The Scrap Album - Site Guide

The Departure of Jumbo

April 1, 1882

The great African elephant of the estimated weight of six and a half tons whose reluctance to quit the Regent’s Park Gardens of the Zoological Society of London, for a voyage to his new owners in America has excited both sympathy and amusement, is now far away on the Atlantic voyage to New York.


  • Jumbo with Scott his favourite keeper
  • The Graphic illustrated newspaper
  • 1 April 1882



    Opposite from top
  • At the Park gates; Jumbo drives himself
  • The Graphic illustrated newspaper
  • 1 April 1882
  • Hoisting Jumbo’s box from the barge to the quay at Millwall docks
  • Illustrated London News
  • 1 April 1882
  • Jumbo Must Go
  • US trade card for Willimantic Thread
  • Forbes Co, Boston

Farewell to Regent's Park
On Wednesday last week, between 9 and 12 o'clock noon, the keepers managed to get Jumbo securely bound and boxed up in the huge timber cage, nearly as heavy as himself, constructed for his carriage to the trans-Atlantic seaport. In the afternoon it was dragged by a powerful team of dray-horses out of the gardens of the Zoological Society.

At the Docks
On Thursday it reached the St. Katharine’s Docks near the Tower of London, a distance of four and a half miles, and was hoisted by a steam-crane on board a barge which conveyed it down the river to Millwall. Here on Thursday afternoon it was lifted from the barge and placed on a quay of the docks where it remained until Friday.

On that day the steam-ship Assyrian Monarch which had been loading cargo and coaling on the opposite side of the dock was warped over to the quay where the elephant was to be put on board. The two keepers Newman and Scott placed themselves on the little platform of the cage in front of Jumbo and the hoisting commenced. The American, “Elephant Bill”, stood at the corner giving directions to the workmen so as to prevent any unnecessary swaying by the men having hold of the guiding-ropes while Scott leaned down patting Jumbo’s trunk and keeping him from moving more than he could help.

Quickly the box rose to a height sufficient to clear the bulwarks, then was traversed over the hatch and lowered gently to its resting place the whole work being completed in exactly eight minutes. When it was pronounced “All right” by Newman three ringing cheers were given by those on deck and responded to from the shore.

Leaving England’s Shores
The food provided for the elephant upon his passage, which will be about thirteen days is two tons of hay, three sack of oats, two sacks of biscuits, one sack of onions (a delicacy of which Jumbo is exceedingly fond).

A large company of guests had been invited by the owners to witness the embarkation of Jumbo and the distinguished visitors were also invited to a luncheon in the saloon of the vessel. Two or three complimentary toast were proposed and a gold medal was presented to the American elephant keeper, Mr Newman, as a token of the respect and esteem he had gained amongst his English friends during his sojourn here.

Mr Bartlett replied for the Zoological Society of England, in doing so giving a short history of Jumbo. No one, he said, liked the elephant more than he did, he was an extraordinary good-tempered beast and while he had many friends he had not an enemy in the world. At the same time he was subject to periodical outbreaks, which from his immense strength made him, although the most amiable, the most dangerous animal that Mr Bartlett had ever known. The concluding remark that he would like to see Jumbo again in England some day, and that if not perhaps he might go to America to look at him, was received with loud cheers.

The Assyrian Monarch belonging to the Monarch line of the Royal Exchange Shipping Company left Millwall Docks at five o'clock on Saturday morning. She was slowly towed down the Thames to Gravesend her passage being eagerly watched by multitudes of spectators in boats and ships and on the banks of the river who loudly cheered Jumbo at his departure from England.

Mr Tallet of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals remained on board, and at Gravesend, Lady Burdett-Coutts the benevolent patroness of that society came on board with her husband and visited poor captive Jumbo in his box and gave him a parting feast of buns.

The Assyrian Monarch was signalled off the Lizard Point and Scilly Isles on Monday afternoon when all was reported to be well on board.

Jumbo Arrives Safely
At day-break on 10 April 1882 the Assyrian Monarch arrived at New York’s North River and Jumbo’s fateful adventure in America was about to begin.

From the Illustrated London News, 1 April 1882

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