New England Storm, Flood, and Shipwrecks, Apr 1852
shouted through the streets, "A ship ashore, and all hands perishing!" a cry that always caused the men of Cape Cod to spring to their feet and hasten to the beach. A large number assembled. They could see the spray from the waves fly over the foremast, which remained standing, and plainly distinguish several men clinging to the larboard side of the vessel, their heart-rending cries for assistance being heard above the thunder of the storm. The life-boat was kept a mile away, but even had it been there it was doubtful if it could have survived the might surf. But the piercing cries rang on, and the men of Cape Cod could never permit such calls to continue without risking their lives to rescue the mariners. The rocket belonging to the Humane society that was used for throwing a line to a wreck was tried and burst. Jonathan Collins, who had just arisen from the tea-table, procured the lighthouse dory, and against the entreaties of the people present started to go out in the boat to carry a line to the wreck. This was about seven o'clock. David D. Smith took his watch from his pocket and handed it to a neighbor, but as he was about to step into the boat to go with Collins, a brave young man, named D. H. Cassidy, only twenty-three years old, who had been married but a few days, pushed Smith aside and took his seat in the boat. They pushed out into the mountains of foaming waters, on, on through the raging seas, until they had got within about fifteen yards of the wreck, when the boat capsized, and both men perished. The evening had long since set in, and the darkness of a stormy night shrouded land and water. Nothing could be done to save the dying men. Fires were built on the beach, and companies formed to patrol the shore to discover and lend assistance to anyone that might come ashore. The strong heavy timbers of the vessel were heard crashing asunder, and all believed that some of the men must soon be washed on the beach but that they would be alive no one dared hope. About eleven o'clock, the patrol found a man kneeling before one of the fires. It was one of the crew named George Chitney, who informed the patrol that when the foremast gave way the broad side of the bark went with it and that he and John Jasper, who was then lying at the edge of the water, being much bruised about the feet and in a dying condition, clung to the timbers, and though washed off several times, the rigging catching in the railroad iron, held them for and hour and a half, they being at length washed ashore. Both the men were taken to the lighthouse, where they were kindly cared for, and only those two out of the crew of eighteen were saved. The body of Cassidy was found and buried at North Truro. Only six other bodies were recovered, and they were interred at Provincetown.
Historic Storms of New England, its Gales, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Showers with Thunder and Lightning, Great Snow Storms, Rains, Freshets, Floods, Droughts, Cold Winters, Hot Summers, Avalanches, Earthquakes, Dark Days, etc..., by Sidney Perley, 1891, 317-320