The vessel was built in 1860 in Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia. It was a dual-mast vessel known as a brigantine.

The vessel's owners faced a series of accidents throughout the early and mid-1860s with the vessel trading hands. Three captains also lost their life.

Later, when the ship was given the new name Mary Celeste, Captain Benjamin Briggs was assigned to command it. He was also one of the four shareholders with joint ownership of the vessel.

The ship set out on its tragic voyage on 7 Nov, 1872, with 7 crew members, Capt. Briggs, his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter.

Off the Portuguese Azores Islands, the crew of the Dei Gratia discovered Mary Celeste adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean.

Capt. David Morehouse sent his first mate to inquire about everyone's safety once he discovered the ship was his friend's Mary Celeste.

The drifting ship was around 600 miles off the Portuguese coast, at 38° 20′ north, 17° 15′ west, according to the first mate. They made contact with Mary Celeste but received no response.

There were no signs of piracy or violence. The crew's belongings and cargo were both safe and undamaged. Everything was quiet and peaceful.

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