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Full text of "Awful calamities : or, The shipwrecks of December, 1839, being a full account of the dreadful hurricanes of Dec. 15, 21 & 27, on the coast of Massachusetts...comprising also a particular relation of the shipwreck of the following vessels: Barque Lloyd, brigs Pocahontas, Rideout and J. Palmer, and schs. Deposite, Catharine Nichols and Miller. And also of the dreadful disasters at Gloucester"

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K^tered according to Act of Cougre.,, i„ the year mo, br 
I» th, acrk-. Office .f the District Court in M.s„c&«t.. 


It has probably never fallen to the ^ot of the titizcna of New En j 
land, to witness, or record, so many terrible disasters by sea, in the short 
period of fourteen days, as have transpired within that length of tim« 
the present month. Throe gales of unciqualled fury and destructive 
ness, have swept along our coast, carrying desolation and death in their 
stormy pathway, and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourn- 
ing. Many who entered upon the month of December with a fair pros- 
pect of enjoying "a happy new year," and perhaps a long life, now 
sleep in the bosom of the great deep with the sea-weed wrapped around 
Ihera, or have been tossed on shore by the bellowing surges, and all 
bruised and mangled, have heen followed, perhaps by strangers, to an un- 
timely grave. Often as we have been called to weep with those who hava 
wept over the sad wreck of human hope, we have seldom met with any 
thing so well calculated to excite the sympathy of all the friends of hu- 
manity, as the melancholy events which we have recorded below. 

In giving the history of the late dreadful shipwrecks, we propose to 
speak of the devastations of the three gales separately, first inserting a 
list, as complete as possible, of all the vessels wrecked or damaged ; 
and then detailing some of the affecting incidents accompanying thcso 
disasters. We have been at great pains to collect the materials from tiia 
most authentic sources, and have no doubt but this unpretending pam- 
phlet will afford the best account of these remarkable providences of 
God which will fall into the reader's hands. 


On the night of Saturday, December 14, at abont midnicjlit, 
a violent snow storm commenced along the coast, and continued 
to rage until late on Monday. During a part of the time, the 
snow gave place to a freezing rain. About 2, P. M. on Sunday, 
the rain commenced, and the wind at the same time rose to a 
gale ; but it was not until 11, P. M. that the unprecedented and 
devastating hurricane broke upon the ill-fated shipping. From 
ttiat time until 2 or 3 o'clock, A. M. of Monday, it continued a 
perfect tornado. It blew hard all Monday, and Monday night, 
but the most damage was done on Sunday ni^^ht. The following 
is a list of the vessels wrecked or datnaged, as far as has been 



Schooner Harwich, at anchor in the stream dragged against 
ship Columbiana, at Lewis' Wharf, carried away mainmast, stanch- 
eons, bulwarks, &lc. Knocked off the cut-water of the Colum- 
biana, and chafed her badly, carrying away her anchor. Sic. 

Schooner Clarinda, of Boston, and a lighter sloop were sunk 
at Lewis' Wharf. 

Ship Propontis, of Boston, from Cadiz, broke adrift from Sar- 
gent's Wharf, tore out her timber-heads, and drove up the dock 
where she remained safe. 

Ship Forum, of Boston, broke her moorings at Granite Wharf, 
drove up the dock, stove in her stern, carried away her foretop- 
mast, and was otherwise damaged. 

Ship Sterling, of Boston, broke adrift, fell across the dock, 
and was much chafed. 

Brig Banian, of Boston, from Matanzas, dragged from the 
stream against Granite and T Wharfs, and was much injured by 
the contact, staving her boat, the store-houses, he. 

Barque Creole, drove from the stream against brig Adelaide, 
carrying away her bowsprit, and chafing her badly. The Ade- 
laide then dragged against the Hamburg brig Edwin, danj^ging 
her sides, chain plates, &c. A lighter sloop was sunk at Central 

A schooner at Arch Wharf, drove her bowsprit, through 
a store. 

Schooner Herperus, of Gardner, from Pittston, parted her 
chain in the stream, drove against ship William Badger, atRowe's 
Wharf, parted her fasts, and both drove up the dock. The 
schooner carried away her bowsprit, and stove her bows ; the 
ship was badly chafed, and drove her jib-boom through a store. 

Brig Edwin, at India Wharf, chafed off all her sheathing, fore 
and aft, split several planks, stove a hole in her side, carried away 
her chains, fore and aft, jib-boom and main-boom, and tore up 
considerable of the wharf. Brig Gertrude, from Mansanilla, 
drove up the dock between Central and India Wharfs, stove 'in 
her stern, and carried away her bowsprit. 

Brig Ajax, at Foster's Wharf, carried away bowsprit. Brig 
Cypress, at Carleton's Wharf, was badly chafed. Schooner Clo- 
rinda, lost her foremast and bowsprit, filled and sunk. Sloop 
Hepzibah also filled and sunk. 

Schooner Thomas, from Portland, dragged from the stream 
against Union Wharf, starting the planks in her larboard quarter. 
The sloop of war Concord, broke from the wharf at the Navy 
Yard, Charlestown, and drove against the Columbus, 74, dam- 
aging both vessels. 



Sweedish brig Preciosa sailed from Boston on Saturday, was 
driven back, and at 11 o'clock on Monday anchored inside Cohas- 
set rocks, and cut away both masts, where she rode out the gale. 

Schooner Mary Frances, of Belfast, which drove out of 
Gloucester harbor, went ashore on Tuesday, on MarshSeld beach. 
Goods all saved. Schooner Antioch, of Ellsworth, also drove 
out of Gloucester, brought up on Nichols' Rock, Cohasset, bilg- 
ed badly ; cargo of wood, lumber, &c. ; almost a total loss. 
Schooner Enterprize, of Phippsburg, from Bath, for New Or- 
leans, run ashore high and dry, near Worrick's Hotel, Cohasset, 
all safe. Schooner Robert Raikes, of Thomaston, from New 
York, went ashore, a total loss ; cargo much damaged. Schooner 
Eddington, from Bangor, for Providence, went ashore, wreck, 
cargo lost. Schooner Margaret, of and from Bath, for Charles- 
ton, S. C. ran ashore north of the light-hpuse, not much damage. 

British brig Susanna, drove up to Qiiincy. British schooner 
H. Davenport, for Annapolis, went ashore on Hospital Island. 
Schooner Susan Jane, of Bluehill, from New York, with flour 
and navy timber, anchored off Black Rock, Cohasset, lost both 
her masts and her rudder, parted one chain, but the other held 
her ; she was abandoned. . The captain, his wife, and the crew, 
landed safely at Scituate. Schooner Julia, Morrill, of and from 
Dresden, anchored on Sunday, off Spectacle Island, dragged, 
struck a rock, knocked off her rudder, after which she cut away 
her masts and rode it out. 

