The fascinating story of the Faithful Steward – which sank off the coast of Delaware on Sept. 1, 1785, taking nearly 200 emigrants with it – is being brought to life in an upcoming historical novel, writes Kevin Mullan for the Derry Journal, a newspaper in Northern Ireland.
Pennsylvania author Harry A. Wenzel is researching the finer details of the shipwreck that claimed 181 souls, 93 of whom were women and children.
The Faithful Steward left Ireland for Philadelphia in July 1785 with 249 emigrants and 400 barrels of copper halfpennies and rose-gold guineas (coins). Tragically, the ship sank just miles from its destination.
Only 68 emigrants managed to stay alive by floating on debris for the final 100 yards to land. The area in Delaware where the ship went down is known as Coin Beach, as sometimes the sea returns some of the lost halfpennies and guineas after a storm.
Wenzel is now trying to compile a list of those who perished in the accident.
“While the list of survivors was published, no one to date has found any listing of those who did not survive,” he said.
Read more about the shipwreck in the Derry Journal by clicking here.