The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Alabama (Steamboat), sunk, 29 Aug 1854


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ALABAMA Steamer, sprung a leak and sunk near Buffalo. Property loss $10,000
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

STEAMER ALABAMA SUNK.---The steamer ALABAMA, which has been lying in port, for week or two past, left yesterday morning, about 4 o'clock, without any cargo, for Huron, for the purpose of undergoing repairs preparatory to the fall business. Shortly after leaving port, she was found to be leaking badly; and before she could be put about, sunk in the channel, about a mile and a half from the light-house pier, in about thirty feet of water. Her owners had intended having her repairs done here, but the proprietors of the drydock, were unwilling to take her into their dock, fearing that the repairs would require longer time to complete, than the dock could be spared for that purpose. They therefore intended taking her up the lake, where she would be repaired. The tug HAMILTON MORTON went to her assistance at daylight yesterday morning, and brought off Capt. Titus and his crew.
The ALABAMA was owned in Sandusky, by Messrs Burton, Hall, Russell and others and we understand, was not insured. Her frame, we are informed, was very rotten and should a fresh breeze spring up before she is removed, she will probably go to pieces where she now lies. Capt. Titus in entering protest, says he believe the accident was caused by one of the planks starting from its place, the frame being so rotten that the spikes would not hold.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Wednesday, August 30, 1854

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      STEAMER SUNK. - A week or two since, the steamer ALABAMA was laid up in this port for repairs but on examination, her hull was found considerably decayed and weakened, and it was decided to take her to Huron to put into the dry dock, instead of hauling her out here. She accordingly sailed this morning, but when about three miles out, two feet of water was discovered in her hold, and she was rapidly settling. Her course was immediately changed for this harbor. Before running a mile, her fires went out, and she sunk in about twenty feet water, leaving her wheelhouse, hurricane deck forward, and smoke pipe above the waves. The tug HAMILTON MORTON went to her assistance, and brought off Capt. Titus and his crew, who had betaken themselves to the small boats, and such furniture and goods as they could bring. She had no cargo, was an old boat, and was owned in Sandusky, and will probably be a total loss, as we understand there was no insurance upon her; her value we did not learn.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, Aagust 30, 1854

      . . . . .

Mr. Cowan who is in the employ of Messrs. Wells & Gowan and who has charge of their interests in their lake operations, went out to the wreck of the steamer ALABAMA, on Tuesday Evening, in the steam tug HAMILTON MORTON, with his party of divers, and succeeded in bringing up the safe and bring ashore several sails and other articles of value belonging to the steamer. MR.Cowan informs us that he will immediately set about raising the boiler and engine of the ALABAMA. Her hull however is so rotten that no attempt will be made to raise it, except to remove it from its present position. The boilers are but two years old, the smoke pipe comparatively new; these together with the engine, are probably worth $5,000 or $6,000.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Thursday, August 31, 1854

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The schooner WATCHMAN, which came into port during Thursday night, ran foul of the sunken steamer ALABAMA, and by mere good fortune, got through between the steamer's arches, without sustaining damage. Steps should be taken immediately to remove the old hull, should it remain in its present position, may cause the loss of lives and property during the present fall.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Saturday, September 23, 1854

      . . . . .

      The steamer ALABAMA which sunk some weeks since in the channel above the Light House has been partially broken up by the action of the waves and fragments of her upper works are strewn along the beach.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Thursday, October 5, 1854

      . . . . .

WRECK OF THE STEAMER ALABAMA.- Mr. Isaac Coffin and his assistants, have been engaged for some time past in removing the wreck of the old steamer ALABAMA from where she lay near the mouth of the Creek. Mr.Coffin has recovered the steam pipes and some other portions of the engine, and brought them into port, and has also removed her arches when the late gale sprung up, and that has completely broken up her wheels and paddle boxes and torn away what remained of her arches so that there is now, at least 30 feet of water over what remains of the old steamer, and all vessels will now be able to enter our harbor with perfect safety. Mr. Coffin will continue the work on the wreck, and feels confident that he will be able to recover the boilers and most of her engine. The thanks of vessel owners and masters are due to Mr. Coffin, for his persevering efforts in removing the wreck which might have proved the cause of accidents to vessels entering our harbor, and probably entailed the loss of life had it remained where it sunk.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Tuesday, October 17, 1854

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SALVAGE.---Mr.Isaac Coffin, agent of Wells & Gowan, yesterday brought into the harbor the other boiler of the sunken steamer ALABAMA, which they had raised without difficulty.
We were in error, the other day, in stating that the boiler first raised was lost overboard in consequence of mismanagement of the crew. It was owing to a storm which came up while the craft was entering the harbor, and the crew had to throw overboard the boiler to prevent the vessel going ashore. It was recovered the following day and brought into port.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Thursday, November 23, 1854




Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk
Lives: mil
Freight: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1854
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.1705
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Alabama (Steamboat), sunk, 29 Aug 1854