News From The Past

                         “Thursday 24 Jan 1884 Over a Hundred Lives Lost at Sea”

The City of Columbus, from Boston for Savannah, strikes the Massachusetts Coast, and only 22 of those on board saved.  

The news of the terrible steamship disaster which occurred in Vineyard Sound early Friday morning has caused consternation in Boston, where a number of the victims lived.  The Steamship City of Columbus which left Boston 3 pm on Wednesday for Savannah. proceeded safely on her way until Friday morning, when she struck upon the ledge or reef at the Devil’s Bridge buoy off the southwestern end of Martha’s Vineyard.

Captain Wright of Boston, who for 15 years has been employed by the line, was in command at the time, when she struck this ledge and careened over.  She had on board 80 passengers of the first class, 22 in the steerage and 45 officers and men only 23 have been saved.  The wind was blowing a gale at the time.  The boats were swamped as soon as they struck the water.  Soon after noon the revenue cutter Dexter came alongside and took off 21 from the rigging, and carried them to New Bedford, but three of them died on the way.

                          “Thursday 31 Jan 1884 The Indians at Gay Head”

The Boston newspapers have started a subscription to aid the half-breed Indians of Gay Head who nobly assisted saving the lives of 22 men from the wreck of the City of Columbus.  Those who reached the barren headland alive, were treated with boundless though humble hospitality.  Nothing that the limited resources of their noblehearted rescuers could supply was held back. Food, drink, missing articles of clothing were freely given, and then men and women began the sad search for the dead.  The people though scantily clad went down to the landing in the blustering snowstorm; but they seemed to not know it was cold.  One Indian woman sped back to her house and retrieved 2 sheets, which were treasured as luxuries seldom to be used and fetched them weeping as she said it was all she could give to cover the dead and the bodies were quickly sewed up in these winding sheets.  All this and much more these people done without thanks in return.

A condensed article from the “Sidney Record” Delaware Co. NY a weekly newspaper.

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