The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Ann Jane Brown (Schooner), aground, 4 Nov 1856

Full Text

Schooner A. J. BROWN (C), cargo wheat, ashore at Presque Isle, Lake Ontario. Lost Captain and Mate.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)

      . . . . .

      The " ANN JANE BROWN " Ashore
      The Captain and First Mate Drowned
      Other Casualties
      The ANN JANE BROWN, hailing from this port went ashore at Presque Isle during the severe gale on Tuesday night last, the unfortunate event, we regret to add, was attended with loss of life. Mr. Thomas Slight, the captain and Mr. George Campbell, the first mate, met with a watery grave.
It appears, as we gather the particulars, although they are not as full as we could wish, that some time after the vessel struck, Mr. Slight and Mr. Campbell jumped overboard, with a hope of swimming to shore, they were both expert swimmers, but all their efforts to reach land were unsuccessful. After buffetting with the waves for a short period the poor fellows sunk to rise no more.
      Mr Slight was for many years a resident of this town, we have known him from boyhood and believe him to have been a straight forward honest man - a good seaman - and a good citizen.
      Mr. Campbell we did not know. We understand he leaves a wife and one child, the rest of the crew remained on board and were saved.
      The vessel was loaded with wheat owned by Mr. Burnham of this town, being fully insured, we learl that there are strong hopes of saving the vessel, it appears it is a sand bar that she struck and the injuries received are not very great.
Mr. W. Bletcher, one of the owners was telegraphed yesterday morning, and went down by railway to see what could be done.
      The ANN JANE BROWN left this port on Tuesday afternoon, about 4 o'clock, at that time the wind was blowing very violently - she was heavily laden.
There are two more vessels ashore at Presque Isle, one is named CHARLOTTE of Greece, the name on the other we could not ascertain.
      Since writing the above, we have heard another rumor that the Captain and Mate did not jump overboard, but were washed over by the waves. We are inclined to believe this, from what we know of Captain Slight we believe he would be the last man to leave the vessel, until all hopes of saving her were at an end.
      Port Hope Guide
      November 8, 1856
      . . . . .

      Since our last issue we have received some additional particulars of the wreck of the ANN JANE BROWN. She went ashore about 12 o'clock at night, and the waves sweeping completely over her hull compelled the crew to betake themselves to the rigging. Captain Slight and his mate, Mr. Armstrong, were the only ones who were swimmers, after some consultation, we learn that the unfortunate men came to the conclusion that the vessel would soon go to pieces. The captain and mate then determined to swim to shore, distant about three hundred yards, and procure, if possible, relief for those in the rigging, who were unable to follow them into the angry flood. The two gallant men were so benumbed when they reached the hugh breakers near the shore, that they were unable to get beyond their reach.
The whole of the crew, doubtless, recollected the wreck of the CANADA which went ashore 8 years ago, next month, near Gull Island Light, that vessel went to pieces in a few hours, and those remaining, clinging to the rigging, were lost. The crew of the ANN JANE BROWN thought there was no safety in remaining on the vessel. Hence the attempt of the captain and mate to swim ashore for assistance.
      The bodies of the drowned men have not as yet been recovered. Mr. William Bletcher, one of the owners was notified by telegraph yesterday that there is strong hopes of the vessel being got off without having suffered very material damage.
      Port Hope Guide
      November 15, 1856

      . . . . .

A PETITION TO SIR EDMUND WALKER HEAD, GOVERNOR OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA by Underwriters, Fordwarders, Masters of Vessels and others interested in the navigation of Lake Ontario, Hunbly Herwith ?
That owing to the want of a safe harbour on the north shore of Lake Ontnrio, many vessels every year are driven on shore and wrecked, on the shore of the County of Prince Edward.
That owing to the difficulty of entering the harbour of Presqu'lsle many schooners have driven on shore in the attenpt to enter with west or south-west winds.
That an opening 1,000 rods wide with a channel 150 feet wide and 14 feet deep has within the past two or three years been opened through the beach from Lake ontario into Wellers Bay has sufficient depth of water and is large enough to contain all the vessels on Lake Ontario.
That the entrance of the said channel is easy with any wind, and if properly marked out and generally known, would be the means of saving many vessels from loss, as it affords a complete harbour, land locked on all sides which is so much desired in navigating the lakes in stormy weather.
That the schooner "MONTGOMERY" laden with 11,000 bushels of wheat and the "ANN JANE BROWN" of Port Hope of equal size, also three others of less tonnage were driven on shore within three or four niles of the said entrance last Autumn, all of which night have been saved had the Master been aware of the safe harbour so near them.
Your Petitioners therefor humbly pray your ercellency will be pleased to cause the said entrance and Harbour to be examined by some competent person with a view of ascertaining it's eligibility as an Harbour of Refuge, and also that your excellency will take such steps to have the entrance marked out and protected as to your excellency shall seem proper.
      And as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray.
      Hamilton, February 1857
Signed by:
      Holcomb & Henderson, Forwarders; - - - - - ? - - - - -; Edward Lealand, Capt.
      William Lewis, Capt. Robert Coot, Capt. John McArthur Marine Inspector
      - - - - - ? - - - - - Peter Davies, Capt. Alexander McLeod, Master
      - - - - - ? - - - - - - - - - - ? - - - - - John Malcomson, Capt.
      Robert McManara, Capt. John Smith, broker & shipping agent. Rae Brothers & Co.
      Thomas Harbottle, Capt. Henry D. Twrohey, Capt. - - - - ? - - - -

      . . . . .

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 2
Hull damage: $5,000
Cargo: $9,000
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Ann Jane Brown (Schooner), aground, 4 Nov 1856