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Origins: The Wreck of the Huron

DigiTrad:
THE WRECK OF THE HURON


MMario 11 Dec 02 - 02:47 PM
EBarnacle1 12 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM
masato sakurai 12 Dec 02 - 12:37 PM
raredance 12 Dec 02 - 10:28 PM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 17 - 02:31 AM
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Subject: The wreck of the Huron
From: MMario
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 02:47 PM

The Wreck of the Huron at Music For the Nation. Geo. A. Cragg - 1878


In the DT we have: The Wreck of the Huron

I'd say close, but no cigar....


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Subject: RE: The wreck of the Huron
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM

Mawkish but interesting. I'll print both out when I get home.


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Subject: RE: The wreck of the Huron
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 12:37 PM

The USS Huron

Built a decade after the Civil War, the USS Huron was constructed during a period of transition between the old and new navy. The Huron and her two sisterships were the last American naval vessels to be built of iron rather than steel and to be equipped with sails to supplement their steam engines.

During her brief career (1875-1877), the Huron visited ports in Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Key West, Mobile, Charleston, Norfolk, Boston, New York, and Washington, DC However, it was the tragedy of the Huron's sinking on November 24, 1877, that brought the ship to national attention.

Specifications:

Built: Chester, Pennsylvania, 1875
Length: 175 feet
Beam: 32 feet
Draft: 13 feet
Crew: 16 officers, 118 enlisted men
Power: A compound steam engine with five coal-burning boilers and a 12-foot-diameter propeller. The Huron also had three mast equipped with sails.
Armaments:
11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore cannon(1)
9-inch Dahlgren smoothbore cannon (2)
60-pounder Parrot rifle (1)
12-pounder Dahlgren boat howitzer (1)
50-caliber Gatling gun (1)

The Loss of the USS Huron

The Huron left Hampton Roads, Virginia, on Friday, November 23, 1877. She was headed for Havana, Cuba, to survey the surrounding coast.

On her first night out to sea, the ship encountered a heavy storm blowing from the southeast. The storm combined with a small error in the ship's compass to cause the Huron to run aground off Nags Head at 1:30 a.m., November 24, 1877.

Even though the Huron was only 200 yards from the beach, the heavy surf, strong currents, and cold temperature prevented most of the crew members from attempting the swim to shore. Most of the crew tried to remain on the ship in the hope that help would arrive. However, no one came to the aid of the sailors: lifesaving stations had been closed until December. The elements eventually took their toll on the storm battered men. Many lost their strength and were washed overboard by waves. One huge wave swept at least twelve sailors away at one time. In all, ninety-eight men lost their lives during the night.

The federal government was severely criticized for its failure to provide adequate funding for the United States Lifesaving Service. Two months after the wreck of the Huron, the steamship Metropolis ran aground twenty-three miles to the north, with the loss of eighty-five lives. These two disasters prompted Congress to appropriate funding to build additional lifesaving stations along the North Carolina coast and increase their months of operation.

(From HERE)

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WRECK OF THE HURON
From: raredance
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 10:28 PM

Might as well throw another one into the hopper. This version is also from the Frank C Brown Collection of NC Folklore as is the one in the DT. This text was obtained from Miss Edna Harris who claimed she hear id from her mother and aunt. No date was associated with it. The notes also state:

"Though the editors have not found any evidence for the authorship...they have placed it amonth the North Carolina ballads because it celebrates an event that occurred on the North Carolina coast, and it was known by at least three residents of that region."

As late as 1946 a publication stated that in a clam sea the bell, tank and boiler of the Huron were still visible. Depending on the source the death toll was between 98 and 106. A few days after the disaster Lt. Guthrie, the first Commander of the District, while coming ashore to investigate the wreck, was capsized when coming through the breakers and lost his life.

Concerning the text already in the DT. The notes provide the following:

"Ballad of the Huron. contributed by Mrs. Jacques Busbee, Raleigh in an undated letter with this note: "This is the vdrsion of 'The Huron' which I secured from Miss Pochantas Twiford of Nag's Head. I have been told that this ballad was first printed in the Norfolk (Virginia) papers shortly after the wreck; and that it also appears in some school readers. But the title and date of the reader i have never been able to trace."

THE WRECK OF THE HURON (Text A)

'Twas a dark and stormy day when orders came to sail;
Mountain high the billows ran, fierce winds did screech and wail.
Around the captain sailors brave the anchor quick did weigh
Of the noble steamer Huron, whose fate was sealed that day,
Although they were warned by signals from the shore,
And the turmoil of the sea and wind should have warned them all the more.
But duty came first to the sailors true and brave;
So out, out to sea they went to meet their watery grave.

Then toll, toll the bell for the loss of the Huron's crew;
Mourn and weep for the sad, sad fate of the noble boys in blue.

Through the black troubled waters the noble steamer plowed.
Higher ran the cruel waves and blacker grew the cloud.
Although they trusted Him above who ruled the mighty waves,
The tempest was appalling to the bravest of the braves.
At last came the cry for each man to his post
To keep the sinking ship off North Carolina's rocky coast.
Oh God! It was too late, for on the rocks she tossed,
And amid them cruel breakers one hundred lives were lost.

Then toll, toll the bell for the loss of the Huron's crew;
Mourn and weep for the sad, sad fate of the nobel boys in blue.


rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of the Huron
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 17 - 02:31 AM

Here is the entry for this song from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Wreck of the Huron, The [Laws D21]

DESCRIPTION: On a stormy night, the Huron receives orders to sail. The crew, despite the bad weather, obeys orders. The Huron runs aground on the North Carolina coast and is destroyed. A hundred crewmen's lives are lost
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1932 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: sea wreck disaster
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Nov 24, 1877 - The U.S.S. Huron is wrecked near Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. The number of dead was estimated as between 98 and 106
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Laws D21, "The Wreck of the Huron"
BrownII 288, "The Wreck of the Huron" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more)
DT 727, WRKHURON

Roud #2239
File: LD21

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition. Any other versions?

THE WRECK OF THE HURON
(George A Cragg)

On a dark and stormy night
When orders came to sail
Mountain high the billows rolled
And louder blew the gale.

cho: Toll, toll the bell
For the loss of the Huron crew;
We'll mourn and weep the sad, sad fate
Of the noble boys in blue.

The Captain and the heroes
Lined upon her deck
Awaiting for the fatal hour
When she would be a wreck.

Our brave and noble Captain says,
"Each man reserve his post
To keep the sinking ship off
Carolina's sandy coast."

Our brave and noble Captain
And officers in command
Stood as statues of old
Till the Huron struck the sand.

"Pump, pump my boys,
Our precious lives to save!"
But sad the fate, it was too late-
They met a watery grave.

Oh God! it was too late,
For on the sands she tossed
And amid the cruel breakers
A hundred lives were lost.

Our widowed wives and children
A Father to them be,
For we will be lost in the breakers tossed
Upon a cruel sea.

From North Carolina Folklore, Brown
Collected from Miss Pocahontas Twiford, NC

DT #727
Laws D21
@sailor @wreck
filename[ WRKHURON
RG
oct96


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