated Frankfort. Prussians marching there. Among conditions of peace Prussia and Italy include the re-establishment of Hungary. Count de Chambois palace at Vienna is offered for sale.

“Racoon” leaves Valentia to-morrow for Queenstown.”

This message which consists of 136 words was sent through the whole Cable without the slightest mistake, at the rate of 1½  words per minute, the insulation test going on all the time. Distance run since noon yesterday 104.7 miles. Cable payed out 124.66. Per centage of slack 19.06. Distance from Valentia 600.2 miles. From Hearts Content 1068.8. Lat. 52°1’ N. long 26°37’ W.




Thursday 19 July.

There was a fresh breeze in the afternoon yesterday increasing towards evening. It brought a heavy swell on the port quarter which caused the ship to roll. The paying out from the after tank went on steadily. Two of the large buoys were lifted by derrick from the deck near the bows of the ship, and placed in position on the port & starboard side of the forward pick-up machinery, ready for letting go if necessary. The sun went down with an angry look, and the scud came rapidly from the Eastward, the sea rising. A wind dead aft is not the best for Cable laying, particularly if any accident should take place. By 11.30 p.m. tonight we shall have exhausted the contents of the after tank and the Cable will then be payed out from the fore tank along the trough to the stern, the distance from the centre of the tank to the paying out machinery being 494 feet. Last night the swell was very heavy to which the “Great Eastern” proved herself not insensible. Her rolling like everything else appertaining to her is done on a grand scale. We see the liveliness with which that operation is performed on board the “Albany” and “Medway”, and we are not at all disposed to be too critical in our observations on our own movements. The speed of the ship was kept at 4½ during the night — the slower the better is the opinion of all on board. - Festina lente. We are consuming about 100 tons a day of the 7000 tons of coal which we had on board when we left Berehaven, and Mr Beckwith who has been Engineer of the Great Eastern from her first voyage to the present moment says her engines were never in better order; and their appearance and working do him and his able staff of assistant Engineers the greatest credit.

The news from Valentia Station as published in the “Telegraph” is as follows:—

“Wednesday, 9 p.m. English funds risen 3/8 per cent. Stock Exchange rate for short loans on English securities 5 and 7 per cent. General rate for good paper 9 and 9½ per cent.

House of Commons, Monday night. New Ministers took their seats. Attorney General said it was not intended to proceed with Bankruptcy Bill this session. In reply to several members, General Peel said




rifles altered to breech-loaders would be ready for our troops before end of financial year. Gladstone withdrew Reform Bill. Verdict of murder against the Warder of Brighton for murder of his wife. 15 deaths from cholera at Liverpool. Prince of Wales & Duke of Edinboro’ visited “Miantonomah” Saturday. America, Maryland has decided upon extending negro testimony from the Courts at Smyrna. Fight between solders and negroes at Atlanta. Sweeney urges Fenians to continue their preparations. Cholera gone from New York.

Thursday 19th 7.33 a.m. Prussians repeating victories and gaining adhesions from small states. The main army within 50 miles of Vienna - have cut the railway to Vienna. Austrian army between Prussians and Vienna under Archduke, 160,000 men. Money & archives removed from Vienna to Comorn. Armament of French fleet stopped. The Italians occupy Bargo Forte. Fleet left Ancona. “Moniteur*” denies Emperor contemplates armed mediation. Great preparations at Cronstadt for grand reception of Captain Fox bearing address from American Congress congratulating Czar on his escape from assassination.”

Distance run since noon yesterday 112.2 miles. Cable payed out 128.66. Percentage of slack 14.67. Distance from Valentia 712.9. From Hearts Content 956.1. Lat 51°54'30" N. Long 29°39’ W. Depth of water 2177 fms. Wind East.

[*“Moniteur”: Le Moniteur Universel, a French newspaper]




Friday 20 July.

Yesterday was a day of complete success, the paying out in every respect satisfactory. The wind still from the Eastward but inclined to draw to the Northward - the sea entirely gone down. As Mr Canning told us we should see the after tank emptied at 11 o’clock (ship’s time) we were all collected there about 10 o’clock by which time the Cable was down to the last flake. Next to having clear daylight for changing from the after to the fore tank we could not have had a more favorable time - clear starlight — no wind and a smooth sea. Looking down into the tank, the scene was highly picturesque. The cable-watch whose figures were lighted up by the lamps suspended from above, slowly & cautiously lifted the turns of the coil to ease their path to the eye. As each found its way to the drum, the wooden floor of the tank shewed itself and then we saw more floor and as its area increased the cable swept along its surface with a low subdued noise until with graceful curve it mounted to the outlet where it was soon to join a fresh supply. And now we hear the word passed that they have arrived at the last turn, and the men who stand on the stages of the platform of the eye with the bight, watch its arrival and pass it up with tender caution until it reaches the summit - then it rushes down a wooden incline to meet the spliced rope which had by this time come down along the trough leading from the forward tank. This operation was conducted with great skill by Mr Canning and his experienced assistants Messrs Clifford & Temple. At 1.11 a.m. (Greenwich) the fresh rope was going over the stern and the screw engines going ahead at 1.13. A watch of four men is now stationed fore and aft all along the trough which is illuminated by many lamps at short distances from each other. A lamp with a green light indicates the mile-mark as it comes up from the tank and this signal is repeated until it reaches the stern where it is recorded by the clerk who keeps the cable 1og in an office adjoining the paying-out machinery. A red lamp indicates danger.




During the day time red and blue flags are used. All through the night the sea was smooth as glass, and by this morning we saw that a sensible impression had been made on the contents of the fore tank which holds 670.83 miles of cable, underneath which is 3 miles of Shore-end. The after tank held 839 miles. The ship begins to lighten at the bows and by this time to morrow will come up more as the Cable passes out of the tank. At 7.30 a.m. we saw a ship-rigged vessel to the Northward steering about E. by S. - distance 7 or 8 miles. The wind shifted to S.W. about day break. “Terrible”, “Albany” & “Medway” all in position.

News comes to the “Great Eastern Telegraph” as regularly as Mr Reuter sends it to the London newspapers. Hers is what reached us yesterday:—

“Money well supported at yesterday’s improvement. Great Western and South Eastern Railway stock 1½ per cent. Money is easy on Stock Exchange. Short loans on Government securities 7 to 6 per cent. Mrs. Gordon declines to prosecute ex-Governor Eyre. Mr Berkeley’s ballot motion lost 197 to 119. Commission to enquire into the condition of mercantile marine - causes of falling off in numbers & efficiency in last 20 years. Mr Henley objected to government action. Sir Stafford Northcote objected also, but pledged government to institute full inquiry into the subject — motion withdrawn. Parliament to be pro-rogued August 4th. Lord St Leonards gave notice of motion that should severance between Church at home and in the Colonies take place, endowments of latter should revert to donors. Frankfort is occupied by the Prussians who are advancing on Vienna.  Negociations for a three days truce between Prussians & Austrians have failed. All Austrian troops still in Vienna have retired to fortresses. Italy. Volunteers defeated by Austrians at Condino 16th inst. Prince Napoleon has gone from Paris, on a special mission to head-quarters of Victor Emmanuel. 100 to 80 against Gladiateur for Goodwood Cup. 33 to 1 against Dragon for Derby 1867. Zara 19 July. Yesterday Italian fleet




consisting of iron clad vessels and several steamers opened attack on Island of Lissa on the coast of Dalmatia, result not known.

London, Friday morning.

“Moniteur” announces Prussia accepted basis arrangement proposed by Napoleon. Agreed to abstain from hostilities for five days to await Austria’s reply.”

Distance run since noon yesterday 117.5. Cable payed out 127.46. Per centage of slack 8.48. Distance from Valentia 830.4. From Hearts Content 838.6. Course S.81 W. Lat. 51°36’. Long. 32°47'30"




Saturday 21 July.

Yesterday was our seventh day of paying out Cable, and so far we have been more fortunate than the expedition of last year. During the same period of 1865 two faults had occurred - one on the 24th July - the other on the 29th, causing a detention of 56 hours. At 3 p.m. we were half-way, and passed where the Atlantic Cable of 1858 parted twice, on the 26th and 28th of June. Sad memories to many! We feel however that every hour is increasing our chance of effecting this great work. “I believe we shall do it this time, Jack” I heard one of our crew say to another last night. “I believe so too, Bill” was the reply “and if we don’t we deserve to do it and that’s all”. It blew very hard from two o’clock yesterday up to 10 p.m. by which time the wind gradually found its way from South West to North West which is right ahead - just what we want for cable laying. The “Terrible” and the two other ships plunged into the very heavy sea which the Southwester raised, and we made up our minds from what we saw that the “Great Eastern” is the right ship to be in, in a gale of wind. During the night heavy showers of rain. This morning the sea was comparatively smooth and the sky shewed welcome patches of bright blue. If all goes well we shall be up tomorrow evening, at the place where last years Cable parted. A couple of days would bring us to shallower water, and then we may fairly look for our “Hearts Content”. Messages come from England with the news, regularly and speedily — excellent practice for the clerks on shore and on board ship — great comfort to us and the best evidence to those who will read this journal of the great fact that up to this time the Cable is doing its electric work efficiently. Yesterday’s “Great Eastern Telegraph” gave us the following intelligence:—

“Prussians crossed river, march near Holitzon, Hungary. Reform League announced intention to hold demonstration in Hyde Park notwithstanding prohibition of police. Consols risen ¼ per cent. Steady demand for United States bonds, which have risen 5/8 per cent. Money plentiful on Stock Exchange. Rates for short loans Government securities 5 to 6 per cent. House of Commons. Mr Creedy withdrew his elective franchise education tests




bill. Election returning officers bill, for giving no votes referred to select committee. Debate on second reading of Mr Gladstone’s Church rate bill. Mr Disraeli offered no objection to it, but could not pledge the government [not] to oppose the third reading. First dinner of the Cobden club met Saturday at the “Star and Garter”. Mr Gladstone in the chair supported by Earl Russell. First delivery of breech loaders at War Office 4th August. Italians attacked Borgo Forte on 17th. Austrians withdrew leaving guns munitions and provisions. Italians had enthusiastic reception from inhabitants. An influential deputation from Glasgow to Chancellor of Exchequer, praying for a commission to enquire into working of Bank Act. National Rifle association’s annual camp gathering on Wimbledon Common going off very merrily. A member of the London Scottish won the Queen’s prize, Common illuminated every night. Theatrical concerts and hospitable festivities in honour of the Belgian volunteers. Grand volunteer review in Hyde park tomorrow (Saturday).

London, Saturday morning. “Java” arrived. New York 11th Creoles revolted against Spanish Government at Puerto Principi 27th. Four Chilian ships disembarked 2000 men to assist insurgents. Lord Stanley declared last night in Commons England’s policy pacific, observant, free from all engagements. Austria accepted proposal Prussia abstain from hostilities for 5 days during which Austria will have to notify acceptance of preliminaries.

Mr Cyrus Field sent a message from the ship to Liverpool at 11.16 a.m. Greenwich time. The observations of the day place the ship in Lat. 51°18' long 36°1'. Course S.81.30 W. Wind N.W. Distance run 121.9. Payed out 135.73 nautical miles of cable making a total of 1074.33 miles. We are 952.3 miles from Valentia. 716.7 miles from Hearts Content in 1800 fathoms water. Average strain on the Dynamometer 14. The Cable touches the water at a distance of about 230 feet from the stern and the angle it makes is generally 10 to 12. The weather looking fine but it is variable between Long. 30°and 45°even at this time of the year.




Sunday the 22 July.

Still success to record. A bright clear day with a fresh & invigorating breeze from the North West. Cable going out with unerring smoothness at the rate of 6 miles an hour. There has been great improvement in the insulation. On leaving Sheerness the resistance of the Gutta Percha per knot was about 800 millions ohmads as it is scientifically called - or in other word “units”. It is now about 1900 millions units which shews an increased resistance of 5000 millions per knot on the portion already laid. It must be borne in mind that this result has been obtained by tests made through the whole length of the Cable both that part of it already submerged & that remaining on board ship and that this remarkable improvement is attributable to the greatly decreased temperature of and pressure on the Cable in the sea. This is a very satisfactory result to Mr Willoughby Smith. Signals too come every hour more distinctly and the Chief Electrician thinks that when the Cable is laid, working the present system, 7 to 8 words per minute will be the rate at which messages will be transmitted from Hearts Content to Valentia. This morning the breeze freshened. We are now about 30 miles to the southward of the place where the Cable parted on the 2nd  August 1865, having then paid out 1213 miles.

