Capt Ellery S. Scott

Photo added by family historian

Capt Ellery S. Scott

  • Birth 10 Jun 1855 Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Death 7 Jul 1923 Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Burial Arcadia, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Memorial ID 31505711

In 1892 Captain Ellery Scott purchased the house at 7 Main Street in Yarmouth from Captain J.K. Hatfield. He resided here until his death and the house was owned by his family until 1965. It is still known today by many Yarmouthians as "the Ellery Scott House". Captain Scott was the son of Captain Amos Scott. At a very young age he went to sea and while still a teenager he was made an officer. He then obtained his Master's certificate and sailed for various Yarmouth shipping concerns. Among his commands were the ship Nettie Murphy and the Bark Autocrat. At about the time he purchased this house he retired from the sea and established himself in the milk business. The 1895 directory lists Captain Ellery Scott, farmer and milkman, at this site.

Some years later Captain Scott returned to the sea and entered the employ of the Quebec Steamship Co. in New York. At the time of the Mount Pelee eruption and the destruction of St. Pierre Martinique, he was Chief Officer of the steamship Roraima, and was one of only a handful of survivors of the eruption on May 8, 1902. Scott described how his ship became what is now one of Martinique's prime dive sites. "There was a great explosion. A horrifying cloud of molten lava, flames and smoke came twisting down the slopes of the mountain followed by an endless vortex of vapours, fires and burning gas. We tried to raise the anchor, but in an instant the destructive forces hit us. A cyclone of fire had destroyed the town and now sent the Roraima lurching to starboard. The funnel and masts were whisked off while fires broke out all around the ship. Those who didn't perish were soon covered in hot mud."

The Roraima burned for three days before sinking in the middle of the bay at 57m. It wasn't the only ship destroyed - the tidal wave produced by the explosion sank the Grappler and Gabrielle instantly. Others - the Tamaya, the Theresa Lovigo, the Diamant and the Dalhia - went down in flames soon after.

Excerpted from The Volcano's Deadly Work: from the fall of Pompeii to the destruction of St. Pierre, by Charles Morris, 1902 (publisher unknown): The force of the eruption was not limited to the city. In the harbor, the shock wave capsized steamships and raining pyroclastic debris set ships aflame. Chief Officer Ellery Scott of the Canadian steamship Roraima later told about his experience.

Chief Officer Ellery Scott

According to Scott, "The ship arrived at St. Pierre at 6 A.M. on the 8th. At about 8 o'clock, loud rumbling noises were heard from the mountain overlooking the town, the eruption taking place immediately, raining fire and ashes; lava running down the mountainside with a terrific roar, sweeping trees and everything in its course. I went at once to the forecastle-head to heave anchor. Soon after reaching there, there came a terrible downpour of fire, like hot lead, falling over the ship and followed immediately by a terrific wave which struck the ship on the port side, keeling her to starboard, flooding ship, fore and aft, sweeping away both masts, funnel-backs and everything at once.

"I covered myself with a ventilator standing nearby, from which I was pulled out by some of the stevedores, and dragged to the steerage apartment forward, remaining there for some time, during which several dead bodies fell over and covered me. Shortly after, a downfall of red hot stones and mud, accompanied by total darkness, covered the ship. As soon as the downfall subsided, I tried to assist those lying about the deck injured, some fearfully burnt. Captain Muggah came to me, scorched beyond recognition. He had ordered the only life boat left to be lowered; but it was too badly damaged. From that time, I saw nothing of the captain; but was told by a man that the captain was seen by him to jump overboard. The man followed him in the water, and succeeded in getting the captain on a raft floating nearby, where he died shortly after.

"I gave all help possible to passengers and others lying about the deck in dying condition, most of whom complained of burning in the stomach. I picked up one little girl lying in the passageway dying, covered her over with a cloth, and took her to a bench nearby, where I believe she died. About 3 P.M. a French man-of-war's boat, the Suchet, came alongside and passed over the side about twenty persons, mostly injured, and myself and other survivors were taken to Fort de France. I afterwards saw the Roddam steaming out to sea, with her stern part on fire. The Roraima caught fire and was burning when I left her in the afternoon, the town and all shipping destroyed."

Overall, 48 of the 68 crew members and passengers died in the horrible ordeal, while on other ships the casualty rate was even higher.

His son Amos was killed in the eruption.


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  • Created by: family historian
  • Added: 18 Nov 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 31505711
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Ellery S. Scott (10 Jun 1855–7 Jul 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 31505711, citing Arcadia Cemetery, Arcadia, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada ; Maintained by family historian (contributor 46574868) .