Charles H. Lawrence

February 1, 1882

Off Outer Brewster Island

Schooner C. Lawrence carrying coal.

"The Charles H. Lawrence, with a consignment of 926 tons of coal for the Boston and Lowell Railroad, drifted onto Outer Brewster Island during the freezing night of February 1, 1882. Expecting the schooner to be ripped apart on the rocks, the crew lowered a boat, but it was immediately smashed to pieces. Providentially, the spanker boom was thrusting over the shore, and a seventeen-year-old sailor inched along the boom over the rocks and dropped safely on land. A line then drew the dog-tired crew through the frigid surf. Captain Williams, in the custom of the sea, was the last to leave the vessel.

On this barren island with no shelter, the crew, for the rest of the grim night, exercised to keep blood circulating. The drenched captain and a few of the men strongly wished to lie down, but others urged them to stay awake; to sleep at such low temperatures meant death. A towboat picked them up the next morning."

Robert F. Sullivan, Shipwrecks and Nautical Lore of Boston Harbor