The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Cleveland (Propeller), lost deck load, 18 Apr 1848

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Propeller CLEVELAND, rode out the big gale of April 18th. & 19th. 1848 at the southern end of Lake Michigan, having thrown over her deck load, which included passengers baggage. Propeller also damaged.
      Casualty List for 1848
      Erik Hyle's private papers

      . . . . .

      Propeller CLEVELAND, disabled, threw overboard her deck load on Lake Michigan and escaped. April 1848. Loss $1,600.
      Casualty List for 1848
      Toronto Globe, Sept. 13, 1848

The bark UTICA came in with the loss of her mate, and was leaking. The schooner WOODGRIDGE with loss of deck load. The Prop. St. JOSEPH and CALIFORNIA arrived safe last night.
      The SCAMMON ashore 12 miles from here, a total loss with cargo. The DOUSMAN ashore here, but will be got off.
      Prop. MANHATTAN ashore at Racine, badly injured. Cargo of wheat lost.
      prop. CLEVELAND with loss of deck load, passengers and baggage in port in Milwaukee.
      The PRINCETON left last night for Buffalo. Three lives lost during the gale, 2 on SCAMMON and the mate of the UTICA.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, April 24, 1848

      . . . . .

THE PROPELLER CLEVELAND AND THE STORM. -The passengers on board the propeller CLEVELAND during the storm of the 18th. last, made the following statements:---
      We left the port of Milwaukee about 3 o'clock P.M. When the storm struck us about one o'clock at night, some twenty miles below Milwaukee and nearly opposite Port Washington. Capt. Walls took the helm, and turned her about, but found she could not bear up under the gale, and again faced her to the storm. About three o'clock it was found that the hold had some three feet of water in it, and it soon increased so that it put out the fires under the engine. The consternation of a sinking boat added to the awfulness of the maddening storm!
The officers of the vessel, the engineers, in particular, Mr. John Pheatt, and Mr. Marshall Barrows, exerted themselves to pump and bail the water out, and to stop the leak. The engineers stood up to their necks in water, with wood knocking about their heads by the rocking of the boat, and held their hands over the holes for nearly half an hour, and were so benumbed with cold that they had to be removed from their position. The leak was finally so stopped, that by bailing and pumping the water was lowered, pumping and bailing was constantly continued by officers, crew and passengers till the morning of the 19th.
      Capt. Walls continued at the helm the whole night and by his exertions, energy and perseverence kept the boat from dashing upon the reefs, although the blinding storm of snow rendered all objects invisible at a few feet. Keeping her off by his ---?--- sail, we kept a free sea. We express our unqualified approval of his seamanship, and skill throughout the whole storm. In order to save the vessel, all the deck freight, consisting of 500 barrels of fish, 80
barrels of lard, several hogsheads of bacon, passengers' baggage, trunks, &c., and some freight from the holds got out for the purpose of lowering the water were thrown overboard.
By this necessity many passengers lost all their baggage, but these were cheerfully given to insure hope of life. When the leak was first discovered the lee guard was under water, but after the freight was thrown over, and water thrown out she righted again. In the position she was in, she could not have stayed a half an hour.
      From the time the engine was stopped, we commenced drifting before the wind, and in the darkness and fury of the storm and momentarily expected the worst of disasters. Whoever has experienced the darkness of such a night and such a storm, the waves roaring threatening; above, tumbling and thrown with the staggering vessel--a sinking ship beneath--praying for the hope of dear life--the shrieks of despair, as those after ---?--- the stoves had been thrown down by the struggling of the head and tumbled overboard and during the hours there was no fire on the boat, and the only means of warming ourselves when chilled through by water, was to wrap ourselves in wet blankets (for everything on boar
was wet) and lay down in huddles together, and when warm, again took our places at the pumps or buckets. The first sight of land we had, was about two o'clock P.M., after the snowing had ceased, when we judged from the appearances of the shore that we were above Racine.
      We finally came in after dark on the 18th, and safely anchored in a bay, which the morning revealed to be before the village of Little Fort. The boat was so relieved of water that in the morning the engine was put in motion and we reached Milwaukee at 5 o'clock.
TRUE HEROISM.---Mr.Griswald, of Waukesha, one of the passengers on the propeller
CLEVELAND, relates the following incident in the conduct of the Engineer.
      The Engineer, when the water was first discovered in the hold, thought that it must have come in through the hole made for the purpose of letting water in upon the fire, under the engine, and his first efforts are to stop the hole. After getting into the hold, and finding that his suspicions were true, he hung on by a large spike and holding a stick in the same hand, with the other whittled out a plug and put it into the hole. While attempting to shave it off, a heavy sea threw the vessel on the other side and carried him back under the boiler,
pulling the plug out. After righting himself, he found the plug floating near him and again putting it in, drove it fast. Holding on to the spike, he called for another saw (the first having been lost) and with his knee upon the plug, sawed it off---in the water to his neck all the while.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, April 27, 1848

Propelle_ CLEVELAND¼ rod_ ou_ th_ bi_ gal_ oµ Apri_ 18th« ª 19th« 184+ a_ th_ southern end of Lake Michigan, having thrown over her deck load, which included passengers baggage. Propeller also damaged. Casualty List for 1848
      Erik Hyle's private papers
      . . . . .

