The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), May 24, 1878

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Captain Joel Tyler Had Narrow Escape

Capt. Joel F. Tyler, whose death occurred yesterday was one of the oldest vessel captains on the lakes. He was born at North Haven, Conn. , may 18, 1802, and was the son of Edward Morris Tyler. He came to Oswego in the spring of 1805. We have not the exact record but as near as we can learn he first sailed about the year 1820. On Sept. 23, 1828, he married May Carter, daughter of Samuel Carter, with whom he lived nearly 52 years. His wife died July 30, 1875.

In 1832, while commander of the schooner Caroline, owned by J. T. Trowbridge, Captain Tyler had a narrow escape from drowning, and suffered some of the severe hardships incident to a mariner's career. On the 2d of December, 1832, the Caroline left Oswego at 10 p. m. bound for Ogdensburg, with a load of merchandise. At midnight, when about 12 or 15 miles from Oswego, the Caroline was capsized by a snow squall. Capt. Tyler was in his berth at the time and with difficulty escaped as the water rushed in.

The small boat at the time was unlocked from the upper tackle and hung by the lower one under water. When Capt. Tyler got aft he crawled down on the stern stanchions and loosened the boat. It came to the surface bottom up. While trying to right her Capt. Tyler narrowly escaped drowning and was rescued by a seaman named Baldwin.

Capt. Tracy Cronwell, not living here, was one of the crew of the Caroline. he succeeded in securing the small boat and bailing it out with a bucket. One of the crew was missing. The captain and the remainder of the crew and two passengers, five in all, took to the boat. it was a freezing cold night and all were wet and they knew not which way to go. They tried to return to Oswego but could make no headway. They finally landed on the Real Ducks, just as day was breaking. The snow was five or six inches deep. Capt. Tyler was bareheaded, had no coat and no boots, and suffered much from cold and exhaustion. They found a shanty which sheltered them, but found no food. Afterwards they discovered a vessel under lee of the islands and were taken aboard of her and to Cape Vincent. This was the schooner Huron, Capt. Eno. The Caroline floated around the lake for several days and was subsequently towed into Chaumont Bay on Christmas eve. She was righted and pumped out and her cargo taken out during the winter.

In 1833 and 1834, Capt. Tyler was sailing master of the passenger steamer, United States, under Capt. R. J. Van De Water. In 1839-40, he commanded the schooner Hudson, owned by Truman Wyman and still later the schooner Fulton owned by Baldwin and Johnson. he retired from active service about the year 1862. The deceased was the father of Capt. John Tyler, Harbor Master at New York and R. D. S. Tyler of Detroit, and Mrs. S. Randall of this city. Capt. John Tyler will be here to attend the funeral tomorrow.

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May 24, 1878
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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.
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), May 24, 1878