The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 15, 1856

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p.2 The Atlantic Steamer & The Diver - In the account of the recovery of the safe, containing $50,000, from the sunken steamer Atlantic, published last week, some extraordinary revelations were made by the diver, which turn out to have been sheer fabrications. The account was copied from the Detroit Advertiser. Mr. Wells, one of the owners of the safe, makes the following statement:

"The Atlantic did not sink immediately after the collision, but her stern remained above water some six hours, till the passengers on the upper deck were saved by the propeller, and even some furniture was removed from between decks by a schooner some hours afterward. The idea that objects were seen with such minuteness in her cabin, is simply absurd. M. Malefort had invented a lamp, to be used by Green, the diver, below the surface, but he could never bring it into operation. It should be remembered that at the depth of ninety feet it is only "blackness of darkness," and the only way the diver was able to accomplish anything was through the sense of feeling. Having a diagram of the steamer, and the safe being in the stateroom adjoining the wheel-house, it was easily found. "In the cabin" everything is described as remaining "untouched by decay, and to all appearance, as if arranged by some careful and tasteful hand." No diver ever entered the cabin. The peril of going down perpendicularly to the deck was enough, without any attempt to enter the cabin, where, if the slightest entanglement of the air tube had occurred, it would have resulted in instant death, shows the absurdity of the statement. But, aside from the darkness at a depth of 160 feet, the divers have uniformly stated that everything was covered to the depth of several inches with mud or sand. Such an accumulation of soil over this vast steamer was one of the serious obstacles in raising her, which was attempted in vain. Had the bodies been as represented, they would have floated to the surface, and if they could have been seen, which was utterly impossible, they would have been found covered by the mass of deposit which had accumulated in every part of the steamer. If the diver communicated as facts the statement published by the Detroit Advertiser, it is a gross and wanton imposition."

Imports - 12, 14; Exports -

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July 15, 1856
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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 News (Kingston, ON), July 15, 1856