The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Walter Joy (Schooner), aground, 18 Nov 1842

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JOY, W. Schooner, ashore on the American side of Lake Erie.
      Buffalo Courier
      Nov. ?.1842

      . . . . .

      At Buffalo, says the Commercial, "little injury was done other than to imindate the flats and obstruct navigation on the canal." Here follows a melancholy list of disasters above that place, reported in the Commercial of Saturday last:
The schooner JEFFERSON, Capt. Dougall, went ashore at 6 o'clock last night, about three miles above Buffalo Lighthouse, and is a total wreck, attended with a melancholy loss of life -- one entire family, husband, wife and five children, together with a young woman, and one of the men belonging to the vessel, having perished ! Capt. Dougall, from whom we have the painful recital, says that about two hours after his vessel beached, the companion-way washed off, and the children and young woman, drowned in the cabin and fore-castle. A portion of the crew had got ashore, in quest of help, and were endeavoring to rescue the family. The mate wrapped his overcoat around the woman, and tried to keep her warm by walking her to and fro on the beach, but she soon became exhausted and incapable of motion, and was placed in the boat which was washed up, where she died in a short time. Her husband was delirious on reaching shore, and attempted to escape into the swamp near by, but perished within a short distance. One of the hands belonging to the vessel, named James Bruce, got into the swamp and was likewise lost. The family were from Hartford, Ct. -- names unknown -- the children aged from three downward. The JEFFERSON was owned by J. W. Ransom, of Chicago, and was bound for that port, with a cargo of 500 barrels salt, 40 tons iron, and some merchandise, which will be mostly lost -- shipped by J. Murray & Co., of this city. The crew succeeded in getting aboard the brig OLIVE RICHMOND, about midnight, beached below them, in a greatly exhausted state.
      When our reporter reached the vessel this forenoon, the figure of the young woman above mentioned, was discovered standing in an upright position, in the forecastle companion-way, frozen stark and still, with hands partly raised in an imploring posture, and her eyes fixed with a cold stony gaze upon the shore.
      The brig OLIVE RICHMOND, a new vessel, Capt. Dorchester, went ashore about a mile below the JEFFERSON, early yesterday afternoon. She was bound up in ballast, and will be got off without damage.
      The schooner WALTER JOY, Capt. Lacy, went ashore about the same time, near the OLIVE RICHMOND, with a deck load of flour, which will be partly lost, but the vessel will be got off with trifling injury. (part only)
      Erie Gazette
      Thursday, November 24, 1842

      . . . . .

      The Storm on the Lakes - asks the question: could the gale of 18th Nov. have been anticipated? The answer is yes with the use of barometers.
      -Losses on the Western Lakes
      The annexed list is supposed to comprise all the vessels that have suffered material loss the past season on Lake Erie & the Western lakes. The estimated damage, being founded on public report, is not to be relied upon; but the aggregate amount is supposed to be much short of the actual loss. No estimate has been made of furniture of emigrants, or baggage of passengers. The amount of losses covered by insurance heard of is $21,725.
      Loss and Loss and Lives
In the gale of 18th Nov. Damage to vessels damage of cargoes lost

Brig 0. Richmond, ashore in Buffalo Bay $700
Schr. Jefferson, do. do. (total loss) $2,500 $600 9
Schr Walter Joy, do do $1,000 $1,000
Schr Brandywine, do do (total loss) $1,000 $800 8
Schr Lord Seaton, (Brit) do do $1,000
S.B. Chicago, ashore near Catteraugus creek $5,000 $5,000
Schr N Hubbard, near Conneaut, (total loss) $3,000 7
Schr Ben Franklin, ashore near Fairport (total loss) $2,500
Schr Alleghan, ashore near do $500
Schr Ohio, ashore near Point Abino $400
Schr Edwin Jenny, do do $1,200
Brig Frances Mills, do do $1,500 $1,200
Schr Florida, do do (total loss) $2,000 $1,483
Schr Lagure, do do, do $1,500 $2,500 6
Schr M Kingman, do do $400
Schr Mississippi, do do $400 $75
Schr Indiana, do do (total loss) $3,000 $750
Ship Milwaukie, ashore near Kalamazoo, Mich. (total loss) 10,000 7,500 7
Schr Columbus, ashore near G. River, Mich. (total loss) 2,800 2,812
Schr Florida, ashore near St. Josephs, Mich. (total loss) 3,000
Schr Bancroft, do do, (total loss) 2,700
S.B. Wisconsin near Chicago $3,000
Schr S Juneau, dismasted and drifted into Grand River, Mich $500
S B C Trowbridge, ashore near Milwaukie $3,000
Schr Herald, (Br) ashore near G. River, Canada $500
Schr H Colvin, on Lake Erie, deck loading $80
Schr John Grant, on Lake Erie, chain and anchor $100
Schr A Wilcox, on Lake Huron, deck loading $375
Schr J Richards, ashore on Point Au Barques, Lake Huron $1,000
Schr Detroit, missing no tidings, (total loss) $750 6
Schr Carolina, missing on Lake Huron, (total loss) $1,500 6
Schr Emily, (Br) missing no tidings, (total loss) $2,500 8
Schr Merchant and schr J _ , lost 1 man each 2
      $58,850 $24,27552
Sept. 8 - Schr Acorn, run down and sunk on L. Erie $4,400 $3,000
Oct. - Schr. Lodi run down and sunk on Lake Erie $500
Nov. 5 - S B Vermillion burned at Huron, Lake Erie $25,000 $5,7003
Dec. - S B Erie, cut by ice and sunk on Lake St. Clair $3,000 3
      $91,750 $52,97569
[note - these figures don't add up but are as per originals]
      [Cleveland Herald]
      Upper Canada Herald (Kingston)
      January 31, 1843 p.2

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $1,000
Cargo: $1,000
Remarks: Got off
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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Walter Joy (Schooner), aground, 18 Nov 1842