The Powhattan Disaster

The week of Easter, 1854, a powerful nor'easter, that peculiar type of storm that occurs in the North Atlantic caused when a cold air mass from Canada runs into warm gulf stream current, struck the US and Canadian eastern seaboard. The mighty storm would result in the loss of a ship called the Powhattan, in a story of woe that rivals the most dramatic tragedies of literature.
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
You can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie Bar:
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All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered is the place to find short snippets of forgotten history from five to fifteen minutes long. If you like history too, this is the channel for you.
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Script by THG
#history #thehistoryguy #shipwrecks

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  • A fantastic excellent episode

    Geoffrey WilsonGeoffrey Wilson9 цагийн өмнө
  • This is one of the Best, if not the Best...works to date Sir 👏 @THG Our family appreciates your commitment to excellence.

    Byron MartinByron Martin13 цагийн өмнө
  • Sad, but well done.

    Toto MangoToto MangoӨдрийн өмнө
  • To make it to shore and then freeze to death...

    Cyrus FreemanCyrus FreemanӨдрийн өмнө
  • I’m the President of the Barnegat Historical Society. Thank You for such an informative and enjoyable video. I have been watching you for about a year now and I always enjoy your take on history and pirates it ships and war pretty much everything.

    Alex BolenAlex BolenӨдрийн өмнө
  • THG is a national treasure. Great work!!

    Mark BassMark Bass2 өдрийн өмнө
  • Pretty good. We even have satellite images of the weather.

    Ned MerrillNed Merrill4 өдрийн өмнө
  • Your telling of this story is such that I weep for men, women and children of which I did not know. May their history be forever preserved, and remembered.

    Wicked ProxyWicked Proxy4 өдрийн өмнө
  • Amen.

    quigley 45-100quigley 45-1005 өдрийн өмнө
  • Le Have pronunciation? Millions? Otherwise a tragic tale very well told with the right pathos of feeling. Another THC vlog well done.

    Marv WatkinsMarv Watkins5 өдрийн өмнө
  • ​ @Geoblox Models , "Well said. Hollywood just wants to maximize profits - not tell a story. Between THG and Dr. Mark Felton, there are so many great stories that could be made into great films, but they will not happen. What a sad loss for us all." I'm no actor and my voice currently sounds like Kermit after Miss Piggy was done forcing him to sing soprano, so I'm not a good canidate for what I'm going to suggest. We have groups that do home made skits from Star Wars, Star Trek, used the animations from HALO, Red versus Blue, perform at Renaissanse fairs and many other creative techniques. Pick a few short stories from THG and Dr. Felton (with their input). Do a small fund raiser and see what a decent amatuer group can do. We may laugh and cry because of the sub-b movie class delivery. Conversly, we may laugh and cry because of the excellent devivery that touches our hearts. Maybe some of both.

    Smokegrinder3Smokegrinder36 өдрийн өмнө
  • A pleasant surprise this is one of the best videos I have seen!

    Leshawn JeffersonLeshawn Jefferson6 өдрийн өмнө
  • THG, I often enjoy your content, because, even if I’m already familiar with your subject matter, it’s often nice to hear another point of view. That said, here in the south, especially in The Commonwealth of Virginia (from where Chief Powhatan hailed), the name Powhatan is pronounced “POW-huh-TAN” (“Pow,” like the sound from a Batman vs. bad guy fight, “Huh” like an exhaustive exhale, and “Tan” like the colour.) Keep up the GREAT work!

    Stuart FreemonStuart Freemon7 өдрийн өмнө
  • How right, tragidys do happen, and need to be remembered

    Patrick FordPatrick Ford8 өдрийн өмнө
  • This one choked me up. Such a tragic event. Thank you for sharing this story.

    Pippin28Pippin289 өдрийн өмнө
  • This episode was specially touching. Those last words reached deeply.

    Harvey HerreraHarvey Herrera10 өдрийн өмнө
  • It is a shame that one of the first comments on this video devolved into partisan political screeds by (trolls?) on both side of the political spectrum, repeating their endless name calling and doom saying on the state of our nation. Have we no decency, gentlemen?

    Al SmithAl Smith10 өдрийн өмнө
  • The closing notes stuck a fine, solemn note which I found befitting to this sad story. Thank you for your service to educate us all!