Captain Anderson read divine service in the Dining Saloon.  The following telegram arrived and was published in yesterday Evening’s edition of the “Great Eastern Telegraph”:—

“London, Saturday noon. The following are today’s quotations:—
  Atlantic £1000 shares   275 to 310.  
Do 8 per cent pref. to 3 3/8.  
Anglo-American to ½  
T.C.& M. Coy to ¼ dis.

Funds advancing ½ firm. Preston Banking Coy has stopped payment. Shares firm except Atlantic preference which are flat at 3 to ¼. Marquis of Abercorn installed as Lord Lieutenant yesterday. Reformers persist in holding meeting in Hyde Park. Sir Richard Mayne has asked Mr Beale to interfere, who declined on




constitutional grounds.

Per “Java”. General Sickle[s] at Charleston has refused to respond to Habeas Corpus - pleads privilege. Mr Stanton orders resistance by force while the President orders Sickles to answer writ. Money abundant in New York. Exchange on London 153.

Severe Naval engagement yesterday off Lissa. Austrians claim victory. Sank one Italian ironclad, run down another, blew up a third.”

This morning brings another message.

“Sunday July 22. Lord Shaftesbury has protested against Reform Meeting. Discussion in House of Common on turret-gun ships. Sir John Pakington admitted that England is behind other nations. Some sparring between Sir George Bowyer and Mr Gladstone as to real cause of England’s sympathy with Italy. A long letter published from the King of Prussia to the Queen giving Her Majesty account of battle of Konigratz.”

Noon. Lat 50°48’ Long 39°14’. Course S 76.20 W. Wind W. & S. Distance run 123.4. Payed out since yesterday 133.14 making a total of 1207.47. From Valentia we are 1075.7 miles. From Hearts Content 593.3. Depth of water 1950 fathoms.




Monday 23 July.

Between 6 and 7 p.m. yesterday we passed over the deepest part of our course. There was no additional strain on the dynamometer which indicated from 10 to 14, the Cable going out with its accustomed regularity. The wind still fresh from the North westward - during the night it went round to the South West, and this morning there is a long roll from the Southward.

At 11.46 a.m. Mr Cyrus Field sent a message to Valentia requesting Mr Glass to obtain the latest news from India and China, so that on our arrival at Hearts Content we shall be able to transmit it to the principal cities of the United States. In just eight minutes he had a reply in these words “Your message received and is in London by this”. Outside the Telegraph room there is a placard put up on which is posted the news shortly after its arrival: and groups of the crew may be seen reading it just as we see a crowd at a newspaper office in London. Mr Dudley, the Artist has made a very spirited sketch of “Jack” reading the contents of the morning Telegraphic news of the Times - Printing House Square being distant in or about 1600 miles. On board the Great Eastern, ship of luxury! he has been supplied with the latest intelligence from the seat of war twice a day. How he will grumble when he gets ashore! He is not going to pay a pound a word for news, but his newspapers will supply it to him and he does not know or care what it costs. But what a sum has been spent in Atlantic Telegraphs! It cannot now fall short of two millions and a half, or over 12 millions of Dollars. More millions will be found if it shall be practically proved that America can permanently talk to England and through her to the Eastern Hemisphere and England to America by this ocean wire.




At 1/4 to 12 today but 215 miles Cable remained to be paid out of the fore tank. Towards night we hope to see it empty — then, for a small supply from the main tank and then - but hopeful though we are, let us not anticipate.

The following is just to hand:—

“Five days armistice between Austrians and Prussians commenced noon today. More fighting in Tyrol at Valori Ledra yesterday. Austrians claim victory.

Noon. Lat 50°15’48" Long 42°16'31" Course S 74.38 W. Wind S.S.W. Distance run 121.2. Payed out 137.77. Distance from Valentia 1196.9. From Hearts Content 472.1. Depth of water 2050 fms.




Tuesday 24th July.

Breakfast at 8. Lunch at 1. Dinner at 6. Tea at 8. 502 souls who live on board this huge ship following their prescribed occupations. Cable going out merrily. Electrical tests and signals perfect, and this is the history of what has taken place from noon yesterday to noon today. May we have three days more of such delightful monotony. It rained very hard during yesterday evening and as we approach the banks of Newfoundland we get thick and hazy weather. The “Great Eastern Telegraph” publishes the following:—

“Austrians have accepted preliminaries peace proposed by Prussians which excludes her from new German confederation to be organized by the latter.  Baring Bro’s announce that large remittances are on their way to pay the dividends on the Mexican bonds. Consols, money 88 1/8 to ¼. No alteration in Bank rate expected for a week or two. Liabilities of Preston Banking Company stated to be £1,500,000 — paid up capital £100,000. Opening dinner of the Cobden Club a great success on Saturday. Founded after Pitt and Fox Clubs. 50 members. Speeches  from Mr Gladstone, Earl Russell and Mr Stuart Mill. King & Queen of Belgians have returned to Brussels after a triumphal tour thro’ their dominions. Court martial on sinking of “Amazon” resulted in honorable acquittal of Commander T. Hunter. Notice of question on this subject in the House tonight and of five days armistice confirmed. News of this morning considers Prussia has fully justified her threats by deeds, and that the Prussian army is better in every particular than the Austrian. The “Daily News” considers that the security of the Austrian Monarchy does not require another battle to be fought & hopes that no delusive ambitions as to leadership in Germany will turn the Emperor from thoughts of peace. English Ladies Association formed for relief of sick and wounded prisoners of all sides in Germany and Italy. Countess of Shaftesbury, Miss Nightingale, Madam Lind - Goldschmidt, and a powerful Committee. Some disturbance is expected in Hyde Park this evening. The Home Secretary & Sir Richard Mayne are determined to prevent the proposed political gathering while the advanced reformers are equally resolved on holding it. Mr




John Bright asks by letter on what foundation does our liberty rest if the right to hold a public meeting in a public park is denied. “Special” still first favourite for Goodwood Stakes. 12 o’clock prices. Atlantic £1000  shares 250 to 300. Ditto 8 per cents 3/8 to 1/2. Anglo-American 9 3/8 to 5/8. T.C. & M. Coy ¾ to ¼ dis. Italian ironclad “Re du Italia” sunk by Austrians was built in America. Bombay July 10th 4 p.m. 7 lb shirtings 7 r 8 a. Cotton quiet. Exchange on London 2/-. Calcutta July 8th ¼ lb. shirtings 8 r. 12 a. 40s. Mule twist 8½ a. Exchange on London 2/0¾.

Italy agreed suspension of hostilities.

Reform demonstration in Hyde Park yesterday. 1500 Police/ Detachment Guards present. Park gates closed. Mob broke down railings, forced entrance, several people injured. Horse Guards charged the mob, but did not use their swords. “Times” says peace may be looked upon as virtually concluded & that Germany is henceforth closed to all intents and purposes.

In Commons Monday night Lord Stanley said Cabinet most anxious to remove any irritation arising out of cases connected with war between North and South. Could not say what answer would be given if claim is preferred by American Cabinet. English Government intended to issue Royal Commission to enquire into neutral laws and if possible to revise them.”

Noon. Lat 49°45’ Long 45°21’. Course S 75.15 W. Wind WNW. Distance run since yesterday 122.7. Payed out 134.82. Dist from Valentia 1319.6. From Hearts Content 349.4. Depth of water 2225 fathoms. Per centage of slack 9.87.




Wednesday 25 July.

Fog and thick rain - just the weather to expect on approaching the Banks of Newfoundland. The convoy keep their position, and though sometimes the fog hides the ships from our view yet we know where they are by their signal-whistles. 2 from the “Terrible” - 3 from the “Medway” and 4 from the “Albany” which is replied to by a prolonged single shriek from our whistle. At 1.52 Greenwich time (ship’s time 10.45 p.m. last night) the fore-tank being nearly empty preparations were made for passing the bight of the Cable into the main tank. At 2.15 all the Jockey-wheels of the paying out machinery were up and the breaks released. 2.23 the bight was passed steadily and cautiously by the Cable-hands outside of the trough to the main tank and at 2.35 the splice went out over the stern into 1542.8 fathoms. By arrangement with Sir James Hope, the admiral of the North American Station who has received instructions from the Admiralty to give the present expedition every assistance in his power, a frigate or sloop will be placed in Long 48°25'52" which is just 31 miles from the entrance to Trinity Bay and 60 from Hearts Content. She will probably hang on by a kedge in that position which shews the “fairway” right up the Bay: and if it be clear we ought to see her about day-break on Friday morning. The fog was very thick this morning but occasionally lifts. As long as the wind is from the Southwest we cannot expect clear weather.

The news of to-day is as follows:—

“London 9 a.m. Riots in Hyde Park renewed last evening. Police attacked with stones and brickbats. Soldiers, horse and foot called out. Attacks on private property as night approached. Parliament will be immediately asked to guarantee £4,000,000 for construction of inter-colonial railway from Halifax. Prussian army engaged 35,000 Austrians before Presburg. Prussians victorious. Occupation of Presburg prevented by news of armistice. New York 14th evening. Gold 152½ - Randall appointed Postmaster-General vice Dennison resigned -




Political differences with President. “Times” city article announces probable completion of Atlantic Cable Friday next. Atlantic shares active, transactions at an improvement. American breach between President & Congress widening. Reported that Stanton, Harland and Speed will also resign. Wednesday. “Owl*” says Cabinet entirely occupied yesterday with Hyde Park riots. In Lords, Tuesday, Derby deplored riots - object, intimidation not full discussion. If necessary special constables should be called out. Granville said Government should be supported. Commons, discussion also on riots. Sir George Grey also supported his view, that meetings should not be held in Park. Gladiateur scratched for the Goodwood cup. No other change.”

Noon. Lat 42°29'40". Long 48°10'40." Distance run 1430. Cable payed out 1610.53. Per centage of slack 12.62. Distance from Hearts Content 239.8 miles.

[*“Owl”: The Owl: A Wednesday Journal of Politics and Society]




Thursday 26 July

All day yesterday it was as “thick as mustard.” We have had now 48 hours of fog. Though it lifted a little this morning at 5 a.m. it still looks like more of it. Captain Anderson signalled to the “Albany” at 10.15 last night to start at daybreak and proceed to Lat. 48°25’ Long. 52°30’ to discover the station ship and report us at hand. Should she fail to find her then to try and make the land and guide us up Trinity Bay. Another signal was sent at 12.30 to the effect that the “Terrible” and “Medway” would be sent ahead to meet the “Albany” and establish a line to lead us in even with a fog. The “Albany” started at 3.30. At 4.45 (Greenwich time) the Cable Engineer in Charge took one weight off each brake of the paying out machinery. At 7.40 all weights taken off; the assumed depth being 300 fathoms. The indicated strain on the Dynamometer gradually decreasing. Speed of ship 5 knots. Wind variable from S W to N W and then N E to East. We are going to try and pick up the Cable of 1865 in 2,500 fathoms; (and we mean to succeed too) therefore should the Cable we are now paying out part, it can be understood how easy it would be to raise it from a depth of 300 fathoms. At 8.55 we signalled to the “Terrible” to sound and received a reply - 160 fathoms. At 11.30 we informed her that when at the buoy off Hearts Content she should have her paddle-box boat and two cutters ready to be alongside immediately for holding the bight of the Cable during the splice and laying the shore-end. The “Medway” was told at the same time to prepare two 5-inch ropes and two large mushroom anchors with fifty fathoms chain for anchoring during splice in 170 fathoms water, and we intimated to her that when inside Trinity Bay we should signal for two boats to take hands on board her for shore end.

News of today. Telegram from Mr Glass in reply to one from Mr Canning:—“I congratulate you all most sincerely on your




arrival in 130 fathoms. I hope nothing will interfere to mar the hitherto brilliant success, and that the Cable will be landed tomorrow O.K.”

