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Researching Shipwrecks


Two of the most requested publications of this office have been "Principal Marine Disasters" and "U.S. Merchant Ship Losses". The value of both lists, however, has been greatly exaggerated. The former was a list taken from a standard World Almanac while the latter was a list of American merchant ships that were lost during World War II. In most cases, exact positions of the merchant ships were not known or were approximated. Entries such as, "lost in North Atlantic" were not uncommon. Essentially then these lists are of little use to the serious diver.

The following is a list of sources that have some information related to sunken vessels. Also please find a list of books that have been written about shipwrecks. The subject has been well-documented and these sources may provide valuable research materials.

POSSIBLE SOURCES OF WRECK INFORMATION

The following is a list of both government and private agencies that furnish material and/or information concerning shipwrecks:

Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540During World War II, the Hydrographic Office published a series of wreck charts and a "Wreck Information List" for the coastal waters of the United States. These items have long been out of print and are no longer available.  However, the Library of Congress can provide photographic reproduction of these items, and, upon request, will furnish a price list of the items available.

(a)  An annotated list of treasure maps in the Library of Congress compiled by J. Douglas Hill and Richard S. Ladd, 1955.

(b)  "A Descriptive List of Treasure Maps and Charts" compiled by Richard S. Ladd of the Library of Congress, 1973.  It may still be available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

National Archives and Records Administration: For information on shipwrecks, the National Archives maintains certain records and will make limited searches for documents, provided the inquirer furnishes the name of the ship and the date and place of the disaster.

(a) NARA Reference Report: Shipwrecks

Internal Revenue Service: 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224.  Information concerning tax laws regarding wealth obtained from sunken or buried treasure should be referred to the Internal Revenue Service.

Great Lakes Charts:  A catalog showing all Lake Survey Center Charts and a two page listing of wreck information sources are available from Lake Survey Center, 630 Federal Bldg. and U.S. Courthouse, Detroit, Michigan 48226.

Canadian Hydrographic Service:  Information on wrecks in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes and in the Canadian territorial waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is available from the above source. Address: The Canadian Hydrographic Service, Surveys and Mapping Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, No. 8 Temporary Building, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.

Library of Congress
Geography and Map Division
Washington, D.C. 20540

The Division has prepared a "Wreck Charts and Information Lists", available on request, which describes shipwreck charts within their collection. These charts include nine charts of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal waters produced by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the National Ocean Survey) which were special editions of standard nautical charts prepared during the 1940’s. Most of the ships indicated on these charts were sunk during World War II. The list also includes charts produced by the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office and the Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau. Photographic reproduction of an y of these charts is available through the Library of Congress, Photo-duplication Service. Prices vary from approximately $20 to $40 for each copy. It should be noted that the information from these charts has been included in the NOS Automated Obstruction Information System.

The Library of Congress has also produced the pamphlet, "A Descriptive List of Treasure Maps and Charts in the Library of Congress" (No. 030-004-0001204)  Contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. This list includes fantasy and whimsical maps that are not intended for serious shipwreck research.

Defense Mapping Agency
Office of Distribution Services
Washington, D.C. 20315

Nautical charts of foreign waters are produced by the Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center. These charts are depicted in 9 regional catalogs. (PUB 1-N-Region No.):

1.United States and Canada
2.Central and South America and Antarctica
3.Western Europe, Iceland, Greenland, and the Arctic
4.Scandinavia, Baltic, and USSR
5.Western Africa and the Mediterranean
6.Indian Ocean
7.Australia, Indonesia, and New Zealand
8.Oceana
9.East Asia

Region 1 catalog also depicts charts produced by the National Ocean Survey. NOS charts should be ordered directly through the NOS Distribution Division.

Smithsonian Institution
Museum of American History
Washington, D.C. 20560

The Division of Naval History and the Division of Transportation responds to requests by mail and makes limited searches of their files. Their records contain some information on "early" explorations and shipwrecks as well as contemporary steamships. Requests should provide specific details--full name of vessel, homeport and the date and locality of the shipwreck.

Naval Historical Center
Ships History Branch
901 M Street, SE
Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374


There are several institutions, museums, libraries and individuals that are able to provide assistance for research. The following, is a partial list of these sources:

U.S. Coastal Sources

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Library, P.O. Box 636, St. Michaels, MD 21663
Special collections devoted to the Chesapeake Bay- -library open only by appointment.

Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing at 211 South Columbus Blvd. & Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA  19106-3199.  Subject interest includes the maritime heritage of the Delaware River Valley and the Port of Philadelphia. Library open by appointment only.

Marine Museum at Fall River, 70 Water Street, Fall River, Massachusetts 92722
Founded in 1968, a fairly small collection specializing in steamship history.

Mariners Museum Library, Newport News, Virginia 23606
Large collection specializing in maritime history, especially steam.

Mystic Seaport Museum, G W Blunt White Library, Greemanville Avenue, Mystic, Connecticut 06355
Established in 1929, the museum’s library includes special collections in American maritime studies and ship’s plans.

