The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 22, 1851

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p.2 The schooner Wm. Penn, reported as capsized about ten miles up the lake, belonged at Kingston. Two of her crew were lost. The Captain and the remainder of her crew took the boat and made for the Canada shore, where they arrived in safety. A steamer from Kingston having the Captain of the Wm. Penn on board, put into this port yesterday in search of her. [Oswego Journal]

Propeller Monticello Wrecked.

Great Sufferings of the Passengers and Crew.

The Lake Superior Journal, of the 8th instant, has the following particulars of the loss of this steamer:

It becomes our painful duty to record the most perilous shipwreck that has ever occurred on Lake Superior, and having been a passenger on board the Monticello at the time, we are enabled to give all the particulars in relation to the loss of the vessel, and the hardships of the passengers and crew.

We went on board at the Ontonagon on the afternoon of the 25th ult. on her return from Fond du Lac.

We had been out half an hour when the firemen discovered the water rising around the floors of the engine. The main pump was put into operation, but it was soon discovered that the water was fast gaining on the pump, and preparations were made immediately for raising water by means of barrels and buckets. The passengers and crew worked steadily at the pumps, but the water continued gradually to gain on them. We had now been out about three hours, the wind and waves constantly increasing, when it was found there was little hope of reaching Eagle Harbor; the water had risen nearly to the fires and was fast gaining, notwithstanding all the exertion of those on board.

It was not long before the fires were reported out - the engines worked lazily for a short time, the clicking of the valves became faint and less frequent, and finally, like the dying struggle of a strong man, it ceased altogether.

The fires were kindled and extinguished several times. For two hours the waterlogged vessel drifted in before soundings could be had. In this region it was well known that the coast was rocky and dangerous, and the night was too dark to enable the pilot to distinguish one place from another.

A heavy sea rolled in upon the shore, and it seemed like madness to attempt to make a landing under such circumstances. Accordingly Capt. Wilson decided to come to anchor and endeavor to keep the vessel afloat till daylight.

Sometime before daylight the wind changed to the North and commenced blowing hard, directly upon the shore, and the sea increased rapidly, often times washing into the hatchways where the men were at work bailing, and it became evident to all that the vessel could be kept afloat only for a short time longer.

At five o'clock it was light enough to see that it was a bold rocky shore, against which the waves dashed high and furiously, but it was too late to chose a place for landing, and the captain ordered the anchors to be raised. Her bow swung round to the east, and in fifteen minutes she struck heavily on the solid rock, about 300 yards from the shore.

The largest of the two yawls on the lee side, was soon lowered, and with a line long enough to reach the land, the first and second mates, Messrs. Lucas and Barney, W.T. Westbrook and one of the crew started for the shore. The line was made fast to the shore and they commenced the far more difficult and dangerous task of returning.

By untiring exertions the passengers and crew were all landed at half-past eight. All were drenched in coming ashore, and were cold, hungry, and worn out by the fatigues of the night and morning.

After a few minutes the boat was again manned, and the wreck was again explored for provisions, and a few pounds of hard bread and part of a quarter of fresh beef, and some boiled beef were brought in. After having eaten this, as many as possible started for Eagle River, which was judged to be about 35 miles distant.

On the Tuesday following, Capt. McKay with the schooner Algonquin proceeded to the wreck and brought off the captain, crew and remaining passengers, and all that could be saved of valuable property.

The Monticello was owned by Col. McNight, of this place, and was insured for $14,000.


20th - Schr. Triton, Oswego, 180 bbls. salt, William Anglin.

Barge Rock, Montreal, 200 bbls. Liverpool Salt, H. & S. Jones.

Schr. Scotia, Hamilton, 2840 bush. barley and rye, 71 bbls. fish, 110 bbls. pork, James Morton; 231 bbls. flour, James Fraser.

Schr. Ann J. Marsh, Bear Creek, 19,161 Pipe and West India Staves, Calvin & Cook.

Str. New Era, Montreal, mixed cargo.

Str. Niagara, Oswego, mixed cargo.

21st - Str. Maple Leaf, Ogdensburgh, mixed cargo.

Str. Bay State, Ogdensburgh, mixed cargo.

Schr. Sidney, Port Erie, 160 tons coal, James Morton.

Schr. Robert Bruce, South Bay, 92 kegs butter, W. Bowen.


20th - Brig Breeze, Dunkirk, 1836 bars railroad iron.

21st - Str. Bay State, Ogdensburgh, 434 bags potatoes.

Schr. Lewis Goler, Oswego, 54,600 feet sawed lumber.

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Oct. 22, 1851
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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.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 22, 1851