The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), Dec. 24, 1819

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p.3 We learn by a small vessel which arrived from Oswego on Wednesday last, that the Schooner Mary Ann, John Mosier master, narrowly escaped being wrecked near that Port about a fortnight since. The Mary Ann left Kingston in a storm of sleet on Thursday the 9th instant laden with goods for York, and with a great number of passengers. Having passed the Duck Islands she was proceeding with a fair wind, though against a heavy head sea raised by a previous gale from the westward, when a series of disasters befell her which effectually prevented her from reaching her destined port. The sleet which in falling, adhered to every part of the sails and rigging, soon rendered them unpliant, and the ship became unmanageable. The jib, foresail and mainsail were successively torn to pieces by the wind, the mainmast was sprung in three places and finally went over the side, carrying with it the greater part of the foremast. In this crippled state the vessel was left totally at the mercy of the elements, and was driven towards the south shore about three miles above Oswego. An anchor was thrown out as she approached the shore, which fortunately brought her up about day light on Friday morning. At this time the wind was blowing violently, the weather was excessively cold, and a tremendous surf kept beating against the vessel, which rendered her situation with all on board exceedingly perilous. The Cable however proved to be good and enabled her to ride out the storm until Sunday, when the weather moderated and permitted the people from the shore to assist in bringing her into the port of Oswego. Great praise is certainly due to the inhabitants of Oswego for their unwearied attention in watching the Schooner while she lay at anchor for upward of two days. For though they could not during the continuance of the storm reach the vessel or render any effectual assistance to the persons on board, we understand that they kept fires lighted on the land during the night; were provided with blankets and buffalo skins, that in case the Cable should have parted and the vessel been driven on shore, they might be prepared to yield every succour in their power to the distressed.

The fate of the Mary Ann is another added to the many former proofs of the risk attending the Navigation of Lake Ontario at this late period when gales of wind are as frequent as they are violent, and are moreover often accompanied by storms of snow or sleet which becoming incrusted upon the sails and rigging render them unmanageable on the change of wind, and nautical skill useless.

We regret to hear a report, that three other vessels were wrecked in the gale on the 10th inst. on the United States shore.

The Mary Ann of Brockville which left this about the same time with Captain Mosier effected her passage to York, which port she reached in safety last Saturday.

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Dec. 24, 1819
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Rick Neilson
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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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Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), Dec. 24, 1819