|In service:||February 2, 1837|
|Fate:||Wrecked April 16, 1854|
|Tons burthen:||598 7/95|
|Sail plan:||Square Rigged|
The Powhattan or Powhatan was a United States ship that is best remembered as one of the worst New Jersey shipwrecks in terms of loss of life. The number of victims varies according to sources between 200 and 365.
The Powhattan was an emigrant ship transport of 598 tons gross. It was registered as a new vessel on February 2, 1837 with W. Graham as owner and D. Griffith as master (captain). The ship was built in Baltimore, Maryland in 1836–1837 and made several trips across the Atlantic from England, France and the Netherlands to the ports of Baltimore and New York .
About the first of March 1854, the Powhattan sailed from the port of Le Havre, France destined for New York City. It was carrying more than 200 German emigrants. After encountering a storm off the New Jersey coast it went aground about 5:00 p.m. on April 15, 1854 on the shoals near Beach Haven, New Jersey, (Latitude 39 33 00 North −74 13 00 West  ), about six miles south of the Harvey Cedars Lifesaving Station. The ship remained afloat until the following day, April 16, 1854 whereupon it broke apart resulting in the deaths of the entire crew and passengers. At the time of the accident, the ship was commanded by Captain James Meyers (or Myers) of Baltimore. The victims washed onto the beach as far south as Atlantic City, where they were buried in three cemeteries. Fifty-four were interred in a mass grave at Smithville Methodist Church and 45 were buried in Absecon. The majority of the bodies, about 140, washed ashore at Peahala on Long Beach Island. These victims were buried in pauper's graves in the Baptist cemetery in nearby Manahawkin.The cemetery now includes "The Unknown from the Sea" monument erected by the State of New Jersey in 1904 honoring all the victims of the Powhattan shipwreck  .) The Powhattan disaster served as an impetus for the purchase of the site for the Absecon Light house later in 1854.  
Voyages from 1837–1854
|Departure Date||Port of Departure||Arrival Date||Port of Arrival||Master||Purpose|
|July 25, 1837||Le Havre, France||Sept 4th 1837||Baltimore?||Griffith||Transport British/Irish Immigrants|
|Unknown||Mobile, Alabama||Oct 13, 1837||Baltimore?||Griffith||Unknown|
|Unknown||Liverpool, England||May 2, 1838||Baltimore||Griffith||Unknown|
|Unknown||Liverpool, England||June 21, 1846||Baltimore||Haydon||Irish/British Immigrants|
|Unknown||Le Havre, France||January 1, 1847||New Orleans||Stone||207 Passengers |
|Unknown||Le Havre, France||July 31, 1847||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Unknown||Liverpool, England||Dec 2nd, 1847||Baltimore||???||Irish Immigrants |
|Unknown||Le Havre, France||May, 5th, 1848||New York||Unknown||German Immigrants |
|Unknown||Le Havre, France||April 2, 1852||New York||Unknown||French, Swiss |
|Unknown||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Nov. 29th, 1853||New York||Myers||Dutch/German Immigrants |
- Great Storms of the Jersey Shore, by Larry Savadove and Margaret Thomas Buchholz, published by Down the Shore, 1993
- The New York Times April 21, 1854
- The Baltimore Sun, April 21, 1854, Friday morning edition
- The Daily Alta California May 19, 1854 
- A Heavy Sea Running: The Formation of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1846–1878 By Dennis R. Means, Winter 1987, Vol. 19, No. 4 
- Brigantine Beach, New Jersey website 
- New Jersey Museum of Boating, Inc. Bay Head, New Jersey
- Maritime Heritage Project www.MaritimeHeritage.org, Post Office Box 2878,Sausalito, California,94966 
- Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
- Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, 1884, published Jan 17th 1884, page 82–83 
- The Lure of Long Beach, by George B. Somerville, Page 73, published 1914, The Long Beach Board of Trade 
- "The Wrecks At Absecom: Total Loss of the Powhattan". The New Times. 20 April 1854.
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science, Max Kade Institute, New Acquisitions, Fall-Winter 2003, Subject Collection, Karl Althoff, "The Shipwreck of the Powhattan: Tragedy for Emigrants from Budenthal in 1854." The Palatine Immigrant, vol. 28, no. 3, June 2003, pp. 26–29. 
- "Manhattan / Powhattan". New Jersey Scuba Diving. May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
- Shipwrecks off the New Jersey Coast by Walter and Richard Krotee, Middle Atlantic Underwater Council, Underwater Society of America, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1966 edition
- Means, Dennis R. (Winter 1987). "A Heavy Sea Running: The Formation of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1846 - 1878". Prologue Magazine. National Archives. 19 (4).
- Brown, Allen Henry (1886). "Jonathan Pitney, M. D.: Fifty years of progress on the coast of New Jersey". Internet Archive. Daily Advertiser Printing House. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
- Immigrants Ships Transcribers Guild
- "Manifest Header Data File, 1834 – ca. 1900: Manifest 46237: Powhattan". Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, created ca. 1977–2002, documenting the period 1850–1897. National Archives. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Ship Powhatan; Liverpool, England to Baltimore, Maryland; 2 December 1847". Transcribed by Janice Peterson. Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Manifest Header Data File, 1834 – ca. 1900: Manifest 46820: Powhattan". Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, created ca. 1977–2002, documenting the period 1850–1897. National Archives. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Manifest Header Data File, 1834 – ca. 1900: Manifest 6848: Powhattan". Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, created ca. 1977–2002, documenting the period 1850–1897. National Archives. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
- The National Archives, Manifest Header Data File, 1834 – ca. 1900 Manifest ID # 7693 
- See biography of passenger on the November 29th, 1853 voyage