Seneca shipwreck

Nature of Casualty

Abandoned after trapped in ice. Vessel survived crush of 1871 and was taken in tow by bark Florence in July 1872. Later it was cut adrift in bad weather, ran aground, and lost. 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. New York Times 10-31-1872

1872: Twenty-five miles north of the Mary, the Seneca was frozen into a cake of ice. She was in relatively good condition with her mast standing, but with her "bowsprit gone, bulwarks stove and rudder carried away.".... 1872: Captain Williams put Herendeen charge of the Minerva and then moved on to the Seneca, just as the ice surrounding her was beginning to break up. He took the Seneca in tow and was heading south when a strong northwesterly came up. Williams had to cut the Seneca loose to save his own ship. The Seneca went ashore and was lost; nevertheless, the Florence and the Minerva arrived in San Francisco in October with a combined cargo of 1,300 barrels of whale oil and $10,000 worth of baleen -- as well as walrus oil and ivory. Bockstoce, John R., Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic, University of Washington Press, Seattle Washington, 1986:163, 165

Official Number: 22070

Type: Bark

Length: 117 Feet

Home Port: New Bedford, MA

Place Built: Baltimore, MD

Date Lost: Sept, 14, 1871

Captain When Lost: Edmund Kelley

Where: Point Belcher, Near Wainwright Inlet

Cause: Trapped in Ice (Was Recovered in 1872 but Was Lost During Tow South)

Cargo: 540 Barrels of Whale Oil