SUPPOSED LOSS OF THE SHIP STAFFORDSHIRE, OF BOSTON. — Capt. Clark, of New Bedford, from Valparaiso and Callao, arrived at Panama, 3d inst., passenger in the English steamer Quito. When about leaving Callao, July, 27th a gentleman informed him of the supposed loss of the ship Staffordshire, on Santa Maria Islands, in latitude 36 59 South, longitude 73 41 West, near Talcahuana. On the passage, while looking over a file of Valparaiso papers, he found the following paragraph, which he have to Mr. Wm. B. Little, of Boston, who came a passenger in the steamer Illinois, which arrived at New York on Saturday. Mr. Little arrived here on Sunday, and gave the paragraph to the Merchants' Exchange Room. It is as follows:
"Shipwrecks. -- It is but a few days ago that we gave an account of the shipwrecks that had occurred during this year; we now have to record two others. The first is a vessel lost on the Island of Santa Maria, a place dreaded by seamen in all times. She is supposed to be the American ship Staffordshire, bound from Boston to California, with three hundred and off passengers, [a mistake, she only had about 160,] all of whom, it seems, have escaped with their lives, with the exception of one. By the same vessel which brought the news, we learn also that the Portuguese barque Guimaraens, had gone ashore in the Bay of Colcura, everybody on board saved."
The above is a literal translation from a Peruvian paper. Capt. Clark made every possible enquiry of the passengers, from Valparaiso and Callao, but not one of them had heard a word of the disaster. His sister and her child were passengers in the hip, consequently he had her strongest motives for rigid inquiry. He says, notwithstanding the report in the Peruvian paper, many of the passengers doubted the information.
The Staffordshire, Capt. Richardson, sailed from this port May 3, with a large and valuable cargo, and about 160 passengers, for San Francisco. The vessel and cargo are probably insured in this city for at least $500,000. She was not a year old at the time of her supposed loss, having cleared on her first voyage for Liverpool, August 4, 1851. She was 1817 tons register, and as good a ship as need to be built. Although the report of her supposed loss appears circumstantially correct, yet, we think several reasons might be assigned to cause a doubt at least. In the first place, her course after doubling the Cape, would be northwest, which would carry her far clear of the land; and moreover, all heavy vessels endeavor to give the land a wide berth, in order to avoid calms. But on theo ther [sic] hand, she may have sustained some damage off the Cape, and may have been trying to make Talcahuana or Valparaiso, to refit, when she got ashore. Upon no other hypothesis, can we account for her being there. She had water on board for 200 days passage, and provisions for a year, and therefore could have no cause to make a port for supplies. Her commander, Capt. Richardson, is one of the most correct men in personal habits that could be selected; and as an experienced and skillful sailor, has few equals. Her officers and crew were also the pick of the port; every circumstance was in her favor to ensure success, we will not therefore hastily believe that she is lost. She was owned by Messrs. Train & Co., of this city.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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