Item #17675 The Story of the Wreck of the ‘Maria’ Mail Boat: with a Memoir of Mrs. Hincksman, the Only Survivor. Dorothy Hobson Jones Hincksman, John Hannah.
The Story of the Wreck of the ‘Maria’ Mail Boat: with a Memoir of Mrs. Hincksman, the Only Survivor.
The Story of the Wreck of the ‘Maria’ Mail Boat: with a Memoir of Mrs. Hincksman, the Only Survivor.

The Story of the Wreck of the ‘Maria’ Mail Boat: with a Memoir of Mrs. Hincksman, the Only Survivor.

London: Wesleyan Conference Office, [n.d., ca. 1875]. First edition? Undated, but the text refers to the 1826 wreck occurring “about fifty years” previous. OCLC records four copies of this edition, only one in the US (University of Miami), and two copies of another undated London (Charles Kelly) edition, neither in the US. With a frontisportrait of Hincksman and three full-page illustrations of scenes from the shipwreck. Binding is remarkably clean and bright. Some toning to first and last few leaves. Ink ownership inscription dated 1879. Blind embossed gift stamp of the Wesleyan Methodist Home and Foreign Missionary Committee to corner of title-page. A near-fine copy. Publisher’s brick red cloth. Twelvemo. 96 pp. Item #17675

In 1826, the Maria shipwrecked off the coast of Antigua. Aboard the Maria were “five Missionaries, two of their wives, four children, and two servants, besides the boat’s crew and another passenger,” but only Dorothy Jones Hincksman (1802 – 1859), one of the missionary wives, survived the ordeal. Though many of the passengers survived the wreck itself, all but Hincksman drowned over the course of the two days it took to conduct a rescue. The tragedy received quite a bit of press at the time: reports of the wreck appeared in The Missionary Register, The Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, and other Christian publications, and the event had somewhat of an afterlife in publications like Stories, Sketches, Facts and Incidents: Illustrative of the Providence of God in Connexion with the Missionary Enterprise (1868), which cited Hincksman’s miraculous survival as an act of God.

The first half of the book gives a history of Hincksman’s life and her career as a Methodist missionary. In 1825, she and her husband sailed to Antigua, where they established a school. Hincksman taught the young Antiguan women how to read and led religious instruction classes. On the night of February 28, 1826, Hincksman, her husband, and the other missionaries were returning from a meeting in St. Kitts when their mail boat was caught in a storm and shipwrecked. The second half of the book describes the wreck and the aftermath in detail, ending with Hincksman’s eventual rescue. After returning to England and remarrying in 1832, Hincksman remained in poor health, and seemingly did not return to missionary work, though she and her second husband were Methodist leaders. The couple organized Sunday school meetings for local boys and were described in a contemporary source as the “life and soul” of their Methodist community in the town of Preston (Kirkman, Memorials of Mr. Thomas Crouch Hincksman, 1885, p. 43).

Price: $175.00