Nature of Casualty
Abandoned after trapped in ice and crushed. By 1872, wreck had drifted 1 miles North of Point
Belcher, and in 1873 wreck was still visible. Tornfelt, Evert E., Burwell, Michael, Shipwrecks of the
Alaskan Shelf and Shore, U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska OCS
On Tuesday, September 12, Captain Benjamin Dexter putt off from the Emily Morgan to take his wife
to Icy Cape; while William Earle, his mate wrote, "all hope of saving this ship or any of the others has
entirely vanished. We can only expect to escape with our lives, if even that."...... There was no
improvement on the fourteenth. At noon the remaining crew on board the Emily Morgan paid out all the
chain on both her anchors, and at 1:30 P.M., wrote William Earle, "with sad heart [I] order all the men
into the boats and with a last look over the decks abandoned the ship to the mercy of the elements."
The Emily Morgan's men worked their way south in light airs with a hundred other whaleboats insight.
All the ships they passed were already abandoned or their crews were in the last stages of leaving
them. The last ship they saw inshore was the brig Victoria, "hard aground and lying well over on her
side." Bockstoce, John R., Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic,
University of Washington Press, Seattle Washington, 1986:156,158