Editor's note: The following text was originally published in New-York Mercury, February 4, 1765. Thanks to volunteer researcher George A. Thompson for finding, cataloging and transcribing this article. The language, spelling and grammar of the article reflects the time period when it was written.
On Friday 25th Jan. last, about 3 o’Clock Mr. Brookman of this town, one Thomas Slack, and a Negro of Mr. Remden’s, went off in a boat in order to shoot some water fowl, which during this hard weather have come in great numbers into the open places in the harbour, and having wounded some, pursued them till they got entangled in the ice, so that they were not able to get to land.
Their distress being seen from the shore here, a boat with several hands put off to their assistance, but night coming on lost sight of them, and returned. – Mean while the people in the ice drove with the tide as far as Red-Hook, and fired several guns as signals of distress. The guns were heard on shore, but no assistance could be given them. And as the weather was extreamly cold, it was thought they would all have perished, -- which they themselves also expected.
In this extremity they had recourse to every expedient in their power: There happened to be an iron pot and an ax on board – they cut off a piece of the boat roap and pick’d it to oakum, and putting it in the pan of a gun with some powder, catched it on fire, which with some thin pieces cut from the mast, they kindled in the pot, and then cut up their mast, seats, &c. for fewel, and making a tent of their sail, wrapt themselves as well as they could; when they found themselves nearly overcome with the cold, notwithstanding their fire, they exercised themselves with wresting, which proved a very happy expedient, restored their natural warmth, and no doubt greatly contributed to their preservation.
In this manner they passed the whole night, in which they suffered much cold, but happily escaped with life, and without being frost bitten: Next morning, by firing guns, they were discovered in the ice by Mr. Seabring on Long Island, who, by laying planks on the ice for near a quarter of a mile, which otherwise was not strong enough to bear a man’s weight, they all got safe on shore, without the least hurt, and returned the same day to York.
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