Elisha Halsey (1798-1844)
Elisha Halsey was born in 1798 into a wealthy family in New York. He moved to South Carolina, to marry. Leaving his wife to raise their four children, he took to sea. In 1835 he took command of his first vessel, The Angelique, which carried rice and cotton between Charlston and New York.
In 1841 he took command of the Thomas Bennett (483 Tonnes) and made several journeys between Liverpool and the East coast of the USA.
In early August 1844 the Thomas Bennett set sail from Liverpool for Charleston SC. Initially heading South to the Bay of Biscay to take advantage of the Trade winds.
Five days out to sea, the Thomas Bennett turned back to Liverpool, upon docking it was reported that the ships captain, Elisha Halsey, had been set upon and murdered by the ship cook, a John Kent of Liverpool.
Kent was arrested and tried for the murder. Partly due to the poor relations between the USA and UK at the time he was acquitted, with a verdict of ‘Justifiable Homicide’
Under the Further reading section below, i have included two newspaper clippings, each giving slightly different leanings of the events leading up to Captain Halsey’s ‘Untimely Death in the Bay of Biscay”
Source: © Mike Faulkner and Julie Cord