U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, ORG.5008

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U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, ORG.5008

Abstract

The United States Lifesaving Service (USLSS) was created by the United States Government in 1872 in order to protect lives and shipping interests along the coast. In 1874, the first lifesaving stations were built along the North Carolina coast. These stations housed a staff that consisted of a keeper and crew of six, manning the stations during the active storm season from December to March. After the wrecks of the , with 103 lives lost, and the , with 85 lives lost, both off the Outer Banks, the Lifesaving Service added an additional eleven stations to the North Carolina coast. They also extended the station's season to September 1-May 1 and then from August 1-May 31. By the time the U.S. Lifesaving Service merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the U. S. Coast Guard in January 1915, North Carolina was home to 29 stations. Among these was the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, which housed the nation's only all black crew.
This collection contains wreck reports, payroll records, abstracts of disbursements, books, journals, leases, letters of application and recommendations, livestock forage bills, contracts, requisitions for repairs, telegrams, and correspondence of the United States Lifesaving Service. The majority of these papers relate to the stations along the North Carolina coast, however, there are wreck reports for selected stations in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.

Descriptive Summary

Title
U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records
Call Number
ORG.5008
Creator
United States. Life-Saving Service
Date
1892-1929
Extent
15.09 cubic feet
Language
English
Repository
Outer Banks History Center

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], ORG.5008, U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

These papers contain valuable information pertaining to activities and operations of the U. S. Lifesaving Service/U. S. Coast Guard, from 1892-1929. The wreck reports document shipwrecks and rescue efforts along the North Carolina coast, as well as Virginia and South Carolina coasts. Payroll records, bills, and leases document the administrative activities of the stations. This collection also has letters of application and recommendation for the position of keeper. There are also some wreck reports for several stations and houses of refuge in Florida. Material is processed and foldered as organized by the donor, David Stick, who used the material to write his book, .

The wreck reports were indexed and cross referenced in 2007 by Kelly R. Grimm. It searchable by the name of the ship, name of the attending station, date, or box and folder. It is divided into five categories: Wreck Reports for Ships, Boats, and Seaplanes; Assistance Rendered to Individuals; All Other Reports (i.e. extinguished fire, towed cars, animal rescues, etc.); Letters of Recommendation and Application: and Maintenance, Repairs, and Additions.

Arrangement Note

This collection is divided into five series: Saved Ships, Lost Ships, Undesignated Outcome of Ships, Correspondence, and Payroll Records.

Historical Note

The foundation for the United States Lifesaving Service was laid as far back as 1785, when the Massachusetts Humane Society was founded, with the goal of saving human lives in peril from the sea. The society constructed small huts as "houses of refuge" to provide shelter for shipwrecked mariners along Massachusetts shore. In 1807, the Humane Society also launched the first lifeboat and established the first lifeboat station at Cohasset, Massachusetts. Soon, additional lifeboat stations began popping up along the Massachussetts coast. In 1848, the government allocated $10,000 for the purchase of surfboats and other lifesaving equipment, to be used along the New Jersey coast. Throughout the 1850s, the government continued to provided funds and more stations were set up along the New Jersey and New England coast lines.

These early stations all depended on volunteer crews, often poorly trained and undependable. Many of the stations fell into disrepair. Through the years, efforts were made to improve discipline and operations. Though some progress was made, it was obvious that direct government involvement was needed. It came in 1871, when Sumner I. Kimball was appointed Chief of the Treasury Department's Revenue Marine Division. Kimball was able to convince Congress to allot $200,000 to operate stations and employ full time crews. Kimball instituted a six man crew, built new stations, and drew up formal regulations with standards of performance.

North Carolina's first seven stations were built in 1874 at Jones Hill (later re-named Whaleshead, then Currituck Beach), Caffey's Inlet, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Bodie's Island, Chicamacomico, and Little Kinnakeet. These stations were only manned during the active season, December-March. The Lifesaving Service was not without its problems in these early years. The stations were spread too far apart and though many of the early surfmen went on to have distinguished careers, the stations also had their fair share of men not suited to the rigors of lifesaving. It would take several years to weed them all out.

