The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Juliette (Schooner), sunk, 10 Nov 1871


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Schooner JULIETTE, foundered off Madison, Ohio; all lost except cook; vessel a total loss.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1871, Capt. J.W. Hall

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      VESSEL AND LIVES LOST. - A special despatch from Madison, O., dated Nov. 12 says the schooner JULIETT has sunk and all her crew are lost except the steward. The schooner JULIETT was built in Wallaceburg, Canada, in 1869. She was a good A 2 vessel, of 154 tons, new measurement, and valued at $8,000. She loaded with stone at Vermillion, O., and was bound for Kingston, Canada, or some port on the St. Lawrence River. The mate, Mr. John Reed, lived here. He had been employed a good deal at Bidwell & Co.'s shipyard, and he leaves a wife and five children. We have no further particulars in regard to her crew.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Mobday, November 13, 1871

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      SCHOONER JULIETTE SUNK. - The vessel reported sunk on Friday night, off Madison, O., proves to be the Canadian schooner JULIETTE, Capt. Albert Bassett, loaded with grindstones. All hands, except Wm. A. Thayer, the cook, were lost. The vessel and cargo will probably prove a total loss. The insurance is not known.
      also
      THE JULIETTE. - The schooner JULLIETTE, the loss of which we announced yesterday, sunk Friday, Nov. 10th. at 7 P.M., about two miles from shore, in 50 feet of water. The steward, the only survivor, hung to the crosstrees ninteen hours, and was finally rescued by a crew of courageous young men in a yawl boat. He saw none of the crew after she went down. She leaked badly all the afternoon of Friday.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, November 14, 1871

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      DETAILS OF THE LOSS OF THE SCHOONER JULIETTE.
      The fact of the sinking of the schooner JULIETTE near Madison, Lake County, Ohio, and all available particulars in regard thereto have been published in our marine columns. The following additional details were furnished the Cleveland Herald of Yesterday by a correspondent, who first gives the statement of the only person saved, and then further information of his own collection, as follows:
      "My name is William H. Thayer, residence, Buffalo, New York. I was cook on board the schooner JULIETTE on her last trip and am the only man saved from the wreck.
      We left Vermillion, Ohio, on Friday last at seven o'clock A. M., with a load of about two hundred and seventy tons of grindstones bound for St. Catharines, Canada. The schooner began to leak about ten o'clock A.M., but was kept nearly free from water until about four o'clock P. M., when the men were taken from the pumps and set at work throwing over the deck load.
      At 5 P. M. the wind was blowing a gale, and the schooner was heading for the shore, but sunk at 7 o'clock in about fifty feet of water and two and a half miles from shore. When she went down the mate and myself were thrown over the lee rail into the water, but both got hold of some rigging. I worked myself to the main crosstree, but saw no more of the mate. I remained on the crosstree until 2 o'clock P. M., Saturday, and was taken off by a small boat from shore.
      The schooner was owned at Wallaceburgh, Canada, by Charlin & Patterson; was not a very old vessel, and had recently been in dry dock for repairs.
      Seven persons were on board. The Captain's name was Bassett--do not know his first name, but think it was Adelbert; John Reed, of Buffalo, was mate; shipped the crew in Buffalo, but did not know their names; Capt. Bassett hurt his foot in throwing the deck load over and was quite lame; he lived near Toledo, Ohio, and has a family; think the schooner was insured, but do not know for what amount or in what company."
      The first our citizens saw of the wreck was after daylight Saturday morning. No boat of any account in such a sea was owned on the shore, and all that could be done was to telegraph to Cleveland for a tug, and word was soon sent back that one had started. At noon at least one hundred people had congregated on the shore.
      It looked as if three men were on the wreck, and the people had got quite excited. A small skiff was procured and in a short time made ready. H. W. Gage, Samuel Foster, James Daniels, Everett Harris and Walter Church volunteered for the trip. The sea had run down since daylight, but a heavy surf yet broke on shore and a strong current was running down the lake. The boys had but little trouble after they got through the breakers, and reached the wreck in just thirty minutes, and made the round trip of five miles within an hour, bringing the man ashore, when he was taken in charge by Mr. Salmon Swetland, and was soon made as comfortable as possible. His hands and feet are swollen to an enormous size, but aside from that he is all right. The boys that went out at such a time and in such a boat are entitled to all praise.
      The tug from Cleveland arrived about three P. M., remained near the wreck for some time and appeared to be picking up what could be found. No bodies have been found on shore, and it is probable the wind and current would carry them many miles down the lake. The man saved - Mr. Thayer - is quite intelligent and well appearing, and has only been on the lake this season, and think he has now graduated from that branch of buisness, as he does not like to stand in a schooner's rigging for nineteen hours in a gale of wind in November. He is in good port now, and will surely be cared for as long as he may remain in Madison
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, November 16, 1871

