Finally the steamer was ready for departure. The tugs that like imperious sheepdogs were to nudge the City of Baltimore out of its slip, down the harbor, around Locust Point, and into the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay were in place. The cabin boys had finished stowing the huge Saratoga trunks required by every international traveler. Belowdecks sweaty workers— for it was unseasonably warm—had loaded the tobacco, resin, and cotton that made up the City of Baltimore's freight. On top deck the ship's human cargo—$100 poorer for the passage to Germany—were waving and shouting farewell to family and friends.
Among the forty passengers this sunny first day of October 1868 were a wealthy Baltimore family embarking on a grand tour of Europe; a honeymooning couple who, according to one observer, were soon spatting; two female invalids en route to the European spas with their husbands; three Catholic priests bound for Rome with a young novitiate; the sculptor Leonard Volk, who had done a life mask of Abraham Lincoln; a scholar off to study the classics in Italy; four young