The brig Columbus, of Boston, anchored outside of Plymouth 
flats, dragged, and run aground. Packet schooner Homer, from 
New York, also run high up on the flats, with the loss of both 
her chains. Brig Sea Island, drove on the flats at the same time, 
with the loss of both top-gallant masts. The schooner Mary 
Ann, of Castine, from New York, went to pieces at Warren's 
Cove, crew saved. 


The ship Martha Washington, of Ca?tine, which sailed from 
Boston for Mobile, on Saturday, was driven ashore on Palmet 
Harbor bar, about three miles south of the Highland light, inside 
of Cape Cod, and was got off without having sustained much 
injury. New brig Alice, Jordan, from Bath, for Cuba, went 
ashore about three miles west of the Highland light, both masts 
carried away. The captain, his wife, and crew, were taken off 
about 12 o'clock Tuesday morning. Two fore and aft schooners, 
unknown, went ashore buck of Wellfleet, on Monday, P. M. and 
went to pieces, and all on board perished. From Provincetown 
to Eastham, 21 vessels went ashore. 

A Bath stiip, said to be lumber laden, went ashore in tho 
vicinity of Orleans. 

The I)ri5 Democrat, Sylvester, from Bath, for Barbadoes, 
went ashore on the evening of the 16lh, at Dennis Point, in Barn- 
stable Bay, and lost. The hull of the brig Diligence, Woodbu- 
ry, from Portland for Havana, anchored about half way between 
Barnstable Bar and Billingsgate light, her spars all gone. 

A large full rigged brig was very near the breakers on Barn- 
stiible Bar, on the morning of the 17th ; but the wind having 
moderated, she obtained an offing, with tac-help of the strong ebb 
tide. Schooners Vischer and Magnet, were somewhat damaged 
on Monday night, by contact with schooner Trio. 

Schooner Sjio, Darby, of Brooksville, Me. from Philadelphia 
for Boston, with coal, went ashore back of Wellfleet, and will 
probably be a total loss ; crew saved. 

Schooner Caledonian, Emerson, of Bucksport, went ashore 
back of Eastham ; crew saved. 

Two herm. brigs, names unknown, went ashore on the inside 
of the Cape, near Wellfleet, on Monday, one laden with flour 
and corn. Brig Maria, Johnson, from Richmond for Boston, was 
stranded in the late gale at Wellfleet; the cargo is landing on the 
beach. Schooner Amethyst, of North Yarmouth, from St. Johns, 
Florida, sunk ofl^ Wellfleet, all lost. 

Brig Rideout, from Bath for Matanzas, was driven among the 
breakers on the Cape, capsized, and all hands were lost. Brig 
Austin, Walston, from Bath for Matanzas, was more fortunate ; 
she was driven ashore near the same place, but beat over the outer 
bars, and by the means of a rope, all tbe crew succeeded in reach- 
ing the shore, much exhausted. Schooner Shakspeare, Ulmer, 
fix)m Havana for Boston, went ashore near the same place, and 
was totally wrecked ; the crew, however, were all saved. Brig 
Garabasset, of Pordand, bound from Havana for Boston, went 
ashore near the Highland light on Sunday evening, and vessel and 
cargo were lost, and seven out of nine of the crew were saved. 
Sloop Independence, of Charleston, sunk in Provincetown har- 
bor on Sunday ; the crew, four in number, remained in the rig- 
ging for some hours, and at length were rescued by the gallant 
exertions of some of the Cape Cod men, who at the imminent 
risk of their lives, went off to them in a whale boat. Sloop 
Belvidere, of Boston, with sand, drifted from her anchors, and 
went ashore in Provincetown harbor. Brig Carter Braxton, 
Smith, from Fredericksburg for Boston, drifted from her anchor- 
age and went ashore ; got off without much damage. Schooner 
Pioneer, Moore, from Goldsborough, Me. for Lyme, Con. drag- 
ged ashore ; got off with trifling damage. Schooner Chappell, 
Moore, from Steuben, Me. for New York, dragged with both an- 

«bors ahead, but cut away both masts and rode out the ^ale. 
Schooner Albion, Smith, of Hampden, from New York for Bos- 
ton, slipped her cables, and got alongside of a wharf, witli loss of 
bowsprit, cutwater, davits, &,c. Schooner Brenda, of Boston, 
drifted from her anchorage, went afoul of schooner Tarquin, caus* 
ing some damage to the latter ; the Brenda had her bends and 
one plank stove in, and was obliged to cut away her foremast to 
get clear. Sloop Minerva, of INorwalk, Con. deeply loaded, for 
Boston, carried away her mast about fifteen feet from the deck, 
and rode out the gale in the harbor. 

A large brig went ashore on the back of the Cape, the crew 
took to the tops and were saved. A large schooner also went on 
shore and lost both masts. A brijj went ashore on the outer 
breakers, and went to pieces in the night ; all on board lost ; her 
keel, timbers, &.c. drifted ashore. 

The schooner Boston, Bray, from Philadelphia, for Boston, 
slipped her chains in the Bay, and went ashore on Long Point, 
but got off without much damage. 


At Lynn, the schooner Catharine Nickols, Woodward, went 
ashore on Nahant, at about 4, P. M. The vessel was washed 
into a mere mass of splinters ; three men were lost. 

At Marblehead, although every vessel but one went ashore, 
no lives were lost. The schooner Minerva, Rollins, from Pittstown 
for Plymouth, lost both masts and bowsprit, threw over her deck 
load of hay, &5:c. Schooner Paul Jones, high and dry on the rocks, 
bilged. Schooner Sea Flower with corn and flour, on the beach, a 
total loss of the vessel and part of the cargo. Schooner Brilliant 
lost her main boom, stern ripped down. Schooner Tassc, slightly 
damaged. The schooners' Mary, Swazey ; J. Q. Adams, PIu- 
tus, Two Brothers and Burlington, ran ashore on River Head 
Beach. The stern of a small craft was found on tMs beach, 
probably wrecked on one of the Islands at the mouth of the 


The greatest destruction took place here ; the gale was truly 
terrific, and the devastation unprecedented and terrible. The 
following is a list of the vessels that were most severely injured ; 
all of wliich ran ashore unless otherwise stated. 

Schooner Eliza and Betsey, of Mount Desert, sunk at her 
anchors ; Joseph Golt, Alpheus Gott, (picked up,) Peter Gott 
and Joseph Gott, her crew, all lost. 

Schooner Boston, Thomas, of Belfast, with wood and lum- 
ber, for Salem ; vessel and cargo totally lost;, crew saved. 

Schooner Mary Jane, of Portland, cargo of molasses ; cut 
away masts, stove deck load, crew taken off. 

Schooner Columbia, of Bremen, Maine, Jacob L. Kaler, 

master; total wreck j William Wallace and ■ Hofses 


Schooner Neutrality, of Portland, William Shays, master j 
crew saved, vessel and cargo total loss. 

Schooner St. Cloud, Park, from New York for Prospect, 
total wreck, crew saved. 

