Notes - Minnehaha 1910

Times: Tuesday, April 19, 1910, Issue 39250 – Ashore, the MINNEHAHA (1910)

The steamship MINNEHAHA, of the Atlantic Transport Line, bound from New York to London, went ashore at 1 30a.m/ yesterday on the Seal Rock, near Bryher, one of the Isles of Scilly.  The weather was foggy, and it is said that the officers of the ship had been unable to take observations for three days.  A look-out was being kept for the Bishop Lighthouse when the ship grounded.  There were 64 passengers on board and some hundreds of cattle besides general cargo.  The passengers were all saved in boats and landed at Bryher and some of the cattle were landed on Samson Island.  After striking the vessel made water rapidly forward and the ship took a slight list to port.  The cargo in the first and second holds forward was jettisoned with the object of lightening the vessel.  Soon after the ship struck distress signals were made from the Bishop Rock.  The lifeboat at St Mary was launched and other boats put off from Bryher and other islands.  Wireless messages asking for assistance were received at Falmouth, and three tugs left there for the scene of the wreck.  In the meantime the passengers were conveyed to St Mary, where they were accommodated last night.  This morning they will be conveyed to Penzance by steamer and will travel to London by special train.  The steamer was holed amidships and had last evening 20ft of water in her forward hold.  The engine and boiler rooms were not damaged.  The weather remained foggy last night, with a moderate wind.
Our Plymouth Correspondent telegraphed late last night:-
Two tugs from Falmouth have arrived at Scilly and are in attendance on the MINNEHAHA.  The ship remains fast on the rock, and her position seems hopeless.  At high water no attempt was made to float her.  Although the fore part of the ship is flooded the after part is dry, as are also the engind and boiler rooms.  Just before the vessel struck, the northern point of Bryher Island had been sighted, and the captain, thinking himself to be south of the islands, headed in a south-westerly direction and struck the Seal Rock.  No panic occurred amongst the passengers, who were all landed by half-past 2 a.m.  If the sea continues smooth, the greater part of the cargo may be salved.

Times:  Wednesday, May 11, 1910, Issue 39269 – Court Case, MINNEHAHA 1

At Thames Police Court, Captain Hugh Thomas, master of the steam trawler LETTY, residing in Granville-road, Liverpool, and Robert Thomas, chief officer of the same ship, of Salem-street, Amlwch, North Wales, were charged before Mr Chester-Jones with stealing goods from the S.S. MINNEHAHA, at present lying on the rocks off the Scilly Isles.
It was stated that the property belonged to the Liverpool Salvage Association, who had charted the LETTY for use in salvaging the MINNEHAHA’S cargo.
James Berry, a dock constable in the service of the Port of London Authority, stated that he went on board the LETTY, which was lying in the East India Dock, and asked Captain Thomas what he had in his cabin.  He replied, “I have a few tins of meat. I got them from the wreck; and it is usual when salving vessels to have a bit of food.” Six tins of lunch tongues were found in a cupboard in the chart-room.  The witness also found a 7lb tin of beef and five fly cages; the latter Captain Thomas said he took to stain some paint.
Sergeant T. Foster said he spoke to Robert Thomas, who in reply said, “I am the chief officer.” In his berth he found an air gun and other, five tins of lunch tongues, a 7lb tin of preserves, and other things.  The air gun and other things were given me by men on the MINNEHAHA.  The other things I picked up on the ship amongst the hatches.”
Mr Chester-Jones remanded both prisoners, and admitted them on bail.

The Atlantic Transport liner MINNEHAHA which has been lying on the rocks at Scilly for some weeks, was successfully refloated yesterday, and proceded under her own steam to Crow Sound, where she now lies at anchor.

Times:  Monday, May 16, 1910, Issue 39273 - Court Case, MINNEHAHA 2

“The MINNEHAHA – Further Charges
At Thames, John Brown, 45, a ship’s mate, of Chatsworth-street, Liverpool, was brought up in the custody of Divisional, Detective-inspector Ball, K Division, charged with stealing property from the steamship MINNEHAHA, recently on the rocks off the Scilly Isles.
Counsel for the prosecution mentioned that some more men were to be arrested as soon as their vessel arrived in dock.  To lighten the vessel, three steam trawlers were engaged to take in cargo discharged from the MINNEHAHA.  Complaints had been made of a serious loss of some of the cargo placed in the Steinberg, one the trawlers, and in consequence of what was found the defendant and two seamen had been arrested.   After the Steinberg hah discharged her cargo and was about to leave the dock, Sergeant Foster went on boars, and in the defendant’s berth he found a large clock, six bottles of machine oil, bottles of tablets, and other articles.
The defendant: - I saw the thing lying about the deck and thought there was no harm in having them.
Counsel said there was no desire to press charges, but only prevent recurrence.
The magistrate dealt with the case as one of unlawful possession and fined the defendant £5, with the alternative of a month’s imprisonment.
Joshua Davis, 35, a seamen, of Aberporth, Carnarvon, and Michael Lee, a seamen of county Arklow, Ireland, were also charged with being in unlawful possession of some goods taken from the MINNEHAHA, and were each fined 40s with the alternative of 14 days imprisonment.

Note: There were six more people convicted of stealing on May 25th.  Hugh Thomas the master and Robert Thomas the chief officer were remanded again on June 1st they were bound to come up for judgement if called upon.  Issue 39288)


Times: Thursday, May 26, 1910, Issue 39282 – MINNEHAHA, Board of Trade Inquiry
Times: Wednesday, June 1, 1910, Issue 39287 – MINNEHAHA, Board of Trade Inquiry
Times:  Saturday, June 4, 1910, Issue 39290 – MINNEHAHA, Board of Trade Inquiry
Times:  September 27, Issue 39389 36 tons of coffee was condemned as unfit for human consumption.
Times: Tuesday, December 13, 1910, Issue 39454 – Salvage of Cattle from the MINNEHAHA, award of £780 10s., made to the plaintiffs. (Mr Francis Tonkin and 146 boatmen from the Isles of Scilly)

Other References:

1 - Scillonian Magazine: No. 13, p20; No. 44, p156; No. 45, p29; No. 115, p195; No. 142, p106; No. 144, p253. (Up to 1975)
2 - Islander Magazine, Spring 2010, 7th Edition - The Wreck of the MINNEHAHA by Amanda Martin. Page 22.
3 - The Scillonian, No. 271, Summer 2010, pages 160-163.