Jason or Charles?
In 1854, the letter about the sea serpent's capture was reprinted in a book of poems and ballads by Charles F. Ellerman, by way of an explanation for a poem that followed based on the story. This in itself was no big deal, though the reprinting has since proven very useful to researchers studying the event, as the book is generally more available than the original newspapers... but in re-telling the story Ellerman also made a notable mistake, which most of the researchers using his book as a source then repeated: he stated that Captain Seabury, whose name is not given in the letter, was Charles Seabury.
It was a simple enough mistake... there were a lot of Captains in the Seabury family, as the family actually owned a shipping line with their own boatas, the Monongahela being one of them. However, though this variation is still repeated in many retellings, a brief check shows that Captain Jason Seabury is listed as dead in 1853, with the loss of the ship, and that Charles Pickett Seabury continued to live until the 1890's.
- The popularity of the topic of Captain Seabury's serpent for the month or so after it hit newspapers can be inferred from the fact that the London satirical newspaper, Punch, had no less than six articles in the three weeks following March 10, 1852, that either were about the sea-serpent, or used it as a symbol for someone they needed to make fun of. They wouldn't reference something for jokes that their readers didn't already know about!