Source: Salem Gazette - Salem, Massachusetts - Volume: XIII
Issue: 94 Page: 2
Dated Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1835
DREADFUL SHIPWRECK ON LAKE ERIE - THIRTEEN LIVES LOST.
The following deplorable account of a shipwreck, we
copy from the Conneaut Gazette of the 13th. Conneaut is in New
York, on the Lake Erie shore.
CONNEAUT, Nov. 13.
Ship Wreck and loss of Life. - At an early hour
this morning a hull of a vessel was seen off our harbor, and with
the aid of a Spy Glass one person was discovered on board; but as
the Lake was rough, and the wind to the Northward, it was impossible
to go out to the vessel. About 8 o'clock, however, when she
had drifted within about thirty rods of the shore, one mile west of
the harbor, two or three individuals plunged into the Lake, and
succeeded in getting on board, when a scene of horror and distress
presented itself to their view. The individual before
discovered, proved to be the mate, by name of Henry Waghorn.
He was unable to help himself much, and seemed indifferent about
getting on shore, and by his side lashed to the windless, were the
lifeless bodies of two men, and in the cabin were ten more of men,
women and children. The mate was put on shore, and soon after
the lifeless bodies of four men, three boys, four girls, and one
woman, were taken on shore, and decently intered, in the burying
ground attached to the Presbyterian Meeting House.
After the mate had become revived and able to converse,
we learned from him the following particulars relative to the
accident. The schooner is the Trader, of and for Otter Creek,
Canada, loaded with lumber and bound for Cleaveland, with a crew of
four including captain and mate, and ten passengers, There was
a widow lady and six children name not known, and three gentlemen,
one by name of John Richardson. On Wednesday
morning, when between Ashtabula and Grand River, about day light, a
squall struck the schooner, which split all the sails and rendered
her unmanageable; and about 11 A. M., two heavy seas struck her in
quick succession, which capsized her, and carried away both her
masts and bowprit, and stove a hole in her larboard bow; at the
moment she capsized, all on board were below; in about five moments
she righted again, when the mate, two of the hands, and one
passenger, (name not known) got upon deck and all succeeded in
lashing themselves to the windlass, except the passenger, who was
swept overboard. The captain and remainder of the passengers
did not attempt to come upon deck, but remained in the cabin, about
two thirds filled with water, until they died, which was between 10
o'clock that night and daylight the next morning. The groans
and cries for help continued till about daylight. The widow
was bound for Cleveland, where she has a son residing. If the
Lake should continue calm, it is probable the vessel may be got off,
and towed into our Harbor.
GALE ON LAKE ERIE
Extract of a letter dated Henderson P.
O., Jefferson Co. Nov. 17. - "The blow last week produced terrible
effects on Lake Ontario. It looked like a boiling pot, as
white as a sheet. The shore is strewed with broken pieces of
vessels; hands and passengers of more than one vessel are known to
have been lost. Several men from Henderson have been drowned.
There were none escaped to tell the news."
Source: Friends' Intelligencer - Vol. 1 - No. 6 - Pg. 93
Dated: Seventh Month 1st, 1838
From the Baltimore Chronicle.
LOSS OF THE PULASKI ON HER PASSAGE FROM SAVANNAH TO NEW-YORK.
The annexed narrative is derived from information which
we procure, in person, from J. H. Couper, Esq , of Glynn
county, Georgia, and Major James P. Heath, of this city.
The steam packet Pulaski, Captain Dubois,
sailed from Savannah on Wednesday the 13th June, having on board
about ninety passengers. She arrived at Charleston the same
afternoon, and sailed the next morning with sixty-five additional
passengers. In the afternoon the wind was fresh from the east,
and produced a heavy sea, which retarded her progress, and required
a full pressure of steam. At half-past 10 the wind continued
fresh, with a clear star-light, and there was every promise of a
fine night. At 11 o'clock the starboard boiler exploded with
tremendous violence, blowing off the promenade deck above, and
shattering the starboard side about midships—at the same time the
bulk-head, between the boilers and forward cabin, was stove in, the
stairway to it blocked up, and the bar room swept away. The
head of the boiler was blown out and the top rent fore and aft.
