MBW Museum Publishes Book on 1903 Menhaden Fishing Boat Tragedy
The Wreck of the Beatrice by Capt. Edwin L. Sherrill, III
The Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library in Lancaster and the family of the late Capt. Edwin L. Sherrill, III are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of the book The Wreck of the Beatrice by Capt. Sherrill. The book tells the story of the worst tragedy in the history of the menhaden industry when the steamer Beatrice, a menhaden purse-seiner, was lost with all of its crew off Virginia’s Eastern Shore in a 1903 hurricane. The owner of the Beatrice was Josephus Bussells and her captain was Will Leland, both residents of Irvington. More than a week after the storm, her stern section washed ashore near Duck, NC, and her bow and forward hull were discovered near Virginia Beach. No trace was ever found of the 28 crew members. Sherrill pays honor to the lost souls and examines the mystery of why the Beatrice went down when other nearby vessels weathered the storm.
Sherrill held an Unlimited Master’s license and in his off time from blue water sailing he worked on menhaden steamers. He was also a writer and avid researcher who began as a teenager to learn everything he could about the menhaden industry. Not only did he serve as captain or pilot on about ten menhaden boats, he also created index cards of information about every menhaden vessel that ever floated on the East coast from Maine to Florida and the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. Sherrill previously wrote The Pumpman and Other Stories, published in 1977, and articles on menhaden for the East Hampton Star, National Fisherman, and other industry publications. The Wreck of the Beatrice was Ed’s first full-length book on the subject. Tragically, he died two weeks after he finished it.
Reserve your copy today of a limited edition first printing of The Wreck of the Beatrice by Capt. Ed Sherrill by calling 804-462-7280 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and email address. Cost will be $20 plus $1 sales tax. Books should be ready in 4-6 weeks and we will contact you to arrange pick up and payment at the Mary Ball Washington Museum Shop. To purchase by mail, please contact us about check and credit card payment options. An additional $4 shipping and handling fee per book will be added to the price.