Monday, May 25, 2009

Pirate Attack on the Bark, 'Morning Star'

My first cousin (six times removed), Major William Logie, had many interesting experiences in his life.  One of the most interesting was being a passenger aboard the bark “Morning Star” when it was attacked by pirates.

Logie Major William 1719 A current day cousin, Robert Huggard of Canada and a descendant of William, sent me notes and articles about William and his family.  William was married twice.  His first marriage was to Mary McNair on the 16th of March 1808 in Skelmorlie, Ayrshire, Scotland.  Six children were born into their family. Unfortunately, Mary died at the young age of thirty-four on 2 Aug 1818.

After four years, William married Anne Smith, on 2 February 1822 in Banff, Banffshire, Scotland.  Anne was a thirty-eight at the time and had been born in Gamrie, Banffshire.

William’s military assignments took the family around the world.  Before leaving for their greatest adventure, a son, Alexander was born on 16 December 1823 in Rosefield, Nairnshire. Scotland.  Two years later, a daughter, Barbara was born on 31 Jul 1825 aboard ship on the way to Ceylon.

A member of the Gordon Highlanders, William was assigned as the senior British military representative to Ceylon early in 1825.  All of their children were left in Scotland rather than taking them on the long arduous journey around Africa and back up to Ceylon.  However, on the 31st of Jul 1825, a daughter, Barbara, was born aboard ship.  

After completing the assignment the Logie’s embarked on their journey home aboard the ship Morning Star.  Unfortunately, it was attacked by pirates with devastating results.

We enter the story of piracy, survival and valor at this point:

The Bark, “Morning Star”, Thos Gibbs, Commander, sailed from Colombo on 13 Dec. 1827 with a cargo of coffee and cinnamon.  The passenger list is below the following text.  The principal passenger was Major William Logie, a Senior Military Representative to Ceylon, and his family.

The ship sailed from the Cape of Good Hope on 28th Jan'y 1828 and made the Island of Ascension at daylight on the morning of 19 February. 1828.   The following is an extract form the Ship's Log Book date 19th Feb'y 1828.

"At daylight saw the Island of Ascension bearing west, distance about six leagues and saw a brig about 6 Logie Anne Smith miles astern apparently in chase of us, which at 7 o'clock fired a fun and hoisted a Blue British Ensign. We then hoisted our colours and continued our course, under a press of sail, thinking on the appearance of the Brig that she vas a Privateer. About 8 o'clock A.M. the Brig coming up with us fast, fired two more blank shots, and being now nearly abreast of us, she fired a shot, which passed close to our stern, hauled down the British Ensign.

They hoisted Buenos Aryan colours and fired another shot, which fell short. We then shortened sail and the Brig hailed us and desired us to lav to, and send a boat on board, But was answered we had no Boat that would swim, on which she fired a round of Grape shot, which wounded one man, and did considerable damage to the sails main rigging. We then lowered the boat down, and the Mate with 3 hands and Hr. Smythe a passenger went in her.  As soon as the boat got alongside and Mr. Smythe had gone on Board they ordered two of the men out of the boat and asked him if he was the Captain and had the ships papers, which being answered in the negative, they began beating them with their swords ordering them to return to the ship and send the Captain with the ships papers.

He accordingly went on board with the papers and the same boats crew, who were immediately ordered out of the boat and confined below.  They then manned the boat with eight men armed with cutlasses and a long knife each.  Boarding us, we could not oppose having no arms of any description.  The few ships arms being perfectly unserviceable and the Brig laying within Pistol shot on the weather beam with her guns pointed.  She appeared to carry 5 guns a side and one long battering gun on a traverse amidships.

She was well manned, painted all black and sailed remarkably fast.  As soon as they boarded, they began beating the people below with their cutlasses, severely wounding several.  They then placed sentries on the hatchways and ran the ship into smooth water under the lee of the Island.  They then cut away all the halyards and hove to.  They then ordered the people from below and made them hoist out the skiff (the other boat having filled with water was cut adrift).  This forced the people to work, beating them most unmercifully with their swords.

The Brig then sent her own boat on board with more men, and they commenced plundering the ship of the sails, cordage, the ships medicine chest, all the Captains live stock, the greater part of his wines and all the spirits and stores they could get at.

They also plundered the passengers of the greater part of their clothes, all their money and valuable articles they could find.  They also broke open the hatchways and carried off everything they could conveniently take away.

About dark in the evening, they made all the males on board go down the fore hatchway, which they secured, and sent the women and children to the Cuddy.  About midnight, the women, not being secured below, and hearing all quiet, ventured on deck and found they had quitted the ship and the Brig was out of sight.

They immediately gave information to the men, who with a good deal of exertion, cleared away as much as to allow them to get up onto the deck.  It was found upon examination, that they had cut away all the Mission rigging and backstays, all the larboard main rigging and backstays and threw them with the backstays on the starboard side, together with the greater part of the running rigging.  They had tried to cut away the mainmast and tiller, destroyed the Binnacle, and carried off the Company’s chronometer charts and long glasses.  The ship had also been scuttled forward.

On sounding the well, she was found to have six feet of water in her hold.  We then found that the Captain and Mate, two seamen and one soldier were missing.  There remained only the Chief Mate, Carpenter, Cook, Steward and four seamen, and only three sergeants and eight soldiers (invalids) in any way fit for duty.

Every exertion was then made to pump the ship out and get the leak stopped, in which we happily succeeded by 6 o’clock a.m.  We then set the foresail and kept her head to the northward, and at 9 o’clock, nothing in sight, set the fore-topsail, wind S.E. and steered W.N.W.  We luckily found a spare compass, a Quadrant and two long glasses and some charts, which escaped their search.

Further extracts from the Log Book of the Bark “Morning Star” further tell the story of this adventure:

Ship Morning StarOn the 22nd of Feb’y at 8 a.m. in consequence of the soldiers reporting that there was a very great heat coming up from below, they supposed the ship was on fire or there was a danger of it.  All hands were set to immediately to hoist up the coffee and cinnamon from the fore hold.  It was found that three lower tiers of coffee were wet and were heated and swelled to such a degree that a great part of the bags had burst.  The heat was so intense that it was deemed necessary for the safety of the ship to throw overboard such bags as were in that state.

All of the loose coffee had to be thrown overboard as well.  The remainder of the crew and the invalids who were equal to any exertion worked the whole day or until they were completely exhausted.

On the 23rd at 6 a.m., it was found necessary to continue throwing overboard more of the heated coffee, which was preserved in until about 6 p.m.  On the 24th, the people employed as yesterday when it was found that the coffee stowed between the fore and main hatchways had swelled to the degree that it was found necessary to break out more bags to ease the ship.

On the 25th at 6 a.m., the people commenced taking out the two upper tiers of coffee so as to make a freer circulation of air from the fore to the after hatchway.  They stowed it in the fore hold, which had been completely cleared of damaged coffee.  The quantity could not be correctly ascertained, so much of it being loose, but it is supposed to amount to between two and three hundred bags.

The following passengers were aboard:

Major Logie, a Senior Military Representative to Ceylon

Mrs. Logie

Barbara Logie, their daughter, born at sea in 1825

Mr. James Smyth, Merchant

Asst. Surgeon Goodwin

Hospital Asst. J. Johnston

Ordinance Clerk Wm. Robison

Helen Sloane

Pvt. E. Morris, Royal Artillery – severely wounded

Lieut. Wilkinson, Royal Staff Corps – time expired man

Pvt. Wm. Campbell – 16th Regiment

Pvt. Thos. Garvey – 16th Regiment – severely wounded by grapeshot

Pvt. Jas. McGreery – 16th Regiment

Pvt. Danl. Mullane – 16th Regiment – slightly wounded

Pvt. Hector McPhaddon – 78th Regiment – time expired – missing

Pvt. F. Finlayson – 78th Regiment – time-expired

Sgt. T. Martin – 83rd Regiment

Pvt. Pat Sloan – 83rd Regiment – severely wounded

Pvt. Henry Donohoe – 83rd Regiment – severely wounded

Pvt. John Moran – 83rd Regiment

Pvt. M. Bafferty – 83rd Regiment

Pvt. Wm. Walburn – 83rd Regiment

Sgt. P. Butt – 97th Regiment – of the Gordon Highlanders

Pvt. Thos Bangs – 97th Regiment

Pvt. Saml Lovel – 97th Regiment

Pvt. J. Painter – 97th Regiment

Women and children:

