The riveting story of one of the most calamitous voyages in Australian history, the plague-stricken sailing ship Ticonderoga that left England for Victoria with 800 doomed emigrants on board.
For more than a century and a half, a grim tale has passed down through Michael Veitch’s family: the story of the Ticonderoga, a clipper ship that sailed from Liverpool in August 1852, crammed with poor but hopeful emigrants- mostly Scottish victims of the Clearances and the potato famine. A better life, they believed, awaited them in Australia.
Three months later, a ghost ship crept into Port Phillip Bay flying the dreaded yellow flag of contagion. On her horrific three-month voyage, deadly typhus had erupted, killing a quarter of Ticonderoga’s passengers and leaving many more desperately ill. Sharks, it was said, had followed her passage as the victims were buried at sea.
Panic struck Melbourne. Forbidden to dock at the gold-boom town, the ship was directed to a lonely beach on the far tip of the Mornington Peninsula, a place now called Ticonderoga Bay.
PB 260 pages