(Following is the text of the story from the Weekly Record, of Trinity as printed on Saturday, March 5, 1892. The article was repeated in the March 12, 1892 issue of that paper, as well.)
Weekly Record, Saturday, March 5, 1892
HAVOC ON THE SEA
Terrible Loss of Life
Heartrending Scenes - Heroic Acts of Rescue - Thirteen Men Dead - Eleven Still Missing
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!
The week that has passed since we last place our little journal into the hands of its many readers has brought to this town and the neighbouring settlements a terrible calamity; and it is our painful duty to-day to record what has proved the direst catastrophe ever known in the history of Trinity, - surpassing as it does in point of individual and general suffering, hair-breath escapes, heartrending tales and scenes, anything of the kind ever heard by the oldest inhabitant. Many terrible accidents have occurred, fraught with great loss of life; but none have been attended with such terrible circumstances as that of Saturday last. As we begin this short sketch of the terrible affair, we realize to the fullest our utter inability to give anything like a satisfactory report. Many of our readers are already aware of the bare facts of the disaster;
but few besides the residents of the immediate neighbourhood, and the eye-witnesses of some of the
scenes, can realize it in all its awful details.
For two or thee days previous to Saturday the 27th ult. there had been quite a number of seals shot in the Bay. Saturday morning dawning fair and everything looking favorable for a successful day's seal-hunting, the majority of the seal-hunters from Green Bay on the one side to Ireland's Eye on the other side were up betimes and away in their boats in search of seals. So anxious were some of them to be away early that they took very little food before leaving and many were but thinly clad. The sea was smooth, air warm, little or no wind, and several seals were shot by some of the further off boats. All went well until about 11 o'clock, when the wind accompanied by intense cold, suddenly changed, blowing with terrific force from the N. N. E. With the rising gale the sea was soon lashed into foam. The majority of the boats were some miles off the land when the squall struck them, and they saw that to reach where they had left in the morning was an impossibility, entailing as it would a desperate row in the teeth of the gale. Some of the crews, however, belonging to Robin Hood, Salmon Cove and English Harbor, who were not far off the Horse Chops (which lay nearly dead to windward) determined to make an attempt to land on that part of the shore. Six crews began the desperate task; and after five hours desperate rowing, the spray continually drenching them, freezing as it fell and covering them with ice, they reached the shore. The majority of them were so exhausted and benumbed they had no strength to get out of they (sic) boats. In two cases the poor human frame was unable to bear up under the terrible strain on nerve and muscle, and before land was reached they succumbed. One crew broke their oars and were drifting helplessly to leeward, when, with utter disregard for their own safety, and at the risk of sinking their boats with the extra burden, another crew took them on board. It was on board this boat that the first poor fellow died. So heavily laden was the boat with the eight men and the ice that was constantly forming on her sides, that to prevent her from swamping and drowning all, the body of the dead man was committed to the sea. Shortly after, the second poor fellow, (a brother of the first victim) succumbed from cold and exhaustion. The scene after land was reached baffles description. Four other men succumbed here from exhaustion and the intense cold shortly after landing. From John Butler, of Robin Hood, who was an eye-witness of the proceedings, a Record representative obtained the following account of the tragic events at Horse Chops; the narrator, with that modesty which is a characteristic of the true hero, passing lightly over the grand and noble acts of self-sacrifice and valor he himself performed. Had it not been for his incessant attention many of the poor fellows who landed at the Horse Chops, and who were in the last stages of exhaustion and paralysed with the intense cold, would undoubtedly never have recovered. Here is what he said: -
I went to English Harbor on Saturday last to attend the funeral of my wife's brother,
Joseph Penny, who had died a few days before. When the storm came on I did not go to
the funeral, but went out on the Horse Chops to see if any of the boats were coming.
Halfway out to where the boats landed I met Robert Penny and Robert Ivany, of English
Harbor, who had also been out looking for returning boats, but seeing none they were
going home. I got them to go back with me. We waited for half an hour, saw no sign, and
then made a fire a little distance back where some brushwood was growing. Stayed by the
fire about half an hour, and they I went out to the edge of the cliff over Hay Cove again.