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      A F E A R F U L E X P E R I E N C E.
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      TWENTY HOURS ON THE MAST-HEAD IN A GALE.
      STATEMENT OF THE ONLY SURVIVOR OF A FOUNDERED VESSEL.
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We take the following particulars of the foundering of the Canadian schooner JULIETTE, from the protest of the only survivor, Mr. Wm. H. Thayer, which was taken before Capt. E.P. Dorr, of this city:
I shipped as cook and steward on the schooner JULIETTE of Wallaceburg, Ont., Capt. Bassett. I made several trips in her. We left Buffalo for Vermillion, Friday, Nov. 8th, at about 7 P.M. Our crew consisted of the following, viz: Albert Bassett, Master; John Reed, Mate; Hannegan, seaman, and three other men (two Irishmen and one Englishman) don't know their names. We finished loading Wednesday, Nov. 8th; the wind was not favorable to leave, and we laid there all day Thursday, Nov. 9th, wind still ahead. We sailed from Vermillion on Friday morning at 7 o'clock, Nov. 10th, bound for St. Catharines, Ont., loaded with grind-stones in the hold, and on the deck large stones, the smallest weighing 1500 lbs. and from that size up to as large again; wind fair, fresh breeze; all sails set on the start; during the day the wind freshened and blew strong, and the seas began to make and the vessel began to make water about 1 P.M. We got dinner about 12, noon. I was called on deck at 1 P.M. (Friday) to help pump; the vessel was leaking badly, the wind was dead aft; we were running before it; the sails had been reduced--reefed down. We had two pumps, one forward and one aft; they worked well, (wooden pumps). The vessel was shipping a good deal of water over the sides; our waist-boards were kept open to let the water run off. I stayed at pumps until 5 P.M. I went below to get supper. I got it ready about 6 P.M.,
and was waiting for the Captain and crew to come and eat supper. Our crew tried to get the stone from off the deck; we had two teir of stone on deck from abaft foremast to cabin aft. All the afternoon the crew worked and got off what stone they could; we worked some time at throwing over the stone, and then at the pumps, pumping. Those we got overboard we got over with hand-spikes and hoisting tackles. We tried to break them up with an axe and sledge, and did break some into chunks, and threw them over until the sledge-handle broke. Then we could not do much with the axe, as it was too light. We all worked hard; we all
knew that our situation was critical in the extreme. I thought the men must eat, or they would give out, and so I got supper for them as above stated. I was up and down the stairs looking out. About half past six or so o'clock, our mast boom carried away in the jaws. It was blowing hard, and the sea running all over the vessel. Just about this time the Mate, Mr. Reed, came down into the cabin. I was in my shirt sleeves, and he said "Steward, we are goung to try and beach her or to get the boat down to try and save our lives; you put on some clothes, don't dress too light nor too heavy; get yourself ready to jump." He went right up on deck again. I put on an extra shirt, and vest and a pair of overalls, and jumped on deck quick. The vessel was heading for the beach; the captain had broken his ankle,
when getting stone overboard, and was helpless; he was sitting on the sky-light, right aft, between the cabin and the wheel; two men were steering the vessel for shore. The mate had a new line fast to the boat, and he sent two men forward with the other end of the line to make it fast to the fore-boom, which was off outside against the rigging. The plan was to lower the boat and let her swing clear from the vessel when she struck the beach, so that we could save ourselves and get ashore in her.
      I don't think the Captain or Mate had any idea the vessel was so near sinking; the men came back and said they could not get forward with the line as the jaw end of the main boom projected out with the sail, so that they could not get past it. The Captain gave orders from where he sat to the Mate, and told him to let the anchors go the moment she struck the breakers. We were all trying to clear away the boat, when suddenly, and without any previous warning, the vessel went down, before we could get the boat cleared away. The Captain cried out, "Boys, she is gone." I had hold of the rope, with the Mate, that the men had taken forward to attach to the fore-boom. When the vessel went down she pitched or careened over sideways -- to port side--throwing the Mate and myself down to leeward. We jumped as far as we could from the vessel, into the water, to leeward, to get clear of the stones. I saw the Captain pulling himself up to the weather side of the after side of the
vessel as she careened over.
When the vessel settled to the bottom, I seized hold of a piece of the main sail, but the sea swept me clear, all but one hand. I was almost gone, when the returning sea brought me back, and I caught a rope swinging from aloft, and was swept in against, and right on the stump of the main boom, as it was floating attached to the mast, a distance off. The sea then swept the boom in against the main-mast and main-rigging. I caught hold of the main rigging and climbed up to the main-cross trees. The main masthead was about twelve or fifteen feet above the water when the vessel was on the bottom. The mate had hold of the canvas with me at first, but he soon disappeared; I don't know how or when; he must have
been swept off by the sea. I heard him say something in a low tone of voice, but I did not understand what he said. I clung to the mast all night; the sea would just come to my feet when I sat down on the cross trees. I think one of the men got into the fore-cross trees. I thought I saw one of them over there. If so he must have been washed out and away, as the sea would reach and sweep over the fore cross -trees. It was a hard gale all night; the sea ran very high, and my position was a very critical one, clinging to the main topmast rigging, with the wind blowing a gale from the westward.
      I was very cold, not being warmly dressed, but after awhile I got so benumbed that I got past feeling. Then I began to get drowsy. It was an awful long night to me. I thought the morning and daylight would never come; but it did come at last, and I saw the land, with the water about fifty feet deep (as afterward learned.) I could see the people on the beach; they were looking at me with a glass but could not aid me,--the sea was too rough. I waited until about 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when five noble young men manned a flat-boat or skiff, three of them to pull, one to bail the boat, and one to steer. The man steering and one of the men pulling were sailors. There was a good large sea running; one of the oars they used belonged to the JULIETTE, and it floated ashore and was picked up on the beach. They pulled the boat up under the cross-trees and I jumped in. They landed me on the beach after being nineteen hours clinging in the cross-trees. It was a most wonderful escape from death. I was the only survivor of seven persons composing the crew of the JULIETTE that had left Vermillion only the morning previous in good health and spirits.
      I desire publicly to express my thanks to H.W. Gage, Samuel Foster, James Daniels, Everett Harris and Walter Church, the five brave young men who, with poor boat, came out to rescue me at the risk of their lives. I was treated wih the greatest kindness by Mr. Solomon Swetland, a farmer, living at Madison, O., He and his family were very kind to me indeed.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, November 22, 1871

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Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 6
Freight: grindstones
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1871
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.6439
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Juliette (Schooner), sunk, 10 Nov 1871