Civil War Solider’s Widow Appeals for Help

[Helen Amanda (Sampson) Blaisdell, 1843-1927, Moline, Illinois, widow of
Captain James M. Blaisdell, 1835-1897, 9th New Hampshire Regiment, wrote the
following letter June 3, 1914 — 17 years after her husband’s death — to the U.S.
Pension Office.]
Dear Sir,
I am the widow of James Blaisdell, Co. H, 9th NH Regiment. I will do the best I
can and tell you all that I know about his sickness.

Malaria and Swamp Fever in Mississippi

When Mr. Blaisdell went into the Army he was a well, strong man. He was
always well until they were ordered down to Mississippi, as the History of the
Regiment says on that fatal journey down the Mississippi. They were sent down
there in the worst time, in the heat of summer with the heat and malaria and
swamp fever. Is it any wonder the most of them were sick? They were at
Jackson and Vicksburg.
They may have had as hard times in other places, but the climate was bitter, a
terrible place for New Hampshire soldiers to go. Before the Regiment was
ordered back, the sick were sent up in Hospital boats, and Mr. Blaisdell came
home at that time. I don’t think he even got over the hard time he had down in
After his furlough expired he went to Kentucky and reported for duty. His
company was two miles from Cynthiana. They were guarding the Kentucky
Central Railroad. He was provost guard at Cynthiana while they were in
When they were ordered to go into active service he was still feeling bad. And
when in front of Petersburg, wrote me that he had made up his mind to resign, if
he saved what health he had. He would leave the Army. And while he was
waiting for things to quiet down in front of Petersburg this other trouble came.
He did not want to leave; he said he’d rather stay and see the end, but thought
best to resign.
Never a Well Man after the War
After he came home in August 1864 he never was able to do anything until the
next June. Then we came west. He never was a well man, but always took the
best of care of himself.
He never was down sick, and the day he died was up until nine o’clock in the
evening, and at ten was dead. He had a stroke and did not live ten minutes after.
He always took a resting spell during the day and a nap in the afternoon.

The morning the trouble came he had been up to see Colonel Titus, 9th NH, and
he said he took two glasses of whisky. And when he came back he met Major
Potter. They were not good friends and always passed each other as strangers. I
guess he had been to visit someone, for he had been taking something stronger
than water.

Language Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman

He made some remark as he passed Mr. Blaisdell, and he told him he was a
“damn liar.” Mr. Blaisdell said he if he had not been drinking he would not have
said anything, and if I had, I should never have answered him. He was charged
with using language unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and [was] dismissed
[from] the service.
In 1866 he had a paper sent him that was supposed to remove the disability – and
also a check for three hundred fifty dollars – back pay due him when he left the
service. I will send you that paper and you can judge for yourself. The 9th NH
History speaks of his intention to resign.
Soldiers Buried in a Blanket, Far from Home
The 9th NH Regiment and other regiments that were in Mississippi came up for
good. They stopped every night and buried twenty-five or thirty soldiers, buried
far from home and friends, among strangers, wrapped only in a blanket. There
were only 93 able bodied men that answered the roll call when they came up
from Mississippi. Fourteen months before, they left Concord with one thousand
As a soldier you can’t find anything against his record, and I regret very much
that things happened as they did. I am just seventy-one and would be glad if I
could get a pension. I feel the need of it in many ways. Yours, Mrs. H. S.
Blaisdell, Moline, Illinois
Helen Amanda (Sampson) Blaisdell w/o Captain JAMES M. BLAISDELL
From: James Wason Blaisdell, Ebenezer Blaisdell – (6.212)

Journey of the Blaisdells

by Louise Butler

Stephen Hawking, the world’s most renowned physicist, and possibly the only  true rival to Albert Einstein in sheer brain power, asks: “Why can’t we  remember the future as we do the past?” He reasons that both are points on the  arrow of time, yet we only have mental references for the one and not the other.  