I saw Henry G. Batson's boat coming slowly towards the land, the men in her hardly able
to make a stroke. Looking down over the cliff I saw several other boats had landed in the
cove, and I saw my brother, Alexander, trying to get William Stockly up the hill. I ran
down and took my nephew James Butler on my back and after a time got him to the fire
up on the hill. The two men belonging to English Harbor were working also to get some
of the men up the steep gulch. All of the men who landed here were covered with ice,
hardly able to move. Two had died before landing, and four died after they landed two
of them near the fire and the other two down the hill. Robert Bannister managed to get
partly up the hill and I saw him, while I was trying to bring some of the others to life, on
his hands and knees unable to move. He just muttered "God bless us" and died. His son
died just before. We did all we could to help the men who landed here, but there were not
enough of us to help them all, and we saw some die quite near us while we were unable
to aid them. Only three of us were there to help all who landed. It was a terrible time.
Stephen Day of Robin Hood came about half an hour before dark, and did a great deal to
help the other men, even taking off some of his clothes to put them on some of the other
men. He and I carried my nephew to Wm. Ivany's at English Head (the nearest house)
about 2 miles away. He was unconscious all the time but after a long time we managed
to get life in him and he recovered. His left foot and right hand are frost-bitten. My
brother Alexander has both hands frost-bitten. He gave his mitts to the boy. Out of the
crews who landed at Horse Chops six men died.
This is an outline of this man's story. Want of space prevents us from publishing it in full. Some of the details are heartrending in the extreme.
While these scenes were being enacted at Horse Chops, others of a like nature were taking place further up the shore. The crews who decided not to attempt to keep too far to windward landed at Trouty, Bonaventure, Ireland's Eye, Thoroughfare, and some at Deer Harbor. All of them were terribly exhausted and coated with ice. Many had to be assisted from their boats at each place. Those who landed at Trouty and Bonaventure recovered without any loss of life. Many were frostbitten and much exhausted, and but for the incessant attention of the residents of the places would undoubtedly have died. Among those who landed at Ireland's Eye one man, Wm. Barnes of English Harbor, had died in his boat before landing.
Another of the same crew was unconscious and had to be taken from the boat. All the others were well cared for at the house of Mr. Thomas Cooper and ultimately recovered. The Ireland's Eye men (to their credit be it said) who had only escaped a few minutes before with their own lives, hearing that many boats were out from Salmon Cove and English Harbor, organized a volunteer search party and in spite of the heavy gale of wind and the intense cold went out to the adjacent islands in search of supposed missing men. One of the rescuing party gives us the following account of what they did and saw:
Learning that a large number of English Harbor and Salmon Cove boats had been caught in the storm and knowing it was impossible for them to land near their own homes, a
volunteer crew was called for and readily obtained to search the islands near for any who
might have landed there. Two boats were manned and started. One returned without any
sign of men or boats. As the second was returning about 6 p.m. a fire was seen in Thoroughfare, about a mile from Ireland's Eye, and they immediately went to see what
it meant. the sight that met their eyes baffles description. Around the fire were five men
two nearly dead, the others trying by all means in their power to restore them. A boat
was by the shore, and in her were the bodies of two young men who had died before land
was reached. the rescuing party took the rescued and carried them to the nearest house
(Old Tilt) where they were will looked after. The bodies of the dead men were put in
coffins to be taken home. It was a task that unnerved the strongest men.
Early on Sunday morning a crew of four men went to Rider's Harbor and other near
places to see if any had landed there. No one was found. About this time a search party
arrived from Trouty and Ship Cove looking for missing men. Just as they were leaving
Ireland's Eye a boat was met with five men on board coming from Deer Harbor. Three
boats had reached there on Saturday, and two men of the number had died before landing.
The story of suffering and death told by the survivors who reached there, was the saddest of all the sad tales, and the poor fellows who told it wept like children. On Monday the bodies of the men who were landed at Thoroughfare and Ireland's Eye were brought to Trouty and from thence conveyed to their homes.