National Maritime Museum, J. Porter Shaw Library, Foot of Polk Street, San Francisco, California 94109
Large collection including many photographs. Special collections include commercial sail and steam and California and San Francisco Bay history. Produces the publication, Sea Letter.

Outer Banks History Center, Division of Archives and History, Manteo, NC    27954.

Peabody Museum of Salem, Phillips Library, East India Square, Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Established in 1799, the museum has a large collection with specialty in maritime history. Library is open to serious researchers. Produces the American Neptune: A Quarterly Journal of Maritime History.

Steamship Historical Society of America, University of Baltimore Library, 1420 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201.  Subject interests include marine transportation by powered vessels with emphasis on U.S. and Canadian vessels.

Texas Antiquities Committee, Box 12276, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711
Large collection of shipwreck information off Texas waters.

Great Lakes Sources

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
25 Nottingham Court
Buffalo, NY 14216
-Interests include the Erie Canal and Niagara Falls.

Burton Historical Collection
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
-Special collections of the Detroit Public Library include the Great Lakes and Northwest Territories.

Detroit Historical Society
5401 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
-Society established in 1929 includes museum and newsletter.

Dossin Great Lakes Museum
Great Lakes Maritime Institute
Belle Isle
Detroit, MI 48207
-Major programs include library, archives and museum. Produces the magazine, Telescope.

Great Lakes Historical Society
480 Main Street
Vermilion, OH 44089
-Subject interests include Great Lakes history including marine and yachting and original ship’s plans. Produces the magazine, Inland Seas.

Institute for Great Lakes Research
Bowling Green State University
Jerome Library, 6th Floor
Bowling Green,  OH     43403

Lake Superior Marine Museum
Canal Park
Duluth, MN 55802

Marine Historical Society of Detroit
877 University Place
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
-Produces the publication Detroit Marine History and newsletter.

Milwaukee Public Library
Marine Collection
814 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 54233
-Special collections include Great Lakes ships and shipping.

Rutherford B. Hayes Library
1337 Hayes Avenue
Fremont, OH 43420
-Special collections on the Great Lakes.

Canadian Sources- -

Public Archives of Canada
Trade and Communications Records Center
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, KlA 0N3

Toronto Marine Historical Society
Marine Museum of Upper Canada
Exposition Park
Toronto 138, Ontario

Wheelhouse Maritime Museum
222 Cumberland Street
Ottawa 2, Ontario KlN 7H5


NARA SHIPWRECK REFERENCE REPORT

INQUIRY Information about shipwrecks (this Reference Report supersedes an earlier shipwreck report furnished by this branch).

REPORT: This report describes records of the U.S. Coast Guard, (Record Group 26) U.S. Customs Service, (Record Group 36) and Department of the Treasury (Record Group 56) In the custody of the National Archives which contain information about shipwrecks. This report also lists some of the published sources relating to shipwrecks.

The National Archives is a repository for permanently valuable records of the United States Government that are no longer needed for current administrative purposes. It is not staffed to render general information service but by advance arrangements with inquirers makes the records in its care available for public examination in its search rooms; and it furnishes reproductions of specifically designated documents for a fee.

I. Published sources.

The following publications contain information about vessel casualties:

U.S. Government Publications

Annual Reports of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1876-1914

Annual Reports of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1915-1931

Annual Reports of the Steamboat Inspection Service, 1881-1934

Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the Finances (particularly reports issued before 1874, which sometimes include the reports of the. Steamboat Inspection Service)

Merchant Vessels of the United States, 1868 to date, (These volumes are useful for determining the homeport of a vessel. Beginning in 1906, a list of casualties to American vessels is included)

Bearss, Edwin C., Fort Jefferson National Monument-Florida Shipwreck Study: The Dry Tortugas (Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, 1971)

Bennett, Robert F., Surfboats, Rockets, and Carronades (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976)

Wise, Donald A., A Descriptive List of Treasure Maps and Charts in the Library of Congress (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973)

Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury forwarding reports received from Collectors of Customs listing shipwrecks of vessels documented in their districts during the year ending June 30, 1848 (Sen Ex Doc 3, 30th Congress, 2nd Session, Congressional Serial Set Volume 529).

The publications noted above may be found in a library which has been designated as a depository for U.S. Government publications.

Other Publications

The New York Maritime Register. This weekly newspaper (established June 10, 1869) includes contemporaneous reports of marine disasters.

