The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Fred Mercur (Propeller), U120513, 21 Feb 1884

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The following is the decision of the U.S. Local Inspectors in the recent prop. MERCUR investigation. It will be seen that the old and experienced navigator, Capt. Fred Pope is exonerated from all blame:
      Office of U.S. Local Inspector of steam Vessels,
      Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 20, 1884.
      We the undersigned, U.S. Local Inspectors of steam vessels, Buffalo N.Y., find in investigating the cause of the stranding of the stm. FRED MERCUR on Erie Peninsula, while endeavoring to make the harbor of Erie, on the afternoon of Nov. 15th 1883, during a heavy wind and snow storm. In carefully considering the testimony taken, we find the cause of said stranding was owing to neglect of Mate Peter McKinnon and 2d mate Wm. McCullom in not reporting soundings to Capt. Pope who was at his post directing the movements of the steamer previous to turning around for Erie harbor, and from that time up to the time of stranding, and we exonerate him from blame. We therefore revoke the license of Wm. McCullom, second class pilot, for gross neglect of duty as pilot in not reporting the soundings to Capt. Pope of the steamship FRED MERCUR, while attempting to enter the harbor of Erie, on the noon of November 15th, 1883.
      George B. Dickson,
      Robert Learmonth,
      Local Inspectors Steam Vessels.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      February 21, 1884 3-6

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William R. McNeil
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Fred Mercur (Propeller), U120513, 21 Feb 1884