What became of the ship “Two Brothers” after delivering Paul Jünger to Philadelphia on September 15, 1748?


After delivering German immigrants to Philadelphia from Rotterdam via Portsmouth in August and September, 1748, the “Two Brothers” ship captained by Thomas Arnot departed for “Charlestown” South Carolina in late November, 1748.  Its imminent departure was reported in the Pennsylvania Gazette, issue #1041, dated November 24, 1748 by indicating the ship had been “cleared” by customs for departure.


The Pennsylvania Gazette previously carried the following advertisement in issue #1036 and issue #1038 dated October 20 and November 3, 1748:



          The Ship Two Brothers,

          THOMAS ARNOT, Master,

Will certainly sail by the sixteenth of next Month.  For

   Freight or Passage, apply to Benjamin and Samuel

   Shoemaker, or said Master on board.”


The South Carolina Gazette, issue #765, dated December 7-12, 1748 reported that the Ship Two Brothers, Thomas Arnot, had been “entered inwards” at the Customs House in Charlestown.  In that same issue and for the next several issues the following advertisements appeared in the South Carolina Gazette:


“JUST IMPORTED in the 2 Brothers,

Thomas Arnott Master, from Philadelphia, and to be sold by Redman & Sheed, at their Store on Mr. Elliott’s Wharff, Matlock’s Beer, Flour, ship Bread, Milk and Water, Bread in Quarter Casks, Cheese, &s.”


                   “JUST IMPORTED

From Philadelphia, in the Ship Two Brothers, Capt. Arnott, Flour, white Bread in Cags, single and double Matlock’s Beer, Butter, Candles, Soap, Irish Potatoes, Apples, &s. and to be sold by Jonathan Scott, at his Store on the Bay.”


From these advertisements it can be determined what Captain Arnot(t) transported in the “Two Brothers” from Philadelphia to Charlestown South Carolina.  No other mention of the ship “Two Brothers” appears again in the South Carolina Gazette until issue #776, dated March 13-20, 1749.  In that issue the Custom House in Charlestown reports that the “Two Brothers”, Thomas Arnott, has been “cleared for departure” to Cowes.


Cowes is a seaport town on the northern tip of the Isle of Wight which is an English Island a short distance off the coast of southern England.  Southampton is a major harbor city on the English mainland and it is directly across from Cowes.  Portsmouth is also very nearby Southampton on the mainland.  No mention is made in the South Carolina Gazette about what the “Two Brothers” transported from Charlestown, South Carolina to Cowes, England on its voyage in March and April, 1749.


However, immediately after the announcement of  the “Two Brothers” being cleared for departure in issue #776 the following report is given of exported goods from Charlestown:


“EXPORTED from this Place, since the first of September 1748, Of the Growth and Manufacture of this Province.

          Rice,          23,547 Barrels.

          Pitch,                     1,390 Barrels.

                   Tar,                  959 Barrels.

                   Turpentine,               911 Barrels.

                   Deer Skins,     179 Hides.

                   Indigo,        18,999 lb.”


Historical accounts about the city of Charlestown, which was renamed Charleston in 1783, indicate that it was economically and culturally the most important and prominent North American city south of Philadelphia in the 1700’s.  Rice and indigo were grown in abundant quantities in the surrounding low coastal areas.  Export of these two commodities in particular made the shipping industry very profitable.  Indigo is a plant which is a source of blue dye.  It seems very likely that the ship “Two Brothers” was one of many ships used to transport rice, indigo and, to a lesser degree, other items listed in the export list above back to Europe. 


The ship lists kept in Philadelphia indicate that beginning in 1747 and continuing through 1753 the “Two Brothers” captained by Thomas Arnot arrived annually in Philadelphia in August, September or October with German speaking immigrants from the Rhineland. 


Then it would proceed in November and December to Charlestown, South Carolina after a short stay of a month or two in Philadelphia.  It transported a variety of agricultural products including bread, apples, flour, beer, butter, cheese, potatoes and household items like candles and soap on this leg of its annual circuitous journey.  Passengers were also accepted on the trip from Philadelphia to Charlestown.


