"SAVED BY A MATCH.
With It a Fire was Started That Condensed Sea Water for Thirsting Sailors.
New York, Dec. 16. When Captain Samuel Shackford, superintendent of the American line [Note: The article is probably referring to his brother John W Shackford who was superintendent of the American Line; jsp], heard through the steamship Italin that his brother Captain E. Wallace Shackford, and his crew of the wrecked schooner Johanna Swan were safe on the bark Anna approaching this port, he started out to sea on the tug R. J. Barrett and met the Anna seven miles east of Fire Island lightship yesterday. Captain E. Wallace Shackford had been given up for dead.
The mate M. Cameron, told the story of the Johanna Swan's wrecking, and the remarkable preservation of her crew. She left Satilla River, Ga., on November 18.
On November 26, when 175 miles from New York, a moderate southeast wind had turned into a northwest hurricane at 5 pm. At 8 a.m. November 27 a gigantic sea dashed the mainsail entirely clear of the ropes. The schooner was kept before the hurricane till 5 pm.
The crew had been pumping all the time, and the only hope lay in chopping away the masts. The lanyards and backstays were cut, and away went the masts the mizzen smashing the afterhouse and the two boats. The nine men finding the lazarette was not quite full of water, piled sales and cordage almost to the hatch, pulled a tarpalin across the top and lived there for five days with almost nothing to eat.
By Thursday, December 1, the men were suffering terribly for water. Mate Cameron said that he was gong to start a fire. "If you can build a fire I can condense salt." said able seaman Bernard Lilghenbaum.
So they spread sheets of copper on top of the deck-house, poured sea water into the captain's fresh water tank, ran a rubber hose from the top of the tank into a tin bucket, and in a brazier fishboned from a copper sheet Mate Cameron started a fire with the only match Captain Shackford had saved.
In two hours enough fresh water had been condensed to afford every man two tablespoons, and by 5 am a gallon and a half of good drinking water was ready. It was carefully treasured. On Friday, December 2, the German bark Anna, Captain Woege, from Bremen for this port, saved all hands and the wrecked Johanna Swan was set afire." ("Saved by a Match.," Victoria Daily Colonist, 24 December 1898, p. 3; online archives (http://britishcolonist.ca/tc : accessed 12 April 2013). http://www.britishcolonixt.ca/tc/1898/12/24/18981224003.pdf.
Amauneusis Monday is a genealogy blogging theme described on http://geneabloggers.com "which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them."