Holdcamper, Forrest R. (ed.) Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States, 1807-1868 (Mystic, CT: The Steamship Historical Society)

Berman, Bruce D., Encyclopedia of American Shipwrecks (Boston: Meredith Press, 1972)

Gibbs, James A., Pacific Graveyard: A Narrative of Ships Lost Where the Columbia River Meets the Pacific Ocean   (Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1973)

Gibbs, James A., Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast (Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1962)

Gibbs, James A., Shipwrecks off San de Fuca (Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1968)

Heden, Karl E., The Directory of Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes (Boston: Bruce Bumphries, 1966)

Lonsdale, Adrian L. and Kaplan, H.R., A Guide to Sunken Ships in American Waters (Arlington, VA, Compass Publications, Inc., 1964)

Marx, Robert, Shipwrecks of the Western Hemisphere (New York: World Publishing Co., 1976)

Patterson, T.W., British Columbia Shipwrecks. (Langley, P.O. Box 3399 V3A 4R7, British Columbia, Stagecoach Publishing Co., 1968)

Potter, John S., Jr., The Treasure Divers Guide (New York: Bonanza Books, (1972)

Rattray, J.E., Ship Ashore! A Record of Maritime Disasters of Eastern Long Island (New York: Coward-McCann, 1955)

Stick, David, Graveyard of the Atlantic (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1952)

Local and other libraries in your community may be able to suggest other published sources of wreck information.

II. Records in the custody of the National Archives.

By an act passed June 20, 1874 (18 U.S. Statute at Large 125), masters or owners of American merchant vessels were required to report to the Collector of Customs of the port at which the vessel was documented any casualty involving loss of life, material loss of property, any serious injury to any person, or any material damage received by the vessel affecting seaworthiness . The Collector of Customs then forwarded one copy of the casualty report to the General Superintendent of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and kept one copy, usually copied in volumes containing blank wreck reports, and maintained among the records of his customs house. A list of Customs Districts for which there are bound wreck reports in the National Archives is included in this report. These records are found among the Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36.

Among the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, Record Group 26, there are bound volumes of abstracts of the wreck reports received from Collectors of Customs from 1874-85, and original reports received from 1908-13. Customs wreck reports received from 1913-39 are found on National Archives Microfilm Publication T925, United States Coast Guard Casualty and Wreck Reports, 1913-39. In all three series of Customs wreck reports, the reports are arranged numerically by a number assigned as they were received by the General Superintendent of the Life-Saving Service, regardless of the date of the casualty. The volumes of abstracts of wreck reports have alphabetical indexes arranged by name of vessel. The microfilmed reports of casualty are indexed on National Archives Microfilm Publication T926, Index to U.S. Coast Guard Casualty and Wreck Reports 1913-39.

The Annual Reports of the Life-Saving Service each year from 1874-1914 include a table of casualties to vessels in foreign waters involving loss of life.

The information for this table was compiled from the wreck reports received from the Collectors of Customs. A microfilm copy of the tables published from 1876-1914 is described in item 88 of this report.

Keepers of Life-Saving Stations were required by regulations to make a report of assistance rendered by their station to any vessel, crew or person, however small that assistance may have been. The assistance rendered reports were sent to the General Superintendent and a copy was retained in the station wreck report books. A list of life-saving stations for which there are wreck report books in the National Archives is included in this report.

The Annual Reports of the Life-Saving Service each year included a narrative report of services rendered by stations during the year and a table of casualties occurring near stations during the year. The information for these reports was compiled from the assistance rendered reports submitted by the keepers. A microfilm copy of the tables of casualties near stations is described in item 89 of this report.

The records of the U.S. Coast Guard also include copies of assistance rendered reports from all stations, 1901-15, and microfilmed copies of reports of assistance rendered by U.S. Coast Guard stations and cutters, 1916-40. The microfilmed assistance rendered reports are found on National Archives Microfilm Publication T920, U.S. Coast Guard Reports of Assistance Rendered to Individuals and Vessels 1916-40. The reports of assistance rendered, 1901-15, are arranged chronologically by fiscal year and thereafter by Life-Saving Service District number. The microfilmed reports, 1916-40, are arranged chronologically by date of casualty in two groups: reports of assistance rendered and reports of miscellaneous services rendered.

Some information concerning shipwrecks and casualties can also be found among the records of the Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. A list of abstracts of shipwrecks near individual light stations and reports and abstracts of reports of assistance rendered by individual US Revenue and Coast Guard cutters that are in the National Archives is included in this report.

Information about casualties to American vessels can be found in Customs casualty reports and reports of assistance rendered by the Life-Saving Service and among the records of the Steamboat Inspection Service. Information about casualties to foreign vessels can be found among reports of assistance rendered, but information about casualties to foreign vessels in foreign waters is not generally documented in our holdings.

Reports of shipwrecks that occurred before 1874 are extremely rare, except for casualties to U.S. steam vessels that are documented in the records of the U.S. Steamboat Inspection Service that was established in 1852. Inquiries about the records of the Steamboat Inspection Service should be addressed to inquire@nara.gov.

The following list of records containing information about shipwrecks are found mainly among the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (Record Group 26), Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36), and General Records of the Department of the Treasury (Record Group 56). Along with official reports and abstracts of reports of casualties and assistance rendered, are documents located by our staff that contain a significant amount of information concerning shipwrecks in a particular geographical location.

The Collectors of Customs reports of casualty contain approximately 180 pages per volume. Life-Saving Station reports of assistance rendered contain approximately 200 pages per volume. Electrostatic copies of the volumes can be furnished.