16th Ptc.    1 orphan boy

78th Mary Scott, widow 3 children

83rd Mary Martin 1 child

97th Anne Brett 1 child

Officers and Ships Company:

Thos. Gibbs – Commander – Missing

Geo. Burgby -- Chief Mate

Alex Mowat – 2nd Mate – Missing

H. Sales – carpenter – severely wounded

Pat Cullen – cook

Andw. Beyerman – steward

H. Johnson – seaman

M. Marlborough – seaman

Richr. Jones – seaman

John Vincent – seaman

John Larking – seaman -- missing

Rich. Hood Ritchie – seaman – missing

Jas. Smith, boy of the shipping master

"Major William Logie was a Senior Military Representative to Ceylon 1825 - 1828. He was a major in the Gordon Highlanders, having joined the 92nd Regiment in 1800, transferred to the 97th Regiment as Captain, promoted to Major in 1808. He fought in the Peninsular War with Sir John Moore in 1809. He built a large stone house called "Glenlogie" (still is), 3 miles east of Kingston, Ontario. With his friends Sir John A. MacDonald and William Morris, he founded Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, on the 18th of Dec 1839. His portrait has been donated to Queen's by Eleanor Mary James. An album of his sketches that he did while he was stationed in Ceylon has been given to the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) by Mrs. James."

He was a Major in the 97th Regiment. Previously Captain in the Ninety Second Regiment, Gordon Highlanders.

William and his family were attacked by pirates while traveling at sea on a voyage from Ceylon to Scotland aboard the ship, 'Morning Star' in December 1827.

William along with his friends, Sir John A. MacDonald, William Morris, John Machar and others, helped found Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

From the Lloyds' investigation into the piracy we are told that Captain Gibbs was killed by the pirates, and George Bushby (chief officer) took over command, had the holes in the hull repaired, rigged temporary sails, and got underway. They originally headed for the nearest port, Pernambuco, Brazil, but, after a conference with passengers Major Logie and James Smyth, it was decided that there was too much chance of running into other pirates off the Brazilian coast, and so they turned north towards England. On the 13 of March they met the English ship Guildford returning from China, and were given supplies, navigational instruments, and loaned two experienced sailors. The Morning Star arrived in London on the 18 of April, 1828, two months after encountering the pirates.

From the trial of the pirates we are also told that they were mutineers from a Brazilian slave ship El Defensor de Pedro, and, captained by the leader of the mutiny, Benito Solo, the commandeered ship attacked various merchant vessels in the Atlantic. The ship was then intentionally beached near Cadiz in Spain by Solo. All the pirates, except Solo and one other, were captured in Spain and sent to trial, with George Bushby (Chief Mate) and Andrew Beyerman (Steward of the Morning Star) acting as witnesses. A number of the pirates were hung, and the rest imprisoned. Benito Solo escaped to Gibraltar, but he was caught, tried and hung there. The other pirate was never found.


Statements by the Crew of the Morning Star

ADM1/2714 Charles Jones [Admiralty Solicitor's Dept.] to John Wilson Croker [First Secretary of the Admiralty] 1 August 1828, enclosing statements of witnesses.
Lancaster Place
1st Augt 1828

“I take the liberty to acquaint you that on the receipt of your Letter of the 29th Ulto inclosing two letters from Mr. John Bennett the Secretary of the Committee at Lloyd's relative to the plunder by Pirates of the Morning Star and communicating to me the directions of the Council [sic] to His Royal Highness the Lord High Admiral to endeavour to find out the witnesses and report whether they were likely to be able to establish the case against the parties in custody I immediately called upon Mr. Bennett and also Mr. Tindall the Owner of the Morning Star and made other enquiries with a view to find out the witnesses in question in which I have hitherto succeeded only as to two,Vizt Mr. George Bushby, the Chief mate and Mr. Andrew Beyerman the Steward of the plundered Vessel, whom I have examined and whose statements I beg leave to transmit herewith for the information of the Council to His Royal Highness, by which it will be seen that both of these witnesses not only can establish the Charge of Piracy, but are likely to be able to identify those of the Pirate Crew by whom the Morning Star was boarded and plundered and they have both expressed themselves willing to proceed to Cadiz, or elsewhere to give Evidence of the several facts stated in their Examinations and to speak to the persons of such of the Pirates as they had an opportunity of noticing.

I beg leave to add that Mr. Bushby is engaged to proceed on a Voyage to Madras as Chief mate of the same Vessel the Morning Star and that Mr. Beyerman is engaged as Steward of the Protector, Captain George Waugh which is expected to sail in the course of ten days on a voyage to Calcutta and they have intimated to me that if they are required to give up these engagemts in order to go to Cadiz they shall expect a full compensation for the loss that they must consequently sustain.

With respect to the other witnesses named in Mr. Bennett's letter of the 28 Ulto I find upon enquiry after them that Major Logie is supposed to be in Scotland; that Mr. John Johnstone is not to be found at the address furnished to me by the Owner; that Mr. Wm Robinson was during the whole Voyage and still continues in a state of mind approaching to insanity and that Mr. Goodwin was confined to his bed thro' illness during the Voyage, so that he could not have any opportunity of noticing the Pirates or their proceedings. - I have however some hope of being able in the course of a few days to find and examine Henry Sales the Carpenter of the Morning Star and Serjt Charles Wilkinson whom I propose in that case to examine but I beg leave to submit that from the circumstance of Mr. Beyerman being well acquainted with the French, Spanish and Portugueze languages which were spoken by the Pirates, he will be one of the most fit witnesses to send to Cadiz.

Herewith I return the papers sent to me on this subject.
I am Sir,
your most obedt hble servt
Chas. Jones
31st July

George Bushby, of Bothel, near Cockermouth, Mariner, at present residing at No. 18, Wade Street, Poplar , States -That he was lately Chief Mate of the Bark "Morning Star" of Scarborough of which Thomas Gibbs was Master on a Voyage from Colombo bound to London. That on the 19th of February last being about 3 leagues East of the Island of Ascension and steering North North pirate_ship West they discovered about 7 A.M. a black Brig under British Colors six or seven miles astern which as soon as she saw the Bark began to fire Guns to bring her to, but the Bark continued to course until the Brig came within half a mile of her and then brought to after having had several shots fired at her which passed her - That when the Brig came up alongside she [illegible] hold down the English Colors and hoisted those of Buenos Ayres and some man on board her who spoke good English ordered the Bark to lower her topgallant sail and back her sails and to send a boat on board with the Captain and his papers -they complied with the ordered to back the sails but the Captain answered that he had not a boat on board which could swim, upon which some canister shot from a long gun were fired at them from the Brig which spread fore and aft from the water's edge to the Mast head, whereby a passenger, Thomas Garvey a private of the 16th Regiment was severely wounded, the foretopmast back stays, the foretop gallant back stay, the foretop mast stay, the foretop gallant rigging and the main Royal stay were shot away, and nine shot went through the foretop sail, two in the fore mast, and many shot went into the Starboard side of the Bark and through the Boats, upon which the Bark immediately lowered her Boat and Alexander Mowatt, 2nd Mate, Mr. James Smith, a Passenger, Henry Johnson, Joseph Marlborough and John Barking, seamen, went to the Brig to see what they wanted.

Mowatt and Smith went on the deck of the Brig but the latter's people finding the Captain had not come began to beat them and drove them back into the Boat which returned to the Bark and Smith related what had passed adding that the Captain must go on board with his Papers, and thereupon Mr. Gibbs went with the same Crew taking his papers with him.

Smith remained in the Bark. When the boat got alongside the Brig, the Captain went up the side and the rest of the people in the Boat were ordered up after him. Captain Gibbs (as the Crew of the Boat afterwards reported) laid his papers on the Capstan & immediately one of the Brig's Crew with his cutlass chopped them in two and they wore all ordered down below, but the Captain not going down quick enough, one of the Pirates made a blow at him with his Cutlass and cut off part of his hat.

