The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), Sat. , Dec. 8, 1849

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Marine Disaster and Loss of Life

The schooner Mohawk, Capt. Carmichael, from Chicago for this port, came out of the Welland canal early on Thursday morning, Dec. 6th, and reached this port, at about one o'clock on the morning of the of the 7th, the night being the worst of the season. The wind was blowing a gale from the West, North West, with a tremendous sea running, and the weather intensely cold. In attempting to make the harbor, under a double reefed foresail and jib, the Mohawk, as she reached the mouth of the harbor, and struck the current, was driven from her course by violence of the sea, and struck the East pier, when her masts went by the board, and the vessel drifted down out side the pier and went to pieces. The bow of the vessel, with a part of the wreck, went ashore at the East end of the pier immediately under the walls of Fort Ontario. There were seven persons on board, including one passenger, five of whom saved themselves by jumping the pier. Mr. Connor, the mate, was washed off by a sea, and afterwards rescued from the surf in a state of insensibility, but recovered.

Capt. Carmichael and a hand by the name of Parker were lost. Capt. Carmichael was one of the most energetic and skillful seamen belonging to this port and a universal feeling of sorrow pervades the city at his loss.

The Mohawk was owned by J. B. Morris Esq. , of this city, and was a sound vessel, having been rebuilt last season. She was deeply laden, having on board 8,000 bushels of wheat. Her policy of insurance expired on the first instant, and had not be renewed. There was an insurance of $5,000 on the wheat in the North Western office. There was also an insurance on the life of Capt. Carmichael for $500 in the American Mutual Life Insurance Company, of which E. C. Bancroft, Esq. , is the agent in this city. Capt. Carmichael leaves a wife and child. His body was found yesterday upon the beach about two miles below the city.

When the Mohawk made the Oswego light, coming in, the lights of a vessel were distinctly seen under her stern, for the safety of which much apprehension is felt here, as it is deemed extremely doubtful whether, with the direction of the wind and seas, she could have made the Sackets harbor pass.

Last spring a special insurrection was got up in Canada and a main section of the Welland canal blown up, not for the relief of Canadian thraldom, but of the Buffalo forwarders. We venture to promise that some similar affair will occur next spring unless we are fortunate enough to attract some little attention by these remarks.

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Sat. , Dec. 8, 1849
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
Richard Palmer
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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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Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), Sat. , Dec. 8, 1849