The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Freeman (Schooner), aground, 1 May 1861

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FREEMAN Schooner, cargo corn, struck on the reef off Buffalo, and five of the crew drowned.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Jan. 22, 1862. Casualty List 1861

      . . . . .

SAD SHIPWRECK AND LOSS OF LIFE. -- The schooner FREEMAN, of Detroit, Capt. Newhall, with a cargo of 8,983 bushels of corn, shipped by J. Aspinwall & Son, Detroit, and consigned to Messrs. Griffin & McDonald, of Buffalo, struck on a reef some four miles above, on the Canada shore, during the height of the gale, lat night, and before she could be beached or the boat cleared away, capsized, filled and sunk in twenty feet of water, between the beacon light and Canada shore, in the mouth of the Niagara River. The crew took themselves to the rigging. Subsequently, the mate, Sylvester A. Newhall, son of the master, three seamen and the cook, were washed off and lost. Capt. Newhall and one seaman clung to the wreck until released by a Mr. Harris and another fisherman, this morning. The vessel and cargo will probably be a total loss.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      May 7, 1861

      . . . . .

RAISED. -- The schooner FREEMAN, which was sunk on the Canada shore during the recent heavy gale, was got up yesterday by the aid of the tug RELIEF, and is now lying at the lower end of the breakwater, with her rail only above water. Boxes are to be put on either side of her this afternoon, and if it is possible, she will be taken to the dry dock for repairs.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      May 21, 1861
      . . . . .

SCHOONER FREEMAN. -- It will be remembered that the Buffalo Mutual Insurance Company generously righted this vessel and towed her into the Erie Basin, with the assistance of Capt. Gager, some three or four weeks ago, where she as yet remains sunk in about eleven feet of water. Her master, Capt. Newhall, is now endeavoring to raise and properly repair her, and we trust every assistance may be rendered him to that end. Capt. Dobbins has today vounteered the services of the Marine Inspector and Engineer of the Home Insurance Company, and every effort will today be made to raise her. This Company, together with the Buffalo Mutual, has done a praiseworthy service to the unfortunate Capt. Newhall.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      June 29, 1861

      The body of a man - probably of one of the sailors of the schooner FREEMAN, wrecked on the reef a few weeks ago - was picked up Saturday in the Niagara River, near Table Rock. It is yet to be identified.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      June 18, 1861

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 5
Hull damage: $2,500
Cargo: $3,800
Freight: corn
Remarks: ?
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
William R. McNeil
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Freeman (Schooner), aground, 1 May 1861