[p. 60] The coolies had been ordered below and the hatches battened down. They clung to every stanchion and wherever a hold could be found, hanging on for dear life. They swarmed on the companion ladder like ‘bees on a branch.’ There could not have been places of refuge for such a number, and at times there must have been
an inextricable confusion of heads and shoulders, naked soles kicking upwards, fists raised, tumbling backs, legs, pigtails, faces. . . . With a precipitated sound of trampling and shuffling of bare feet and with guttural cries, the vague mound piled up to port, detached itself from the ship's side, and shifted to starboard, sliding, inert and struggling, to a dull, brutal thump.The western circumference of the typhoon reached to the mainland and moved with a circular motion, the direction of the wind being from the circumference toward the center, which was near Formosa. Consequently a vessel caught in any part of the storm had almost no chance of escape, and after making a hopeless attempt to weather Formosa, she went ashore. The Boston Shipping List, August 1, 1863, has this item: ‘Ship Ringleader, of Boston, White, from Hong Kong for San Francisco, was totally lost May 9, on the S. W. end of the Island of Formosa. The crew and passengers were saved. Captain White arrived at S. F. 23 inst. in bark E. Banning.’ Also the following: ‘Aug. 22, 1863. Hong Kong, June 13. The officers and crew of the American ship Ringleader have reached Shanghai in safety, with the exception of two seamen who were drowned.’ There is an ominous silence concerning the cargo of coolies and the worst can be imagined.