The thousands of individuals congregated on the beach were doomed to remain there exposed to the inclemency of the elements for weeks and months, waiting for the providential arrival of a vessel from Turkey. The scanty supply of provisions they had brought with them, once exhausted, hunger drove them to have recourse for subsistence to roots and the bark of trees within their reach. Hundreds of women and children died from either starvation or from the effects of food so noxious to the constitution; for in no instance was the slightest assistance afforded by the Russian authorities. It stands to reason that the mortality grew from day to day at the most frightful rate, and that the survivors were, at the moment of their embarkation, looking more like walking spectres than living beings.
Journal of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, 3 August, 1864