Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture

Emily Farnum

The Emily Farnum was a clipper ship built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1854. She was first used in the guano trade, and later in the East Indies trade. On September 21, 1862 she left New York under the command of Captain Nathan Parker Simes with assorted cargo destined for Liverpool, England.

On October 3 she was stopped by the Confederate ship Alabama. Captain Simes was ordered to bring his ship's papers to the captain of the Alabama, who threatened to burn the Emily Farnum and take her crew prisoners, as he had already done to three other Union vessels. Simes negotiated the release of his ship by proving that his cargo belonged to an Englishman, and by agreeing to take all 78 prisoners off the Alabama and deliver them to Liverpool.

Thirteen years later, having been sold to new owners and re-rigged as a bark, the Emily Farnum was not so lucky. In November, 1875, she was on a voyage from San Francisco to Discovery Bay with a load of railroad tracks for the Union Pacific Railroad. In a fierce winter storm, she ran aground and sank on rocks just off Destruction Island. Fourteen of her crew hung on to the wheelhouse when it was swept from the deck and onto the rocks. The next morning crewman Thomas McGill swam from the rocks to the main part of the island with a rope. He constructed a small raft and used it to rescue the rest of the crew. Meanwhile two crew members were lost as they attempted to swim to safety. At the time of the shipwreck, the chronometer gave the ship's position as being 36 miles offshore.

In September of 2000 marine archaeologists on board the RV Tatoosh used sidescan sonar and magnetic sensing devices to locate the wreck of the Emily Farnum. Even through the wood has been eaten away, 100 tons of iron remain to mark the site.


Read about individual shipwrecks in the sanctuary:

Austria

H.M.S. Condor

Lamut

Leonore

Pacific

Prince Arthur

Skagway

Southerner

St. Nicholas

Temple Bar

W. J. Pirrie

See Shipwreck Map



Contact for page content: George Galasso
Photo of peach coral
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