After spending the winter months in Charlestown, South Carolina, the ship “Two Brothers” would sail back to England carrying the major commodities produced in the region of Charlestown including rice and indigo.  Once these goods were delivered to ports in southern England including Cowes and Portsmouth, the “Two Brothers” would sail on to Rotterdam at the mouth of the Rhine in Holland.  There it would pick up another ship full of German speaking immigrants in the late summer months for another voyage to Philadelphia stopping in Cowes or Portsmouth in England on the way.


This then was the three legged circuit followed by the ship “Two Brothers” each year beginning in 1747 and continuing successfully through 1753.  However, in 1754 tragedy struck.  The following article appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal, issue #616 dated September 26, 1754:


August 5.  A few Days since Capt Arnot bound from Rotterdam for Philadelphia, with upwards of 300 Palatine Passengers on Board, in her Passage struck on the Sand called the Galloper, which beat off the Rudder, soon after which she foundered.  A Dutchman who was in Sight, and ‘tis judg’d could not be insensible of their Distress, thought proper to continue his Course, and left preserving upwards of eighty Souls out of the above Number, to Capt. Henderson, bound for the Cost of Guiney, who took them on board, and landed them on Thursday Se’nnight at Helvoetsluys, and then proceeded on his journey.”


The Pennsylvania Gazette reported the tragic incident in issue #1344,

Dated September 26, 1754 as follows:


“August 7.  The Two Brothers, Arnot, from Holland for Portsmouth and Philadelphia, was lost on the Overfails coming out; the Second Mate and 300 Palatine Passengers were drowned, but the Captain and rest of the Crew were taken up by Capt. Harrison, bound for the Coast of Guiney, who took them on board, and landed them at Helvoetsluys, and then proceeded on his Voyage.  A Dutchman was in Sight, and tho’ sensible of their Distress, kept his Course.”


No one can know the future.  Past successes cannot guarantee future prosperity.  The extremely sad loss of the ship “Two Brothers” in the English channel between Rotterdam and Portsmouth in 1754 serves as a reminder of just how uncertain this voyage was for these courageous, and somewhat desperate, Germanic emigrants in the 17th and 18th centuries.  The very ship that carried Paul Jünger safely from Rotterdam, Holland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1748, sank with great loss of life just 6 years later in 1754 on the same path.


Despite the tragic loss of the ship “Two Brothers” in 1754, its record of transporting German speaking emigrants from Europe to Philadelphia was distinguished.  In the introduction section of the landmark publication Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 by Strassburger and Hinke the following observation is made:


“Many of the ships, 112 in number, made the journey only once, but others made the trip frequently.  The ship St. Andrew is listed nine times, the Two Brothers eight times, the Edinburgh seven times, the Minerva, Lydia, Friendship and Crawford six times, the ships Samuel, Patience, Robert & Alice, Mary, Loyal Judith, Chance and Brothers, each five times.  Five ships arrived four times, thirteen ships three times and twenty-four ships twice.”


The ship “Two Brothers” was only surpassed in frequency of voyages transporting German immigrants to Philadelphia by one other ship, “St. Andrew.”  After the harrowing experience of the sinking of the ship “Two Brothers” in 1754 captain Thomas Arnot did not shrink from continuing his career of transporting German speaking passengers to the “new world.”  In the same source cited above the following statement is made concerning the record of ship captains involved in bringing Germanic immigrants to Philadelphia from Europe:


“The record which the captains made was similar to that of the ships.  The 324 ships were commanded by 193 captains.  Of these 146 made the trip to Philadelphia only once, but 47 made frequent trips.  One of them, Thomas Arnot, with a record of twenty-four years of service, from 1747 to 1771, crossed the Atlantic thirteen times, Charles Smith, 1763-1773, crossed the ocean eleven times, John Mason, 1742-1753, crossed eight times,...”


To summarize, the ship “Two Brothers” which brought Johann Paul Jünger to Philadelphia from the Rhineland in 1748 would, in subsequent years, become one of the most frequently used vessels involved in the business of transporting Germanic immigrants to the “promised land” of Pennsylvania in the 18th century.  In like manner the captain of that ship, Thomas Arnot, went on to distinguish himself as the most experienced captain of ships bringing German speaking immigrants to America.



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