Elizabeth HOPKIRK

Elizabeth HOPKIRK was the eldest child of William HOPKIRK & Isabella HOME

Elizabeth was born 28 July 1804 in Melrose or Gattonside and christened 16 September 1804 in Melrose, Scotland.

Elizabeth never married. She travelled to the USA and was in Stubenville, Ohio as of the 1840 census.

She was probably helping raise the families of her brothers John and William.

In the 1841 letter from her mother, Isabella Home Hopkirk, to her children, requests Elizabeth to go to Iowa to help her brother John. John was unmarried at the time and trying to get the property he and his brother William purchased in the Lockridge and Coalport areas of Jefferson County, Iowa going. View that letter here.

In 1846 the letter from her mother, Isabella Home Hopkirk, to her children in Iowa requested that Elizabeth come home. View that letter here.

In 1847 Elizabeth left for New York City and on Monday, 9 August 1847, she boarded the new ship Mamlouk on its maiden voyage to Liverpool.

Sadly, on Sunday night, 15 August 1847, they vessel was hit by a big storm and at 11:50pm the cabin on the deck of the ship was swept overboard.

View the London Times newspaper report from September of 1847 here.

From a New York newspaper there is the following article from late August 1847, most of which is repeated in the article noted above.


From a New York paper. August 1847

The new ship, Mamlouk, Captain Christiansen, of New York, bound to Liverpool, was totally lost, together with forty-two lives, on the night of the 15th instant, in lat. 38 N.. long. 67 W.

This ship sailed on the 9th instant for Liverpool, with four cabin passengers, thirty-six in the steerage, and a crew of twenty-four, officers and men. She received her first injury on the night of Sunday, August 15, in about lat. 38 N., and long. 67 W. She was then lying to in a violent hurricane, under the main-trysail and foretopmast stay-sail. About ten minutes before twelve o'clock she was struck by a heavy squall, and careened so much that the cargo shifted, and she immediately fell upon her beam ends, the weather rail on the quarter-deck being within a few feet of the water. The main and mizenmasts were immediately cut away, and the ship righted, but the cargo burst open the hatches and floated about, creating much confusion, and increasing the impending danger. Within a very short time the vessel filled, and she became waterlogged, the starboard rail being under water. In this condition, the crew and passengers remained until daylight on the next morning, the 16th, when the dreadful truth became apparent to them, that out of sixty-four souls, only twenty-two remained alive, the others having been washed overboard.

The names of those lost are annexed. We are indebted to Mr. John Keenan, the passenger broker to the ship, for the list of steerage passengers :-

Steerage passengers lost. - John Blue ; Miss Elizabeth Hopkirk ; Patrick Dowling, wife, and infant ; James Joyce, wife, and infant ; Miss Ann Gill ; Mr. Morrice ; Mr. Green ; Edward Green, wife, and three children ; William Connell ; Hugh Humphrey; Mr. Mathias ; Hugh Hamill ; Mr. Taylor and lady ; John Duncan ; Edward Bishop ; Mr. O'Dell ; Miss Elizabeth Waterson ; Miss Morehead ; Robert O'Brien ;  Thomas Davis ; Mr. T. H. Gerry, lady, and child; John Gonnan.

Names of crew lost. - William Howard, sailor ; Jacob Dryer, sailor ; John Allen, sailor; Harry Dunham, sailor; Edward Dowlan, sailor; Robert , sailor; William Miller (coloured), cook.

The names of those saved are as follows : -

Names of the cabin passengers saved - Mr. J. G. Butler, of Brooklyn ; Mrs. Christiansen (captain's lady) ; Miss Floride Patten ; Mr. Henry Plant, of Demerara.

Steerage passenger saved. - David S. Hales.

Names of officers and crew saved. - C. H. Christiansen, captain, and Hall, first mate.

The list of the names of the crew saved is, of course, incomplete.

Throughout Monday and Monday night the storm continued to rage, the sea making a complete breach over the wreck. On Tuesday the sufferers descried a vessel, but the weather continued so stormy that they could not indulge any hope of being aided by her, and night again overtook them in their wretched and dangerous situation. On Wednesday morning, however, the same vessel they had seen on the previous day, the brig Belize, Captain James H. Dawes, from Boston, bound to Port-au-Prince, was seen bearing down to the wreck, the weather having at this time somewhat moderated. Though the attempt to rescue the survivors was still attended with some danger, Captain Dawes and his officers and crew bent themselves nobly to the task, and the twenty-two sufferers were safely conveyed on board the Belize.

Their wants were immediately and generously provided for, and the greatest attention paid to their weak and worn-out condition ; and the mate, in relating the generous conduct of Captain Dawes, shed tears of gratitude ; he said he never received such treatment. Captain Dawes, with an alacrity which speaks in the highest terms of praise of his character as a noble-hearted man, changed his course, and brought them all safe to this port, where they arrived yesterday morning.

The following card is published for the survivors : - "The undersigned, on behalf of the passengers and crew of the packet-ship Mamlouk, wrecked at sea, on the night of the 15th of August, desire to express publicly their deep sense of gratitude to Captain James H. Dawes, of the brig Belize, of Kingston, Massachusetts, for his noble exertions in rescuing them from their perilous position, and most generously providing for all their wants, and in bringing them safely to this port. " " J. G. BUTLER, " C. H. CHRISTIANSEN, Captain."

It appears that the steerage passengers occupied the house on deck, and were in bed at the time of the disaster. The heavy sea that struck the ship swept this house overboard with all its inmates, and hence the great loss of that class of passengers, only one of the thirty-six having been saved.

The cabin passengers were also in bed at the time, and, as the ship lay on her beam ends, they were rescued through one of the windows on the weather side.

The Captain, Christiansen, was once washed overboard, but recovered himself in the rigging of the mainmast.

The Mamlouk was a splendid new vessel, was on her first voyage, and was built at Perrine, Patterson, and Stack's ship-yard, in this city. She was 850 tons burden, and owned by Mr. Warren Delano, jun. She had a full cargo of flour, provisions, &c., which was worth about $50,000.

The following is believed to be a correct account of the insurance of this vessel :-
In New York, at the Mutual Safety Insurance Company, oil vessel and freight $14,500

New York Insurance Company, on vessel 11,000
General Mutual Insurance Company, on cargo 14,000
Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, on cargo 9,000
In New Bedford and Philadelphia, on vessel, about 33,000
Total. . . . $81,500

The rest of the cargo, it is supposed, is insured in Europe, there being no other insurances in New York.

Our thanks goes to Glenys Bolland for supplying infomation for this page.

This page last updated on October 1, 2008