The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 7, 1887

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Cleared - The schr. Clara White, 4,402 bushels of barley, Oswego; shipped by Moore.

A.H. Merrill, of Brockville, sold his new steam yacht Vesper to W.T. Gibbard, of Napanee.

Enquiries are being made in Chicago about the schrs. Morwood and Craftsman, both well known here.

The steambarge Albion has gone to pieces where she went ashore. The barge Ark still hangs together.

The Canada lumber company, located at Mississippi, will ship, per schr. White Oak, 150,000 feet of lumber.

It is expected that Mr. Pierce will build the new boat for Noonan & Bajus, and that she will be the fastest passenger craft on the river route.

The crew of the schr. Jessie Scarth, as soon as she foundered, took to the yawl, made paddles out of a ladder and reached the shore in safety.

Loading: The schr. Pride of America is loading lumber for Oswego and schr. Gearing barley for Oswego; schr. Folger, 7,600 bush. barley; schr. Katie, 5,000 bush. for Oswego freight 2 cents.

Arrivals: Schr. British Queen, Oswego, light; schr. Glenora, Duluth, 44,500 bush. wheat; schr. Gaskin, Duluth, 35,000 bush. wheat; prop. Glengarry, Duluth, 21,126 bush. wheat; schr. Philo Bennett, Oswego, 180 tons coal; prop. Canada, Duluth, 6,543 bush. wheat; str. Scotia, St. Catharines, 238,565 feet lumber; schr. Oliver Mowat, Sandusky, 514 tons coal.

Two weeks ago the schr. Oliver Mowat (Capt. Saunders) cleared for Cleveland. When a short distance from Charlotte she ran aground during a heavy fog and was considerably strained before being released. The accident would not have occurred for Capt. Saunders is a good mariner and knows the lakes well if a large sailor's needle had not got into the compass in some way. After the Mowat got out of trouble she was sailed to Sandusky, and it was found upon her arrival there that some water had got into her hold. She was loaded with coal for Swift, and on Sunday started for Kingston. She caught the big blow which proved disastrous to many vessels on Lake Erie between Ashtabula and Cleveland on Monday morning at 1 o'clock. Members of the crew say that it was the worst they ever experienced. In a short time the deck of the Mowat was filled with water and the pumps had to be pressed into service. All hands had to work them, and had no time to look after the canvas. The crew expected every moment to see the mast dismasted, and masts and rigging and sails carried away by the wind. They labored at the pumps for twenty hours, and at the end of that time there were nineteen inches of water in the hold. Part of the bulwarks had to be chopped away in order to let the water on the deck off. Early on Monday the ship reached Port Colborne minus a foresail, two jibs and a main gaff topsail. The schooner is now at Swift's wharf discharging her cargo and looks very hard. The mate states that the steambarge Blanchard which passed down yesterday to Ogdensburg with grain narrowly escaped foundering off Long Point, Lake Erie, during the blow.



But He Did Not Act As Though He Seriously Believed It.

[Chicago Inter-Ocean]

"Take a good look at her, inspector; I have a premonition that you'll never see her again."

The speaker was Peter Desbon, the first mate of the prop. California, and the person addressed was Inspector John W. Murphy, of the custom-house.

"Oh, pshaw!" replied Mr. Murphy, jocosely, "you've been drinking. What in the world makes you so nervous?"

"I don't know. But I've put this and that together, and in going out on her this trip I do so knowing that I am going to make my last run."

The man was terribly perturbed, and accepting the inspector's invitation he accompanied him to a saloon, and, though perfectly sober when they entered, Desbon soon grew hilariously drunk, and on leaving the saloon bid Inspector Murphy farewell, again insisting that the California would never make fast to a dock again. Whether Desbon's story was the result of a fevered fancy or not it would be difficult to say. Certain it is, however, that he took his last trip; that the California will never again make fast to a dock, and that Desbon's prediction was fulfilled.

