As part of its 2021 online lecture series, Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation (HGDPC) presented researcher and journalist Michael Schreiber speaking on “Philadelphia’s Early Maritime History.” The talk, filmed at Old Swedes’ Church, took place on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7pm. A discussion followed the presentation.

Schreiber described the period when the port of Philadelphia was the largest in North America, and over a hundred ocean-going sailing ships could be seen in the Delaware River on any given day. He discussed the situation of Black seamen, as well as women who went to sea. He also related the story of the Enoch Turley, a pilot boat that was lost in a gale at the Delaware capes in 1889—although some say that its ghost image still appears.

This was be the first of three presentations by Michael Schreiber on the subject. In subsequent videos, Schreiber will tell the tales of seafarers who were mysteriously lost at sea or who succumbed to attacks by pirates.

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