Schooner Favorite, of Wiscasset, vessel and cargo total loss', 
Mrs. Sally Hilton and Wm. Mann, drowned ; former picked up. 

Schooner Sally, of W^iscasset, Capt. Drake ; vessel and car 
go total loss, Capt. Drake and brother drowned. 

Schooner Fame, (three masted) of Ellsworth, Capt. Lord; 
vessel bilged ; cargo may be saved, no lives lost. 

Schooner Delta, of Augusta, Capt. Moor; vessel above high 
water mark ; no lives lost. 

Schooner Sarah, of Portsmouth, owned by G. Melcher ; 
cargo, corn and flour, partly saved ; no lives lost. 

Sloop Portland, of Brunswick, on shore ; hands saved. - 

Schooner Prudence, of Prospect; vessel and cargo lost, 
crew saved. 

Schooner Sally and Mary, of Bristol ; vessel and cargo lost, 
crew saved. 

Schooner Industrj^ of Prospect ; vessel and cargo lost, crew 

Mary Francis, of Belfast, Warden. Just as the Custom 
House boat boarded her on Monday afternoon, her last cable, 
parted, and she went to sea ; the boat took off the crew and two 
passengers, B. F. Blackstone and Dr. Boyden, of B. 

Schooner Volant, of , wreck ; crew believed to be all 


Schooner Mary Gould, of , wreck ; crew saved. 

Schooner Charlotte, of , wrecked ; crew saved. 

Schooner Walrus, of Bucksport, wrecked at Pigeon Cove ; 
crew all perished ; four bodies found. Cargo of corn, flour, &c. 

Schooner Brilliant, of Mount Desert ; vessel, cargo and three 
men lost; names unknown. 

Schooner Milo, of Bristol, vessel ^nd cargo lost ; one man, 
Samuel Sprowl, drowned. 

Schooner Splendid, of New Castle ; vessel and cargo lost, 
crew saved. 

Schooner Sally, of Wiscasset ; vessel, cargo and two men, 
Hartley and Isaac Decker, lost. 

Schooner North Carolina, of Calais, James Barter, Jr. from 
Calais, bound to Newport, with lumber, cut away masts and rode 

^ onl the gale ; sustained Injury by vessels driflifip; afoul of her. 
Schooner Cooper's Fancy, Bridges, of Mount Desert, vessel 
sunk, crew saved. , 

Schooner F. Severs, lost on Norman's Wo. Sloop Eagle, of 
Bowdoinham, went to pieces ; crew saved. 

Schooner Ariel, Ellsworth, from Boston for Frenchman's Bay, 
dismasted ; crew taken off. Schooner Eliza &i Betsey, of Mouot 
Desert, driven ashore ; crew saved. Schooner Alert, Dunien, 
of Woolwich for Boston, dismasted ; crew taken olT. 

Schooner Henrietta, Dunten, of Westport, for Norfolk, dis- 
masted ; crew saved. 

At Sandy Bay, a schooner struck a reef while entering the 
harbor, and went to pieces instandy. It is thought all on board 
were lost; her name was unknown; four bodies came ashore. 


At Ipswich, schooner Deposite, of Belfast, with lumber, 
went ashore on Lakeman's beach ; four lost; two men and one 
woman saved. 

At EssKX, a schooner went ashore on Patch's beach ; six 
persons lost, one saved. 


Fifteen or twenty vessels were Injured, but we believe no lives 
lost. Among the vessels damaged, were the Nancy, badly ; Ri- 
naldo, loss of mast and other damage ; Ivy, Mechanic, and Har- 
mony. Schooner Good Intent, at one of the lower wharves, 
got foul of the Hope, and both were damaged. Schooner Glide, 
loaded for New Orleans, was badly chafed at the wharf; also the 
Margaret, for Baltimore. Ship Huntress, reported on Saturday 
to have sailed, did not get out, but returned to the wharf, where 
she lay with no other damage than rubbing her paint. 

Such is believed to be a very correct account of the destruc- 
tion caused by the first storm, and who, in looking over the ex- 
tended list, can fail to perceive that it was one wide scene of 
devastation along the whole eastern coast of Massachusetts. On 
the coast of Maine the storm was less severe, as it was at the 
southward. A few of the most distressing shipwrecks deserve to 
be detailed more particularly, 

The Schooner Catharine Nichols This vessel, 

owned in Charlestown, and bound thither from Philadelphia, with 
a load of coal, was wrecked on Nahant, on Sunday, at 4 o'clock, 
P. M. Capt. Woodward first made Egg Rock, through the 
thick and almost impenetrable atmosphere. Having thus learned 
his position, he ran round into Reed Cove, on the S. W. side of 
Nahant. At this lime the wind was so light, and blowing from 


siich a mmrter, that all ilie cre\v might easily have e.^caped in the 
boat. But hope, so deceitrul to hundreds during ihis gale, indu- 
ced them to ren»ain on board. The wind was at that time favora- 
ble, and they were sheltered by the high hills of the promontory 
from the violence of the tempest. But they were doomed to 
sudden disappointment. Hardly had they anchored before the 
wind, as if bent on ruin, chopped round so as to make the cove 
no shelter. In thirty a.inutes they parted their cables, drove by 
Baylie's Point, and rushed furiously on the shore. By this lime 
the generous citizens thronged the shore in hopes to save tlie 
crew of the doomed vessel. After she first stmck, she wheeled 
round, and on the back of a mountain surge was rolled up upon 
the reeky shore, and immediately one mast went by the board. 
When ihe waves retired, several men would make a desperate 
effovt to seize some one on board and run him on shore. Mr. 
Johnson is understood to have been principaly instrumental in this 
philanthropic work. In this way, the captain and two of the 
crew were saved. Soon, the other mast was carried away, and 
as it fell another man crept forward and over the gunwale. He 
was seized on the return of the wave, but was found to have been 
wounded, probably by the frilling of the mast. As they laid hoM 
of him they heard him say, *'Oh dear," and when he reached 
the shore he moiioncd them to lay him down, which they did, 
and he immediately died. His name was Whitton. The mate 
stuck to the vessel to the last, feeling assured that he should es- 
cape, as he had passed through so many perils safely, but he was 
at the last point of danger. He died amidst the roaring surf, 
and was found, stripped of every particle of clothing except his 
stock and stockings, jammed in among the rocks of that iron 
shore. When the Inst mast fell, a man, (the only one whose fate 
has not been stated) was seen to crawl out upon it through the 
mad and foaming waves. Soon the mnst broke loose from the 
schooner, and instead of washing on shore as the poor fellow 
had vainly hoped, it drifted seaward, ancf he was carried out of 
sight to be buried in the depths of Lynn Bay. On Tuesday, 
the two bodies which had been recovered were taken to the first 
Methodist Church in Lynn ; appropriate fimeral services were 
perfoiTnerf, and the victims of tiie sea were committed to the 
bosom of the earth. Tiie name of the man drifted to sea was 
John Lindsay of Philadelphia. The vessel went entirely to pieces. 
The Brig Rideout. .. .This vessel, commanded by Capt. 
Pnrrington, of and from Bath, for Maianzas, was driven among 
the dreadliil breakers on the outside of Cape Cod, and capsized. 
Every soul on board was lost. She went upon the outer breakers, 
and being upset, remained among them, the furious sea rolling 
<iuhe over her as if she had been but a log. Slie finally went to 