“London 12 o’clock
Prices. Anglo American 10¼, 3/8
Atlantic 8p cent, 3 7/8, 4
T.C. & M. Co. ½ ¼ dis.
Atlantic £1000 275, 300

No further Park riots anticipated. Money market rapidly improving. Reduction of Bank rate, if not one per cent today, probably two per cent next Thursday.

No interruption reported of peace negotiations. “Times”says but for armistice, Italians would now have been in full possession of Southern Tyrol. Prussians organizing Hungarian legion 9000 men ready to enter Hungary with a Prussian corps d’armée on expiration of armistice. Rumour of Italian 5 per cent loan to raise £6,000,000 at 45 shillings.

Reform League announce meeting Monday next in Hyde Park by arrangement with Government. Home Secretary writes that no promise made or answer yet given to application for leave to hold meeting.”

Noon. Lat. 48°45’ Long 51°16'30". Distance run 1558.2. Cable payed out 1744.08 miles. Per centage of slack 11.93. Distance from Hearts Content 110.8 miles. Depth of water 130 fathoms.




Friday 27 July

Shortly after 2 p.m. yesterday two ships which were soon made out to be steamers were seen to the westward, and the Terrible steaming on ahead, in about an hour signalled to us that H.M.S. “Niger” was one of them, accompanied by the “Albany”. The “Niger”, Captain Bruce, sent a boat to the “Terrible” as soon as he came up with her. The “Albany” shortly afterwards took up her position on our starboard quarter, and signalled that she spoke the “Niger” at noon bearing E. by N., and that the “Lily” was anchored at the station at the entrance of Trinity Bay as arranged with the Admiral. The “Albany” also reported that she had passed an iceberg in Lat 48°34’ Long 52°10 about 60 feet high. At 20 after 4 p.m. the “Niger” came on our port side, quite close and Captain Bruce sending the crew to the rigging and manning the yards gave us three cheers which were heartily returned by the Great Eastern. She then steamed ahead towards Trinity Bay. The “Albany” was signalled to go on immediately to Hearts Content, clear the N.E. side of the harbour of shipping & place a boat with a red flag for Captain Anderson to steer to, for anchorage. Just before dinner we saw on the southern horizon, distant about 10 miles, an iceberg, probably the one which the “Albany” met with. It was apparently about 50 or 60 feet in height. The fog came on very thick about 8 p.m., and between that and ten we were constantly exchanging guns and burning blue lights with the “Terrible” who with the “Niger” went in search of the “Lily” station ship. The “Terrible” having been signalled to come up and take her position, informed us they had made the “Lily” out and that she bore then about E.N.E. distant 4 miles. Later in the night Capt Commerell said that if Capt Anderson would stop the Great Eastern he would send the Surveyor Mr Robinson, R.N. who came out in the “Niger”, on board of us and about 3 the engines were slowed and the “Terrible” but very shortly afterwards came alongside with that officer. Catalina Light at the entrance of Trinity




Bay had been made out three hours before this, and the loom of the coast had also been seen. Fog still prevailing! According to Mr Robinson’s account, if they got one clear day in seven at the entrance of the Bay they consider themselves fortunate. Here we are now (6 a.m.) within 10 miles of Hearts Content, and we can scarcely see more than a ship’s length. The “Niger” however is ahead and her repeated guns tell us where we are with accuracy. Good fortune follows us and scarcely has 8 o’clock arrived when the massive curtain of fog raises itself gradually from both shores of Trinity Bay disclosing to us the entrance of Hearts Content, the Albany making for the harbour, the Margaretta Stevenson, surveying vessel steaming out to meet us, the prearranged path-way all marked with buoys by Mr J.H. Kerr R.N. and a whole fleet of fishing boats fishing at the entrance. We could now plainly see that Hearts Content, so far as its capabilities permitted was prepared to welcome us. The British & American flags floated from the Church and Telegraph Station & other buildings. We had dressed ship, fired a salute & given three cheers & Capt Commerell of H.M.S. “Terrible” was soon on board to congratulate us on our success. At 9 o’clock ship’s time just as we had cut the cable and made arrangements for the “Medway” to lay the shore-end, a message arrived giving us the concluding words of a leader in this morning’s “Times”. “It is a great work a glory to our age and nation, & the men who have achieved it deserve to be honoured among the benefactors of their race. Treaty of peace signed between Prussia & Austria”. It was now time for the Chief Engineer Mr Canning to make the necessary preparations for splicing on board the “Medway”. Accompanied by Mr Gooch M.P. Mr Clifford, Mr Willoughby Smith, Messrs. Temple and Deane went on board, the “Terrible” and “Niger” having sent their paddle box boats & cutters to assist. Shortly



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afterwards the “Great Eastern” steamed into the harbour and anchored on the N.E. side, and was quickly surrounded by boats laden with visitors. Mr Cyrus Field had come on shore before the “Great Eastern” had left the offing, with a view of telegraphing to St. John’s to hire a vessel to repair the cable unhappily broken between Cape Ray in Newfoundland and Cape North in Breton Island. Before a couple of hours the shore end will be landed, and it is impossible to conceive a finer day for effecting this our final operation. Even here people can scarcely realize the fact that the Atlantic Telegraph Cable has been laid. To-morrow, however, Hearts Content will awaken to the fact that it is a highly favoured place in the world’s esteem, the western landing place of that marvel of electric communication with the Eastern Hemisphere, which is now happily, and we hope finally established.

“Seems it not a feat sublime
Intellect hath conquered time.”

John C. Deane

27th July 1866



Messages of the Queen and President, and to Cyrus Field

A separate document, which appears to be in the same hand as the Diary, reproduces on one side the text of the messages exchanged over the cable between Queen Victoria and President Andrew Johnson, and on the other, congratulatory messages sent to Cyrus Field at Heart’s Content by President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward:



Received on board the “Great
Eastern” July 27th 1866
Commenced receiving 11.28 am.
Finished " 1.49 "

“The Queen, Osborne, to the President of the United States, Washington.
The Queen congratulates the President on the successful completion of an undertaking which she hopes may serve as an additional bond of union between the United States & England.”


Received at Heart’s Content Station
July 31st 1866
Received from New York 3.42 pm.
Commenced sending 3.50 "
Finished         " 4.1 "
Received in London 4.11 "
Message received of its having been delivered to the Queen at Osborne at 5.0 pm.

“Executive Mansion, Washington 11.30 am. July 30
To her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The President of the United States acknowledges with profound gratification the receipt of her Majesty’s despatch, and cordially reciprocates the hope that the cable that now unites the Eastern and Western hemispheres may serve to strengthen and perpetuate peace and amity between the Government of England and the Republic of the United States.

Andrew Johnson”

I certify that the above messages were sent through
the Atlantic Cable

Will[oughb]y. Smith
Chief Electrician of the
Telegraph Construction &
Maintenance Coy.



Telegraph received from the President of the United States

“To Cyrus W. Field Esq., Heart’s Content, July 31st 1866.

I heartily congratulate you, and trust that your enterprise may prove as successful as your efforts have been persevering. May the cable under the sea tend to promote and to perpetuate peace and harmony between the Republic of the West and the Governments of the Eastern Hemisphere.

(signed) Andrew Johnson.”

Telegraph received from the Secretary of State

“To Cyrus W Field Esq. Heart’s Content July 31 1866.
Acknowledgements & congratulations. If the Atlantic cable had not failed in 1858, European States would not have been led in 1861 into the great error of supposing that civil war in America could either perpetuate African slavery or divide the Republic. Your great achievement constitutes, I trust, an effective treaty of international neutrality & re-union.

(signed) W.H. Seward.”


Landing of the Shore End and Recovery of the 1865 Cable

Atlantic Telegraph Expedition 1866
The Landing of the Shore End


Atlantic Telegraph Expedition 1866
The Landing of the Shore End

The Harbour of Heart’s Content presented a scene of interest and excitement on the evening of Friday the 27th July which will not easily be effaced from the memory of those who witnessed the final triumph of the Atlantic Telegraph Expedition of 1866. Securely anchored in its capacious waters lay the “Great Eastern” surrounded by her faithful convoy, while boats of all sizes & kinds flocked about her laden with the inhabitants, who rushed wildly on board to see the Leviathan ship and all her wonders. Now, groups were seen examining the machinery – others & by far the greater number found their way to the Grand Saloon, the luxurious fittings of which appeared to attract their greatest admiration. The velvet covered sofas in the Ladies Saloon found a succession of occupants in the persons of the fair daughters of Heart’s Content, and the piano responded to the touch of more than one of them on some popular music of the day. For a week before the arrival of the ship, people living even as far away as St John’s, eighty miles distant, had been waiting to see her. Where or how they lodged is known only to themselves. To us who reckoned the houses in the village & round the Bay (and they number about 60) is a mystery.

While this crowd of visitors was on board there was a select gathering on shore, comprising the leading resident gentry & their families awaiting the landing of the cable from the “Medway” by the boats of the “Terrible”, to whom that honour was assigned. Her large paddle-box boats, her cutters, pinnaces, and gigs were all brought into requisition, and, under the command of Lieut. Stretfield, the second lieutenant, conveyed it to the shore, close to one of the wooden fish-stages nearest to the Telegraph house, some three or four hundred yards distant from the water’s edge. This part of the shore is fringed with huge boulders of rock, so that the boats could not get within 20 yards of the beach; but the “Terrible’s” crew, accompanied by the leading cable men, under the orders of Messrs. Temple & Loudon, soon jumped into the water, and there was a hearty, animated, & amusing


struggle between them to see who it was that should first bring the cable on shore. Perkins, one of the cable staff, broke a bottle of champagne on the bight of the cable as it left the boat; and as nearly as possible at 4 pm the chief Engineer, Mr Canning, received the end of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1866 at its western terminus. Well may he have felt proud at seeing the triumphant result of his labours in the completion of the greatest of modern enterprises. Captn. . Anderson was close to him, sharing in his feelings of gratification. Mr. Daniel Gooch, M.P., Captain Hamilton, & Mr. Cyrus Field, directors of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, with their Secretary, Mr. John C. Deane, were there also, awaiting the intimation which they were soon to receive from the Telegraph House that the cable had been connected with the instruments, and still more that it was in perfect electrical condition.

Mr. Willoughby Smith, the chief electrician, soon pronounced the signals to be perfect from the Irish shore, and then he began to speak to Mr Glass, the Managing Director at Valentia, & got replies from him as speedily as if he were only a mile away. Twenty-one guns each from the “Great Eastern”, “Terrible”, “Niger”, &”Lily”, announced the landing of the cable, and the cheers which were given on shore were answered by those from the ships, over & over again.

[Editor’s Note: The following indented section of text does not appear in Deane’s manuscript, and is only in the version published by the New York Times on 11 September 1866.]

[Mr. Gooch then sent a message to Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in these words:-“Mr. Gooch has the pleasure to inform Lord Stanley that the Newfoundland shore end of the Atlantic cable was laid to-day, and the most perfect communication established between England and America. God grant it may be a lasting source of great benefit to our country!” He also sent the following message to Mr. R. A. Glass, the managing director:-“Our shore end has just been laid, and a most perfect cable, under God’s blessing, has completed telegraphic communication between England and the continent of America. I cannot find words fully to express my deep sense of the untiring zeal and the earnest and cheerful manner in which every one on board from the highest to the lowest have performed the anxious and arduous duties they in their several departments have had to perform. Their untiring energy and able and watchful care, night and day for the period of two weeks required to complete this work, can only be fully understood and appreciated by one who like myself has seen it. All have faithfully done their duty, and glory in their success, and join with me in hearty congratulations to our friends in England who have in various ways laboured in carrying out this great work.” A salute in honour of Her Majesty of twenty-one guns each from the Great Eastern, Terrible, Niger, and Lily, announced the landing of the cable, and the cheers which were given on shore were answered by those from the ships, over & over again.]

Early in the morning, before the “Great Eastern” entered the harbour, Mr. Gooch had received the message from the Queen to the President of the United States. It was in these words:- “The Queen, Osborne, to the President of the United States. The Queen congratulates the President on the successful completion of an undertaking which she hopes may serve as an additional bond of union between the United States & England.”

Upon consultation with Captain Commerell, of HMS “Terrible”, that officer resolved to dispatch HMS “Niger”, Captn. Bruce, with Her Majesty’s message to Cape Rae [Race] for transmission by the New York, Newfoundland, & London Telegraph, to Washington. About 5 pm the corvette was on her way out of the Harbour.