Although the events recorded above happened on Saturday, no one in town were aware that such a terrible loss of life had occurred until Sunday afternoon. Great anxiety had been felt all Saturday night for some of the men who were out, but, as so many had landed in safety, it was hoped the others had escaped with a "drubbing," and had reached harbor further up the shore. Early on Sunday, however, intelligence was received of some of the events noted above, and throughout the day other stories were brought from different places near, each, as it became known, increasing the magnitude and horror of the disaster. By Sunday evening it was known that out of the two hundred (about) who were caught in the storm, eleven
deaths had occurred, and nearly forty were still missing. a private telegraphic message received for English Harbor late on Saturday night became known on Sunday afternoon. It told of the safe arrival at Old Perlican of one of the missing crews. that little missive was hailed as a message of hope for others of the missing.
When the Telegraph Office opened on Monday morning, numerous anxious enquirers thronged the doors, countless messages were despatched to, and received from, all parts of the country. The news of the disaster spread like wildfire. Early in the day a message fro Heart's Content stated that about twenty men and boys had landed at Heart's Delight and vicinity. Words fail to describe the cheering effect of that message. Despairing faces again looked cheerful, and other heartbroken sufferers whose dear ones were still missing were filled with hope for their safety.
The number missing on Monday night was thirteen men and boys, and nothing more was heard until Tuesday morning, when the schooner Rosscleer, Captain Richard Fowlow, which had been searching the Bay since Sunday, returned to port. Her report was soon known. Sixteen of the men who landed on the South Shore of the Bay were on board, also the bodies of John Nurse and Solomon Penny which were picked up on Sunday in their boat off Scilly Cove. Both bodies were under the thwarts of the boat, and it is thought the poor fellows rowed until exhausted and then laid down to die. The number of missing was
now reduced to eleven, - the death roll contained thirteen names.
From Patrick Hanlan, one of the men who landed at Heart's Delight, we learnt the following account of their hair-breadth escape:
I was out on Saturday with my three sons. When the squall struck we were about half way between Horse Chops and Hart Point on the South Shore. We put up our sail and made
her lie as close to the wind as we could, so as to get a distance in the Bay in case the
wind should come further off-shore. The spray was continually going over us and freezing,
and we soon saw it was impossible to reach land on the North Side of the Bay without
running the risk of freezing to death. After a time we gave her a little sheet and ran her
for a pan of ice. Got out on the pan, and made a fire to get something to eat and drink.
Just as we were doing this a sea broke over the pan and washed every thing iff except
ourselves, and filling one of the smallest boy's boots. We had to jump in our boat and run
her before the gale until about 4 in the afternoon when we sighted some more boats in the
ice. Just before dusk we reached the other boats. There were four boats, and twelve men
when we got there. We all hauled up our boats on a large pan, turned up the larger boats
to make a shelter from the wind, and made in a fire. I had two seals in my boat and we
pelted them to burn the fat, breaking up one of the smaller boats also to use as fuel. We
were on the ice drifting up the Bay all night. It was bitterly cold in spite of the big fire and
we were dancing and jumping all night to keep up our spirits and to keep from freezing.
At dawning we were about 5 miles from land off Heart's Delight. We hauled our boats
over some ice and then rowed for land which we reached about 9 o'clock. The people
treated us with wonderful kindness, doing all in their power to relieve us. None of us were
badly frozen. William Ivany of English Harbor and his three sons landed a little further
up the Bay about 4 in the evening. They had been on the ice all night without fire and had
to be hauled ashore in a dory. They were rescued by men from heart's Delight at risk of
their lives. One of them was badly frozen but all were doing well when we left. They could
not get down to where Captain Fowlow took us in and it was impossible for the schooner
to get to land or remain longer where she was, as the ice was moving fast. We all wish
to thank the good people of Heart's Delight for the kindly attention they gave us. Under
Providence they saved our lives, and we shall never forget their kindness to us - strangers
in a strange place.
Captain Fowlow's gallant deed was feelingly mentioned too, by this man and he desired the thanks of the rescued to be publicly conveyed to Captain Fowlow. Indeed, the thanks of the whole community, nay, the thanks of the whole country, are due to this noble man and his crew. At the risk of losing his schooner this brave man and his hardy crew scoured the Bay in search of missing men and we trust they will not be forgotten.
The Ireland's Eye and Heart's Delight men, too, deserve commendation. Their promptness it was, in going to the assistance of their suffering fellow creatures, that saved a number of lives. Less heroic acts have been rewarded with the V. C. But to particularize the many acts of valor performed during this dread disaster would be an impossibility. Brave acts of self-denial, gallant deeds of rescue at risk of live are heard of from every quarter. They will have their reward!
