Benjamin Carrico to Stephen F Austin, 06-03-1825

Summary: Statement of facts in case of the schooner Mary. Judicial procedure. Commerce.

June 3—1825

To the Honorable Judge Stephen F austin

I have this moment received a few lines from you and do hasten to make a fair statement in writing of the case as my health will not admit me to Come over—we left Orleans on 13 March last with Fr[e]ight and passenge[rs] for this place Capt Allin the first offiscer or mate and experience [d] Ship mate we made a shipment of tobaco and Flour whiskey and other goods on board where the profits were to Be divided when sold—we arrived at galveston 26 march and sent the boat ahead of the Schr to Sound and to keep her a head a sufficient Distance to tack if Shoal water, when the signal was not seen in time and finding the water too shoal and in the aim of tacking took the ground and stopt all night—we hove of[f] the next morning without receiving any damage; the weather being fine permitted the passenges to go on shore and to find the Channel wich they did but the wind rising so hard that they Could not return with the large boat they tarrying so long on shore we made an attempt to go off and in so doing we stopt on the ground we let go our anchor and waited for the tide the wind rising and the Sea making the Schr Began to beat on the bottom very hard and it was with much difficulty that a man Could stand and it being high water and it was impossible to go off without lighten her—if i had made the attempt and failed again the vessel must have been lost and all the property and some lives if not all for it blew hard that night.

i gave order to clear the Deck and to save what we Could if it had been washt over abourd by the act of god i should have nothing to say—but when it is the act of men and don Concianciuosly with the intention to save as much as Can be don i do believe that every [body] ought to bear a propotion of the loss the [schr] was not over loaded and all the good on deck Could be put below—but to accomodate our passenges we kept them on Deck to give them room below wich passengers was to com on deck Suppose i had gave orders to take all the goods out of the whole and leave those on deck and pass over them that was so near at hand and so convenient would it not appear partial Surely my Conscience would condemed me and every one on board—therefore it must be left to the master['s] judgement and discretion under Such circumstances if he err the under writer suffer and do not think that there is any law that point out a master duty in all Circumstance and in all Cases and in all Climes and parts of the world—to take the boat ahead and keep her a distance from you 100 Or 150 yards is a very safe and Continually practiced—I have been condemned to pay for goods that was not in my bill of lading and wich i had no knowledge of being on board and to pay for an anveil that cost $10 or 12$ at Orleans one hundred dollars Mr. Cartwright waggon one half is been delivered with the harness the harness he keep the two wheels and side he refuses—and my vessel to be sold here [for cash ?] and since they have had hir in their [hands ?] She has been driven on shore and no pains taken to git her of and there beating by every hard wind up higher on the bar of red fish so called where she will never be got of when she is lost I Cheerfully submitt the Case to your Decision pray that if the vessel and goods is to be sold that she will Sold for Country pay

this is a danger of the Seas and unavabl [unavoidable] occuren.

Benjamin Carrico