A. MAINE TO CONNECTICUT

Records of the U.S. Customs Service

1. Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty, (number of volumes)

Barnstable, 1874-96 (6)
Bath, 1878-1938 (9)
Belfast, 1873-1902 (5)
Boothbay-Wiscasset, 1880-1919 (2)
Boston, 1874-1894 (7)
Fairfield-Bridgeport, 1873-1894 (2)
Bristol-Warren, 1877-1909 (1)
Frenchman’s Bay, 1874-1917 (3)
Hartford, 1874-1913 (3)
Machias, 1886-1894 (1)
New Bedford, 1874-1894 (5)
New Haven, 1874-1900 (4)
Passamaquoddy, 1886-1894 (1)
Penobscot, 1873-1902 (1)
Portsmouth, 1874-1909 (2)
Rockport, 1887-1912 (1)
Rockland, 1893-1901 (4)
Thomaston-Waldoboro, 1883-1892 (1)
York, 1874-1875 (1)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

2.  Life-Saving Stations Reports of Assistance Rendered, (number of volumes)

Coskata, 1883-1915 (2)
Cranberry Island, 1886-1915 (4)
Cross Island, 1883-1915 (3)
Crumple Island, 1883-1913 (3)
Davis Neck-Straitsmouth, 1884-1917 (4)
Great Boars Head, 1900-15 (1)
Isle of Shoals, 1914-15 (1)
Knobb’s Beach, 1891-1902 (1)
Narragansett Pier, 1905-18 (1)
Plum Island, 1880-1917 (1)
Point Allerton, 1890-1918 (12)
Point Judith, 1903-17 (1)
Rye Beach, 1884-1914 (2)
Salisbury, 189 8-1916 (2)
Sandy Point, 1899-1916 (1)
Wallis Sands, 1892-1916 (2)
Wood End, 1897-1907 (2)

3.  Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of Assistance Rendered

Gresham 1912-18 (300 pages)
Ossipee, 1915-19 (136 pages)
Mackinac, 1904-15 (52 pages)
Woodbury, 1884-1905 (1282 pages)
Itasca, 1910-13 (90 pages)

Abstracts

Dallas, 1886-1895 (6 pages)
Dexter, 1886-1895 (3 pages)
Gallatin, 1886-1895 (2 pages)
Woodbury, 1886-1895 (6 pages)

4.  Light Station’s Reports of Shipwrecks

Cape Ann, 1900-12 (2 pages)
Cuttyhunk, 1882-1896 (6 pages)
Libby Island, 1906-09 (1 page)
Little River, 1870-1908 (19 pages)
Stamford Harbor, 1882-1908 (4 pages)
Thatcher’s Island, 1856-99 (7 pages)

5.  "List of Wrecks and Casualties, Coast of Rhode Island and Fisher’s Island, 1752-1907." Includes date, rig, names of vessels, locality, type of casualty. (Letter dated March 11, 1907, from the Superintendent, Third Life-Saving District, Wakefield, Rhode Island, 12 pages, electrostats).

6.  "The Sailor’s Graveyard, Forty miles off Cape Cod shore where millions in treasure and thousands of lives have been swallowed by the angry sea." Chart showing location of 151 wrecks which occurred 1873-97. (News clipping from Sunday Globe, February 7, 1897).

7.  "Statement of Wrecks and Casualties to vessels on Cape Cod, Massachusetts from July 1, 1875 - June 30, 1892."  Shown are date, name and rig of vessel, locality, value of vessel and cargo, value of property lost and lives lost.  (Life-Saving Letters Sent, Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 459-472, 13 pages, photostats).

8.  "List of Casualties occurring to vessels on Cape Cod, Nantucket Shoals, Nantucket Island, Muskegat Island, Nantucket Sound, Martha's Vineyard, and Vineyard Sound, 1907-1917.  Shown are date, name, rig, and tonnage of vessel, value of property lost and number of lives lost."  (10 pages, electrostats).

9.  Same report described above for the period 1917-1922.  (10 pages, electrostats).

10.  "Abstract of shipwrecks occurring near light station on the Maine and New Hampshire coasts, 1871-1873."  (Shown are name of light station, date of casualty, name of vessel, lives lost, and remarks, 1 page, photostat).

B.  NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY

Records of the U.S. Customs Service

11. Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes)

Bridgeton, 1875-1913 (6)
Camden, 1894-1913 (1)
Great Egg Harbor/Somer’s Point, 1874-1915 (3)
Little Egg Harbor, 1874-1897 (1)
Philadelphia, 1874-1923 (31)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

