The Saga of the Anegada Island Shipwrecks


GENERAL BROWN, American, wrecked 1821, Captain Godfrey. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1821. American ship GENERAL BROWN, Captain Godfrey, from New York to the West End of Puerto Rico, was totally wrecked on Anegada shoals but most of its cargo saved and sold at Tortola."

GOOD HOPE, British, wrecked 1809, Captain Watson. Ref. Max, 1971: "1809. British ship GOOD HOPE, Captain Watson, from London to the Spanish Main, was lost near Anegada but most of the cargo saved." Also Schromburgk, 1832 mentions this vessel, but gives no further information.

HALIFAX LADY, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832.

HEBE, British, wrecked 1795, Captain Gray. Ref. Max, 1971: "1795. British ship HEBE, Captain Gray, from Cork to Jamaica, was lost on the rocks (believed to be Anegada) near Tortola."

HIRAM, Schooner, wrecked February 29, 1840. Ref. St.Th.Arvls, 13th March, 1840: "Forliste paa Anegada i skonnerten HIRAM fra Washington den 29. Februar (1840)."

HOLTINGEN, Barque, Norwegian, 420 tons, wrecked February 2, 1892, Captain Berge. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 6th February, 1892: "Yesterday morning Captain Berge, of the barque HOLTINGEN, presented himself at the Norwegian consulate and reported the loss of his vessel on the Anegada Reefs, on the night of the 2nd inst. At the time of the casualty occurred the weather is said to have been very heavy, and the ship foundered almost immediately on striking. Captain Berge and the crew escaped without being able to save any of their effects, owing to the rapid sinking of the vessel. From Anegada the wrecked hands reached Tortola in a ship's boat, and arrived at St. Thomas last night. The HOLTINGEN was a vessel of 406 tons hailing from Tvedestrand and was bound from Barbados to Charleston, S.C., in ballast." (HOLTINGEN was built in Tvedestrand in 1874, 420 reg. tonn. Owners were A & F Smith, Tvedestrand, Norway).

IDA, Steamer, Spanish, wrecked January 1, 1899, Captain Ceniga. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 4th January, 1899: "A boat arrived here on Monday night with the crew, some 39 in number, and 10 passengers of the wrecked Spanish steamer IDA, which went ashore at Anegada on New Year's morning at 3 o'clock. It appears that the steamer had been in bad weather for three days and had lost her bearings, thus causing the disaster. She was from Coruna, Spain, bound for Puerto Rico, and had a general cargo. It is expected that both the ship and cargo will prove a total loss, as the spot on which she struck is difficult of access by salvors at this time of the year. The captain Ceniga is expected to arrive here today together with some of the officers who remained with the wreck. One of the crew is reported drowned by the smashing of a boat."

IL CANDELIERO, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832.

ISLAM, Brig, American, wrecked October 2, 1852, Captain Young. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 6th October, 1852: "In addition to the marine disasters published in a previous number, we have to notice the wreck at Anegada of the American brig ISLAND (should have been the ISLAM) on Saturday the 2nd inst. Her cargo consisted of wheaten flour and corn meal. She struck on the north side of Anegada where the water is very boisterous."

JAMES BARRON, American, wrecked January 7, 1824. Ref. Max, 1971: "1824. American ship JAMES BARRON, Captain Fisher, from Charleston, South Carolina, to Barbados, was totally lost on January 7 on Anegada Reef."

JAMES EDWARDS. 1819 and/or 1831. See JAMES EDWIN below.

JAMES EDWIN, Schooner, American, wrecked January, 1819 and/or 1831(?). Ref. Schromburgk, 1832 states: "JAMES EDWARDS, American Schooner, 1831". The vessel may have been the JAMES EDWIN, and not as stated by Schromburgk, because St.Th.Arvls, 10th January, 1831 reads: "Forliste paa Anegada i skonnerten JAMES EDWIN, fra New York". Max, 1971 writes: "Year 1819. American Schooner JAMES EDWARDS sank on Anegada." There possibly were two vessels, one wrecked in 1819 and one wrecked in 1831.

JANE, this vessel was wrecked on or near Tortola, not on Anegada as reported in some sources.

KATHERINE, British, wrecked 1751, Captain Richards. Ref. Max, 1971: "1751. KATHERINE, commanded by Captain Richards, sailing from Jamaica to Bristol, was lost on Anegada but the crew was saved."