pieces. In tliis case, about a dozen human bemgs, flushed wiih 
hope, and anticipating a long life, were suddenly hurried into eter- 
nity. The reader has only to picture to himself, a noble vessel 
careenng over the sportful waves ; then the rising of the storm, 
the preparation of the creaking vessel for the fierce struggle, the 
increase of the tempest, the breakers ahead, the fruitless efibrt to 
clear th^^m, the shriek and prayer as she plun;^es into the midst 
of the foaming surges, where the sjway is dashed over her very 
truck, the reeling of the ship for a moment as though she were a 
drunken man, and then the fearful mountain-wave that strikes 
her amidships, atW rolls iier over like a slaughtered ox, throwing 
the frightened mariners into the merciless wateis, the gurgling 
cry of a moment as they struggle even with certain ocAith, and then 
the silence of all save the roaring waves and whistling winds, and 
be will have som« idea of the loss of the pooi- ill-fated Hideout. 

The Schooner Defosite. . ..This schooner, Cotterell, 
master, from Belfast, with lumber, was wrecked on Lakemun's 
l^each, Ipswich. She was first discovered by Mr. Marshall, of 
Ipswich, who gave the alarm, and with Mr. Greenwood, keeper 
o( the light, repaired to the beach. The schooner was close into 
tlie shore, but the surf was breaking over, and inside of her, so 
that a boat could not live for a moment. Mr. Greenwood dashed 
into the surf, and at imnjinent peril, succeeded in reaching the 
vessel, and with a rope hauled in Mr. Marshall and the boat. 
By this time the poor sufferers on board were almost gone, cold, 
and exhausted, the sea every moment breaking over them. The 
wife of the captain was among the wretched company. One, a 
boy, lay dead in the scuppers, and a negro man was in his last 
agonies, when they got on board. He died in a few minutes. 
Nerved to desperate effort by the peril of the sufferers, and tiiat 
common humanity, which, despite of the little petty bickerings of 
men, will reveal itself in such an hour, these two noble fellows 
went to work at once. The captain, almost senseless, and com- 
pletely exhausted, was first lowered into the boat with Marshall, 
but a wave instantly upset it, dashing Marshall under the vessel. 
He rose to the surface, and saved himself by catching hold of a 
rope ; the poor captain was drowned of course, as he was inca- 
pable of helping himself. The cries of the dying for succor, 
were as nothing to the terrific shrieks of the captain's wife, as she 
saw her husband buried beneath the wafers. Two of the crew 
were got ashore, one of them by floating on the boom. The be- 
reaved woman was then lowered from the stern by ropes, and 
Greenwood and Marehall, standing each side of her ir^he water, 
took advantage of an inward wave, and run her ashore in tlieir 
arms. The names of the three survivors are Mrs. Cotterell, 
George Emery and Chandler Mahoney, The dead bodies were 


taken to town and Interred on Wednesday. The services were 
performed at the South Church, before a large concourse of peo- 
ple. The bodies were followed to the grave by sixteen sea cap- 
tains as bearers, and a long procession of citizens. The expres- 
sion upon the countenances of the dead was striking. That upon 
the face of the young naan named Durham, was peculiarly sweet. 
He seemed to be a calm slumberer, rather than a breathless corpse. 


But tbe calamities we have recorded above, were nothing in 
comparison to those which happened at Glouces#r. The harbor 
was supposed to be very secure, and at the commencement of the 
storm a great many vessels, especially coasters, put in there for 
shelter. Unfortunately, instead of anchoring in the inner harbor, 
as far at least as Five Pound Island, or in the South East harbor, 
in both which places the holding ground is good, and the anchor- 
age well sheltered, they generally anchored just North of Ten 
Pound Island and Ten Pound Ledge, where they were right in 
the teeth of the current of wind, rushing in a gale from S. E. or 
N. N. E., between Rocky Neck and the Fort ; in the range of 
the lander-tow rolling over Dog Bar ; and on very poor holding 
ground. Of course the most of them dragged ashore. Such a 
scene of terrific and horrible ruin has not been witnessed in that 
harbor within the memory of the oldest resident, a man 104 
years of age, who has always lived there. More than fifty 
vessels were either driven ashore, dismasted, or carried to sea, 
and the loss of lives could not have fallen much short of fifty. 
From one end of the beach to the other, nothing could be seen 
but pieces of broken wrecks ; planks and spars, shattered into a 
thousand splinters ; ropes and sails, parted and rent ; flour, fish, 
lumber, and a hundred other kinds of lading and furniture, soak- 
ed and broken ; with here and there a mangled and naked body 
of some poor mariner ; and in one instance that of a woman 
lashed to the windlass-bitts of a Castine schooner, lay all along 
the beach, while off, thirty yards, with the surf breaking over 
them every moment and freezing in the air, lay nearly a score of 
lost vessels; all together forming a picture which it is in vain to 
attempt to copy in words. In the midst of this scene of terror, 
the hardy and noble fishermen of Cape Ann, fully proved that a 
sailor's jacket seldom covers a craven heart. They manned two 
boats, the Custom House boat and the Van Buren ; and fear- 
lessly risked their lives for the safety of their fellow creatures. 
Vessel aft^r vessel was visited by them ; they made their way 
over the tops of mountain-waves, and through the gaping chasms 
of the hungry waters ; and from the very teeth of greedy death, 
plucked many a poor, despairing, and exhausted fellow ; bringing 


him safe to shore. Excellent, generous men ! We would we 
could record all their names, that posterity might approve and 
emulate their deeds of daring. The boats were manned as fol- 
lows : The Van Buren by Andrew Parker, Jr., John Parker 
and others ; and the Custom House boat, by Messrs. Addison P. 
Winter, Carter, Charles P. Wood, Gideon Lane, and D. D. 

A public meeting was called, at which ii was resolved to 
choose a Committee of Relief, to attend to the wants of all the 
sufferers, and to the interment of the bodies. The meeting vot- 
ed to have theAodies taken to some church, and funeral services 
performed, under the direction of the following Committee, who 
were the Committee of Relief, viz : George D. Hale, G. H. 
Rogers, Alphonso Mason, Epes W. Marcham, Eben. H. Stacy, 
Samuel Stevens. Five hundred dollars was raised on the spot. 

Such was the devastation wrought by the first storm, one of 
unequalled fury and destructiveness. 


