New England Storm, Flood, and Shipwrecks, Apr 1852

The strong wind caused a large number of disasters on the ocean during the storm. The brig Spartan of Boston, while returning from Surinam with a cargo of three hundred hogsheads of molasses, was driven ashore on Plum island at midnight on Monday. The crew of nine persons was saved; one of them being sick with yellow fever, and most of the others unable to walk. Mr. Lufkin, a farmer, who lived on the island, in the greatness of his heart took a cart and conveyed them all to his house, where he cared for them in spite of the terrible disease. The cargo was scattered along the beach, and the vessel was quickly dashed to pieces by the powerful waves. Other vessels were driven ashore at Nausea point and Alperton and on Chatham, Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Salisbury and Hampton beaches.

The fatal shoals of Cape Cod lying off the coast at Truro again caught several vessels and sent them to destruction with many human lives. A Danish brig struck the bar, and went to pieces, all hands being lost. Among others were a ship named Inez, three barks, the Josepha, Queen and Solway, and two English schooners. The most interesting of these disasters was the wreck of the bark Josepha, which belonged in Gloucester, England, and had sailed from Bristol for Boston March 19, with a cargo of railroad iron, white lead and skins. It was commanded by Captain Casey, and the whole crew numbered nineteen men, all of whom were young. The craft was six years old, of about six hundred tons burden, and heavily and substantially built of larch and other woods from the north of England, being ironed with heavy braces. The ocean voyage was short and prosperous, and they made Cape Cod light at twelve o'clock Monday night, April 19. In the thick fog and the easterly gale they took a southeasterly course to get clear of the land. After running out far enough to accomplish their purpose, as the captain thought, they backed and sailed in toward the shore intending to enter Cape Cod bay. The fog was so thick they could not tell where they were, but when they tacked, to their surprise and horror, they discovered upon sounding that the water was only fifteen fathoms deep, and that they were right on the breakers. The vessel struck on the outer bar off the head of the marshes about half a mile north of the Highland light. This was at about three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. She was soon on her beam ends and after a few more of the violent and powerful seas that were running on the bar had struck her, the starboard quarter was carried away. The crew knew that the bark could not hold together very long in that tremendous sea, and they launched the pinnacle, but it was instantly dashed to pieces, and the long boat, which they next got out, met with the same fate. A few minutes later the deck gave way from the stern to the foremast, the main and mizzen masts fell overboard, and the larboard side fell in. What was left of the vessel lay about three hundred yards from the shore. and the sea was continually washing over it. While she was in that condition, at about five o'clock in the afternoon, three boys who were walking on the beach saw her as the fog lifted a little. They immediately informed Mr. Hamilton, the keeper of the Highland lighthouse, and with the life preservers, India rubber coats, caps, etc., belonging to the Humane society, he hurried toward the beach. A messenger went to Pond village, Truro, a mile away, and

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