12.  Life-Saving Stations Reports of Assistance Rendered (number of volumes)

Absecon, 1879-1916 (1)
Avalon, 1895-1915 (1)
Barnegat, 1906-15 (3)
Bay Head, 1883-1921 (2)
Bellport, 1883-1919 (1)
Cape May, 1883-1925 (4)
Cedar Creek, 1886-1932 (1)
Chadwick, 1883-1923 (1)
Cold Spring, 1885-1908 (1)
Coney Island 1883-1893(1)
Fire Island, 1896-1917 (6)
Forge River, 1884-1916 (1)
Forked River, 1883-1915 (3)
Great Egg, 1880-1916 (4)
Harvey Cedars, 1886-1915 (1)
Holly Beach, 1884-1915 (1)
Island Beach, 1886-1920 (3)
Little Beach, 1883-1915 (3)
Long Branch, 1889-1920 (1)
Loveladies Island, 1883-1915 (1)
Mantolocking, 1885-1919 (2)
Monmouth Beach, 1884-1915 (3)
Ocean City, 1904-15 (2)
Peck’s Beach, 1896-1916 (1)
Rockaway Point, 1883-1917 (3)
Sandy Hook, 1883-1917 (8)
Seabright, 1875-1920 (2)
Sea Island, 1889-1914
Ship Bottom, 1886-1910 (1)
Spermacetti Cove, 1885-1925 (4)
Spring Lake, 1884-1915 (1)
Stone Harbor, 1916-21 (1)
Tatham’s 1884-1916 (2)
Townsend’s Inlet, 1883-1916 (2)
Turtle Gut, 1884-1908 (1)
Two Mile Beach, 1908-24 (2)
White River, 1887-1919 (4)

13.  U.S. Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of assistance rendered

Gresham, 1901-03 (30 pages)
Seneca, 1908-13 (300 pages)

Abstracts

Grant, 1886-95 (2 pages)
Hamilton, 1886-95 (3 pages)
Manhattan, 1886-95 (1 page)

14.  Light Stations Reports of Shipwrecks (photostats) Hudson City, 1905 (1 page)

Stepping Stone, 1896-1909 (1 page)

15.  "Wrecks near Deal Life-Saving Station, 1822-76."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 315-317, 3 pages, electrostats).

16.  "Wrecks on the New Jersey Coast between Sandy Hook and Barnegat from 1867-1876."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 319-322, 4 pages).

17.  "Strandings on the coast of New Jersey and New York from 1860-67." (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 339-340, 2 pages).

18.  "Strandings on the Coast of New Jersey from Sandy Hook to Barnegat from 1846-76."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 351-353, 3 pages).

19.  "Disasters south of Barnegat to Cape May, New Jersey, 1840-June 27, 1879."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 405-407, 3 pages).

20.  "Disasters along the coast of New Jersey from 1871-79."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 411-414, 4 pages).

21.  "Disasters between Barnegat and Cape May, New Jersey, 1871-97."  (Life-Saving Service, Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 180-181, 2 pages).

22.  "Wrecks and Casualties along the coast of New Jersey, 1871-1897."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 4, pages 494-498, 5 pages).

23.  "Brigantine Life-Saving Station record of rescues, 1876-1914."  (From informal history of the Brigantine Life-Saving Station prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Division, 6 pages).

24.  "Deal Beach, summary of operations, May 20, 1876-June 24, 1921."  (From informal history of the Deal Beach Life-Saving Station prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Division, ( pages).

25.  "Accidents and casualties to vessels in the Fourth Coast Guard District, July 1, 1906 to June 30, 1916. Shown for each Coast Guard station on the coast of Long Island, New York, is a summary of operations for a ten-year period."  (USCG subject classified correspondence file 651-Fourth District, 47 pages).

26.  Same report described above for the Fifth Coast Guard District.  (Coast of New Jersey, 65 pages, electrostats).

27.  "Abstracts of shipwrecks occurring near light stations on the coast of New York, 1871-73."  (2 pages).

C. DELAWARE TO GEORGIA

Records of the U.S. Customs Service

28.  Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes)

Albermarle, 1889-1909, 1922-25 (2)
Alexandria, 1873-1913 (2)
Annapolis 1875-1912 (1)
Baltimore, 1876-1924 (28)
Beaufort, SC, 1875-1919 (2)
Brunswick, 1875-1876, 1885-1919 (3)
Charleston, 1874-1909 (3)
Georgetown, DC, 1895-1932 (1)
New Bern, 1874-1886 (1)
Newport News, 1873-1909 (9)
Norfolk-Portsmouth, 1873-1909, 1923-36 (10)
Petersburg, 1874-1883 (1)
Savannah, 1899-1921 (1)
Wilmington, 1886-1900 (1)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

29.  Life-Saving Service Reports of Assistance Rendered (number of volumes)

Assateague, 1883-1917 (5)
Big Kinnakeet, 1883-1918 (2)
Cape Hatteras, 1883-1884 (1)
Cape Henlopen, 1875-1880 (1)
Durant, 1910-17 (1)
Hog Island, 1883-1915 (3)
Lewes, 1884-1915 (5)
Little Kinnakeet, 1885-1921 (2)
Oregon Inlet, 1884-1920 (1)
Parramore Beach, 1884-1918 (2)
Wachapreague, 1883-1918 (3)
Wallop’s Beach, 1884-1909
Wash Woods 1884-1917 (2)
Whales Head, 1899-1926 (1)

30.  Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of assistance rendered

Tybee, 1896-1913 (40 pages)
Discover, 1878-93 (26 pages)
Seminole, 1914 (16 pages)

Abstracts of reports

Boutwell, 1886-1895 (2 pages)
Colfax, 1886-1895 (2 pages)
Ewing, 1886-1895 (3 pages)
Hamilton, 1886-1895 (3 pages)

31.  "Light Stations Reports of Shipwrecks, Currituck Beach, 1876-1915," (12 pages).