Promptly after hearing of the disaster the Government despatched the steamer Ingraham to search the Bay for missing men. Owing to the heavy ice in the Bay she was obliged to retreat. A more powerful steamer, the Labrador, with Dr. Pike on board, was then despatched, but after thirty hours were spent in an unsuccessful attempt to force a passage, she too was obliged to return to St. John's. Search parties from
the shore at the head of the Bay have been sent out, but up to the time of writing no news of the eleven missing ones had been received. Their sorrowing friends have been hoping against hope that some of them will return. Alas! It seems a forlorn hope, and the general opinion now is they have gone to "that bourne from which no traveller returns."
The names of the dead are:
Soloman Penny, of Wm., John Nurse, of Wm., belonging to Green Bay; Martin Batson,
of Geo., Tobias Penny, of Robt, James Penny, of Robt., Edward Pottle, Wm. Barnes, of
late Bernard, belonging to English Harbor; John Penny, of Chas., Charles Day, of
Samuel, belonging to Salmon Cove West; William Stockley, Isaac J. Butler, of Robin
Hood; Robert Bannister, and Charles Bannister of Ship Cove.
Those still missing are:
Isaac John Batson, Wm. Batson of Richard, Arthur Batson, of Richard, Reuben Pottle of
English Harbor; Charles Nurse, William Nurse, Henry Nurse of Salmon Cove; John
Moore, George Moore, Jacob Moore, of Trinity South.
Upon such a small community as ours, where all of the dead and missing men were well known, this catastrophe has had a terribly crushing effect. Woe and lamentations were heard on every side. Heartbroken widows and orphans, fathers and mothers who have lost their promising sons, have suddenly appeared in our midst. In several cases every male member of the family has been taken. a depressing funereal stillness had come over us. The funerals of the deceased have been largely attended; the solemn burial services of the different churches being listened to with more than ordinary interest and awe. Strong men of iron nerve, unable to bear up, wept like children. But all is not awe and sorrow. Many are able to realize that those taken from them by the cruel relentless sea, are "not lost but gone before" to that Haven.
--"where tempesis cease
And surges swell no more"
Now that the first bitter pangs of the loss are over the burden of life must be taken up again. And this is a harder matter that (sic) many realize. Some of the deceased have left behind then helpless widows and children, aged fathers and mothers for whom some provision will need to be made. And in this we are glad to say the many kindly sympathisers at home and abroad have given substantial evidence of the sincerity of their sympathy. A subscription list has been opened in St. John's, headed by His Excellency the Governor, and it is hoped that a sufficient fund will be realized to provide the needy with the means of beginning life anew, --for that is what it means to many.
Throughout the whole of the country a wonderful feeling of sympathy has been manifested for the sufferers. The House of Assembly adjourned from Monday to Thursday. His Excellency the Governor who was giving a dinner at Government House, postponed the event as a mark of sympathy. Messages of condolence and sympathy have been flashed from all over the world. On Wednesday, Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, who is ever in sympathy with all of her suffering subjects throughout her vast Empire, telegraphed, through Lord Knutsford, a message of condolence and asked for full particulars of the disaster. These tokens of sympathy coming at a time when the heart is crushed and broken, when even life seems hardly worth keeping, have been wonderfully cheering and gratefully received.
We, took, in concluding this hastily prepared sketch, beg to tender the heartfelt sympathy of the Record to the bereaved; commanding them, with all sincerity, to the care and guidance of the all-pitying Father. In no more suitable words can we conclude than by quoting the following beautiful stanzas from the poet Longfellow's "Resignation":
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portals we call Death.
And though at times impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest, --
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay;
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.
And from the Weekly Record of July 2, 1892
We have much pleasure in giving publicity to the following despatches which are self-explaining: --
No. 24 Downing Street
24th May 1892
Sir: - With reference to my telegram of the 1st of March last, I have the honor to inform
you that I communicated to Her Majesty the Queen your despatches of the 5th and 11 of
March, containing further particulars respecting the late disaster of the fishing fleet in
The Queen has commanded me to convey to you the expression of the deep interest with which she has read the account of that disaster, and Her Majesty wishes that the high
appreciation which she entertains of the conspicuous bravery and devotion of those
concerned in the work of rescue may be conveyed to them.
