We are indebted to Purser Watkins, of the steamer Winfield Scott, for some particulars in relation to the loss of that steamer. She ran ashore on the night of the 2d of Dec., on the island of Anacapa, which is situated about twenty-five miles, in a direction about south by east, from Santa Barbara, and about five miles distant, in an easterly direction, from the island of Santa Cruz. There was a very dense fog, so that it was impossible to see the ship's length ahead. She struck bow on, staving two holes in her bow, and then, in backing off, her stern struck, knocking away her rudder. There was a good deal of alarm manifested among the passengers, most of whom had turned in; and even after she had struck, the fog was so dense that they could see nothing before them. After the loss of her rudder, the boat drifted off a distance of about three hundred yards, and went ashore bow on, striking upon a high bluff. She had already commenced filling, and soon after striking for the last time sunk up to her guards. A boat was immediately sent out to find a place where the passengers could be landed. A little island separate from the main one, was found, and there the passengers, mails and treasure were landed that night, and the next morning were taken on the island where they now are. The coolness and presence of mind of Capt. Blunt, under the circumstances, are spoken of in the highest terms of commendation. He remained on board until all the passengers were landed, which was nearly day light, and during the night was busily engaged in superintending the necessary work which was in progress. We do not think that his well established reputation as a careful and skillful navigator will suffer from this unfortunate loss
Provisions and bedding were taken out of the boat, and the passengers well provided with every thing that was necessary, and they were made as comfortable as they could be under the circumstances. The island is rocky, barren and desolate, without inhabitants of any description
On the morning of the 4th, about eight o'clock, the California was seen coming up, and a gun was fired from the island as a signal. She did not hear the gun but the smoke was seen, and attention being attracted to the island was crowded with people, they immediately went over and took off the ladies, whom they brought up here.
Daily Alta California, December 13, 1853
Mr. Dean, Purser of the Southerner, reports that the California, hence for Panama, arrived at the wreck of the W. Scott on the 9th inst., about daylight. There was a heavy swell running, but the passengers succeeded in getting on board at 2 P. M. without accident.
Considerable baggage and about half the mails are still on board the Winfield Scott, under water. There are no hopes of saving either the mails or the machinery of the ship. At daylight, Dec. 10th, the steamer Southerner hove in sight, weather thick. Capt. Hilliard landed plenty of provisions for the officers and crew of the Scott, who are awaiting the arrival of the Republic. All speak in the highest terms of Capt. S. F. Blunt, who has been unceasing in his efforts to make the passengers comfortable. Not a murmur of complaint was heard from them, but all join in his praise. Where the Scott struck is a perpendicular rock 250 feet high, and the passengers were landed about a mile to the westward. So far, the Scott has resisted the action of the breakers.
Daily Alta California, January 29, 1854
The Wrecked Winfield Scott -- We understand that the parties who purchased the wreck of the W. S. as she lay, after having saved a great variety of furniture and material sufficient to re-imburse them for their trouble, will eventually save the hull. It is said that it remains in precisely the same position as when last heard from, and indeed, circumstances favor the impression that she will yet reach this port.
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