The pirates then manned the Bark's boat with six men each armed with a brace of Pistols and a Cutlass who came on board the Bark by the larboard gangway and on getting upon the deck began with their Cutlasses to cut away at the people who were looking over the gangway and severely wounded Henry Sales the Carpenter, Edward Morris, an Artilleryman and Daniel Mullane, Patrick Sloane and Henry Donahue, soldiers, which was done in the most wanton manner and without the least provocation and had the affect [sic] of driving them all below except Richard Johns who was at the wheel, and of leaving the Pirates in the possession of the deck. They spoke in a language which Examinant supposed to be Spanish but which he did not understand and they looked like men from the country round Cape Horn about Chili [sic] - they were dressed in a coarse check red and black linen.

After these men had been on board a short time consulting together they stationed themselves at different Hatchways and ordered six of the Bark's Crew to come up on the deck, upon which Examinant, Henry Sales the Carpenter, Patrick Cullen the Cook, Andew Bayerman the Steward, John Vincent, seaman, & Ricd Hood Fletcher a Boy, went up, and the Pirates then in broken English ordered them to set the sails and follow the Brig which they did Richard Johns continuing at the wheel. The Bark following the Brig steered in for the Island and in doing so the Jolly boat got adrift and was lost - while the Bark's people were engaged in navigating her if any one had occasion to pass the Pirates who were posted on the deck the latter struck him a with the flat of their Cutlasses as hard as they were able. When the Bark had got under the Island into smooth water the Pirates cut the topsail halyards and top gallant sheets and let the yards fall, and then they began to plunder the ship.

The Bark's skiff was put out and all the live stock consisting of seven sheep, three goats, five pigs and many turkeys, geese, ducks and fowls were put into her and one Pirate with two soldiers and Fletcher by the Pirate's orders got into the skiff to take her to the Brig but all the Oars having been lost with the Jolly Boat they hailed the Brig and told them there were no oars on board, upon which the Pirates in the Brig lowered their stern boat and sent two of their companions on board the Bark - one of these men looked like an Englishman or a north American, and the other was a short swarthy man resembling a Portugueze - neither of these spoke in English -The skiff with the live stock was then sent away to the Brig with the Crew before mentioned and the two Pirates who had arrived last remained with the five others in the Bark, and of these seven men began to plunder the Cabin and store-Rooms.

The plunder consisted of 60 or 70 dozen bottles of Madeira Port Sherry and Beer which they put into their own Boat - they also broke open the trunks and stole the Captain's Chronometer, his watch, all his Clothes, a box of letters and papers, the sextant, spy glass, speaking trumpet and the several Watches belonging to the Passengers and all the portable Articles they could find - they also took the ship's Medicine Chest and a great deal of Money which he believes was what Major Logie, one of the Passengers, had to pay his soldiers with -when the Boat was loaded they sent it off to the Brig and then the skiff returned after which they ordered up all the best sails from the forecastle and put as many of them in the skiff as she could carry which were taken on board the Brig. Their own boat then returned which they loaded with the remainder of the plunder amongst which were all the Examinant's charts, seven in number - Examinant requested one of the Pirates who could speak a little English to give him back one of them, but he refused telling him that bye and bye he would have plenty of Charts. They were in the possession of the Bark upwards of twelve hours.

pirate-ship-crew In the course of the day Joseph Marlborough, Henry Johnson and John Larkin were sent back from the Brig to their own ship but the Captain and Mowatt never did return. Upon one occasion of their sending off their plunder to the Brig they compelled Examinant to go with it and on his return he found that most of the soldiers to whom the Pirates had given liquor were drunk and were down in the fore hatchway and after giving Examinant some food the Pirates ordered him down and then they blocked the Hatchway up, leaving, of the Bark's people, on deck only John Larkin, Hector McFadden, a Soldier, and Fletcher, a boy, which three they carried away with them when they quitted the Bark which they did late at night.

There were five females on board whom the pirates had put into the Cabin and when the latter had left the Vessel the women gave the people below notice they were gone, and then the people liberated themselves and discovered that the Pirates had bored two holes in the starboard bow from the Coal hole with a view to sink the ship - they also found that all the rigging except the forerigging was cut through, and that the Pirates had cut into the Main Mast and the Tiller, had destroyed the Binnacle, and had carried away two compasses and two Log Glasses.

At daylight the Bark had lost sight of the Brig, and having during the night pumped out the ship which owing to the scuttling had made about 6 feet of water, they turned to and in a few days rigged her and continued their voyage home -but they very soon discovered that owing to the wetting of a Cargo of Coffee which they had below it had heated and nearly set fire to the ship so that they were under the necessity of heaving overboard about 200 Bags of Coffee.

Examinant having remained on the Bark's deck nearly the whole day and overlooked from the starboard side forward the loading of the Boats and the proceedings of the Pirates had ample opportunity of observing the persons of the eight who were all that came on board the Bark and he is quite certain he should recognize every one of them if brought in view of them, and that he should be able to point them out amongst numbers as well as to identify many of the Articles stolen by the Pirates -he cannot undertake to say he should recognize any others of the Pirate's Crew the number of whom he understood from Mr. Smith was about seventy. -

 1st August 1828

Andrew Beyerman States - That he was steward of the "Morning Star" - he confirms generally the statements of Mr. Bushby and in addition thereto says that understanding the Spanish and Portuguese and as well as French (his native language) he had an opportunity of observing and hearing the discourse which passed amongst the Pirates who boarded the ship. That of these eight Pirates four were Frenchmen, two were Spaniards, and two Portugueze, and there was a ninth man who did not come aboard but sate [sic] in the Pirates's Boat whom from his appearance Beyerman took to be an Englishman. This man never uttered a word but held his head down as if he wished to avoid notice. Beyerman is sure that he should recognize every one of these nine men were he to see them - Two of the Frenchmen were addressed by their companions by the names of Nicolas and George and one of the Spaniards who appeared to have the command of those who boarded was called Pepe which signifies Joe. At one time they held a consultation whether they should sink the ship, set her on Fire, or murder all on board. The Pirate Brig carried five Guns on each side and a long eighteen-pounder amidships.

He refers to the annexed printed Paper, as containing a detail furnished by him of the proceedings of the Pirates, the facts of which he is ready to verify.

[hand written comment at top of page: Statement of Andrew Beyerman the Steward of the Morning Star]


That crime is awfully increasing on the land in this country, has now become an established and most awful fact; and that it is increasing by piracy on the high seas, is also lamentably true. Bandit's of sea-robbers, collected from all countries, and living by plunder and robbery on the ocean, are almost daily to be met with now, as the sea is covered with so many millions of property. When will merchants see their true interests, by aiming to diffuse abroad religious instruction among seamen, and encouraging the labors of the British and Foreign Seamen's Friend Society, if it were only for the protection of their own property, and the preservation of human life? The following has been brought to us by the Steward of the Morning Star, who has attended the Mariners' Church. Songs and papers concerning it our now hawking about the streets; and the Steward wishes a correct statement should go before the public through the medium of the New Sailor's Magazine. Christians, pray and labor for the salvation of perishing sailors.

Authentic Account of Piratical Proceedings on Board of the Bark MORNING STAR, on the 19th of February, 1828, off the Island of Ascension.

At day-light saw the Island of Ascension, bearing W. distant about six leagues. Saw a brig on the larboard tack [note this has been corrected by hand from "starboard"], about six or eight miles distance on the larboard bow [note this has been corrected by hand from "starboard"]: she stood on the same tack, until we brought her abaft the beam, when she wore, and made sail, got in our wake, and stood after us, apparently in chase. At seven o'clock, she fired a gun, and hoisted a blue British ensign.

We then hoisted our colors, and continued our course under a press of sail, Capt. Gibbs suspecting, from the appearance of the brig, that she was a pirate. At eight A.M. the brig coming up with us very fast, fired two more guns, to bring us to. Capt. Gibbs not willing to shorten sail, she then fired a shot which passed close under our stern. This not having the desired effect, she fired a second shot, which fell close to our starboard quarter. Capt. Gibbs then gave orders to shorten sail, which, having been done, she soon ranged up, with a pistol-shot on our starboard beam, fired a gun unshotted, hauled down her British ensign, and hoisted a Buenos Ayres one; blue, white, blue, horizontal. Capt. Gibbs hailed the brig, to know what they wanted; when he was answered in English, "Why did you not heave too when we fired the first gun? I am a Columbian. [sic] Lower your top-gallant sails, and send a boat on board."