I duly referred to the Board of Trade your recommendation of the names of certain
persons who render most signed service in saving life on this occasion.
I have much pleasure in now transmitting to you, for communication to your Government,
a copy of a letter which has been received from the Board of Trade in reply.
You will be so good as to cause this sums of money awarded by the Board of Trade to be paid to the several persons indicated in this letter, and to furnish to me with the further
particulars desired by the Board of Trade in regard to the services of Crocker and Legge,
in order that their cases may be considered for the Albert medal.
You will take an early opportunity of publishing this despatch.
I have, etc., Knutsford,
Governor Sir T. O'Brien, K.C.M.G., &c.,
Board of Trade,
London, S. W., 19th May, 1892
Sir: - I am directed by the Board of Trade to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the
26th ultimo, transmitting a copy of a despatch from the Governor of Newfoundland
submitting for reward the services rendered by certain persons in saving life in connection
with the recent disaster in Trinity Bay, and, in reply to state, for the information of Lord
Knutsford, that it is not the practice of the Board to give rewards for rescues from the
shores of Colonies, but taking into consideration all the circumstances of this case they
have made an exception in favour of the gallant party who set out over the ice to rescue
Ivany and his sons, and have accordingly awarded a sum of (pounds)5 to each of the
rescuers, viz., Jacob Hobbs, Samuel Legge, Albert Crocker, Joseph Looley and Edmund
I am to request that you will be good enough to move His Lordship to cause instructions
to be sent to the Governor of Newfoundland to pay this sum to each man and to draw a
bill for the amount, at three days sight, on the Assistant Secretary, Finance Department
of this Board. The men's receipts for the sums paid should be forwarded to the Board of
I am to add, with regard to Crocker and Legge who, by leaping from one piece of ice to
another, succeeded in crossing the belt of loose ice which finally separated Ivany and sons
from the rescuing party, that the Board will be glad to consider their cases for the Albert
Medal if they receive a more detailed account of their services, together with statements
from the men saved, and any others who can give personal and reliable testimony of the
circumstances and the actual amount of risk run.
I have, etc.,
(Sgd.) Geo. J. Swantson.
The Under Secretary of State,
(Weekly Record, March 12, 1892)
Dear Sir: - The following is a short account of our doings while out searching Trinity Bay on Sunday and
Monday, the 28th and 29th ult.
On sunday morning two men from English Harbor came to me to know if I would go out in the Bay in my schooner to have a look for missing men. The schooner was all ready, having been fitted out a day or two before to proceed to the seal fishery as soon as a time offered. I immediately hoisted my flag and soon had a volunteer crew. By half-past ten we were under weigh. We sailed out to the Horse Chops, and from thence to the edge of the ice, - about two miles from the Chops. We ran along by the edge of the ice, which carried us nearly over to Old Perlican, without seeing anything worthy of note. A lookout was kept on the mainmast head by a spyglass all the time. We then left the ice, and ran up the shore in the direction I thought anything would drift the night before, keeping 3 and 4 men in the rigging all the time. When we
got up abreast Hants Harbor, and about two miles from the land, we came across a punt's peggin, an oar and a spread belonging to some swamped punt. We saw nothing more until we ran as far as Scilly Cove. About a mile from there we saw a punt full of water, rounded the schooner to, and sailed up near the punt. In her we found two dead men, Soloman Penny and John Nurse. We took the bodies on board and laid them out in the hold. This was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We ran on again, with every eye on board on the look out, as far as Heart's Content. We thought to get in here, but could not for ice. Seeing we could not get in anywhere on the South Side of the Bay, we shaped our course for Upper Deer Harbor.