Occurred on Sunday and Monday, the 22d and 23d of De- 
cember. It was less severe than that of the 15th, although suf- 
ficiently violent to have obtained under other circumstances, the 
name of a terrible hurricane. The injury to shipping was con- 
siderable, and two at least of the most distressing shipwrecks we 
ever had occasion to record, took place. The following is a list 
of the disasters. 

Schooner Tremont, Ingraham, from New York, of and for 
Thomaslon, went ashore on Hampton Beach, N. H. fifty rods 
South of Great Boar's Head, on Sunday morning ; the vessel and 
cargo lost, crew saved. Schooner Henry, of Somerset, capsized 
oft Leeds' Pomt, N. J. on Sunday, 22d, and went down with all 
her crew. Brig Julia McLinn, Palmer, from Porto Rico, for 
New York, put into Lewes, Del. on morning of 22d ; soon after, 
lost both anchors, and in attempting to beat up to the Breakwater, 
run ashore and was lost ; crew saved. Schooner Charles, went 
ashore at East Thomaston, on night of 21st, and broke in two. 
Schooner Equal, Snow, also went ashore at the same place, and 
much damaged. Schooner Charlotte, Farrar, of Kingston, from 
Baltimore for Boston, went ashore on Nantasket, on Sunday 
night ; the crew saved, vessel had not gone to pieces. British 
schooner H. Davenport, which went ashore on Hospital Island, 
on the 15th, and was got off, dragged ashore again on the 22d, 
and it was supposed could not be got off till spring. But the 
most dreadful disasters are yet to be chronicled. We refer to 
the loss of the barque Lloyd, and brig Pocahontas, 


The LLovn, Mountfort, of Portland, from Havana for Boston, 
Went ashore on Nantasket, about noon of the 23d, in very thick 
Weather^ and a heavy sea on ; her fore and mainmasts were gone, 
and only part of the mizzenmast was standing. Six of the crew 
immediately got out tiie long-boat, and attempted to get on shore, 
but the surf at once filled the lx)at, and every man was swept to 
liis grave in the billows. Another of the crew, named George 
tStolt) got out the small boat, and finally succeeded by aid of the 
boat, and then an oar, in getting so near the shore, that the in- 
habitants dragged him from the foaming breakers. Capt. Mount- 
fort, and the two remaining hands then lashed tHfemselves in the 
mizen rigging; the sea was all the while making a clear breach 
over the trembling huli. Soon the two men were broken from 
their lashings, and hurried overboard; they bufielted the surges 
a moment, and sunk forever. Capt, Mountfort still remained 
lashed to the rigging, the last survivor on board ; but he could 
live only a short time in that fearful position. The boat of the 
Charlotte, manned by the crew who had themselves just suffer- 
ed the horrors of shipwreck, stood ready on the beach to seize 
the first opportunity to get on board. It came, and by dint of 
ihe greatest exertion, they succeeded in boarding the barque and 
bringing Capt. Mountfort ashore. He had been washed from 
his lashings several times, and bruised by his contact with the 
tagged deck, and was insensible when he was taken off. He 
was immediately taken into one of the huts of the Humane So- 
ciety, and every effort made to restore life, but all in vain. He 
was sixty years of age ; the oldest shipmaster out of Portland, 
and left a wife and three daughters to mourn over the loss they 
have experienced. The whole community will join them in that 
mourning, as Capt. Mountfort was very much respected. His 
body was taken to the village of Hull. Here, as at Gloucester, 
Ipswich, Nahant, and other places, the generous conduct of the 
hardy fellows who boarded the wreck, is above all praise. The 
roll of the Lloyd was as follows : Daniel Mountfort, of Port- 
land, Me. master ; Frederick C. Huntress, of Parsonville, Me. 
mate ; Henry Dodd, of Boston, seaman ; William Guilford, of 
Limington, Me. ; George Stott, of Baltimore, (who was saved) ; 
William Birch, of do.; William Leslie, of New York; Henry 
Peck, and John Stewart, no residence given. 

The Brig Pocahontas, James G. Cook, master; sailed 
from Cadiz for Newburyport, the latter part of October. On 
Monday morning, the 23d instant, Capt. Brown at the hotel on 
Plum Island near Newburyport, discovered a dismasted wreck 
ashore on a sand bar, about half a mile east of the hotel. The 
bar, or reef, lies about 150 yards from the beach, and is, we 
suppose, what is usually calJed the South Breakers. By the 


papers, trunks, and fragmenta of the vessel strewed on the beacf?, 
she was immediately known to be the Pocahontas, At this time 
but three men were to be seen on board ; two were clinging to 
the bowsprit ; and one was lashed to the taffrail almost or quite 
naked, and apparently, dead. The weather was very thick, so 
that no signals could be made to alarm the town, and before 
intelligence could be conveyed thither, only one man was left 
on the bowsprit, his companion, and the man on the taff- 
rail having been washed overboard. The sea was all the while 
breaking so furiously over the fated brig, that at the distance of 
150 yards, with the aid of glasses, it could not be told whether 
the poor fellow on the bowsprit was an old acquaintance or not. 
Through the feathery spray he could just be seen ibr a moment, 
and then a mountain wave would roll quite over him. Yet in 
this dreadful condition he hoped and tenaciously clung to life. 
Perhaps he was a citizen of Newburyport, and possibly he could 
now and then see through the parting surf, the spires of the 
churches where he had worshiped God. The lighthouse, the 
first gleau) of which over the waters lie had long waited for, 
were now almost within his reach. He saw perhaps his own 
friends thronging the shore, and he knev- that others, almost in 
the sound of liis voice, were waiting with breathless anxiety to 
learn the fate of the last survivor. Oh ! what terrible emotions 
must have rent the bosom of the poor man, as lie hung there, 
suspended between life and death, hoping and despairing, dying 
in sight of home in his full strength, murdered by the pitiless 
waves before the eyes of his own childhood's friends. Once he 
lost his hold ! 'Twas a fearful struggle, but he regained it, and 
there amidst the stormy surges he hung till noon. No one could 
relieve him ; a boat could not live an instant, and about noon the 
wretched man was swept away and lost among the angry waters. 

The place where the brig struck is the most dangerous spot 
on the island, as between it and the shore is a wide space of water 
deep enough to float the largest vessels. Had she Been a quar- 
ter of a mile on either side, she would have run on a dry smooth 
beach. It appears that she must have anchored some time in 
the course of the night, and being too near the shore for good 
holding ground, dragged from her anchors and went stern on to 
the reef where she thumped until her stern was stove in, and the 
fearful breach which the sea made continued to tear her in pieces, 
until nothing but the skeleton of what was once a noble vessel 

When she came into the bay, and whether those on board 
knew her position during the gale ; whether the majority of them 
were swept off together, or one by one, being overpowered by 
the intensity of the cold and the violence of the sea, will never 


be known, as not one of the twelve or thirteen souls on board is 
left to tell the sad tale. It is heart rending, indeed, that the toil- 
worn mariner, after beating about on a stormy coast for many 
days, should be wrecked and perish within sight of the smoke as- 
cending from his own hearth. 