Our story begins with the founder of our feast, Ralph Blaisdell in the year he, his  wife Elizabeth Parker, and their son, Henry, first set foot on the North American  continent. So our journey will have to be reminiscence instead of a preview. But  I believe that looking at the past is a very good way to examine the future.  

Risks and Opportunities  

Space travel is the only thing I can think of that is analogous to the journey taken  by Ralph, Elizabeth and Henry Blaisdell in 1635. It is the only step we can make  that would be as perilous, as irrevocable, as demanding as the step the Blaisdell’s  made in coming to this country.  

What would make you fly off into space? What would make you leave the land of  your birth and permanently move to a foreign country? A country holding none of  the comforts or benchmarks of civilization that you know? Think of it. You  would travel by unsafe and uncomfortable transportation to a place where you  would have no home, lest you build it; no food lest you grow it; no safety lest you  provide it; no clothing lest you sew it.  

The truth is, it is easier to be an astronaut in 2010 than to be a colonist in 1635!  The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635  

The Angel Gabriel arrived under skies impacted by disturbing weather. The skies  were leaden gray and heavy. Any sailor with a weather eye would know a storm  was coming. And come it did. Ralph, Elizabeth and Henry Blaisdell were about  to be the victim’s of one of the most violent hurricanes ever to visit the New  England coast: The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635.  

The Great Colonial Hurricane is the first great storm recorded by the Europeans  who were steadily populating New England and the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard. We  have many excellent descriptions of the hurricane from men who were traveling in  convoy with the Angel Gabriel and who left her for Newfoundland and Boston.  

The hurricane was probably a Category 3 or 4. The eye passed between Boston  and Plymouth with winds approximately 115 miles per hour. A tidal surge twenty  feet high was reported in Boston. Thousands of trees were toppled and houses  flattened in the populated areas of New England as the storm headed, “down  east,” straight for the coast of Maine.  

Meantime, the Angel Gabriel was at anchor off Pemaquid Point when the wind,  waves and rain struck. As the men, women and children frantically sought shelter  with whatever possessions they had been able to take from the ship the previous  evening, a storm of “biblical” proportions closed in on them.  

This is not a coast of sandy beaches, gently rolling up into dunes and coastal hills.  There is nothing soft or gentle about this coast. Ralph and Elizabeth landed on  Devonian era metamorphic and igneous rock: bare, solid and around 400 million  years old. The Angel Gabriel was torn from its moorings and dashed onto these  Paleozoic rocks of Maine. It was completely destroyed. 

Among the immigrants huddled on shore, watching as their only link to the old  world sank beneath the gray waves, were Ralph and Elizabeth Blaisdell, and their  three year old son, Henry. They had risked all, left the family and home they  knew in England, and traveled to a primitive land, burning every bridge behind  them.  

What made them leave? What made them risk all in a dangerous adventure? For  that we need to turn our attention from a commoner like Ralph to the King of  England himself.  

Puritan Persecution  

King Charles I of England was a man whose refusal to compromise over  complex religious and political situations let to the British civil war, his own  execution, and the abolition of the Monarchy. He was also very instrumental in  each of us being here today.  

Charles was the second son of James I of England, successor to Elizabeth I. He  was a sickly child, raised far from his parents care. He was a good and serious  student and devoted to his older brother, Henry. Upon the death of that older  brother, Charles became heir to the throne and seriously prepared himself for what  he thought was a throne by Divine right. He became King in 1625, 10 years  before Ralph came to North America  

Between his ascension to the throne in 1625 and his beheading in 1649 England  went through a mass migration, losing 1 of every 50 people to immigration and a  great Civil War lead by Oliver Cromwell and the roundheads. Make no mistake,  the journey of the Blaisdell’s was a Puritan based exodus.  

A Puritan Mass Exodus  

Ralph Blaisdell was part of a 10 year mass exodus of Puritans who were either  practicing or escaping religious intolerance, depending on your point of view.  This was a migration spurred by Archbishop Laud and King Charles providing  the, “stick behind” and the promise of a theologically pure and limitless land  acting as the, “carrot” in front.  