KONG OSCAR, Barque, Norwegian, 424 tons, wrecked April 1, 1885. Ref. St.Th.Tid, 4th April, 1885: "The Norwegian barque KONG OSCAR, from Cardiff with a cargo of coal for this port, became a total wreck on Anegada on the night of the 1st inst. The captain and crew arrived here yesterday. Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum in Oslo, Norway states: "KONG OSCAR, built in Kragerø, 1859, 424 Reg. Tonn. Owner J. Gundersen, Kragerø, Norway".

L'AIMABLE EULALIE, Ship, French, wrecked May, 1824, Captain Alleame. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832; also Max, 1971: "1824. French ship AIMABLE EULALIE, Captain Alleame, from Guadeloupe to Le Havre, wrecked on Anegada Shoals in May, only a small part of the cargo saved."

LA VICTORIA, Man-of-War, Spanish, wrecked 1738, Captain Don Carlos Casamara.

LE COUNT DE POIX, French, wrecked 1713, Captain Lewis Doyer. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1713. Captain Lewis Doyer, of French ship LE COUNT DE POIX, sailing from Santo Domingo to Havre de Grace, France, wrecked on Anegada."

LEWIS, Brig, American, wrecked April 9, 1831, Captain Turley. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832: "LEWIS, American Brig, 1831." On page 166 in his "Remarks on Anegada" Schromburgk states: "The brig LEWIS, Captain Turly, bound from Philadelphia to St. Thomas and Maraibo (sp), was wrecked on the southeastern reef on Anegada, 9th April, 1831. According to his reckoning he was the day previous on a parallel with St. Thomas; and I have been told that a second time he narrowly escaped being wrecked on nearly the same spot where he had thus lost the LEWIS, having discovered the foam of the breakers just in time to bear away."

LIONESS, Brig, American, wrecked 1811. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832.

LONDON, Ship(?), English, wrecked 1810, Captain Cromie. Ref. Schromburgk, 1832. Also Max, 1971: "1810. British ship LONDON, Captain Cromie (Cramie?), from London to Haiti, was lost on Anegada Island."

LORNE, Brigantine, Nova Scotia, 147 tons, wrecked January 24, 1884, Captain Pye. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 26th January, 1884: "The British brigte' LORNE, Captain Pye, of and from Halifax, N.S., bound to San Juan, Puerto Rico with a cargo of fish, etc., struck on the Anegada Reef on the afternoon of the 24th inst. and became a total wreck. The captain and crew arrived here yesterday afternoon." The Marine History Department of the Nova Scotia Museum states: "LORNE, Brigantine, 147 tons, built 1877, Jeddore, N.S., registered Halifax, N.S., Packford and Blake, owners. - Quoted from the American Record of Shipping."

MARIA, Barque, Swedish, stranded May, 1893, Captain Frøberg. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 17th May, 1893: "The Swedish barque MARIA, 310 tons, Captain Frøberg, from Barbados with sugar, bound to West End, St. Croix, to complete cargo for Copenhagen, put in here yesterday morning leaking badly having struck the Anegada Reef. Consignees Bache & Company."

MARIA JESUSA, Brig, Spanish, wrecked January, 1852. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 31st January, 1852: "We learn that another unfortunate vessel has been stranded on the reefs of Anegada during the week. Our correspondent states that she was the Spanish brig MARIA JESUSA, from some port in Spain, bound to the island of Puerto Rico with a cargo of provisions. A portion of the goods has been saved and taken to Tortola."

MARIANA, Schooner, American, wrecked August 11, 1842. Ref. St.Th.Arvls, 12th August, 1842: " ... af den paa Anegada i gaar nat forliste skonnert MARIANA fra Baltimore."

MARQUISE DE VIENNE, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832.

MARTHA, English, wrecked May 25, 1774, Captain McIntosh. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1774. MARTHA, Captain McIntosh, sailing from Jamaica to London was lost on May 25th on Anegada."

MARTHA, schooner, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832. Could be same vessel as above.

MARY (1817), wrecked 1817, Captain Autman. Ref. Max,1971: "1817. A ship of unknown nationality, MARY, Captain Autman, from Jamaica to Vera Cruz, was lost on Anegada."

MARY (1821), Brig, American, wrecked February 22, 1821, Captain Hellyer. Ref. Schomburgk, 1831; also Max, 1971: "Year 1821. A (vessel) of unknown nationality, MARY, Captain Hellyer, from New York to St. Thomas, was lost on February 22 on Anegada Shoals, but the crew and cargo were saved."

