According to Hamilton, George Alexander to Hawes, Benjamin 14 September 1848, CO 305:1, no. 1809, 319, Shark was a US schooner which brought Americans to Fort Vancouver sometime before September 7th, 1846; Shark was commanded by Captain Howison.1
The Shark became, on several occasions, a symbol of US naval power, and when it was sent to Honolulu for repairs, in 1846, it was to be that it would later sail up the Columbia River, ostensibly on an exploratory mission.2
Given tensions in Oregon Territory at the time, the Shark was likely sent to assert US trade and naval dominance. However, things did not go as planned for the mission. On September 10th, the Shark struck an uncharted shoal off the mouth of the Columbia, and was swept by the tide into a churn of waves.3 The ship was lost, but all crew survived; ironically, all hands chartered back to San Francisco on the Cadboro, an HBC ship, and one very much British.4
  • 1. Shark, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents