Liberty (No.104174)

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Liberty (#104174) (1876-1895), 34.6-foot wood-hulled supply sloop acquired by Captain Waters for his San Miguel Island affairs. Liberty carried cargo, people, and mail to and from the island, often times returning with sheep and wool from the island. From the time she was built through 1887, Liberty was used for fishing, abalone-gathering, sealing and otter hunting out of San Diego. She spent most of her time in the waters off Lower California. In 1885 she was caught illegally bringing in a load of copper ore from Baja California, after which she was refitted as a pleasure boat. However, she continued smuggling copper ore, hides and yucca fiber from Lower California until she was acquired by Captain Waters sometime around 1890. In March of 1895 she met her end following a landslide at Cuyler’s Harbor on San Miguel Island.



In the News~

May 10, 1890 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty, which arrived from San Miguel Island yesterday morning, had a rough passage. While in the channel she was struck by a sudden gust of wind and knocked nearly on her beam end. She had a cargo of 45 bales of wool, and three bales were washed overboard and lost.”


July 19, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, Miss Waters, Mr. and Mrs. Moody of the Boston Globe and one or two others leave today on the Liberty for a visit to San Miguel Island.”


September 11, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday on the Liberty.”


November 8, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters left on the schooner Liberty yesterday for a trip to Santa Catalina Island.”


February 10, 1891 [SBMP]: “Some anxiety is felt on the water front for the safety of the sloop Liberty, which sailed for San Miguel Island on January 23rd and has not since been heard from. Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of the island, was on board and expected to return in a few days. It is feared that the Liberty has dragged her anchors and gone ashore during one of the recent heavy blows, and that the people on the island have no way of getting off. A boat will be sent over to investigate.”


February 11, 1891 [SBI]: “Captain Waters and daughter, Miss Edith, arrived from San Miguel Island last evening on the Liberty, all safe and well. They remained on the boat and landed this morning.”


February 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty, belonging to Rogers Brothers, left yesterday for San Miguel Island on an otter hunting trip and to try out a whale which is ashore there.”


February 25, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells. A party of otter hunters was left on the island. They will also try out a whale which is ashore there.”


March 3, 1891 [LAT]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells, says the Santa Barbara Press. A party of otter hunters were left on the island. They will also try out a whale which came ashore there.”


March 19, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday taking over Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of the island, and a band of sheep shearers.”


March 26, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty, Captain Water’s boat, returned Tuesday night from San Miguel Island, having landed Captain Waters and party there safely. She rode out the heavy gale of Wednesday of last week; anchored inside the kelp near Gaviota, and although it was very rough, the boat was not at any time in any real danger.”


April 3, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Wednesday from San Miguel Island with twelve bales of wool and twenty sheep. The Liberty left yesterday for the seal hunters that have been at San Miguel Island for several days.”


April 12, 1891 [SBMP]: “Live seals captured at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. José Espinosa and party returned yesterday in the sloop Liberty with six live seals captured by them at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. The seals were shipped yesterday afternoon on the steamer Santa Cruz for San Francisco, from which port they will be expressed to New York for exhibition in the parks, etc. They are valued at $100 each. The mode of capturing seals is quite novel. The hunters succeeded in getting between the seals and the water when they are lassoed and caged.”


June 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Lost Overboard. The sloop Liberty arrived last evening from San Miguel Island, and brought word of an accident which occurred on the outward trip. The sloop left Santa Barbara one June 3rd, with Captain and Miss Waters, Miss Brownsill and Miss Guild, who expected to spend some time on the island. The first two days out the wind was so light that the boat only worked as far up as El Capitan, where all went ashore. On Friday night, June 5th, they got an offshore wind and crossed the channel. The wind got stronger and stronger, and the sea was very rough. When they had almost reached the island, a sudden puff struck the sloop, and a big sea at the time swept over her, and one of the crew, an Indian named Augustine Iburria [Ybarra] was swept overboard. The sloop had lost headway and it was impossible to bring her about. An oar was thrown to the man which he caught, but that was the last seen of him, and he was in all probability drowned, although there is a bare possibility that he may have drifted down to the west end of Santa Rosa Island. The sloop had her mainsail split and was obliged to find shelter on the south side of Santa Rosa. They did not get to San Miguel until Saturday night. As the west point of Santa Rosa was passed some one was seen onshore waving a coat, but it was impossible to land, and it is believed that he was one of several Chinamen who live on that point.”


June 15, 1891 [SBI]: “Lost in the channel. Augustine Ybarra swept overboard from the sloop Liberty. Intelligence was brought yesterday by the sloop Liberty from the Island of San Miguel, of the probable drowning of an Indian named Augustine Ybarra, one of the crew of that vessel. The sloop left for the island on the 3d inst. with a party of excursionists, as was mentioned in our issue of that date. Light winds, and those dead ahead, prevented the vessel from making much progress, but on the 5th, a fair wind drove them across the channel. The wind increased, with heavy seas, one of which swept the sloop's decks carrying overboard the unfortunate Ybarra. An oar was thrown to him, which he caught, and there is a bare hope that with it he may have succeeded in reaching the island. The sloop was obliged to continue her course and sought shelter under the lee of Santa Rosa Island. On Saturday they reached San Miguel Island with no further accident than damage to some of her sails.”


June 17, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island at 2:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon. She started for the island Saturday to bring over Miss Mabel Guild. On the way back, the Liberty stopped at More’s Landing, and Miss Guild came to this city overland. She arrived home in time to attend her father’s funeral.”


June 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived from Santa Rosa Island yesterday morning, bringing over A. P. More, John More and family. Miss Alice Colt and Samuel Colt, who have been spending a couple of weeks on the island. Nothing was known on the island of the loss of a sailor from the sloop Liberty on June 15th, and he had not been washed ashore there. This disposed of the last chance of his safety and Ybarra was undoubtedly drowned.”


July 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Three men drowned. One saved after clinging to a rock 24 hours. The sloop Liberty, which returned Sunday afternoon from San Miguel Island with her flag at half-mast, brought the body of Pablo Valencia and the following account of a fatal accident that occurred there a week ago yesterday... Early the next morning, Captain Durietz, who had arrived in the sloop Liberty late that evening, Captain Waters, the owner of the island, and Pasquel returned to the west end. A big sea was on and the wind blowing from the northwest. Under the efficient command of Captain Durietz, they were enabled to come quite close to the rock; a line was thrown which Valencia caught and he was soon carried ashore, not much worse for his experience. The men were sealing...”


July 14, 1891 [LAT]: “Struck a rock. A boat wrecked and two men and a boy drowned. Word was brought last evening of the drowning of two men and a negro boy near San Miguel Island last Monday. The men and boy were in a boat engaged in a seal hunt. They attempted to make a landing while a heavy sea was running. The boat struck a rock, throwing all out, and all were drowned except one man, who was rescued after clinging to the rock for twenty-four hours. The body of one of the drowned men was recovered and brought here in the sloop Liberty.”


August 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Liberty will sail today for San Miguel Island with Captain Waters.”


August 19, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


September 2, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday with Captain Waters.”


October 14, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “The Star of Freedom and Liberty are both overdue from the islands, but can’t get here in the present calm.”


October 18, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, with a crew of sailors and sheep shearers, returned from a several weeks’ trip to San Miguel Island in the sloop Liberty yesterday morning. The captain brought over quite a cargo of wool and abalone shells.”


November 4, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty will sail today for San Miguel Island.”


November 6, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters’ sloop Liberty left Wednesday for San Miguel Island with Mr. Brown and wife, who are to take charge of the island. The sloop will return in a day or so with a cargo of wool.”


November 12, 1891 [SBDI]: “Sloop Liberty was in port this morning from San Miguel Island with a load of wool belonging to Captain Waters.”


December 2, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty is in from San Miguel Island.”


December 3, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty has returned from San Miguel Island.”


December 16, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty has returned to San Miguel Island.”


January 24, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


February 8, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty will sail shortly for San Miguel Island.”


February 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters and Miss Edith Waters have left by steamer for Gaviota, from which place they sail in the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island.”


February 17, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island yesterday morning with a load of hogs.”


February 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, proprietor of the San Miguel Island, came from there on his sloop, Liberty. He reports the grass on the island growing rapidly.”


March 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Ed W. Gaty left last evening for Gaviota overland, from where he will ship on the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island. He will be gone four or five days.”


March 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The slop Liberty returned from San Miguel Island Friday night.”


April 17, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island loaded with wool Friday evening.”