In consequence of the larboard boiler and works being comparatively
uninjured, the boat heeled to that side, and the starboard side was
kept out of the water, except when she rolled, when the sea rushed
in at the breach. The boat continued to settle rapidly, and in
about forty minutes the water had reached the promenade deck above
the ladies' cabin. Previously to this period, the ladies,
children, and the gentlemen who were in the after part of the boat,
were placed on the promenade deck. About the time that the
water reached that point, the boat parted in two with a tremendous
crash, and the bow and stern rose somewhat out of the water; but the
latter again continued to sink until the water reached the promenade
deck, when it separated in three parts, upset, and precipitated all
on it into the water. Many then regained the detached
portions. The gentlemen who occupied the forward cabin, took
refuge on the extreme point of the bow, when the boat broke in two,
and clung to it and the foremast; others had placed themselves on
settees and the fragments of the wreck.
There were four boats belonging to the boat; two being
swung to the sides, and two placed on the top of the promenade deck.
The side boats were both lowered down within five minutes of the
explosion. In that on the starboard side, the first mate,
Mr. Hibbert, Mr. Swift, and one other
person, had placed themselves. In that on the larboard side,
were Mr. J. H. Couper with Mrs. Nightingale and
child, and Mrs. Fraser and her son, who were under his
charge, Captain R. W. Pooler and son, and Mr. William
Robertson, all of Georgia, Barney and Solomon,
belonging to the crew, and two colored women. By directions of
the mate, two of the crew launched one of the deck boats and got
into her; but as, from her long exposure to the sun, her seams were
all open, she immediately filled, and Mr. Hibbert
removed the men to his boat. The boats met, when those in the
second proposed to Mr. Hibbert to strike for the land,
as it had on board as mary as it could with any safety carry: this
he declined to do, as he said he was determined to stay by the wreck
until daylight, and had yet room for more persons. Both boats
then continued to row about the wreck until the Mate's boat had
picked up as many as she could carry, when Mr. Hibbert
yielded to the propriety of consulting the safety of those in the
boats, by going to the land, as their further stay would endanger
them, without affording any aid to their suffering friends, and they
left the wreck at 3 o'clock A. M. The boats took a N. W. course,
being favored by a heavy sea and strong breeze from S. E.
At 12 o'clock they made the land, and at 3 P. M. were
near the beach. Mr. Hibbert then waited until the
second boat got up, and informed them that those who were in the
boat refused to row any further, and insisted on landing. Mr.
Couper united with him in protesting against this measure,
as, from the heavy breakers which were dashing on the beach, as far
as the eye could reach, it was obviously one of great peril.
Being overruled, they submitted to make the attempt. The mate,
who had previously taken the two colored women from the second boat,
then proposed to lea I the way, and requested Mr. Couper
to lie off, until he had effected a landing, and was prepared to aid
the ladies and children. The first boat then entered the surf, and
disappeared for several minutes from those in the other boat, having
been instantly filled with water. Six of the persons in her,
viz: Mr. Hibbert, Mr. Swift, Mr. Tappan, Mr.
Leuchtenburg, and West and Brown, of the crew,
landed in safety. An old gentleman, supposed to be Judge
Rochester, formerly of Buffalo, New York, but recently of
Pensacola, Mr. Bird, of Georgia, the two colored
women, and a boat hand, whose name is unknown, were drowned;
The other boat continued to keep off until about sunset, when,
finding the night approaching, and there being no appearance of aid
or change in the wind, which was blowing freshly in to the land, and
the persons in the boat having previously refused to attempt to row
any further, Mr. Couper reluctantly consented to attempt the
Before making the attempt, it was thought necessary, to
prevent the infant of Mrs. Nightingale, which was only
seven months old, from being lost, to lash it to her person, which
was done. Just as the sun was setting, the bow of the boat was
turned to the shore, and Mr. Couper sculling, and two
men at the oars, she was pulled into the breakers—she rose without
difficulty upon the first breaker, but the second coming out with
great violence, struck the oar from the hand of one of the rowers.
The boat was thus thrown into the trough of the sea, and the
succeeding breaker struck her broadside, and turned her bottom
upwards. Upon regaining the surface, Mr. Couper
laid hold of the boat, and soon discovered that the rest of the
party, with the exception of Mrs. Nightingale, were
making for the shore; — of her, for a few moments, he saw nothing,
but, presently, feeling something like the dress of a female
touching his root, he again dived down and was fortunate enough to
grasp her by the hair. The surf continued to break over them,
with great violence, but, after a struggle, they reached the shore,
utterly worn out with fatigue, watching, hunger, thirst, and the
most intense and overwhelming excitement. Besides this, the
ladies and children were suffering severely from the cold.
