The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
America (Steamboat), aground, 5 Apr 1854

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AMERICA Steamer, ashore at Point Au Pelee, Lake Erie. Property loss $20,000
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

Steamer AMERICA, wrecked Point Au Pelee Island (sic)
      Toronto Globe
      May 6,1854

The steamer AMERICA stranded off Point au Pelee on Wednesday morning. The propeller BRUCE from Detroit, and one from Cleveland have gone to light her off.
      Toledo Blade
      April 7, 1854

The steamer AMERICA bound from Cleveland to Detroit, got aground on Point au Pelee on Wednesday morning. Propeller BRUCE from Detroit, and another propeller from Cleveland, went to her assistance. When seen last night she was hard ashore, but nothing further could be ascertained. It is presumed she was run ashore purposely to save her from sinking. She was in a bad, leaky condition, and probably took in more water than she could bear and was therefore run ashore.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, April 8, 1854

AMERICA paddle wheel steamer of 1083 tons, built at Port Huron, Mich., 1847. Stranded April 5, 1854 on Pelee Island, Lake Erie. Vessel a total loss. No lives lost.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U.S.A.
      1790 to 1868 Lytle - Holdcamper List

The AMERICA lies in seven foot water, on a rock bottom, about one hundred rods from the light on the North end of Point au Pelee Island. She was, where she struck, about half a mile out of her track, and was headed almost towards the light. According to the statement of Capt. Stafford, when he went below at 12 o'clock, the AMERICA was on the right course. He directed her to be kept on her way, but it seems the second-mate thought the captain was in error, and varied her to the South about three points. This officer soon became alarmed, and went to make inquiry of the captain how near the light they could run safely. The reply of the captain was "not less than three quarters of a mile, and prefer a greater distance." The mate then said we are too near land. The captain sprung for the deck, but before he could reach it, the steamer struck. She lay easy until Friday night, when a stiff North-Easter broke her so much that she filled with water. On Saturday morning, the captain left for Detroit on the propeller BRUCE, and on the same morning the GRANITE STATE took off the crew. When the CLEVELAND went up Saturday, four men were still on board, but they have probably been obliged to leave ere this, as the heavy wind of Saturday night would place her past saving. The boat will probably be a total loss, but the engine and ground tackle will no doubt be saved. It seems too bad after escaping the dangers of the past winter at Dunkirk, to be run upon the rocks, to break up so early in the season.---Cleveland Plain Dealer
      Toledo Blade
      April 13, 1854

      THE AMERICA. -- The officers of the CLEVELAND report that the AMERICA has gone to pieces. The late gale has left nothing of her hull to be seen but the timbers. When the wind subsides it is likely that some attempt will be made to save her machinery. -- Cleve. Herald.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, April 19, 1854

The steamer AMERICA, ashore at Point Au Pelee, has at last gone to pieces. The late gale has left nothing of her hull to be seen but the timbers. An effort will be made to save some of her machinery. It was only a few years ago that the AMERICA was the largest and finest craft on the lakes. Last season she had got down to a mere freighting business, and now she has gone where all good steamer go.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      April 19, 1854

      Yesterday a vessel brought into this port about fifty tons of the engine of the ill-fated AMERICA. This and a portion of her furniture were all that was worth saving.
      Cleveland Morning Leader
      Friday, April 21, 1854

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $20,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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America (Steamboat), aground, 5 Apr 1854