The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Circassian (Schooner), aground, 22 Nov 1860

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Schooner CIRCASSIAN, stranded in a snow-storm on the White Shoals, Straits of Mackinac. Total loss with cargo.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      March 11, 1861. (Casualty List, 1860)

      . . . . .

      The prop. NILE passed down from Chicago. She reports having met the prop.
MONTGOMERY above the Straits, bound up, with the bark MARQUETTE in tow.
The schr. CIRCASSIAN, on the White Shoal had pretty much gone to pieces leaving
a mere vestige of a wreck. Her masts had also fallen over the sides, and there is but
little doubt that all on board have perished without any relief having been afforded
      Detroit Free Press
      December 2, 1860

      . . . . .

      On Thursday last the crew of the schr. CIRCASSIAN arrived at home, to the
gratification of the friends of the parties. We learn that the CIRCASSIAN went
on to the White Shoals at 11:00 Thursday night, Nov. 22d., during a violent snow
storm, 24 hours before the storm was felt on this lake. The wind blowing hard,
and every sea making a clean breach over the vessel as she lay pounding on the
rocks. The small boat was let down and brought round to the bow of the vessel
and kept there during the night, the crew remaining forward, wet and cold. Soon
after striking, the vessel broke in two amidships. At daylight the small boat was
hauled alongside and the officers and crew embarked, without saving any of their
effects (except those of the captain, which had been secured on the vessel first
striking.) They went off before the wind and landed on the main shore some 15
miles below the wreck. After hauling their boat up they had to travel two miles
through the deep snow, the bitter piercing wind freezing their drenched garments.
With difficulty they reached a fisherman's hut, where relief was at once afforded.
Their escape was fortunate, for 6 hours after leaving the wreck the vessel went
to pieces, and the sea was so violent that no small boat could have survived any
length of time. -- Conneaut Reporter, 11th.
      Detroit Free Press
      December 18, 1860

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $9,000
Cargo: $15,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.83723 Longitude: -85.11368
William R. McNeil
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Circassian (Schooner), aground, 22 Nov 1860