The Wreck of the Black Hawk, Emigrant Ship.

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Document ID 102222
Date 12-05-1854
Document Type Newspapers (Shipping News)
Archive Central Library, Belfast
Citation The Wreck of the Black Hawk, Emigrant Ship.;The Armagh Guardian, Friday, 12 May, 1854; CMSIED 102222
  FALMOUTH, THURSDAY, MAY 4. - The following is the
report of the barque Caroline, Captain Harris, the
first which fell in with and rendered assistance to
the unfortunate passengers on board the Black Hawk,
125 of whom she landed at this port on Monday:-
  " The Caroline sailed from Poole, April 3.  Had fine
weather until the 16th, the weather then becoming very
  " 17. Encountered heavy weather and gales from S.S.E.,
which lasted about six hours; the wind then veering
N., and blew a hurricane, with a tremendous sea.
  " 19. Moderate wind, still from N.  At 11.30 am,
saw a dismasted ship.  Made all prudent sail to work
up to her.
  " 20. About five p.m. got up to the wreck; found her
to be the American ship Black Hawk, from Liverpool for
New York, Captain Bunker, with all her masts gone by
the deck, and had colours of distress, in lat.47.12 N.,
long 35 W.  Sent a boat to ascertain what assistance
we could render.  Captain Bunker came on board and
wished me to take out his passengers, of whom he had
upwards of 800; and said that he thought his ship was
making water fast; that one pump was broken, and the
mainmast falling.
  " 21. Wind light.  Made sail for the wreck and got a
stream cable on board, and began to receive passengers,
the master giving up all hope of saving his ship.
She had between 800 and 900 tons cargo, consisting
chiefly of iron.  At seven p.m. the American ship
Dirago, from Glasgow, came up to the wreck.  Endeavoured
to get provisions and water, but owing to the confusion
on board could get but little.  The scene on board was
most heart rending, as the poor mortals were obliged
to be lowered over the ship's side into the boat, leaving
all their effects behind them, and on account of relatives
parting from their friends and families got divided
going to different ships.  It was a most awful spectacle.
  " 22. About seven p.m. another American ship came up,
name unknown.
  " 23. Received more passengers, and succeeded in getting
500 gallons of water and some provisions. Strong wind
from S.; boats passing to and fro with diffiiculty.
Five p.m.- Too dangerous to continue.  Got in boats
and furled sails; still holding on by the stream
cable.  At 8.30 p.m. the cable parted.  Made sail
and steered for the westward.  Daylight next morning
wind veered to the westward.  Noon - Moderate, cloudy.
  " 24th.  Number of passengers 128 souls, and the
great majority without a shift of clothes.  Obliged to
spread sails for the passengers between decks in the
hold.  At 7 a.m., the wind continuing from the westward,
deemed it imprudent to remain contending with such a
number of persons on board in their distressing
situation; bore up for the westward under all possible
sail from lat.47.48.N, long.34 W.
  " 25th.  Four p.m. came up with the Black Hawk again
in lat.47 50 N., long.32 40 W; went close to her;
informed me that they had 120 passengers still on board.
The two American ships still by her, with the barque
Good Intent, of Fowey.  Reported that I should make the
nearest port in Great Britain; arrived at Falmouth on
Monday night.  Have been favoured with wind and weather
since bearing up.  Three infants died since coming on
board my ship.  Arrived at Falmouth on Monday night.
  " The passengers landed here speak in the very highest
terms of the fatherly care and kind feeling of Captain
Harris, of the Caroline, towards them; indeed, they
cannot speak too highly of his humanity, and also that
of his officers and crew.  On the contrary, of the
manner in which they were treated on board the Black
Hawk, no language appears to be dark enough to depict
it, especially from the mate Hermann, and his sub-
officers and crew.  This Hermann beat them with sticks
commonly.  Their baggage was ransacked, and boxes
opened in search of valuables.  Besides this treatment
these passengers say that they had to pay a toll to
get over the ship's side to get into the Caroline's
boat.  Mr. Williamson. of Manchester, had to pay ÷20.
Mr. Augustus Maltaner, to give a gold watch and chain
value ÷20; James Price, ÷20; John Cullen, ÷2.  These
were swallowed up by the mate.  Thomas Hopely paid the
doctor, Johnston, ÷1 15s, and 15s for two fowling
pieces to be passed down, but they were kept back;
Thomas Daly ÷2 to the same scoundrel to be placed in
the same vessel as his wife and children, but they
were not.  Mr. Myers, ÷2 and ÷1 for a carpet bag,
the latter not passed down.  We rejoice that an
investigation is likely to be made by the colonisation
commissioners, to whom a representation has been made
  The barque North Britain, Hallett, from Southampton,
for Quebec, 702 tons, was caught in the same hurricane,
and has put back here with loss of topmasts, jib-boom,
yards, sails, rigging, boats and galley, mainmast
sprung; April 17, lat.47,54 N., long.33,17 W.
                                 Plymouth Journal.