The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Friday, May 24, 1867

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The Propeller Wisconsin Disaster

The steamer "Watertown" yesterday brought further information of the dreadful disaster to the Northern Transportation Co.'s propeller "Wisconsin," near Grenadier Island on Tuesday. Our account of the disaster has been substantially correct, with the exception that the passengers reported as saved, were rescued by means of a rope from the shore, the vessel's head when she was run ashore being only 30 yards from the bank. The great loss of life, as we stated, occurred when the first boat was launched, by the excited passengers filling and swamping it. The captain, whose watch it was on dock, was remarkably cool and self-possessed, and exerted himself as far as he was able to rally his panic-stricken crew, and save the passengers. Had the passengers not been so rash as to rush immediately towards the boats, in all probability no lives would have been lost, as there was time enough after the vessel was run ashore to save all by the means of the ropes.

On Wednesday evening the steamer "Watertown" made another trip to the scene of the wreck, and carried back seven more of the drowned bodies - making 14 in all that have been recovered. It is supposed that even more than 25 persons lost their lives on that sad occasion. A few of the bodies found had floated ashore on Grenadier island, but many of them were brought up by the grappling irons. The party is still at work dragging the locality of the disaster for the bodies of the remainder of the missing passengers and crew. Among the bodies as they low now in the freight house at Cape Vincent pending the result of the Coroner's Inquest, which opened there yesterday, are those of the three daughters of Mr.. Chisholm of Chateaguay, C.E., who, as we stated yesterday, has lost besides these a wife and a son. The bodies of the first and second engineers, and of the first mate, are still missing, though they are known to have been lost in the first boat.

Yesterday, a number of the passengers who were among the fortunate saved, reached Kingston in the steamer "Watertown," and pursued their journey westward on the Grand Trunk Railway. The could not be induced again to face the dangers of the water. Several of the passengers, however, took passage on the next propeller of the N.T. Co's. line.

The propeller "Wisconsin" is a total wreck. She is insured, and her owners are, therefore, at no serious loss.

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Friday, May 24, 1867
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Friday, May 24, 1867