Saturday July 28th

Ships alongside supplying us with coal, and the accomodation ladder supplying us with visitors from all parts of Newfoundland, who braved the difficulties of the very worst roads, and about as bad vehicles, to get to Heart’s Content to see the ship. But one came to whom it was not permitted to have that gratification. A blind girl, led by her young brother, walked about the deck, and gathered from his intelligent description and by the exercise of her sense of touch, some notion of the great size of the ship. Coming up the ladder at the side, doubtless gave her an idea of the height, and then a walk from stem to stern an estimate of the length. It was touching to see the radiant smile on this poor girl’s face as she listened to the boy, who told her of the wonders he saw. Heart’s Content, they say, is so called from the Harbour being like a heart in shape; but then the two next harbours on the same side of Trinity Bay are respectively called “Heart’s Desire” & “Heart’s Delight”, but with certainly no resemblance to the organ in any recognizable way.

Sunday, July 29th
A day of quiet repose, and of great relief after the excitement we have gone through.

Monday, July 30th.
Today Captn. . Anderson entertained all the officers of the Squadron.

On such an occasion one can easily imagine, there was a good deal to be said & in the way of mutual congratulations. Mr. Cyrus Field, Mr Gooch MP, Mr Canning, Mr Clifford, Mr Willoughby Smith, Professor Thomson, Captn. . Commerell & Captn. . Moriarty, respectively saying appropriate words.

Tuesday, July 31st.
To-day we had President Johnson’s message to the Queen sent to this station to transmit to Her Majesty. It was received at Heart’s Content at 3 42 p.m. and at 5 p.m. we received an intimation


from Valentia that it had been delivered to the Queen at Osborne. The message was in these words:- “The Executive Mansion, Washington, 11 30 am July 30. To Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The President of the United States acknowledges with profound gratification the receipt of her Majesty’s dispatch, and cordially reciprocates the hope that the cable that now unites the Eastern & the Western Hemispheres may serve to strengthen and perpetuate peace and amity between the Government of England & the Republic of the United States. Andrew Johnson.” Shortly after the President’s message was received, which was about noon, ship’s time, the American flag was saluted by the “Great Eastern” with 21 guns. Mr. Cyrus Field had congratulations from his fellow countryman the President, in terms almost identical with those sent to the Queen, and a characteristic communication from Mr. Seward, in which that distinguished statesman stated that “if the Atlantic Cable had not failed in 1858, European States would not have been led in 1861 into the great error of supposing that civil war in America could either perpetuate African slavery or divide the Republic.”

Wednesday, 1st August.
This morning Captn. . Moriarty R.N. left in the “Albany”, to look for the end of the cable of 1865, the “Terrible” accompanying her. The Albany is fitted with a complete set of picking-up machinery, buoys &c. We have every hope that when we arrive at the place where it parted last year, it will be hooked and brought to the surface by the Messrs. Temple, of Mr Canning’s staff, who have gone with the expedition. Captn. Batt RN. takes Captn. . Moriarty’s place on board of us and Captn. Prowse still remains in the “Medway”.

Tuesday 2nd August.
Twenty miles to a ball! Nothing in these parts! And so, over hill, down dale, through ruts, over stones, went nearly all of us to a ball given by Mrs. Ridley, of Harbour Grace, to commemorate the laying of the Atlantic Cable. A special ballroom erected for the purpose


tastefully decorated, received the invited strangers, who had an opportunity afforded them by their fair hostess of seeing that Newfoundland can hold its own with any other part of the world in the beauty of its women.

Friday & Saturday, 3rd & 4th of August.
Some return must be made for all this hospitality, and so most of the ladies who met us at Mrs Ridley’s visited the ship on Saturday, dined, and improvised a dance in the evening.

Sunday, 5th August.
Divine service in the Dining Saloon, which was attended by our guests who had remained on board the night. They saw a much larger congregation than they would have found in the church of Heart’s Content, heard the service impressively read, and sacred music done in a very creditable manner.

Monday 6th August.
The “Medway” alongside, still discharging the cable of 1865 (838 miles) into our main tank.

Tuesday 7th August.
The “Ariel” steamer from St John’s in sight, with the mail. The Attorney-General & Colonial Secretary of Newfoundland on board her. There was a bag of letters quite in keeping with the size of the “Great Eastern”, which were quickly distributed. The “Ariel” left again at 3 pm for St John’s, so that an opportunity was afforded to write by the homeward mail. Tomorrow we shall have a visit from the Governor, who would have been with us before, were it not that he was away from St. John’s on an official tour of inspection.

Wednesday 8th August.
Active preparations going on all day for our departure tomorrow. At 5.45 pm HMS “Lily”, Mr Kerr, RN commanding, arrived, with the Governor, and staff, consisting of Major Jarvis ADC, Major Wright RA ADC, Commissary-General Moore, & Mr J Musgrave, Private Secretary. His Excellency shortly afterwards came on board,


with a salute of 17 guns from the “Great Eastern”. He was received at the gangway by Captn. . Anderson, Mr Gooch MP, Captn. . Hamilton, Mr Cyrus Field, Mr Canning, Mr Wilby. Smith, Professor Thomson, Mr Clifford, & Mr Deane, who were severally introduced to His Excellency by the Premier and Attorney General, Mr Cartier. The governor brought some twenty guests in the “Lily”, all of whom were entertained at dinner, and remained, as did His Excellency, to sleep on board the “Great Eastern”.

Mr Canning conducted the Governor over the ship, showing him the tanks, the machinery used in the expedition, and presenting him with specimens of the cable. Great satisfaction was felt by everyone on board that Her Majesty’s representative in the colony of Newfoundland had paid this official visit.

Thursday 9th August.
At 5 am we commenced to unmoor, and at 10 am the Governor left the ship for the “Lily”, and went ashore to visit the Telegraph Station, on which the British Ensign floated in significance of the fact that the great enterprise is essentially an English one. The Governor sent a complimentary message to Valentia, to Mr R.A. Glass the Managing Director. The building where the electric instruments are at present is very small & inconvenient. The Directors of the Anglo-American Telegraph Co. here have taken practical steps to increase the accommodation. Shortly after their arrival, the purchased a piece of land for erecting a suitable building. Mr Neville, the Colonial architect has furnished designs, and Messrs. Southcott of St John’s have entered into a contract for the house.

By noon, Mr. Halpin, the chief officer, had got up the anchors, and we left Heart’s Content, the “Lily” accompanying us. The “Medway” had gone out half-an-hour before, & waited for us in the Bay. A complimentary signal was sent from the Governor thanking Captn. Anderson for his hospitality, and then we shaped our course to the eastward, having just 600 miles to run to meet our fellow labourers the “Albany” and the “Terrible”.

Friday, Aug. 10.-The big ship bowled along all night at 8 knots, and to-day at noon we had gone 188 miles. The weather is calm, but foggy, and one’s ears are pierced with the constant shrill of the fog whistle. Anything but a fog for a sailor. No matter how it blows, he feels himself comparatively secure, but he hates going blindfolded, which is practically the case when navigating in weather affording an opportunity of seeing about half a ship's length, and many a time on this coast & bank of Newfoundland scarcely your hand before you.


Saturday, 11th August.
From noon yesterday to noon today we ran 192 miles, our position then being by observation lat. 50.12, long. 44.30, Heart’s Content distant 380 miles, and the end of the cable 226.3, N. 71° 10 E. Weather moderate, but looking as if it was gathering up for a blow.

Sunday, 12th August
During the night the wind increased, and the ship got the full force of a heavy sea on her starboard quarter causing her to roll a good deal; but rolling in the Great Eastern is not the same as rolling in any other ship.  It is a long measured movement unlike the rapid action from side to side in a smaller vessel. But roll she did beyond all doubt.  She could not prove herself invincible to a strong gale from WSW which the navigators set down at the force of 8, raising waves at least 25 feet in height from hollow to crest. By noon we had run 206 miles, having carried canvas during the night and morning, which added about a knot to her speed; were 586 miles from Heart’s Content, and 25 from the end of the cable. At 2:18, ship’s time, we made out the “Albany” bearing E by south, and at 2:30 the “Terrible”. At 6 minutes after 3 a buoy was on our port beam bearing east by compass, and distant about one mile. The sea was so heavy that we could scarcely expect either the “Terrible” or the “Albany” to send off boats, so we spoke by signals, and learned from the latter that she had placed the buoy (which we had just seen) in lat. 38° 57' on Monday last, and another buoy on the subsequent Wednesday at a distance of 15 miles from it in 38° 50'. We also learnt from Mr. Temple that he had been grappling and had hooked the cable. He used the largest grapnel with a 7/8 inch mooring chain, which unfortunately broke 35 fathoms from the buoy, thus losing about two miles of grapnel rope; but we shall have more particulars tomorrow.  The sea still very heavy, but the wind is inclined to go down.  During the night it shifted round to the northward & eastward and there was less sea.


Monday 13th August
At 6 am the “Terrible” was close under our stern – the “Albany” away 4 miles to the Southward, and the “Medway” right ahead.  At 9:15 the “Terrible” sent her cutter for the letters we had for her by last mail.  Lieut. Elliott brought Captn. . Moriarty from the “Albany”, and also Mr Temple.  The following extracts from Captn. Moriarty’s log will explain what the “Albany” had been doing since she left Heart’s Content at 7:30 am on Wednesday the 1st of August:

Augt 2nd   Some Sea

Augt 3rd   Rough Sea

Aug. 4th   Rough sea, 42 miles from End of Cable

Aug. 5th   At the end. 2 p.m. the “Terrible” joined Company  

Aug. 6th   At 10 minutes to 1 commenced lowering anchor for buoy Lat 51° 26 Long 38° 57 15. Steamed e ½ N 5 ½ miles, lowered grapnel 3 ¼ miles from Cable.

Aug. 7th   Wind SW by W North of cable 3 ¾ miles. Steamed to the South.  Strain on Dynamometer 10 to 12 tons.  At 6 there was a heavy swell, commenced heaving up, distance from cable unknown.

Augt 8th   1:45 am grapnel up – rope uninjured, 2300 fathoms out, 200 had been on the bottom.  {} brought up very fine & soft like putty, full of minute shells, one stone the size of half an almond.  9:40 am.  Took sights at No 1 Buoy and proceeded Eastward.  Noon, Lat 51° 26’ 52”, Long 38 57 45 wind W.N.W.  At 12:20 commenced lowering anchor for buoy.  2:40 let go No 2 buoy, black star over red ball.  Lat 51° 28 45 Long 38° 34, distance from No 1 buoy 15 miles, and close to line of cable.  Remained until 5 pm to ascertain its position – found a strong current to the Eastward.  Returned and spoke “Terrible” at No 1 buoy = W.S.W some swell.

Augt 9th   3:30 am steered W by N in quest of buoy No 1 5.5 shaped course for No 1 SSE ½ e 5 miles and stopped at 5.45, 2 ½ miles south of the line of the cable.  Noon SSE Lat 51° 27 52  Long 38° 17 on north side of the cable 1 mile


“Terrible” NW by W Buoy No 1 supposed to be out of position Commenced paying out again. 1 pm Grapnel on bottom.  Position Lat 51° 28 50 Long 38° 46 20.  A set N 23 E true 5 14 miles in 8 hours – nearly calm.  8 pm held on and kept guard for the night, supposing we had hooked the cable.  Mean strain on the Dynamometer 11 or 12 tons.

August 10th. 4 am. Wind S.W. a long swell from N.E. 6 am Wind W.S.W.  Commenced heaving up, raised grapnel 100 fathoms from the ground.  Strain 11 to 15 tons.  8 am Wind West, lowered grapnel to the ground, buoyed it – 11, let go large buoy.  Noon Lat 51° 28 long. 38° 49 40 supposed buoy to be adrift by & its floating so highly.  At 4:35 pm, by sights we had drifted 1¾ miles – remained by it, placed a lamp on it.  “Terrible” went to No 1.

August 11th.  the buoy at 6:22 am had drifted 8 ¾ miles, and in 22 hours had drifted N32 e 17 miles.  7 am commenced picking up buoy, hoisted it in & found a link of mooring chain broke.  10:40 proceeded to No 1 buoy.  2 pm stopped at buoy.

