THE WRECK OF THE “HANNAH."
The following additional particulars relative to the melancholy fate of the “Hannah" will be read with interest by many of the subscribers. The unfortunate sufferers were nearly all from the neighbourhood of Fork hill, in the Co. of Armagh :
Quebec, 18th May, 1849. By the last mail you will have heard of the melancholy loss of the ship Hannah, Captain, Shaw, which suited from Warren point for this port, with passengers, on the 3rd of April last.Many of the passengers went down with the vessel, or perished miserably on the ice; but the exact loss cannot now be ascertained, as the ship's list of their number and description was lost. It would appear that great blame is to be attached to Captain Shaw, in this melancholy affair, whose cowardice and in humanity are said to have been conspicuous throughout.
The following is the report of Captain Marshal, of the bark Nicaragua, whose noble exertions, in receiving the unhappy sufferers, comes into favorable contrast with the conduct of Captain Shaw.
“April 20th, passed through a field of ice, 50 miles S.E. of St. Paul's: from the above date was detained by the ice until the 2d of May, when Cabe Ray bore S.E. by B., distance 27 miles. April 29 strong gale S.SE. and thick with sleet. Ship lying to windward of the ice. At 630 p.m., the snow cleared away, when I discovered a flag of distress on the ice: made sail: and prepared to take the ice, by putting the ice fenders down. At 7. put the ship in the ice, and succeeded in getting about fifty-two people on board, leaving a large number still on the ice, cleared up all sails, and got a rope fast to a plane of ice, and at length succeeded in getting thirty more saved,. when we still heard cries to the windward; lowered down the quarter boat –mate and two men volunteered to go in search of them, and in about an hour after returned, having with them 47 more in the ship's long boat, which they found on the ice, making in all 129 passengers and 6 seamen. No pen can describe the pitiable situation and destitution of these passengers – parents with loss of children – children with loss of parents; and they themselves all but naked, and the greatest part of them frost-bitten. I am informed that 55 perished with cold."
It affords me much gratification to say that neither the captain nor men of the Nicaragua will be allowed to take their departure from this port without bearing with them a handsome testimonial of the admiration with which their bravery and humanity is here regarded. I attended a preliminary meeting of merchants and others held on Thursday evening for this object.
I extract from the affidavit of medical officer of the Hannah as follows, merely premising that Surgeon Graham is at present laid up in the Marine Hospital, severely frost-bitten from the exposure on the ice:
“On the morning of the 20th April last, at about four o'clock, deponent was in bed in the cabin, when he was awakened by the vessel violently striking against ice. Thinking it not serious,deponent would not have got up but for the screaming of the women on deck, whither they had fled on the first alarm and in their night clothes. Deponent jumped out of bed, and dressed himself. The captain came down to the cabin, ran into his estate room, and brought out of it his chronometer, writing-desk, and cutlass, but never uttered a word to the deponent. Deponent next addressed himself to the captain, saying:
“Whatever occurs, I shall not lose my presence of mind, and now I will go on deck, and do all I can to quiet the fears of the women and children' (who were screaming in a dreadful manner)m to all of which the captain made no reply. Deponent surprised at his silence, said, “Are the passengers likely to lose their lives?" to which he replied, “No, but I think we shall lose the ship." The captain then went on deck, taking the before-mentioned articles with him. Deponent immediately followed. The captain then said to the passengers, “keep quiet, and I will save you all,” and had scarcely uttered these words, when he jumped from the ship to the ice, and then made his way to the life-boat, which was when waiting for him at a short distance. Deponent jumped upon the ice, by which he received an injury of his ankle, which prevented him from standing upright. In this state he rolled himself into the sea, and swam towards the boat on approaching which the captain made several blows at him with a naked cutlass, but never spoke. In consequence of this treatment deponent turned and swam back to the ice, the boat then finally leaving the ship."
Surgeon Graham then goes on to state the condition in which himself and the passengers were left upon the ice, and their subsequent rescue by CaptainMarshall, some eighteen hours afterwards, and winds up by this sentence:
“Deponent solemnly believes that if CaptainShaw had remained by his ship, and inspired the unfortunate passengers with confidence, and directed their movements, not a single life would have been lost."
The Doctor's deposition, and that of Richard Irving, one of the sailors on board the Hannah (which corroborate each other), are both forwarded by this mail to Mr. James Ferguson, the charterer of the vessel.
The surviving passengers arrived at Quebec, of course, in a miserably destitute and almost naked condition: but through the active and benevolent exertions of Mr. Hyde, a sum of 30£ and a large quantity of clothing, were collected from the charitably disposed, and they were enabled to proceed free, and with each a small sum of money, to their several destinations, comfortably clad, and without any loss of time.
The head-money, which would have been leviable on the passengers, had the Hannah arrived in port, was handed by Messrs. Hyde and McBlan, on account of Mr. Ferguson, to the Emigration Agent, and by him repaid to the surviving passengers.List of passengers per brig Hannah Curry Shaw, master, from the port of Newry, Ireland, which was wrecked by the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on the 29th of April, 1849, distinguishing those saved and those lost, as nearly as can be ascertained.
James Murphy and wife; William Tadford, wife and child. (1 child lost); Michael McGill, wife and two children; Owen McCourt, and wife,: Patrick McGuirk, wife and 2 children;: Joseph Kerr, wife and 2 do. (5 children lost) : Alexander Thompson wife and 4 do.. (Asther and mother. and his child last): Peter Murphy, wife and child; John Delany, wife and sister; William Henderson, wife and 4 children, ( 2 children lost); John Murphy, wife and 4 children, (2 children lost); David Garvin and wife; Ann McGinn. (6 children lost); Ann M Ewan and sister, (2 brothers and sisters lost); Henry Grant and wife (4 children lost); Ann Lennon daughters, 2 sons and niece; Daniel McGuggan and brother; Wm. Wood; Thomas Cannon, sister and 2 brothers, (father, mother, and the children's niece lost); Eliza Blackstock; Samuel Henderson; Edward Nugent; Charles Mulholland; Edward McElhern, wife and child, (mother and six of his children lost); Patrick McGrory, wife and three children, (four children lost); James Ward, wife and four children; Alice M-Kinley and cousin; James McVerry. Peter Loughran, wife and six
children; Eliza Perdue and two daughters; Thomas Quin, brother, and brother and sister in law; Jane Thompson and sister, (father and mother lost); Mary Anne Brantford, Peter Bennet, Joho Hanlin, wife and six children; James McKeogh and wife; Peter McFarlane, (father, mother, and two brothers lost); Michael Grant, mother, sister, uncle, and brother – the foregoing persons are from the Co Armagh. Patrick McGinn, John Tufts and son,(wife and two children lost) County Down. Andrew Kelly – County Tyrone. Joseph Murphy and sister, children – South of Ireland. Catherine Hart – unknown.
Total number ascertained to be lost, forty-nine, which, with one hundred and twenty-one, the number saved, make 170, the total number supposed to be embarked.