It took two major maritime disasters off the coast of the Outer Banks before the Lifesaving Service would receive an overhaul. The first was the disaster of the , which wrecked on November 24, 1877, a mere three miles from the Nags Head Lifesaving Station. Since the station's season hadn't started, it was closed and locked up. A total of 103 lives were lost in this disaster. The second was the wreck of the on January 31, 1878. Though surfmen from the lifesaving stations responded, the distance between the stations, as well as errors made by the surfmen, resulted in the loss of 85 lives. As a result of these disasters, an act was passed by Congress on June 18, 1878, authorizing an additional 30 stations to be built around the country. Eleven of these stations were designated for the North Carolina. The active season was extended to September 1-May 1. It was later extended again to August 1-May 31. In hopes of attracting more qualified people, the keeper's salary was increased and they were given the power of inspectors of customs. Despite these early growing pains, the Lifesaving Service became an honored way of life on the Outer Banks, and it is an important part of the local heritage.

By the time the U. S. Lifesaving Service merged with the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the U. S. Coast Guard in January 1915, North Carolina was home to a total of 29 stations. Among these stations was the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, which housed the nation's only all black crew.

Contents of the Collection

1. Finding Aid

2. Saved Ships

1892-1893, 1892-1893
Box 1
1894, 1894
Box 1
1895 (January-April), 1895 (January-April)
Box 1
1895 (April-December), 1895 (April-December)
Box 1
1896 (January-August), 1896 (January-August)
Box 1
, 1897 (January-December), 1896 (January-November)
Box 1
1897 (January-December), 1897 (January-December)
Box 1
1898, 1898
Box 1
1899, 1899
Box 1
1900 (January-April), 1900 (January-April)
Box 1
1900 (May-December), 1900 (May-December)
Box 2
1901 (January-June), 1901 (January-June)
Box 2
1901 (July-December), 1901 (July-December)
Box 2
1902 (January-June), 1902 (January-June)
Box 2
1902 (July-December), 1902 (July-December)
Box 2
1903 (January-June), 1903 (January-June)
Box 2
1903 (July-December), 1903 (July-December)
Box 2
1904 (January-April), 1904 (January-April)
Box 2
1904 (May-November 14), 1904 (May-November 14)
Box 2
1904 (November 14-December), 1904 (November 14-December)
Box 2

3. Lost Ships

1893, 1893
Box 3
1894 (January-December), 1894 (January-December)
Box 3
1894 (October-December), 1894 (October-December)
Box 3
1895, 1895
Box 3
1896 (September-December), 1896 (September-December)
Box 3
1898-1899, 1898-1899
Box 3
1900, 1900
Box 3
1901, 1901
Box 3
1902, 1902
Box 3
1903 (January-June), 1903 (January-June)
Box 3
1903 (August, October, December), 1903 (August, October, December)
Box 3
1904, 1904
Box 3
1905 (January-June), 1905 (January-June)
Box 3
1906, 1906
Box 3
1907 (January-October), 1907 (January-October)
Box 3
Misc. Wreck Reports

