From May 13-16, 1888, Dr. Jose P. Rizal stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. It was one of the best hotels in New York City at the time and the building is now the location of the International Pencil Factory located at the Madison Park (incidentally where the Filipino Independence Day festival is held every year.) On May 16th, Jose Rizal gathered enough funds for a trip to London onboard the luxurious liner CITY OF ROME. The Statue of Liberty was only 2 years old when the ship departed the New York harbor.
“There is a certain 'poetic justice' in the fact that the ship that Rizal traveled on was also the same ship that carried defeated Spanish troops back to Spain.” The Barrow Shipbuilding Co. built the second largest steamer in 1881. She was a 8415 gross ton vessel - length 560.2ft beam 52.3ft, clipper stem, three funnels, four masts, iron construction, single screw and a speed of 16 knots. There was accommodation for 271-1st, 250-2nd and 810-3rd class passengers. In September 1898 she was used to repatriate 1690 Spanish troops from Portsmouth, USA to Santander, Spain after the Spanish - American war. She was considered by many to be the most beautiful steamer ever built.
There is a certain 'poetic justice' in the fact that the ship that Rizal traveled on was also the same ship that carried defeated Spanish troops back to Spain. I think that Rizal would have appreciated that. (noted by Ian Rogers, Hong Kong, China.) Another irony was that Rizal might have boarded the ship again in September 1898, because he was accepted as a volunteer physician to work with the Spanish army in Cuba. Instead he was brought back to Manila in 1896 for his trial. He was sentenced to death by firing squad on Dec 30. May 24, 1888 -- Arrived in Liverpool
He enjoyed himself aboard the CITY of ROME, then the second largest ship making the transatlantic crossing, by showing off his prowess with the yo-yo. He landed at Liverpool on the 24th of...