Today we start a new series of posts that resurrect the stories of obscure shipwrecks. Most of them will concern coastal shipwrecks along the American coast, but we’ll range as far as the archives let us — from Australia and New Zealand to South Africa and beyond. On to the first post:
The following article, picked at random, appeared on the first page of the March 30, 1819 edition of Hartford, Connecticut’s The Times. It was originally published in New York City’s Merchant Advertiser. It offers a fascinating snapshot of early Republic shipwrecks and salvage.
Shipwreck.–The brig Merchant, capt. Newhall, of Wethersfield belonging to Justus Riley, in 28 days from Havana, for this port, laden with molasses, honey and coffee, to G. Buck, and others, was driven ashore on Saturday night last, about half past 12 o’clock, durin g the sever snow storm, at South Hemsted, Long Island, 30 miles east of Sandy Hook, and about half a mile from where the ship Samuel was wrecked. Capt. N. arrived in town last evening for men to assist in landing the cargo, which it is expected will be saved and the vessel likewise, as she had not bilged.
On Wednesday, Capt. N. fell in with the sloop Favourite, Somers, of and from Egg Harbour, laden with lumber, for New-York, having sprung a leak, sails torn, sprung her mast, and otherwise damaged. Took off the captain and crew, who previously stripped her, and set fire her on fire—Mer. Adv.