4. Undesignated Outcome of Ships

1905 (January-February), 1905 (January-February)
Box 4
1905 (March-July), 1905 (March-July)
Box 4
1905 (August-November), 1905 (August-November)
Box 4
1905 (October-December), 1905 (October-December)
Box 4
1906 (January-February), 1906 (January-February)
Box 4
1906 (March-June), 1906 (March-June)
Box 4
1906 (June-December), 1906 (June-December)
Box 4
1907 (January-March), 1907 (January-March)
Box 4
1907 (March-May), 1907 (March-May)
Box 4
1907 (June-December), 1907 (June-December)
Box 4
1908 (January-July), 1908 (January-July)
Box 5
1908 (August-December), 1908 (August-December)
Box 5
1908 (January-November), 1908 (January-November)
Box 5
1909, 1909
Box 5
1910, 1910
Box 5
1911, 1911
Box 5
1912, 1912
Box 5
1913, 1913
Box 5
1914, 1914
Box 5
1915, 1915
Box 5
1909 (January-October), 1909 (January-October)
Box 6
1909 (October-December), 1909 (October-December)
Box 6
1910 (January-March), 1910 (January-March)
Box 6
1910 (April-June), 1910 (April-June)
Box 6
1910 (July-October), 1910 (July-October)
Box 6
1910 (November-December), 1910 (November-December)
Box 6
1911 (January-March), 1911 (January-March)
Box 7
1911 (April-August), 1911 (April-August)
Box 7
1911 (September-December), 1911 (September-December)
Box 7
1912 (January-October), 1912 (January-October)
Box 7
1912 (October-December), 1912 (October-December)
Box 7
1913 (January-February), 1913 (January-February)
Box 7
1913 (March-May), 1913 (March-May)
Box 7
1913 (June-September), 1913 (June-September)
Box 7
1913 (October-December), 1913 (October-December)
Box 7
1914 (January-February), 1914 (January-February)
Box 8
1914 (March-April 5), 1914 (March-April 5)
Box 8
1914 (April 9-May), 1914 (April 9-May)
Box 8
1914 (June-October), 1914 (June-October)
Box 8
1914 (November-December), 1914 (November-December)
Box 8
1915 (January-March), 1915 (January-March)
Box 8
1915 (April-May.), 1915 (April-May.)
Box 8
1915 (June-September), 1915 (June-September)
Box 8
1915 (October-December), 1915 (October-December)
Box 8
1916 (February-July), 1916 (February-July)
Box 9
1916 (August), 1916 (August)
Box 9
1916 (September), 1916 (September)
Box 9
1916 (October), 1916 (October)
Box 9
1916 (November), 1916 (November)
Box 9
1916 (December 15-18), 1916 (December 15-18)
Box 9
1916 (December 16-17), 1916 (December 16-17)
Box 9
1917 (January), 1917 (January)
Box 10
1917 (February), 1917 (February)
Box 10
1917 (March), 1917 (March)
Box 10
1917 (April), 1917 (April)
Box 10
1917 (May-June), 1917 (May-June)
Box 10
1917 (July-August), 1917 (July-August)
Box 10
1917 (September), 1917 (September)
Box 10
1917 (October), 1917 (October)
Box 10
1917 (November), 1917 (November)
Box 10
1917 (December), 1917 (December)
Box 10
1918 (January), 1918 (January)
Box 11
1918 (February-March), 1918 (February-March)
Box 11
1918 (April), 1918 (April)
Box 11
1918 (May-June), 1918 (May-June)
Box 11
1918 (July), 1918 (July)
Box 11
1918 (August), 1918 (August)
Box 11
1918 (September-October), 1918 (September-October)
Box 11
1918 (November), 1918 (November)
Box 11
1918 (December), 1918 (December)
Box 11
1919 (January), 1919 (January)
Box 12
1919 (February-March), 1919 (February-March)
Box 12
1919 (April), 1919 (April)
Box 12
1919 (May-July 11), 1919 (May-July 11)
Box 12
1919 (July 2-August), 1919 (July 2-August)
Box 12
1919 (September-October), 1919 (September-October)
Box 12
1919 (November), 1919 (November)
Box 12
1919 (December), 1919 (December)
Box 12
1920 (January), 1920 (January)
Box 13
1920 (February), 1920 (February)
Box 13
1920 (March-April), 1920 (March-April)
Box 13
1920 (May.-June.), 1920 (May.-June.)
Box 13
1920 (July-August), 1920 (July-August)
Box 13
1920 (September), 1920 (September)
Box 13
1920 (October), 1920 (October)
Box 13