I intended to search the ice further up the Bay next day, but on our way across we saw a smoke rising at Heart's Delight, which we knew was a smoke signal for us. Hove around and reached in for that place, but ice prevented us from getting in to land. Night coming on we reached across the Bay again for Deer Harbor, which we reached at 11 o'clock in the night. We were at work again next morning at dawn; but the ice had frozen fully an inch thick while we were anchored and we were obliged to break it with punts on each side of the schooner. After a time of hard work we got clear, and sailed across the Bay as far to windward as the wind would allow, spying in every direction all the time. On the way across the Bay I spied from the mainmast head two boats on the ice a long distance to windward. Being unable to reach
them in the schooner, I sent a crew away in punt to get to them and bring whatever men they could find, dead or alive. by 2 o'clock, p.m. the wind became very light, and seeing I could not get to land in the schooner, I sent away another punt and 4 men to row to land, trying all the time to work the schooner nearer to land and in the direction I had sent the first punt. The first crew returned about half-past three and reported the boats on the ice deserted. We concluded from that that the men had reached the land, and that was the cause of the signals made to us on Sunday. After our crew got aboard we ran to leeward around a point of ice, and got as near the land as the ice would permit, when we spied our second punt and three others coming from the land. I knew at once they were some of the men we were in search for.
When they came alongside I was delighted to find there were 16 men alive and well. They had been rescued by the Heart's Delight people the day before. Being then late in the afternoon, the drift ice running down the shore we made all speed to get clear, to avoid being "nipped" on the straight shore. By dark we were clear of the land. I intended to beat farther up the Bay, but finding it impossible to do so owing to ice, I shaped my course for Trinity, which we reached at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning, after a hard night's work breaking ice to get the schooner through.
Thanking you for space, I am,
Master schr. Rosscleer
Saturday February 27th I left my house about seven o'clock with my cousin, Charles Day, to go out in the Bay in search of seals. We rowed off in the Bay until we was about 3 1/2 miles off the Horse Chops when observing dark clouds rising to the Northward we turned our boat and rowed for the Horse Chops that being the nearest land. There were several other boats near us, John Moore, John Bannister and John Wells and another two-handed boat, George Ivany of English Harbor, alongside us. All the punts rowed for the Horse Chops but the four-oared punts rowed away from us, wit the exception of George Ivany who kept near us. We rowed for about two hours and our punt becoming frozen up with the water continually
coming over her, and being in the exhausted condition, we saw that there was no hope of getting in to the Horse Chops. George Ivany then put up his sail and headed her in the Bay. He was about one hundred yards to windward of us then, so we signalled to him and he took down his sail and came down to us. I said "we have no sail, so let us all go together in one punt". considering my punt to be better than his he took his sail and paddles and got in with us. There were four of us now in a little punt about ten feet keel and the nearest land we had any hopes of getting to was fully sixteen miles from us. We put up our sail and headed her in the Bay not knowing what moment would be the last. We almost filled her two or three
times but managed to free her again. The water was all the time coming over us, which, with intense cold, was piercing. Our little boat got frozen up and she wouldn't make any way ahead, so I took a powder horn and pounded the ice off as well as I could. George Ivany steered her with a paddle crouched down in the stern of her, while Charles Day rowed one paddle when not heaving water, which occupied most of his time. The other man, Edward Pottle, had to lie down in the bottom of her amidships, and the water and slob would be up around his legs sometimes. I stood up and looked out for pans of ice as long as I could
stand, and then had to kneel down in the water on the sheets and look out. We were all near exhausted with cold and wet and scarcely able to speak, when George Ivany said "I see the land", which cheered us up very much. This was Bonaventure Head, about two miles to the windward of us. Shortly after I missed Charles Day's paddle, he was rowing behind me, and looking around I saw his hand going as if he was rowing. I knew at once that the poor fellow was dying, and the next moment he fell backwards on poor Pottle, who was still lying in the bottom of her. I took him hold and begged him to try and live a few minutes longer as we would soon be to land, but he did not answer me and never spoke again. Poor Pottle lost his cap, so he put a jacket over his head and he would keep asking us if we were near land. We cheered him up as well as we could but he was frozen down in the bottom of her, with the other man dead across him, as we did not have room to move him in one small punt. He was continuously getting weaker, but we were very near the land when he died. We got to the entrance of Irelands Eye Harbor, but had not the strength to row in so we kept away for the Thoroughfare. We saw another punt coming up to leeward of us and we both reached the land together. We asked him where he belonged. It was John Hiscock of Salmon Cove, although belonging to the same place we were frozen up so much and frostbitten, we did
not know each other. We had two men dead in our punt, and he had two men given up in his. We were not able to row in the Thoroughfare, and had to land out on the point about a mile from the nearest house, John Ivany's, Old Tilt. When we landed we were almost all alkine, one scarcely able to help the other. Fortunately John Hiscock had some dry matches and got a fire, while I started for John Ivany's to try and get some help for the others. I had to go over hills and rocks and through woods, sometimes I would get exhausted altogether and wouldn't be able to see. Then I would stop for a few minutes and get revived again. God only knows how, at length I reached John Ivany's, just at dusk. I said to him "go to the Thoroughfare Point as quick as possible, you will find men there some dead and some alive." He went on at once and soon returned with the living men. By that time there was a boat got there from Ireland's Eye and brought in the dead bodies. Our warmest thanks are due to John Ivany and sons, as I believe them to be the means under God of saving our lives on dreadful day.