The party proceeded a short distance from the shore, where the
ladies laid down upon the side of a sand hill, and their protectors
covered them and their children with sand, to prevent them from
perishing. Meantime some of the party went in quest of aid,
and about 10 o'clock the whole of them found a kind and hospitable
reception, shelter, food, and clothing, under the roof of Mr.
Siglee Redd, of Onslow county.
On Monday they reached Wilmington, where they found a
deep sympathy for their misfortune, pervading the whole city, and
generous emulation among its in habitants to render them every
The forward part of the boat, after her separation,
continued to float. On it were Major Heath and
twenty-one others. We have had a long conversation with
Major Heath, in which he related with great minuteness
every thing attending the preservation of the persons who were on
the wreck with him. It is impossible to convey in words, any
thing more than a faint idea of the suffering they underwent, or of
the many harrowing and distressing circumstances which occurred
during the four days they were on the wreck.
But a short time previous to the explosion it was
remarked by one of the passengers, to Major Heath,
that the guage showed thirty inches of steam. On
the attention of the engineer being called to this fact, he replied
that it would bear with safety forty inches. Major
Heath had just retired to the after-cabin. A number of
passengers were lying on the settees, and when the boiler burst the
steam rush ed into the cabin, and, it is thought, instantly killed
them, as they turned over, fell on the floor, and never were seen,
by the Major, to move afterwards. He had, on hearing the noise
of the explosion, got out of his birth and ran to the steps, the
steam meeting him in the cabin. He got under the steps, as did
also Mr. Lovejoy, of Georgia, and they were thus
shielded from its effects. In a few moments he went on deck, and
found all dark. He called for the Captain, and, receiving no
answer, he made for the mast, as he felt that the boat was sinking.
Before he could secure himself the sea burst over him and carried
him away. Fortunately, however, a rope had caught round his
leg, and with this he pulled himself back. The mast, as soon
as he had been washed from it, fell, and crushed one of the
passengers, Mr. Auze, a French gentleman, of Augusta.
The boat now broke in two, and the deck, forward of the mast, was
carried away from the rest of the vessel, seemingly very swiftly.
Nothing more was seen after this, by Major Heath, of
the yawl or the after part of the boat; but in about half an hour,
he heard a wild shrill scream, and then all was quiet! This
must have been when the promenade deck turned over, with at least
one hundred human beings upon it!
When daylight broke, he found that there were
twenty-two on the wreck with him—among them Captain
Pearson, who had been blown out into the sea, but who had caught
a plank, and succeeded in leaching them during the night.
The danger of their situation wag at once fully
realized. The heavy mast lay across the deck on which they
rested, and kept it about twelve inches under water, and the planks
were evidently fast parting! Captain Pearson, with the
rest, set himself to work to lash the wreck together by the aid of
the ropes on the mast—letting the ropes sink on the side of the
raft, which, passing under, came up on the other side, and by
repeating this operation, they formed a kind of net-work over it.
They also succeeded in lashing two large boxes to their raft, which
Friday passed without any vessel coming in sight.
Their thirst now became intense. The heat of the sun was very
oppressive, its rays pouring down on their bare heads, and
blistering their faces and backs, some not having even a shirt on,
and none more than a shirt and pantaloons.
The suffering of the younger portion of their company,
at this time, became very great. Major Twiggs,
of the U. S. Army, had saved his child, a boy about twelve years of
age. He kept him in his arms nearly all the time; and when he
would call on his mother, who was safe at home, and beg for water,
his father would seek in vain to comfort him by words of kindness,
and clasping him closer to his heart.
On Saturday they fell in with another portion of the
wreck, on which were Chicken and three others, whom they took on
their raft. Towards the close of evening they had approached
within half a mile of shore, as they thought, and many were very
anxious to make an effort to land. This was objected to by
Major Heath, as the breakers ran very high, and would
have dashed the raft to pieces on the shore. Mr. Greenwood,
from Georgia, told the Major that he was one of the best swimmers in
the country, and that he would tie a rope around him and swim to the
shore. "No ! no!" replied the Major," you shall not risk your
life for me, under these circumstances, and in such an attempt you
would lose your life. Not I am the oldest man in danger, and
will not increase the risk of others." All hope of landing
then was shortly afterwards given up, as a slight breeze from the
shore was now carrying them out into the sea. Despair now
seemed to seize on some of them, and one suggested that if relief
did not soon reach them, it would be necessary to cast lots.
