The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Advertiser & Times (Oswego, NY), Monday, Nov. 7, 1870

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A Melancholy Narrative of Shipwreck. - During the storm of last week, the Canadian schooner Jessie, belonging at Port Stanley, was wrecked at her entire crew of eight persons lost, on Salmon Point, which lies about opposite this port on the north shore. The Belleville Ontario gives the following account of the occurrence:

During the storm on Sunday the Jessie was seen to approach the lee (north side) of Salmon Point, and getting well into the cove, cast anchor. The wind on Sunday afternoon being nearly from the south, the point formed an excellent shelter and in all probability the master of the unfortunate vessel hoped to ride safely at anchor until the weather would permit him to reach his destination.

During the night the wind shifted to the west and sealed the doom of the vessel. Before daylight on Monday morning she was discovered in her perilous condition by some fishermen, and in a very short time the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhood were on the beach hoping to render assistance to the poor fellows on board. But instead of enjoying the happy consciousness that they were instrumental in saving the lives of their fellow beings they were doomed to witness the most appalling scene we have ever been called upon to describe.

The approach of daylight revealed to the bystanders the awful condition of the unfortunate seamen, but brought with it no means of rescue. The vessel had dragged anchor and struck bottom about 30 rods from shore. The wind was blowing a gale from the west and the sea rolling in large waves over the deck of the "Jessie" broke upon the beach with relentless fury, completely frustrating the efforts of the spectators to reach the wreck.

The main boom had been hoisted above the waves and five men were clinging to it as their only hope of safety until assistance came. Three other unfortunates were hanging to the rigging, looking wishfully on the shore and doubtless hoping against hope that they would be spared to reach alive. A staunch boat was brought to the shore and many willing hands polled by brave hearts, attempted to buffet the waves, but were again and again thrown back upon the beach.

At about ten o'clock in the forenoon all hope was suddenly brought to an end. The vessel seemed to break asunder in the center, the spars fell, the sea washed over the ruins and eight human beings were enveloped by the angry waters! Two or three of the poor fellows were seen to keep above the waves for a few minutes, and one, who must have been a powerful man as well as an expert swimmer, vainly strove to reach the shore, but carried along the beach by the current and back swell he was thirty rods from the wreck and twenty rods from the shore, he disappeared forever.

This ended those painful hours of Monday morning. The frantic shouting of the crowd on shore, sank into a mournful silence and tears of sorrow were shed for the strangers who perished on our would-be hospitable shores.

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Monday, Nov. 7, 1870
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Advertiser & Times (Oswego, NY), Monday, Nov. 7, 1870