The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Oct 1858

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p.2 Marine Disaster - Wreck of the Schooner Osprey

Loss of Mate, Captain's Wife and Child!

The wind commenced blowing yesterday afternoon and increased in violence till it blew a perfect gale. The sea rolled heavily this morning, and fears are entertained for the safety of vessels out.

The schooner Ospray (sic - Osprey ?), Capt. J. Parsons, in attempting to enter the harbor last night between 10 and 11 o'clock, under double reefed foresail, staysail and jib, and part of double-reefed mainsail, was struck by a heavy squall from W.S.W., and driven against the East Pier, inside, carrying away some of her rigging, with a heavy sea dashing over her at the time. Capt. Parsons immediately went into the cabin and took his child and told his wife to follow him. When they got near the fore rigging the sea knocked the Captain down to leeward and washed his wife overboard. When the Captain reached the fore rigging another sea struck him, and washed his child overboard, which was lost. He finally saved himself by getting on to the jib-boom, which was over the pier. One of the men got off from the main boom. The mate and one of the crew remained in the fore rigging, and were prevailed upon to come down and got on to the pier from the bowsprit. As soon as they reached the dock the bowsprit was carried away, and the vessel swung off. The mate was washed overboard and drowned, and his companion saved himself by swimming to a canal boat.

The tug Wm. Morgan fired up and went to the wreck, but too late to render any assistance. When she reached the Ospray, the work of destruction was accomplished, and nothing could be discovered but portions of her bulwarks, at intervals, as the wild waves were rolling over her.

The Ospray was laden with wheat from Racine for this port, to Carrington & Preston, and we understand it is insured. The vessel is owned at Buffalo, and we believe is insured in the Buffalo Mutual.

The brig Saxon, frm Milwaukie, split her topsail and had her bulwarks and boat smashed just outside the pier, last night, by heavy seas, which made clean sweeps over her.

The brig Rio Grand, from Chicago, had her staysail blown away.

The brig Seminole, which cleared yesterday for Milwaukie, with coal, put back last night, with slight damage to her rigging and canvass.

During the night, the schooner Pierpont broke loose from her moorings at the Ontario Warehouse, and drifted to Miller's shipyard, with no one aboard. She received some slight damage. [Oswego Times]

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14 Oct 1858
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Oct 1858