KELTY, John Henry

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KELTY, John Henry (d. 1856) drowned while bathing at Santa Cruz Island. on June 9, 1856. (Thompson & West, History of Santa Barbara County, California, 1883 p. 466).

In the News~

June 19, 1856 [SBG]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw informs us that on the 9th instant John Henry Kelty, a seaman on board the schooner Francis Skiddy, went on shore at Santa Cruz Island with the intention of bathing. His companions, thinking that he was absent a very long time, went to look for him. They found his clothes upon the bank, and after some considerable trouble, succeeded in discovering the body at the bottom of the lagoon. He was very decently buried on the following morning. Deceased was a native of Sunderland, England.”

September 30, 1856 [SDU]: “At 7:30 P.M., September 28th, below Monterey, during a thick fog, [a steamer] ran down the schooner Frances Skiddy, of 17-1/2 tons. The Captain, Hugh Robertson, was drowned. The schooner was bound to Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of provisions for the Chinese fishery, and had on board four Chinese passengers, who were all saved. One Chinaman had his shoulder broken, but is doing well. The steamer was on her usual course, with her lights burning. The crew of the schooner report that they heard the steamer for some minutes before striking, but became bewildered, and the Captain ordered the helm put down, which kept the schooner directly in the steamer’s track, without showing a light until nearly under her bows, when it was too late to prevent the catastrophe. The names of the persons saved are Captain Eastman of the sloop Marin; James Wilson, James Hardy, John Bathgate, and four Chinamen.”

October 9, 1856 [SBG]: “The steamer John L. Stephens, on her recent trip to San Francisco, during a thick fog, ran into the schooner Francis Skiddy, and cut her completely in two. The schooner was bound to Santa Cruz Island. The crew and passengers, with the exception of the captain, Hugh Robertson, were saved.”