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Archiver > Dutch-Colonies > 2002-11 > 1037920691

From: "Howard Swain" <>
Subject: Re: [D-Col] Some 1600's shipwrecks (was: Penelope Stout----a legend)
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 15:18:11 -0800
References: <3DDA430E.26345.1A9C273@localhost>

Hi all,

From: "Lorine McGinnis Schulze" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 10:56 AM

> On 19 Nov 2002 at 9:36, Howard Swain wrote:
> > First, I admit to being skeptical of all the dates above and
> > would like to see evidence for them. But based on when their
> > children seem to have had to have been born, I do feel that a
> > marriage date for Richard and Penelope in the 1644 time frame is
> > reasonable.
> >
> > I have found only 2 shipwrecks in New Netherland in the mid
> > 1600's.
> Hello everyone
> I wonder though about the classification of "shipwreck". This
> is family lore, legend, and possibly myth. How much was
> accurately remembered? What exactly was meant? Did a ship sink
> with a huge loss of life? Was a ship disabled and have to limp
> into port with some damages? Was there some loss of life, but
> not much? Perhaps a ship ran aground, and some passengers were
> killed.....

Sorry, I was probably a little too brief in opting for the single word,

Most versions of the Penelope story I've seen say that the ship bringing
passengers from The Netherlands ran aground or was stranded on
Sandy Hook and the passengers all got ashore. See, for example this
version, which is probably the earliest written version:

So, they are actually pretty specific as to the type of problem the ship
had, where it happened, and what happened to the passengers.

But, it is a good point that a somewhat different event could
have gotten enhanced, shall we say.

But I've now noticed something that I had not on earlier readings.
Most versions say that everybody else left Penelope and her sick
husband and headed for New Amsterdam.

Look at a map. Their ship was stuck. How did they get from Sandy
Hook to New Amsterdam on the _Island_ of Manhattan? Even if they
had a small boat, it could not have held everybody. If they walked,
it appears to me to be about 50 miles all the way around and up
to the NJ shore to a spot opposite Manhattan -- provided they could cross
the several rivers and streams they'd encounter. I'm not sure there
was a ferry across the Hudson at that early a date, but I suppose
they might get the attention of people on Manhattan. All in all,
this scenario seems pretty unlikely.

And how about everyone going off and leavling two behind?
I've always felt that was unlikely. That they'd either send one
or two people for help or else everyone would go. Indeed,
in the account of the running aground of the Prins Maurits that
I cited recently, they did the first. Actually, they found an Indian
to send to Stuyvesant and everyone stayed together on the shore.

So, on both a physical and a social level I think the story of
everyone going off to New Amsterdam and leaving Penelope
behind is very unlikely. But of course if they had acted as I
think they would have, there would be no story, as the saying
goes. :)


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