Send Us Help or We Are Lost

Found 6 August 1883, Sea Isle City, New Jersey.

In a bottle, picked up on the beach next to life-saving station 34:

Off Jersey coast. Lost at sea June 21, 1883, bark Atlanta, bound from Genoa to New-York. Have been without food for three days. Send us help or we are lost. Have buried Captain, mate, boatswain, and all but three sailors. Help us or we perish.

In July 1883 the US Board of Health reported three cases of yellow fever aboard a bark named Atlanta, which arrived at New Orleans (not New York) from Genoa after a journey of 97 days. The mate had died, and other crew-members had “dissipated”. The ship had not visited any ports known to carry yellow fever. A few weeks later, Dr Holt, the president of the Board of Health, stated his opinion that “it was alcoholism, not yellow fever, from which the mate died and the others were made sick”.

[New York Times, 7 August, 1883]

Author: Paul Brown

Writes about football and history. Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, The Guardian etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.