Background for Ulrich’s Travel Plans~~1749~~

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Ever wonder what kind of ship Ulrich sailed on in 1749? It seems the most common type of ship in the seventeenth century for emigrants to America was a Northern European merchant vessel called by the Dutch a “Hoecker”, by the French a “Houcre” or “Hourque” and by the English a “Hawker” or “Hooker”. The vessel was described as having bluff rounded bows and sterns, with a high rudder and tiller fitted over the bulwarks. Some hoekers had pole masts, while others had the more usual separate mainmast with tops, shrouds and the rest. Here is an engraving to give you an idea of how crowded the ship must have been with all those emigrants on board.

Ship

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