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Twillingate Sun


Mr. Wm Winsor, writing from Exploits, mentioned an incident which happened here many years ago and asked us to give some particulars in our paper to show how hardy men were at that time. According to what we can gather the incident to which he refers happened in April, 1822 and is as follows:

William WELLS, Thomas DRAKE, Samuel LACEY, Henry BLACKMORE, James WARR, Geoffrey TIZZARD, of Back Harbour, and John STUCKLESS of Cat Cove, left Sleepy Cove on the morning of April 1st, 1822 in quest of seals. They launched their boat across the tanding ice to a long lake of water and rowed across to the moving ice. John STUCKLESS was left with the boat and it seems that he rowed back to the standing ice after the others had left to look for seals. The men went some distance over the ice, killed a tow of seals apiece, hauled them to the edge of the ice, and returned for their second tow. A storm now sprang up with the wind off shore and the ice that the men were on moving off and the wind blowing too hard for STUCKLESS to row across the lake of water which was now rapidly widening. The men were now at the mercy of the wind. The wind contined blowing off the land for several days. After a time the wind veered and drove the ice back again, and after all hope of seeing the men alive again had been given up, they landed at Horny Head Cove on the 13th of April, all well. All the food they had was what they carried in their grub bags and they had to live most of the time on seal.

Thomas DRAKE with his family (excepting one child who was away at the time) was burnt to death at Back Harbour some years later.


Contributed by Amalie Lewis Tuffin
Page Revised by Craig Peterman (August 2002)

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