The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Joseph Herald (St. Joseph, MI), Saturday, 21 September 1878

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The Loss of the Schooner Mary.

The following account of the loss of the schooner Mary, off New Buffalo, is given in the Chicago Inter-Ocean of Monday:

New Buffalo, Mich., Sept. 13. - As you have already announced, the schooner Mary was lost on the night of Sept. 9. Additional authentic particulars, with the names of the poor fellows drowned, will no doubt be of interest.

I left Chicago about 12 o'clock the night of the 7th, bound to Pike's Pier, on the east shore, nine miles north of St. Joseph. I arrived there the 8th about 10 a.m., and commenced loading about 8 a.m. the 9th. Was loaded that evening and left the pier about 6:30 p.m., with the wind in the southard. When about three miles off I got a squall from the northwest (which terminated in the breeze of the 10th), and when we were about fifteen miles off St. Joseph we found she was leaking badly. I shortened her down and kept her on her course for Chicago. When about twenty-five miles off Chicago, I found the water gaining on us so fast that I knew she would water-log if I kept her on her course any longer, so I kept her off for Michigan City. After she was decks to I took all the sail off except the stay-sail. She remained in this shape for an hour, and then capsized. She being on her beam's end, the crew took to the rigging and remained there for three or four hours, when the boy Michael Kelley was drowned. Soon after James Tiffney was drowned, and about twenty minutes later the mate, Joseph Campbell, of the Saugatuck, was drowned. We were then seven or eight miles off New Buffalo, and it was about one o'clock p.m. Myself and one seaman remained on board the rest of the day and the night following. We were taken off the wreck on the morning of the 11th, about 10 a.m., by the citizens of New Buffalo. The vessel now lies on the beach, two miles north of New Buffalo, a total wreck.

I learn by the seaman saved with me that in loading the mate neglected to put the necessary dunnage on deck and by throwing wood down from the high pier he broke several holes in the deck. I was away when the deck load was put in. I was off to get a stick for a top-mast, and knew nothing about the holes in the deck until I threw off the deck load, and now this seaman tells me how it was done. The man saved with me is Frank Wheeler. He is suffering severely from being so long in the water, but will recover.

Hoping this may get room in your paper, I am very respectfully your.

Frank Bartlett -
Master Schooner Mary

[It is characteristic of the generous Captain to say nothing of his own suffering during the terrible ordeal through which he passed. He, as well as his companion survivor, suffered terribly, and has not fully recovered from the effects, though we are happy to state, is about, and will be fully restored within a day or two. For his account of the names of the poor fellows whose lives were sacrificed, we return our thanks. The names have not heretofore been given. - Ed.]

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Saturday, 21 September 1878
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Robert Myers
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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St. Joseph Herald (St. Joseph, MI), Saturday, 21 September 1878