    Micke MikeMicke Mike12 өдрийн өмнө
  • Very good History Guy! I am proud as I am sure the families of the dead are equally proud of your remembrance of that terrible day!

    D KompresD Kompres12 өдрийн өмнө
  • That worst then The General Slocum Disaster.

    Wondering IN NYWondering IN NY13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow global warming back then? We need to act now.

    Stevie DirksenStevie Dirksen13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Isn't Pacques easter in French? Thats definitely from that root I would think 🤔

    Spenser WilliamsSpenser Williams13 өдрийн өмнө
  • You should do a history of the Iolaire tradgedy. Well known in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland but not elsewhere.

    John GranthamJohn Grantham13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Tragic indeed - I feel for the poor man who could only stand and watch. The 'life saving car' is a new one to me; as far as I know they weren't used in Great Britain, where we had the 'breeches buoy' system, in which a cannon fired a line to a stricken vessel, on which a kind of suspended chair could be pulled backwards and forwards. Beautifully told - well done, sir.

    John DaviesJohn Davies14 өдрийн өмнө
  • I hope his lifeboat was better than his spelling!

    Dennis ChallinorDennis Challinor14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Ya GOTTA keep that hair combed history guy or everyone will know you are a Lindy fanboy

    Martin DMartin D14 өдрийн өмнө
  • I appreciate your recitation of that history. I was a fisherman here in NJ and had a friend go down with his vessel. He deserves to be remembered. I did. Thank you.

    Joe CarsonJoe Carson16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Those people will be remembered because someone of character took the time to bear witness by recording every detail - millions of people who were lost at sea did not have a witness but one ✝️

    Michael RhodesMichael Rhodes17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Survivor guilt should be a part of standard education. To impart the valuable skills of empathy for those we have lost carries much weight in these times. Thank you.

    Kazpar ZyxzpenualtKazpar Zyxzpenualt17 өдрийн өмнө
  • 5

    tim willmotttim willmott18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I love this channel. And there have been several episodes whose coda’s have been reverent and emotional, punctuated by the words of others that have sat with me heavily. But this episode tops many of them, anchored by your own, masterful words History Guy - well done! I love many channels on MNthe, but this is why I Patreon yours!

    drak347drak34718 өдрийн өмнө
  • This is such a beautiful thing I do I enjoy it so much. Have you done anything on the bunker busting bombs from ww2

    tyler burgemeiertyler burgemeier18 өдрийн өмнө
  • If you can't help, be a good witness.

    dugrozdugroz18 өдрийн өмнө
  • You, sir, are an extraordinarily gifted teacher, speaker, guide. By the last I mean, of course, that you don't simply tell us a story but take us along with you to a time and place so that we may relive those moments again. So that, as you said, they may be remembered. Thank you for that and God bless you for sharing with us. It is a delight, I can assure you.

    Charles TiptonCharles Tipton19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thanks for including the Mountie hat.

    g michasiwg michasiw19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Hi Mr. History guy. I love history and love your channel! Just curious, have you ever done one on Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" as he was known? Thank you.

    Bill PolkBill Polk19 өдрийн өмнө
  • A renewed respect for my ancestors that came to America, in this and earlier time period.

    Cynthia BeckenbaughCynthia Beckenbaugh19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Good story,but slow your voice down.....

    Margaret PalmerMargaret Palmer19 өдрийн өмнө
  • You good

    Paul HerzogPaul Herzog20 өдрийн өмнө
  • And the history Channel is probably showing something on a road or fishing. Thank you sir

    Brandon MorelandBrandon Moreland20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Bravo!

    Brian MaddyBrian Maddy20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Indeed. Trying to bury history is a disgrace to those that paid with their lives.

    SOCIALIST DISTANCINGSOCIALIST DISTANCING21 өдрийн өмнө
  • masterly done but so sad

    Robert ZelinRobert Zelin21 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thanks again for the great video.JDS in AZ

    Melody ShullMelody Shull22 өдрийн өмнө
  • PACQUES = EASTER , so the Pacques Storm is indeed the Easter Storm .... salut !