The top-gallant sails were lowered immediately, and Capt. Gibbs answered, that he had no boat that could swim. The pirate then, without hailing again, fired a gun, mounted on a pivot, amidships, loaded with canister shot, which did considerable damage, wounding severely one man, and cutting the sails and rigging, as the shot scattered from the quarter of the ship to the forepart of her, several of which lodged in the side of the ship, foremast, long-boat, and water-casks. Capt. Gibbs, then gave orders for the jolly-boat that was over the stern to be lowered; and dispatched Mr. James Smyth, passenger, Mr. Alexander Mowat, second mate, and three seamen.

As soon as the boat got alongside of the pirate, and Mr. Smyth had gone on board, they ordered two men to come out of the boat, and enquired if Mr. Smyth was the captain, and had the ship's papers. They answering in the negative, the pirates began beating them cruelty with the flat of their swords, ordering them to return to the ship, and send the captain {2} with the ship's papers. The captain accordingly took the papers, and went on board with the same crew in the boat. As soon as he got on board, the savages cut the hat off his head with a cutlass, took the papers out of his hands, put them on the capstan, cuts them up in inch pieces, and threw them overboard.

They then ordered the men out of the boat, and drove them and the captain below, and fastened the hatches over them. They then manned the boat with six men, the stoutest and the most savage-determined amongst them. They were each armed with two pistols, a cutlass, and long knives. Their boarding we could not oppose, having no arms on board, and the brig lying on our weather-beam, within pistol-shot, and her guns loaded and pointed. She appeared to carry five guns aside, and the long pivot-gun above-mentioned, an 18-pounder.

As soon as they boarded, with their cutlasses they began beating and cutting the invalid soldiers, women, and children, who had all collected about the gangway to see them come on board, uttering dreadful oaths in Spanish, and driving them below, wounding severely four soldiers. They then placed sentries on the hatches, and turned the rest of the sailors on deck, to brace the yards up on the larboard tack, and make sail to run the ship under the south-east end of the island, so that they should not be seen from the north-east end where the garrison is; all the time beating the sailors fore and aft of the ship with their cutlasses, pointing their long knives to their bosoms, and threatening to stab them.

The ship going about six knots, the jolly-boat, which was towing under water along-side of the ship, was cut away by the order of one of these savages, that seemed to have command over the rest. He was a Spaniard, [marginal note: Pepe] and stood about six feet. About this time, the carpenter got a severe cut with a saber on the left shoulder; and although the man's blood was running in profusion, its did not stop those savages from beating him with the flat of their swords: when they had run the ship close enough under the land, they hove her to, cutting away all the halyards. They then allowed some of the invalids to come on deck, to assist in hoisting the skiff over the side, for the purpose of transshipping goods from the ship.

They then commenced plundering her of sails, cordage, canvas, and all sorts of stores that they could lay hands on; all the captain's live stock, and the medicine chest; all the captain's wine, spirits, and all they could get at; breaking open the store-rooms, lockers, &c.; plundering the passengers and others of their most valuable clothes, money, jewels, watches, &c. They then broke open the hatches to get to the wine belonging to the cargo, which, however, they could not effect, its being stowed under the provisions and water-casks.

They then the collected the captain's trunks, and after having broken them open, in hopes to find his money and plate, they carried them off, with all his charts, nautical instruments, barometer, chronometer, &c. One of the ruffians [marginal note: Nicola] put a pistol to the steward's ear, but luckily for the man, it missed fire, swearing in French that he would shoot him, as he would not disclose where the captain's property was hid. He then re-primed his pistol, and was going to try again, when he was checked by one of his comrades, who told him that he was too ready with his pistol. He then fired it over the side, in order to let him know that it was loaded with ball. In the evening, having done with plundering, and having made the sailors and soldiers almost intoxicated, they drove all the males on board down in the fore hatch, with the exception of the two apprentices, and one soldier, of the 78th Highlanders, who were in the boat.

They then sent all the women into the cabin. They secured the fore-hatch, and kept a {3} sentinel over it, leaving them entirely ignorant of each other's fate. About two o'clock A.M. of the 20th, the women not being confined below, two of them ventured up, and found the pirates had quitted the ship. They then searched, and found that the men were confined in the fore-hatch. They then gave information that the pirates were gone, and, with great exertion, they extricated themselves from their confinement. When they got upon deck, to the consternation of everyone, they found that they had kept the captain, the second mate, the two apprentices, and the soldier. They had cut the whole of the mizen rigging; all but three shrouds of the main rigging; and all of the main top-mast back stays.

They had also cut with an adze about four inches in the main-mast, seven feet above the deck; half through the tiller, shattered the wheel and binnacle; and taken away the skiff, compasses, log glasses, &c. The well was sounded, when it was found that there were six feet and a half of water in the hold. Upon examination, it was found that the pirates had bored two augur-holes in the starboard bow in the coal-hole, which they have taken the precaution to stop with corks in the lining, to prevent discovery. The leaks were soon stopped; and, with great exertion from every one on board, we succeeded in gaining on the leak.

At day-light, the island being in sight about twenty miles to windward, the crew looked well round, in hopes of seeing the skiff; but its being useless, they set the fore-sail, and kept the ship before the wind, until they could secure the main-mast, so as to set sail on the larboard tack.

At nine A.M. set the fore-top-sail. Wind S.E. steering W.N.W. having providentially found an old spare compass and a chart, that had escaped the pirates' searches.

N.B. the eight men that were on board plundering were, four Frenchman, two Spaniards, and two Portuguese, as the steward of the ship asserts; he being master of both French and Spanish languages, and knowing the difference of the Spanish and Portuguese.
The two sailors [marginal note: H Johnson & Joseph Mellor now at sea] that were confined on board of the pirate with the captain, and that were sent back about three o'clock, state that there were a good many Englishmen on board of the brig, and that they were very much ill-treated by them, when they drove them out of the boat, and back into her.

The wounded were as follows: Thomas Garvey, private soldier of the 16th Foot, invalid, received a canister shot, which perforated the thick of his thigh. Edward Morris, of the Royal Artillery, a severe cut with a saber across the back of his right-hand, one cut on his head, and one on the middle of his back. Patrick Donoghue, of the 83d Foot, a severe cut on the cranium, one on the left arm, and one on the left shoulder. This man, in consequence of his wounds, was given up, not expecting that he would survive; but by the exertions of the surgeon, Mr Johnstone, he got over it. Patrick Sloane, 83d Foot, a severe cut of a saber, diagonally from the wrist-bone of the right arm, to within two or three inches of the bend of the arm. Daniel Malone, of the 16th Foot, a slight cut of a saber, on the right shoulder. Henry Sales, carpenter of the ship, a severe cut with a saber on the left shoulder, from which a piece of bone was extracted. This man suffered a great deal, and fell in a violent fever, in consequence of his loss of blood, as the wounded was not dressed for twenty hours after it had been inflicted.

On the 20th of February, after the larboard main and mizen shrouds were spliced, and the masts secured, sufficiently to carry sail on the larboard tack, the chief officer, Mr. George Bushby, gave orders to steer {4} to the westward for Pernambuco, on the coast of Brazil, it being the nearest port, and not having on board a sufficiency of provisions.

On the ensuing morning, Mr. B. consulted Major Logie and Mr. Smyth, passengers, thinking that we had better shape our course towards England, as the Brazilian coast was infested, or likely to be, with pirates as bad as those we had just escaped. Upon examination, he found that there was a sufficient quantity of water on board for fifty days, at the rate of three quarts per man, and there was no doubt of meeting some outward-bound ship, as we should be in their track in a few days, and we might obtain a supply of provisions. Mr. B. therefore called the remaining few of the crew together, and having represented the imprudence of proceeding for Pernambuco, we unanimously determined to suffer what privations should be necessary to bring the ship home to the owners; consequently we resumed our former course, and kept the ship's head to the northward, having only four sailors to do the different duties of the ship, and repair the damages that the standing and running rigging had sustained from those cruel savages.

On the 22d of February, the soldiers reported that a great heat was coming up the four hatchway in their berths, and that the ship was either on fire, or in danger of being so. We ran to open the hatch, and to hoist on deck the upper part of the cargo, which consisted of coffee and cinnamon. Our remaining few sailors, and those of the invalids who were able to exert themselves, commenced hoisting the upper tiers of cinnamon and coffee, where we found that four or five tiers of coffee, which was stowed on a dunnage of ebony, nearly three feet in height, were entirely spoiled, and had so much swollen, that it caused a great pressure of the upper tiers against the beams of the ship.

