Return of the Great EasternThe Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1092, p. 521.
June 8, 1861
Return of the Great Eastern.—The great ship, which sailed from the quarantine, New York, at six o'clock on the morning of May 25, arrived off the bar at the mouth of the Mersey about nine o'clock on Monday evening. It was announced that she would make her first appearance on the waters of the Mersey about nine o'clock on the following morning, and long before that hour the piers, roofs, and other available spots on both the Lancashire and Cheshire banks of the river were covered with spectators. As the noble vessel (evidently very lightly laden) gradually crept up the stream headed by a small tug, her vast size, which dwarfed the surrounding craft including the City of Baltimore, far surpassed all expectation. The river steamers sailing round her were filled with eager crowds of sightseers. At intervals both the screw and the paddles were used, and, after "taking it easy" for upwards of half an hour, the great ship finally settled down at her anchors in the Sloyne. The Great Eastern brings 212 passengers and a cargo of upwards of 3000 tons of flour, grain, and provisions. During the voyage the screw was the chief propelling power employed, and the highest speed obtained was 355 knots in the twenty-four hours. Her passage across the Atlantic was exceedingly pleasant, and she "behaved" herself most satisfactorily. Little or no vibration was felt. Ere the voyage terminated resolutions were adopted by the passengers expressing their high satisfaction with the internal arrangements of the vessel, and also with her qualities for navigation. These resolutions describe her as par excellence the most desirable ship for ladies and families.