    Susanna von CanonSusanna von Canon22 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love your work Mr History. Would love the history of how the American Indian was treated/mistreated upon white man's arrival

    Donald AdamsDonald Adams22 өдрийн өмнө
  • I really appreciate what you said about the role of the historian as the keeper of memories, to reminders to others that these people lived and breathed and deserve to be remembered. A lot of folks just don't get that.

    I don't want a channelI don't want a channel22 өдрийн өмнө
  • You got me all misty eyed with that one. Well done.

    Sinister ThoughtsSinister Thoughts23 өдрийн өмнө
  • The first day of strawberries? In the modern world I wonder if such concepts are out dated? Can't you get strawberries in the Kroger almost any day of the year? And for those whom the concept is not lost on, we know it's not the first day or strawberries, it's the 2nd or 3rd week that we want.

    MyOther SoulMyOther Soul23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Anyone else grabbing for the Kleenex? Very intense.

    keydudekeydude23 өдрийн өмнө
  • I feel like a man standing on a beach watching the disaster of covid hysteria and unable to do anything but watch. Watching the country sink into the raging sea of fascism

    jj23 өдрийн өмнө
  • :-(

    jj23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Eric Larsen please

    Doug DellwoDoug Dellwo23 өдрийн өмнө
  • A beautifully presented episode.

    Arne SahlenArne Sahlen24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Pâques is the French word for Easter; the word you mention seems a misspelled version of it

    Arne SahlenArne Sahlen24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Well. THAT was a tough thing to watch, H.G. ... especially the day after watching "A Night to Remember" on NetFlix ... and having served in the Navy.

    Scott BarberScott Barber24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love to hear from you on Operation Beluga

    FatBikeRacerFatBikeRacer24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Incredible well written. That was one of your best closings. I may have gotten something in my eye there for a minute....

    Clyde DopheideClyde Dopheide24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Sad story, great telling.

    Mike SMike S24 өдрийн өмнө
  • I am a captain, I’ve seen some nature that scares the life out of me. I raise a glass to those that have fallen at sea.

    Jason EganJason Egan24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Very touching! I had tears in my eyes. As a physician who sees the end of life often, especially with this pandemic, I think of myself as that man on the beach. Every life tells a story, be dark or light. It is by remembering that we see the light. You sir are that beacon to all of us! Thank you so much!!!!

    Billy RodriguezBilly Rodriguez24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Damn I'm not one to get chills. But that concluding statement did just that. All your videos are well written.

    WarDaddy IndustriesWarDaddy Industries24 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great intro vid- My fav of the new ones so far!

    Dusty RiverDusty River24 өдрийн өмнө
  • "Carrying over 200 German immigrants. . ." My ancestors immigrated from Germany in the latter half of the 19th Century. The tragic thought that family members could have been standing on that doomed deck breaks my heart for those who were there whose dreams were drowned in those fearful and towering waves. What indeed was lost in the arms of the frozen father that the future, our present, will never know. Thank you for giving voice to those who were silenced. Thank you for moving us to human tears.

    Michael BierbaumMichael Bierbaum25 өдрийн өмнө
  • It rips a chunk of your soul out to watch a person die, powerless to help or even comfort them at all.

    Nipple JohnstonNipple Johnston25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Ken Burns(PBS documentary guy) would do well to employ your skills in narration of his projects...You are a hidden treasure of MNthe,and bring history to life as no one else can. Your voice, emotions and conveyance of the subject matter show you love your work, as I’m sure all your watchers do. Please continue to bless us with more videos.THANK YOU...!!!

    Jon PiotrowskiJon Piotrowski25 өдрийн өмнө
  • NJ resident my entire life and was never taught this. Thank you!!! We will remember.

    Victoria AnnVictoria Ann26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Oh bravo.

    Michael CoxMichael Cox26 өдрийн өмнө
  • I belive Pacques is French for Easter. Given the time of the disaster I believe that the Paques disaster might relate to Easter rather than a ship's name.

    Willy Arkesteyn-VoglerWilly Arkesteyn-Vogler26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Paques...Easter in French. Hope that helps.

    tbwpipertbwpiper26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Untold numbers will perish in the colonization of space as well. We shouldn't mourn them, yet. Brave men and women drive us forth to new shores, and their risking celebrated until they need to be mourned.

