The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Traveler (Steamboat), collision, 1 May 1854

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TRAVELLER Steamer, and Brig KIRK WHITE collide on Lake Michigan, during fog. Property loss $300
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

      The Milwaukee Sentinel contains a notice of the collision, on Wednesday, of the schooner KIRK WHITE, bound from this port to Milwaukee, with a load of staves, coal and lumber, with the steamer TRAVELER, by which the former was considerable damaged. The collision took place in a fog, and the Sentinel exonerates all the parties from blame.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Monday, May 29, 1854

      . . . . .

COLLISION BETWEEN STEAMER TRAVELLER AND SCHOONER KIRK WHITE. -- About 7 P. M. on Wednesday, the schooner KIRK WHITE, bound to Milwaukee from Buffalo, laden with coal, stoves, and a deck load of lumber, when about four miles below Port Washington, was run into by the steamer TRAVELLER, which was bound to Milwaukee from Sheboygan. The steamer struck the schooner on the larboard side about ten feet abaft the fore rigging, crushing in her side, and leaving the indenture of the boat's cutwater a foot deep in the side of the schooner, and breaking the rail on the starboard side. This was likely done by the shifting of the deck load. The schooner at first, made water fast, but by listing her, with the deck load to the starboard, one pump kept her free. The TRAVELLER towed her into the dock in the river, in time for the steamer to take her regular trip to Chicago. There seems to be no doubt that the collision was unavoidable, by the fog, as the steamer was within her own length of the schooner before the latter was seen, and the engines were immediately reversed. The steamer was not proceeding at more than six miles an hour. The captain and mate of the schooner, strange as it may appear, both say they felt no shock, although both were on deck at the time. The damage will not be heavy. We consider it a duty to suggest here, that all sail vessels should be compelled to carry a bell, proportionate with their tonnage, and be compelled to ring it every two minutes in foggy weather. With such a precaution as we have suggested, this collision would not have happened - a collision which, but for the deck load, would have sunk the schooner, and, most likely, her crew. -- Milwaukee Sentinel.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Monday, May 29, 1854

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Uninjured
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Traveler (Steamboat), collision, 1 May 1854