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Page 10 - The Wreck of the "Auguste", 1761

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1 (739 reads)

The Wreck of the "ALguste," 1761 Three' Divers Eddie Barrington and Bob MacKinnon and their crews have discovered the wreck of the AUGUSTE at Dingwall in July, 1977. The existence of the wreck has long been known but the precise location was uncertain. One of the most important clues to that location is the Journal we offer below. It was written by Saint-Luc de la Cornei one of the survivors, who was leaving Canada to return to France. Quebec had fallen to the British and the French were permitted to go home. Those aboard the AUGUSTE did not make it. And because of the high rank of many on board, it is thought that what has been located at Dingwall--in 12 feet of water, about 1000 yards from shore • is a wreckage not only of considerable historical significance but a find of trea? sure as well. Here, then, is the story of the wreck of the AUGUSTE at Dingwall, and of the winter walk of survivors to Ingonish and on to where Micmac Indians rescued them where the Englishtown ferry now crosses at the mouth of St. Ann's Bay. The Journal of St. Luc de la Corne: I left Montreal on September 27?? 1761, in the schooner Catiche, Captain Dussaut, ac? companied by my brother the Chevalier, my two children, my two nephews, and several other French officers and soldiers. We got as far as Three Rivers on the 28th, left there on the 29th, and were lucky enough to reach Quebec on the same day. General Murray received us with all possible politeness. He spared no pains to assure us of a pleasant crossing, and we were quite o- vercome by his efforts on our behalf. Only two vessels had been provided to take our party to Europe. Perceiving that these were not adequate • for they could not comfortably take such a large number of passengers • I suggested to General Murray that I should buy or hire another vessel at my own expense He turned down the suggestion, out of gen? erosity it seems, for two days later the ship Auguste was made ready for us. I en? gaged her stateroom at a cost of five hun? dred Sp'anish piastres, which I paid over to the captain. On October 11, after discussing with my brother the danger to which we would be ex? posed because of the captain's not being a pilot, we called on General Murray to ask his permission to engage a river pilot. The General replied that we would be in no more danger than the other vessels, since he was Cape Breton's Magazine/10 sending a small boat with instructions to escort us all down as far as the last an? chorage on the river. A strong north-east wind held us in harbour for three days. We got away on the 15th, but went only to St. Patrick inlet. On the following day, with a south-east wind, we hoisted anchor and reached a point about a league from the Isle aux Coudres, where the strength of the current forced us to anchor. As we did so, the ship's big anchor gave way; the anchorage itself was not at all safe, and very little would have sufficed to throw us on shore. We were on the verge of being wrecked, and this would have been rather to our liking, for we were still within the borders of Canada. ?? We set off again on the 17th, and came to anchor with the two other vessels in the good harbour of Isle aux Coudres. We were not able to go further until October 27, being delayed by a strong north-east wind. In the intervening time we consumed the greater part of our provisions and had to buy fresh supplies at heavy cost. At length, favoured with a south-west wind, we got to a point opposite Camouraska, where we an? chored . The next day, October 28th, the wind hold? ing firm, the officer appointed to escort
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