Gaston Ravest

Gaston Ravest, a French man, arrived in the New York  on 11 May 1897 from Pot-au-Prince.  Ellis Island records give his age as 37y 3m.  He arrived on the Prins Willem III.  (In 1917, under its later name, Geogios Antippa, this ship was sunk by a German submarine while carrying coal from Sunderland to France.  All crew were saved.)

Gaston Ravest was on board the sister ship Prins Willem I when it was lost in the Bahamas according to a report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 30 July 1900.


“Dutch Steam ship Wrecked North Side of Island of Inagua.

  • Passenger and crew saved
  • Vessel Left This Port [Brooklyn] With Twenty-two Cabin Passengers
  • Carried a Valuable Cargo. Cape Haytien, July 30
  • The Dutch steamer Prins Willem I has been wrecked on the north side of the island of Inagua.
  • The passengers and crew were saved.

A dispatch received to-day in Manhattan at the Maritime Exchange confirms the loss of the steamer. The exact date of the wreck Is not furnished, but the distance between Inagua and San Domingo, from which the telegram came, gives the belief that the disaster must have occurred about Wednesday last. This opinion is strengthened by the fact that the Prins Willem I left here July 19 for the Dutch West Indies.

Kunhardt & Co., agents of the Dutch Royal Mail Steamship Company, say the Prins Wil­lem had a full cargo of valuable machinery, etc., and twenty-two cabin passengers. The first port of call was to be Port-au-Prlnce, In Hayti, thence she intended to go to Aux Crugas, a number of the Haytien ports, and finally to Curacoa, Puerto Cabello, Laguayra and other ports in Venezuela. She was due at Port-au-Prince last Friday.

A full list of the passengers of the ship  is not yet available, but the agents gave out the following as being among those who went from this port on the craft: A. L. Gurin, Emile Mangin, J. N. Legor, Gaston Revest, W. R. Gann and L. de’ Granqueville. Mr. Granqueville had with him his 6 year old child, in charge of a nurse.

Great Inagua, where the vessel was lost, is called Great Heneagua in the tropics, and is the largest and most southerly of the Bahama group. It Is fifty miles long and twenty-five miles wide. It is the home of some of the most formidable wreckers in the South Sea. They are called wreckers down there, but northern courts have declared them many times to be nothing less than pirates. The hope of saving the ship or any of her cargo is, there­fore, abandoned by those who know anything of the island.  The Prins Willem I was commanded by Captain Nyboer and bad a crew of fifty-eight men. She was 264 feet long, 36.2 feet beam and 21 feet deep. Her gross tonnage was 1,720 and net 1,121 tons. The steamer was valued at $150,000 and her cargo was worth three times that amount.”