The heat of the hold was so intense from wet coffee and pepper, that it was impossible for a man to remain down above ten minutes at a time. Notwithstanding all these obstacles, with exertion, perseverance, and the blessing of God, we succeeded, in five or six days, in clearing away most of the damaged cargo; and, with the assistance of Divine Providence, we made our ship sea-worthy again, and pursued our course towards Great Britain until the 13th of March, when it is pleased the Lord to send to our assistance the humane and benevolent Captain Magnus Johnson, of the ship Guilford, on his return from China.

He expressed his gratitude and thankfulness to the Almighty for having put it in his power to relieve us, and with the greatest readiness and pleasure he supplied as with provisions of divers kinds, sails, cordage, live stock, a chronometer, nautical instruments, and, in fact, everything that we stood in need of. He allowed two of his best sailors to join us, to assist in navigating the ship to London, which port, with the help of God, we reached on the 18th of April, being two months after our encounter with the pirates. Such, Rev. Sir, is, without exaggeration, the authentic account.


The bark, Morning Star, sailed from Ceylon on the 13th Dec. 1827, bound for London, with the following passengers, viz. Major W. Logie 97th Foot; Mrs. Logie and child; Hospital Assistance, J. Johnstone, in charge of invalids; Mr. J. Smyth, merchant; Mr. William Robinson, ordnance department; F Goodwin, surgeon, 1st Royals; seventeen invalid soldiers, from his Majesty's 16th, 97th, 83rd,and 78th Foot; four women, and nine children.

Missing when the crew got possession of the ship again: -Captain Thomas Gibbs, master; Mr. Alex. Mowat, second mate; John Larkin and R. Hood Fletcher, apprentices; and Hector M'Phadden, 78th Highlanders.”


The Logie’s eventually retired from the military and the family moved to Canada where they were extremely prosperous and prominent members of the community. 

The oldest surviving children stayed in Scotland.  The younger children moved to Canada with their parents.  One son was a judge.  Another was a sheriff.  Grandsons were decorated military officers.

Not long ago, stories of Pirates almost seemed to be fairy tales from days gone by but no more.  Now we read of current day pirates attacking unprotected ships off the coasts of of most of the continents of the world  .  It seems that society is sliding back down the scale of civilization.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Charles Logie – Casket Maker

Shortly after arriving in Lake City, Utah, now known as American Fork, he used his carpentry training to support his family. After being shipwrecked in the South Pacific, Charles, Rosa and baby Annie lived on Tahiti long enough for Charles to earn passage fare to continue their trip to America.

Logie Charles - Young ManAfter their arrival in San Francisco, they continued their trek toward Utah. After some tribulation, they arrived in Carson City, Nevada where Charles found work. During their stay there, a son, Charles Joseph was born in 1856. A call from Salt Lake went out for all of the Saints to gather to Utah and the Logie’s took heed to the call and continued their trek to the Rocky Mountains.

After arriving in Utah, the Logie family initially settled in Lehi, living inside the fort. At night, men were assigned to walk around the top of the fort on watch for attacks by Indians. They marched with the typical pattern, gun on shoulder with fixed rotational timing.

Charles didn’t own a gun, so when it was his turn to stand guard, he used a sawed off broom handle that would provide the silhouette of a rifle barrel rising up from his shoulder. The light from the fire and lanterns inside the fort provided just enough illumination to make the broom handle visible yet not identifiable as a stick of wood.

After a short while, in the fall of 1858, Charles moved his family east to the tiny settlement of Wallsburg in Wasatch County. During the warmer months, he would travel down through Provo Canyon by horse and work in Provo, leaving Rosa and the children home in Wallsburg.

Spring always arrives late and winter always arrives early in the high valley area of Wallsburg. After a particularly difficult season with Charles away and after multiple visits and raids by Indians, Rosa had had it with living in the remote location. She gathered up her family and started them walking down the canyon to find Charles.

On his way home for the weekend, he met them half way with a great deal of surprise. Talking Rosa into

Logie Charles Casket Maker

spending another night or two in Wallsburg, the family journeyed home to pack up their belongings and move back down to the valley below.

They made their home in American Fork in the Spring of 1859, where a missionary they knew from Australia lived with his family.

The Logie’s spent the remainder of their lives there. They had traveled almost around the world by this time. He from England to Australia and she from Guernsey in the Channel Islands to Australia and then on to Utah.

To earn a living, Charles engaged his carpentry skills and was soon building homes, cabinets and as an extension, caskets. There wasn’t a mortician in town, so to add to his revenue stream and as a service to the community, Charles used the shop behind his home to craft caskets. He lined them with Satin or other fine material to fit the dimensions of the deceased. This activity went on for years until Emil Anderson opened the first mortuary in American Fork.

Charles also built the fence around the American Fork Cemetery. From the History of American Fork, we read: “8 Jul 1882: On the same day, bids of Joseph Elsmore and Charles Logie to fence the City Cemetery at sixty cents per rod were accepted, and the work proceeded with, and on September 9, $55.00 was appropriated to whitewash the newly constructed fence.”

In the last ten years of Charles life, construction projects were far and few between. He entered into partnerships with other craftsmen but eventually each partnership dissolved when the work dried up.

Although life was financially difficult, Charles found a way to support his family. He and Rosa were eventually able to purchase shares in the American Fork Co-op. He sold them in the last months of his life to provide funds for the family.

Charles Logie died of cancer on 12 Jul 1903 in American Fork, Utah. He and his wife Rosa are buried in the American Fork City cemetery, not too far from the fence he helped build twenty years earlier.





Logie Charles Joseph Gordon Obituary.jpg Logie Charles Joseph Gordon obituary 2 copy

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shipwrecked in the South Pacific – 4 Oct 1855

We left Charles and Rosa Clara Logie standing in water up to their chests on a sunken section of an atoll in the South Pacific.  Their ship, Julia Ann, was off course by as much as one hundred miles when it struck the reef and sank.  Several of the  passengers had died as the ship sank.

Charles and Rosa Clara Logie survived.  He had tied their baby, Annie, to his chest in a brown shawl as they made their way toward the land that rose above the water.  

Picture the scene.  Your ship sinks in the middle of the night in a remote section of the ocean.  Abandoning ship, you find nebulous footing on sharp coral and limestone several feet below the surface of the water.  Waves are crashing into you driven by the normal stormy weather pattern in this section of ocean. 

In the distance, you can see bumps above the height of the waves.  In all other directions, the horizon separates the water from the sky.  You know this because the stars stop at this line.

Over the space of hours, you slowly make your way toward the high ground.  Skin is cut and abraded from your feet, ankles and legs by the sharp coral and limestone.  The baby is screaming in fear from the noise of crashing waves, the dousing of water, bumps, slips and shouts.

When you finally climb onto dry land, you realize that you don’t have any food, water or shelter and then the sky begins to brighten with the early morning sun.  The visual impact of your situation causes additional shock to your system and you sink to the ground weary and weak.

The survivors rally around and establish whatever shelter and organization they can.

Grandma Logie was given some surviving silk for a lean-to shade so that she and her tiny baby daughter would have some protection from the elements.  Now the struggle for survival began.  The company of survivors had found a supply of fresh meat.  However, they were in for a surprise.

Captain Pond’s journal continues with its often ‘mis-remembered’ facts..

“I well remember the excitement and glorification among our little party of castaways on the discovery of our first turtle.  About five days after our landing, I was seated with my officers at our camp fire discussing the situation, the rapidly diminishing supply of our only food, the scilly island - atoll delectable crab, was causing the keenest anxiety, when a loud shout from a party of sailors some distance from us up the beach attracted our attention.  They were shouting and dancing in a circle around something to us invisible.  Every one rushed to the spot, and there found a large turtle in the hands of the Philistines.  And this find meant to us a new lease of life.  Knowing the habits of the sea turtle during the incubating season of seeking the land at night and depositing their eggs in the dry sand on the beach, we organized parties, watch and watch, to patrol the beach during the entire night on the lookout for turtle, and when one was found, they would turn him over on his back, and the following day the night’s catch would be brought to camp. 

