The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
M. B. Spaulding (Propeller), sunk, 19 Oct 1852

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SPAULDING, M.B. Propeller, capsized and sunk in maumee River, cargo grain and cattle. got up. Property loss $7,900
      Buffalo Morning Express
      Dec. 25, 1852 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

this case, just tried at Toledo, before the Court of Common Pleas, the Jury have
returned a verdict for the plaintiff, awarding damages to the amount of $2289.85.
The facts, in brief, were these, as stated in the Toledo Republican:
"Last fall the railroad company contracted to carry a lot of cattle from
Chicago to Buffalo. They were brought here by railroad, as usual, to be shipped
by the lake to Buffalo. The Captain of the propeller SPAULDING agreed to take
deck load of the cattle. In driving them on to the boat, too many got on one
side, the vessel careened over and sunk, and about forty of the cattle were
drowned. The owner demanded damages of the railroad, with whom he had
contracted for the transportation of his property, and obtained satisfaction.
The Rail Road Company then commenced the present suit, to recover of the
propeller the amount lost by the drowning of the cattle. For the defence it was
alleged that when the captain of the boat agreed to take the cattle, he
expressly stipulated that he would assume no risk. The testimony on this point
was somewhat conflicting. It was also contended, by the defence, that a common
carrier was not liable for the loss of live stock, or animate matter, to the
same extent that he would be liable for the loss of inanimate matter, because it
was less under his control, and more subject to injury. A distinction of this
nature, it was said, is recognized among those engaged in the transportation of
merchandize by the lakes. But the great point in controversy seemed to be in
relation to the loading of the vessel. Both parties had men assisting in
driving the cattle on, and it became a nice question to decide who was the blame
for the accident, if any one. An apeal, we understand, has been taken to the
District Court."
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, July 20, 1853

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: grain & cattle
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.66394 Longitude: -83.55521
William R. McNeil
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M. B. Spaulding (Propeller), sunk, 19 Oct 1852