December 11, 1844

Point Allerton

Ship Massasoit with general cargo.

"The ship Massasoit, 395 tons, from Calcutta, India, struck between the Point Allerton bars during a strong northeast tempest on December 11, 1844. Three seamen were drowned in futile attempts to reach land. Great combers broke entirely over the copper-fastened vessel. The Humane Society lifeboat filled with water six times in efforts to approach her. Watching for an opportunity, the surfmen at last succeeded just as Massasoit began to break apart. Her stern was soon swept away.

A passenger trying to leave reached the main hatchway, but when the ship lurched suddenly, he fell back into the hatchway. Considering the passenger lost, the lifeboat carrying Captain Barry and other survivors headed for shore. They sighted the passenger crawling on the deck, but then the craft broke in half and he toppled into the chasm. Most of the cargo of indigo, silks, shellac, gunny bags, and hides was not recovered. The items were insured for $57,000 with Boston firms."

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