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From the N. Y. Observer.
A REMINISCENCE OF BISHOP MOORE.
MESSRS. EDITORS,-I have read, with interest, your notices of the death and burial of the late Rt. Rev. Bishop Moore, of Virginia. No eulogy from so humble an individual as myself can add any thing to the estimation in which he was held by the public,-yet I have long owed him a debt of gratitude which I would repay by any means in my power. I must therefore solicit the privilege of recording in your valuable paper a scene of danger and distress in which the Rev. Richard Moore was made the instrument, in the hands of God, of saving myself and nine other persons from a watery grave.
Many years ago, before the bridges were built over the Hackensack and Passaic rivers, it was customary when a drove of cattle arrived from the eastward for the Philadelphia market, to transport them from Whitehall to Elizabethtown point; and on such occasions, all the ferry boats, six or seven in number, were collected, in order that the drove might be transported at one and the same time. It was on such an occasion, on the 9th day of April, 1793, that I took a passage in one of the Elizabethtown ferry boats, in which ten or eleven oxen completely filled up the hold. There were on board the boat eight male and two female passengers, and the boatman, named Hiram Hatfield. The wind was blowing so violently at S. W., and a strong tide of ebb, that all the boats which preceded us, thought it dangerous to keep the ship channel, and therefore steered immediately across the North river, in order to gain the shoal water to the west of Gibbet Island. But our captain, more ambitious and adventurous, determined
to avail himself of the strength of the tide in the ship channel, and in that way outrun his competitors. We had proceeded down the bay to a point between Robin's reef and Yellow-hook, on the Long Island shore, when the turbulence of the waves was so great, and the boat rolled so heavily to leeward, that much water was taken in over the gunwale, and the oxen occupied the hold of the boat so entirely, that no access could be had to the well, where a scoop was ordinarily used to free the boat from water: the consequence was, that the boat soon became waterlogged, and not answering her helm, fell off into the trough of the sea. In order to bring her head to wind, the foresail was lowered, but without effect; and an abortive attempt was made to put her before the wind and run back to the city; so that we then lay at the mercy of the wind and the waves, drifting rapidly towards the Narrows. An attempt was then made to free the boat of the oxen, and those to windward were cut loose, which only hastened the sad catastrophe-for the oxen, unable to keep their feet, sunk down to leeward, and the water then made a complete cascade over the gunwale. It now became evident that the boat would fill; but we had no apprehension that any part of her would sink-not knowing that there was a quantity of ballast under the floor of the cockpit but as soon as the water had reached that part of the boat it began to settle rapidly, and most of the passengers rushed forward to the forecastle; I myself ran to the mainmast and was in the act of ascending by the hoops of the mainsail, which was still hoisted, when one of the female passengers, a stout, athletic person of about my own weight, caught me round the neck, and held me with such a deathlike grasp that she broke my hold of the hoops, and we both plunged into the billows. My situation at that moment
appeared without a ray of hope; to unclasp her hands was impossible; but through the kind providence of God I was enabled to thrust them over my head, and I immediately rose to the surface, and found a barrel of oil about twenty feet to leeward of the boat, (as to the tide,) by which I sustained myself; but in a moment, the woman whom 1 had left eight or ten feet under water, and whose face I never expected to see again, rose by my side, (by reason of the quantity of air in her clothes,) and again attempted to grapple me; but dreading such a dangerous contact, I resigned the barrel to her and swam to the head of the mainmast, and straddled the gaff of the mainsail, which was still hoisted, holding on by the halyards. I had not a moment's time to look round for my fellow passengers, for I felt a youth of about twelve or fourteen years of age clinging to my feet, whom I drew up and placed before me on the gaff. It was the son of a Mrs. McLean, who had lived at Whitehall slip. As soon as he could speak, he inquired eagerly for his mother-but in looking round I found she was missing; and I afterwards learned that she had tied herself to the leeboard tackle to prevent being washed overboard, and attempted to tie her son also, but he made a successful resistance. In looking round for my other companions in affliction, I found that our brave boatman had secured six of them on the bow of the boat, not more than four feet of which was above water. Placing him-, self on the outside of the shivering group, with the boat rope in his hand, as often as one or another of them was washed off by the violence of the waves, he would leap off and restore them to their narrow and precarious resting place. The woman whom I left at the barrel of oil, had been driven by the wind within reach of the main
mast, and seizing hold of the block, she clung to it until she was finally rescued.
We had drifted down below the watering place (now the Quarantine ground,) and not a rag of sail could be discovered on the whole expanse of the bay, that could afford us relief, except the Staten Island ferry boat, which was three or four miles to leeward, and we knew not that our situation was discovered by those on board. For forty-five minutes we had been alternately drenched by the water, or pierced by a cold wind, until our bones were benumbed, and our hearts given up to despondence-for the danger was every moment increasing, and the evening closing in. At that fearful moment, that all-seeing and merciful Being, without whom a sparrow falleth not to the ground, sent BISHOP MOORE as an angel of mercy to save us from a watery grave.
He and his lady had taken passage in Vanduzer's Staten Island ferry boat, navigated by one young man, having in tow a skiff with two men returning from market. Yielding to the heart-touching appeals of the Bishop, these men consented to encounter the wind and the waves, and row directly towards us, while the Rev. gentleman (being familiar with the management of the boat, from his pastoral location on the Island,) undertook to assist in plying the boat to windward under a press of sail, in which he exercised the skill of a sailor united to the benevolence of a Christian,-not without hazard of their own lives. The sail-boat arrived first within hailing distance, and pressing under our lee, our deliverer stood on the forecastle, with a handkerchief bound round his head, and waiving his hand, he exclaimed," Hang on, my dear souls, a few moments longer, and we will be there for your deliverance !" While the sail-boat was making another tack to gain the
windward side, the skiff had reached the leeward, and directed their attention to the woman at the head of the mainmast, who was in the greatest danger-but from her helplessness, the skiff filled in attempting to get her in, and their own safety depended on keeping hold of the mast. At that critical moment the sail-boat gained a position which enabled them to rescue every soul, except Mrs. McLean, who at that time was 15 or 20 feet below the surface.
When we arrived on board the boat of our deliverers, we found the cabin shoe-deep in water, from which, on account of the motion of the boat, it was impossible for Mrs. Moore to secure herself, and it is probable she then laid the foundation of the disease of which she died not long afterward.
We were then conducted back to Mr. Vanduzer's ferry, where, through the active benevolence of Bishop Moore, and the hospitality of Mr. Vanduzer's family, we were made as comfortable in body as our circumstances rendered possible; and then Bishop Moore endeavoured to improve our calamity and deliverance to the salvation of our souls. He animadverted on the extreme danger in which we had been involved the hopelessness of our situation for near an hour, and the feeble, and unlooked for means which God had employed for our deliverance. "For his own part," he said, "the kind providence of God, in our deliverance, appeared as manifest as if a hand had been stretched out from heaven, and taken us by the hairs of our heads." And then with a most impressive appeal to our hearts and consciences, he said, Does not this demand a sacrifice of heartfelt praise and gratitude to your Maker and Preserver? And will you not unite with me while I endeavour to address the throne of Grace in your behalf?"—To this we feelingly assented, and were all, by his example, instant