The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Distressing Shipwreck
Cleveland Herald (Cleveland, OH), 14 Nov 1820, p. 2, column 3

Full Text

Liverpool, (Onondaga Co., N.Y.) Oct. 16.

Distressing Shipwreck - A gentleman who arrived at this place yesterday from Salmon river, gives the following account of the loss of the British schooner Asp, of Fort George, (Newark) Capt. Prossey, from Newark bound to Kingston. At day-break on Thursday morning last, blowing a gale from the N.W. a vessel was descried in the offing from the mouth of Salmon river. At 8 o'clock she had driven in on the bar, and appeared to be a schooner with both masts along side. A man was seen standing at her night-heads, making some feeble signals of distress. We immediately manned a boat from the river, and several attempts were made to gain the wreck, but all in vain, the sea breaking over her in the most frightful manner. At 1 o'clock, the wind in some manner abated, we succeeded in boarding the wreck, and brought off James Youngs, sea man, and Miss Jane Gibson, an Irish lady, passenger, the only two survivors out of 11 souls who left Fort George on Monday morning last. The lady was found lashed to the windlass, much bruised and in a state of insensibility. Youngs was apparently in a state of great exhaustion, kneeling by the hause hole with a turn of cable around his waist. He had a finger broken on one hand, and a thumb on the other, and was otherwise much bruised. Youngs was a seaman, 35 years of age. The lady was returning from Queenston, U.C., to Quebec, on her way to Ireland a gold watch which she carried in her bosom, the only article she has saved, the cabin being washed open, and dead lights stove in by the sea. All the passengers' baggage is supposed to have been lost. She states that she is 24 years of age - that she had been on a visit to her brother at Queenston, who died in May last - that there were several other passengers on board, five of whom, including a man, wife, and child, died in the cabin before the schooner righted. She gives the following account of the loss of the vessel: Left Newark on Monday morning, with light breezes and pleasant weather. Monday night light air and calm - on Tuesday morning at sun-rise, a small cloud was seen in the N.W. The captain said we should have a squall, and ordered the sails reefed - at half past 8 o'clock the squall commenced, with such violence we were obliged to lay to, and did not bear away until Wednesday morning about 8 o'clock, when it supposed the gale was over - in less than two hours it commenced to blow again, with redoubled violence - hove to, and continued to lie by until we capsized. Before noon the schooner had sprung a leak the leak continued to gain on the pumps until the staves were all afloat in the hold. About 12 o'clock at night, the cabin bulk-head started, and the staves floated into the cabin. At 3 o'clock, A.M., the vessel being completely waterlogged, fell over on her beam-ends - the lanyards were soon cut away, and she righted with the loss of her masts - the captain continued at the helm, until back water rendered it useless - he then observed, the windlass was then all that could save us, and all that were on deck immediately crowded around it; but the cold fresh water broke over us continually; death soon began to thin our numbers. Captain Prossey was the last to die; about 5 o'clock he said he was numb and must die - he soon after observed that land was in sight, which were the last words he spoke. He was in every respect, as far as I am capable of judging, an active, skillful seaman, and a valuable young man.- he was married only the week before, to a young lady in the neighborhood of Fort Erie. John M'Collum, John Enock, passengers lost; a man, wife, and child, names not known, one passenger, do., Capt. Prossey, _ Oliver, seaman, cook, names not known. The dead bodies, nine in number, were all found in end about the wreck, and have been decently interred at the Mouth of the Salmon river.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
14 Nov 1820
Personal Name(s):
Prossey, Capt ; Young, James ; Gibson, Jane ; McCollum, John ; Enock, John
Richard J. Wright Marine Collection, HCGL, BGSU
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.5763661715775 Longitude: -76.2062232592774
Creative Commons licence:
by [more details]
Copyright Statement:
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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Distressing Shipwreck