August 12th. “Britannia” steamer passed to the W.N.W.  At buoy all day.  3 pm “Great Eastern” & “Medway” joined.

Mr. Canning & Mr. Temple having consulted for about an hour, the latter left for the “Albany”, Captain Moriarty remaining on board the Great Eastern and Captain Batt returning to the Albany. Preparations were now made to commence grappling, and at a ¼ after 4, ship’s time the grapnel was let over the bow, the huge grappling rope being paid out by the new machinery with great ease. The weather is as favourable as it can well be.  The steamship “United Kingdom” Captn. Ferrier from New York to Glasgow in sight about 12 o’clock – ran down to us, and obligingly took a bag of letters.  If she be favoured with fine weather, her news of the cable fleet will anticipate that sent last Monday via Halifax.


Tuesday 14th August
During all yesterday it continued calm. At 4 54 p.m., Greenwich time, 2,300 fathoms of the grappling rope had been sent down, the time of paying out being l hour 19 minutes. There was not sufficient wind to drift the ship over the line of the cable, the rope being nearly up and down the stern. At 10.48 pm (Greenwich) Mr Canning gave orders to heave up, and at 11.10 the engine was thrown into gear.  At 11.40 the machinery worked continuously and at 3.2 am the grapnel was over the water.  Mr Penn would have been glad to have seen the admirable manner in which his Trunk Engine worked the machinery.  The rope comes over the 5-feet drum as smoothly as possible – every revolution bringing up 3 fathoms. It is then passed into the fore-tank where it is coiled. Of this rope, 20 miles were manufactured at Morden Wharf, Greenwich,  7½ of which are on board the “Great Eastern”, 7½ in the “Medway”, and 5 in the “Albany”.  It is 6½ inches in circumference, and consists of 6 by 6 strands of No 13 homogeneous wire galvanized – 49 wires in all.  Each strand is served with Manilla, and the breaking strain is 29½ tons.  The same ooze was found on this rope as we got last year.  This morning the wind was strong from the E.S.E., which is nearly parallel with the line of the cable, its course being N 76½ East (true) or SE by E 2/3 E by compass for 115 miles.  Yesterday we were never nearer to it than three miles, and the set drove us about North, and the little wind there was from the West.


Wednesday 15th August
From noon Tuesday and all during this day, we had thick Newfoundland weather. About 10.30 ship’s time the wind became more favourable for grappling, and at 12.25 the grapnel was let go three miles south of No. 2 buoy. After paying out 600 fathoms the strain on the dynamometer was about 2½ tons, at 1100 fathoms it was 3 to 4 tons, at 1,500 4 to 6 tons, and at 1,900, 6 to 8 tons. Orders were given to stop paying out for a short time. This gave a steady strain of 7 ½ tons, rising to 8½  and 9 tons by the motion of the ship. When 2200 fathoms of rope were paid out, or about 2½  miles, the strain indicated was the same as at 1900 fathoms. At 1.45 the grapnel was on the ground, and we hoisted the ensign on the fore to show to the convoy that the grapnel was down. At 2 20 “Medway” & “Albany” came close to us, and at 3 the “Medway” went 2 miles west to grapple, and “Albany” was signalled to stand by buoy. At 6 pm, the strain being 8¾ tons, at 7.15 9½ tons, Mr. Canning felt no doubt that he had now hooked the cable. Knowing, as Captn. Anderson and Staff-Commander Moriarty do, the exact line in which the cable is, having marked it carefully & accurately with buoys, the ship is brought within three or four miles to the north or south of it according to the wind, and drifting broadside on, the dynamometer tells its own story immediately the grapnel lays hold of the cable. It was now deemed expedient to pick up, and at 8 p.m. the drum commenced to revolve. By 10.15, 600 fathoms were on board, and the average strain from the 1600 fathoms still out was 9 tons. Preparations were then made to get one of the largest buoys out - a monster weighing 3½ tons - the capstan bars were manned, and in an hour & a half it was lowered over the side by the derrick ready to let go. Just at this time, a severe thudding shock was felt in the after part of the starboard sponson, and a crowd rushing aft to ascertain what was the matter, learned that it was No. 1 mark-buoy which had been put down by the “Albany” about 2½ miles from the end of the cable of 1865, to which we had


drifted with singular precision. This inconvenient if not dangerous collision (for it might have fouled the paddle-floats or screw) was what Captn. Moriarty expressively described as a “victory in nautical astronomy – cable caught, and mark buoy touching us the same time.” A thick fog prevailed while we were getting rid of our after all not unwelcome visitor, and we burned a blue light to see the direction in which it floated astern.  At 1 o’clock am everything was ready to let go the large buoy, with the veering rope attached to it, when unfortunately, the first disaster took place on board the “Great Eastern” in her picking-up expedition. The splice between the grapnel rope & buoy-rope drew, and passing along with terrific velocity over the wheels above the platform to the V-wheel in the bow, plunged into the ocean. Fortunately no one was hurt. During the night we steamed to the NE and drifted. At 5.30 steamed up SW Wind ESE - passed the “Albany”. At noon today (Thursday) our latitude & longitude, as also those of No 4 buoy, were N 51° 29 40 and W 38° 49 30.


Friday 17th August
Just 12 months ago, August 17th, the engines of the “Great Eastern” were stopped off Crookhaven, on her return to Sheerness, after her memorable attempt to lay the Atlantic Cable of 1865. A Dispatch was sent on shore embodying the practical conclusions arrived at by those engaged in various capacities in the expedition, which was speedily given to the public by telegraph. One of those conclusions was that if the ship was supplied with sufficiently strong tackle and hauling in machinery for depths of 4000 to 5000 yards, there was little or no doubt on their minds that the lost end of the cable could be successfully recovered.  There were many, however who differed from these opinions, and scepticism prevailed largely as to the possibility of raising it from a depth of two miles.

 Today all doubt and uncertainty has been set at rest for ever, for the great fact has to be chronicled, and a great one it is in every sense of the word, that the lost cable of 1865 has been lifted from its oozy bed two miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. Attached to the flukes of the grapnel, it made its appearance at a quarter to eleven a.m. ship’s time, amid a spontaneous, earnest, and heartfelt cheer which will never be forgotten by those who heard it. The sound of the cheering, however, had scarcely passed away, when the fact became known that the cable had quietly & easily disengaged itself from the flukes and spring of the grapnel, and left those who witnessed this fresh disaster more depressed from the great slip which had taken place between “cup and lip.” The depression, however, was only temporary; we all felt that a great feat had been performed, and that we had now only to try a few more times to ensure success.

Dealing thus with the main incident of the morning, let us go back to yesterday, and see what the chief engineer had been doing. At 1.50 p.m. he gave instructions to pay out the grapnel-rope, which was on the ground at 4.49. About 7 p.m. they commenced to heave it in. 9 had hauled in 100 fathoms, about an hour afterwards had paid them back again, and then hung on by the rope until daylight this morning, when the heaving-up went on continuously. At 7 a.m., 1100 fathoms being in, there was a strain on the dynamometer of 10.4,and when we got it down to 300, the instrument indicated 8.2, with a calculated strain


of 6.7 on the electric cable. We signalled to the “Terrible” to send us boats, and her two cutters came, into each of which we put a leading cable hand, and they took up their position, the one on the starboard, the other on the port bow. By 10.30 a.m. 2300 fathoms of grapnel had come on board, and there now remained but 15 fathoms of the 1 1/8 chain attached to the grapnel. Nearly everyone on board the ship crowded to the bows to see the grapnel come over water, and I have already endeavoured to describe the effect produced by this event that occurred. On the appearance of the cable, we were all struck with the fact that one half of it was covered with ooze, staining it a muddy white, while the other half was just in its state as it left the tank last year with its tarred surface and strands unchanged, which proved that simply lay in the ooze only half imbedded. The strain on the cable gave it a twist, and it looked as if it had been painted spirally with black and white. This disposes of the oft repeated suggestion that we should never be able to pull it up from the bottom in consequence of its being buried in sand, and those who advanced this theory appeared to forget that the particles of ooze are of greater specific gravity than the mean specific gravity of the cable itself.  Professor Thomson has just shown us a diagram by which he calculates the number of miles of cable which the grapnel had in suspension during the five minutes it remained in sight.  Upwards of nine miles were lifted off the ground, the depth being two miles.  The bottom of the sea would represent the base of a curve, and the two curved slants of cable from the grapnel to the bottom were each 4½ miles in length, the angle where these met at the grapnel was 87 degrees.  The length along the bottom, being the space from where the cable was raised, was 8 miles.  The strain at each side of the grapnel amounted to 4½ tons, being equal to the weight of nearly six & a half miles of the cable in water.  this calculation was made from the following data: 1st Weight of cable in water per mil, 14 cwt, 2nd Depth of sea, 2 miles, 3rd, Whole vertical strain, as marked by dynamometer, with weight of grapnel & chain deducted, 6½ tons.

The scientific world will tell us that there has never been such an example of the catenary curve as this!

Mr. Canning is in capital spirits, and has let down his long line to fish again, with the certainty that he will ’ere long get a bite, and with the full confidence that he will bring the prize on board. The “Albany” and the “Medway” are near us, with instructions to grapple according to the programme.


Saturday 18th August
Captain Anderson & Mr Canning as they stood at the bow yesterday, had the best opportunity of seeing the condition the cable was in when it came to the surface, and during the brief moment it remained in sight.  They both remarked that the strands were going, and that their friction was increasing every moment by the lifting motion of the ship.  Not a moment was lost in lowering a chain, with the hempen stoppers, to the men in the boats of the “Terrible”, but as we have seen, there was no time to secure it.  When next we hook it, it is more than likely that Mr Canning will buoy it about a thousand fathoms from the bottom – then grapple again in another place, and so ease its weight & strain in lifting.

This morning the buoy was not in sight - at 3 p.m. we were alongside of it, and found that its flagstaff had come to grief. Steaming S W by S, 7 miles, with a set from the N.W. we commenced lowering a mushroom anchor for another buoy - No. 5 - and at 7.30 p.m. let it go, No 4 buoy bearing NW ¾ W. Towards evening there was a fresh breeze from the East.

Sunday 19th August
At 4 a.m. - wind still East - we were close to No. 4 buoy, on which the Albany had replaced the staff & ball. We then went up to No. 5, and steamed SSW 5 miles. At 8 a.m. lowered grapnel; at 9 there were 2300 fathoms out, when the grapnel reached the bottom. We drifted fast to the NNE - the squadron being in sight. From 9 till 3p.m. the ship drifted steadily with moderate wind & sea, but the dynamometer showed no strain above 9, and the probability of our having passed over the cable without hooking it was much discussed.

The “Albany” had signaled to us that she had hooked the cable, her dynamometer indicating 9, but we scarcely thought this was likely, looking at the position she was in. About 4 p.m. our strain went up to 10½ and occasionally touched 11, leaving no doubt that we had the cable again. Away went the pick-up engine, and after getting in about 300 fathoms, Mr. Canning felt that as some four or five hours must necessarily elapse before he could get the remaining


2000 in, he resolved to buoy. It took a couple of hours to get everything ready, and it was not until 10 p.m. that it was lowered over the starboard bow.   The sun had gone down very angrily, & there was every appearance of wind.  there would be no use in running the risk of lifting the cable on board at night, & moreover in such heavy weather, and there is nothing for it except to keep in position and wait a favorable opportunity.  We steamed between the buoys during the night.

Monday, August 20th.
At 11 30 a.m. today we came up to the buoy to which the cable hangs. The observations at noon today placed the ship in lat. 51 31 30 N. long. 38 39 50 W, at No. 6 buoy, on bight of cable.


Tuesday, August 21st.
Assuming the depth of water at 2100 fathoms where we let the buoy go, the cable is buoyed in 940 fathoms from the bottom; or allowing for stretch of rope & grapnel chain – 900 fathoms, and deduction 40 fathoms of rope attached to the buoy, 850.  There ought not to be any practical difficulty in getting the cable on board next time, & making the splice, if we are only blessed with fair weather and a smooth sea; but it is simply useless to try in such a swell as prevails at present.  When the boats of the “Terrible” were under the bows on Sunday last, the crews must have wished themselves anywhere else, as they looked up at the stern of the great ship, and saw it lift with the swell.  Next time we bring up the cable, man-ropes will be lowered over the bows to the hawse pipes, so as to enable the crew to put the stoppers on.

