The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 29, 1868

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p.2 The Wolfe Island Canal - The completion of the deepening of this canal has been effected, and the result is highly satisfactorily. On the first proximo the ferry boats will make three trips daily to Cape Vincent.

Gunboats - The gunboat Constance left this afternoon for Toronto, and the Rescue took on board her coal at Swift's wharf this morning.

The Regatta - Those interested in aquatics will be glad to learn that the proposed regatta on the Dominion day is likely to prove a success, three or four boats having already been entered, and others are on the point of being so. There is also an expectation of one or two boats from Brockville taking part in it, and considering that the idea of the race was only seriously entertained late on Saturday last, the prospects are all that can be expected. The following is the course marked out for the boats:-Start - anchorage off the Queen's Wharf, to buoy off Garden Island, to buoy off Cedar Island, to buoy off Murney Tower, then to starting point, then to buoy off Murney's Tower and back to starting buoy, Queen's wharf.

The following boats are entered: Pride of the Wave entered by H. Cunningham, Dreadnought entered by J. Wilson, Electric entered by Jas. Adams, Confederation entered by J. Cockburn.


The following is a corrected version of the statement made by Mr. T.B. Chase, one of the survivors of the Morning Star, so far as relates to the melancholy fate of the Misses Patchin:-

I was asleep at the time of the collision; got up immediately and dressed. Went to my door, and as I stepped out the Misses Patchin were at their door, and asked me, "What is the matter?" I replied, "I do not know, but think we have run down a schooner," and that I hoped it was nothing serious to our boat, and that I would go and find out and tell them at once. I then went out of the cabin door at the stern, passed round on the starboard deck, and saw the Courtland just clear of the bows of the Star. Went down to the engine room and asked Watson what was the matter, etc., as you have stated it; went forward and looked down into the forecastle, but saw no water. Then went up stairs and told the Misses Patchin and others that as near as I could learn we were all right, but would keep watch, and if anything was wrong would let them know at once; went again out of the cabin door and looked for the Courtland, and as I went forward I saw her stern bringing up against the Star's wheelhouse. Stood some time and saw it grinding into the side of the Star. Heard a man call out from the Courtland, "Are you sinking?" A reply was made from our pilot house, which I could not understand; then the same voice called out, "If you ain't going to sink I want to come aboard, for we shall go down in twenty minutes." The reply was "The water don't come up to the top of your spars; hang on and you will be all right." I then went down to the engine room a second time and said to Watson, "Is not this a pretty serious business?" He replied "It is for somebody, and will be for us unless we can get away from that vessel." I said that our wheel must be ground up. He replied in effect that the wheel must be used up, but still he thought we were not in great danger. I asked him, as I did at first, if we were taking water? He said "Yes." Said I, "Pretty fast?" He said, "Pretty fast, but that they could keep it down."

I then went up and told the Misses Patchin and others that we were likely to be in serious danger unless we could get clear of the Courtland, and that they better get out their life-preservers. The oldest Miss P. was dressed - the youngest was in her night clothes, with a shawl around her shoulders. The younger one, whose name I learn was Minnie, asked me if I was a sailor. I replied, "No; that I was a passenger only." She said that they were alone and did not know what to do, and if I would show them she could not thank me enough. I then showed her how to put on and use her life preserver. The elder sister watched her closely and imitated her in putting on the preservers, but said little or nothing. Minnie then asked me if I could swim. I told her I could. She then said, "May I stay by you?" and took hold of my arm with both hands. I told her that so far as I was able I would surely give her my assistance, but I hoped we would not come to that; to keep perfectly calm, and such like directions. In fixing her life preserver on she said, "You see I am not dressed; had I better put on my dress? I do not know what to do on such occasion." I advised her to put on her dress. At this point the oldest sister said, "If we are in danger would not the captain blow the whistle?" I replied that doubtless the captain would notify us when he thought we were in danger, and that I would go again and see if I could find out our real situation. I then left them standing near the stateroom door, Miss Minnie going towards it as though to put on her dress as I had advised.

Went a third time below; spoke to Watson, "Are we making water fast?" He said, "Yes." Just then some one came along and called for help to throw pig iron overboard; went forward with a view to help do it, and noticed the deck sinking forward; looked into the forecastle and saw the water rushing in as though the entire larboard bow was gone. I went at once to Watson and told him that we should go down in less than one minute. He put his head out of his side window and looked forward, and said, "My God, that's so!" and left the room. We went together to the larboard cabin stairs, when I lost sight of him. I went to my room and put on my life preservers. The ladies and men were alike provided with preservers, and, so far as I know, had them on properly. I told them the boat would go down in one minute and the sooner we got off and away from her the better. The ladies were more calm and collected than most of the men. There was no shrieking or fainting, but all went out to the outside deck through the larboard cabin door, and hesitated a moment to get over the stern. I passed through the crowd and got over the netting, and found that the bow had settled; it was much like climbing down a ladder to the guard or lower deck. Called out to those above that it was not difficult to get down there, and come on. I stood on the outside edge or bar of the lower deck at that time. Turned round face away from the boat, fixed my life preservers under each arm and jumped in feet foremost. When I came above water again I found some of the ladies in the water very close to me, and others came immediately, so that four or five were close together.

I did not see the boat again, but heard her go under within a few seconds from the time I rose to the surface. Neither myself nor the ladies near me were drawn down by the boat, but we were whirled rapidly round by the eddies. So far as I saw after the eddies had ceased the persons in the water still held their life preservers, but some were out of place, being drawn round over the wearer's back or shoulders. The elder Miss Patchin, or a lady I supposed to be her from the colour of her dress, was assisted by some man near her to a box, which I think she grasped with her hands. The younger one, or a lady I supposed to be her, in a black dress (it was too dark to recognize countenances easily, especially of persons nearly strangers,) was very near me and I helped her to replace one of her life preservers under her arm. She spoke several times about her sister, wished she was with her sister, and such expressions, during the first fifteen minutes. A cabin door floated near us about half an hour after we went into the water. In the meantime the water, which was at first very comfortable, had become intensely cold, and when this door was placed partly under her, her head and right arm being well up on it, she did not appear to be able to grasp it, and laid quite still on it, but with her head out of the water. Soon a severe squall came up, and in the rain I was separated from the rest of the survivors and was not within seeing distance of any one again until daylight.

This is the story of what I saw in connection with the wreck of the Morning Star so far as other persons than myself are concerned.

p.3 Port of Kingston - Arrivals & Departures - 29.

Vessels Through the Welland Canal - June 29th.

ad - for Regatta to take place on 1st July.

ad - Excursion - The Tug Ellen Jeffers, Capt. E. Bass, will take excursionists to see the Regatta on July 1st.

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June 29, 1868
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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.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 29, 1868