Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wreck Report

In April of 1895 the 31 year old schooner, Addie Henry, carrying lumber from New Bern to Ocracoke, wrecked on Howard's Reef during "flud" tide and rough seas. I thought our readers would enjoy seeing my great grandfather's official wreck report. It is a glimpse into history, when coastal schooners were a regular and important part of Ocracoke island life.

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

Following is a transcription of Keeper Howard's explanation of the wreck:

"April 14 Lookout cited sch Look like that she was anchord Pamlico sound But taking Rainge found that she did not move No signal Hoisted near ocracoke island on inside No 1 tuck crew spply Boat started to the scene to assertain the trubble Reaching the scene about one 30 Pm found sch sunk full of water with laden with Lumber and crew Had left sch in there Boat went ashore at Ocracoke vilage all right could not Do eney thing for her Not untill sch could get Lighter so Returned to station 4 Pm the wind Blew Hard Before the capt of sch could get Lighter the sch went all to Peaces sch totle Lost cargo part saved But Bad order N[o] assistance Renderd"

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the autobiography of Ocracoke sailor, Frank Treat Fulcher. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Philip, outstanding piece of history you have shared with us today....the entire cargo lost on the "Addie Henry" was $4.00, if I read it correctly.....Wow!!!!

    I noticed your grandfather's handsome penmanship. Back then, elegant cursive was used. Reminds me of my grandfather's business charge accounts he had for his customers in the early 20th century....everything recorded in a gentleman's style of cursive handwriting.

    Today, we are so hurried. I marvel how meticulous the handwritten records were kept all those years ago and how important it was to write down everything in great detail.

    Years from now, all we will have is text messages, emails and little saved in one's own handwriting. Sad! On a positive note, perhaps folks will have your blog to read!

  2. Anonymous2:10 PM

    GOOD JOB! Were there any other keepers in your family?

  3. There were no other keepers in my immediate family. However, my grandfather, Homer Howard (James W. Howard's son), was a surfman in the USLSS/US Coast Guard.

  4. Anonymous7:59 AM

    What happens to the cargo on a ship that wrecks. Is the captain responsible for salvage? Do Island residents have any rights to salvage the cargo. Are representatives of the state of NC present to assess the items and claim as abandoned property?
    All this lifesaving is well and good but the commercial value of the cargo when sold-- would make sense to use to support and fund the salaries of the men who rescued the crew in the first place!!!. I mean, government services of this nature-- do not benefit the average citizen; to wit-- the average citizen is not running a schooner with cargo and crew ashore