The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 18, 1849

Full Text

(from bound volume of originals at Queen's University - Special Collections)



Chicago, Aug. 13th

Wilson of the Chicago Journal, who was passenger on the Empire State, gives the following particulars of her loss on Lake Michigan. She left Chicago at the usual time and shortly after leaving Sheboygan, she encountered a north wester, and at 3 1/2 o'clock in the morning, sprank a leak when about thirty miles from the Michigan shore and forty from South Manitou. The latter was endeavored to be reached, but she made water so fast that it was determined to beach her. She was put before the wind and barely reached the shore before sinking. She now lies in nine feet water, and it is feared she cannot be got off as she is badly broken. She is ten miles above the Sleeping Bear.

The Empire State left Chicago at her usual time, touching at Milwaukee and Sheboygan. She had on board 100 passengers. On Wednesday night the wind commenced blowing from the north-west, and before midnight increased to a gale - the waves beat with great fury against her larboard quarter, and at 4 1/2 o'clock she was discovered to have sprung a leak. The pumps were set at work, but the water gradually gained, until the larboard fire was put out and the firemen stood to their knees in water. At this time, when twenty five miles from land, it was determined to abandon the attempt to reach Manitou Islands, and she was headed for the shore, as the only alternative to prevent her sinking.

Both fires were so nearly extinguished that the engine made but six revolutions per minute. When a quarter of a mile distant from land the engine stopped, the jib was raised, and about 12 o'clock she struck the shore - about three miles below the Sleeping Bear, and nearly filled with water.

After remaining about twenty-four hours on the wreck, the passengers were taken off by the propeller Delaware and reached this city this morning.

Her guards were badly broken and her upper works materially damaged. The bolts which secures her arches to her hull, and the hull much twisted (sic).

Her mate is of the opinion that she cannot be got off. Capt. Hazard and her officers displayed great presence of mind, and to their unremitting exertions, the passengers owe their safety - particularly to Nelson Whaley, the engineer, and Woodbury, the mate.

[Detroit Advertiser]


Port of Kingston.

August 15th - Str. Ontario, Sackett's Harbor, gen. cargo.

Str. Bay State, French Creek, 105 chairs, Mr. Rice.

Aug. 16th - Schr. Ellen Clark, Amherstburgh, 3 bbls. pot ashes, 2 bbls. ashes, Macpherson & Crane; 29,350 staves, Calvin, Cook & Co.; 4000 feet walnut timber, to order.

Str. Cataract, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Aug. 17th - Schr. Perseverance, Oswego, 20 bbls. water lime, Oliphant & Watt; 12 bbls. pot ashes, McPherson & Crane; sundries.

Schr. Windago, Oswego, in ballast.

Str. Niagara, Oswego, gen. cargo.

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Aug. 18, 1849
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 18, 1849