February 20, 1837

Nantasket Beach

Brig Ellsworth carrying coffee.

"During the February 20, 1837, storm, the brig Ellsworth from Rio De Janeiro, with a full hold of coffee, grounded about two miles south of Boston Lighthouse on Nantasket Beach. After she hit, the sea washed away her foremast, main topsail, and all boats. Captain Moses Adams, attempting to get ashore in the anchor chain box, was drowned. Except for the steward, who was also a fatality, the crew landed, but frostbitten.

Although the vessel was insured in Boston for $10,000, the policy had expired a few days before the wreck. Half the bags of coffee were thought to be salvageable, but Ellsworth had bilged, and her beams were soundly broken. A vessel in such condition could rarely be refloated."

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