    Mark WandreyMark Wandrey26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Your solemnly eloquent retelling of this story mimics the more formal language of the day and echoes the words of witnesses perfectly. It does justice to the memories of the lost. Such a tragic story, grippingly told. Very well done as always Lance.

    sixstringedthingsixstringedthing26 өдрийн өмнө
  • While the Newell Act was an important step, it would sadly not be until Sumner Kimball in the 1870s that a professional Life Saving Service with crewed stations, a predecessor to the Coast Guard, would finally take shape.

    jlillerjliller26 өдрийн өмнө
  • A heart-rending story, masterfully told. It deserves to be remembered, indeed.

    k8zhdk8zhd26 өдрийн өмнө
  • A sad story, beautifully told. Thank you for sharing.

    Euan SmithEuan Smith26 өдрийн өмнө
  • You do what you do rather well History Guy!

    Mike EvansMike Evans26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Where melancholy and history come meet and to leave as poetry: at THG's.

    JZ's Best FriendJZ's Best Friend26 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Shaman looks in a mirror to remind us all, why.

    Kasual SteelKasual Steel26 өдрийн өмнө
  • maybe if someone had stood on the beach longer they could have saved that guy who froze to death...

    king james488king james48826 өдрийн өмнө
  • "It's sometimes difficult to remember that they were all individuals, that each loss has meaning"

    Lee DLee D26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Powerfully spoken....

    Ronald VigueRonald Vigue26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Huh, how is it that no one was around to help the man who reached the beach alive?

    jjsziabo 425jjsziabo 42526 өдрийн өмнө
  • I was moved by your words at the end. Your love of History is beautiful to behold. Well done, sir!

    Jason Di FeliceJason Di Felice26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Paques is Easter in French, a coincidence I think not.

    Kevin HardwickKevin Hardwick27 өдрийн өмнө
  • This channel is brilliant

    Open RoaderOpen Roader27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Deep.... I am touched by your delivery of this story filled with tragedy.

    Brian TBrian T27 өдрийн өмнө
  • This video by The History Guy is a masterpiece.

    Easy GoingEasy Going27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Every time I think you've made your best video, you turn around and make a better one Although I've said it before (and hopefully I'll have to say it again), this one is going to be really hard to top. Thank you for remembering, and retelling, history the way you do.

    Lazy DLazy D27 өдрийн өмнө
  • This truly is history worth remembering. You are masterful storyteller, bring us back to that tragic day 167 yrs ago for us to give respect to all who struggled against the odds that day. Thank you.

    erin mcdonalderin mcdonald27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Shocking that it was so close to shore and yet no one survived.

    thelastpatriotthelastpatriot27 өдрийн өмнө
  • your closing statements are always a great addition to the historic events you cover.

    rsonrson27 өдрийн өмнө
  • ... Paques means 'Easter' in French...? Thanks for remembering these people.

    SylvieReichSylvieReich27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you for giving us real history, and not watered down and revised. History isn't always pleasant , but should always be told and remembered as it happened.

    galaxieman 64galaxieman 6427 өдрийн өмнө
  • I've spent a good deal of time on Long Beach Island and somehow never heard of this. Thank you for the story.

    Wayne DavisWayne Davis27 өдрийн өмнө
  • There are many such wrecks along the coastline of southern Australia, as any tourist can see by the memorials dotted along the route. These immigrant ships' captains chose to go the southern route, to avoid the perils of disease that often befell those that went via Java and the East Indies. It was also a quicker route to Melbourne and Sydney. However, the Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania is treacherous. One of the most heartbreaking wrecks of this time was the Cataraqui (Ka-tar-a kwee) in 1845. It ran into a storm and semi-capsised just less than 50 metres off King Island. The passengers and crew hung on for three days, trying to send a lifeline rope to King Island, without success. All but eleven out of the 400 people on board perished.

    kellkell27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Awesome but very sad video. Thank you for keeping the voices alive.

    Fear the Doughnut.Fear the Doughnut.27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow RIP to all.

    David AndersonDavid Anderson27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Your ending summation of this disaster brought me to tears.

    ignatiusdemonseedignatiusdemonseed27 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow!

    joseph morrisjoseph morris27 өдрийн өмнө
  • You are such a good storyteller. I’m in tears.

    Allison GAllison G27 өдрийн өмнө