The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 27, 1885

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(p.1 & 2 missing)



The schr. Lillie Hamilton, well-known here, foundered on Lake Michigan on Thursday last. Capt. William Slatter with seven men reached Milwaukee on Sunday in two small boats, worn and exhausted after their struggles. Captain Slatter told the story of the disaster and subsequent rescue of the crew by the barge Blue Pilot. The Hamilton was bound from Kingston to Milwaukee with a cargo of bulk salt. Thursday night she encountered a severe southerly gale at the foot of the lake, and she laboured so heavily in the seas that she sprung a leak. The pumps were manned and the leak was kept under control for some time, but as the seas increased in force, so did the water in the hold. All night long the men worked the pumps, but the water had gradually gained on them until about 4 o'clock, when the vessel began to settle and go down. The boats were cleared away and brought alongside and the men clambered into them with difficulty. Just as they were ready to push away Capt. Slatter rushed into the cabin when the water was waist deep, and secured the ship's compass. The boats were not more than 100 feet distant from the Hamilton when she made her plunge for the bottom of the lake. She went down head first, with her foresail and two jibs set. It was very difficult for the men to prevent the small boats from swamping in the heavy seas. They had to exercise every nerve and muscle to keep the boats out of the troughs of the immense seas. After about three hours of this kind of work the boats fell in with the barge Blue Pilot, Capt. Welsh. The castaways were taken on board and were treated with the utmost consideration by the crew of the Blue Pilot. Thursday morningwhen the vessel was off Milwaukee the boats of the schr. Lillie Hamilton were lowered, and manned by the crew of that vessel they pulled into port. The Hamilton was laden with 680 tons of salt, which was consigned to John Plankinton & Co. She was built at Port Burwell in 1874, rated B-1, and was owned by Molson's Bank, of Owen Sound. The value of the Hamilton was $6,500.

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Aug. 27, 1885
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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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Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 27, 1885