The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 25, 1855


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The Treasure Chest of the Atlantic

The New Haven Journal publishes the following interesting extract from a letter written by a gentleman in Canada West to a resident of New Haven, giving an account of the attempts which are now being made to recover the money that was lost in the steamer Atlantic, on Lake Erie, three years ago:-

"You no doubt have heard of the many unsuccessful attempts to obtain the money chest lost with the steamer Atlantic three years ago - said to contain $60,000. The statute, I believe, limits the claim of ownership over property thus lost to three years. In this case the time limited expired on the 20th instant, and Green, the celebrated submarine diver, reached here, on the 21st, in the canal boat schooner Yorktown, Captain Patterson, on his way to the wreck 25 miles distant. They returned yesterday, and being well acquainted with Capt. Patterson, I obtained the following account from him:-

"At about ten o'clock (says Capt. P.) on the 24th, all being ready, Green descended by means of a line, which having a grapple on the end had become fast to something below.

He was dressed with three pairs of flannel drawers, three shirts, also flannel; three pairs of woolen pants, three coats, and three pairs of woolen stockings, surmounted by his submarine armor; on his feet he had a pair of stogy shoes, with a lead sole 1/2 or 5/8 of an inch thick, and a belt of 80 pounds of shot around his body to sink him, (and the breast piece of the armor cannot weigh less than 50 pounds.) Taking hold of the line he descended, finding it perfectly light, so that he could see to the depth of 60 feet, when it grew dark, and for the balance of his fearful journey amid the caverns of the deep, he was guided solely by the line, until at the depth of about 140 feet, when he struck bottom, or something which he soon made out to be the wheel-house of the ill-fated boat; groping along, he slid on the hurricane deck, from thence to the guards of the boat; by poking around he discovered the precise position of the boat, and found himself not far from the sought-for-office, and made fast the end of a line which he had carried down with him to a staunchion near the gangway, and giving the signal he ascended, carrying with him a piece of the wheel-house which he had secured, (a piece of which about 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick, was sawed off and presented to me by the Captain of the Yorktown.) He had gone down in all 152 feet, and remained just 40 minutes.

After resting he again descended, having first partaken of a hearty meal without removing his dress, save the head piece. His excitement was intense at his great success thus far, and when he descended the second time he was quite hot, (the day was intensely hot.) Descending by his second line he stood upon the deck; feeling his way along, he soon reached the "third" window, which, being unbroken, he shattered it, and reaching in his hand, at last laid it upon the much coveted safe, just in the position which it had been described by him. Not being able to reach far enough to make his line fast, he again ascended for a hook to hook through the handles; reaching the deck he made known his success and requirement, and as no hook was ready, sat down until one could be secured to a line. As they were about ready, he rolled over, saying he was sick. They stripped him and did all in their power for him, but were finally obliged to buoy the lines and make sail for this place for medical attendance. They reached here at noon yesterday, and two physicians were immediately called, who expressed their opinion that he could not live; however, they labored faithfully with him, and at night pronounced him better, and this morning, although not out of danger, it is thought he will live, and is in a fair way for a speedy recovery. He says if his life is spared he will yet be the owner of that chest. He will no doubt be more cautious in future how he makes a dive when he is warm and on a full stomach. His first exclamation on his second ascension was, "I touched the gold."

The Ottawa Ship Canal - [Quebec Colonist]

Steamboat Notice - passengers on Royal Mail Line pay half price to Provincial Fair at Cobourg.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Sept. 25, 1855
Local identifier:
KN.19907
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 25, 1855