Swansea Historical Society

September 12th - Anniversary of the Sinking of the S.S. Central America


SS Central America
From the Library of Congress - side view of the U.S. Mail ship, the S.S. Central America, the last time she left the port of New York.

The S.S. Central America sank on September 12th, 1857. On the ship was Swansea's James Birch. Out of 578 people on board, 425 crewman and passengers perished. Only 153 survived. Also on the ship was 30,000 lbs of gold.

James Birch

from the Herald News, September 17, 1989 (click to enlarge)
Herald News Article

from The Spectator, July 5, 1973 (click to enlarge)
Story of the storm

"Swanzey benefactor James Birch, origins unknown"

(click to enlarge)
James Birch Benefactor article
James Birch Benefactor article