The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 5, 1878

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p.2 Serious Accident To A Kingston Sailor

As the schooner Speedwell was towing out of the harbour Saturday night, James Stinson, a sailor, who had been sent aloft to loose the fore gaff-topsail, fell from the pole to the deck, a distance of 12 feet, striking flat on his back. When picked up Stinson was insensible and remained so for half an hour. Capt. Ewart signalled the tug to return and Stinson was taken ashore, to the Washington Hotel, near the Northwestern elevator, where he was attended by Dr. Desaulniers, who was unable to tell what the real condition of the man was as he was greatly under the influence of liquor. Stinson passed a bad night and suffered considerably all day Sunday. It was thought last night he would die. Dr. Dewitt, marine hospital physician, examined Stinson and found him suffering from concussion of the brain and a fracture of the spine. His lower extremities are completely paralyzed and he is but partially sensible. The doctor is of the opinion that the man will probably die or should he by any chance live he will never be able to use his legs. Stinson will be removed to the hospital as soon as the weather will permit. It is said that Stinson was grossly intoxicated when he went aloft. The injured man is a resident of Kingston and is unmarried. Stinson was taken to the marine hospital this morning. Friends of Ewart say that he is unjustly censured by the Morning Herald. They say that Stinson shipped with him and agreed to go aboard at a certain time. Stinson did not come. Ewart then hired another man in his place. Stinson afterwards came aboard of the vessel drunk and although the mate put his bag ashore twice and ordered him ashore, he returned and persisted in going across the lake on the vessel. The mate did not order Stinson to go aloft and both he and one of the seamen tried to prevent him from going aloft. [Oswego Times, Dec. 2nd]

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Dec. 5, 1878
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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), Dec. 5, 1878