The firmness and decision of Major Heath soon put this
horrid idea to flight. "We are Christians," he told them, "and
we cannot innocently imbrue our hands in the blood of a fellow
creature. A horrible catastrophe has deprived hundreds of
their lives, brought sorrow to many a hearth, and thrown us upon the
mercy of the winds and waves. We have still life left, let us
not give up all manliness and sink to the brute. We have all
our thoughts about us, and should face death, which must, sooner or
later, overtake us, with the spirit that becomes us as Christian
men. When that hour arrives I will lay down my life without a
mur mur, and 1 will risk it now for the safety of any of you, but I
will never stand by and see another's sacrificed that we may drink
his blood and eat his flesh!" With such words as these did he
quiet them, and reconcile them to await the issue. The day
wore away again, without the sight of a vessel to cheer their
On Sunday morning it commenced raining. with a stiff
breeze from the' north east, which soon increased to a severe gale.
Every effort was made to catch some of the falling rain in the
pieces of canvass which they had taken from the mast, but the sea
ran so high that the little they did catch was nearly as salt as the
water of the ocean. Still the rain cooled them, and, in their
situation, was refreshing and grateful. On Monday morning they
saw four vessels. They raised on a pole a piece of the flag
that was attached to the mast, and waved it, but in vain. The
vessels were too far off, and hope was nearly lost, as they watched
them, one after another, pass from their sight. They had now
been without food or water for four days and nights—their tongues
were dry in their mouths—their flesh burnt and blistered by the sun,
and their brains fevered, and many of them began to exhibit the
peculiar madness attendant on starvation. They could not sleep
either, as the raft was almost always under water, and it required
continual watchfulness to keep them selves from being washed over by
the sea. Major Heath tells us, that never for
one moment did he lose his consciousness; and we hear from others,
that his cheerful spirit and encouraging conversation kept alive the
hope of safety in the breast of others, and banished despair from
On Tuesday morning a vessel hove in sight, and her
track seemed to lie much nearer them than those they had seen the
day before. They again waved their flag, and raised their
feeble voices. Still the vessel kept on her track, which now
appeared to carry her away from them. "She is gone!" said one
of the crew, a poor fellow who had been dreadfully scalded, and he
laid himself down on one of the boxes, as he said, " to die."
Captain Pearson, who had been closely watching the
vessel, cried out, " She sees as! —she is coming towards us!"
And so it was. All sails set, and full before the wind, the
vessel made for them. The schooner proved to be the Henry
Camerdon, bound from Philadelphia to Wilmington, N. C. As
soon as the captain came within speaking distance, he took his
trumpet and cried out, "Be of good cheer—I will save you!" It
was the first strange voice that had reached their ears for five
days, which were to them as an age.
When the schooner came alongside, they all rushed
frantically on deck, and it was with some difficulty that the
captain could keep them from the water casks. He immediately
gave each of them a half-pint of water, sweetened with molasses, and
repeated it at short intervals. His prudence, doubtless,
preserved their lives.
During the morning Major Heath and
his company had seen another portion of the wreck, with several
persons on it, and as soon as the captain of the Henry
Camerdon was told of it, he sailed in the direction it had been
seen, and shortly afterwards came in sight. On this wreck,
which was a part of the promenade deck, were Miss Rebecca
Lamar, Mrs. Noah Smith, of Augusta,
Master Charles Lamar, of Savannah, and Mr.
Robert Hutchinson, also of Savannah. The two
ladies were much exhausted, and Master Lamar was
almost dead. Every comfort that the schooner was possessed of
was freely bestowed by the captain, and Major Heath,
on behalf of those who were saved with him, has asked us to return,
thus publicly, to him the thanks, the deep and heartfelt thanks, of
the beings whom he rescued from a condition of such misery and
peril, that the heart sickens at the contemplation of it.
Mr. Hutchinson had lost in this disaster his wife and
child. His wife was the daughter of Mr. Elliott,
formerly in the United States Senate, from Georgia.
When the promenade deck separated from the hull, many
persons took refuge on this portion of it. Among them was
Mr. G. B. Lamar, of Savannah, and two children; Rev.
Mr. Wirt and lady, of Florida, and a child of Mr. Hutchinson;
and the second mate of the Pulaski.
