Robert Whyte's The Journey of an Irish Coffin Ship. 1847
Robert Whyte's immigrant diary, The Ocean Plague: The Diary of a Cabin
Passenger, appeared in print in 1848, one year after the author said he made
his journey from famine-stricken Ireland to Canada. Whyte later crossed the
boarder into the United States. Nothing is known about Robert Whyte, including
whether such a person even existed; the name could very well be a pseudonym. All
that is left is this diary, published in 1994 by Mercier Press and edited by
James Mangan under the title Robert Whyte's 1847 Famine Ship Diary.
Mangan also edited the fictionalization of Gerald Keegan's famine journal.
Unlike this earlier work (1991), however, Robert Whyte's 1847 Famine Ship
Diary is an authentic reproduction of the original text, rather than a
dramatization. One could assume, therefore, that Whyte's diary is a relatively
more trustworthy account of the ocean crossing.
Szabo, L. (1996, May 1). The Irish Famine, 1845-1849: Research Materials. Retrieved January 7, 2002 from World Wide Web: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~eas5e/Irish/Whyte.html