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Leader (#15216) (c.1866-1876), 36-foot wood-hulled two-masted sealing schooner which wrecked on “the weather side” of San Miguel Island according to the San Francisco Alta California, August 12, 1876. Her crew continued sealing on Flea Island [Castle Rock] for several weeks before taking a small skiff to Santa Rosa Island for help. The party was rescued by Captain Frank Wildes Thompson.

Leader is listed as a total loss as of June, 1876 in the California Wreck Register of 1871-1876 by C. T. Hopkins, San Francisco, 1877.

In the News~

August 11, 1876 [SBDP]: “Loss of the schooner Leader on San Miguel Island. The schooner Leader, Captain Chas. Ludgings, which has long been navigated on the bay of San Francisco and tributary rivers, was recently chartered for a fishing and sealing expedition along the coast of southern California. On the 17th day of June last, the schooner was anchored on the weather side of San Miguel Island when a severe squall struck her, and, despite the efforts of the crew, she was driven ashore and is now a total wreck. The proceeds of their expedition up to that time, and all of the contents of the vessel were saved. No lives were lost. The crew, six in number, established themselves on a large rock a mile or two from the main island, and prosecuted their sealing business, with the aid of their small boats, for about four weeks, and watching in the meantime for a vessel to rescue them. At the end of that time their supply of provisions became so much reduced, it was decided that assistance must soon be obtained in some way. Two men were accordingly dispatched in a skiff to Santa Rosa Island for Captain Thompson of the Matinee. He accordingly sailed to San Miguel and picked up the unfortunate men and brought them, their forty barrels of seal oil and other effects, to this city, where they arrived yesterday. They began shipping their oil, etc. to San Francisco on the next steamer. The schooner was owned and insured in San Francisco, which was her home port.” [Also DAC August 12, 1876]