Look After My Boy

Found 8 May 1871, Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada.

Picked up on the shore in a bottle:

March 21, 1870. – City of Boston. – Ship sinking; over half full now. Good-by all. Look after my boy. Be gone in two hours. THOMPSON.

The City of Boston was a Glasgow-built passenger steamship of the Inman Line. It sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia for Liverpool on 28 January 1870 with 107 passengers and 84 crew. It never reached its destination and was never heard from again. A violent storm may have been responsible, although the ship’s loss was also linked with the Scottish-born criminal Alexander Keith Jr, “the Dynamite Fiend”, who conspired to blow up passenger ships with time bombs in order to collect insurance money.

There were two Thompsons on board the City of Boston — a cabin passenger named John from Halifax, and a steerage passenger named William from New York.

[Boston Advertiser, 9 May 1871]

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