The Pocahontas sailed from Ca^^liz in September; was run 
into by a Spanish ship, and compelled to put back, discharge, 
and repair; she sailed again in the latter part of October. As 
most, if not all of her original crew left her during this time, and 
no list of the crew is found among the papers which have come 
on shore ; the names only of the captain, (James G. Cook,) and 
chief mate, (Albert Cook, son of Elias Cook o( JXewburyport,) 
are known. She had at least nine hands before the mast. She 
was 271 tons burthen, built in 1830, was owned by Capt. J. N. 
Cushing, and the vessel was insured in Boston ; cargo not insured. 

The wreck took place on Monday. During the week seve- 
ral bodies were recovered. On Saturday the remains of Capt. 
Cook were interred, and on the following Monday, the funeral of 
Mr. Cook, the first officer, and s6ven of the crew whose bodies 
had been found, took place from the Federal Su'eet church. 
The house was filled with an immense concourse of people, not 
less probably than 2500 in number. The services were of a 
deeply impressive character. Silence, like that of the grave, 
reigned in the vast assemblage, broken only by the suppressed 
sobbing of some bereaved one, or of those who had friends at 
sea, and sympathized with the sufferers. There was the aged 
parent, bowed down with grief; there were other members of 
the broken circle which had often gathered cheerly round the 
old familiar hearth-stone ; there was the hardy old sailor weep- 
ing like a child ; and there, saddest of all, because touched nearest, 
was one who had waited for the return of an affianced lover, to 
consummate the happiest of all earthly contracts. She had watch- 
ed till the vessel should heave in sight, e'er the publication of 
the banns of marriage. The vessel came ; but she came amidst 
the howling storm, and the rolling billows, bringing not the reali- 
zation of cherished hopes. She came the ship of death, freight- 
ed with horrors. The lover was clothed in the robes of the 
grave, before the altar where Hymen's vestments would soon 
have been worn ; and the drooping maiden on the day when she 
should have been a happy bride, was a stricken mourner over 
the wreck of hope and love. It was a sad scene. None could 
listen without tears to the solemn monitions of the officiating 
clergymen, or the clear and mournful tone of the requiem. 
Prayers were offered by Rer. Mr. Dimmick and Rev. Dr. Dana, 
and the audience was addressed by Rev. Mr. Campbell. The 
coffins were placed in the broad aisle, and an American ensign 


thrown over each. Alter the close of the exercises at the churcli, 
a procession of several hundred citizens formed, notwithstanding 
the severe cold of the day, and proceeded with the bodies to the 
grave, while all the bells in town were tolled, and the flags were 
displayed at half-mast. 

Commenced about 11 o'clock, P. M. of Friday, December 
27. The wind was from East to East South East, and blew a 
hurricane until near sunrise of the 28th. The tide all along the 
coast rose to an unprecedented height, and great damage was 
done on shore by the overflowing of the wharves. Happily few 
lives were lost. Death seemed to have been well nigh glutted 
with his former victims, and a good Providence spared such a 
sacrifice of life as marked the former gales. The following is a 
list of the disasters. 


Ship Robin Hood, carried away the posts, &c. which held 
her to Brown's Wharf, and drove against Charlesiown Bridge, 
doing a good deal of damage to the bridge, and carrying away 
her cutwater. 

Schooner Velocity, from St. Domingo, with coffee and log- 
wood, dragged her anchors, and drifted against Union Wharf, 
bilged and sunk. 

Ship Eagle, from New Orleans, at anchor in the stream, drag- 
ged her anchors and drove against Lincoln's Wharf, but expe- 
rienced only little damage. 

Schooner Splendid, at City Wharf, run her bowsprit into the 
store occupied by David Snow, injured the store considerably, 
and destroyed several barrels of flour. 

An hermaphrodite brig, bound to the West Indies, loaded 
with lumber, drove against Downer's Wharf, at South Boston, 
bilged and sunk. 

Brig Adelaide, at Lewis' Wharf, having just repaired dam- 
age sustained in the gale of the 15th, had her head, stem, and 
part of her bow again carried away. 

Ship Forum, barque Maid of Orleans, brigs Sea Island, Plu- 
tiis, schooners Senator of Portland, and Charles, of Salem, and 
sloop Increase, all severally parted their fasts at Central and In- 
dia Wharves, and drove up the dock the William, of New Bed- 
ford, Namshong, of Marblehead, Franklin, of Salem, and sloop 
Packet, of do., where they all remained jammed together, and 
grinding each other till the gale abated. Schooner Namshong 
lost bowsprit ; brig Plutus, do. ; schooner Senator, had her stem 


stove ; scliooner VViJHain, do. ; the others were mocli cliafecJ ; a 
sloop drove an oak post on India Wharf, through lier stern, and 
remained fast to it at 8 o'clock. 

Ship Casco, of Portland, at end of Rowe's Wharf, stove in 
her sidey and sunk the hull nearly under water. 

Schooner Atlantic, at Brown's Wharf, Broad Street, had her 
stern stove in. ^ 

Schooner Palestine, of Nantucket, at Woodman's W^iarT, 
purled her fasts, drove against Liverpool Wharf, where she 
thumped till she sunk. i 

Barque Ganges, at the end o^ Foster's Wharf, parted her 
fasts, drove into the dock against barque Niagara, brigs Juniper, 
Acadian and Portree, where they all ground and chafed each 
other considerably. The Juniper lost head, bowsprit, Uc. ; the 
Portree had her stern stove in, <kc. 

Schooner Miller, Merrill, from Bristol, Me. cargo wood and 
bark, run ashore on Chelsea Beach, high and dry ; crew saved. 

A large vessel was seen off Baker's Island Light, at anchor 
Rear the hreakei-s ; masts gone. 

Brig Lincoln, Smith, from Havana, via Vineyard, struck on 
the Spit, Friday night, knocked off her rodder, lost fifty hhds, 
molasses off deck, cut away mainmast, beat over, anchored, and 
rode out the gale ; a steamer went down to tow her up. 

Ship Geneva, of New York, at India W^harf, had her bow- 
sprit and head rigging carried away, her starboard anchor torn 
from the bow ; her head and stem, to the water's edge, is com- 
pFetely smashed level with the bow. 

Two water boats, the property of Mr. Smith, were sunk at 
Central Wharf; and two other water boats, belonging to Mr. An- 
derson, were sunk at India W^harf. 

Sloop Helen, from New Bedford, drove from her aoclwrs in 
the stream, into Rowe's Wharf dock, and carried away her mast 
and bowsprit. 

Ship Argo, at India Wharf, \ml head, carried away bobstays, 
and otherwise damaged about the bows. 

Schooner Allen, from Jacmel, at Liverpool Wharf, lost top- 
mast, was cut down amidships, and drove from Brown's Wharf. 

