Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
OREGON FREE PRESS,
WEEK ENDING SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 1848.
F. W. PETTYfiHOVE and CO.,
General Commission Merchants,
And dealers in Drr Goods, Groceries, and Oregon
Produce. f. v. pettyohove, Portland.
a. e. wilson, Oregon City.
david m'loughlin, Champoeg.
Oregon City, April 7. Us.
T VAULT and 1 IIURSTOX.
Attorneys and Counsellors at Law,
And Solicitous in Chancbrt,
practice in the Supreme and Circuit Courts or
Oregon Territory. Office in Oregon City. is.
P. G. STEWART,
Clock and Watch Maker.
F.L orders executed with neatness and dcspaclb -on
Concerning the Loss of the Vancouver.
The Governor, with the Hoard of Commissioners on
" Pilots and Pilotage," consisting of N. Crosby, Jr., F.
W. Pettygrove, John G. Campbell, and Goo. L. Curry,
assembled in this City on Saturday morning last for the
purpose of an examination of the Pilot, in accordance
to law, relative to the late unfortunate occurrence of
the wreck of the 11. D. Company's bark Vancouver.
The following document was read and accepted:
To the Board of Commissioners on Pilots:
In accordance with the commission I received
on the 15th, from George Abernelhy, Governor of Ore
gon Territory, I left this place on the 16th for the mouth
of the Columbia, and on the morning of the 17lli, fell
in with and boarded the H. R. Co's Brig Mary Dare at
Willow Point, there learned that no vessels were in
sight the day before at the mouth of tle Columbia; al
so that the officers and crew, late of the Bark Vancou
ver, had proceeded up the river to Fort Vancouver;
therefore deemed it unnecessary for me lo proceed fur
ther, but return and ascertain the cause of the loss of
the Vancouver, which I did, and report to your honor
able board accordingly.
The information I get is from Capt. Mott, and is thus:
That on Sunday afternoon, the Slh, lie received Mr.
lteeve,thc Pilot, on board, and with a line breeze from
. N. W. proceeded in over the bar and afti-r crossing
the bar, when, between the north and south sands, the
wind became bailing and more moderate than outside.
"When near the south-west point of the middle, sand,
and south sand, (which are connected,) the ship was
tried for,and while in the act of stays the wind hauled
some eight points westerly. The sails were trimmed
to make the ship range olT the sand but before the ship
could gather way she was struck aback by an unfavor
able flaw. The ship having stem board, the anchor
was let go, the vessel club-hauled, and the sails
trimmed with her starboard tacks on board but the
moment the anchor was away she was again struck
aback by another unfavorable breeze from the west
ward, which gave the ship stern-board. The anchor
was immrdialely let go, but before sail could be got off
and the ship brought up, she struck the sand with the
anchor still dragging. She was soon hard and fast, as
it was impossible to get anchors out lo work the ship
olT the same way that she went on. All sail was then
put on lo force herover the sand inlo the south channel,
she being on shore on the south-west point of the mid
dle sand, connected with the south sand. The tide fall
ing, lliey did not succeed in forcing the ship far. Du
ring the night the sea was rough with strong gales from
north-west. All sail was taken ofT lo ease Ihe ship un
til the tide made Ihe sea making a fair breach over her
fore and aft. At 3 o'clock, A. M., on the 9th the ship
had worked within a short distaace of the south chan
nel, when she came upon hard, bottom, bilged fore and
aft and fell over on her beam ends. The masts were
then cul away, and at 9 o'clock all the crew landed on
Sandy Island. Some hours after, Reeve the Pilot land
ed. No blame is attached to any one. The Pilot stands
acquitted bolh by the Captain of the vessel and Ihe offi
cers of the If. B. Company. Capt. Molt stales that
Mr. Reeve showed no excitement whatever while in
difficulty, but the perfect skill of a thorough seaman.
I have since ordered Mr. Reeve lo come up as soon as
possible for examination, when no doubt he will ac
quit himself honorably, and procure new bondsmen.
I notice in Ihe Spectator " that the Vancouver struck
on the Shark Sj)it,and was wrecked there." There is
no such place as Shark Spit. If so many shoals as
South Sands, North Sands, Middle Sands, Peacock Spit,
Chinooke Spit, Shark Spit, and now Vancouver Spit,
and perhaps Isabella Spit will rise next, we surely
shall find no entrance into our river. It will look like
a " ncsl of dangers" in reality.
The Free Press also slates, " the Vancouver missed
stays and struck upon the bar, and then let go her an
chors." She did not strike upon the bar. There is at
no time less than five and a half fathoms of water
and as lo letting go anchors after a ship is on shore,
it would be considered folly.
Her anchor was let go before she struck, as the only
means lo prevent tier from going on shore.
I remain, gentlemen, respectfully,
Your ob't and humble serv't,
NATHL. CROSBV, Jr.
Capt. Molt, who was present on the occasion, and,
who commanded the Vancouver at the time of the dis
aster, submitted a most excellent detail or the circum
stances attending the loss of his vessel; a copy of which
was requested by Ihe Board for the purpose of placing'
on file. This documcntconlains all the particulars con
cerning the misfortune, and we hope we shall be fa
vored with a copy of it early enough lo enable us to
place it before our readers next week.
The following resolution was then offered by John.
G. Campbell, Esq., and unanimouslt adopted:
Resolved, That from the testimony of Capt. Mott
and officers, Mr. Reeve is not only fully exonerated
fiom blame in Ihe. loss of Ihe H. B. Co's bark Vancou
ver, but is entitled to praise for his calmness and lea
manlike conduct upon the occasion.