April 26, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday.”


May 13, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island Wednesday evening bringing fifty-five sheep and eighteen bales of wool.”


May 14, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday morning, taking four or five seal hunters over. She will go from there to San Nicolas Island to bring a load of wool for Elliott.”


May 25, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Nicolas and Catalina islands yesterday morning, bringing some eight or ten sheep shearers and seventy sacks of wool.”


June 22, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday. William J. Cummings, special Chinese inspector, was a passenger… A whistling buoy has broken loose somewhere off the coast and drifting down has located itself just west of San Miguel Island, contrary to government regulations. Julius, captain of the sloop Liberty, says it just whistles all the time, very much to the surprise of Captain Waters and the occupants of the island.”


July 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island Wednesday night, bringing Captain Waters, W. I. Cummings, special government inspector, and Clark Streator, the ornithologist. Mr. Streator found about twenty specimens of a rare species of the mouse family, and several other specimens. He will leave shortly for Santa Rosa Island.”


July 1, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island yesterday evening bringing as passengers Captain Waters, Clark P. Streator and W. T. Cummings, special Chinese inspector.”


July 19, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty is in from San Miguel Island. She brought over the result of a two month seal hunt, and the hunters’ outfit. There were about two tons of seal skins, seven barrels of oil, the otter skin, and two tons of abalone shells. The stuff was shipped to San Francisco on the Santa Rosa last evening.”


July 23, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday.”


August 4, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty is expected in this evening with Captain Waters and the party of young ladies he took to San Miguel Island a week or two ago.”


August 21, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for Gaviota yesterday. Captain Waters will leave on the steamer Los Angeles today for Gaviota where he will sail in the Liberty for San Miguel Island.”


August 29, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty was taking on a cargo of provisions, etc. yesterday for San Nicolas Island.”


September 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters’ sloop Liberty came over from the islands yesterday afternoon.”


September 16, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The Liberty was in sight from San Miguel Island, but had not reached the wharf at 4 o’clock.”


September 18, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The Ruby sailed for the wreck of the Goldenhorn last evening, taking a crew of eight or ten men… Messrs.. Stevens and Clark have chartered the sloop Liberty and sent it with a crew of seven men to the wreck to see if something can be saved from it…”


October 4, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island yesterday with a large cargo of wool, the shearing about half over.”


October 4, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Liberty sails this morning for San Nicolas Island with a cargo of lumber.”


October 5, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Nicolas Island yesterday.”


October 6, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty was detained by the late arrival of sheep shearers from Bakersfield, and will sail for San Nicolas today.”


October 7, 1892 [SBMP]: “Sloop Liberty left this port bound for San Nicolas with sheep shearers yesterday morning.”


October 26, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived yesterday with a large cargo of wool for E. Elliott from San Nicolas and Anacapa islands.”


October 29, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


November 5, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived yesterday afternoon from San Miguel Island.”


November 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters of San Miguel Island came in on the sloop Liberty yesterday morning and will remain until after the election, which means one more good Republican vote.”


December 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island yesterday morning. Miss Edith, daughter of Captain Waters, was a passenger, she having been at the island all the past summer.”


December 21, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty came over from San Miguel Island Monday evening.”


December 21, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island Monday night, bringing W. L. Cummings, special Chinese Inspector.”


January 11, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty came in yesterday from San Miguel Island with 56 sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


January 29, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty came over Friday night from San Miguel Island.”


March 4, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left yesterday for San Miguel Island under rather peculiar circumstances. Thursday night the crew, consisting of one Scandinavian sailor, came on shore and began taking on a load of liquid stimulants. After looking upon the wine when it was red until he was too befuddled to know the difference between a jib boom and a leg of mutton, the sailor started to embark late at night. Being a foreseeing and provident mind, he took along a demijohn of the ardent to brace himself for his homeward trip. When he managed to set sail in the morning, the schooner Santa Rosa was lying in the harbor, but the sailor having applied himself too frequently to the demijohn thought he saw two schooners, and in trying to steer between them he struck the schooner squarely amidships, the collision carrying away a part of the Liberty's rigging. Nothing daunted, however, he took in a reef and continued on his meandering was over the briny deep, but with what success has not since been learned.”


April 7, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived in the harbor yesterday morning with a cargo of sheep. She had been at sea three days.”