Last night it blew strongly from the NE and this morning it had all the appearance of freshening into a gale from the northward. At 10.30 this morning we came alongside of buoy No. 4 which we found adrift. Steaming up to it, & having it towed by a boat under our starboard bow, Thornton, one of the boatswain’s mates, was lowered in a bowline to the buoy, which turned round with him like a top, & he was repeatedly immersed in the water. He managed however to hook a chain on to it, & at 11.30 it was hoisted on board. The riding chain had broken at the angle.

One is never surprised on board the “Great Eastern” at hearing of acts of personal bravery.  There is always a readiness to face any danger.  For example, sometime before the grapnel came up with the cable on Sunday, Clark, our diver, was extremely anxious to be permitted to go down 20 fathoms to see whether the grapnel had hooked the cable!

Apropos of grapnels, a word of description here of the several kinds used in this expedition may not be uninteresting.  the “ordinary grapnel”, which we are now using is about 4 ft high from the stock to the bottom.  It has 5 prongs, each 10 to 12 inches high, & is fitted with springs to prevent the cable getting out of the flukes in case it has to be buoyed.  Each prong has been tested to a strain of 10 tons.  There is also a “holding grapnel”, which has not yet been used.  It may be wanted in grappling for the end of the cable.  It has also 5 prongs, which have been tested to 18 tons each.  There is a “cutting grapnel”, too, of the same shape as the “holding grapnel”, but with steel cutters fitted on each prong, to cut the cable, if necessary.

At noon to-day the latitude was 51 32 15 N., near No. 6 buoy.


Wednesday, August 22nd.  Her Majesty’s ship “Terrible”.
Shortly after noon yesterday Captn. Commerell came on board to confer with Captn. Anderson & Mr. Canning, as he has repeatedly done during this expedition, never sparing himself any trouble or inconvenience as long as he can render assistance. He has 230 tons of coal left. Considering that he has been out three weeks today from Heart’s Content, he has husbanded his stock judiciously. We steamed during the night between the buoys to keep our position, & be ready for a chance for grappling.

Thursday, August 23rd.
At 11.28 yesterday morning we began to lower the grapnel, and at 12.25 it was reported on the ground. The “Albany” returned from the position which she was directed to take, and signalled there was too much swell to grapple. At this time the “Medway” was three miles WNW, going for the end of the cable.

At 2.30 p.m. the stern of the “Great Eastern” was canted to the NW., the current setting us ESE in line with cable. At 2.55 the “Medway” signaled to us that having grappled to the west of the “bight buoy,” she had hooked the cable. At 4 p.m., being carried too far to the eastward, we commenced to heave up. The “Albany” was told to pick up No. 2 buoy, which was observed to have drifted. At 5.40 we had another signal from the “Medway”, intimating that she had been mistaken, & had not hooked the cable. It appeared that when she had 1800 fathoms out the strain went up to 9½, and suddenly down to 6½ tons, which was the proper weight due to the rope. They had some apprehension on board her that they had broken the cable. When we hauled up our grapnel, we discovered a large piece of granite on the fluke - & not very much ooze on the rope.

The “Medway’s” grapnel was out all night, and on signalling to her this morning at 5.45 we learned that she had 2000 fathoms out, with a strain of 8½ on the dynamometer, and had hooked nothing. At 8 o’clock we steamed for the east end of the “bight buoy” (the one to which the cable is suspended), and the “Medway” was ordered to go east of us, and the “Albany” to be ready to let go a mark buoy when we signalled to her. At 9 o’clock we commenced to lower the grapnel, and at 9.43 it was down. We are drifting towards the buoy, from which we are distant about two miles, and everything processes fair.

We are out today a fortnight from Heart’s Content. Captn. Anderson’s, Captn. Moriarty’s & Mr Canning’s charts (they each keep a separate one) of our tracks in steaming & drifting are so marked with lines that it is an easy matter to understand them. We must have steamed a great number of miles between the buoys.

At noon to-day the “bight buoy” - No. 6 - bore N 53 W (true) 2¼ miles. Lat. 51 30 20 N. long. 38 37 W. Wind N.N.E:.


Friday, August 24th.
After 12 o’clock on Thursday, the drifting of the ship was not going on so satisfactorily as it was in the earlier part of the morning, and orders were given to back the engines, with a view to drifting the ship to the northward. At 7p.m., when in lat. 51 32 45 - two miles east of the “bight buoy”, we hove up, having for the first time passed over the course of the cable without hooking it. The “Medway’s” attempt was also unsuccessful.  As night approached, it became very “dirty”, and there was a rough sea, too rough, if we had hooked the cable, to have done anything.  At daylight this morning, the weather was very unpromising and by far too rough to attempt grappling.  By noon, the bight buoy bore N 25 W (Mag.) 6 miles, having drifted since 7 this morning at the rate of more than one mile per hour.

Saturday, 25th August.
In the course of yesterday afternoon, it was observed that the buoys had moved, & so at 7 p.m. another mark buoy was dropped, on which “No. 7” was painted. It bore from the bight buoy SW by W 2 miles. The night was cold and disagreeable, and we were not in as good spirits as we were a week ago. However we “buoyed with hope”.  According to a calculation made by Captn. Anderson in the month of March last, yesterday was the day we were to leave these latitudes for Heart’s Content, having given the ship eight days to wait for weather, lift the cable, and make the splice.

At 5 this morning, we passed No. 5 mark buoy, bottom up. The “Albany” came and picked it up. At 6.30, stopping 1½ miles E. of the bight buoy, having lowered the grapnel about 200 fathoms, it was found that the rope required a little repair. Mr. Canning therefore judged it more prudent to heave up. This will delay us a little, but it is far better to lose time than to lose our rope, our store of which has been already lessened by the two miles lost by the “Albany” on the 11th, and two miles by the “Great Eastern” on the 15th, when the splice between the grapnel rope & buoy rope drew.

The “Medway” commenced grappling two miles west of the bight buoy a little after six this morning. At 9.30, our rope having been repaired, we stopped 1½ miles east of the bight buoy, and again lowered the grapnel. We are about 3 miles from the line of cable, and it will be some hours before we are there.


Sunday, 26th August.
Yesterday was the only really fine day we have had since we left Heart’s Content. A bright sun and good horizon enabled us to get observations at noon, which placed the ship in lat. 51 33 50 N. long 38 37 45 W., and then the bight buoy did not appear to have changed position. Shortly before 11 a.m. we found that the wind was failing, and the current setting us to the NW - entirely a wrong drift, and so orders were given to heave up. At 3 p.m. the “Albany” came quite close to us with the large buoy No. 5 in tow, which being let slip, was towed to us by one of her boats, and hoisted in on our starboard bow, Mr Boatswains-mate Thornton again making his appearance in his usually perilous position on the buoy. At 5.15 we stopped three miles south of No. 6, and at 7.25 lowered one of the largest spring grapnels - 2½ cwt. - with 2350 fathoms of rope, and 15 of chain. We then drove north, backing the paddles. The “Terrible” placed a light on the bight buoy, & with this guide we drifted slowly until 11.15.  When we saw the light last, it was distant about 3½ miles, and we were within 1¼ miles North of the supposed position of the cable. 

By midnight, it was almost calm, and the sea very smooth – the strain on the dynamometer indicating 8 tons still driving on, not knowing exactly how far, we got at 3 am today an intimation from the dynamometer that the strain had gone up to 10½ tons, when suddenly it went down to 7½.  This did not look very promising.

At 5 10 we observed the “Medway” SW ¾ W, about 5 miles distant. We were then about 6 miles N of the cable, and 7½ from where the grapnel was lowered. To have passed over the cable again without hooking it was very discouraging, and so we commenced heaving up at 5.35. When the grapnel came on board we found two of its springs much bent, as if they had come in contact with a large stone. At 7 o’clock the “Terrible” made a signal that the “Medway” had hooked the cable, and we found her ½ a mile S by W of the bight buoy - the “Albany” grappling to the westward. At noon we were close to No. 6 buoy, lat. 51 31, & found by observations that it had not moved. Wind, N.W.

Monday, Aug. 27.-For the tenth time, we lowered the grapnel yesterday at 1.17 p.m., and it reached the bottom at 3.36. There was a general gloom over the ship. Men began to doubt whether, notwithstanding the fact of our having raised the cable, we should be able to get it up this season. In the North Sea and


Mediterranean, where cables have been picked up over and over again, a cable engineer can reckon upon having some calm weather, but in the Atlantic Ocean at this time of the year, there is no depending upon its continuing fine for twelve hours.  We may hook the cable many a time, and even bring it to the surface, but there must be a comparatively smooth sea to enable the cable crew to handle it , and put the stoppers on, so as to bring it on board ship.  However the general feeling on board the Great Eastern is, so long as there is a biscuit left, and a bit of rope, in the ship, we should persevere.

Just before dinner, the “Medway” having come up to us, sent a boat, and we learned from Mr. London when he came on board, that she had broken the cable SW of the buoy and set it adrift. We told her to pick it up, supposing the end still to be fast to No. 6.

This indeed was bad news, and added materially to the gloom which prevailed.  There being no use in grappling for what we considered a loose bight, we commenced to haul in at 7.35 and signaled to the “Medway” with rockets not to touch the bight buoy, but to watch by it until further orders.  At 10.25 the grapnel was up. 

From that hour up to 1 o’clock this morning nothing particular occurred, when the “Albany” was observed bearing down upon us. She came close alongside, fired a gun, and her crew gave a ringing cheer. The welcome news was soon conveyed to the “Great Eastern”, that she had the end of the cable buoyed. The observations decided that the “Albany” had hooked it east of the bight held by No. 6.

Mr. Temple having come on board at an early hour this morning, informed us that he had hooked the cable at 5 p.m. yesterday, hove it up at 6.30, and got it over the bow at 11.30, buoying it at 12.30; so that having got down to convey to us the intelligence at 1.30 he had done a good deal of work in the time. It appears that the maximum strain on the dynamometer of the “Albany”, when the cable was hooked was 11 tons, and under 3 tons when it reached her bows. Considering that it was lifted by the “Albany” with the identical machinery and engine used by the “Great Eastern” in picking up last year, with 4 strands of the grapnel rope gone, and 3 of the flukes of the grapnel nearly straitened, we should never for one moment despair of recovering the Atlantic Telegraph cable of 1865.

We are now (10 am) close to No 8 buoy, which the “Albany” put down, and the ship’s stern is being brought to the wind in order to heave in the cable.  The next few hours will be very exciting, and even if we should fail, at all events we have got a large piece of the cable cut off from the grapnel by Mr Temple before buoying it – the best and most practical evidence that it has been raised to the surface.


Monday 27th August = 9 p.m.
From 10 to 12 this morning the stern of the ship was the point of attraction to all of us.  There Captn. Anderson and Mr Canning stood watching our own boats and those of the “Albany” & “Medway” gathered about the buoy.  The sets and currents were so remarkably strong that notwithstanding all the captain could do with paddles, screw, and canvas, he could not get the ship to back to the buoy. But even if he had been enabled to do so, there would have been little use, for Staff-Commander Moriarty came to him at noon with a calculation founded on the observations, which showed that we were 8¾ miles from the nearest supposed position of the cable, and 13½ miles from where the “Albany” hooked it yesterday. There was nothing now for it but to get the ship bow on to the buoy, which we were enabled to do in about an hour. The boats flocked about it under the bows of the ship, and after some difficulty it was hooked. The pick-up gear was set in motion, and ’ere long we had the satisfaction of seeing the old cable on deck, the dynamometer telling us at the same time, by its being practically at zero, that we would have but a comparatively small piece to haul in.

Mr. Willoughby Smith immediately proceeded to ascertain by taking resistances what length there was to be brought in, and pronounced that it would be but a mile or two. In a very short time, the engines working with great rapidity, 2 miles were brought on board & coiled below. The condition of the cable surprised everyone. There it was, almost as fresh as when it was put down a twelve-month ago—hemp & wire perfect. Above all, the gutta percha was as new in appearance as when it left the manufactory in the City Road; a fact so important, that notwithstanding the disappointment which we all felt, we know now that as an insulator it is practically superior to any, and that a cable once laid across the Atlantic without a fault, may be looked upon as permanently secure.

