champion shipwreck

Nature of Casualty

Abandoned after trapped in ice. Tornfelt, Evert E., Burwell, Michael, Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore, U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska OCS Region, 1992

The Bringhampton Republican publishes the following private letter from Capt. William H. Kelley, of the that city, who was Captain of one the fleet of whalers deserted in the ice Point Belcher a year ago, and is again in the Arctic in command of a vessel: The bark Seneca (brother Ned's vessel) was dragged by the ice up the coast some distance - her bowsprit gone, bulwarks stove and rudder carried away. she was then frozen in solid, and so they found; she will probably be saved if she is not stove..... Since writing the above I have seen the Seneca. I don't believe she will be got off. She lies high aground and on her beam ends. The hull of the Champion lies two miles south of her; the Reindeer still further south; only the Minerva will be saved. New York Times 10-31-1872

Ned Herendeen set to work at once on the best ship, the Minerva. They chopped the ice out of her hold, took out what remained of her cargo, thus lightened, they got her afloat and at anchor. They refitted her with some new gear and sails, bought all the baleen they could from the natives, and collected the oil that had washed ashore in casks from the Reindeer and Champion. The other ships took some gear and cargo from the wrecks. No records remain of the Eustace's and Francis Palmer's salvage. Bockstoce, John R., Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic, University of Washington Press, Seattle Washington, 1986: 164-165

Official Number: 4405

Type: Ship

Length: 111 Feet

Home Port: Edgartown, MA

Place Built: Mattapoisett, MA

Date Lost: Sept. 14, 1871

Captain When Lost: Henry Pease

Where: Point Belcher, near Wainwright Inlet

Cause: Trapped in Ice and Abandoned

Cargo: 275 Barrels of Sperm Oil and 300 Barrels of Whale Oil