April 7, 1893 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, April 6. A telegram received by F. A. Blake in this city from J. White Mortimer, Vice-Counsel at Los Angeles, says: ‘A seaman from the King James was landed at first island, south of Point Conception, on the west side of the island, about the center, on the morning of the 31st inst. He is without food. Send for him.’ Mr. Blake made arrangements with the boat Big Loafer, a small sailing vessel, to go over, and she sailed at 10 o’clock this morning. The island is supposed to be San Miguel, just south of Point Conception, and forty-five miles from this place. The sloop Liberty, which left San Miguel on the morning of the 4th inst., arrived this morning, and the captain said nothing had been seen of the man, but it may be that he is on one end, not frequented, or on some rock in the vicinity…”


April 11, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for the island yesterday, but was obliged to return on account of the strong headwinds.”


May 7, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left yesterday morning for San Nicolas Island.”


May 20, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left yesterday morning for San Miguel Island after a cargo of wool for E. Elliott who has sheep shearers at work there.”


June 26, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from the islands.”


July 4, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloops Liberty, Restless and Ida were in the harbor this morning.”


July 5, 1893 [SBDI]: “The schooners Santa Rosa, San Mateo, and the sloops Liberty, Restless and Ida were in the harbor this morning. The Santa Cruz returned to the island yesterday.”


July 18, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty returned from Catalina Island yesterday where she has undergone a complete cleaning up and painting. She will sail for San Miguel Island.”


July 24, 1893 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters had a party out for a sail Saturday in his sloop Liberty. Sunday afternoon there were several parties out, and the Liberty, La Paloma, Genova, Pride of Santa Barbara and other boats were sailing in the channel at the same time.”


September 20, 1893 [SBDI]: Captain José Olivas of the Liberty sails for San Miguel Island this afternoon. He will return in about ten days with Captain Waters.”


October 18, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty was expected to sail today for San Miguel Island with Captain Waters.”


October 30, 1893 [SBDI]: “A crowd of seal hunters is expected to leave today on the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island in search of the Mayor's San Francisco exhibit of sea lions...”


November 2, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Rogers Bros. Were ready to start for the islands on the seal hunting expedition when they received word that the Liberty lost her rudder, and sent her to San Pedro to have it fixed, delaying the expedition several days.”


November 11, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty expected to sail today for San Nicolas Island to get some spotted sea lions for the Midwinter Fair Exhibit. Five men constituted the crew, and Herbert Rogers was to be in charge.”


November 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty returned Saturday from an unsuccessful seal hunt. Leopard seals were scarce, and tigers had taken winter quarters. The sea elephants have vacated their usual stomping ground, taking their baggage, including trunks, with them…”


November 30, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty will leave soon for San Miguel Island.”


December 15, 1893 [SBDI]: The Liberty, Captain Waters, arrived from San Miguel Island after a very short trip, owing to the strong wind.”


January 16, 1894 [SBMP]: “The Liberty will sail tomorrow for San Miguel Island which formerly protected the coast...”


January 17, 1894 [SBMP]: “The Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday for another cargo of sheep.”


March 1, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty came from San Miguel Island yesterday afternoon.”


March 23, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty from San Miguel Island, Young America from Santa Cruz, and the schooner Santa Rosa from Santa Rosa Island were in the harbor yesterday.”


April 6, 1894 [SBMP]: “The Liberty is in the harbor from San Miguel.”


April 13, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty came in yesterday from San Miguel Island with a cargo of wool.”


April 18, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty came in today from San Miguel Island with a cargo of wool.”


April 23, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa and sloop Liberty arrived today from the islands. The Santa Cruz also came in with Deputy Assessor J. L Barker and party on board.”


May 17, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


May 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty returned last night from San Miguel Island. She made a remarkable quick trip, leaving Santa Barbara Wednesday and returning Friday.”


May 26, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty leaves this morning for San Miguel Island.”


June 4, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived in the harbor yesterday from San Miguel Island.”


June 6, 1894 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo and the sloop Liberty have left for the islands.”


June 7, 1894 [SBDI]: “The Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island today.”


June 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty came over from San Miguel Island with a cargo of fifty sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


June 22, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for the islands yesterday morning.”


June 29, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last evening from San Miguel Island and will return soon.”


