Over the harbor of New Haven appeared, in the evening, the form of a ship with three masts. Suddenly all the tackling and sails were to be seen. Shortly after, upon the ship there appeared a man, standing with one arm akimbo under his left side; and holding in his right hand a sword stretched out towards the sea.
Then from the side of the ship which was toward the town arose a great smoke, which covered all the ship; and in that smoke she vanished away. But some saw her keel sink into the water. This was seen by many men, women, and children, and it lasted about a quarter of an hour.
The unhappy mourners of relatives lost in a ship nearly two years before, tried to find some connection between the ship in the air and their own sufferings. In the gloomy and sad state of their minds they tried to find some meaning in the strange appearance.
There are many accounts of this air-ship. One says: “After the failure of news of their ship from England, prayers, both public and private, were offered by the distressed people. They prayed that the Lord would, if it was His pleasure, let them hear what He had done with their dear friends, and that He would help them to bow humbly to His holy will.
“Then a great thunder storm arose out of the northwest, and a ship was seen sailing against the wind. The very children cried out, ‘There’s a brave ship.’ The air-ship remained before their eyes and came up as far as there was water for such a vessel. It came so near to some persons, that they thought a man might throw a stone on board her.”
The people were so sure and satisfied that they had seen the ship that they believed that God, for the quieting of their troubled hearts, had been willing to send this wonderful ship to tell of what He had done to those for whom so many prayers had been made.
—Albert Bushnell Hart and Blanche E. Hazard, Colonial Children (New York: Macmillan, 1905), pp. 30-31.