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!! Ballina Chronicle; Oct 1849 "loss of emigrant ship Galway>Boston"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Burlington Hawkeye Burlington, Iowa October 25, 1849 New York, Oct. 6, P.M. Dreadful Shipwreck- Loss of One Hundred and Fifty Lives.- I learn from Boston that
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2004
      Burlington Hawkeye
      Burlington, Iowa
      October 25, 1849

      New York, Oct. 6, P.M.
      Dreadful Shipwreck- Loss of One Hundred and Fifty Lives.- I learn from
      Boston that the British brig St. John, from Galway, Ireland, for Boston, struck
      against the Grampus Rocks on Sunday morning last, about 9 o'clock, and sunk
      almost instantly, having broke in pieces. By this painful calamity it is
      estimated that about one hundred and fifty passengers were saved by floating on
      pieces of the wreck. Twenty-five of the dead bodies were washed ashore and
      picked up on Monday morning. The captain thinks the loss of life is not so
      great, but others saved believe it cannot be less than above stated.

      Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review
      Alton, Illinois
      Oct 26, 1849
      It is stated that the British brig St. John, from Galway, Ireland, and
      bound to Boston, struck against the Grampus Rocks, on the morning of the 30th
      ult. and sunk almost instantly, having gone to pieces. The captain, crew, and
      ten of the passengers, saved themselves, with difficulty, on fragments of the
      wreck; but the remainder, supposed to number about 100 souls, unhappily found a
      watery grave.

      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, Oct 31, 1849

      (From the Boston Evening Journal of Oct. 8)
      A severe gale from N.E. commenced on Saturday evening and raged with great
      fury during the whole of the night and throughout the day on Sunday. Sad,
      indeed, is the devastation which the gale has wrought upon the coast, and our
      worst fears are more than realized in the heart-rending accounts which we are
      called upon to chronicle below-and yet we fear that all has not yet been told.
      Below we give the particulars, so far as we have learned them.
      The British brig St. John, Captain Oliver, from Galway, Ireland, anchored
      inside Minot's ridge about six o'clock a.m. on Sunday, dragged her anchors and
      struck on the Grampus rocks about nine a.m. The captain, officers and crew (with
      the exception of the first mate) took to the boat, and landed safe at the
      Glades. The passengers who were saved got on pieces of the wreck and landed near
      Whitehead, north end of Cohasset harbour. The number of passengers on board was
      164, out of which about 145 are supposed to have been lost. There were 14 cabin
      passengers, mostly women and children. Another account states that the captain
      took to the jolly boat which swamped and he swam to the long boat and was saved
      with ten others. The second mate, two men, and two boys were lost. The remainder
      of the crew were saved.
      Captain Beals of the steamer, Mayflower, give us the following
      particulars:- He understands that the brig struck on the rocks known as the Sea
      Ledge, a little to the west of Minot's ledge, light about one mile from the
      shore, and immediately went to pieces. There appear to be different statements
      in elation to the number of passengers on board. The captain says there were
      but 114 while the passengers who were saved say there were 150. Of those saved
      and arrived at Cohasset, ten in number, seven were females and three males. Six
      of them were provided with quarters at the house of Captain Abraham H. Tower,
      and the other four at Mr. Lathrop's. Two of the women, it is thought, will not
      survive, one being badly cut on the head by a piece of the wreck. The other
      woman, it is said, has a husband residing in this city. She had three children
      on board with her, all of whom were lost. Another gentleman from Cohasset,
      informs us that the brig first went ashore about half-past six o'clock yesterday
      morning, and shortly after her masts were cut away to ease her. The captain and
      ten of the crew then took to the long boat and landed safely near the Glades.
      Previous to this, however, one of the mates, with two of the crew and several of
      the passengers attempted to leave the brig in the small boat, but she swamped
      alongside and all were lost. The brig soon drifted on to the Grampus rocks, and
      almost immediately went to pieces strewing the beach with fragments. The life
      boat was manned, and every exertion made to save those floating in the surf, on
      the wreck. Only ten, however, were saved as stated above. Between 20 and 25 of
      the bodies of those lost had been recovered this morning when our informant left
      the spot. Preparations were making by the coroner to have them decently
      interred. As near as we can ascertain, among the many conflicting stories, there
      were 21 saved in all-10 passengers and the captain and 10 of the crew who came
      ashore in a long boat. The number lost is impossible to ascertain. According the
      to the captain's story there were 120 on board including the crew. If this is
      true, there were 99 lost. The passengers who were saved maintain, however, that
      there were 150 passengers on board, which, if true, would swell the number to
      The captain and one of the mates, were are informed, arrived in this city
      from Cohasset in the noon train to-day. The following statement is from Captain
      Oliver himself:- "Saturday 5 p.m., passed Cape Cod with a light S.E. wind;
      weather thick; hove to with head to the N.E.; at 4 p.m. wore ship and stood
      south; at half-past 6 made Minot's ledge. Not having room to wear ship, ventured
      to run where we saw a brig at anchor, inside of the light. The violence of the
      gale and heavy sea caused us to drag our anchors, when we cut away the masts,
      and held on for a shore time. The gale increased, she dragged again, struck and
      thumped heavily for about one hour before she broke up. Previous to breaking up
      the jolly boat was hanging by the tackles along side, when the stern ringbolt
      broke, and the boat fell into the water. The captain, second mate, and two boys
      jumped into her to clear her, when about 25 passengers jumped in and swamped
      her. The passengers, together with the second mate and boys perished. The
      captain caught a rope hanging over the quarter, and was drawn on board by the
      first mate. The long boat was got clear soon after and a heavy sea coming on
      board, cleared her from the vessel, when a number of passengers jumped over to
      swim to her, but all perished. The captain, first mate (Mr. Cummerford), eight
      of the crew, and two passengers swam to the boat, and reached the shore in
      safety. The others, seven men and eight women, came ashore on part of the deck.
      The total loss of life, 99; saved 21. Twenty-five bodies have been washed ashore
      this morning."
      The following are the names of the eleven passengers saved: Austin Kearn,
      Catherine Flanagan, Betsey Higgins, Mary Keane, Michael Fitzpatrick, Michael
      Gibbon, Barbara Kennelly, Mary Slattery, Michael Redding, Honora Cullen, Honora
      Up to four p.m. yesterday, 27 bodies had been recovered, 21 women and 3
      men, 3 children. The bodies are to be buried to-day.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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