Secretary of State, Washington
This vessel arrived about 3:15
P.M.Feb. 25 and came to anchor off the quarantine station near the
mouth of the harbor.I noticed the vessel had the colors at
half-mast and went to the officeof the Captain of the Port to find
what was the matter. There I learned that the master was reported
as having been lost overboard. The local health officer said that
he intended under the circumstances, to keep the vessel under
strict quarantine for five days although it had a clean bill of
The first mate, acting as master, informed me that in a furious gale, north of and near Bermuda, a huge wave had swept over the vessel about 3:00 P.M. Feb. 5, carrying the master overboard, tearing the man at the wheel away therefrom, and very seriously injuring him, flooding the cabin and storeroom and doing very considerable damage to the vessel itself.
Mar. 1 1901, We find the folowing damage has been sustained by the vessel on the voyage:the spanker boomwas broken but was well fished and is in safe condition to be used at sea; examining the steering gear we find that the shaft of the wheel is badly bent and all the covering to the screw gone; we find a break in the port rail; the deadlight leading to the lazarette carried away, companionway to the cabin badlybroken; evidences that both the cabin and lazarette had been full of water; examinationof the outside of the hull showed under the counter all around the sternpost the oakum hanging out the seams and think it likely that much water must have found its way into the cargo.
Mar. 9 1901 I took the deposition of Walter Cook." This vessel was loaded with oak shooks and carried a heavy deckload of lumber. From personal inspection I have to report that this deckload was piled so high on deck as just to permit the booms to swing over it. The vessel seems to have run into a strong northwest gale Feb. 3 which increased in violence.Feb. 5 gale was at its height and the deck load was working loose. The vessel was running before the wind under lower topsails and the chief endeavor of the master seem to have been directed to saving this deckload. It was not his watch on deck but he came up and directed the mate to try and make the load secure. There is no doubt that a furious gale was blowing that day for the commander of the U.S.T.S. Essex now in port informs me that he was not far from where the McGregor was on that day and that some of his officers measured waves 45 feet in height and 450 feet baselength. With the master gone and the mate disabled there were but six men to work the vessel. I have to report that all of these men appear to have worked well and faithfully, and since their arrival have worked well and faithfully.
The vessel will be entirely discharged tomorrow and will then move out into the stream and await the arrival of the new master. There may be some delay in the arrival of the new master who, doubtless will be landed at some port north of here and there awit for an English Royal Mail Boat to bring him down.
Jessie Macgregor on a Lee Shore
Rob Liebow's Movie of Feb 5 1901
-Painting by Rob!