MARY (1857), Brig, British, wrecked July 20, 1857, Captain Dolbay. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 25th July, 1857: "The English brig MARY, Captain Dolbay, from Halifax bound to Ponce, Puerto Rico ran on Anegada reefs on Monday morning last (20th inst.) at 4 o'clock. Her cargo consisted of fish, hoops, and shingles - the better part of which, it is said, will be saved and taken to Tortola to be sold at auction. The crew composed the captain, mate, four seamen, cook and a boy. Of these, the four seamen and cook have arrived here; the captain, mate and boy, remaining by the wreck until such of the effects as may be rescued are sold."

MARY (1895), Sloop, wrecked November, 1895. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 4th December, 1895: "The sloop MARY, which left here last week for Dominica, has been wrecked at Horseshoe Reef, Anegada. A sailor and a passenger were drowned."

MARY IRVINE, Barque, American, wrecked December 21, 1851, Captain J. Taylor.

MASON'S DAUGHTER, Schooner, American, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832.

MAXWELL, Schooner, American, wrecked 1819. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832; also Max, 1971: "Year 1819. American Schooner MAXWELL sank at Anegada."

MISSISSIPPI, Brig, American, wrecked November 18, 1856, Captain Hathaway. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 3rd December, 1856: "The American Brig MISSISSIPPI, 244 tons, Capt. Hathaway, was wrecked on the night of Tuesday 18th November on the reefs of Anegada. This vessel was bound to Baltimore from St. Eustatius with a cargo of sugar and molasses; she has proved a total wreck; a portion of her cargo, however, has been saved and brought to this port. Captain Hathaway and his crew are here waiting an opportunity to proceed to the United States."

NANCY GAER, wrecked 1769. Ref. Max, 1971: "1769. NANCY GAER was lost off Anegada but her crew was saved."

NELIE, Ship, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832.

NEVARRO, Spanish, 1792, Captain Belandia. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1792. Spanish ship NEVARRO (NAVARRO ?), Captain Belandia, from St. Andero (Santander), Spain to Havana, was lost at Anegada Island."

NUESTRA SENORA DE LA VICTORIA, Spanish, wrecked December 5, 1812. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1812. N.S. de la VICTORIA, coming from Malaga was lost on December 5 on Anegada Reef."

NUESTRA SENORA DE LORENTO y SAN FRANCISCO XAVIER, Spanish, armed merchant vessel, wrecked 1730, Captain Juan de Arizon. Ref. Max, 1971: "Year 1730. An English built ship converted to a Spanish treasure galleon, N.S. de LORENTO y SAN FRANCISCO XAVIER, 212 tons, commanded by Captain Juan de Arizon, coming from Spain and sailing in convoy with a fleet of treasure galleons commanded by General Manuel Lopez Pintado for Cartagena and Porto Bello, sank on Anegada Island."

OCEAN, Ship ?, British, wrecked February, 1812, Captain Stewart. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832; also Admiralty, 1825: "Ship Ocean, from London, 1812." Also Lockwood, 1813. Also Max, 1971: "1812. British ship OCEAN, Captain Stewart, from London to Honduras totally lost in February on Anegada Reef but the crew was saved."

OLIVE, Schooner, of Boston, Mass. wrecked on July 7th, 1802, Captain Martin Stetson.  George Washington Samson, a seaman on board the OLIVE at the time she was wrecked on Anegada island, was born  in 1781 and went to sea when he was about fourteen years old in 1789. He wrote an interesting "Sea Log" of his adventures after he retired from the sea in December of 1803. After having served on several different merchant sailing ships as deckhand, he joined the vessel THOMAS BLACK bound for London, England in 1800. Three days out they lost a man, Jacob French, overboard and 32 days out their vessel was taken by the French privateer brig LA SOIR and brought to France. Subsequently, George Washington Samson shipped onboard the schooner OLIVE on June 2, 1802, and he then writes in his journal "the 7th of July (1802) was cast away on the island of Anegada. From there to Tortola (the largest island in the British Virgin Islands, and a few hours sail from Anegada). From there to St. Thomas, and from there to St. Croix (both islands are located in what was then the Danish West Indies - now the United States Virgin Islands. These Danish islands had been taken over by the British in 1801 at the time Admiral Nelson had defeated the Danish navy at the battle of Copenhagen, Denmark). In Christiansted, St. Croix, George Samson  joined the brig JANE of Portland on August 5th, 1802. Ref. Personal correspondence with Mr. Walter Samson, a direct descendant of George Washington Samson.