Our largest find in any one night was five turtles.  Every turtle killed was carefully divided among the several messes, first saving a portion to be jerked and dried in the sun, for the purpose of accumulating provisions for our proposed boat voyage.  We soon began to gather more turtle than we needed for our daily consumption.  We therefore built a stockade turtle pen to keep them, to be used as needed, believing that they would live on land as well as on the deck of a ship at sea, where they can be kept for months alive by simply throwing sea water over them occasionally during the day.  But in this we were disappointed, for every morning we found a dead turtle or two in our pen, and as we could not afford to lose any, we lived on turtle, butchered, alamode, after death.”

Unlike Tom Hanks, in the recent movie “Castaway”, the company had tools to start fires in their possession.

“On the night of the wreck, when I found the ship was hopelessly doomed, I tried to provide as fast as possible for just such circumstances as we were finally placed in, among other things, the need of matches.  I therefore put a large quantity in my overcoat pocket, but on leaving the wreck I threw off my overcoat and all surplus clothing.  Afterwards this coat was found floating on the reef, but the matches were water soaked and spoiled.  Fortunately a sailor had three or four matches in the lining of his hat, where he had been in the habit of keeping them to use in an emergency for lighting his pipe.  With these we started a fire, and took good care to never allow it to go out while we remained on the reef.”Julia Ann Sinking Deseret News 2 Jul 1856

Click to enlarge all newspaper articles in this posting.

The reef sat about eight feet above high tide at the center point.  Having established immediate sustenance, additional food sources were needed and fresh vegetables and fruits were needed to prevent scurvy.

“Three days after our landing I took an exploring party in the boat, and upon an island some eight miles, from the one on which we had located, discovered a grove of cocoanuts.  Our hearts dilated with gratitude, for without something of this kind, our case would have been indeed desperate.  Our living now consisted of shellfish, turtle, sharks and cocoanuts.  We also prepared a garden and planted some pumpkins, peas and beans. They came up finely and flourished for a few weeks, then withered and died, for lack of deepness of soil.  I have been asked where we got seeds to plant.  The damaged provisions, such as bags of peas and beans found upon the reef furnished seeds that when planted grew; a pumpkin was also picked up on the reef, from which we obtained seeds.”

Shelter of some type was needed from the hot south Pacific sun and frequent rainstorms.

“We divided ourselves into families, built huts and thatched with the leaves of the pandanus tree.  All the provisions found were thrown into one common stock, and equally divided among each mess every morning, and we gradually became reconciled to our sad fate.”

We know from grandpa’s own history that survival became tenuous and something had to be done to escape their imprisonment.  Captain Pond decided to strike out in a rowboat to some islands that lay a long distance away according to his charts.

“I determined to steer for them, trusting to a kind Providence for our success.  I selected four of my men for a boat’s crew, and fixed the day for our departure.”

The day for departure to find rescue came, but unfortunately it was not to be.

“On the following day I determined to make the trial.  But my own spirits now seemed crushed.  I felt like one going to the stake, a foreboding of evil came over me.  The weather was unsettled and threatening, and I retired to my tent as I thought for the last time, unhappy and without hope.  The clouds gathered in gloomy grandeur, and finally broke in a tornado over the island.  In vain I sought repose and sleep.  About three o’clock in the morning I arose and walked down upon the beach, and there indeed was experienced the climax of my distress, for the boat upon which all our hopes centered had disappeared.”

Julia Ann Article 1898 page 1 After a search of the island, the boat was found and would be made ‘seaworthy’.  However, not all of the company agreed with the venture.

“I endeavored to cheer them with the hope that the boat had dragged her anchor into deep water, and after drifting across the lagoon would anchor herself again off one of the leeward islands.  This eventually proved to be the case, and the boat was recovered, nearly full of water, but not injured.  The weather now seemed to be breaking up; the trade winds blew less steadily, and all appearances indicated change.  Secretly influenced by a gloomy, undefined premonition of evil and disaster, as the result of my proposed attempt to reach the Navigator Islands, I was now determined on the apparently more desperate course of double banking the boat with a crew of ten men, and watching a favorable opportunity, endeavor to pull to the nearest windward islands.

Against this course Captain Coffin, an old whaler, opposed all his influence and experience.  Said he would rather venture alone than with ten mouths to feed, that it would be impossible to pull our boat, so deeply loaded, against a headwind and sea, and there was no place under our lee where we could make a harbor in the event of our encountering what we might expect--easterly weather; that in fact, it was a life of death undertaking, success or certain destruction awaited us.  But desperate diseases require desperate remedies.  I proposed it to my crew, and with but a single exception, they all volunteered.  We now impatiently waited for a suitable opportunity to launch our boat.”

The sailors decided to follow the captain but not all of the passengers agreed.  This was especially true of grandpa Logie who was both part of the crew and a passenger.  He disagreed with the proposal thinking it would only lead to the eventual deaths of both the sailors and the passengers.  However, at this point in time small miracles began to occur.

Julia Ann Article 14May1898 page 2 “On the day before our departure, with a small party of sailors, still in the prosecution of what seemed a hopeless search for a stone that could be used with steel and tinder, I had reached a small island, the most distant one from our camp and somewhat difficult of access, and in consequence had been seldom visited by us.  Working our way through a thick tangle of underbrush, we came to an open space, and I believe that my eyes fairly bulged with astonishment as I descried a small pool of freshwater, beside which lay a bucket and large flint stone.  I seized the stone, and with a shout, exclaimed, “A gift from God, boys we are saved, we are saved.”

On our subsequent arrival in Tahiti, I met the man to whom the stone and bucket belonged.  Some years previously he had visited those reefs in search of pearl oysters, and made his camp by that pool of fresh water, and left his flint and bucket on his departure.”

A change in plans undoubtedly prevented the loss of the sailors.  It appears that grandpa Logie, a seasoned mariner himself, spoke to the captain after receiving an answer to his prayers.  The captain had little or no faith in God, nor the religion of his Mormon passengers, but found in the end that it saved them, though he was wrought to acknowledge the fact.  We know from his personal history that grandpa Logie was part of the crew of the ‘rescue’ boat.  Pond’s journal only describes one ‘Mormon’ as part of the crew.  The remainder of his text refers to his sailors.

“My passengers were mostly Mormons, bound to Salt Lake City, were bitterly opposed to my first proposition of trying to reach the Navigator Islands.  They argued, the distance to be so great, some fifteen hundred miles, that if we succeeded in reaching them they would starve to death before we could hope to send them relief.  They could not, or would not understand why we might not steer in the face of head wind and sea to the Society Islands, which were so much nearer.  We, however, as nautical men, determined to act on our own judgment in that matter, and steadily continued our preparations until our plans were blocked in a most unexpected manner.  One of their Elders had a dream or vision (grandpa Logie).  He saw the boat successfully launched upon her long voyage, and for a day or two making satisfactory progress.  Another leaf in the vision, and the boat is seen floating bottom up, and the drowned bodies of her crew floating around her.  This tale so wrought upon the superstitions that not a man would volunteer to go with me, and I was reluctantly compelled to change my plan.

I then gave strict orders that there should be no more visions told in public unless they were favorable ones, and first submitted to me for my approval.  After some days the same Mormon Elder came to me having had another vision (again grandpa Logie).  I asked him if it was a good one.  Yes, a very good one.  He saw the boat depart with a crew of ten men, bound to the eastward; after three days of rowing, they reached a friendly island where a vessel was obtained and all hands safely brought to Tahiti.  When I, by compulsion, changed my plans and decided to double bank the boat and try to pull to windward, only nine men offered, including myself.  It was useless to start short handed, and I had been waiting unsuccessfully to get one more man to complete my crew.  On hearing this very good vision, I looked my man over.  He was a fine, athletic fellow, and asked him if he believed his vision.  “Yes, indeed, was it not a revelation from God?”  I then suggested that it would be a good way to prove his faith by volunteering for the boat.  “Of course he would”, and he did with alacrity, and thus was my crew completed.  You have heard the account of how literally his dream was fulfilled against every probability.”

The miracles continued to happen as the crew rowed across the open ocean in search of a rescue for the survivors.

Logie Charles 13 Apr 1898 Letter to Editor DesNews “Having cleared the boat from the reef and obtained the open sea, we were almost immediately compelled to throw overboard a large portion of our water, provisions and every article that could possible be spared to lighten the boat.  And thus our boasted liberal supply that we had collected and saved with so much perseverance and economy suddenly vanished in the sea, leaving us a scant pittance for perhaps five or six days.

