Page 29 - Shipwreck at Little Lorraine from an article by D.C. Harvey, late Provincial Archivist for Nova Scotia
ISSUE : Issue 11
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1
their usual harvest, both on land and sea. I found these poor fellows, to the number of about 15, part in boats dragging for the bodies, and part on shore excavating the ground, for which they had very poor instruraents; a few Irish spades and no pickax. They had been at this work, I believe, about fifteen days, and had got up and in? terred about 70 or 80 bodies. They were growing very tired and disheartened, seeing the alternative was the loss of their crops and fishing without any certainty of be? ing paid for the work they were perforraing, or of leaving the corpses to be strewed along the coast, a prey to the pigs, dogs, fish &c;, &c.; They found, too, that with their liraited nurabers and raeans it was hardly possible to finish before the bodies would be in so advanced a state of decoraposition that to manage thera would be ex? ceedingly difficult, for they were already changing fast. I should have been very glad that I could have assured thera of remuneration, and set them to work heartily, with proper tools and raore laborers. As it was, I stretched ray conscience a little by telling thera I thought it irapossible they could be refused payraent. You will think, perhaps, as I have heard sorae persons intimate, that the men would take care to pay themselves frora the wreck, and the property of the deceased. That, I verily believe, is irapracticable. The wreck was bought by one person, who' being always in attendance, keeps all that has escaped destruction for hiraself. This is not ranch. The hull, masts, crates, boxes, and everything that would float, were dashed to a thousand atoms among the rocks. All that would sink is at the bottora in 18 feet of water. Coins, of course, can never be recovered. Cordage and iron work the purchaser rakes up, and also sorae clothes, paltry enough. He does not pretend to claim what is found on the bodies; but they are, with few exceptions, brought up from the bottora in a state of nudity, the unfortunate passengers having been probably drowned in their berths, or before they had time to put on any vestment. It is, I believe, the habit of the lower class of Irish to retire to rest without a nightdress. At any rate, these corpses had nothing on thera; and what appears singular, nearly all the nuraber as yet obtained are females, on whora it is not likely any araount of raoney would have been found, even had they been clothed. I know not how to account for this circurastance, unless on the supposition that they have been entangled, and held to the spot by the hair, while the men were drifted to a greater distance by the current, or motion of the sea. The seaweed is entwined with the hair of these bodies Reuben McEvoy's General Store Ltd. We Specialize in Camping Bquipment INGONISH BBACH and Clothing of All Kinds Open all year as well as Hardware, Plumbing and at the entrance to the beautiful Blectrical Supplies Cape Breton Highlands National Park R H YMES Flowers &Gif; ts Ltd. 274 Charlotte St., Sydney Phone: 539-1214 Rhymes Plaza Florist Cape Breton Shopping Centre Sydney River Phone: 564-8411 Year Round Service to Cape Bretoners and their Friends Campbell's Market Baddeck jCj/nwood BADDECK, NOVA SCOTIA ART ANTIQUES HANDCRAFTS WOOLENS Town and Country RESTAURANT Red ond White FOOD STORES Baddeck Port Hawkesbury Sydney River & Glace Bay Port Hawkesbury
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