The ship Columbiana, of over 600 tons burthen, was lying 
on Friday night at Sweti^s Wharf, in Charlestown, and broke 
from her fastenings on Saturday morning, about 5 o'clock, at 
near high tide ; she was partly loaded with ice. Driven by the 
wind and tide together, she came bows on against Charlestown 
(clj) Bridge, and made a clear breach through It. She next 
brought i?p against the wharf at the draw of Warren Bridge, and 
here the scene of destruction \s most remarkable. A story and 
half hoise stood upon the wlrirf, occupied by Mr. Dix, who is 


engaged in attending the draw, lighting lamps, &c. Himself and 
family, consisting of nine persons, were in bed at ihe time, and 
all escaped without any injury^ notwithstanding the building was 
entirely demolished. No two parts of it are left together, but 
all presents a scene of cl)aos which cannot be imagined. One 
large fragment of the chimney stands poised many leet from its 
original position, and directly beneath it is the family bureau, bed- 
ding and chairs. Part of the roofing was thrown overboard, and 
another part projected on tlie bridge^ 'The piers on which it 
stood, forming a part of the wlwirf, are broke or bent over, 
and the floorin^j carried away. The bridge is much injured ; 
the fencing broke down, and the walk thrown up for some 

It is remarkable in what manner the inmates succeeded in es- 
caping with their lives and limbs. One man, we are told, was 
thrown overboard, but succeeded in regaining the wharf, without 
receiving injury. The children were also saved from their beds 
without harm, and found shelter in the fruit shop at one end 
of the bridge. 

The ship probably slipped her fastenings, on account of the 
very high tide, which flowed over many of the wharves. She 
does not appear to be at all injured, unless her bottom be chafed. 
Captain Barker was on board the ship until midnight, and finding 
all safe, left the mate in charge, who, finding the vessel adrift, 
took the helm and steered her. She passed directly through the 
old bridge, as though there had been no obstacle in her way. 
She would also have passed through the Warren Bridge had not 
the mate lufi'ed her so as to strike the wha^f and bring her broad- 
side to the bridge ; by this movement, th& bridge was saved. 


Pilot Boat Leader, lying at her moorings off Phillips' Wharf, 
parted her chain, carried away both masts, drove against Derby's 
Wharf, and will be a total loss. 

Schooner James, of Belfast, drove against Phillips' Wharf, 
knocked a hole in her bottom, and sunk. 

Schooner St. George, of St. George, from Stonington, with 
oil, broke from her anchorage off the Misery, drove across Bev- 
erly bar, and was forced ashore near the bridge, considerably in- 
jured ; several female passengers were on board, but fortunately 
no lives were lost. 

Brig Pamelia, last from Vineyard, anchored on Friday even- 
ing, near the Whale's back, off the Misery, and was obliged to 
cut away both masts in order to save her. The mate and two 
men came up in the night (br assistance, and with two of the 


pilots in their boats attempted to return to the vessel, but the 
storm had increased so violently, that they were obliged to put 
back, after an unsuccessful struggle of three hours. The brig 
was towed into the harbor, by the pilot boat, on Saturday, and 
Capt. Sturgis, of the Revenue Cutter Hamilton, being in the har- 
bor, with several of his men, rendered very efficient assistance in 
bringing her up. 

The ship Sumatra, was driven from Derby's Wharf, and went 
ashore South of the Railway, high and dry on the beach. A 
schooner ashore near the same place, by Railway Wharf, some- 
what injured. 

The Izette and barque Brazil, parted their fasts at Phillips' 
Wharf, and drove against the Allen Wharf, receiving but little 

British brig Collyria, Card, of and for Windsor, N. S. drag- 
ged her anchors and run foul of schooner Temperance, Malcom, 
from Boston for Windsor, carrying away the schooner's bowsprit ; 
the masts of the latter afterwards went by the board. The brig 
drove against Derby's Wharf, forced in her larboard quarter, 
and bilged. 

Schooner Dove, of St. George, drove against Derby's Wharf, 
carrying away jib-boom, and considerably injuring one of the 

The schooner Pocasset, of Beverly, was forced from Becket's 
Wharf, and brought up against Derby's Wharf, running her bow- 
sprit through a cooper's shop near the head of the wharf, chafed 
sheathing badly. 

The schooner Amazon, of Deer Isle, with wood, dragged on 
the flats near Derby's Wharf, and cut away both masts. 


The tide is stated to have risen higher than at any time be- 
fore for thirty years, completely overflowing all the wharves, and 
setting adrift and destroying a large amount of property. The 
damage to the shipping at the wharves was much ,a;reater than 
has ever been experienced before. Of 130 vessels in port, 41 
were more or less injured, as follows : 

The schooner Panama, of Wells, lying; at Bayley's Wharf, 
with part of a cargo of flour and corn, sunk at the wharf. 

The schooner Actor, partly loaded with salt, onions, &c. for 
the South, lying at Bartlett's Wharf, filled and sunk. 

The pink-stern schooners Harmony, Van and Union, also 
sunk at the wharves. 

The schooners Trio and Grampus, at Perkins' Wharf, had 
their sterns completely stove in, and sustained other damage. 


The schooner Vulture, at Bay ley's Wharf, had her main top- 
mast broken off, parted her fasts, stove in her stern, and sustain- 
ed considerable other damage. 

A new brig lying at Cushing's ^Wharf, was so badly chafed, 
that many of her planks will have to be taken out. 

The schooner Nun, which came from Boston, just before the 
commencement of the gale, with a valuable cargo, parted her 
fasts at Commercial Wharf, and drove to the upper side of the 
mast-yard of Messrs. Cook, where, after breaking off her bow- 
sprit, davits, and tearing out one side of a shed, she lay in a 
snug berth. 

The schooners Traveller, of Wells, and Herald, had their 
sterns stove in. 

The schooners Tom Bolin and Orison, of Wells, lost their 

The schooner Nancy, which was badly damaged in the gale 
of the 15th, and had just been repaired, was again considerably- 

The schooners Hope, Atlas, Ellen, Retrieve, Mercy & Hope, 
Aurora, Mechanic, Harriet, Alphion, and Baltic, were also very 
badly chafed or otherwise damaged. 

The new ship Viola was somewhat chafed. 

The schooners Andromeda, Anti, Rinaldo, Franklin, of 
York, Reward, Camelia, of Portsmouth, were also chafed ; An- 
gola, stern carried away ; Agnes, do. ; Albion, quarter boards 
gone ; Enterprize, do. ; Wave, Evelina of York, and Spartan, 
had sterns stove ; Eunice, broke main boom. 


The brig Aladdin, of North Yarmouth, from Baltimore for 
Portsmouth, ashore and stern knocked out, crew saved; her 
cargo of corn and flour, was saved in part, though in a damaged 

Brig Richmond Packet, Captain Drinkwater, of Deer Isle, 
from Richmond for Newburyport, entirely gone to pieces, and 
her cargo of corn and flour mostly lost ; the crew saved, but the 
wife of the captain, in attempting to reach the shore on a spar, 
was drowned. 

