Drowning in Egypt

A prominent topic in many issues of the “Egyptian Gazette” is that of death. There are many different occurrences of death and they occur in all different ways. The one that stuck out to me the most was drowning. On page 3 of the Monday February 25, 1907 issue the story “Well Known Minister Drowned” caught my attention. This article talks about the death that occurred during sea travel from Liverpool to Alexandria. A reverend gentleman had fallen overboard during a storm. However, this was not the only death stated in the article. A few days prior the ship’s carpenter had drowned.

Although it is a common topic in this paper, I wonder why they don’t go into detail about what happened to the minister that drowned. They merely state the fact that he went overboard during a storm. It is also interesting that there were two occurrences of drowning on the same boat in the same time. This makes me wonder how many others were effected in this same way. I went to explore more about death by drowning or shipwrecks and struggled to find data specific to Egypt. However, I did come across a source that showed many shipwrecks that occurred between 1833 and today, showing that shipwrecks were more common in this 1900s period. This could also be because ships were used to transport exports such as cotton. Egypt shipped cotton and other materials to Britain using ships. Although these would not be the same ships as the one the minister drowned on it is important to note that they were commonly used for many things.

Also, this death occurred during travel which is something that has happened to many people in 1900s. In the blog post “Cairo Visitor gravely Injured”, the article examined also looks at death that occurred while someone was traveling. They also questioned how in-depth incidents were investigated at the time. Death was also talked about in other blog posts. In many cases there are posts about the plague, which appears to be a more common way to die at this time. From all of these article we see how death was reported and how it ranged in how in depth it was investigated.

Ashley Crisafulli
Ashley Crisafulli

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in fall 2019.