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The Loss of the Murray's at Devil's Island in 1859
About the year 1860 four vessels left Prince Edwards Island with produce, etc

About the year 1860 four vessels left Prince Edward Island with produce, etc. Having left about the same time they kept rather close together, so that a calm day about the last of October found all four off Jeddore, so near one another that the skippers spoke to one another asking the opinions of the other as to the advisability of making the port of Jeddore before night. They decided to keep on for Halifax. A light breeze sprung up towards evening which increased till at 8 o'clock in the evening it had attained the velocity of a great gale. The wind was accompanied by a blinding snowstorm.

Meanwhile the vessels had reached the mouth of Halifax Harbour where, in the snow storm they lost sight of one another. One of the vessels in coming about too soon, ran ashore on the south west of Devil's Island. She was loaded with hides, tallow, etc. All hands were lost. Three brothers drifted over to the shore of s.e. Passage where their bodies were recovered.

The second vessel struck on the eastern side of Lawlor's Island on the beach near the wharf. No lives were lost and she was afterwards taken off.

A third vessel struck at Herring Cove. The wreck occurred under a cliff. Ropes were let down and the crew was saved.

The fourth vessel struck on Thrum Cap. Two lives were lost from this vessel. Two men reached the Island. One of the men got the other in the shelter of some trees. He then went across the island to Mr. Hugonin's. Hugonin returned with a wagon and took the other man to his house. One poor fellow had come ashore alive and was found above high water mark. His hands were on his knees. He probably died from exposure.

The next morning a brother of the three washed ashore at s.e. Passage, one who had been on the vessel wrecked at Herring Cove went down to the beach at that place.

There he found a name board from the vessel wrecked at Devil's Island and knew then that she must have been also wrecked. He went over to McNabs Island and was put across to Eastern Passage where the bodies of his three brothers were found. The clergyman of the parish being absent, the burial service was read over the bodies of the brothers by Mr. Nelson Negus. They were buried in one grave in the church yard of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The surviving brother gave their names and ages for recordance. The surname was Murray.

The last cemetery I shall have to mention is that which surrounds the parish church of St. Peter's. The busy reaper is fast filling this quiet corner. In this churchyard lie side by side the three Murray brothers, whose sad fate I mentioned in my last paper on Devil's Island. We find by reading the inscriptions that George Bowes died March 23.


Contributed by : Bill Dunbar
Various sources used.


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