The people of Ireland's Eye acted nobly towards us doing all in their power to help us, even fitting out a punt to bring us home, but slob prevented them so they landed us in Trouty. We got home about sunset on the following Monday. I pray God never to let me pass through the like again.
(Weekly Record, March 19, 1892)
When a few days since this community was visited by the direful calamity which brought so much suffering, death and desolation to our doors, few, if any, had other than the most sympathetic of feelings for the bereaved, and the most thankful of feelings towards those who were endeavoring by every means in their power to rescue the perishing and cheer the afflicted ones. For the time every difference of opinion on other matters dropped, humanity asserted itself, and, irrespective of creed and calling, all united in one common effort to rescue and relieve. We had hoped that the same feeling would be manifested through the whole country, and that for the nonce political animosity would give way to nobler feelings of sympathetic humanity. thank Heaven! in the majority of cases this did occur. there are, however, in every land, men with a sordid desire to do an injury to every one whose political ideas are not parallel with theirs; and who take any and every opportunity to vent their spleen; and we are pained to see that this country is not wanting for men of this despicable stamp. This may be seen by reference to the Hearld of the 1st inst. and other late issues of that paper. Without any regard to facts the Hearld launches out into a dirade of abuse against the Government, and makes use of language so impious and vindictive as is worthy only of the most depraved of mortals.
The Hearld thinks it has cause for complaint in the fact that the Government did not send out a steamer earlier than Monday the 1st inst. Those of us who know every circumstance connected with the direful affair know, too, that the Government's action was as prompt as circumstances warranted. The Government was not in receipt of any intelligence of the calamity until late on Sunday night, and that intelligence went from the South Side of Trinity Bay, from which no really reliable information could be obtained, - the men giving the intelligence, knowing only of their own fate, could not give any idea of what had befallen the others who were caught in the gale. Neither was anything definite known here until
Monday, and hence the delay that occurred in the Government being informed of the matter. So soon as the real state of affairs became known the Government acted, and acted promptly. The Labrador was despatched, but with what result - she was unable to get in the Bay owing to the blockade of ice. This would have been the case had she been despatched on Sunday. The Bay became blocked on Saturday afternoon and night; and no steamer would have been able to effect a passage after Sunday morning. The only other time that a steamer could have got in the Bay to have been of benefit to those adrift was on
Saturday afternoon, and no one ashore either on the North or South Side of the Bay was aware at that time that such a terrible tragedy was occurring at our doors. How then could the Government have acted differently? Only the Hearld writers profess to know. All in this community, including the friends and relatives of the dean and missing men, express themselves perfectly satisfied that the Government did all that could be done by mortal men under the circumstances; and if those whose painful lot it is to be the sufferers are satisfied why should the Hearld endeavor to reflect upon the Government merely to vent his political spleen. Had its editor one spark of truthfulness, or manliness, in his composition, he would be ashamed to see his paper disgraced with such articles, knowing, as he must, that they are utterly false and unfounded.
We are pleased to know that the fund being raised in St. John's for the relief of the sufferers by the last disaster is steadily increasing. Many persons have subscribed handsome sums towards the fund, and the thanks of the distressed are due and hereby conveyed to the subscribers. We believe it is the intention to appoint a committee to distribute the amount collected, and in this matter the greatest care should be exercised. Knowling the circumstances of the people we should suggest that all the fund be not distributed
at once, but that a monthly or quarterly allowance be made to each family according to their need.
Note: Some typographic errors have been corrected from the original newspaper article.