Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet

Nautical History. An Interesting Letter. Captain Hislop. harbor master, has received the following letter from r;i ,W. G. Breese, an old gentleman living in New Zealand, who arrived at Portland as far back as 1856. He must, at least, be well in the 80's, yet he writes quite legibly, and in a most interesting strain. The "Hou. sen" referred to was the father of Mr. Chas. Housen, blacksmith, of this town. Following is the letter,- "Captain Hislop,-Dear Sir, I trust you will excuse am writing to you, but I think you may be able to help mein this matter. With my parents, I left Plymouth about the middle of 1856, and arrived at Port land about November of that year. I have the 'Leader' of August, 1928. When we arrived the beach was seen for miles to be scattered with whale bones and the wrecks of small ships. The ship we came out in was called the 'General Hewit.' She was some sort of a warship (Captain Loutit) and was rotten from end to end. We had not got far out when discontent arose with-the crew, and they had occasion to complain, cord age and spars breaking almost every day. I have seen the sailors go up the mainmast and drive their knives in up to the, hilt. We were well on the way when a mutiny broke out. The leader was an ex-American naval man. He came aft one day and de manded rum.and tobacco. The cap tain reminded him that it was not due, so he struck the captain, who was seen to be able to defend him self. Joe, the leader, was a tall, powerful man. and the captain was of a lighter build, but he -soon had Joe beaten badly. It was a victory of intelligence and college training na ainst brute strength. Joe was put in irons. Then the crew told the captain to release him, or they would mutiny,. and they did. The captain thought that .with his officers and sonme of the passengers he could car. ry on. so he altered his course so as to put into the Cape. But bad wea ther was coming up, and he had to release Joe. The captain then went to Portland, where the crew got six months' hard labor, and Joe got two years. Two of the crew married and settled in Portland. One was a young seaman named Stephenson and the other was the sailmaker named Housen. What I would like to know is. what was her tonnage and how many of us emigrants were on board ? I think she was pierced for single deck guns at one time. Our treatmient as to food, etc., was little better than that of the crew. She got away from Portland with some sort of a crew, but we never heard of her again. Perhaps she foundered. I would like to know something more of her. I think I am now the only living witness of that mutiny." Captain Hislop has looked up the recnrds and found the name of "Gen eral Hewit." No particulars as to her fate can he ascertained. however. the last heard of the old boat being that she left the port for Bombay.