The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Black Rock Gazette (Buffalo, NY), 25 Oct. 1825, page 2

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THE LATE GALE.-- The storm which we briefly noticed in our last, and which was of short duration at this place, was a tremendous gale on lake Erie. The steamboat Pioneer which left this port for Detroit on the 14th inst. came to anchor near Grand River on the night of the 15th, and rode the gale admirably well until Monday morning, when her anchors unfortunately lost their hold, and she was driven ashore. We learn that the schr. Phoebe was also beached near the same place, and that the schrs. Mercator, Neptune, Prudence, and William, are ashore at Cleveland, the William quite destroyed; the Minerva had come into Cleveland safe after the storm; the Young Amaranth rode out the gale off Black River; but the Huntington, which parted her cable at Cleveland, had not been heard of--fears are entertained that she is lost.

The following is an extract of a letter from a gentleman on board the Pioneer at the time of the disaster. It is due to Capt. Pease to state, that he was perfectly cool and collected, during the long time the boat remained so dangerously situated, and persevered to the last moment in making every exertion for the safety of the boat, and in paying every attention to the passengers and securing their baggage.

"Grand River, O. Oct. 17, 1825.

"After leaving Black Rock and getting on our course for Erie we had a fair fresh breeze which continued until we had nearly made Ashtabula, it then came about to the south, and Saturday about sunset we made this place wind blowing fresh from the west; there was so heavy a sea running that the captain judged it adviable to come to anchor, as he could not with what wood he had on board reach Sandusky against such a sea. He anchored about a mile from shore, and by 9 o'clock the wind came round northwest and a most tremendous heavy sea running all night; but the boat rode it like a duck. Next morning the wind died away a little and we were in hopes we should be enabled to get under way, but we were disappointed; it continued blowing very fresh all day, sea after sea breaking over he from stem to stern most furiously. We again hoped the wind would go down at 12 o'clock on Sunday night, but it blew very hard all night. She held on by her anchors during all this time extremely well until on Monday morning about 9 o'clock, when she dragged; the captain then set her engine to work, and found it eased her anchor very much, but the sea growing higher and higher, she kept slowly dragging until she struck, when the captain slipped his cable, up jib and endeavored to run her bows on, but she obeyed a heavy sea in preference to her jib, and went on broad side, where she now lies in about 3 feet of water. The passengers were all safely got ashore."

We have understood that the boat was not injured, but that it might perhaps be necessary from her situation to take out part of her machinery, before she can be got off. As the season is brought to near a close, it is not anticipated that she can make another trip this fall.

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Column 4
Date of Original:
25 Oct. 1825
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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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Black Rock Gazette (Buffalo, NY), 25 Oct. 1825, page 2