Ralph was from The Lancashire area of northern England and probably lived in or  near the town of Bleas Dale. This locale was a hot bed of the Puritan movement  and Ralph Blaisdell must have been in the thick of it. There are two facts which  speak to this.  

First, Ralph, Elizabeth and Henry boarded the Angel Gabriel in Wales, not Bristol,  England, where the travel of Puritans was closely monitored. Their names do not  appear on the original registry.  

Puritan Leader Rev. Richard Mather’s  

Second, the Blaisdells kept some very interesting company on their trek to the  New World. There was a small armada of immigrant ships sailing together for  protection from both pirates and foul luck. On board one of these ships, the St.  James, was an Anglican priest from the same Lancashire County as the Blaisdells.  

That man was the Reverend Richard Mather. No person has more cause for  pride in progeny than does Richard Mather. He was a rock ribbed Puritan and had  been removed from the Church of England because of “non-conformist” ideas.  Friends from America convinced him of the necessity of immigrating, along with  his suspect beliefs to a land where they might be appreciated. 

Reverend Mather was the father of Increase Mather. Increase became a minister  and gave his first sermon at the age of 18. He served Oliver Cromwell in  England, but returned to America when the King and Anglicanism were restored.  He became the President of Harvard. After marrying his step sister, Maria  Cotton, they bore Cotton Mather.  

Cotton was a minister and scholar and prosecutor of witches at the Salem Witch  Trials. Cotton found himself at odds with his father, Increase, at these trials.  With Increase cautioning skepticism and leniency and Cotton positive that all  women are witches at heart and should be treated as such.  

You can see that with Richard Mather as part and, probably, spiritual leader, of  this migration that the tone of the group was both high and single minded.  

Contrary to the bleak portrayals of the poor pilgrims on the Mayflower, the  immigrants on the Angel Gabriel fared much better. There was plenty of livestock  on board to eat and they also had beer, bread, oatmeal, buttered peas and sack  pudding. They were a moral group, attending regular church services and putting  ashore a drunken sailor.  

The Angel Gabriel and her sister ship, the St. James, even took time to briefly  chase a Turkish pirate ship. After a relatively uneventful ten week voyage, falling  prey to the Great Colonial Hurricane must have seemed like a cruel reminder of  how perilous their leap of faith truly was.  

Ralph Blaisdell Thrives in America  

Yet this tenacious family not only survived, they thrived. Ralph was 43 when he  sailed for America. He must have married late in life as his only child, Henry, was  3 years old. One can presume that his wife, Elizabeth Parker, was a much younger  woman. Ralph Blaisdell was an able leader. There is indication that Ralph was  both intelligent and industrious, or perhaps the New World brought out the best in  him. During his short stay in York, Maine he owned property, was a town leader,  and was named an attorney for the town.  

Ralph’s family did not stay in York, but instead, moved to Salisbury,  Massachusetts where he was an honored member of the founding fathers. In  Salisbury he was one of only eight men who earned the honorific of “Mister.” He  was referred to as “Goodman Blaisdell” and his wife as “Goody Blaisdell,” all of  these being terms of respect offered leaders in the town.  

Ralph, who may be spinning in his grave over that news, packed a great deal of  enterprise into the 14 years he had in America before his death in 1649. He added  to his family while in this country and each of those children seemed to have gone  forth and multiplied. For surely there are a great many of us today….  

Ralph & Elizabeth’s Progeny  

When you climb the stairs at the Pemaquid Point Light House you can imagine  yourself climbing rungs up a family ladder. Each step is the person who came  before, providing solid footing and a firm foundation for the next person on the  way up. Each ascent is a victory, but it is also an obligation. We are not here just  to see how high we can climb, but to build a way for those who come after us.  

If you want to know the future, remember the past. People may, some day, want  to know who we were, and what we did to make history. Our stories may not be  heroic, or romantic, or extraordinary, but if we have lived well it will be enough. 