Tybee, 1873-1894 (2 pages)

32.  "Disasters on Cape Hatteras and shoals from 1876-92 and from 1875-95."  (Life-Saving Service Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 4, pages 112-113 and 309-311, 5 pages).

33.  "Wrecks and casualties on or near Ocracoke Lifeboat Station, 1905-13."  (From an informal. history of the Ocracoke Life-Saving Station prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Division, 2 pages).

34.  "List of vessels that have gone ashore on Currituck Beach, North Carolina from 1852-1874."  (Currituck Beach Lighthouse Clipping File, fifth District, 1 page).

35.  "Accidents and casualties to vessels in the Sixth Coast Guard District (Delaware to Cape Charles, VA), from July 7, 1907 to June 30, 1917."  Same report as described in item 25, (28 pages).

36.  "Same report as described above for the Seventh Coast Guard District."  (Cape Henry, VA to Cape Fear, NC, 46 pages).

37.  "Abstracts of shipwrecks near light stations on the coasts of the Fifth and Sixth Lighthouse Districts, 1871-1873."  (6 images).

38.  "Letters received by the Secretary of the Treasury in 1870 from Collectors of Customs at the ports of Charleston, Georgetown, Edenton and Beaufort reporting on wrecks of U.S. and Confederate vessels in their districts."   (RG 56, Records of the Cotton and abandoned Property Division, file 1626, 19 pages).

D.  FLORIDA AND GULF COAST

I. Records of the U.S. Customs Service

39.  Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes)

Appalachicola, 1874-1907 (1)
Biloxi, 1897-1918 (1)
Fernandina, 1874-1907 (2)
Jacksonville, 1874-1890 (1)
Key West, 1873-1897 (2)
Mobile, 1875-1896 (2)
New Orleans, 1874-1902 (3)
Pensacola, 1881-1904 (3)
Tampa, 1886-1914 (1)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

40.  Life-Saving Stations Reports of Assistance Rendered (number of volumes)

Eighth District (all stations), 1889-1890, 1896-1899, 1902-14 (14)
Brazos, 1881-1886 (1)
Gilberts Bar, 1886-1918 (1)
Fort Lauderdale, 1911-18 (2)
Sabine, 1894-1895, 1902-18 (3)
San Luis, 1890-1892 (1)
Santa Rosa, 1892-1896 (1)

41.  Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Abstracts of reports of assistance rendered

Crawford, 1886-1895 (6 pages)
Forward, 1886-1895 (2 page)
Seward, 1886-1895 (4 pages)

42.  Light Stations, Reports of Shipwrecks

Alligator Reef, 1874-1914 (5 pages)

43.  Shipwrecks on the Florida Coast, 1837-1896 (News clipping from the Daytona Beach Observer, 1935, article by Captain Charles H. Coe, 1 page).

44.  "Summary of Casualties which have occurred to vessels by stranding on the Florida Reefs during the fiscal years of 1875-1880."  (Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, Letters Sent, Series R, volume 3, pages 162-163, 2 pages).

45.  "Report of the Appalachicola Collector of Customs dated June 30, 1848, of vessel wrecked during the year ending June 30, 1848 in his district."  (Lighthouse Letters, Series P, volume 1849, page 119, 1 page).

46. " Maritime Disasters on or near the Atlantic coast of the State of Florida and west of the state, from January 1, 1869 to June 30, 1879."  (Life-Saving Letters Sent, Miscellaneous, volume 3, pages 404-415, 12 pages).

47.  "Table of casualties to vessels, December 30, 1910-November 22, 1918, at Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge." (From an informal history of the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Division, 2 pages).

48.  "Assistance rendered by the Sabine Pass Life-Saving Station to vessels in distress, July 1, 1894-June 30, 1914."  (From an informal history of the Sabine Pass Life-Saving Station prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Division, 4 pages).

49.  "Letters received by the Secretary of the Treasury in 1870 from Collectors of Customs at the ports of Mobile, Appalachicola, Galveston, and Pensacola reporting on wrecks of U.S. and Confederate vessels in their districts."  (RG-56, Records of the Cotton and Abandoned Property Division, file 1626, 12 pages).

50.  "Abstracts of shipwrecks near light stations in the 7th and 8th Lighthouse Districts, 1872-73."  (4 pages).

51.  "Accidents and casualties to vessels 8th Coast Guard District (Florida Houses of Refuge), July 1, 1906-June 30, 1916."  Same report as described in item 25. (13 pages).

II.  Compilations of information by the Survey of Federal Archives in Louisiana, Women’s and Professional Projects Division, Works Progress Administration of Louisiana, 1937-38, from records of the U.S. Customs District, Port of New Orleans and of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Custom House, New Orleans, LA.

