The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of Oswego (Propeller), sunk by collision, 12 Jul 1852


Description
Full Text

Propeller CITY OF OSWEGO, sunk by collision with steamer AMERICA, on Lake Erie. Property loss; vessel $25,000, cargo $45,000, and 14 lives
      Buffalo Morning Express
      December 25, 1852 (1852 casualty list)

      . . . . .

      Cleveland, July 13. - The steamer AMERICA which left this port last evening came in collision with the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO, about 17 miles below here. The propeller went down in about ten minutes after the collision. Fifteen or twenty lives are reported lost from the propeller. The AMERICA returned to port this morning considerably damaged.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, July 13, 1852

      . . . . .

      The following is a list of those known to be lost on the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO - Wm. Harrison, second mate; Mrs. Jno. Green, aged 22 years, who was moving from Oswego to the west; Adelia Green, a child of Mrs. Green, aged 3 years; Mrs. Miles Hotchkiss and daughter, of Oswego, who were on their way to Detroit; Mrs. James Callatham and three children, of Oswego; Miss Amanda Wise, of Oswego, aged 14; James Pheeney, of Cleveland; Mrs. Skinner, aged about 60, whose place of residence is unknown, her body was picked up immediately and brought back to Cleveland by the AMERICA, and coroner Schueh held an inquest on it: The jury's verdict was that the deceased came to her death in consequence of a collision between the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO and the steamer AMERICA.
      The propeller was insured to the amount of $18,000, and was estimated to be worth $22,000. The Steamer AMERICA arrived this morning from Cleveland. She goes up the creek to Bidwell & Banta's dry-dock, to be repaired.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, July 14, 1852

      . . . . .

      PARTICULARS OF THE COLLISION BETWEEN THE STEAMER
      " AMERICA " AND THE PROPELLER " CITY OF OSWEGO."
      ----------------------------------------------------
We take the following from The Cleveland Plain Dealer of Tuesday evening: The loss of life as ascertained, is as follows:
      Mrs Ann Green, (wife of John Green) of Oswego, aged 22;
      Miss Amanda Wise of Oswego, aged 14;
      Mrs. Miles Hotchkiss and daughter, of Oswego;
      Mrs. James Callaghan, wife and three children, of Oswego.
The passenger list of the boat being lost, the names of course, are not given in full. No one on board the AMERICA was injured. She returned with the passengers saved, arriving here about 3 o'clock this morning. She brought the body of an elderly lady, supposed to be Mrs. Skinner, who took passage on the propeller from Oswego. The remains were made the subject of a coroner's inquest, at nine o'clock this forenoon, at which time the following essential evidence relative to the sad calamity was elicited.
      Capt. Bartholomew testified that he is captain of the AMERICA. She left port about twenty minutes to ten - that at the time of the collision, second mate was on watch, and that it was a starlight night - that the boat sunk in about 18 minutes after the collision.
      Samuel Hart sworn: Am first mate of the AMERICA, and was in bed at the time of the collision. No knowledge of the propeller's approach. There were lights on the AMERICA when I turned in and came out. We were running about twelve miles an hour; should think propeller struck in larboard bow. Our gangway boards and aft hatches were thrown overboard to the rescue. I saw the deceased for the first time on the deck. Persons were rolling her upon a barrel. The night was not stormy; the smallest yawl could have stood the sea.
      Capt. Wm. Williams: Captain of the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO; was coming up; ran into 13 or 14 miles, I think, from Cleveland; the lake was smooth and there was starlight. At the time of the collision it was the first mates's watch. I heard the bell toll; saw the AMERICA coming apparently about two or three lengths off; tolled the bell again; hailed her twice nobody answered, judging from the foam at her bow, she was going at a rate of ten or twelve miles an hour, the propeller was moving at about three or four miles an hour, as the engine had failed from five o'clock yesterday morning; was in bed at the time; came out and saw that a collision was inevitable and ran aft. The AMERICA struck once, rebounded and struck again.
I heard Capt. Bartholomew on deck doing what he could to help us. I instantly turned my attention to getting out our boats. I took charge of one, Mr. Perry of the other, picked up some of the passengers and put them on the AMERICA; returned and picked up deceased who was floating on the water; saw no more bodies floating; think there was some in the propeller now, think there was some fifteen lives lost, among them the 2nd. mate and one fireman; lost passenger list, papers and money; believe collision could have been avoided by the AMERICA keeping to the right as is the custom, or by stopping her engine; saw no one on deck but the man at the wheel; he did not answer my hail; when we first saw her were going S.W. half W.; turned to avoid her.
      Wm. S. Wilcox; sworn - Am first mate of the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO; was on watch; saw the light of the AMERICA first four or five miles, perhaps, ahead. We were heading for each other. Told steersman to keep out more on one side; when we struck we were steering W. by S. She seemed to be constantly coming towards us. When we were within 10 or 12 rods I runk the bell; Capt. Williams came out: I hallowed "you'll be into us," heard no answer; no answer even when we struck. The AMERICA seemed to be going at full speed. I ran aft in time to escape and when she struck the second time on the rebound I jumped on board the AMERICA with two others. She struck us on the larboard bow. (The remainder of this testimony corroborated that of the Captain.)
      William Franks, sworn: Was at the wheel of the AMERICA when the collision took place. Our course was N.E. by E. 1-2 E. We were about off Chagrim. Heard no voices from the propeller. When I saw the light I rang the bell, and hailed our second mate. Light was off the starboard bow. After I rung the stopping bell, the mate appeared and rang the backing bell. The mate appeared in a minute or two after I had rung the stopping bell. Saw the mate five or ten minutes before I called him. When I rung the bell, the propeller was ten or fifteen rods off. I had been at the wheel a quarter of an hour before the collision took place. The light on the propeller was white. [We understood the witness to say that the signal lights were hid by her jib.]
      The jury returned a verdict of death by drowning, in consequence of the collision of the two boats.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, July 15, 1852

      . . . . .