When we had got this piece of cable on board, we steamed for the bight-buoy with the view of hauling up the cable attached to it. We commenced picking up at 5.30. At the time I now write (9 p.m.) the grapnel-rope is coming in very fast, with a strain on the dynamometer amounting to nothing, so that if the cable was on, it must have slipped off the grapnel when it began to haul up.

The “Albany” leaves in the morning for England, having only ten days more provisions. If anything should occur between this & her departure, I shall add a postscript. We go tomorrow to fresh ground to grapple, animated with the best hopes, and with a determination to persevere to the last. We have just a month’s provisions on board. The “Terrible” must leave us for St. John’s on Monday next, her stock being nearly exhausted.
John C. Deane


Tuesday August 28th.
At 2 this morning - the sea as smooth as glass, and the moon shining in full brightness, we steamed W by N ½ N 15 miles from No. 7 buoy, the only one now remaining. At 6.30 we went south 6 ½ miles towards it, and at 8 o’clock the engines were stopped and orders were given to lower the grapnel, under the supposition that the ship was south of the cable. But Captain Moriarty shortly afterwards found by sights that we were N 52 E 14 miles from our intended position, in consequence of No. 7 having unfortunately drifted to that extent. The drifting of the buoys has been a source of trouble and annoyance to us.  Last year the rope used in buoying was made of wire – heavier than the grapnel rope used in this Expedition. Consequently, from the additional weight, the buoys kept their position more “accurately”. Independently of this the weather was much better last year.

We now hove up, and signalled to the “Medway” to do so as well.  By observations at noon, we were in Lat 51 38 15 N. Long 38 14 45 W.

Wednesday August 29th.
Shortly after 12 o’clock yesterday the “Albany” placed a mark-buoy ¼ mile north of us, on which no number was painted, as it was not intended to leave it there long. She then proceeded to the east to let down another mark-buoy, and at 3 o’clock we steered 15½ miles west of the temporary buoy.

By 7 15 p.m. the grapnel was again down with 2300 fathoms of rope. We drove ENE slowly backing, the ship’s stern to the northward, with one paddle wheel—the rope being at a very great angle. From 8 p.m. to midnight the wind was west, & the “Medway” was grappling two miles further to the westward. The strain of our grapnel rope became so great against the hawse-hole guard & side of the ship, that the dynamometer could not indicate properly, and it was suggested that the grapnel seldom touched the bottom, but was kept floating by the strong current. The wind was now increasing, and at 4 this morning was blowing half a gale. At 6 we commenced heaving up in sight of the buoy and the “Terrible”. At noon today Captn. Moriarty placed the ship in lat. 51 39 N. long. 38 13 30.

We are now going to change our ground, and try to grapple for the cable 100 miles to the eastward, in 1600 fathoms.


Thursday August 30th 1866.
Shortly after 8 p.m. yesterday Captn. Commerell came on board. It was arranged that he should at once proceed to St. John’s, and having coaled and taken in provisions, return to us to the rendezvous—lat. 51 52 30, long. 36 3 30, the 1600 fathom patch. At 8.45 the “Terrible” was off. During the night it showed indications of the coming gale, and by this morning it blew hard from the N.N.W., but the weather was clear. At 7 this morning we had run our distance of 80 miles and were supposed to be on the line of the cable, or very near it. At noon we were in lat. 51 37 45 N. long. 35 41 30 W., the rendezvous being N. 26 W 16½ miles. The engines were worked very slowly, and the ship’s head kept to the wind, so as to retain her position in the line of the cable, while the “Medway” placed buoy No. 11. The men were employed today in overhauling and repairing the grapnel rope for its next work in shallower and we hope more successful waters. We are surprised at not seeing the “Albany”. We gave her latitude and longitude, and her answering signal showed that she understood us. No doubt she will turn up tomorrow.

Friday, Augt 31st.
Wind, N.N.W. with a heavy roll from the N.W. At noon today, by observations, we were 6½ miles north of the line of the cable lat. 51 58 45 N. long. 36 7 W. Nothing could be more favourable for commencing operations - sea smooth, clear day, & no wind. Under these favourable circumstances orders were given to lower the grapnel at 10 a.m. The Medway a couple of miles further to the westward grappling.  It was nearly a flat calm at noon, but the swell still prevailed.  The ship was placed by sight Lat 51 57 37 N Long 37 1 W 4¾ miles from the line of the cable.

Saturday, Septr 1st.
At 1 o’clock p.m. yesterday 2150 fathoms of the grapnel rope was out, the depth of water being 1900 fathoms rather more than we expected. Canvas was set, and we drove along in the right direction, to the southward, all the afternoon.

At 11 50 p.m. the strain on the dynamometer, which had been going up slowly from 7 to 8 gradually reached 9 & 9½. Mr. Canning and Mr. Clifford both pronounced that we had hooked the cable. The “Medway” signalled to us that she had also hooked the cable & slipped it, the fluke of her grapnel having broken. The strain was temporarily taken off the dynamometer by steaming ahead


a little, and when the engines were again stopped, and the ship allowed to resume her position over the grapnel rope, the strain again indicated was 9½ showing that undoubtedly the cable was hooked. Away went the pick-up engine again, and worked away all night. By 4.50 this morning, the sea being as smooth as glass, the cable was up to 800 fathoms from the surface, and the strain 7.4 tons. At 5.20 we stopped heaving up, and slipped bight and buoy No. 12.

Shortly afterwards we were glad to find the “Albany” in sight. Captn. Batt came on board at 8, and told us that they had come to the rendezvous according to signal, but were disappointed at not finding us. We had felt the force of a strong current sending us about ¾ mile an hour from the southward, and so we missed each other.  At 10 o’clock, the weather still being all that could be desired, after steaming a couple of miles to the eastward, we have again lowered the grapnel, and hope for the best results.

Sunday Morning 3.45, September 2nd.
We have succeeded. Untiring energy and perseverance have conquered all the difficulties. The Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1865 has been raised to the surface, and in a few minutes afterwards communication established with Valentia. It is impossible adequately to describe the enthusiastic joy which prevails on board the ship at the present moment. Those men who by their skill have achieved this great success deserve well of their country.  As I stated in yesterdays Diary, the grapnel went down for the 15th time at 10 am.  Save that there was a long swell, as there always is in the Atlantic, the sea was like a millpond; and as we saw the grapnel go down, we could not help remarking to each other, that the circumstances under which we were going to make another effort to recover the cable were as favourable as they could possibly be.  In fact, it was felt that if we did not succeed on such a day as this there was very little chance of our succeeding at all.  The buoys had all been placed accurately to mark our position, the “Medway” was signalled to grapple, and we were drifting as fairly for the line of the cable as if our course had been marked by a line on the water.


From 3 45 p.m. when we began to haul up, the strain on the dynamometer varied from 9 to 11. After dinner we received a signal from the “Medway” that she having hooked the cable she had hauled it up about 500 fathoms. We told her to heave up as rapidly as possible, and in fact to break the cable, so that we might have the strain taken off our portion of it, and so increase our chance of raising it to the surface. To the eastward the effect would be produced by the bight we lifted yesterday, and buoyed on the bight buoy.  

The picking up went on with its usual certainty and precision, and by 12 o’clock (midnight) the bows of the ship were crowded not only by those actually on watch, but by nearly all the hands, who turned out to see the result of this attempt to recover the cable. By this time the boats of the “Albany” and “Medway” rowed up under our bows, not so much with a view to assist us in putting stoppers on the cable, but to be there in case any of the men who were lowered in bowlines over the bow should fall into the water during their perilous work.

Precisely at 12 50 this morning the cable made its appearance upon the grapnel, & save when the voice of Captn. Anderson or Mr. Canning was heard giving an order, one almost could hear a pin drop, such was the perfect silence which prevailed. No excitement, no cheering, as there was on the Sunday when we lifted it before - all was calm and quiet, the men scarcely spoke above their breath. The cable hands, having had the bowlines slipped over them were lowered down over the bows, and placed huge hempen stoppers on the cable, which was speedily attached to 5 inch ropes - one being placed to protect the eastward side of the bight, and the other the westward. This took the best part of three quarters of an hour. It was then found that the bight was so firmly caught in the springs of the grapnel, that one of the brave hands who put on the stoppers was sent lower down to the grapnel, and with hammer & marlinspike and other implements, the rope was ultimately freed from the tenacious grip of the flukes. The signal being given to haul up, the western end of the bight was cut with a saw, and grandly & majestically the cable rose up the frowning brows of the “Great Eastern”, slowly passing round the sheave at the bow, and then over the wheels on the fore


part of the deck. Even then there was no excitement, but now men were seen to cross the platform and to touch the rope in order to feel satisfied that success had been achieved.

The greatest possible care had to be taken by Mr. Canning and his assistants to secure the cable by putting stoppers on between the V wheel and the pick up machinery, and to watch the progress of the grapnel rope and shackles round the drum, before it received the cable itself. This occupied a considerable time; and now it became evident that ’ere long the end would be passed down as far aft as the Electrician’s room. There awaiting its arrival were Mr. Gooch MP, Mr. Cyrus Field, Captn. Hamilton, Mr. Canning, Mr. Clifford, Professor Thomson, Mr. Deane and others. At last Mr. Willoughby Smith, the Chief Electrician, made his appearance at the door with the end of the cable in his hand, & the connections having been made, he sat down opposite the instrument. A breathless silence prevailed. Not a word was spoken, all eyes being directed upon the experienced operator whose expression of countenance indicated the deep anxiety he felt in making the test. At the expiration of some ten minutes, he relieved our suspense by stating that as far as he had then gone, he believed the tests to be perfect; but another minute had scarcely elapsed when he took off his hat and gave a cheer, which as can be easily understood, was lustily taken up in the room, and having been heard outside, it was echoed from stem to stern of the ship with a heartiness which every Englishman can appreciate.

A rocket or two having been fired from the ship to announce to our convoy that we had succeeded, the crews of the “Albany” & “Medway” answered our cheer enthusiastically.

Mr. Canning at once sent a message to Mr. Glass the Managing Director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Compy. expressing the pleasure he felt at speaking to him through the cable of 1865, and the operator at Valentia telegraphed back his congratulations.

We are now going to make the splice, which will take about 3 hours, and ’ere long & we hope to hear the welcome sound of the paying-out machinery in the stern of the ship.

The weather continues as calm as it was yesterday, and there is every probability that we shall be favoured with at all events some few hours more of quiet sea to enable us to slip the bight buoy, and proceed on our way to Heart’s Content.


Monday 3rd September
At 9.15 a.m. yesterday, the splice having been made between the cable picked up and that in our main tank, the critical operation of slipping it from the bow to the paying-out machinery aft was completed.  It was an anxious time.  As the first bight was let go, eyes were strained to see the next drop clear, and so rapidly was the cable passed along the starboard side that one was obliged to run at a fast pace to se it go to the stern, and on to the paying out wheel.  At 9.22 the paddles were started ahead, and we commenced to pay out in 1900 fathoms.  By noon we had paid out 28.96 miles and were in Lat 51 57 30 N Long 36 42 W having given for slack 25.91 per cent.

All went on well during the day.  Several messages were sent from the ship to England & Newfoundland, and we got the current news from home.  We learned after dinner that Captn. Commerell had arrived in the “Terrible” at St. Johns at noon, and we were also informed by Mr Kerr, commanding the “Lily” that he and the “Margaretta Stevenson” would meet us at the rendezvous at the Entrance of Trinity Bay.  Orders were sent to the Agents, Brooking & Co of St John’s, to bring stores for the Great Eastern to Heart’s Content, and Mr Wyatt of that house, replies that he will be there on Saturday morning!  And so, being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, we talked to Valentia, Valentia to Newfoundland, Newfoundland to Valentia, and Valentia back to us, a distance of nearly 5500 miles.