The schooner Bride, from Georgetown for Salem, ashore and 
bilged, crew saved ; cargo of corn and flour, saved in a dam- 
aged state. 

The schooner Thetis from Philadelphia for Portland, with 
coal, crew saved ; vessel and cargo a total loss. 

A schooner ashore in the inner harbor, and another outside 
at anchor, with masts cut away. 


Provincetown. — The loss of shipping here is immense } 
brig Imogene, (whaler,) it is thought will be a total loss. The 
brig Fanny, (whaler,) suffered much in her hull. The schooners 
Caroline, Brenda, Amazon, and Alice &, Nancy, lost their sterns, 
and received much other damage. The schooner Delphi lost 
most of her sails, and had her hull badly damaged. The schooner 
Joseph Helen, loaded for New Orleans, lost windlass, bowsprit, 
foremast sprung, and badly damaged in her hull. All the above 
are very high up on the beach. 

The schooner Elizabeth Ann, of and for Halifax, from Bos- 
ton, with flour, grapes, raisins, he. drove ashore and sunk ; her 
decks were under water at high tide ; the cargo all landed in a 
damaged state. 

The schooner Clio, Wharp, from Norfolk for Boston, drove 
high up on the beach, lost main boom, bowsprit, and received 
other damage. 

The schooner Planet, from Bath for Baltimore, with lumber 
and pickled fish, also high up on the beach. 

The schooner Fleet, loaded for Baltimore, went ashore with 
both anchors ahead ; she drifted afoul of schooner Clio, in the 
stream, and both vessels came ashore together. 

The schooner Pandora, from New York for Boston, with 
flour, &c. went ashore, but did not receive much damage. 

The schooner Altorp, from Richmond, with corn and bread, 
ashore high and dry. 

The new schooner William W. Wyers, for Norfolk, high up 
on the beach, and about 20 other vessels, principally fishermen, 
suffered greatly in spars, rigging, and hulls badly damaged. 

The brig Wave, from Bath for Matanzas, having lately got 
off shore at Truro, went ashore again at this place. 

The following are the particulars of the wreck of the brig 
J. Palmer, on her passage from Philadelphia to Boston. She 
was lost on Friday night. How she was lost, whether driven on 
shore or foundered, no one can ever learn, as all hands were lost. 
All that is known of her is, that pieces of a wreck, parts of boxes, 
flour barrels, &c. were picked up on Sunday morning, on the 
eastern shore of Conanicut. Among parts of the wreck, is a 
quarter-deck, almost entire, and part of a head, on which is 
the name "J. Palmer." It must have been the brig J. Palmer, 
Ardley, from Philadelphia for Boston, which was spoken on 
Thursday, off Block Island. She had lost her foresail in previ- 
ous gales. On Friday evening, at dusk, a brig was seen stand- 
ing towards the south end of the Island, three miles off, without 
any foresail ; since that time, nothing has been seen or heard of 
her, saving the melancholy proofs of her destruction that have 


been thrown upon our shores. There is no ground for hope lha( 
one of her crew escaped ; all must have perished ! Some pieces 
of boxes that have been picked up are marked on the side, (and 
therefore thought to be the shipper's marks,) '* J. S. M. J. J. A. 
H. D. Franklin Window Glass," some 8 X 10, and some 7X9. 
A waistcoat, with the name of '* S. Browne," on the back of it, 
was among the pieces of wreck that drifted ashore. 

Wreck of the Sch^ooner Miller. .. 4. This schooner, 
Merrill, master, bound from Bristol, Me. with wood, to Lynn, in 
running into the harbor, struck on a rock and sprung her planks, 
so that she leaked badly. She then anchored, and the pilot, Mr. 
Pecker, came on board. Soon after he boarded her, she parted 
her chain, and it was determined to run heron shore. The wind 
by this time was lashed into a perfect tornado, and the canvass 
which they attempted to get upon her was blown into ribbons in 
an instant. They however managed to get up just enough of 
the flying-jib to steer her by, and then put her head for Chelsea 
Beach. She struck heavily, and the sea immediately began to 
break over her. The crew then ran forward. As the pilot was 
making his way forward, a sea broke upon her, and Pecker felt 
something strike against him ; he clutched at it, and seized a man 
by the hair, while he himself caught by a rope. Thus was one 
life saved, By this time, another sea had lifted the schooner 
higher on the beach ; and dropping one by one from the bow- 
sprit, the whole crew were saved, some of them being drawn 
ashore by the pilot. We are much happier in recording escapes 
than deaths; and especially is it a pleasure to give praise to men 
who are the means of rescuing any of their fellow creatures from 


From the foregoing account, it appears that 1 barque, 17 
brigs, 68 schooners, and 4 sloops, were lost in th§ three gales ; 
and the estimated number of lives destroyed at the same time are 
from 150 lo 200. It was supposed 50 were lost at Gloucester 
alone in the first storm. Besides this, 23 ships and barques, 22 
brigs, 163 schooners, and 5 sloops, were dismasted, driven ashore, 
or greatly injured in some other way. The destruction of prop- 
erty must have been near ^1,000,000. We do not suppose we 
have ascertained the loss of near all the vessels which have been 
destroyed by these tornadoes. Many were foundered at sea ; 
and some went ashore and to pieces, so that no intelligible record 
of their loss is left behind. 

Alas ! what destruction. What wide spread ruin and desola- 
tion. Who can look upon it, without fearing Him, whose voice 


IS heard in the tempest, and whose will directs the storm ? Into 
the short period of fourteen days, the agony of years was press- 
ed. There was enough of despair and horror felt in that time, 
to chill the blood of youth or palsy the arm of the strongest. It 
has past. The waters heave as calmly as ever. The winds are 
hushed upon its bosom, and the gentle heavens look down in 
smiles on the splendors of the deep. But the shipwrecked mar- 
iners of December — where are they ? where ? Oh, that we 
may so live as to be prepared even for such a death as theirs. 

WOULD you behold the works of God, 
His wonders in the world abroad. 
Go with the mariners, and trace 
The unknewn regions of the seas. 

The}» leave their native shores behind, 
^nd seize the favor of the wind. 
Till God command, and tempests rise, 
That heave the ocean to the skies. 

Now to the heavens they mount amain ; 
Now sink to dreadful deeps again ; 
What strange affright young sailors feel, 
And like a staggering drunkard reel ! 

When land is far, and death is nigh. 
Lost to all hope, to God they cry : 
His mercy hears their loud address, 
And.sends salvation in distress. 

He bi.cis the winds their wrath assuage, 
The*furious waves forget their rage ; 
'Tis calm ; and sailors smile t6 see 
Tiie haven where they,wish'd to be. 

O may the sons of men record 
The wondrous goodness of the Lord ! 
Let them their private offerings bring, 
And in the church his glory sing. 




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AUG 6 1962 

LD 21A-50m-3,'62 

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