Another Survivor

Page Updated * 26 Mar 2003

*NOTE: Alexander, Maine (Township #16) and Baring, Maine (Township #6), (both located in Washington County, Maine) were named for Lord Ashburton whose name was Alexander Baring.*

Click for a full view of the Lord AshburtonFor many years the folk of Grand Manan have told the tale of the Lord Ashburton and her demise on the rocks at North Head.    Associated with this disaster was the loss of human life and the story of one survivor James Lawson.James Lawson became a local hero for having survived the watery grave. He spent time at the Marine Hospital in Saint John later returning to Grand Manan where he married the widow Jane Rebecca Flagg.

What many do not realize is there was another man who came back to Grand Manan and settled into the community, married and had three sons  born here. This man was James McIssac who returned to Grand Manan and married a local girl by name of Elizabeth Stanley in Dec. 1861.

James was born in Scotland in 1841 and  moved to Liverpool, England when he was about 12 years old. When he was 16 years old, he joined a Liverpool Shipping Company.He boarded the ship “Lord Ashburton” captained by Evan Crearer and the fateful trip was his first across the Atlantic.

What reason he had for returning to Grand Manan is unknown. Perhaps it was to be with a fellow shipmate or it may well have been he experienced the generosity of the locals and felt it a great place to settle down.

James and Elizabeth had three sons, James, John and William all born within a short time span. Life at Grand Manan was good  . . . James engaged in fishing and cared for his small family until his beloved wife Elizabeth passed away at the tender age of twenty-six. The family was devastated without a mother to care for the children, they were taken in by relatives who lovingly cared for them as their own. James continued to live at Grand Manan for about twelve years, where he fished for a time then ran a mail packet, “The Rising Sun” between Grand Manan and Saint John.

James eventually left the island in 1882 and headed for Maine, taking his middle son James with him. He remarried and had three  children by his second wife,Jane Huckins of Lubec..James died at Lubec in 1917 at age 76 and is buried in Lamson Cemetery.           To be continued . . .

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