[The author presented a fuller version with power point of “The Journey of the  Blaisdells” in a seminar she presented during the BFNA national reunion June 18,  Mt. Vernon, IL, and June 19 at the Blasdel family farm, Wayne City, IL.]  Louise Antonnette (Yatckoske (Whittenburg) Butler From: Irene Blaisdell  Yatckoske, Jesse Blaisdell, Marshall S. Blasdell, Marshall Newton Blasdell, Ezra  Blasdell—(C6). 

Crossing the Atlantic in 1635

BACKGROUND: R. Carter Blaisdell, Black Mountain, NC, prepared the research for the Angel Gabriel’s “Crossing of the Atlantic in 1635” in 1997. He based his research on the 1635 diary of Rev. Richard Mather, a Puritan divine, and on a paper by J. Mason Burnham, presented in August 1985 at the 350th anniversary of the Angel Gabriel’s crossing the Atlantic from Bristol, England, to Pemaquid Point, Maine. Pemaquid, Maine, which had seen European planters [immigrants] from Europe as early as 1605, was a common  destination for the Angel Gabriel, a 240 ton, 16 gun ship, built in 1614 for Sir Walter Raleigh for his voyages to Guiana, South America. Pemaquid Point and harbor is composed of black and gray granite rock. After 1618 the ship was used for immigrant trade between England and America until 1635 when she was shipwrecked off Pemaquid Point on August 15, 1635, during The Great Colonial Hurricane. She was the first passenger ship until then to meet with catastrophe. Angel Gabriel had won distinction for defeating three Spanish ships to defend the city of Bristol, England in 1631. Angel Gabriel left Thursday, June 4, 1635 from Bristol, England, harbor with four other vessels: the Diligence, Mary and Bess, who were headed for Newfoundland, and the St. James, who with 100 passengers was headed for Boston. The Angel Gabriel’s first stop was to be Pemaquid Point, Maine. Stalled by unfavorable winds, the five ships waited 12 days at Milford Haven, Wales, and then with the aid of a freshening easterly wind, the five ships left Milford Haven and by noon were out of sight. Angel Gabriel’s last voyage was captained by William Andrews. Thirty (30) passengers came over on the last voyage: 

Captain Robert Andrews, who settled in Ipswich’s Chebacco Parish, where he had a house and family. He was made a freeman May 6, 1635.  

Thomas, John and Robert Burnham, three nephews of Captain William Andrews, being the sons of his sister Mary and her husband, Robert Burnham. The three nephews also settled in Chebacco Parish.  

John Bailey, a weaver from Chippenham, England, settled in Newbury with his son and daughter. His wife and other children in England remained separated forever as the wife refused to risk the New England voyage, and Bailey would not return. However, in his will dated 1851, John Bailey left his wife twenty pounds sterling provided she come over.  

John Cogswell, his wife, eight children, and servants William Furber and Samuel Haines migrated from Westbury, Wiltshire, England. Mr. Cogswell had recently sold his woolen business and all his property to settle in Ipswich where he received a town lot and a large grant of 300 acres in Chebacco Parish. Cogswell salvaged only a part of his freight from the wreck of The Angel Gabriel, although goods and specie valued at $25,000 were aboard, a large sum for the 17th century.  

William Furber departed Ipswich on expiration of his apprenticeship with John Cogswell. He moved to Dover, married and settled down.  

Samuel Haines also left Ipswich on expiration of his apprenticeship and returned to England to marry and brought his wife back to Dover, where they also settled.  

William Hook.  

John Tuttle settled in Dover. Other Tuttles immigrated in other in ships in 1635, but John Tuttle was always referred to as “John Tuttle who came in the Angel Gabriel.”  