51a. "Navigation Casualties, 1866-1910, on the Mississippi, Red, Quachita, Yazoo, Pearl, Alabama, Apalachicola, Coosa, Sabine, Teche, Atchafalaya, and other rivers in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama, including those of the 10th District." Includes information on the casualties of Steamboats and vessels and loss of life to passengers and crews as reported to the 10th District.

E. GREAT LAKES

Records of the U.S. Customs Service

52. Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes)

Chicago, 1879-1895 (8)
Detroit, 1889-1893 (1)
Duluth, 1874-1901 (2)
Erie, 1874-1883 (1)
Milwaukee, 1874-1899 (9)
Oswegatchie, 1874-1912 (microfilm copies of these casualty reports are in the custody of our Industrial and Social Branch-NNFS)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

53.  Life-Saving Service Reports of Assistance Rendered (number of volumes)

Ashtabula, 1894-1904, 1911-15 (2)
Bailey’s Harbor, 1896-1919 (3)
Buffalo, 1883-1918 (11)
Charlevoix, 1900-20 (4)
Charlotte, 1889-1918 (8)
Chicago, 1895-1902 (1)
Cleveland, 1883-1917 (11)
Crisps, 1885-1916 (1)
Duluth, 1895-1915 (20)
Erie, 1893-1917 (9)
Evanston, 1883-1917 (5)
Fort Niagara, 1893-1922 (4)
Grand Point Au Sable, 1883-1902 (1)
Holland, 1887-1936 (6)
Jackson Park, 1893-1916 (4)
Kenosha, 1883-1916(4)
Lake View Beach, 1898-1915 (1)
Marquette, 1891-1921 (3)
Milwaukee, 1893-1920 (3)
Muskegon, 1880-1918 (4)
North Manitou, 1883-1921 (4)
Oswego, 1883-1916 (6)
Portage-Ship Canal, 1886-1918 (4)
Racine, 1883-1921 (8)
Sheboygan, 1883-1917 (4)
South Chicago, 1890-1921 (4)
Sturgeon Bay, 1898-1918 (4)
Thunder Bay, 1883-1916 (5)
Two Rivers, 1883-1920 (5)
Vermilion, 1886-1922 (2)

54. Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of Assistance Rendered

Bibb, 1882-1889 (22 pages)
Mackinac, 1906-15 (180 pages)

Abstracts of reports of assistance rendered

Fessenden, 1886-1895 (1 page)
Johnson, 1886-1895 (3 pages)

55.  Light Stations Reports of Shipwrecks

Alpena, 1890-1902 (1 page)
Fair Haven, 1872-1892 (2 pages)
Kalamazoo, 1872-1895 (9 pages)
North Point, 1874-1875 (1 page)
Presque Ile 1879-1904 (3 pages)
Port des Morts, 1863-1938 (27 pages)
Pottawottamie, 1882-1911 (7 pages)
Rock of Ages, 1909-33 (1 page)
Rock Island, 1873-1908 (10 pages)
Two Harbors, 1913-14 (1 page)
Two Rivers, 1886-1896 (1 page)
West Huron Island, 1898-1909 (1 page)

56.  "Wreck Report of the Great Lakes, 1886-91."  Shown are the locations of 147 shipwrecks, and description of casualty is included.  (Chart published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 page.)

57.  "Report of wrecks which occurred on the Great Lakes from December 17, 1885-November 15, 1893."  (Pamphlet published by the Weather Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1894, 12 pages).

58.  "Wrecks and casualties on the Great Lakes during 1895, 1896 and 1897. "  (Includes a chart, pamphlet published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1898, 12 pages).

59.  "Strandings reported to have occurred on the Great Lakes for the years 1928-37."   (Shown are name, rig, and tonnage of vessel, and location and date of casualty, 5 pages.)

60.  "Marine Casualties of the Great Lakes, 1863-73."  (Includes rig, tonnage, and name of vessel, owner and homeport, nature and locality of casualty, 86 pages.)

61.  Wrecks and casualties to vessel which have occurred on the east shore of Lake Michigan from 1878-1883." (Life-Saving Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 1, pages 393-417) (25 pages).

62.  "Wrecks and casualties to vessels which have occurred on the west shore of Lake Michigan, 1878-1883. (Life-Saving Letters Sent-Disaster to Shipping, volume 1, pages 418-479, 62 pages).

63.  "Wrecks and casualties to vessels by stranding south of Milwaukee, WI, and Grand Haven, MI from 1879-1889."  (Life-Saving Letters Sent-Disasters to Shipping, volume 3, pages 289-294, 6 pages).

64.  "Report of marine disaster, losses to vessels, and loss of life on the Northern Lakes in 1848."  (Lighthouse Letter, Series P, volume 1849, pages 103-105).

65.  "List of Marine Disasters in the District of Michigan, 1863-1873."  (Letter from the Grand Haven Collector of Customs, dated December 23, 1873, Life-Saving Letters Received, No. G18, volume 1).

