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Narrative of the shipwreck of the brig Betsey, of Wiscasset, Maine, and murder of five of her crew, by pirates, on the coast of Cuba, Dec. 1824.   By:

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NARRATIVE

OF THE

SHIPWRECK OF THE BRIG BETSEY, OF WISCASSET, (MAINE,)

AND

MURDER OF FIVE OF HER CREW, BY PIRATES, ON THE COAST OF CUBA, DEC. 1824.

" quæque ipse miserrima vidi, Et quorum pars magna fui."

BY DANIEL COLLINS, ONE OF THE ONLY TWO SURVIVORS.

WISCASSET: PRINTED BY JOHN DORR . 1825.

DISTRICT OF MAINE, ss.

[Sidenote: L. S.]

BE IT REMEMBERED , THAT on this twenty sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five, and the forty ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Mr. JOHN DORR, of the District of Maine, has deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, viz:

"Narrative of the Shipwreck of the Brig Betsey, of Wiscasset, and murder of five of her crew, by Pirates, on the coast of Cuba, Dec. 1824. By Daniel Collins, one of the only two survivors.

" quæque ipse miserrima vidi, Et quorum pars magna fui."

Wiscasset: Printed by John Dorr. 1825."

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also, to an act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

J. MUSSEY, Clerk of the District Court of Maine.

A true copy as of record. Attest,

J. MUSSEY, Clerk D. C. Maine.

NARRATIVE.

On the 28th of November, 1824, I sailed from Wiscasset, (Me.) for Matanzas, in the Island of Cuba, on board the brig Betsey, laden with lumber; our officers and crew consisting of seven, viz. ELLIS HILTON, of Wiscasset, master; JOSHUA MERRY, of Edgecomb, 1st mate; DANIEL COLLINS, of Wiscasset, 2d mate; CHARLES MANUEL, (a Portuguese), SETH RUSSELL, and BENJ. BRIDGE, seamen; and DETREY JEOME, cook. On the 18th of December we passed the Berry Islands, and early next morning came to anchor within a league of Orange Key, on the Bahama Banks. It was the morning of the Sabbath, so calm and clear that even the lengthened billows of the Gulf Stream seemed sleeping around us, and the most untutored son of Neptune could not but remember that it was a holy day, consecrated to devotion and rest. Here we continued until noon, when a fresh breeze from the North invited us to weigh anchor and unfurl our sails, which, swelling with a fair wind, were as buoyant as our own spirits, at the increasing prospect of reaching our port of destination.

Our course was W. S. W. that afternoon and night. At 4 o'clock next morning, by order of Capt. Hilton, who had been sick most of the passage out, and was now unable to appear on deck during the night, we kept her away one point, steering S. W. by W. calculating the current easterly at three knots, which he supposed would clear us of the Double Headed Shot Keys.

About sunset, a dark and stormy night approaching, I suggested to our Captain the propriety of shortening sail, to which he would not assent, presuming we might get into Matanzas the next day. The night was so dark that we could not discover objects distinctly beyond the length of the vessel, and the wind blew more than an usual wholesale breeze, which drove her, heavy laden as she was, at the rate of 9 knots, calculating ourselves more than 6 leagues to the windward of the Double Headed Shot Keys. At half past 2 o'clock I was relieved at the helm, and after casting a glance over the lee side and discovering no alteration in the appearance of the water, I observed to my shipmate at the helm, "there is no fear of you" went below and turned in with my clothes on... Continue reading book >>




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