Ralph Blaisdell, age 42, his wife Elizabeth Parker Blaisdell, and their son Henry Blaisdell, age 3. He was from Lancashire, England, the same area that Richard Mather and his family were from. Ralph first went to the southern Maine town of York, and within a few years was one of the first settlers of Salisbury, MA.  Henry Simpson, wife and children “planted” in York, Maine. Two were lost on the voyage, and three during the August 15 Hurricane. Governor of New England, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, said that  “planters” [immigrating colonial settlers] were “going to New England in heaps.” South of Pemaquid, Maine, and east to Monhegan Island [the cradle of New England] were English  settlements. North of there and inland were French settlements. People came to New World for religious freedom and for the trade of furs, fishing and to own their own land.

The Ralph Blaisdell and Henry Simpson families were bound for York, on the coast of southern Maine. The other passengers were headed for points farther south in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where they had relatives waiting for them. Rev. Richard Mather of Lancashire, England, on the James ship (which accompanied The Angel Gabriel from June 4 to July 4, 1635) had been removed from his Anglican Church in 1633 because of his non-conformist beliefs. By April 1634 restrictions were placed on immigration and a system of searchers, who boarded outgoing ships looking for persons who were not licensed “to pass beyond the seas,” was instituted. On May 23 “two searchers came on board the James, viewed the list of all passengers, ministered to us the oath of allegiance to all of a full age, viewed our certificates from the ministers of the parishes from which we had come, approved of the lists, and gave us licenses with their signatures and seals to pass the seas, cleared our ship for departure,” wrote Richard Mather in his diary. Bristol city is about five (5) miles inland up the Avon River from the Severn Estuary where the wharves and merchant establishments were located. Kings Road was along a deep water harbor at the mouth of the Avon River on the east side of the Severn Estuary, but with tides and contrary winds it was a most difficult channel to navigate.  


The Angel Gabriel comes into Bristol, England, harbor, known also as the Kings Road on the east side of the Severn Estuary.

May 26, 1635, Angel Gabriel – 240 tons – enters Bristol harbor area and joins up with the James, much lighter – 110 tons, but can carry 100 passengers. The Angel Gabriel did not yet have its full complement of 30 passengers and cattle.  

May 27, 1635, Passengers from three boats came aboard The Angel Gabriel. Sir Ferdinando Gorge was granted the Province of Maine in 1629 and was appointed Governor for New England in March 1635. He came on board the Angel Gabriel, asking the passengers of their country, occupation and calling of life. 

He expressed his good will and promised if he ever came to Mass-achusetts he would be a true friend unto them.  

May 28, The cattle for the Angel Gabriel were brought on board. While winds delayed departure, the immigrants had time to go ashore to wash and buy more oats and hay for the animals, and bread for themselves. We assume that the Angel Gabriel’s passengers were also inspected by two searchers as had the James on May 23. Richard Mather, a passenger on the James, said on of the passengers on the ship Angel Gabriel, “Among them some loving and godly Christians that were glad to see us.” Richard Mather is the father of Increase Mather [who later to became President of Harvard College] and grandfather to Cotton Mather, minister, scientist and scholar. The passengers met with each other several times until wind conditions would be right for departing: The more heavily armed Angel Gabriel would help protect the James on the high seas from pirates or in case of disaster.  

May 28, the Captain of the Angel Gabriel and some of her passengers came on board the St. James. Food brought on board: oats and hay for cattle, bread, victuals, water, milk, foul, cheese, eggs, fresh fish. A typical meal on the Angel Gabriel consisted of mutton broil, turkey and good sack. When wind strong and the waves high, the ship was bounced around. Many of the women and some children got seasick, dizzy and light headed, vomiting, and could scarcely stand or walk without falling unless they took hold of something.


June 4, Angel Gabriel – 240 ton and the James – 110 ton, along with the three ships bound Newfoundland (theDiligence – 150 tons, the Mary – 80 tons, and the  Elizabeth – 240 ton) departed Bristol’s Kings Road and went as far as Lundy Island at the mouth of the Severn, where they dropped  

their pilots on June 9.  

June 9, A Thursday, tacked north to Milford Haven, Wales. The passengers and crew bought “victuals, visited, went to church, held joint services with the “Gabriel” and other ships, and variously occupied 12 wind-bound days.  

