The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 16, 1848

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p.3 The Weather and the Season - On Monday last, the American Lake Steamer Niagara made in reality her last trip upwards to Oswego, where she stops all the winter. On Wednesday and Thursday last the small steamer Farmer made a trip to and from Brockville. The harbor and river are quite free from ice.....


On Friday night last a fearful storm of wind and rain began from the South West and continued with little intermission till Sunday morning.

About 2 o'clock on Saturday morning, the Schooner Canada, of Kingston, Capt. Thos. Davis, owner and commander, in attempting to get into Port Hope, ran ashore on Gull Island Reef, in about 7 feet of water and 5 rods from land. The Captain told us that he could easily have got into the Harbour if there had been a light on the Pier. On Saturday the gale increased in violence, and about 1 o'clock, P.M., the vessel began to break up. During the morning repeated attempts were made by the people of Port Hope, who lined the beach by hundreds, to open a communication with the hands on board, but they could not succeed. Shortly after 2 P.M., the Captain and Frederick Eccles, feeling that certain death awaited them if they remained, as the sea was continually breaking over the vessel, threw themselves into the Lake and reached the shore from which they were taken up insensible. Of those who remained on board Alexander M'Dowell and Solomon Hammond were good swimmers, but the former was afraid to venture, and the latter would not leave his brother, who could not swim. At 3 P.M. the gale was at its height, every sea going completely over the schooner, and shortly the three men (the two Hammonds and McDowell) dropped, one after another, into the lake and were drowned.

Some idea may be formed of the violence of the surf in which she lay, when we inform our readers that no means could be found to render assistance to those on board, although the vessel was only from 60 to 80 feet from the beach. A spectator informs us that the sight was truly distressing. So many anxious to assist making every effort, and in vain. The cargo consisted of 967 barrels of salt, owned by a couple of American Speculators from Oswego, and 1 1/2 tons of goods for Mr. J. Beatty, merchant, of this Town. Neither the vessel nor the goods were insured.

This (Monday) morning the bodies of the above unfortunate men were found. Two of them near Mr. Mackecknies, about eight miles from where the vessel stranded, and one near G.S. Boulton's.

The Canada was formerly a steamer owned and run by Mr. Richardson of Toronto. It was very old. [Star, Dec.15th]

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Dec. 16, 1848
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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. 16, 1848