VESSELS FOUNDERED AND
PROBABLE LOSS OF LIFE
Detroit Free Press
Dec 16, 1855
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Saint James, Beaver Island, Dec. 12th, 1855.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE FREE PRESS:

Mr. Geo. Brownson, who lives at the southwest extremity of this island, reports that last Wednesday there came ashore near his place numerous broken goods boxes and barrels, such as usually contain sugar, &c., addressed to some persons (names not remembered) in Chicago; several casks damaged powder, some fifty broken cheese boxes, and a few yet containing "Hamburg cheese;" also, the cabin (all above deck) of a small vessel, well made, and somewhat ornamented, matched, beaded and partially covered with oil-cloth, two windows, door with lock and white knobs. They must have belonged to a vessel lost at sea. At the same place, two days later, some fifty pieces floor plank came on shore. It is supposed they were part of the deck-load of another vessel. A considerable fleet (say twenty sail) passed here going up last Friday. The night following was a terrific south-east storm, with snow. It is not possible that they all weathered it, and the probability is that the loss of life and property is immense.
Truly and sincerely,
JAMES J. STRANG

Strang's name would have been well-known to Detroit readers. Aside from the fount of legend and odd facts that sprang from the Mormon leader, Michigan's only declared king, he was also a Michigan state legislator and a well-known orator. The the source of the wreckage described in the letter is unknown. Some possibilities: schr VERMONT, schr EXPERIMENT, schr L. R. ROCKWELL, prop DELAWARE.