The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Hercules (Steamboat), sunk, 9 Oct 1858

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Steam tug HERCULES (C), exploded her boiler when towing in the Plat Rapid, River St. Lawrence, and sunk. seven lives lost. Property loss $20,000.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 15, 1859 (1858 Casualty List)

      . . . . .

Montreal, Oct. 10. - Eleven lives were lost by the explosion of the steamer HERCULES yesterday morning. The boat was owned by Calvin Breck, of Kingston.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Tuesday, October 12, 1858

      . . . . .

      On Saturday morning last, at 8 o'clock, the new steamer HERCULES, belonging to Messrs. Calvin & Breck, Garden Island, employed as a tug boat on the River St. Lawrence, while towing the steamer NEW ERA, disabled by the breaking of her shaft, up the Rapid Plat, about 25 miles above Prescott, burst her boiler and sunk, causing the death of several persons. One man named Kingsley was found on the wreck quite dead, the HERCULES not being entirely submerged, and several others are missing, among whom we regret to mention Dexter Calvin, Jr. son of Mr. D. Calvin, one of the owners of the boat, an estimable young man about 22 years. Martin Feeby, the captain of the old AMERICA, and Archibald Cambridge, employed as wheels-man on the AMERICA, Capt. Miller of the HERCULES, the Engineer, and several of the hands were badly scalded, or otherwise injured.
The Steamer GILDERSLEEVE, belonging to the same firm, left Kingston at noon for the scene of disaster, and the same evening the AMERICA went down to the same place. Although Messrs. Calvin and Breck have employed a number of steamers on the river for some years, this is the first calamity of the kind, causing life, that has occurred. - Rome Sentinel, 12th. (part)
      Syracuse (N.Y.) Standard
      October 13, 1858

      . . . . .

THE EXPLOSION OF A STEAM TUG. - LOSS OF LIFE. -- Early on the morning of the 9th instant, the powerful steam tug HERCULES, having in tow the steamer NEW ERA (disabled) in ascending Rapide du Plat, burst her boiler, killing instantly four persons, and wounding several others so badly that they have since died. As near as we can learn, there were sixteen persons on board of the HERCULES at the time of the catastrophe, viz: --- Wm. Miller, captain; Viefe, Pilot; D. Calvin (son of the owner); F. Ferrier, 1st. engineer; Felix Killen; Wm. Longueil; J. Kinnersly; Pat Maloney; Daniel Doyle; Thos. Christopher; Jos. Valley; Edward Russell, and four others, names not known. The four persons supposed to have been killed instantly, were probably blown up and off from the boat and drowned. Some have been brought up the river on other vessels -- and taken to the nearest adjacent points for medical treatment, who have since died -- and some are badly injured, whose recovery is yet doubtful. The vessel was built, we hear, at Garden Island, and was owned by Mr. Calvin, of Kingston. After the explosion, the boats were separated, the NEW ERA casting anchor, and the HERCULES floating down the current about a mile, where she filled and sunk, only her upper works being above water. The explosion was a most frightful one, the accurate extent of which, and the loss of life, we hope to be able to give our readers next week. -- Ogdensburg Repub.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, October 16, 1858

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Reason: sunk
Lives: 7
Hull damage: $20,000
Remarks: Raised
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William R. McNeil
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Hercules (Steamboat), sunk, 9 Oct 1858