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Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) Records



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Certification of classificaiton, 1883

Accounts, summary, Capt. Wellington O. Sawyer, 189101892

Accounts, general—Boston, 1891

Accounts, crew—Articles of agreement, 1891-1892

Accounts, list of crew, n.d., 1892

Protests, Bimini Island (BAH), wreckage, Jan. 1892

Protest accounts, Bimini Island (BAH), n.d., 1892

Miscellaneous—envelope, no contents, n.d.

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Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) Records, 1883-1892 | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

By Tracy Lamaestra

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Collection Overview

Title: Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) Records, 1883-1892Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1891-1892

Primary Creator: Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) (1883-1892)

Other Creators: Sawyer, Wellington O., Captain (1856-?)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: The records are organized chronologically to follow the life of the schooner.  Standard hierarchical organization is used starting with vessel classification, accounts and final protest.

Date Acquired: 10/28/1991

Subjects: Accounts, Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner), Bimini (BAH), Certificates, Crew lists, Invoices, Marine protests, Merchant seamen, Sawyer, Wellington O., Captain, Seamanship, Ship captains, Wages, Wreck

Languages: English


Includes certificate of classification, account summary, general accounts, articles of agreement, crew wages accounts, crew lists and protests.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) records are vessel documents for the schooner Bessie H. Rose. The majority of the papers date 1891 to 1892.  Collection contents include a certificate of classification, account summaries of Captain Wellington O. Sawyer as shipmaster, accounts general, articles of agreement (includes crew wages), crew lists and protests. A formal investigation was conducted by Thomas T. Jones, Resident Justice, of the Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) shipwreck at Bimini, Bahamas in January 1892. Mr. Jones interviewed Captain Wellington O. Sawyer the shipmaster of the schooner Bessie H. Rose about the collision. Jones also recorded the statements of James G. Bryant (First Mate) and Charles A. Johnson (Able Seaman) concerning the wreck. Furthermore, Captain John A. Saunders and Edward J. Wilkinson (Master Mariner) observed the incident from aboard the Eva (Schooner). They also attempted to save the Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) by assisting the crew. Jones documents both their accounts in his report. Furthermore, Captain William Weech of the Charles Tunnell (Schooner) was interviewed by Jones as he assisted the crew and then was allowed to strip the vessel for parts at the wreckage location.

Protest accounts record the net sales from the auction of the wreckage, plus the passage for Captain Sawyer from Nassau back to New York. There is also a board bill for Captain Sawyer’s stay at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Nassau prior to his departure home. The articles of agreement list the crewmen payoffs after the wreck on January 26, 1893 (folder 4). Accompanying the articles of agreement are individual receipts for these particular crewmen and payoffs (folder 4).

Biographical Note

Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) was built in Wiscasset, Maine in 1883 by John Barker. The vessel was owned by J. Manchester Haynes of Augusta, Maine. The Bessie H. Rose hailed from the port of Bath. Captain John A. Adams was shipmaster of the vessel from 1883 to 1889. Captain Wellington O. Sawyer was shipmaster from 1890 until the vessel wrecked in January 1892 on the banks of Bimini Island, Bahamas when he was master.           

Captain Wellington O. Sawyer with a crew of nine men and a cargo of phosphate rock was bound from Navassa Island for Baltimore, Maryland on the Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) when suddenly caught up in heavy gales in December 1891. Cargo was thrown overboard in attempt to lighten the vessel. The crew continued to struggle with gales and heavy intake of water. Eventually, the vessel wrecked broadside into the banks of Bimini Island and was stranded in January 1892. All cargo was lost from the schooner. The vessel was declared a total loss on January 18, 1892. The captain and entire crew were saved. Captain William S. Weech of the Charles Tunnell (Schooner) was allowed to strip the vessel for parts at the wreckage location.

Subject/Index Terms

Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner)
Bimini (BAH)
Crew lists
Marine protests
Merchant seamen
Sawyer, Wellington O., Captain
Ship captains

Administrative Information

Repository: Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the use of these materials for study or research.

Use Restrictions: The material described herein is the physical property of the Maine Maritime Museum Library.  Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the varioujs items, or to their legal representatives, or to Maine Maritime Museum.  For further information, consult the library staff.

Physical Access Note: The majority of records are in good physical condition. Some manuscripts are discolored and stained. Others have folds, creases, tears or dog ears. Those with heavier crease lines were flattened with a tacking iron at low to medium heat. Torn papers were repaired with thin, transparent document repair tape. Articles of agreements are adhered atop the crew lists. These papers were left attached to prevent further damage as attempts to detach them were futile. Pins and fasteners were removed from papers. Fragile documents were sleeved and should be handled with care.

Acquisition Source: The schooner Bessie H. Rose records were donated to the Maine Maritime Museum on October 28, 1991 by A. Donald King, accession no. 91-98

Acquisition Method: There is no documentation on where the donor acquired the schooner Bessie H. Rose records.

Preferred Citation: Bessie H. Rose (Three-mast schooner) Records, MS-096, Research Library, Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine.

Processing Information: The records already had some semblance of order, so organizing the collection was not difficult. The arrangement of these vessel records follows a standardized sequence to simplify access.  Material is organized chronologically within each folder.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Folder:

[Folder 1: Certification of classificaiton, 1883],
[Folder 2: Accounts, summary, Capt. Wellington O. Sawyer, 189101892],
[Folder 3: Accounts, general—Boston, 1891],
[Folder 4: Accounts, crew—Articles of agreement, 1891-1892],
[Folder 5: Accounts, list of crew, n.d., 1892],
[Folder 6: Protests, Bimini Island (BAH), wreckage, Jan. 1892],
[Folder 7: Protest accounts, Bimini Island (BAH), n.d., 1892],
[Folder 8: Miscellaneous—envelope, no contents, n.d.],

Folder 8: Miscellaneous—envelope, no contents, n.d.Add to your cart.

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