This incident takes place on Mount Desert Island, within the current town of Tremont. Long Ledge can be reached by hiking the Ship's Harbor Nature Trail in Acadia National Park. The trailhead is located on Route 102A.
It was at, or about this time , that letters were brought by the Indians from some shipwrecked persons on Mt. Desert, who were suffering every extremity and dying with hunger. The Indians had given them what little aid they could, and now came with letters to this settlement and that at Damariscotta for farther assistance. Measures were immediately concerted by the people of these two places, and a vessel with provisions despatched to their relief. They proved to be passengers from the north of Ireland, who had embarked in the ship 'Grand Design,' of two or three hundred tons, bound to Pennsylvania, which was driven ashore and wrecked in a violent storm. Most of them were persons of wealth and distinction who were going to rejoin their friends and connections in that colony. Many of them had with them a train of bond-servants, male and female, all of whom, on landing from the wreck, they immediately released and gave them an equal chance for life with themselves. After escaping from the wreck, they examined the island and found it uninhabited. Under this discouraging circumstance, they exerted themselves to the utmost to save what provisions and other necessaries they could from the ship. Exhausted by their efforts and fainting with thirst, numbers of them repaired to a brook to drink, and, overcome by the cooling draught, never rose again. Making the best shift for shelter and subsistence which their situation would permit, they dispatched a party of one hundred of their most able and vigorous young men to the main land, in hopes of finding a settlement there from whom assistance might be obtained. Nothing farther was ever seen or heard of this part of their companions. The remainder, waiting for their return, spent many wearisome months of disappointment, exposure and starvation, relieved only by the scanty and uncertain resources which the waves and shore afforded. Many perished of want. At length a party of Indians visited the Island, and, though without interpreters, a barter was effected of a few articles of food in exchange for clothing and other matters furnished by the sufferers. Among these passengers were a Mrs. Galloway and another lady, who had not been long married when they left Ireland. The former of these brought with her an infant three months old, whom she nursed in this abode of wretchedness, till blood instead of milk followed its emaciated lips. Her husband gave to the Indians two pieces of fine Irish linen for one duck, which, refusing to taste himself, he reserved exclusively for her. The sufferings of the mother were such as often to extort from the father a wish that the child might breathe its last. Yet both mother and child survived ; whilst the father, as also the husband of the other lady, died from exhaustion. These two women dug graves and buried their own husbands, there being no men of strength enough remaining to afford any assistance. The vessel that came to their relief brought some provisions, but, as she was for some time detained, these were all exhausted, and they arrived at St. George's in a most famishing condition. Going on shore at Pleasant Point where there was then only one log-house, they were received with all the hospitality the place would afford. Many of them were richly clad with the remnants of their wardrobes which had escaped the wreck ; but now in the impatience of hunger they were ready to snatch half roasted potatoes from the ashes into lawn aprons and silk dresses, and devour them without plate, knife, or fork. Mrs. Galloway had imagined before landing, because burdened with a child, that no one would be willing to receive her; but here she found herself provided with a bed, whilst the rest were glad to sleep on the floor and in hovels as they could. Before landing, she had inquired what kind of people were settled here, and, hearing they were Irish, exclaimed "alas! I sha'nt be able to speak to them, for I don't know a single word of the Irish language." She was now rejoiced to find the inhabitants as ignorant of that language as herself, being all from the north of Ireland and of Scottish descent. Sixteen of these persons went to the settlement up the river, the rest to Pemaquid, Sheepscot and Damariscotta. Archibald Gamble, a young man from Ireland, who had then taken a farm in the Upper town, (now the Bucklin lot,) offered himself to Mrs. Galloway, and Mr. McCarter to her companion before mentioned. Having lost their husbands, whose relations they were going to join in Pennsylvania, and having no acquaintances there themselves, these two women, whose sufferings had bound them together in the closest ties of friendship, accepted their respective offers and remained in the settlement. They were ever after extremely affectionate and intimate, more so than any two sisters ; and though they could never meet without embracing and weeping, it was always a day of rejoicing when either of them came to visit the other. The child of Mrs. Galloway was sent for by his uncle in Pennsylvania, who had taken offence at the mother for marrying again so soon, but she declined the offer till he should grow up to determine for himself. He was afterwards lost at sea. From one of these women are descended the Coombses and Creightons in Thomaston and the Bucklins in Warren ; and from the other, the McCarters in Cushing.