The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
J. V. Ayer (Bark), sunk, 4 Nov 1856

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The bark J.V. AYRE, Capt. McClanning, from Chicago to this port, with 17,000 bushels of wheat to Wm. Foot & Co., is supposed to have foundered on Lake Michigan in the gale of Nov. 4th, with all on board. The Captain's trunk has washed ashore near St. Joseph, Mich.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, November 13, 1856

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MISSING VESSELS - The schoner IOWA, which left Chicago for this port about the same time as the bark J.V. ARYE, has not since been heard of. She was formerly commanded by Capt. McCanning, who was in command of the ill-fated AYRE The schooner A. BELMONT is also missing, and it is feared she is lost with all on board.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, November 18, 1856

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      THE MISSING BARK JOHN V. AYER. - The Chicago Tribune of the 17th, says there is now hardly the possibility of a doubt that every soul of the ill-fated JOHN V. AYER has found a watery grave. The messenger dispatched to St. Joseph by the owners of the AYER, returned to the city Saturday evening, and brought with him the books and papers of the vessel, which had floated to the east shore of the lake, some four miles nothe of St. Joseph, and were picked up by a Mr. J.G. Smith, who resides in that locality. There also came ashore in the desk of the Captain, a port monnaie containing $67 in bank bills, a razor and case, a miniture of a woman and child, and several other articles. The boat of the AYER also drifted on shore Saturday, about two miles from St. Joseph, and has been brought to that place. From the papers found it is ascertained that the following seamen shipped at Buffalo, Sept. 30, to Chicago and back, and are among the lost: Charles Anderson, James Denley, Richard Berry, Thomas Cook, Patrick Troy and Peter Kenney. Captain Thomas McCanning and the first and second mates (names not known) are also lost. The AYER had made but one trip, being new, and was reckoned a first class vessel. She cost about $19,000, and was insured for $13,000, with an insured freight list of $4,000. She was owned by Col. B.S. Shepard, of Chicago, and Samuel Hale, of Kenosha.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, November 19, 1856

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 9
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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J. V. Ayer (Bark), sunk, 4 Nov 1856