The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Defiance (Schooner), sunk by collision, 20 Oct 1854

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DEFIANCE Schooner, and Brig AUDUBON collided on Lake Huron and both sunk in deep water. Property loss $60,000 (for both vessels)
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

LOSS OF THE SCHOONER DEFIANCE .-- We learn, from Capt. Ingrahm, of the schooner DEFIANCE, that on Friday morning, about half past one o'clock, her was run into on Lake Huron, off Presqu' Isle, by what appeared to him to be a large three masted schooner, or a barque, with a white hull. It was quite foggy at the time, and he was unable to make out her name. Immediately after the collision, the DEFIANCE was found to be sinking fast, and her boats were got ready, and the men had scarcely time to get into them when the schooner went down, bow first.
      A telegraph from Detroit, yesterday, states that the vessel that ran into the DEFIANCE was the brig J.J. AUDUBON, Capt. Gadsden, of Cleveland, and it was feared that she also had sunk. The crew of the DEFIANCE succeeded in reaching an island, but, some time afterwards, seeing a propeller coming along, they put out for her, and hailing the officer in charge, were heard and taken on board. It proved to be the propeller MAYFLOWER. She brought down the crew. The DEFIANCE was bound to this port, from Chicago, with 11,500 bushels corn, consigned to G.W. Rogers & Co. The cargo was insured. The DEFIANCE was owned by H.C. Walker, of this city, and was insured for $7,000 in the Buffalo Mutual.
The brig J.J. AUDUBON was a very fine vessel, built during the past spring, at Cleveland, and was owned by E.G. Merrick and Capt. Pierce. She was bound to Chicago with a cargo of railroad iron.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Thursday, October 26, 1854

COLLISION -- TWO VESSELS SUNK. -- We are informed by Mr. J. S. Wolverton, ship-builder in this city, that last Friday morning, about 3 o'clock, the brig ----- (new) from Cleveland, with a cargo of 501 tons of Railroad iron for Chicago, came in collision with the schooner DEFIANCE, bound down, deeply loaded with wheat, about 15 miles below Point Aux Barques, on Lake Huron. Both vessels went down within a quarter of an hour. The crews took to the boats, and were picked up by another vessel. The captain of the Brig arrived in town today. The brig, we understand belonged to Nichols, Whitcomb & Armstrong of this city. --- Detroit Tribune.
      Cleveland Morning Leader
      Friday, October 27, 1854

THE COLLISION ON LAKE HURON. --- It is now ascertained that the schooner DEFIANCE was run into and sunk by the Brig J.J. AUDUBON, and that both vessels went down almost instantly. The J.J. AUDUBON was laden with 401 bars railroad iron, for Chicago. Capt. Gadsden and the crew were picked up by the schooner OCEAN WAVE, and taken to Port Huron, and they came down on Wednesday, to Detroit, on the steamer RUBY. The AUDUBON, as we stated yesterday, was a new vessel, and was purchased some weeks since by E.G. Merrick and Capt. Paice, and was insured for $15,000. Both vessels are in very deep water, and there is no probability that they can be raised.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Friday, October 27, 1854

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.3514 Longitude: -83.48887
William R. McNeil
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Defiance (Schooner), sunk by collision, 20 Oct 1854