Maritime History of the Great Lakes
York (Schooner), aground, 7 Apr 1797
Full Text

Upper Canada. Home District. York

The Information Of Joseph Robinson, York District, Farmer.
Taken before me, one of His Majestys Justices of the Peace, for said District, this eight day of April 1798.

The said informant being duly sworn on the holy evangelists deposeth that on or about seven day of April in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven, he was a passenger on board of the schooner called the YORK PACKETT, the property of Samuel Heron and Abner Miles of York, aforesaid. Commanded or manned and regulated by a Martin Butler and Peter West, and consigned from the Genesee River to York, aforesaid, with goods or various articles of trade, the property of Joshua Chamberlaine and Ielish Geuluer, and of the said Abmer Miles, and that on Lake Ontario, near Presqu'Isle Harbour, in the Province of Upper Canada aforesaid. The wind blowing (an informant believes) nearly north west, and said schooner or Packett, running as informant believes nearly an --?-- east course. They heard Martin Butler and Peter West ordered their course towards a point or neck of land near the Presqu'Isle Harbour, aforesaid, and that the said Joshua Chamberlaine on observing them make a close land course told them that they would endanger the vessel, or run her up on shore, on which they, the said Martin Butler and Peter West replied that they were in no danger, that they were well acquainted with the shore, this informant said, and that now the wind favoured them keeping a course adjacent to avoid the shore or rocks, that they the said Butler and West still continued a land course untill the said schooner or packett bilged or struck a rock, and that on the said informant and other passengers being alarmed, they the said Butler and West cast anchor, but that immediately after the said Peter West took a hatchet and cut the cable of the anchor, by which means the vessel ran on the rocks and was so shattered as to be unfit further. That informant and the other passengers got ashore by a small boat or canoe, as also the said Butler and West, where they the said Butler and West showed no anxiety or uneasiness on the loss of said schooner or packett. Though she became a battered wreck immediately after they parted her and that informant has shown reason to believe that they the said Butler and West, did with a felonious intentionally run said vessel on the rocks as before mentioned, in order to share in the spoils or articles of her wreck. As informant heard and believes that they did afterwards try and dispose of their owners articles of the cargo, and that they have ever since absconded the Province.

Taken and Sworn before me
the day and year, above written.
      Said informant bound --??-- our
      Sovereign Lord the King, the sum
      of twenty pounds --?-- to --?--
      informant at the next general --?--
      for the habitants forsaid district
      Joseph X Robinson's

      Public Archives of Ontario

NOTE: Presqu'Isle Point was also known as the Devil's Nose on the above date


Item Type
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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York (Schooner), aground, 7 Apr 1797