66.  "Abstract of shipwrecks occurring light station in the 10th and 11th Lighthouse Districts, 1872-1873." (6 pages)

67.  "Accidents and casualties to vessels in the 10th Coast Guard District."  (Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron), July 1, 1908 to June 30, 1918. Same report as described in item 25, 55 pages)

68.  Report described above for the 11th Coast Guard District.  (East Side of Lake Michigan, 51 pages)

69.  Same report described above for the 12th Coast Guard District.   (West side of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, 72 pages).

F. PACIFIC COAST

Records of the U.S. Customs Service

70.  Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes)

Portland, 1874-1903 (1)
Puget Sound, 1884-1898 (4)
San Francisco, 1874-1898 (14)

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

71.  Life-Saving Stations Reports of Assistance Rendered (number of volumes)

Cape Disappointment, 1902-15 (5)
Grays Harbor-Peterson Point, 1900-16 (2)
Point Bonita, 1902-15 (3)
Waadah Island, 1909-15 (1)

72.  Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of assistance rendered

Arcata, 1903-14 (120 pages)
Grant, 1903-06 (12 pages)
Snohomish, 1909-20 (300 pages)
Scout, 1909-21 (90 pages)

Abstracts of reports

Corwin, 1886-1895 (2 pages)
Wolcott, 1886-1895 (2 pages)

73.  Light Stations, reports of shipwrecks, Santa Cruz, 1876-1892. (4 pages)

74.  "Shipwrecks resulting in total loss from January 1909-November 1938."  (Letter dated November 8, 1938 from the Marine Department, San Francisco Junior Chamber of Commerce, 3 pages).

75.  "Groundings between Point Reyes and Cape Mendocino from January 1909- November 1938."  (Letter dated November 8, 1938 from the Marine Department, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, 2 pages).

76.  "Marine Disasters north of San Francisco from January 1, 1870 to January 1, 1883." (Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, Letters Sent, Series R, volume 2, pages 72-103, 32 pages).

77.  "Letter dated December 19, 1868 from the Board of Maxine Underwriters at San Francisco to the Engineer of the 12th and 13th Lighthouse District, listing shipwrecks on Pigeon Point, California, 1853-1868." (Lighthouse Board Letters Received from the 12th and 13th Lighthouse District Engineer, volume 235, pages 191-192, 2 pages).

78.  "Statement of casualties to vessels and boats at which assistance was rendered by the Arena Cove, Humboldt Bay, Coquille River, Coos Bay, Umpquar River, and Siuslaw Coast Guard Stations, July 1, 1917 to February 28, 1926."  (USCG subject classified correspondence, file 651-General 1926, 11 pages).

G. ALASKA

79. Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes) 

Sitka, 1873-1894 (2)
Wrangel, 1892-1905 (1)

80.  Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters

Reports of assistance rendered

Corwin, 1885-99 (74 pages)

Abstracts of reports

Bear, 1885-1896 (2 pages)
Rush, 1886-1895 (2 pages)

81.  "Accidents and casualties to vessels near the Nome Coast Guard Station from July 1, 1907 to June 30, 1917."  (Same as item 25, 11 pages).

82.  "Letter dated May 1928, enclosing a list of casualties to vessels at the Nome Coast Guard Station in 1926 and 1927."  (U.S. Coast Guard classified correspondence file 651-13th District, 2 pages).

83.  "Arctic losses, 1868-88, showing date, name of vessel, and locality of casualty."  ("Alaska File", U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, Letters received, 1888, 4 pages).

H.U.S. RIVER PORTS

84. Collectors of Customs Reports of Casualty (number of volumes) Records of the U.S. Customs Service

Louisville, 1873-1929 (2)
Memphis, 1876-1905 (3)
Pittsburgh, 1881-1890 (1)
St. Louis, 1873-1895 (4)

I. GENERAL RECORDS

Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

85.  "Abstracts of reports of shipwrecks at or near light stations from 1868-72."  (Entries are arranged chronologically by date of casualty. Shown are name of lighthouse, name of vessel, cargo, and lives lost, 14 pages).

86.  List of places on the coasts of the United States where vessels have stranded from 1865 to 1914.  (Published in the Annual Reports of the U.S. Life-Saving Service in 1874, 1884, 1894, 1904 and 1914; Atlantic and Gulf coasts, 37 pages; Great Lakes coasts, 19 pages; Pacific coasts, 13 pages).

87.  "U.S. Merchant Losses, December 7, 1941 to July 15, 1945."  (Shown are convoy number, name, rig and tonnage of vessel, lives saved, geographical location and latitude and longitude of casualty. Coast Guard at War, Volume 14, part 2, pages 84-122, 39 pages).

88.  "Table of casualties to vessels in U.S. waters and to American vessels in foreign waters involving loss of life, 1876-1914."  (From tables published each year in the Annual Reports of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 49 ft).

89.  "Table of casualty reports received from life-saving stations, 1876-1914."  (From the tables published each year in the Annual Reports of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 106 ft., positive microfilm copy).


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