For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.


The ATLANTIC, a sister ship of the ARCTIC, of the Collins line.

The Collins line operated steamers in the New York to Liverpool trade from 1848 to 1858 when the unreliability of their tonnage forced suspension of service which was followed by the inevitable bankruptcy sale. Some of the things we do know about the services offered are:

  • The Rate of Chief Cabin Passage by these Steamers is $144, reserving Four of the largest State Rooms in the ss Pacific for Families, for which an Extra Price will be charged.
  • These Steamers have superior accommodation for a limited number of Second Cabin Passengers, at $96 each, including Provisions. All Parcels charged $2 and upwards, according to size.
  • Dogs, $24 each.
  • An experienced Surgeon is attached to each Ship.
  • The Owners of these ships will not be accountable for Gold, Silver, bullion, specie, Jewellery, Precious Stones, or Metals, unless Bills of Lading are signed therefor, and the value thereof therein expressed.
  • No Berth secured until the Passage Money is paid.
  • Passengers will be charged Freight on their personal Luggage when it exceeds Half-a-Ton Measurement.
  • For Freight or Passage apply to Messrs. E.K. Collins and Co., New York; John Munroe and Co., 26, Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris; G.H. Draper, 79, Rue d’Orleans, Havre; Stephen Kennard and Co., 27, Austin Friars, London; or to Brown, Shipley and Co., Liverpool.

The ARCTIC was built in 1850 by Wm H. Brown, New York (engines by Novelty Iron Works, New York)  and was a 2,856 gross ton ship, length 285 feet by a beam of  45.9 feet, one funnel, three masts, wooden construction, paddle wheel propulsion and a speed of 12 knots.  There was accommodation for 200-1st class passengers.  Launched on the 28th of January 1850, she left New York on her maiden voyage to Liverpool on 27th of October 1850. In 1851,  accommodation for 80 2nd class passengers was added and she made a record passage in 1852 between July 2nd and 17th from New York to Liverpool. In 1853, her mizzen (third) mast was removed and on the 27th of September 1854 she was sunk in collision with the French steamship VESTA near Cape Race with the loss of between 285 and 351 lives

The sea shall embrace them : the tragic story of the steamship Arctic David W. Shaw Shipwrecks North Atlantic Ocean Arctic (Steamship) New York : Free Press, c 2002 Hardcover xi, 241 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-232). Clean, tight and strong binding. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The 1854 collision at sea between the Arctic and the Vesta, a much smaller French steamship, set in motion one of the most harrowing events in maritime history, with enormous and tragic consequences. David W. Shaw, who brings decades of experience as a seaman to his writing, has based this riveting tale on the firsthand testimony of the few who survived the wreck, including its heroic captain, James C. Luce.

It is the story of the brave and dutiful Luce fighting his mutinous crew as they take the lifeboats, leaving hundreds of men, women, and children to suffer a cruel and painful death. It is also the story of those who survived the frigid waters and those who perished – including Luce’s own frail son, who died as the grief-stricken captain helplessly watched.

400 people would die by daybreak and The Sea Shall Embrace Them is the stirring narrative that puts the reader on the deck as a shipful of men, women, and children do battle both with a mighty ocean and with their own baser instincts to survive.

For a complete account of the disaster read Captain Luce’s report in his New York Times obituary found at the following link.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A07E6D71E3FE63BBC4952DFB1668382669FDE

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