What foundation the mate had to build his fears upon is not known. The vessel was fairly well loaded, and started out at 9 o'clock Saturday night with 20,000 bushels of corn and 591 barrels of mess pork on board. On Friday the Anchor line propeller Clarion, bound down, in trying to pass the California at Twenty-six street, struck her a glancing blow on the port quarter, shaking her up pretty well. By some it is thought that her timbers were started by the blow. If so it was not visible at the time, the only damage noticeable being the crushing in of a few of her after stanchions. The same day the Chicago board of marine underwriters raised the tariff on trip grain cargoes to Montreal to $2. Secretary Ranney told a reporter for the Inter-Ocean that the board did not desire to take any further risks on grain for Montreal. They sought to make the tariff practically prohibiting, as it was about time for a Montreal vessel to go down.

The cargo of corn, 20,000 bushels, was insured in the Boston marine insurance company for $11,600; P.D. Armour shipped 370 barrels of mess pork, on which there was an insurance of $3,500; the Chicago packing and provision company had 1,060 barrels of pork, the International packing company 74 barrels, and N.H. Silberhorn 50 barrels, all insured in the Boston marine for $3,474, and placed by Beckwith & Fleming.

He Acted Bravely.

[Detroit Free Press]

The opinion is expressed that if Captain Trowell had had been supported by his first officers and the rest of the crew there would have been no loss of life. It has been stated that only one boat could be lowered, but such was not the case. There were two boats lowered. The first, which should have taken the women, was taken possession of by eight of the crew. Two more of the crew jumped into the water and caught hold of the boat, but they were not taken in, and, after hanging on as long as possible, were forced to let go and were drowned. It is claimed by the men that were in this boat that they could not lift their companions into the boat, but this is a flimsy excuse. It is probable that the reason they were not taken into the boat was because it was feared they would overload it. The second boat that was launched was taken possession of by the first mate and two of the crew while the captain was in the cabin after the passengers. When he returned to the deck they were gone and the passengers and remainder of the crew were left to their fate.

It has been charged by one of the crew that the captain deserted his post. The man who makes this charge was one of those that rushed into the boat and left the poor women passengers. Capt. Trowell remained on the deck of his steamer until it sunk from under him and even then he, with the assistance of his brave engineer, who had manfully stood by him, succeeded in clearing a boat from the wreck and rescued the lady passenger that was saved and also the stewardess. Mrs. Connerton, the lady passenger, and also Mrs. Blood, the stewardess, are loud in their praise of the captain and engineer. From all the facts learned it is evident that Capt. Trowell stood at his post like a hero and did all in his power to save his passengers and crew.

Mrs. Richard Connerton and son Cornelius Connerton, of Detroit, were well known. The son was lost. She is quite aged, and her son was heir of a large property, amounting to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mrs. Connerton owns a large tract of platted land and other property in Chicago. She had been to Chicago to look after it, and her son and heir went along to familiarize himself with it. He was a well educated and accomplished young man.

Lost Hold Of Her.

S.A. Mills, engineer, in an interview at Toronto, says: "When the boat went down I was in the cabin with Mrs. Blood, the cook, and Miss Pappa, the cabin maid, intending to assist them. The other passengers and men were now at the cabin door. As the boat went down the water rushed into the cabin. I was hurled against the cabin roof and lost hold of Miss Pappa. I retained my hold on Mrs. Blood, and a moment later, as the smoke-stack broke, we got out of the cabin, and, seizing a piece of the wreck, were carried out upon the waters. Near us was the body of young Hazard, the cabin boy. He lay face downwards and was dead. Looking around we saw one lifeboat with two men in it. We shouted with the desperation of persons similarly situated. Our cries were heard by the men, who proved to be Capt. Trowell and Engineer Ellis. They carefully steered the boat through the wreckage and rescued us."

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Date of Original:
Oct. 7, 1887
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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), Oct. 7, 1887