Southwestern Historical Quarterly
not to be washed overboard. As I said, the vessel broke in twain, some
five persons tried to save themselves on the strong frame work of the
so called walking beam. While I was thus situated on the roof of the
cabin, the berth all broke out and washed out underneath. I saw too
remarkable incidents, on top of the steamer there were some barrels
of apples one of which fell down, and accidentally an apple rolled
out; the mate of the steamer picked it up, and said that is probably
the last apple he ever would eat. I was near him. I had some Spanish
dollars belted around my waist, and I can't swim mo[page torn] a hen.
I unbelted it for I believed I would have no further use of it in this
world, and if there was a chance for me to be saved I at least would
not be killed by money sinking me. I can not tell whether my belt of
money was washed overboard or whether some more courageous per-
son picked it up. There was one passenger on board who had plenty
money; he prayed long to have his life saved; he scattered his money
about, which no one picked up, and finally shot himself in despair,
fell down within six feet of me, and was not washed off, and we buried
him in the sands of Last Island.
No one in good health, when suddenly danger of death stares
unexpectedly in his face can imagine that terrible feeling. The crim-
inal condemned, can look for it as a fiat of law, but the innocent in
full life and hope, oh, it is hard to give up life, though humble his
On that steamer, when I enjoyed the company of my comrades so
well, when all relished the excellent supper spread before us on the
steamer, we could not think that this was possibly, our last supper-
yet so it was with some of the passengers.
While I was down on my hands and knees on the roof of the cabin,
and I saw it part from the stout frame work of the walking beam of
the machinery, and while breaking off dipping down, till we rose
again, the frail roofing bending under us like a crawling snake, no
support to cling to, dark as it was, occasionally a wave splashing us-
I most earnestly and fervently prayed God save me-I did not as in
Church on duty pray-God save me, if it is thy will; I wanted to be
saved any how, though my hope was very slim. I have never prayed so
fervently before or since.
As a kind Providence or fortune would have it, the human freight
of some twenty five persons who clung to the roofing of the cabin
were by a favorable wind blown safely near shore, so we could walk
out. It was too dark to see the Island, but little over the sea; the first
intimation of land, a Newfoundland dog that was on board, and
could see better in the dark (he must have made shore sooner than
we), barked in joyous glee to see us lost passengers advance.
I can not tell the time, how long we were on the wreck before the
vessel broke up, nor how long we were in wafting out to shore; min-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed December 6, 2013.