The London Shipping Gazette of Sept. 27, contains the following report made by the British ship Cairngorm, at London from Sydney:
“Three whaleboats’ crews came alongside us at Flores from the steamer Alabama, Capt. Semmes, and wished to be reported as having had their ship, Ocmulgee, American whaler, hailing from Edgartown, (Massachusetts), set on fire 6th inst., and totally burned by the Confederate steamer above named. The Ocmulgee had on board two hundred and fifty barrels oil. There were thirty-four hands all told. Capt. Semmes (late of the Sumter) behaved hospitably to the crew. The Alabama had taken and burned four whalers within a short time. The Alabama took an American schooner (name unknown) while the Cairngorm was off Flores.”
The Ocmulgee was owned by Abraham Osborn, Esq., and others, of this town, and sailed on the 2d of July last. The news of her having 250 bbls. sperm oil had not before reported. She was valued, with her outfits, at about $32,000, and although partially insured in New Bedford, will prove a total loss, as the offices did not inure against the confederate pirates. The Ocmulgee was one of the largest and best ships belonging to the port, and her loss is to be deplored.
Great anxiety of course prevails as to the other vessels captured, and also in relation to the whol Atlantic fleet cruising about the Western Islands, as at the date of the capture of the Ocmulgee, a large number of them would be touching at Fayal to land oil, and obtain recruits.
A Correspondent, alluding to the loss of this ship, writes as follows:-
“The Ocmulgee was a ship of 458 tons, sound and in excellent condition, having been newly coppered and put in the very best condition, with all the necessary appurtenances for a four years’ voyage in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. She was unusually well fitted, with a larger than usual quantity of provisions and of the very best quality. Of all the whale ships now at sea from the United States, there are only four of equal tonnage or capacity. At the time of the loss, the ship and outfits were valued at $40,000, independent of the oil on board. She had on board 250 bbls. sperm oil, worth, at present prices, $11,750, - making a loss of $51,750. Abraham Osborn, Esq., was the Agent, and owned over one half of her. The balance was also chiefly owned in this place. Prior to her sailing from this port Capt. Osborne sent letters to the several Insurance Officers in New Bedford, where he had always done his business and to a very large amount, having had not less than $75,000 continuously insured there during the last ten years, and requested each office to which he then applied to send him Marine Policies of Insurance upon the ship, with the war clause or risk inserted, and instructed them to charge a premium accordingly, not limiting the premium to any amount of percentage, but giving to each office a “carte blanche” to charge what they should deem reasonable, and this was to be satisfactory to him. The offices sent him policies, not however according to his request. These offices had previously, and have since, taken the war risk, but have never notified Capt. Osborn of it. He is a very liberal and honorable man, and in his transactions with the offices has always conformed to their rates, without question, confiding implicitly in the officers of these institutions to do his business right and to effect his insurances as requested, being always willing to abide their regulations as to premiums. Hence it is presumed that the offices will accord to him the same honorable treatment, and assume the loss, as the fault was not hid, but clearly their own in not inserting the war risk, as his instructions were without limits as to percentage. As these institutions are mutual companies, of which he has been a member for a long series of years, it will hardly be entertained for a moment that the other copartners in these companies would have the remotest desire to deprive him of that protection which they have accorded to other partners, and which he so honorably and liberally requested for himself. His letters, requesting insurance, both against marine and war risks, and upon the files of the several companies, and couched in the above liberal terms.”
By the steamship Asia, from Liverpool 4th, we have a list of the whaleships destroyed by the rebel steamer Alabama, off Flores. They are as follows:
Ship Ocmulgee. Capt. Osborn, of Edgartown.
Ship Ocean Rover. Capt. Clark, of Mattapoisett. Sailed May 26th, 1859 - valued $36,000 - reported July 26, 1862, 710 bbls. sperm and 50 do. whale oil on board.
Bark Ocean, Cornell, of Sandwhich. Sailed May 6, 1862, having been now topped and put in complete repair, valued at $14,000 - reported Aug. 1, with 8 bbls. sperm oil on board.
Ship Benjamin Tucker, Childs, of NB. Sailed May 8, 1861 - valued at $20,000 - last reported with 350 bbls. sperm oil on board.
Schooner Weather Gauge, an Atlantic Whaler, of Provincetown.
Schooner Admiral Blake, Capt. Hathaway, of Sippican. Sailed May 12th, 1862 - valued at $4,000 - reported July 10th, with 10 bbls. oil.
Schooner Altamaha, Capt. Gray, of Sippican. Sailed May 12, 1862 - valued at $4,000.
Barque Osceola of New Bedford, Capt. Hogan. Sailed from home on the 5th of last August.
Besides these, the schooner Starlight, Capt. Doane, of Boston, was destroyed.
The Insurance offices in New Bedford are liable for the following; $28,600 on the Ocean Rover, and $7,000 on the Benjamin Tucker.