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Ireland, QB Emigrant Ship QUEBEC Wreck, Nov 1853

Wreck of An Emigrant Ship, and Loss of 350 Lives. By the steamer of Oct. 8th, we had a brief account of the loss, on the coast of Ireland, Quebec, with a cargo of railroad iron, and nearly five hundred passengers. The Glasgow Herald gives the particulars of the disaster---

After the ship struck, an attempt was made to launch the boats---the life boat was lost, and the other boats were of no use, for they were all fixed down, or secured, of lay bottom up.---While the passengers were thus clustered around the boats, the ship was struck by a sea of frightful potency, which swept off one hundred of them. The bottom of the ship was soon beaten out of her, and while thus weakened and disrupted, another sea broke on board, and literally crushed that part of the deck situated between the main and mizzen masts down upon the berths below which were occupied by women and child.

They were killed rather than drowned, as was evidenced by the mutilated bodies which were afterwards cast on shore. About one hundred and two persons floated ashore on fragments of the wreck. The number lost is estimated at not less that 350, and some put it as high as 400.---Almost all of the cabin passengers perished, including Captain Munroe of Quebec, and his wife.

Only one child was saved. It belonged to an humble Irishwoman, who, with her two children, was about to join her husband in America.---- She struggled hard to preserve them both, by binding one on her back, and grasping the other in her arms; but, when the ship parted, the latter was dashed into the sea, and the other remained.

At day light the next morning, the bay was strewn with dead bodies to the number of three hundred, many of them greatly disfigured. Capacious pits were dug close to the lonely shore, and the poor sufferers were deposited therein, exactly in the state in which they were cast from the wreck. Two only were buried differently, viz---a French Canadian clergyman, and Mr. Bell, the first mate, for whose bodies rough coffins were made from the wreck.

The emigrants were mixed, English, Irish, and Scotch. A hundred house carpenters and joiners from Glasgow were of the number---fresh, able young men.

Barre Gazette, Barre, MA 4 Nov 1853



article | by Dr. Radut