June 12, Near Hartford, a knight of the country, Sir James Parret, came on board. After conversing with the men he lamented that “so many of the best people for upholding  

religion were removed and taken away” to New England.  

June 14, Second Sabbath since leaving Bristol. Many of the passengers from Angel Gabriel went to a church on shore at Nangle and heard two refreshing and “comforting” sermons from Rev. Jessop from Pembrooke, a grave and godly man, who “had lost a good living, because of his non-conformity.”  

His text was Psalm 91:11  

June 18, One of the sailors, by name of Jeffrey Cornish, of the James was put on shore by the ship’s Captain for “drunkenness, blasphemy, brawling and cursing.”  

Monday, June 22 the two ships set sail from Milford Haven, where they had waited for the wind for 12 days, and by noon had lost all sight of land.  

June 23, The James and Angel Gabriel lost sight of the three ships bound for Newfoundland. “The Angel Gabriel is a strong ship, furnished with 14 pieces of ordinances [canons], and the James seamen desired the Angel Gabriel’s company. But the Angel Gabriel was slow in sailing, and at times the James went with three less sails to let the Angel Gabriel stay with them,” wrote Mr. Richard 

Mather in his diary. On the Angel Gabriel were found several children recovering from small pox. Afterward they stayed for supper with Captain Andrews.  

June 24, Seen porpoises [dolphins] leaping running near our ship. The James and Angel Gabriel pursued a Turkish Pirate ship, which had taken the Newfoundland-bound Mary captive, but could not catch them, so turned back onto their regularcourse.  

June 28, Fourth Sabbath since leaving Bristol and first Sabbath on the high seas after leaving Milford Haven on June 22.  

June 29, One of the seamen struck a great porpoise, and hauled it into the ship with ropes, about the size of a hog which would sell for 20-25 shillings. The flesh was fat and lean with color like a hog. And when cut open, had liver, lights, heart and guts like that of a swine. It was like a sporting event for the women and children.  

June 29, Captain Taylor of the James and Rev. Mather went on board ship the Angel Gabriel and found that several children were recovering from small pox. Many women and children had been seasick as well. We remained for supper with them and had “good cheer, mutton boiled and roasted, roasted turkey, and good sacke.”  

June 30, We saw porpoises and crampushes [whales] as big as an ox, puffing and spewing up water as they went by the ship.  

July 4, Mr. Mather wrote, “We saw the truth of Scripture, Psalm 107:23-31. ‘Some went out to sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, His wonderful deeds in the deep. For He spoke and stirred the tempest, that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. ‘They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. (v. 28) He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.’”  


July 4, Some were very seasick. None could go or stand on the deck, because of “the tossing and tumbling of the ship.” This was the last day passengers on the Angel Gabriel saw the ship James. The James went on ahead, concerned that the hay or cattle could not hold out if they slowed up to the let  

the Angel Gabriel stay even with them. The James was now able to go full sail. 

July 7, A bird was sighted, like that of a swallow, called a  Pitterill, which follows ships against foul weather. Another whale is spotted as big as an ox.  

July 18, Many Bonnyetoes leaping and playing about the ship. This is a fish a little larger than a cod, but less than a porpoise.  

July 19, Seventh Sabbath since leaving Bristol. The wind was so strong that the preacher’s loudest voice could not be heard while leading the services.  

July 20, Many dolphins were playing about the ship; many seafowl, hagbats and others.  

July 21, The seamen caught a Bonnyetoe and opened him up on the deck. It was as good a tasting fish one could desire.  

July 22, An abundance of sea fowl like Pitterels and hagbats. 

July 23, An abundance of porpoises and crampushes [whales], leaping and spewing up water about the ship. The seamen thought that the ship was near land, because they noted a change in the color of the water, but with their sounding with a line of a 160 fathoms, they still could not find bottom.  

