The Palatine Wreck: The Legend Of The New England Ghost Ship

June 7, 2018
5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
$5, $1 for NHS members and military with ID
Location: Newport Historical Society
82 Touro Street
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 841-8770

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Two days after Christmas in 1738, a British merchant ship traveling from Rotterdam to Philadelphia grounded in a blizzard on the northern tip of Block Island. The 105 passengers and crew on board-sick, frozen and starving-were all that remained of the 340 men, women and children who had left their homeland the previous spring. Shortly after the wreck, rumors began to circulate that the passengers had been mistreated by the ship's crew and by some of the islanders. The stories persisted, transforming over time as stories do and, in less than a hundred years, two terrifying versions of the event had emerged.

On Thursday June 7, 2018 at 5:30pm, author Jill Farinelli reconstructs the origins of one of New England's most chilling maritime mysteries. The tales became known as the legend of Palatine, the name given to the ship in later years, when its original name had been long forgotten. The flaming apparition was nicknamed the Palatine Light. The eerie phenomenon has been witnessed by hundreds of people over the centuries, and numerous scientific theories have been offered to its origin. Its continued reappearances, along with the attention of some of nineteenth-century America's most notable writers, has helped keep the legend alive, despite evidence that the vessel, whose actual name was the Princess Augusta, was never abandoned, lured ashore, or destroyed by fire. So how did the rumors begin? What really happened to the Princess Augusta and the passengers she carried on her final, fatal voyage?

"The Palatine Wreck" takes place at the NHS Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI and costs $5 per person, $1 for NHS members, active and retired military with ID. Book signing to follow. Please RSVP online at or call 841-841-8770

The Palatine Wreck: The Legend Of The New England Ghost Ship
  • June 7, 2018
  • Newport Historical Society
  • $5, $1 for NHS members and military with ID