Monday, March 06, 2017


Last week I published a post about the wreck of the schooner Florence Shay. I included a typed transcript of my great-grandfather's official hand-written report about the disaster. A reader left this comment:"I suppose this journal entry was composed with a pen dipped into an ink well"

Indeed it was!

My great-grandfather, James Howard, was keeper of the Ocracoke United States Life-Saving Station which was located at the north end of the island. He wrote detailed reports about all of the shipwrecks the station responded to. The photo above is his journal entry re. the schooner Carolina which wrecked April 16, 1889.

Although his spelling and grammar are idiosyncratic, his penmanship is a pleasure to look at. If you enlarge the image you may be able to read his full report.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Electrification of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:


  1. It truly is! Beautiful handwriting is a lost art form...

  2. OK... I'm left handed, so, maybe it's just me... I've always been impressed with cursive so well written.