1920 (November), 1920 (November)
Box 13
1920 (December), 1920 (December)
Box 13
1909 (April), 1909 (April)
Box 14
1915 (August), 1915 (August)
Box 14
1915 (October), 1915 (October)
Box 14
1915 (December), 1915 (December)
Box 14
1916 (April), 1916 (April)
Box 14
1916 (June), 1916 (June)
Box 14
1916 (December), 1916 (December)
Box 14
1923 (January), 1923 (January)
Box 14
1923 (February), 1923 (February)
Box 14
1923 (March), 1923 (March)
Box 14
1923 (April), 1923 (April)
Box 14
1923 (May), 1923 (May)
Box 14
1923 (June), 1923 (June)
Box 14
, 1917 (December), 1919 (February, March, December), 1916 (February)
Box 14
1921 (February-December), 1921 (February-December)
Box 14
Misc.
1921 (August-December), 1921 (August-December)
Box 14
Misc. Lost, Burned, Seized (Booze Yacht)
1922 (January-August), 1922 (January-August)
Box 14
Misc. Wreck, Rumrunners, Manteo Fires
1922 (August-December), 1922 (August-December)
Box 14
AU, FL Coast Guard Stations, except New Bern, N.C.
1923 (January-June), 1923 (January-June)
Box 14
Some Florida Stations
1925 (July), 1925 (July)
Box 14
"Saved" Vessels, etc.
), 1925 (August)-1926 (January
Box 14
Vessels Lost
1917 (January-April), 1917 (January-April)
Box 15
1917 (July-August), 1917 (July-August)
Box 15
1917 (September-December), 1917 (September-December)
Box 15
1918 (January-June), 1918 (January-June)
Box 15
1918 (February-December), 1918 (February-December)
Box 15
1918 (August-December), 1918 (August-December)
Box 15
1919 (January-October), 1919 (January-October)
Box 15
1919 (October-December), 1919 (October-December)
Box 15
1920 (January-May), 1920 (January-May)
Box 15
1920 (June-December), 1920 (June-December)
Box 15
1921 (January-March), 1921 (January-March)
Box 15
1922 (January-June), 1922 (January-June)
Box 15
Macerata aground/refloated
Box 16
1920-1922, 1920-1922
Box 16
Carrol A. Deering,(1920-1921)
1923 (February-December), 1923 (February-December)
Box 16
1924, 1924
Box 16
1923-1926, 1923-1926
Box 16
Scotia wreck on Elizabeth City Waterfront
1925 (April-December), 1925 (April-December)
Box 16
1926 (June-December), 1926 (June-December)
Box 16
1926 (February-April), 1926 (February-April)
Box 16
1926 (January), 1926 (January)
Box 16
1927, 1927
Box 16
1929, 1929
Box 16
1921 (January and April), 1921 (January and April)
Box 17
Carrol A. Deering and Mary J. Haynie
1921 (January-February), 1921 (January-February)
Box 17
1921 (March), 1921 (March)
Box 17
1921 (April), 1921 (April)
Box 17
1921 (May-June), 1921 (May-June)
Box 17
1921 (July-August), 1921 (July-August)
Box 17
1921 (September-October), 1921 (September-October)
Box 17
1921 (November), 1921 (November)
Box 17
1921 (December), 1921 (December)
Box 17
1922 (January), 1922 (January)
Box 18
1922 (February), 1922 (February)
Box 18
1922 (March), 1922 (March)
Box 18
1922 (April), 1922 (April)
Box 18
1922 (May), 1922 (May)
Box 18
1922 (June.), 1922 (June.)
Box 18
1922 (July), 1922 (July)
Box 18
1922 (August), 1922 (August)
Box 18
1922 (September), 1922 (September)
Box 18
1922 (October), 1922 (October)
Box 18
1922 (November), 1922 (November)
Box 18
1922 (December), 1922 (December)
Box 18
1925 (July-August), 1925 (July-August)
Box 19
Aground/Refloated
1925 (September-November), 1925 (September-November)
Box 19
Aground/Refloated
1925 (October-November), 1925 (October-November)
Box 19
Aground/Refloated, Part 1
Aground/Refloated, Part 2
Box 19
1925 (November-December), 1925 (November-December)
Box 19
Aground/Refloated
Wreck Location Reports, Form 2629
Box 19
1926 (January1-22), 1926 (January1-22)
Box 19
1926 (January 22-31), 1926 (January 22-31)
Box 19
1926 (February), 1926 (February)
Box 19
1926 (March), 1926 (March)
Box 19
1926 (April), 1926 (April)
Box 19
1926 (May-June), 1926 (May-June)
Box 19

