Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On This Date, 1842

 From The Republican (Carthage, TN) - Friday, March 4, 1842; pg. 2; column 1:

"The bark Astoria Mitchel[l], which sailed hence on the 16th of January for New York with a cargo of molasses, flour, whiskey, etc., struck on the Round shoal of Cape Hatteras on Saturday night, January 27th, at 9 o'clock and soon after beat over the breakers and at 10 sunk. The captain, crew and passengers were all saved. 

A bark (also spelled barc or barque) is a sailing vessel with three or more masts. The foremast and mainmast are square rigged (the sails are hung from spars [or yards] that are perpendicular to the ship's keel), and the mizzen mast (the aft mast) is fore and aft rigged (the sails are rigged parallel with the line of the keel).

Below is a Wikipedia photo of a typical bark.

By Unknown (Gift; State Historical Society of Colorado; 1949)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Astoria Mitchell is just one of many ships lost off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here:


  1. Anonymous8:38 AM

    What does "beat over the breakers" mean? Maybe - washed over the breakers? Maybe - beaten by the breakers?

    1. I assume it means "beat[en] [to pieces] over [or 'by'] the breakers."