The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 11, 1857

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(missing pages 1 & 2)


We have to record today a most melancholy and fatal calamity, perhaps the most fatal that has occurred in the history of our town.

On Wednesday morning last, the 1st instant, nearly all the fishermen in town manned their boats, and sailed out into the lake to follow their usual avocation. A violent storm came on shortly after, but they ventured out some six or seven miles and cast their nets. They then made for shore, which all the boats but two, after much difficulty, succeeded in reaching. These two boats have not since been heard of, and it is feared that they and their occupants, nine in number, are all lost. In one boat were Mr. Wm. Edgecomb, his two sons, William and John, aged 13 and 11 respectively, and another boy, John Irvine, aged 13 years. This boat was owned by Mr. Edgecomb. The other boat was owned by Mr. Jex, and was occupied by Mr. Charles Kerr, John Newton, Charles Parker, and two lads, George and John Hudson, aged 15 and 17 years. Mr. Edgecomb leaves a wife and six children, besides the two sons that were with him. Mr. Kerr had a wife and six children; John Newton leaves a wife and two children, and Chas. Parker a wife and one child. The boys Hudson were the sole support of their aged parents.

Mr. Jex's boat was new, and had no name. It was 16 feet keel; the body was painted white, with red and yellow stripes, and black gunwales, inside red.

Mr. Edgecomb's boat was called "The Alma of Cobourg."

We would draw the attention of our contemporaries to these particulars, to enable parties at a distance to recognise the missing boats if they pick them up. We trust that the general grief and sympathy for the distressed relatives of the unfortunate sailors will show itself in liberal contributions for their support. We understand that a movement has already been made in that direction, and we are sure it will be responded to. The merciless winds and waves have shrouded from the view, perhaps for ever, the dear objects of their love, and now, to add to their grief, they depend for sustenance on the mere pittance of charity.

Since writing the above, the Town Council has resolved to ask the Mayor to call a public meeting of the citizens to take into consideration the best methods of rendering assistance to the destitute widows and orphans. We anticipate a large meeting and an expression of the sympathy and generosity of our townsmen. [Cobourg Sun, 8th]

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April 11, 1857
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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), April 11, 1857