Archaeology Magazine

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19th C. U.S. Coast Survey Ship Identified in New Jersey Waters

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

walkerpaddlewheelbymattcasserleySILVER SPRING, MARYLAND—A shipwreck off the coast of New Jersey has been identified as the Robert J. Walker, an iron-hulled steamer that had been traveling back to New York after mapping the coast of the Gulf of Mexico when it collided with a commercial vessel on June 21, 1860. The ship’s location and its unique rectangular portholes helped in the identification. “As both vessels were under full headway, there was no time for either to alter his course, and the shock was instantaneous and terrible,” read the report of the crash in The New York Times. The ship sank in 30 minutes; 22 crewmen were lost.