Captain Anderson wants to know what sort of weather there is in Newfoundland, and while sitting with Mr Willoughby Smith in the Electrician’s room, I saw the message sent to Heart’s Content via Valentia, and in less than 10 minutes, the answer comes back “Wind North, light breeze”!  What will Lieut. Maury say to all this?  For we hear that he has told the public that it is an impossibility to pick up the cable of 1865.  What will Professor This, and Doctor That, and Philosopher the other say, who have been shaking their wise heads for the last year?  Where are the abstruse calculations about forces engaged in lifting the cable?  Where the theories about volcanic action in certain places well known to them at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean?


What about the certainty of the failure of Gutta Percha as an insulator?  Why, simply and practically this – the Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1865 has been picked up after a fortnight’s hard work, and we are sending and receiving messages through it.

But now we have to try and finish the work by landing it at Heart’s Content, and have to encounter all the difficulties inseparable from Ocean Cable laying.  It was only this morning at 3 o’clock that we were reminded of our old enemy “Foul-flake”.  A part in the coil brought away the next turn with it, but before it could get up in the “eye”, it was held back by the watch in the tank.  The order was given to stop the engines, but it was all right before the paddles and screw ceased to revolve.  It is a curious coincidence that this occurred almost at the precise spot where the cable was lost last year.

It is blowing very strong from the ENE with a heavy sea.  Toward noon, the glass was going up, and there is evidence that the wind is about to moderate.  At noon today we were in Lat 51 34 N Long 39 35 W.  DR having run up to the present time 117 miles from the splice, and paid out 134 miles of cable. Distance from Heart’s Content 586 miles.

Tuesday Sept 4th.
In the afternoon of yesterday the wind moderated.  The ship has evidently been much affected by a strong current carrying her to the NE.  The large percentage of slack can only be accounted for by the ship not having gone her course.  Taking Captn. Anderson’s observations, we had paid out 32 percent of slack at 8 pm. yesterday.

The night passed very quietly, the wind having gone down completely.  Our progress since noon yesterday to noon today - Captn. Moriarty having obtained sights – has been 109 miles -  course N 73 W Lat 51 2 26 N Long 41 53 W.  227 miles from Splice, and 494.6 from Heart’s Content.  Depth, 2424 fathoms.


Friday 7th Septr. noon.
The progress of the ship and the paying out of the cable since Tuesday last have been in every way satisfactory.

The official statement showing the position of the ship &c, is put up in the saloons at noon daily, and here is the form in which it has been kept.  It is signed by Captn. Anderson and Staff Commander Moriarty.

Date Weather Made Good Cable Latitude N. Longitude W. Distance from Depth fathoms
Course Dist Paid out Slack on Distance Total Distance Splice Content
          percent     °    '     "   as cable will pass  
Sept. 2 SSE 5.0 d N 79 W 23 29 26.1 29 51 56 30 36 42 23 S 77 W 697 1960
3 NNE 8.0 gg S 77½ W 94 126.6 13.55 155.6 51 34 39 8 117 S 75.13 W 603.9 1950
4 West 3.0 g S 73 W 109 129.3 25.6 284.9 51 2 26 41 53 226 S 73.57 W 494.6 2250
5 NNW 6.6 cg S 66.30 W 126.4 133.37 18.42 418.27 50 11 20 44 59 352.4 S 73.7 W 368.2 2385
6 North 3.6 cr S 78 W 118.6 137.11 17.71 555.38 49 47 48 1 20 471 S 67.12 W 249.6 1450
7 West 2.0 m S 74 W 134.8 143.43 15.23 698.81 49 8 51 26 605.8 S 51.30 W 114.8 154

Last night a congratulatory telegram came to Mr Cyrus Field from Mr Low, President of the New York Chamber of Commerce, requesting him to send a message to be read at a meeting of that body held today.  It was thought right to send a reply in the names of the Directors on board who have accompanied the Expedition. It was in the following words:– “The undersigned Directors on board the Great Eastern send their greetings to the New York Chamber of Commerce, and take advantage of the success which has crowned the efforts of the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Coy. to recover the cable temporarily lost last year, to convey to them through it and the cable laid in July last the hope generally entertained throughout the United Kingdom that the telegraphic communication now established between that country and the United States will tend to promote peace and harmony between them.  Signed, Danl. Gooch, Chairman of Great Ship Company, Director of the Telegraphic Construction & Maintenance Compy and of Anglo-American Compy, Aug T. Hamilton, Cyrus W. Field, Directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Compy and Anglo American Telegraph Compy”

The “Medway” has just been despatched to look for the “Terrible” whom we expect in a few hours, as she left St John’s last night.  The weather is very fine, and the sea quite smooth.  We hope to be well up the Bay by 12 o’clock tomorrow.

[Editor’s Note: Also on September 7th, Cyrus Field sent a telegram to his brother Henry Field in New York. As with the above-described communications, this message would have travelled over the recovered 1865 cable from Great Eastern to Valentia and on to London, then back over the 1866 cable to Heart's Content and on to New York.
The original Western Union telegram delivery form as received by Henry Field is shown here courtesy of Stockbridge Museum & Archives.]

The Western Union Telegraph Company
Dated, Great Eastern Sep 7 1866
Received at 145 Broadway, Sep 7
To Rev. Henry M Field D.D.
5 Beekman St

We are within one hundred (100) miles of Hearts Content and expect to land the Cable tomorrow. All well – Please inform Mary and Dudley –

C.W. Field


Saturday September 8th.
It was not until 5 pm. yesterday that the Signalman made out the smoke of the “Terrible” on the horizon; and on coming on deck after dinner we saw her plain enough, and close near her the “Margaretta Stevenson”.  At 8 o’clock a boat was sent from the latter vessel with Mr Kerr RN who was to pilot us up the Bay, and the Terrible sent a boat with our letters which had arrived by the last mail.  By 10 pm. we saw the lights of Catalina Bonavista on the Northern shores of the entrance to Trinity Bay, and Bacalieu on it Southern side.  It continued calm all night.  This morning a glorious sunrise welcomed us into Trinity Bay, whose broad waters were as still &  placid as a lake, and as the morning light became more distinct, the whole cable squadron were well together.  HMS “Terrible” , HMS “Lily”, with His Excellency the Governour of Newfoundland & Suite on board, the “Medway” and the “Margaretta Stevenson”, & the “Hawk” formerly HMS “Plover”, from St Johns, with a large party on board, joined the fleet, and we proceeded on until 6 o’clock uninterruptedly.

At that hour, the wheels of the “Great Eastern” were suddenly stopped, the alarm of a “fault” in the cable having been made from the Electrician’s room.  While a message from Valentia was being received, the spot of light disappeared from the scale of the galvanometer, indicating “dead earth”.  Instructions were speedily given, and the cable was cut immediately, forward of the paying-out machinery, and tested through a wire leading to the testing room; the result of which was, a declaration on Mr Smith’s part that the fault was not far off.  He next tested the sea end, and very much to his own gratification, as well as to the joy of every one on board the shop, it was reported to be perfect.  Valentia upon being called, gave an immediate reply.  Communication was now stopped in order to make a splice with another length of cable in the after-tank, and in about half an hour it was completed, and the ship on her way up Trinity Bay – Heart’s Content being distant 13 miles.  the discovery of this fault was instantaneous, and showed the great practical utility of Mr Willoughby Smith’s new testing arrangement, which has already been described.

We went on paying out until 2.20 Greenwich time or 10.45 ship’s time, and shortly afterwards, the “Terrible’s” paddle box boats, under the command of Lieut. Curtis, First Lieut. and Lieut. Arundell were under the stern of the “Great Eastern”.  The cable was then cut and handed into his charge to pass to the “Medway”, on board of which was coiled the shore end.  The big ship having now completed her work, steamed slowly into the Harbour of Heart’s Content followed by the “Terrible”, “Lily”, & “Margaretta Stevenson”.

The splice took about two hours to make on board the “Medway”, & at 3 pm (ship’s time) she had arrived in the Harbour, and anchored opposite the Telegraph House.

The shore end was now passed to the boats of the “Terrible” under the immediate


superintendence of Mr Canning, Chief Engineer, Mr Clifford, and Messrs Temple & Loudon.  Shortly after 4 o’clock it was landed amidst the enthusiastic cheers of those who were scattered about the beach, a royal salute being fired from the “Terrible”, “Lily” and “Great Easter”.  Passed up from the shore in the trench leading to the Telegraph House, the end was speedily handed into the instrument room and the connections made.  The cable crew were loud in their congratulations to their chief Mr Canning, & he and his able assistant Mr Clifford had to submit to the process of being chaired around the large space adjoining the Telegraph House where the end was coiled.  Mr Field received a similar honour.  the Governor, the Lord Bishop of Newfoundland, Mr Gooch, Capn Hamilton, Mr Field, Mr Deane were in the operator’s room; and the first message having been sent and an answer received from Valentia,   a loud cheer was given by those assembled there.  His Excellency and the Bishop saying a few words appropriate to the occasion.  An address of congratulation from the Commercial Society of St John’s was presented to Captn. Anderson, Mr Canning, Mr Gooch, Mr Field, and the principal executive officers engaged in the cable expedition, to which a suitable reply was given and a large party of ladies & gentlemen were entertained on board the ship.

All night Mr Laws, of Mr Latimer Clark’s Electrical Staff, was engaged in testing the cable, Mr Latimer Clark himself being similarly occupied at the Irish end. Mr Gooch sent the following message to Lord Stanley: “Mr Gooch has the pleasure to inform Lord Stanley that the cable of 1865 was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic on the second of this month, and has been safely landed today in Heart’s Content, the recovered cable being in the most perfect condition. He also takes this opportunity of saying how much all men engaged on the undertaking were gratified on receiving a newspaper today to see the kind reference made to their efforts in Her Majesty’s speech on the Closing of Parliament.”

Sunday 9th Septr.
Shortly after breakfast this morning, Mr Gooch & Captn. Hamilton went ashore to the Telegraph House, and the test messages required by the contract between the Anglo American Telegraph Coy & the Atlantic Telegraph Compy were sent.  This official act being completed, the line was formally handed over to the Anglo American Telegraph Compy.

The “Blue Peter” was now sent up to the fore of the “Great Eastern”, and everything being in readiness, Mr Halpin was again seen on the bow superintending the weighing of the anchor. But this time he was doomed to a disappointment of a very peculiar kind.  when the anchor stock came up to the surface of the water, it was found to be minus the anchor itself! So the big ship had lain quietly all night in the Harbour, where it blew half a gale of wind, and upon looking at her position, she did not appear to have shifted a yard! The anchor was one of Trotman’s.  At 3 p.m. we were under weigh, amidst the cheers of the “Terrible” & “Medway” repeated over & over again.  Mr Cyrus Field on leaving the ship for the latter vessel, in which he goes to lay the cable from Cape Ray to Cape North was heartily cheered by the whole crew.

There is every probability of the weather being fine.  All on board are looking forward with happiness & pleasure to meet their friends in England, and feel proud in having been identified with an Enterprise which will be ever memorable in the history of the world.


Notice to Ships to avoid the Atlantic Cables in Trinity Bay

This information on the location of the Atlantic cable(s) at Newfoundland was published under the heading Nautical Notices in the October 1866 edition of The Nautical Magazine. This must have been written before the successful completion of the 1865 cable on 8 September 1866, as the last paragraph notes that this second cable was only “intended” to be landed at Heart’s Content.

Nautical Notices
Particulars Of Lights Recently Established.

48: Atlantic Cable Caution

Caution to avoid Anchoring near Atlantic Telegraph Cable at Newfoundland.—The shore end of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable passes 150 yards west of Norther point, on the east side of the entrance to Heart's Content harbour, Trinity bay; and from thence, two beacons-situated over the southern cove of the harbour—will be seen in line S.b.W.; these beacons mark the direction of the cable's first course into the harbour.

When the white beacon on the eastern shore is in line with the School house, the cable commences to curve to the eastward, and continues to do so until the Church tower is in line with the northern pier, on the shore under the Church; on this line the Atlantic Cable approaches the shore within a cable's length, and thence to the land under the Telegraph Office.

Vessels intending to anchor, should carefully avoid the line indicated above, by anchoring either east of the line of the Southern beacons, and north of the line where the East beacon bears S.E.½E., appearing midway between the School house and the house next south of it; or by anchoring South of the line where the Telegraph station flag bears S.E.b.E., on with a whitewashed stone on the shore, as on this latter line it is intended to place a second Telegraph Cable.


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