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Rewarded for Their Kindness

Found 8 November 1895, Cape Charles, Virginia.

In a securely sealed bottle:

Off Cape Fear, July 19, 1895, bark Julia A. Marks, leaking badly, nearly sunk; bound from Baltimore to Cuba; may have to leave here any time. If not heard from, please report this to Collector of Customs at Baltimore, where we cleared from. She hailed from Bath, Me. Please inform my family in Portland. The one finding this will be rewarded for their kindness. Capt. John Marks.

The message was found on the beach by a drug clerk named AH Bowie. Newspapers noted that no vessel named Julia A Marks had recently sailed from Baltimore, and no vessel by that name was mentioned in the Record of American and Foreign Shipping. However, the writer of the message may actually have given the name of the vessel and his own name as captain: “Julia A, Marks”.

[New York Times, 10 November 1895]