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Steamer NILE and Steamer WISKONSAN in collision on lake Huron. Both boats considerably damaged.
Buffalo Courier (1847 casualty list)
March 17, 1848
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Sept. 4, 1847 - The WISKONSAN came in this morning bound down. In Lake Huron the NILE ran into her, making a perfect wreck of her larboard wheel house and part of the wheel.
Wednesday, September 8, 1847
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Steamer NILE, and Steamer WISCONSIN came in collision on Lake Huron, both boats considerably damaged. WISCONSIN returned to Buffalo. August 23, 1847.
Casualty List for 1847
Erik Hyle's private papers
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ANOTHER STEAMBOAT COLLISION
There has been another fearful collision on our lakes. The large and powerful steamboats NILE and WISKONSAN have had one of these costly and dangerous tilts at each other, which seriously crippled the WISKONSAN, and damaged the NILE considerably.
The particulars, as we have them from one of the passengers on the WISKONSAN, who with others, came down in the LONDON last evening from Detroit, are briefly these:
At about midnight last night, when the moon was shining bright and clear, the two boats met on Lake Huron, 40 miles above Fort Gratiot - the NILE bound up, and the WISKONSAN bound down. As they neared each other, the WISKONSAN shot across the bow of the NILE, when the latter struck her with great force, on the larboard side, at the wheel-house, cutting the guard completely through to the hull.
The consternation aboard the WISKONSAN was extreme, as it was expected at that time that she would probably go to the bottom. Her passengers were immediately transferred to the NILE, when the discovery was made that that boat had a hole stove in her bow as large as a hogshead, and was therefore in some danger herself. The passengers were all crowded aft, to keep her bow as high out of the water as possible, and taking the WISKONSAN in tow - for she had her larboard wheel crippled - they made their way to Palmer, on the St. Clair River, to repair damages.
When our informant left, the carpenters were busily at work upon the NILE, to enable her to proceed on her trip, and the WISKONSAN was fitting up to get down to Buffalo with one wheel, to be there overhauled.
The force of the concussion can be judged of from the fact that the massive wrought iron shaft of the WISKONSAN, 17 inches in diameter, was so badly bent as to be useless, her crank was broken. If the blow had not been thus mainly spent upon the large shaft, there is little doubt, but that the WISKONSAN would have been instantly sunk.
Truly, the frequent recurrence of these mishaps demands some remedy for such gross criminal negligence as must be the cause, in the majority of instances. What excuse can there be, on a moonlight night, on the broad Huron, for such an affair, as the above ?
Thursday, September 2, 1847
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Latitude: 44.640833 Longitude: -81.768055
- William R. McNeil
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