The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Western Herald (Sandwich, ON), Friday, July 22, 1842

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A most distressing Steam Boat accident has occurred on Lake St. Louis. We copy the annexed account from the Montreal Courier.

Melancholy Loss of Life. -- It becomes our painful duty to record one of the most distressing casualties which has occurred in the Province since the introduction of steam on the St. Lawrence. The high-pressure steamer SHAMROCK, while between Lachine and Pointe Claire on her way to Kingston, about 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, burst her boiler, and her bows being blown out by the explosion, she went down head foremost. -- There were on board of her at the time about 120 persons, of whom 48 were taken up unhurt by three barges in tow, and 18 were conveyed to the Montreal General Hospital, wounded, -- 54 remain to be accounted for. Of the 18 conveyed to the hospital, one has died under the amputation of both legs. The passengers were composed of English, Irish and Scotch; of whom the English are supposed to have suffered most from being in the fore part of the boat. The first engineer, who was saved, declared that he has no other consciousness of the transaction than that the explosion took place, and that he afterwards found himself on board one of the barges, the interval between those events, being to his mind, a perfect blank. Much money is said to have been lost, the emigrants being of a superior description. Early yesterday morning, Mr. Jones, the Coroner, repaired to the spot and proceeded to the wreck, which he found with the hind part of the stern alone above water. Suspecting that some bodies might be in the cabin, he caused it to be burst open, when the corpse of a female was drawn out. After giving all the necessary directions, and performing the melancholy duty of ordering a number of coffins to be made at Lachine, that officer returned to town yesterday, but is to repair to the spot today. We think it probable that this disastrous event will occasion some Legislative enactment against the use of high-pressure engines.

The SHAMROCK belonged to Messrs. Atkinson, Matthie & Co., of this city. -- Rumor grossly exaggerated this calamity, declaring on Saturday evening that there had perished one hundred persons, and yesterday, augmenting the loss to one hundred and fifty. Such are the particulars which we have been able to learn; in which, however, there may be, as usual on such occasions some error; but we have most of them from an authentic source.

Since writing the above, we have been furnished by the owners of the unfortunate steamer with a list of the number of passengers on board at the time of the accident, as well with the names of those missing, the latter we give below:

Cloverdale, 8 in family -- 6 lost. Hannelly, 1 in family -- 1 lost. York -- 3 in family -- 3 lost

Thackery, 3 in family -- 2 lost. Richards, 1 in family -- 1 lost Pierson 15 in family -- 9 lost

Connor, 2 in family -- 2 lost. Wall, 2 in family -- 1 lost. Kavs 1 in family -- 1 lost

Watson, 6 in family -- 5 lost. Ross, 1 in family -- 1 lost. Hugill 2 in family -- 1 lost

Brickton, 2 in family -- 2 lost. Rooney, 1 in family -- 1 lost. Larkin, 2 in family -- 2 lost. Cousins, 9 in family -- 8 lost. Peirson, 3 in family -- 1 lost. Johnson, 2 in family -- 2 lost.

McCarty, 1 in family -- 1 lost. Bailey, 5 in family -- 3 lost. Smart, 1 in family -- 1 lost.

Jos. Ferguson, 2 in family -- 2 lost. Jas. Ferguson, 2 in family -- 2 lost.

M'Williams, 2 in family -- 1 lost. TOTAL 58 LOST.

The Captain was the last person who left the boat, and at the risk of his life swam out a considerable distance and succeeded in saving some of the passengers from drowning.

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Friday, July 22, 1842
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William R. McNeil
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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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Western Herald (Sandwich, ON), Friday, July 22, 1842