July 24, Exceedingly cold, like a winter December day. Saw fish twice as big as an ox swimming along side of the ship. We saw mighty whales, spewing water like chimney smoke, making the sea about them white and hoary as in Job 41:32. Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair. Mr. Mather no longer wondered if the body of Jonah could be in the belly of a  

whale.  At evening the seamen sounded and found ground at 50 fathoms.  

July 25, Seamen sounded again and found no bottom, concluding that the day before they had been on the Newfoundland banks. The captain estimated that the ship had 250 leagues to go before reaching its destination.  

July 25, The passengers and crew feasted on three porpoises, striked by the seamen, and seasoned with salt, pepper andvinegar. The fat was like fat bacon and the lean meat like bull beef.  

July 26, Eighth Sabbath since leaving Bristol. The wind blew the rain so strong that the rain leaked through the sides of the ship and got the bedding wet.  

July 28, So hot that people and cattle afflicted with faintness, sweating and heat, but the goodness of our God caused a north by east wind to come up about noon, which relieved the heat and helped us forward on our way.  

July 28, A bluebird landed on the ship, which meant we were not far from land.  

July 30, About sunset we saw with admiration and delight innumerable multitudes of huge crampushes [whales] rolling and tumbling about the sides of the ship, spewing and puffing up water. Also seen were Bonnyetoes and lesser fish, “so marvelous to behold are the works and wonders of the Almighty in the deep.”  

August 1, Seamen sounded and found land at 60 fathoms. Another land bird came and landed on the sails of the ship. Seamen fished and caught cod as fast as they could hale them  


August 2, The ninth Sabbath since leaving Bristol.  

August 3, About three in the morning, a strong storm and tempest of wind and rain came to us. The seamen let down the sails. The ship was tossed with fearful mountains and valleys of water, as if we could have been overwhelmed and swallowed up. This did not last long. The wind was against us, so we floated along the coast. There was also a great fog and mist all day. We did gain an abundance of cod and halibut. Many mackerel were caught. Saw multitude of great whales, which we were now used to  


August 9, The tenth Sabbath since leaving Bristol.  

August 14, Angel Gabriel made her landfall off Monhegan Island during the early morning hours. Captain Andrews tacked the Angel Gabriel safely to anchor in Pemaquid Harbor by early evening, probably in the cove opposite Shurt’s Fort, present day Fort William Henry. 


August 15, Early Saturday morning, Angel Gabriel, anchored to the north, was caught by the Great Colonial Hurricane. Three or four passengers lost their lives. One seaman was drowned. Most of the cattle perished, and the passengers lost their goods. From Richard Mather’s diary: “The Angel Gabriel, at anchor at Pemaquid, was burst in pieces and cast away in the storm, and most of the cattle and other goods with one seaman and three or four passengers did also perish therein, besides two of the passengers who died on the way, the rest having their lives given them for a prayer.”  


[We now know that in the early fall storm tracks come from the Caribbean, rotating counterclockwise, bringing great quantities of rain from the sea on their leading edge. The cyclonic winds can get up to 200 mph and are capable of  huge destruction. See “The Great Colonial Hurricane” under Angel Gabriel.] Angel Gabriel had sailed 1000 leagues or 3000 miles from England. The trip took ten (10) weeks and one (1) day after leaving Bristol, having departed Bristol on June 4 and landing at Pemaquid August 14, 1635. Passengers remained healthy by walking the deck in the fresh air and having a variety of food. They had good and wholesome bread and beer, salt fish and salt beef, bacon or buttered peas, buttered bag pudding from currants and raisins, pottage beer and oatmeal, water pottage well buttered. After the storm “we saw many mighty trees rent in pieces from the storm. Others were uprooted.” Down the coast in the Massachusetts Bay on Marvil Head 23 colonists and seamen had been swept into the sea and  

perished, except one man and his wife, who survived to report the news. The Angel Gabriel of Bristol, England, was the first ship to carry passengers to the New World and who suffered a catastrophic fate.  

– end –