Having made everything snug as possible, we shaped our course, proposing to send before the wind, but suddenly the wind lulled, a dense black cloud rolled up, covering the entire firmament, shutting out the day, and enveloping us in almost Egyptian darkness, and such a downpour of water burst from the cloud--in the language of scripture, it seemed as though “All the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of Heaven were opened.”  The rain seemed to fall in solid sheets; though intensely sharp, far beyond any previous experience of ours, the downpour was very brief in its duration.  The clouds cleared as suddenly as they arose; the sun burst out upon the face of the great deep; the rain had beaten down the boisterous sea, which now rolled in long smooth swells.  It was a dead calm, and for three days and nights there was not breeze enough to blow out a candle.  I will also mention another curious fact.  We were all of us, for a day or two, very seasick.  The men labored at their oars, and vomited over the thwarts.  Mr. Owens, my second officer, was so intensely sick that he lay stretched in the bottom of the boat, and for the first twenty-four hours I had to run the boat without relief, before he could take his trick at the helm.

After three days of incessant toil, hope, fear and despair alternately predominating, A Land ahead!  Oh, how the cry, the thought, the reality thrilled our every nerve, and our anxious longing eyes gazing at the dim, cloud like outline of a far distant island, gradually lit with renewed fire, and hope again shone out, bright and clear, and yet the most fearful portion of our voyage had still to be experienced, for now old Boreas blew out fresh and strong, contrary to our course, and the sea yesterday so sluggish arose in all its might and power, threatening to engulf us in its appalling throes.

For hours and hours, the fearful but unequal contest was maintained, till human endurance could bear up no longer, and we lay exhausted in the bottom of our little boat, now floating at the mercy of the sea, the goal of our hopes, and our very lives, that dim cloud upon the verge of the horizon, gradually faded from our view.

Oh, the blank despair of that moment!  And as we drew the tarpaulin over the boat to shelter us from the dashing spray, thought of home mingled in our prayers.  Late in the afternoon, as we lay huddled together under the protecting cover of the tarpaulin, drenched by the salt spray, faint and exhausted by severe toil, listlessly gazing out upon the combing, raging sea, that threatened instant destruction, the sudden cry of “Land, land,” again startled us from the lethargy of despair, which seemed with its cold icy hand to grip our very hearts.

And true enough, as the sun emerged from the dark storm cloud to sink into the sea bright and beautiful in the far west, lighting up the circling horizon, the clear outline of an island mountain peak could be distinctly seen in the southeast.  Tears of gratitude filled our eyes.  Our sail was hoisted to the now favoring breeze.  Again our oars were manned, and our little boat fairly trembled at the onward impetus given by the hope resuscitated nerves of my but recently faint and exhausted crew.  The darkening shades of night soon shut from our view that lone mountain top, rising as a beacon hope from the sea, and in its stead, the mariner’s compass served as our sure guide till morning again dawned, and discovered to our enraptured gaze the fertile slopes of a mountain island, distant about fifteen miles.  As we neared the land, the wind gradually subsided, and the sea no longer broke in heavy combers as on the day previous but rolled in long, heavy swells upon a reef that encircled the island.  We pulled along outside of the reef about two hours, looking in vain for an entrance, and in our impatience, once more to tread a hospitable shore, and partake of the luxurious fruit that hung so temptingly beyond our reach; we had about made up our minds to attempt to land upon the reef through the breakers, when a native who was engaged in spearing a fish inside, guessing our difficulty, motioned to us to proceed further up the reef.  On complying with which we soon found a ship entrance to a fine harbor, and saw the huts of a native village at the head of the bay.  And now having safely reached one of the Windward Islands against all human probability when we departed from Scilly reefs, I will give you a peculiar episode in connection with that boat voyage.  I can simply vouch for the facts, without any attempt to argue, or explain.”

Charles Joseph Gordon Logie The crew was saved when they reached the island’s shores.  However, the remainder of the company was still on the reef and food was rapidly disappearing.  Captain Pond continues with his narrative about finding a rescue ship.

“A small yacht was lying at anchor in the bay, belonging to the king, and through the interpreter, who professed a great desire to aid us to the best of his ability, I endeavored to persuade the Captain to carry us to Tahiti distant some sixty to seventy miles further to windward, where an American Consul resided, but he refused to have anything to do with us; seemed to fear that we would take possession of his vessel.  However, after a good deal of dickering, he finally offered to take me alone, starting the next day, if I would immediately, that same afternoon, send off my crew to Riatia, lying some fifteen miles to the southward of Bora Bora, where they informed me a British Consul lived.  I felt this to be pretty hard lines for me personally, but it was the best, and in fact, only thing to be done under the circumstances, and I reluctantly consented.  And now I encountered almost as much difficulty in persuading my own men to leave me alone on that island. 

They had no confidence whatever in the Asurley natives.  However, to use their own words, “The Captain knew best, and they would obey orders.”  But I will confess to an awful feeling of loneliness and desertion creeping over me as I stood upon the beach and watched them pull away to sea again, leaving me behind and alone.  At daybreak on the following morning I was astir, hoping to get a bright and early start for Tahiti, only to find that during the night the yacht and my friendly interpreter had disappeared, gone to parts unknown.  I sat down quietly in my tracks, making no effort whatever to communicate with the natives, sick, heartsick, discouraged, utterly helpless.  A little after mid-day, I observed a six oared whaleboat pulling rapidly across the bay, apparently a new arrival from the sea. 

As I lay there listlessly watching their movements as they stepped ashore, the natives gathered around them pointing towards me, as I supposed, telling the story of my advent among them.  Presently one of the new comers started towards me, and as he approached, the scales seemed to fall from my eyes, the blood shot through my veins, as I recognized the face of an old familiar friend, a Mr. Barfe, whose home was in Huania.  He had come across collecting cocoanut oil.  He was profuse in offers of assistance; gathered his men, and we immediately started in his boat, in an effort to overtake my men at Riatia.  About half way across we met my boat’s crew returning to me, bearing a letter from the British Consul full of sympathetic expressions for my disaster, and requesting me to remain in Bora Bora, as he had dispatched an express to Huania, where several American vessels were lying, containing the assurance that I might expect one at the earliest possible moment to call for me and proceed to the rescue of the castaways remaining on Scilly Reefs.  In response I returned with my boat’s crew to the island of Bora Bora, and there awaited the promised assistance.

The day following a large number of boats arrived at Bora Bora from Riatia, the news of the wreck having spread like wildfire in all directions, to visit the scene of the disaster, but they were all too small to be of any service.  However, on the morning of the second day, the fine large schooner, Emma Packer, appeared off the harbor, Captain Latham having received the British Consul’s dispatch while lying at Huania made no delay in getting his vessel to sea, and coming to my relief.  He also brought a letter to me from the Captain of the ship Oregon, saying that I might expect his vessel to be under way from Scilly Reefs within a few hours after the departure of the Emma Packer to render any needed assistance.

I boarded the Emma Packer, and sailed for the rescue of my poor, distressed fellow-voyagers of the Julia Ann.  We sighted Scilly Reefs about ten days after our departure there from, and much to our surprise, with our glasses we could discover no signs of life on the islands, though we sailed entirely around them, and Captain Latham was quite disposed to return, arguing that the people must have been taken off by some other vessel.  He however, in compliance with my earnest request, remained off the reef over night, for I was determined not to return without first effecting a landing, and personally inspecting my old camping grounds, and we were rewarded early the following morning by discovering a group of people gathered on the point of reef nearest to our vessel, frantically waving a signal.  Words simply fail me in any attempt to describe the scene that met me, as I sprang from the relief boat into the outstretched welcoming arms of those more than half-starved castaways.

They were speedily embarked, and taken to Tahiti, where the American and British Consuls took charge of their different nationalities, and provided for their necessities.”

We exit Captain Pond’s journal at this point, with his thoughts on the nature of a sailor in his day.

“While toil, exposure and hardship, peculiarly incident to the life of the sailor, may possibly drive some to the abandonment of their profession, it is this very sense of peril and danger to be encountered and overcome that proves almost its sole attraction; courage and true manhood are as inseparable as light, and the sun’s rays pass an object between the sun and our earth and daylight is obliterated, ‘tis all obscurity and darkness, and so likewise, take from man the principle of courage, and you have a human monstrosity.”

