Shipwrecked.

Shipwrecked.

Susannah Heath Morris made three trips aboard in service to the Friends. On her first trip to England in 1731, she was shipwrecked. The following account is from Joseph Taylor, a fellow passenger to the author, John Griffith."The ship was driven by the storm, in the sand not far from shore, on her broadside, yet she did not break. But the sea running high broke over her and several of the crew were washed overboard and drowned. The Captain, Susannah Morris, Joseph Taylor and I think one more, scrambled up to the upper side of the ship and held fast by the shrouds, I think for a day and night, if not more. The sea frequently breaking over them.

Joseph Taylor told me he never discovered the least impatience in word or countenance all the time; but he did confess that he once in a flutter did say to this effect, we might as well have gone first, for we shall be drowned. She looked at him and said nothing, but he said her looks were a sufficient rebuke to him for his impatience and distrust. "One thing is very remarkable and worthy to be preserved in remembrance - that after she had held on such a remarkable time by the shrouds, this extraordinary woman had a sense given to her that they would not be safe on that side of the vessel much longer; and although it seemed very hazardous and dangerous to move and fasten to the lower side of the vessel, she urged them all to attempt it, believing it would be the means of their preservation, she at length prevailed with them, and accordingly they moved in the best manner the could to the lower side of the ship, and soon after they had fixed themselves, there came a great swell of the sea and threw the vessel quite flat on the other side, so that if they had not moved, they would have all drowned. "Another remarkable preservation was from those savage people, the native Irish, who came to the seaside in great numbers, intending no doubt to make a wreck of the vessel, which it is said they do not do until all the lives on the vessel have been destroyed, according to their barbarous custom.

"The priest being informed that there were some alive in great distress, came down and charged these people, under penalty of great damnation, not to hurt them in the least, but to use all their power to save their lives, which if they refused to comply with they should never have their sins forgive them; and through the assistance of merciful providence, they brought them safe to the land, and used them with great hospitality."   

Susanna Heath 1682 - 1755

When Susanna Heath was born on August 12, 1682, in Staffordshire, England, her father, Robert, was 26 and her mother, Susanna, was 20. She married Morris Morris on August 26, 1703, in Abington, Pennsylvania. They had 12 children in 21 years. She died on April 28, 1755, in Richland, Pennsylvania, at the age of 72.


Contributed by Denise Johnson