OLYMPIA, Schooner, wrecked January 24, 1873, Captain Kennedy. Ref. St.Th.Tid: "The schooner OLYMPIA, Captain Kennedy of Turks Islands, employed in the mail service between that place and St. Thomas, nine days out, got ashore on the night of the 24th inst. at 10.50 on the Anegada Reefs, during squally weather. The crew got into the boat and tried to save as much as possible, such as the mails and some provisions, then started for Jos Van Dikes, where they arrived on the night of the 25th. The next morning, the 26th at 7 o'clock they started for St. Thomas and arrived at 11.30 AM. The sails and the spars have been saved but the vessel will be a total loss."

OTTO, Ship, Danish wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832.

PARAMATTA, Royal Mail Line Steamer, British, wrecked June 30, 1859.

PARTRIDGE, British, wrecked 1806, Captain Miller. Ref Max, 1971: "Year 1806. British ship PARTRIDGE, Captain Miller, from Bristol and the island of Madeira to St. Thomas, was lost near Tortola but part of her cargo was saved."

PATTERSON, Ship, American, wrecked May 15, 1818. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832; also Admiralty, 1825, stating: "PATTERSON of New Orleans, June 1818." Also St.Reg.Arvls., 27th May, 1818: "Forliste med skibet Patterson fra New Orleans paa Anegada den 15. maj, 1818."

PERSEVERANCE, British, wrecked 1795, Captain Oriel. Ref Max, 1971: "1795. British Ship PERSEVERANCE, Captain Oriel, from Dublin to Jamaica was totally lost on the North side of Anegada near Tortola."

PRINCE FERDINAND, wrecked 1760, Captain Caynoon. Ref. Max, 1971: "1760. PRINCE FERDINAND, Captain Caynoon, sailing from Boston to Jamaica was lost on Anegada Reef, but her crew was saved."

PROTECTOR (?), Bark (?), wrecked March 1838. Ref. St.Th.Arvls, 31st March, 1838: "Forliste med Bark ..PROTECTOR (?) .. paa Anegada .. fra England til St. Thomas." (Very difficult to read original).

REBECCA, Barque/Ship, American, wrecked January 7, 1859, Captain Collins. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 12th January, 1859: " The American barque REBECCA of Brunswick, Maine, Captain Collins, from Newport, bound to Kingston, Jamaica, with a cargo of coals, ran ashore on Anegada reefs on Friday morning 7th inst. at half past 3 o'clock, and will be a total wreck. Twelve men belonging to her arrived here on Monday morning last in an English boat, the Captain and mate remaining with the vessel to save all that is possible." Penobscot Marine Museum of Searsport, Maine, states in a letter: "REBECCA, Ship, Brunswick, 533 tons, 136' x29.3' x 14.7', billet hd., sq stern, built Brunswick, Me., 1849 by Joseph Given. Abel Sawyer, master '49. Owners: Joseph Badger, sole, Brunswick, Maine, 1849. Sometimes referred to as a bark, and reported lost January 7, 1859 on Anegada." See also "Queens of the Western Ocean". pp: 518 and 522.

RENOMINEE, Brig, American, wrecked before 1832. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832.

RESTAURADORA, Schooner/Slaver, Spanish, wrecked 1831. Ref. Schomburgk, 1832: "RESTAURADORA, Spanish Schooner, with slaves, many perished, 1831."

ROSEMLEAU, Sloop, French, wrecked 1790. Ref. Admiralty, 1825: "RESEMLEAU, French sloop privateer, 1790;" also Schomburgk, 1832; also Lockwood, 1813.

RUFUS KING, Schooner, wrecked September 12, 1826, Captain Henry Major. Ref. St.Th.Tid., 20th September 1826: "The schooner RUFUS KING, Henry Major, Master, 29 days from Washington, N.C., was wrecked on the night of the 12th inst. on a reef at the west end of Anegada; her cargo, which consisted of pitch pine scantling, staves, and shingles, was, with the exception of the deck load, saved, and landed at Anegada; from which place vessels are employed in conveying it to Tortola."

References mentioned in the text:
Admiralty, 1825: Chart Publication issued March 16th, 1825 by the British Admiralty - Chart Adm. G83/AG2.
Lockwood, 1813: Chart published in 1813 by the British Admiralty - Chart Adm. 263/AG2.
Max, 1971: "Shipwrecks of the Western Hemisphere", R.F. Max, Published 1971.
Schomburgk, 1832: "Remarks on Anegada", including Anegada Shipwreck Chart, Published by Schomburgk, 1832.
St.Th.Tid: Daily Newspaper "St. Thomas Tidende" published on St. Thomas  throughout the 19th century and earlier.
St.Th.Arvls: The St. Thomas Register of Arrivals, Manuscript, St. Thomas. This register was mostly written in Danish.


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