As for the Logie's, grandpa worked in Tahiti for a many months to secure the funds needed to complete their journey to America.  They eventually landed in San Francisco and were greeted by Latter-day Saints there.  Over the next two years, they made their way to Utah while stopping along the way to work on a ranch near Reno, Nevada. 

Over the years, much was written about the last voyage of the Julia Ann.  All but Charles Logie and Captain Pond wrote from positions of second hand knowledge and their text was frequently in gross error.  After many years, Charles penned a letter to the Editor of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, countering earlier articles and to some extent setting the record straight.  In it, he noted that he would not “take up every item (error), for it would take to long.” 

Charles and Rosa are buried in the American Fork, Utah Cemetery with a number of their descendants’ graves surrounding them.  Their headstone is prominent there today.  Their daughter Annie is buried a few miles north in the small town of Alpine, Utah.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shipwrecked In The South Pacific – 3 Oct 1855

Charles Joseph Gordon and Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1852. She was baptized in England before migrating to Australia with her mother and younger sister. Charles was baptized in Sydney within 30 days of Rosa. Charles spotted the beautiful young Rosa sitting on the second floor porch of the church’s mission home in Sydney. He raced up the rose trellis to meet her before the young men with him could gain access to her by the normal method of knocking on the front door. Charles won both her Charles Joseph Gordon Logie Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie heart and her hand and the young couple married shortly thereafter in Sydney. After a short time, they decided to move to Utah where many other members of the church were gathering to escape persecution by other religious sects.

Charles had been a sailor in the routes around Australia, New Zealand and the surrounding islands for about seven years prior to meeting Rosa. He was also a trained carpenter. Both of these skills would prove to be essential in saving their lives as well as the lives of others in the near future. The trip to America would prove to be anything but routine.

Recently, I found a copy of the diary of Captain Pond’s who was the captain of the ship, “Julia Ann” on which the Logie’s and other Latter-day Saints had booked passage.

The diary was written in his later life and some of the ‘facts’ he states do not match other records of the event, but the diary provides interesting insight into the accident. Grandpa Logie’s own memories of the incident do not always agree with those of Captain Pond. Grandpa didn’t have to protect his reputation as a ships captain so perhaps the differences can be partially subscribed to this reason.

This much we do know. The Julia Ann left port in Sydney on 7 Sep. 1855 bound for San Francisco. It hit a reef in the open ocean on 3 Oct. 1855 and sank with a remarkably low loss of life given the location of the incident. Charles had been at the wheel steering the ship until an hour before the incident when he was relieved to get some rest.

Julia Ann - Deseret News 14 May 1856 - left Sydney.jpg How did the ship hit a reef in mid-ocean on a route that was fairly well traveled? Let’s enter the world described by Pond in his journal:

Twenty-seven days out, October 3rd, I was on the lookout for land all day, and carried a press of sail, in order to pass certain dangerous islands before night. At that day those seas were very incorrectly surveyed. At one time, bound from San Francisco to Australia, about sundown, we raised a reef crossing our course directly ahead of us, about ten miles long, not noticed or marked on any chart extant. Had we been an hour later, the ship would have been a helpless wreck. About two P. M., we sailed directly over the position given on my charts of the Scilly reefs on which the vessel was wrecked, and on my arrival at Tahiti, on looking the matter carefully up, I found that my calculations were correct, and that the position given on the charts was from 60 to ninety miles too much to windward.

The ship broke up and sank on the reef, as we know with the loss of five of the passengers. For the most part the sailors and the passengers helped each other abandon ship and get to the reef. However, one husband did not stay with his family for some reason.

A fearful shriek arose from the cabin, and when I returned not a vestige of my stateroom, or its contents, remained. That resistless sea had stove in the forward part of the cabin washed away the starboard staterooms, with two women and a little child. The poor mother had lashed her infant to her bosom, and thus they found a water grave together. There was a mother with six children; the husband and father selfishly deserted them, and escaped to the reef, before the hauling line parted. I urged the mother to improve the only chance to save her own life. She sobbingly exclaimed, “No, I cannot leave my babes, we will die together.” When the husband and father reached the reef, the sailors inquired where his family was; he replied, “on board the ship.” In their indignation at his cowardly desertion of them, they seized and threw him bodily back into the sea. A friendly wave washed him back again, and they allowed him to crawl to a place of safety upon the reef.“

The situation of the survivors was frightful. They stood on an underwater reef with water up to their waists in mid-ocean. Imagine standing on an unseen footing in mid-ocean with only the curve of the ocean on the horizon and the stars above you in a night sky.

society_scilly_islands_map_wreckOur situation of the reef can be better imagined than described. It was about eleven o’clock at night, when all were landed; we were up to our waists in water, and the tide rising. Seated upon spars and broken pieces of wreck, we patiently awaited the momentous future. Wrapped in a wet blanket picked up among the floating spars I seated myself in the boat, the water reaching to my waist, my limbs and arms were badly cut, and bruised by the coral.”

They spent a long night, some in the water and some on a little higher ground above the water line. And then came the morning light.

At morning’s dawn low islands were discovered, distant about ten miles. Again all was activity. Immediately set about patching the boat, whilst others collected spars and drift stuff to form a raft, on which to place the women and children. A little after sunrise, I started for the land, though our boats would scarcely float.

The first island on which we landed presented a very barren appearance; it was covered with the banana tree; birds were plentiful and very tame, but after a diligent search no water, fruit or vegetables could be found. We proceeded to another, and nothing but disappointment Julia Ann wreckingawaited us. Water was madly sought for in vain; and late in the afternoon we returned disappointed and unsuccessful to our companions on the reef. I then placed the women and children in the boat, and sent them in charge of Mr. Coffin to the land, while the rest of us remained on the reef for a second night. A small raft had been found, but not large enough for all to sit upon.

Early on the morning of the second day, Mr. Coffin returned to us with the boat, and I immediately dispatched him again in search of water, for the want of which we were nearly famishing; while the rest of us commenced in earnest preparing a couple of rafts, on which we placed what provisions and clothing could be collected. And about ten o’clock made an attempt to reach the island, by wading along the reef, our boats in tow, the old and helpless men, of whom where were several, being placed upon them. Energy, perseverance and above all, necessity, can accomplish almost impossibilities, and we were successful.“

Charles had handed Rosa over the gun whale of the ship into the hands of one of the sailors while he tied his baby daughter, Annie, to his back with a brown shawl. In the crush of the moment, Charles and Annie were pushed overboard and would have drowned except for one of the sailors. Bully Williams dove overboard and grabbed Charles by his long black hair and pulled he and Ann to the reef. Even though Charles was a sailor, he had never learned to swim and thus Bully truly saved their lives. Deciding they must reach the island, the company started to move toward it.Julia Ann - Deseret News 14 May 1856 - shipwreck.jpg

Most of the water for a distance was deep. In one place, for over a mile, it took us to our necks, the shorter men being compelled to cling to the rafts. Several deep inlets had to be crossed when our best swimmers were called into requisition. In one of these attempts I nearly lost two of my best men. Large numbers of sharks followed in our wake, at one time I counted over twenty, and not infrequently we were compelled to seek safety from them upon the rafts. Late in the afternoon we reached the island, completely exhausted, but our hearts swelled with gratitude as we were conducted by the children to some holes dug in the coral sand on the beach, where they had obtained drinkable water. We had been forty-eight hours in the salt water, two days exposed to the rays of a tropical sun, without food or drink. We never found any fresh water supply on any of the small islands other than by digging; the water we obtained in this was brackish, but fairly good.

The island that we reached with our rafts, and where we made our permanent camp was a low, oblong coral reef, rising just above the surface of the sea, perhaps fifty rods long by twenty rods at its widest point, covered quite thickly with a low tree of the banyan species. Our first great anxiety was a search for something to eat. Remember, we had been literally fasting for forty-eight hours, without a morsel of food. Under such circumstances you may well believe that we were neither very particular nor squeamish. We found the island fairly swarming with a small red land crab, about half the size of one’s fist, not a crab, but we knew no other name, and so dubbed them crab. They were a crawly affair, naturally disgusting to the touch or taste, but they were food to the famishing, and we seized upon them with avidity. In about a week we cleared the entire island, not one more of the creeping things could be found.”

We leave the Logie’s alive but without water, food and shelter on the atoll. Their survival was at question. See the next post for the "Rest of the Story".


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