p.1 To The Editor of the Iroquois Chief.
Sir, - I notice in the last number of "The Chief" a letter from Mr. William McAuslan, Steamboat Inspector, written for the (as he would wish to make your readers believe) purpose of explaining some discrepancy in his evidence before the Inquest held in connection with the explosion of the Steamer Hercules, and which I would let pass, did I not believe that other reasons induced him to publish that letter.
After a most patient investigation, during which every opportunity was afforded Mr. McAuslan to examin witnesses, and sift the matter to the bottom, the Jury rendered a verdict, the correctness of which every unbiased person admits; still Mr. McAuslan, not satisfied with his endeavors before the Inquest, would now lead the public to believe that some recklessness must be attributed to parties connected with the boat, from marks of the screw on the lever of one of the valves indicating a higher pressure of steam than permitted by the inspector; while it was given in evidence by the first Engineer, and satisfactorily explained to the Jury, that this valve was not in use, but that the other valve was altogether used, by which, from the connection, the steam could blow off from both boilers, and was amply sufficient. And the statement of Mr. McAuslan is plainly contradicted by the evidence of Mr. Davidson of Kingston, a disinterested person; so I cannot conceive what now induces Mr. McAuslan again to bring up this matter, unless it be a desire on his part to attach some blame to the owners or officers of the boat, even if indirectly.
While on this subject I must say that I am not surprised, from the prevaricating manner in which Mr. McAuslan gave his evidence, that discepancies should appear in it. And the jury were led to believe that a feeling, other than a sense of duty, prompted him in the course pursued by him during the investigation.
Morrisburg, 9th Nov., 1858 One of the Jury
The Trade of the St. Lawrence - 1/2 column [Quebec Herald, 13th]
p.3 David McCulloch, a sailor on board the schooner America, fell into the water between the vessel and Brown's Wharf, Hamilton on Wednesday night last week, and was drowned. He left a wife and one child.
p.4 H.B. Bull Esq., Coroner, held an inquest on Thursday at Hamilton on the body of a sailor, named David McCulloch, a hand employed on the schooner America, of Kingston. It appeared from the evidence that some time during the evening before he had been attempting to get some wood from a pile on the wharf, and, while doing so, lost his balance and fell between the wharf and the vessel. McCulloch is said to have been a sober and industrious man. A wife and one child living on Amherst Island, near Kingston, are left to mourn the untimely fate of the husband and father. The jury brought in a verdict of accidental death by drowning.