On Saturday morning, finding there was no other hope of
safety, the mate proposed to take the boat which they had secured,
being the second deck boat, and, with five of the most able of those
on the raft, to endeavor to reach the shore, and to send out some
vessel to cruise for them. This being assented to, the mate,
with Mr. Lamar and four others, took their departure,
and on Wednesday morning they reached New River Inlet in safety.
The passengers remaining on the raft, with the exception of the four
mentioned as taken off by the John Camerdon, died from
exhaustion; among them was the Rev. Mr. Wirt and lady, whose
Christian resignation to their fate excited the admiration of all
around them. They expired within a few minutes of each other.
Seven persons were reported to have died on Monday. The body
of Mr. Parkman, of Savannah, floated to the raft, and
was recognized by his friends.
It was ascertained at Wilmington on Wednesday morning,
that eight other persons from the wreck had reached New River Inlet,
but their names, with two exceptions, are unknown.
The passengers who escaped were, almost without
exception, in the clothes in which they were sleeping, and suffered
very severely from the blistering effects of the sun, and the chilly
wind of the night. They were entirely destitute of water or
food of any kind. Those who were last saved were most of them
in a dreadful state of ulceration and debility.
The cause of the disaster was obviously the neglect of
the second engineer in permitting the water to boil off, or to blow
off in the starboard boiler, and then letting in a full supply of
water on the heated copper. One of the hands saved had, a few
moments before the explosion, examined the steam-guage, and
found it fluctuating rapidly from 26 to 29 inches. Another had
just left the engine-room, when he heard the shrill whistling sound
of high-pressure steam, as the engineer tried the water-cock: in a
few seconds the explosion took place. Captain Dubois
was seen asleep in the wheel-house ten minutes before the explosion.
Captain Pearson, the second captain, was blown out of
his berth into the sea, as was also Chicken, the first engineer.
They both regained the bow of the boat.
The following is a recapitulation of the number saved
at different times:— In the two boats . . . . . .
16 On the two rafts
30 In the boat with Mr. G. 8. Lamar . .
5 On other fragments 8
Source: Plain Dealer - Cleveland, Ohio
Dated: 1890 July 30
STEAMERS IN COLLISION
List of the Killed, Injured and Missing.
BALTIMORE, July 29 - The following is a corrected list of the
killed, injured and missing by the collision in the bay last night
of the Norfolk steamer Virginia and teh excursion steamer Louis:
Killed: Mrs. Catherine Keysen, Charles Graazer, 5 eyars,
Daniel Koon, 11 years.
Injured: Adolph Miller, fatally; Mrs. Magdalena Ruth;
fatally; William C. Grazzer.
Missing: Annie Ruth, 11 years; Grace M. Allison, 12
years; Willie Haas, 9 years; David H. Hitchcock, 29 years; Lizzie
Graazer, 27 eyars; Maggie Eller, 13 years; Mrs. Sophie Faber, 47
years; Mrs. Margaret Oestereick, 50 years; Henry Koop, 9 years;
William Reigel, 12 years.
A Coast Trader Burned.
FERNADINA, Fla. - July 29 - The steamer Franconia, from New York
for this port, before reported as here on north breakers caught fire
at daylight today. All hands were saved.
Source: Grand Rapids Press - Michigan
Dated: 1909 Aug. 29
DIED TO SAVE OTHERS - Wiresless Operator Eccles Staid at Post
on Sinking Ohio. -
His C. Q. D. Calls Brought Aid to 200 Passengers, but he Lost his
Seattle, Wash., Aug. 28 - One man, a wireless telegraph
operator, gave his life that more than two hundred might be saved,
when George E. Eccles of Seattle, went down with the Alaska
Steamship company's steamer Ohio, yesterday while sounding the "C.
Q. D." His call for healp as his vessel was sinking brought
the steamers Kingfisher, Humboldt and Rupert City to the rock off
Steep Point in Hishkish narrows, British Columbia, and all but
himself and four others were saved. only one passenger lost
The drowned: Purser Frederick J.
Stephen, Seattle; Wireless operator George E. Eccles,
Seattle; The quarter-master; a soldier and a steerage passenger,
Pilot Shaw was on the bridge when the ship
struck. The boats were lowered at once and women and children
taken off. The soldier and the steerage passenger were drowned
by the upsetting of a boat during the rescue of the passengers.