5. Correspondence

Application for LSS Keeper
Box 20
Recommendations for Keeper
1893, 1893
Box 20
1894, 1894
Box 20
1895, 1895
Box 20
1897, 1897
Box 20
1898, 1898
Box 20
1899, 1899
Box 20
1900, 1900
Box 20
1902, 1902
Box 20
1903, 1903
Box 20
1904, 1904
Box 20
1905, 1905
Box 20
1908, 1908
Box 20
1909, 1909
Box 20
1910, 1910
Box 20
1911, 1911
Box 20
Envelopes from Applications for LSS Keeper, Stamped/Postmarked, Numbered
Box 20
Geographic Order Notes
Box 20
Bill, Requisitions for repairs, and relating correspondence
Part 1
Box 20
Part 2
Box 20
Part 3
Box 20
Vouchers, etc. P. H. Morgan
Box 20
Misc.
Box 20
Weekly Transcripts of Journals
Box 20
Durants,1893
Oak Island,1893
Orange Grove, Florida House of Refuge
Box 20
Wreck Reports, 1884-1887

6. United States Life Saving Service Payroll Records,1897-1914

Livestock Forage Bills and Contract, 1910-1915, 1902-1904
Box 22
Leases of the "Morgan" Office, Shawboro, N.C., 1901-1902, 1904-1905, 1907-1915, 1896
Box 22
Warehouses, Leases, 7th District, storehouse construction, and lease, warehouse at Pailin Shipyard,Aug 1, 1911-June 30, 1917
Box 22
Kill Devil Hills, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23
Nags Head,1897-1914
Box 23
Bodie Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23
Oregon Inlet,1897-1913
Box 23
Creeds Hill, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23
Whalehead/Currituck Beach, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24
Poyners Hill, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24
Caffey's Inlet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24
Paul Gamiels Hill, 1914, 1897-1911
Box 24
Kitty Hawk, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24
Abstracts of Disbursements, 6th District,1897-1914
Box 25
Statement showing absences of regular surfman, unidentified station
Box 25
Cape Henry, Virginia,1897-1912
Box 25
Seatack, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25
Dam Neck Mills, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25
Little Island, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25
False Cape, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25
Wash Woods, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25
Currituck Inlet,1897-1901
Box 25
Penney's Hill, 1914, 1902-1912
Box 25
Oregon Inlet,1903
Box 26
Pea Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 26
New Inlet, 1909-1912, 1914, 1897-1907
Box 26
Chicamicomico, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 26
Cape Hatteras, 1914, 1898-1912
Box 27
Gull Shoal, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27
Little Kinnakeet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27
Big Kinnakeet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27
Durants, 1914, 1898-1912
Box 27
Hatteras Inlet, 1914, 1902-1912
Box 27
Ocracoke, 1906-1912, 1914, 1897-1901
Box 27
Portsmouth Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28
Core Bank, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28
Cape Lookout, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28
Fort Macon, 1914, 1905-1912
Box 29
Bogue Inlet, 1914, 1905-1912
Box 29
Cape Fear, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 29
Oak Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 29

Subject Headings

  • Rescues--Florida
  • Rescues--North Carolina
  • Rescues--South Carolina
  • Rescues--Virginia
  • Shipwrecks--Florida
  • Shipwrecks--North Carolina
  • Shipwrecks--South Carolina
  • Shipwrecks--Virginia
  • United States. Coast Guard
  • United States. Coast Guard--Registers
  • United States. Life-Saving Service
  • United States. Life-Saving Service--Registers
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by David Stick.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Outer Banks History Center Staff prior to 2001.
  • Encoded by Kelly Grimm, August, 2009