The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 10 Dec. 1829, page 2

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Storms--Lake Disasters.--On the 17th ult., a very severe storm was felt at Buffalo. The water rose very high, the swells passing over the beach above the light-house. A school-house was moved 100 rods from its foundation, and several docks and warehouses were injured, though slightly.

The schr. Dunkirk was beached and entirely lost above Cattaraugus, cargo, slat and dry-goods, principally lost.

The Conneaut is on shore above Erie.

The Fair-Play is on shore, and lost, below Cattaraugus.

The Morning Star is supposed to be lost.

The Young Lion ashore at Portland, cargo saved.

The following extracts are from the Cleaveland Herald of the 3d instant--

"The steam-boat William Penn, on her downward passage a few days since, broke the flange of her water-wheel, and has been compelled to lay up at Fairport, mouth of Grand River.

"The schr. Macedonian, Captain Foster, was wrecked on the Eastern Sister, one of the cluster of islands between the mouth of Detroit River and Put-in-Bay. The following are the circumstances, as nearly as we can obtain them:--

The Macedonian left the mouth of Detroit River on Sunday, the 22d ult., the wind from the south, and weather intensely cold. When abreast of the Middle Sister, a squall struck them from S.W., which carried away their foresail, threw her down so as to discharge her deck loading, after which she put about for Detroit River.--Before they could reach the mouth of the river, the wind again shifted, and blew a hurricane from the north. The vessel now became ice-logged; the decks were covered fore and aft with ice, from one to two feet thick; the jib-sheets were frozen fast amid-ship; there was not a sheet or stay that would render in the blocks, and the only way to put about was to wear ship. This was done, and they shaped their course, as nearly as the frozen situation of their sails and rigging would permit, for Put-in-Bay. In the afternoon of Monday, in endeavoring to run to windward of the Eastern Sister, the heavy sea which was running drove them on the island, and those on board were compelled to see her thrown upon the rocks by swell after swell, so frozen and immovable were the sails. She at length rested where the waves made constant breach over her.

"Now came the moments of terror! There were eleven persons on board. Some prayed, some swore, and others stood mute, meditating what should be done. One, seemingly experienced in such disasters, threw himself from the deck, and after being carried as near the shore as a wave could take him, would cling to the rocks to prevent the undertos [sic] from carrying him back, until the next advancing surge could help him on his journey. In this way he reached the land. Others followed his example. One man would have been lost in the attempt, but for the assistance afforded him by a more athletic companion in trouble. In this manner ten of the eleven on board had reached the shore, when night began to fall but no persuasion could induce the one left to try the experiment. By means of some [tin]der, which had been taken ashore in a tight horn, a fire was struck in a log house; which, but for this circumstance, might never have sent forth another smoke. A barrel of fish was also secured, which had worked from the deck of the vessel. The fish were thrown upon the coals awhile, and then eaten.

"The shouts of him who had remained on board, were heard at intervals through the night, as he raised his voice above the storm. At length the lingering day-light came, and he was still holding on upon the wreck. He was now persuaded to make the attempt, and reached the shore, though so exhausted he was unable to stand. The storm abated in the forenoon, so much that they were able to get a barrel of hard-bread form the wreck, and on Tuesday it became so far moderated that the small boat was enabled to go over to Sandusky Bay.

"Messrs. Merwin, Giddings & Co., of this port, have very generously sent the schr. Minerva, doubly manned, with extra anchors and, cables to aid in getting her off, or at least to secure her cargo, which consists principally of White Fish.

"Since the above was in type the following vessels have arrived:

"Schr. Telegraph, Detroit, Gurriere, Minerva, and Sloop Wm. Tell.

"The William Tell, arrived this morning from Detroit, brought the crew rigging, and such of the freight of the schr. Macedonian as could be saved.

"The Detroit, Capt. Lee, arrived from St. Joseph's, for which port she left here on the 10th ult. Her log book shows the trip to have been most severe, having lost most of her sails, spars, 7c. On the 24th ult. during a tremendous gale at night in Lake Huron, a hand, by the name of James Man, was washed from the bow-sprit, while stowing the jib. Another one washed from the same place, was taken in at the main chain.

"The sloop Savage, Captain Hinckley, it is feared, is lost, she having left St. Joseph's soon after the Detroit, and not since heard of.

"The schr. Liberty, Captain Macaby, cargo iron, was driven ashore on Point au Pla [?] island on Monday, the 23d ult. The crew encamped on shore for the night. In the morning the vessel was discovered two or three miles from land, and on reaching her, found to be nearly filled with water. In a short time she went down in 4 fathom water. The crew are yet on Point au Pia, hoping to secure something from the wreck, when the weather will permit."

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Column 2-3
Date of Original:
10 Dec. 1829
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Dave Swayze
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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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Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 10 Dec. 1829, page 2