The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Democratic Free Press (Detroit, MI), 9 Apr., 1840

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Our readers will recollect that the brig Neptune was wrecked last fall, and 17 of the 20 persons on board drowned. The following extract from a letter from a gentleman at Port Sheldon, in this State, gives some melancholy particulars of the fate of the three survivors:

"On my return., I met the unfortunate individual, the Captain of the Neptune, at a shanty on the Granville road. He left Port Sheldon this morning, and is on his way to Cleveland, where his family reside. Our people have been very kind to him, and I think he will never forget their attentions. He repeated to me over and over again his thanks and hearty wishes for the success of our operations. He was attended by a Mr. Ward, a merchant of Cleveland."

Since writing to you on this subject, two more persons belonging to the Neptune have been found alive; the mate and an old tar. The mate was in a most deplorable condition, and obliged to lay down in the bushes, being entirely helpless from frozen limbs. - The other was not much better off. They were nine days in this condition before they were discovered; the old sailor keeping his messmate alive on whiskey and apples, which had been washed from the wreck, and for which he had to crawl over the ice and snow to the beach, a distance of a quarter of a mile. - These poor fellows are now at Muskegon, and both have been obliged to have their legs amputated. The mate's life is still despaired of. I understand they are made as comfortable as their situation will allow, but will see for myself in a few days."

These, it will be remembered, were the only survivors out of twenty who were on the brig. Much has been said of the sufferings of those who were saved from the Lexington; but we can form no idea of more dreadful endurance than this case exhibits; and those acquainted with the fiercely cold scenes exhibited on the frozen beach of our northern lakes in a winter's storm, with the surf dashing against covered mountains of ice, heaped in huge masses along the shore, must be astonished that these poor fellows, thrown wet and nearly naked upon their icy summits, without a human being to assist them, could have lived more than an hour."

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9 Apr., 1840
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Dave Swayze
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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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Democratic Free Press (Detroit, MI), 9 Apr., 1840