The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), Thur., 10 Dec, 1829


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The following extract are from the Cleaveland Herald of the 3rd instant: ---

. . .

"The schr. Macedonian, Captain Foster, was wrecked on the Eastern Sister, one of the cluster of islands between the mouth of the Detroit River and Put-in-Bay. The following are the circumstances, as nearly as we can obtain them: --

The Macedonian left the mouth of the Detroit River on Sunday, the 22nd ult., the wind from the south, and weather intensely cold. When abreast of the Middle Sister, a squall struck them from the S. W. , which carried away her foresail, threw her down so as to discharge her deck-loading, after which she put about for Detroit River. ---

Before they could reach the mouth of the river, the wind again shifted, and blew a hurricane from the north. The vessel now became ice-logged; the decks were covered fore and aft with ice, from one to two feet thick; the jib-sheets were frozen fast amid-ship; there was not a sheet or stay that would render in the blocks, and the only way to put about was to wear ship.* This was done, and they shaped their course, as nearly as the frozen condition of their sails and rigging would permit, for Put-in-Bay. In the afternoon of Monday, in endeavoring to run to windward of Eastern Sister, the heavy sea that was running drove them on the island, and those on board were compelled to see her thrown upon the rocks by swell after swell, so frozen and immovable were the sails. She at length rested where the waves made a constant breach over her.

"Now came the moments of terror! There were eleven persons on board. Some prayed, some swore, and others stood mute, meditating what should be done. One, seemingly experienced in such disasters, threw himself from the deck, and after being carried as near the shore as a wave could take him, would cling to the rocks to prevent the undertoe from carrying him back, until the advancing surge could help him on his journey. In this way he reached the land. Others followed his example. One man would have been lost in the attempt, but for the assistance afforded him by a more athletic companion in trouble. In this manner ten of the eleven on board had reached the shore, when night began to fall; but no persuasion could induce the one left to try the experiment. By means of some tinder, which had been taken ashore in a tight (--)orn, a fire was struck in a log house, which but for this circumstance, might not have sent forth another smoke. A barrel of fish was also secured, which had worked from the deck of the vessel. The fish were thrown on the coals awhile, and then eaten.

The shouts of him who had remained on board were heard at intervals through the night as he raised his voice above the storm. A length a lingering day-light came, and he was still holding on upon the wreck. He was now persuaded to make the attempt, and reached the shore, though so exhausted he was unable to stand. The storm abated in the forenoon, so much that they were able to get a barrel of hard-bread from the wreck, and on Tuesday it became so far moderated that the small boat was enable to go over to Sandusky Bay.

"Messrs. Merwin, Gidding & Co, of this port, have very generously sent the schr. Minerva, doubly manned, with extra anchors and cables, to aid in getting her off, or at least to secure her cargo, which consists principally of White Fish.

"Since the above was in type, the following vessels have arrived:

. . .

"The Minerva from Detroit brought the crew, rigging and such of the freight of the schr. Macedonian as could be saved."e S. W. , which carried away her foresail, threw her down so as to discharge her deck-loading, after which she put about for Detroit River. --- Before they could reach the mouth of the river, the wind again shifted, and blew a hurricane from the north. The vessel now became ice-logged; the decks were covered fore and aft with ice, from one to two feet thick; the jib-sheets were frozen fast amid-ship; there was not a sheet or stay that would render in the blocks, and the only way to put about was to wear ship.* This was done, and they shaped their course, as nearly as the frozen condition of their sails and rigging would permit, for Put-in-Bay. In the afternoon of Monday, in endeavoring to run to windward of Eastern Sister, the heavy sea that was running drove them on the island, and those on board were compelled to see her thrown upon the rocks by swell after swell, so frozen and immovable were the sails. She at length rested where the waves made a constant breach over her. "Now came the moments of terror! There were eleven persons on board. Some prayed, some swore, and others stood mute, meditating what should be done. One, seemingly experienced in such disasters, threw himself from the deck, and after being carried as near the shore as a wave could take him, would cling to the rocks to prevent the undertoe from carrying him back, until the advancing surge could help him on his journey. In this way he reached the land. Others followed his example. One man would have been lost in the attempt, but for the assistance afforded him by a more athletic companion in trouble. In this manner ten of the eleven on board had reached the shore, when night began to fall; but no persuasion could induce the one left to try the experiment. By means of some tinder, which had been taken ashore in a tight (--)orn, a fire was struck in a log house, which but for this circumstance, might not have sent forth another smoke. A barrel of fish was also secured, which had worked from the deck of the vessel. The fish were thrown on the coals awhile, and then eaten. The shouts of him who had remained on board were heard at intervals through the night as he raised his voice above the storm. A length a lingering day-light came, and he was still holding on upon the wreck. He was now persuaded to make the attempt, and reached the shore, though so exhausted he was unable to stand. The storm abated in the forenoon, so much that they were able to get a barrel of hard-bread from the wreck, and on Tuesday it became so far moderated that the small boat was enable to go over to Sandusky Bay. "Messrs. Merwin, Gidding & Co, of this port, have very generously sent the schr. Minerva, doubly manned, with extra anchors and cables, to aid in getting her off, or at least to secure her cargo, which consists principally of White Fish. "Since the above was in type, the following vessels have arrived: . . . "The Minerva from Detroit brought the crew, rigging and such of the freight of the schr. Macedonian as could be saved." *wear ship - bring her about so she was stern to the wind, i.e., place her at the mercy of the wind to retain headway.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
*wear ship - bring her about so she was stern to the wind, i.e., place her at the mercy of the wind to retain headway. There were two MACEDONIANs on the lakes in this era. This one was probably the 32-tonner built at Brooklyn, Ohio, in 1824. She was a total loss.
Date of Original:
Thur., 10 Dec, 1829
Local identifier:
GLN.5612
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), Thur., 10 Dec, 1829