The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 4, 1847

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p.2 Severe Gale & Shipwreck - We learn from Mr. Woodworth, mate of the Steamer Nile, that Lake Huron has been recently visited by a severe gale, that caused the wreck of several vessels. The new schooner Maria Cobb is ashore at Point Au Sable, with a full cargo of wheat. We understand that both cargo and vessel are insured. The schr. P. Mills is ashore at 40 Mile Point with a cargo of 8,000 bushels wheat, consigned to John Hollister. Vessel and cargo probably a total loss. Cargo insured in Buffalo Fire and Marine Insurance Company. A schooner ashore at Saginaw Bay - name unknown. The schooner Champion, bound up, with a cargo of merchandise, side stove in. Vessel insured for $4,000 in the Buffalo Mutual Company, and cargo partially insured in the Buffalo Fire and Marine Company. New schr. Lawrence ran on a reef off Bois Blanc Island, near the mouth of Detroit River, and sunk. Cargo of 13,000 bushels wheat consigned to John Hollister. Cargo insured, $6,000 each in Buffalo Fire and Marine and Buffalo Mutual Companies. Vessel probably fully insured.


Burning of the Propeller Phoenix - 170 Lives Lost.

Pittsburgh, Nov. 26th.

On Sunday morning, about 4 o'clock, the propeller Phoenix, bound up, when within 70 miles of Sheboygan, was discovered to be on fire, and it was found impossible to extinguish the flames. She had more than 200 passengers, 30 of whom took to the small boats, and were picked up by the propeller Delaware, which hove in sight, but not in time to save those on board - the remainder were either burned or drowned. Capt. Sweet was sick in his state-room, but was saved; 150 of the passengers were emigrating Hollanders.

Every attention was extended to the sufferers by the Captain and crew of the Delaware. The Phoenix was owned by Pease & Allen, Cleveland, and was insured for $15,000.

Later - The schooner Ontonagan, Capt. ____, arrived yesterday, by which we learn the Pheonix was burnt 10 miles from Manitowac, and six miles from land. The fire originated in the forward part of the boiler deck. Mr. Bleach, of Southport, after he saved Capt. Sweet, returned and perished in the flames. There were probably 200 lives lost. Capt. S. is at present in Sheboygan. The mate and six of the crew were saved. The propeller Delaware is expected every hour, which will bring full particulars of the calamity. [Buffalo Courier, Nov. 29th]

The Late Accident - No Coroner' s Inquest has been held on the bodies of the three men killed, when the Steamer Wave burst her boiler; because none of the bodies have yet been found. From a bystander, Mr. Robert Kearns, who witnessed the sad accident, and who assisted to save the survivors, we glean the following additional particulars: The explosion took place about ten o'clock on the morning of Monday last, off a place called "Kearn's Point," in the Rideau Canal, between Kingston and Brewer's Mills. The steamer was employed in towing a raft, but at the time of the collapse, was not in motion. She had on board, the Captain, (Mr. Hiram Ives) and a crew of six men and a boy, together with Mr. Rob't Fisher, of Hatter's Bay, and another gentleman connected with the raft. Our informant was looking at the steamer when the accident occurred, and describes the noise not to have been very loud, but more like a heavy crash, than an explosion. He saw the shattered bodies of two men high in the air, and saw them fall into the water. Another body was blown among the dead trees on the far side of the canal. The boat appeared to be a total wreck, and the stem was blown some distance off. Having two men at work with him, Mr. Robert Kearns jumped into a large canoe lying handy, and taking his two men with him, paddled off towards the wreck. They took off the Captain, the Engineer and a deck hand greatly scalded. Those who perished were the pilot, (James Keenan,) John McBride, formerly a keeper in the Penitentiary, and the boy. Mr. Robert Fisher and the other gentleman connected with the raft, fortunately, were uninjured. It is expected that those who escaped with serious injury will recover. Of the cause of the accident, we know nothing, and, if we did, it would not be right to mention it till after the inquest takes place, at which, doubtless, a full and careful enquiry will be made.

A melancholy accident occurred alongside the City of Toronto last Tuesday evening. The steamer had that day been dismantled, and the mate, Mr. Walter Fisher, left on board as ship keeper. His eldest son, a fine boy thirteen years of age ...... (fell overboard, drowned)

.... He had been about two months employed on board the steamer.....

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Dec. 4, 1847
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 4, 1847