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Merie Celeste

T. Mikeladze

She was built by the shipbuilder Joshua Dewis in 1861 as the ship Amazon. In 1868, Amazon was transferred to the American registry, and the following year was renamed the Mary Celeste., Nova Scotia.

Captain Benjamin Briggs The captain's wife, Sarah Their daughter, Sophia First Mate Albert Richardson

While waiting in New York City for a cargo of raw alcohol to be delivered to the Mary Celeste, Captain Briggs wrote a letter to his mother in Marion, Massachusetts:

New York, Nov. 3d, 1872 My Dear Mother: It's been a long time since I have written you a letter and I should like to give you a real interesting one but I hardly know what to say except that I am well and the rest of us ditto, It is such a long time since I composed other than business epistles. It seems to me to have been a great while since I left home, but it is only over two weeks but in that time my mind has been filled with business cares and I am again launched away into the busy whirl of business life from which I have so long been laid aside. For a few days it was tedious, perplexing, and very tiresome but now I have got fairly settled down to it and it sets lightly and seems to run more smoothly and my appetite keeps good and I hope I shan't lose any flesh. It seems real homelike since Sarah and Sophia got here, and we enjoy our little quarters.

On November 5, 1872, under command of Captain Briggs, the Mary Celeste docked on New York City's East River and took on board a cargo of 1,701 barrels of commercial alcohol intended for fortifying Italian wines on behalf of Meissner Ackermann & Co. It was worth about $35,000; the ship and cargo together were insured for $46,000. The Mary Celeste then set sail from Staten Island for Genoa, Italy

Before the Mary Celeste left New York, Captain Briggs spoke with an old friend, David Reed Morehouse, from Nova Scotia, who was captain of the Canadian merchant ship Dei Gratia.
Over the next 13 years, the ship changed hands 17 times. By then, the Mary Celeste was in very poor condition. Her last captain and owner, identified as G. C. Parker, made no profit whatsoever and deliberately wrecked the Mary Celeste in an attempt to commit insurance fraud in the Caribbean Sea on January 3, 1885.

Different explanations Vapor emission from barrels of alcohol The most plausible explanations are all based on the barrels of alcohol. Captain Briggs had never hauled such a dangerous cargo before, and did not trust it. Historian Conrad Byers theory

Piracy Mutiny Drunkenness Premature abandonment

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