The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., July 21, 1855

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Five Men Lost.

A serious collision occurred off Genesee, about three o'clock, yesterday morning, between the steamer America, Capt. Masson, and the schooner Emblem, of Hamilton resulting in the death of five of the schooner's crew, and the total of the vessel. Mr. Barry, Clerk of the America, gives the following particulars of the occurrence:

"The America was running with all her lights displayed, and came in collision with the schooner Emblem, of Hamilton, cutting the schooner near two-thirds through. Capt. Donald Malcolmson, of the Emblem, William Malcolmson, Mate, Thomas Malcolmson, hand before the mast - three brothers -- and John Malcolmson, a cousin of the others, and John Bease, also hands; and Alexander Leigh, said to be a passenger, from Oswego, took to the vessel's small boat.

Before the painter was cut off, the schooner capsized, which upset the boat, and the five men in her were drowned. Three others of the crew, Wm. Ross, George Anderson, and the colored cook, who remained on the wreck, were taken off and brought in by the America. The steamer lay by the wreck till after daylight, and took off what could be saved. The Emblem cleared from this port on Wednesday evening, light, for St. Catharines, and the wreck continued to float when the America left her. The schooner showed no light that was seen on the steamer when the collision took place. The night was dark and a considerable sea running."

Capt. Masson informs us that the collision occurred about 2 1/2 o'clock. He was standing forward, beside the mate; had passed the Canada a short time previous and saw her lights distinctly although the night was extremely dark, the wind blowing fresh; saw the May Flower light ahead. The first indication he had of the schooner, was a terrific scream from the vessel's crew, and in an instant the glaring light of the steamer fell fully upon the spread canvas of the vessel.

A boat was lowered at once from the steamer, which rowed around the vessel and took off the three men named; the others were not to be found. The steamer lay by till morning, when a dog belonging to the vessel was found sitting upon the wreck and saved. The collision threw the steamer's anchor over, which was found hanging to the wreck and saved. The persons rescued, state that they had no light burning, and attribute no blame whatsoever to the steamer. The America is not injured in the slightest. When she left the schooner was nearly in two parts, and it is presumed she twisted in two in a very short time. Capt. Masson feels keenly the misfortune, but the occurrence was one for which he is not in the slightest degree responsible.

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Sat., July 21, 1855
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., July 21, 1855