Urbana, VA Oystermen Drown In Rappahannock River, Dec 1884



Baltimore, Md., Dec. 13. -- The steamer Mason L. Weems, which brought here yesterday the report of the drowning of 27 oystermen on the Rappahannnock River, left last night on her return trip to the Rappahannock. She is due here again on Monday, and it may then be possible to get some definite intelligence concerning the report, which, a dispatch from Fredericksburg, Va., to-day says, is not confirmed. The scene of the reported drowning is 50 miles below Fredericksburg. It now appears that a MR. TOWLE, a passenger on the Mason L. Weems, first reported the accident.
The Evening News, in its account of the disaster, says: "The officers of the steamer Westmoreland report that so far of the party of colored men whose boats were capsized in the Rappahannock, near Urbana, 28 are known to have been drowned. In addition to those already reported, at least six men were drowned at Canoe House Landing, the same river. At Mill Creek, another landing on the Rappahannock River, a young white man was drowned. In speaking of the fact that so few who were out in their boats escaped from drowning, an officer of the Westmoreland remarked that they could easily have reached the shore and avoided the accident which befell them, but that the squall broke in all its fury without a moment's notice, and their boats were swamped before they were fully aware of what had occurred. The negroes all along the river, and especially in the neighborhood of Urbana, are greatly exercised and frightened."

The New York Times New York 1884-12-14