The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 1, 1857

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p.2 The schooner Andrew Stevens cleared on Wednesday last from Chicago for Liverpool direct, with a cargo of wheat.

Rideau Canal - break in canal, steamboats don't stick to schedule, should have their schedules published. [Perth Standard]



Eight Persons Killed

About half-past three o'clock yesterday afternoon, the city was alarmed by the loud report of an explosion on the bay, and the intelligence that the boiler of the steamer Inkermann had exploded, and that many lives were lost. Proceeding to the scene of the disaster, we found the ill-fated craft lying about a hundred yards from the end of Upton & Browne's wharf, sunk to her guards, with the whole after-part blown away, and the forward portions wrecked and broken in a most extraordinary manner. The engine and boiler were gone, the smoke pipe lay among the wreck, the foremast, wheelhouse, and the forward promenade deck alone remained of all the upper works, and the planking of the bows was torn away from the stem. A great iron cable, which formed a portion of the cargo, had been blown high into the air, and in falling had caught on the fore-topmast, and hung there a monument of the force of the explosion. The Inkermann had been discharging cargo of oats, at Upton & Browne's wharf during the day, and having some freight on board for St. Catherines, steam was got up, and all was made ready for departure for that place early in the afternoon.

The shock was tremendous, having the effect of an earthquake on the firmest buildings on the shore. The people on the wharf saw a column rising from the ill-fated boat, which broke and fell in scattered fragments over the surrounding waters. Many of the crew were thus thrown into the air, and yet, wonderful to say, escaped almost uninjured. The steward of the boat, Bryan O'Donnell, was lying reading in his berth and knew nothing till he found himself struggling in the water. The Captain (McBroom) was standing on the promenade deck, and was thrown six or seven feet in the air; in falling his boot struck a projection, and his leg was broken above the ankle.

Boats from the various vessels lying near and from Mr. Cotton's dredge were immediately in motion, and every exertion was made to rescue the unfortunate crew. Those who were floating were picked up, and the wreck was partly cleared in order to ascertain whether any remained under the debris. Two dead bodies were picked up and conveyed to Borst's wharf, and afterwards the remains of Mr. David Honeyman, the purser, a fine young man, were deposited there, he having died on his way to the hospital. Later in the day the miserable mangled remains of an unfortunate, with his head entirely blown off, were discovered in the wreck, and conveyed to Upton & Browne's. The two wheelsmen were saved and all the crew who were employed on the forward part of the vessel. There were two women on board, one the cook and the other a passenger, a sister of one of the firemen. They were picked up from the water and brought on shore by a boat from the ship Citizen of Erie, Captain Gleason, and it being considered dangerous to carry them far, they were accommodated in one of the buildings on Borst's wharf, where Drs. Bovell, Cotter and Arnoldi immediately attended them. Catherine Anne McCrea, of Beauharnois, the cook, was found to be scalded over her entire body, and to have her leg broken, while the other, Elizabeth McGill, had suffered much more from the shock and from the length of time she remained in the water. Neither is expected to recover.

The following is a list of the crew as taken from the pay list of the vessel, with the fate of each, so far as it has been ascertained:

1. - Captain William McBroom - leg broken, but likely to do well. At Russell's Hotel.

2. - David W. Honeyman, purser - died opposite the Bank of Upper Canada, while being conveyed to the hospital. His remains are deposited on Borst's wharf.

3. - __ Bibaud, pilot - among the dead.

4. - W. Doheny, first engineer, in hospital, burnt in face and back severely, hands slightly; has a severe scalp wound, which is not considered dangerous, however.

5. - Thomas Spence, second engineer; severely burned in face and hands, and also injured in the lungs by inhaling steam. His recovery is considered unlikely.

6. - Murty McMahon, wheelsman, almost unhurt.

7. - Robert Fitzimmons, wheelsman, missing.

8. - Julien Pare, of Lachine, wheelsman, saved with a few slight contusions.

9. - James Doolan, deck hand, a boy; was not on board, having missed his passage at Kingston.

10. - Mitchell Peto, deck hand; missing.

11. - Baptiste Sauvet, of Point Claire, deck hand, in hospital, likely to recover.

12. - Cyril Gauvin, of St. Ann, deck hand, in hospital, in a dangerous condition, having become comatose under the influence of severe wounds.

13. - W. Kelly, deck hand, in hospital, with lower extremities burned, but not seriously.

14. - Amable Lauzun, of the Coteau, deck hand, in hospital, likely to recover.

15. - J. McGill, of Kingston, fireman; missing. It is supposed that it is his body which is so mutilated as to make perfect identification impossible.

16. - Francis Birois, fireman, missing.

17. - John O'Meara, fireman, in hospital, severely burnt in head and face.

18. - John Brennan, fireman, missing.

19. - Bryan O'Donnell, steward, saved, with slight scratches.

20. - Patrick Strahey, cabin boy, missing.

21. - Catherine Ann McCrae, of Beauharnois, lying in a dying condition on Borst's wharf at 2 o'clock this morning.

The above were the crew, the following the only passenger:

22. - Elizabeth McGill, of Kingston, same as last.

The name of Samuel Walsh was on the pay list, but as his account was closed it does not appear that he was on board at the time. There are various statements of the number of persons on board, one survivor saying there were 22, others 24, and others 25. We can only make out twenty names from the pay list, and one passenger, as being there at the time of the accident. It is possible that there were others, but we are inclined to think not. Of the twenty-one nine are out of danger, four are injured, with but slight hopes of their recovery, four are dead, of whom one has not been identified, and there are four others to be accounted for. It is hoped that one or two of the last-named class may have escaped, although we have not been able, notwithstanding the most diligent enquiries, to discover them in the city.

The Mayor was promptly on the spot, and made all the arrangements for the tendance of the wounded and the care of the dead. The Chief and Deputy Chief of Police were active in their duties, and Doctors Hallowell, Bovell, Cotter, Arnoldi, Wright, Richardson, Aikins, Dixie (of Brampton), and Bethune, were most assiduous in their attendance on the wounded.

The inquest has been called for noon today, at the City Hall, Dr. Scott being the acting Coroner.

The Inkermann was converted into a propeller last year, at Kingston, from the hull of a river barge. She was a strong, well-constructed vessel, of about 200 tons, or 3,000 bbls. capacity. Her engine (high pressure) was old, having formerly been used in the Ireland, but her boiler was new, having been put in last winter. She was owned by Donald McIntosh & Co., and Mr. Morton, of Kingston, was valued at $15,000, and was not insured.

She sailed from Montreal for Toronto and St. Catherines, on Saturday, 23d instant, with the following cargo: - 5,422 bushels of oats, shipped by Renand & Bro., and consigned to J. Lafreniere, Toronto, their agent here. For St. Catherines, Jno. Junkin, Jr. & Co., 29 crates crockery; McGiven & Co., 350 boxes glass; J.R. Benson, 3 chains and 2 anchors. The oats were discharged at Upton & Browne's wharf, as we have previously mentioned. [Globe]

p.3 Port of Kingston - Imports - 28-30.

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June 1, 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), June 1, 1857