June 30, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty is in the harbor with a cargo of sheep from San Miguel Island.”


July 2, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty has gone to San Miguel Island.”


July 10, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived this morning from San Miguel Island with sixty-one sheep for Sherman & Ealand. She will return to the island tomorrow.”


July 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived in this port from San Miguel Island yesterday afternoon, bringing over a load of sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


July 19, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty brought over a load of sheep from San Miguel Island.”


July 20, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for Catalina Island this morning to get repairs.”


July 31, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon, bringing Dr. Hall over on business and will return with him to the rest of the party there.”


August 6, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived here on Saturday evening from Catalina Island.”


August 7, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island this evening.”


August 7, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island last evening.”


August 13, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island yesterday with a cargo of sixty sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


August 14, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island today.”


August 21, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


August 22, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left yesterday morning for San Miguel Island.”


August 24, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from San Miguel Island with about sixty sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


August 26, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for the islands yesterday.”


September 4, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island today after a load of sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


September 8, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived this morning from San Miguel Island with sixty-five sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


September 10, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island today.”


September 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from San Miguel Island with fifty-nine sheep for Sherman & Ealand.”


September 21, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


September 27, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty came in last night from San Miguel Island with a load of wool for Sherman & Ealand.”


October 1, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


October 2, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


October 9, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from San Miguel Island.”


October 18, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island this morning with a cargo of wool.”


October 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


October 23, 1894 [SBDI]: “The Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


October 24, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


October 24, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty leaves today with a party of abalone fishermen for San Miguel Island.”


November 3, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from San Miguel Island.”


November 8, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived yesterday from San Miguel Island. Captain Dally will take charge of this boat in the future.”


November 20, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived last night from San Miguel Island.”


November 29, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed yesterday for San Miguel Island.”


December 6, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty arrived this morning from San Miguel Island.”


December 10, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty sailed this morning for San Miguel Island.”


January 9, 1895 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday in his sloop Liberty.”


February 7, 1895 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty from San Miguel Island is in the harbor.”


March 25, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Dally of the sloop Liberty, which arrived from San Miguel Island on Saturday, reports the ground in Cuyler’s Harbor is still moving, and that the shoreline has advanced fully one hundred feet since his last trip across. The account of these convulsions, published in a San Francisco paper and purporting to come from a correspondent who has visited the island since these disturbances began, was ‘faked’ from beginning to end.”


March 30, 1895 the Liberty was pounded to pieces on the southeast shore of Cuyler's Harbor following a freak landslide which was reported to have generated an enormous harbor wave. Captain Dally had sailed her to Cuyler's Harbor when she sank. William Waters wrote to the Director of the State Weather Service in Sacramento: ‘There has been quite a commotion on San Miguel Island. The land which formed a high bluff on the west side of the harbor (Cuyler's Harbor) has sunk more than sixty feet and forced itself under the beach, not only raising it, but stones which had lain at the water’s edge for years are now fifteen feet above it... So sudden was the change that fish and crabs were left high and dry and thirty feet above the harbor.’”


April 2, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, April 1. Wreck at Cuyler’s Harbor. The sloop Liberty went ashore on the south beach of Cuyler’s Harbor last night. A high gale was blowing and there was a heavy sea in the harbor, causing her to foul and drag her anchor. No lives were lost, but the sloop is a total wreck. The Liberty was formerly registered at Wilmington and ran in and out of San Pedro harbor. Five years ago she became the property of Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of San Miguel Island, and has since been used as a freight boat, plying back and forth between the island and the mainland. She was a staunch little craft, a splendid sea boat, but framed for strength and safety rather than speed.”


April 3, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Anent San Miguel Island talk, it may be said that ‘He laughs best who laughs last.’ The following further news in connection with it has been learned: The sloop Liberty, owned by Captain Waters, while anchored at San Miguel Island, was dashed to pieces on the rocks. Nobody was on board at the time, as the crew slept on shore that night. The cause of the wreck is not easily accounted for, except that one anchor was not sufficient to keep her where the captain had placed her.”