      The Messrs. Ward are raising the wreck of the CASPIAN. The parties who do the job have also made arrangements to rescue the remains of the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO. The hull of the CASPIAN is said to be uninjured.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Friday, July 23, 1852

      . . . . .

The underwriters on the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO advertise to sell her as she now lies, in forty feet water, to the higest bidder, at the Merchant's Exchange in this city, on Thursday next, at 10 o'clock, A.M.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, July 24, 1852

      . . . . .

SUBMARINE APPARATUS. -- We examined on Thursday a very ingenious machine for raising the wrecks of vessels. It consists of four air-tight canvass bags some sixty feet long and eight feet thick. These are taken to the spot where the vessel is sunk, and attached to it by means of strong iron cables. The bags are then inflated by force pumps, and as they rise the vessel comes up with them. The combine lifting power of the whole set is about 250 tons. The contrivance was patented and is owned by Mr. Irwin of Delaware. It was used with success by the brother of the patentee in raising the wreck of the MISSOURI in Gibralter Bay.
      Mr. Gay of Milan, has obtained the use of these "Camels," as they are termed, for getting out the wreck of the CITY OF OSWEGO, which he has purchased. Two divers are also employed, who are fitted out with what is called "sub-marine armor," This is impervious to water. The operator is supplied by air from a force pump from above -- the amount of it can increase or diminish by ringing a little bell. He keeps his place on the bottom by means of weights, and can remain there for hours together. Mr. Gay informed us that one diver worked for six hours in thirty or forty feet of water.
      Operations will be commenced upon the CITY OF OSWEGO in a short time. They have been delayed by the want of some fixtures for which it was necessary to send to New York. We understand that several members of Fire Company No. 5 will accompany Mr. gay with their machine to inflate the camels. --- Cleveland Plaindealer.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, August 7, 1852

      . . . . .

      Operations will soon commence to raise, by means of " camels," or air-tight canvas bags, the wreck of the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO, which was purchased at the underwriters sale by Mr. Gay, of Milan, some time since, for $7,000.
      These bags are attached to the vessel and then inflated. It is proposed to use four of these camels, the aggregate lifting power of which is estimated at 250 tons. While in Cleveland last week we were informed that a company from Philadelphia had gone down to the wreck and found the propeller in about sixty feet of water, and but slightly damaged, and it was their opinion that she could be raised without any trouble, as she lies on a smooth gravel bottom and is not embedded at all.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, August 10, 1852

      . . . . .

      Three schooners firmly fastened together by beams laid across decks, started on Wednesday last for the wreck of the CITY OF OSWEGO. They are under the charge of Mr. Martin, and he will no doubt succeed much better than the "camels" did.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, October 9, 1852

      . . . . .

      Decision In The Collision Case Between The Steamers AMERICA And OSWEGO.
Buffalo, Wed., June 8 1853. - Judge Hall, yesterday, in the U. S. District Court, decided a case of much interest. In a recent suit, growing out of a collision between the steamer AMERICA and propeller OSWEGO, by which the latter was sunk, it was decreed that $10,000 be paid by the owners of the AMERICA to the owners of the OSWEGO.
      The AMERICA was subsequently libeled by several creditors and sold for nearly $11,000. The present suit was brought to compel the Court to pay over the $10,000 to the OSWEGO in preference to other demands. Judge Hall decided that the libelants had a maritime lien against the AMERICA to the amount of the judgment, and as preference had to be given to the last lien created, the whole balance must be paid over to the libelants.
      New York Tribune
      June 9, 1853

      . . . . .

      Mr. Green, the submarine explorer, has taken up his head-quarters at Detroit, and will during the season, make descents to a number of steamboat wrecks, with the view of recovering machinery and other property. Among them are the following: The NORTHERN INDIANA, sunk at Point Pelee in 1854; the WISCONSIN, sunk at West Sister Island, near Sandusky, in 1852; the CHESAPEAKE, sunk near Conneaut about the year 1847; the NORTHERNER, sunk some years since near the foot of Lake Huron; the propeller CHARTER, sunk off Fairport in 1855; and the propeller CITY OF OSWEGO, sunk 16 miles below Cleveland in 1855. The OSWEGO had a cargo of merchandise worth some $15,000, part of which it is thought, may yet be available. The CHESAPEAKE also had some freight. The other boats named contained but little of value aside from their machinery.
      Buffalo Daily Republic & Times
      Thursday, April 29, 1858


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 14
Hull damage: $25,000
Cargo: $45,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1852
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.1430
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.454166 Longitude: -81.121388
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Contact
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Email
WWW address
Comment on this item
Groups of Related Records
Shipwreck news
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit




My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.










City of Oswego (Propeller), sunk by collision, 12 Jul 1852