The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit (Bark), destroyed as spectacle, 10 Sep 1841


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The British Barque DETROIT which was sunk during the last war, at Erie, and raised by Capt. Miles, is now lying at the wharf in this city. Very little alteration has been made, her hull, cabins &c. remain as they were. There is still to be seen on this vessel an 18 pound ball lodged in her starboard side just under the deck and opposite the fore mast which attracts a good deal of attention - - Cleveland Adv.
      Detroit Free Press
      June 22, 1837

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      The old ship DETROIT, which was taken from the British, at the battle of Lake Erie, during the late war, and afterwards sunk in 1815, has recently been raised from the 'vasty deep', and is now used as a Packet vessel between Buffalo and Detroit.
      Cobourg Star
      Wed. July 27, 1836

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The Ship DETROIT, flagship of the British Squadron on Lake Erie in 1813, has arrived at Detroit. She was raised by the exertions of Capt. Miles from the basin at Erie, where she has lain sunk since 1814. Her timbers, decks, &c. are perfectly sound. About twenty 32 pound balls were taken from her timbers, during her repair, and a great number of smaller, from twelves to grape shot. Some yet are remaining in her wales. She is 260 tons burthen, has a gentleman's cabin with 16 berths, ladies cabin, 8 berths, steerage, 18 berths, and three state rooms, sufficient each to accommodate a family.
      Cleveland Weekly Advertiser
      Thursday, August 25, 1836

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The Barque DETROIT, which was condemned last season and laid up in our Harbor, is now being fitted up for a voyage over the Falls. The 10th. of September, -- the memorable anniversary of the victory in which she was captured from the British - has been designated as the day on which she will be sent on her last fearful voyage, for which she is to be furnished with a crew of live animals, consisting of the larger and lesser "Varmints" whose struggles with the angry billows of the rushing rapids, it is not very humanely anticipated will add interest to the novel scene.
The present affair promises to be an interesting one to those who have a curiosity for such spectacles. The once staunch and noble vessel, which bore the red cross flag of the brave Barclay, through the perilous fight, now, after a lapse of more than a quarter of a century, is destined to sink amid the thunders of Niagara - a fitting end for the proud war ship, whose worn and battered hull should not be left to rot ingloriously amidst the lumber of a dock yard.-- Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
      the Mirror, Toronto
      Friday, Sept. 10, 1841

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      The Barque DETROIT, was towed towards Niagara this morning, preparatory to being freighted for the awful plunge. Preparations are making for a gala day.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, September 14, 1841 p. 2 col. 1

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The Plunge Over the Falls, That Didn't Happen.----We went yesterday, with all the world hereabouts, to see the Barque DETROIT go over the falls. At the appointed hour--3 P. M. --The vessel was towed from the foot of Grand Island into the stream to the very edge of the rapids, then cut adrift. She took the first plunge gallently head on, and for a moment seemed completely engulfed, but almost instantly the hull shot upward from the "hell of waters," her main and foremast went by the board, and on she went. The next descent was passed safely. At the third her mizzen mast gave way, and a few rods further she grounded by the head. Her stern swung slowly round and grounded also. When we left Goat Island she was lying broadside to the current, in its shallowest part, nearly midway between the island and the Canadian shore. She will probably lie there until she breaks to pieces, or until the river is swollen by a heavy South West gale, driving the water down the lake, and lifting her off. The day was delightful, and large numbers of spectators lined both shores. We took a malicious pleasure in enjoying their disappointment. Such an affair at Niagara Falls is something like sacrilege, and we hope it will not be repeated.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, September 15 1841 p.2 col,2

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      Vessel (Not) Over The Falls
      Wednesday, Sept. 15th, was a great day at the Falls. Thousands of people assembled there, from all quarters, to behold the "sublime experiemnt", of a ship going over the cataract. Of course, there is always enough in and around the Falls, to gratify the visitor and descent of the vessel could add little to the sublimity of the spectacle, even had the experiment been successful.
The day was very fine, the roads excessively dusty, and the tavern keepers prodigiously busy. Soon after three o'clock, the ship began to move from her moorings, and in a short time we could see two small boats leaving her, filled with men. As she neared the rapids, it was evident that she was too near the American side for the experiment to turn out successful - had she been forty or fifty yards closer to our shore, we have no doubt but she would have crossed the precipice entire, though probably not without loss of her masts. On she came at a quick rate, plunged into the rapids, soon after getting into which she upset, and lost two of her masts, then righted, advanced a little further, lost the other mast, and finally struck the rocks where she was finally fixed, when we left the scene, and will most likely remain there, until the ice of next winter knocks her to pieces.
The name of the ship originally was DETROITt, but with the aid of a spy-glass we could percieve, that she had been re-christened Veto, which name was painted on her, in large letters - a hint to the President, that he had better "mind his eyes" or his opposition to the will of the sovereigns may cause him a journey similiar to that which the Buffalo people have given to his veto. - - - Niagara Chronicle
      St. Catharines Journal
      October 7, 1841

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      The Plunge Over The Falls That Didn't Happen.
We went yesterday, with all the world hereabouts, to see the barque DETROIT go over the falls. At the appointed hour - 3 P.M. - the vessel was towed from the foot of Grand Island into the stream, to the very verge of the rapids, and then cut adrift. She took the first plunge gallantly head on, and for a moment seemed completely engulfed, but almost instantly the hull shot upwards from "the hell of waters", her main and foremasts went by the board, and on she went. The next descent was passed safely. At the third, the mizen mast gave away, and a few rods farther she grounded by the head. Her stern swung slowly round and grounded also. When we left Goat Island, she was lying broadside to the current, in its shallowest part, nearly midway between the island and the Canadian shore. She will probably lie there until she breaks to pieces, or until the river is swollen by a heavy south west gale driving the water down the lake and lifting her off. The day was delightful, and large numbers of spectators lined both shores. We took a malicious pleasure in enjoying their disappointment. Such an affair, at Niagara Falls, is something like sacrilege, and we hope it will not be repeated. - - - Buf. Com. Adv.
      St. Catharines Journal
      October 7, 1841


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: destroyed as spectacle
Lives: nil
Freight: animals
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1841
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.2985
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.1 Longitude: -79.066666
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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Detroit (Bark), destroyed as spectacle, 10 Sep 1841