April 7, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, April 5. The strange wrecking of the sloop Liberty in Cuyler Habor on San Miguel Island on the morning of March 30, which was briefly mentioned in press dispatches, occurred during a visit to the island of the Call’s correspondent. The wreck of the sloop was due undoubtedly to seismic disturbances beneath the water. The sloop had been lying for two days in her customary anchorage in the southwest curve of Cuyler’s Harbor. On the morning of March 30 the vessel lay a shattered hulk along the shore. The bows of the sloop were stove in and the mainmast was lying amidships, pointing sternward and enveloped in a tangle of rigging. The anchors, two in number, had dragged, and their thirty-fathom chains were wound around and around the keel of the vessel. Everything indicated that the sloop had received a severe blow from beneath the surface of the water and had then been caught in a maelstrom, which had rolled her over and over. This view is confirmed by the experience of Captain Ellis’ schooner, which anchored in precisely the same spot on Wednesday, April 3. At 12 o’clock, when the men were all below, a sudden severe shock sent the ship reeling and tossing, and brought the crew on deck. Immediately the waters began to boil in a way never before witnessed on this coast by Captain Oleson, who is familiar with the whirlpools and maelstroms of Norway. The schooner began to drag its anchor, weighing 485 pounds, and attached to a heavy forty-five fathom chain. Captain Oleson quickly slipped the anchor, after fastening a buoy to it, and got out of the harbor as quickly as he could set sail, only narrowly escaping drifting upon an ugly rock. Captain Oleson reports that the soundings of the anchorage, which were formerly four fathoms, are now seven fathoms, which shows a sinkage of six feet in solid rock at this point within a week.”


April 9, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Details of the submarine disturbances in the Channel. The Times recently published a report from its correspondent at Santa Barbara of some peculiar submarine disturbances in the channel here. The disturbances were accompanied by a tremendous explosion resembling thunder, and vessels anchored in the stream were visibly affected by it, one of them, the sloop Liberty, as has since been learned, having been wrecked by them off the coast of San Miguel Island. The Times correspondent has just returned from San Miguel Island after nearly a week’s absence, the time being devoted to an investigation of the peculiar wreck of the sloop Liberty… Fragments of the vessel strewed the beach for half a mile… the bow had been stove in, as if the boat had received a sharp blow from beneath… The Liberty was a 10-ton sloop, and registered at Wilmington, where she was formerly in service. She belonged to Captain Waters and was not insured.”


April 9, 1895 [SBDI]: “Last night Captain Burtis and L. B. Pratt arrived in the harbor with the favorite pleasure boat, Restless, from San Nicolas Island. Last December Mr. Pratt went to the island with Captain Burtis and four otter hunters and leaving them there took the sloop to San Pedro, put her in winter quarters and returned here. A short time ago he left here for the island and has been spending some time cruising around, having visited Santa Catalina, San Clemente and the other islands, finally bringing up at San Nicolas. Here he found the otter hunters glad to see him and glad to leave the island. Their trip was not very successful, for although they killed five otter, none of them were secured, the strong undercurrent carrying them out to sea, and the sea being so rough that to launch a boat was impossible. Soon after arriving at the island the men found a box of butter and some wreckage, presumably from the steamer Los Angeles, as no other American vessel has been wrecked on this coast, which would be apt to have just such freight. This is a wonderful find, as the island is about 200 miles from the place of the wreck. Mr. Pratt says he was at sea on March 29th, the night the Liberty was wrecked and that the wind was blowing strong from the nor’west, but that there was certainly no tidal wave as he would have felt it if there had been. He said, however, that the first question asked by the otter hunters on San Nicolas was if there had been an earthquake on the mainland. They said that on March 9th they were shaken up severely. It will be remembered that this was the day of the Mexican earthquake and also San Miguel upheaval, which gives some color of truth to the report of the disturbances, although there is no doubt that the reports were exaggerated.”


August 7, 1895 [SBDI]: “Will Devine came over from the island last night. Ramón Vasquez returned at ten o’clock with Will Devine, who has been on the island since March. His mother and younger brother remained at San Miguel, though they are expected in Santa Barbara as soon as a suitable boat can be provided. Mr. Devine reports that the earthquake was not noted on San Miguel, and that since the disturbance at Flea Island on June 8th, there have been no changes. Since the wreck of the sloop Liberty, communication with the mainland has not been regular, but the family has suffered great inconvenience, further than a lack of vegetables and one or two other articles of food. As soon as a stock of provisions is laid in, Devine expects to return, possibly in about a week.”