      Propelle_ CLEVELAND¼ disabled¼ thre_ overboar_ he_ dec_ loa_ o_ Lak_ Michigan and escaped. April 1848. Loss $1,600.
      Casualty List for 1848
      Toronto Globe, Sept. 13, 1848

      . . . . .

TH+ PROPELLE- CLEVELAN- AN- TH+ STORM. -Th_ passenger_ o_ boar_ th_ propelle_ CLEVELAND during the storm of the 18th. last, made the following statements:---
W_ lef_ th_ por_ oµ Milwauke_ abou_ ¦ o'cloc_ P.M« Whe_ th_ stor_ struc_ us¼ abou_ on_ o'cloc_ a_ night¼ som_ twent• mile_ belo_ Milwauke_ an_ nearl• opposit_ Por_ Washington« Capt« Wall_ too_ th_ helm¼ an_ turne_ he_ about¼ bu_ foun_ sh_ coul_ no_ bea_ u_ unde_ th_ gale¼ an_ agai_ face_ he_ t_ th_ storm« Abou_ thre_ o'cloc_ i_ wa_ foun_ tha_ th_ hol_ ha_ som_ thre_ fee_ oµ wate_ i_ it¼ an_ i_ soo_ increase_ s_ tha_ i_ pu_ ou_ th_ fire_ unde_ th_ engine« Th_ consternatio_ oµ ß sinkin_ boa_ adde_ t_ th_ awfulnes_ oµ th_ maddenin_ stormí Th_ officer_ oµ th_ vessel¼ th_ engineers¼ i_ particular¼ Mr.Joh_ Pheatt¼ an_ Mr.Marshal_ Barrows¼ exerte_ themselve_ t_ pum_ an_ bai_ th_ wate_ out¼ an_ t_ sto_ th_ leak« Th_ engineer_ stoo_ u_ t_ thei_ neck_ i_ water¼ wit_ woo_ knockin_ abou_ thei_ head_ b• th_ rockin_ oµ th_ boat¼ an_ hel_ thei_ hand_ ove_ th_ hole_ fo_ nearl• halµ a_ hour¼ an_ wer_ s_ benumbe_ wit_ col_ tha_ the• ha_ t_ b_ remove_ fro_ thei_ position« Th_ lea_ wa_ finall• s_ stopped¼ tha_ b• bailin_ an_ pumpin_ th_ wate_ wa_ lowered¼ pumpin_ an_ bailin_ wa_ constantlycontinue_ b• officers¼ cre_ an_ passenger_ til_ th_ mornin_ oµ th_ 19th.
      Capt« Wall_ continue_ a_ th_ hel_ th_ whol_ nigh_ an_ b• hi_ exertions¼ energ• an_ perseverenc_ kep_ th_ boa_ fro_ dashin_ upo_ th_ reefs¼ althoug_ th_ blindin_ stor_ oµ sno_ rendere_ al_ object_ invisibl_ a_ ß fe_ feet« Keepin_ he_ ofµ b• hi_ ---?--- sail¼ w_ kep_ ß fre_ sea« W_ expres_ ou_ unqualifie_ approva_ oµ hi_ seamanship¼ an_ skil_ throughou_ th_ whol_ storm« I_ orde_ t_ sav_ th_ vessel¼ al_ th_ dec_ freight¼ consistin_ oµ 50_ barrel_ oµ fish¼ 8_ barrel_ oµ lard¼ severa_ hogshead_ oµ bacon¼ passengersº baggage¼ trunks¼ &c.,an_ som_ freigh_ fro_ th_ hold_ go_ ou_ fo_ th_ purpos_ oµ lowerin_ th_ water were thrown overboard.
B• thi_ necessit• man• passenger_ los_ al_ thei_ baggage¼ bu_ thes_ wer_ cheerfull• give_ t_ insur_ hop_ oµ life« Whe_ th_ lea_ wa_ firs_ discovere_ th_ le_ guar_ wa_ unde_ water¼ bu_ afte_ th_ freigh_ wa_ throw_ over¼ an_ wate_ throw_ ou_ sh_ righte_ again« I_ th_ positio_ sh_ wa_ in¼ sh_ coul_ no_ hav_ stayed a half an hour.
Fro_ th_ tim_ th_ engi_e wa_ stopped¼ w_ commence_ driftin_ befor_ th_ wind¼ an_ i_ th_ darknes_ an_ fur• oµ th_ stor_ an_ momentaril• expecte_ th_ wors_ oµ disasters« Whoeve_ ha_ experience_ th_ darknes_ oµ suc_ ß nigh_ an_ suc_ ß storm¼ th_ wave_ roarin_ threatening+ above¼ tumblin_ an_ throw_ wit_ th_ staggerin_ vessel--ß sinkin_ shi_ beneath--prayin_ fo_ th_ hop_ oµ dea_ life--th_ shriek_ oµ despair¼ a_ thos_ afte_ ---?--- th_ stove_ ha_ bee_ throw_ dow_ b• th_ strugglin_ oµ th_ hea_ an_ tumble_ overboar_ an_ durin_ th_ hour_ ther_ wa_ n_ fir_ o_ th_ boat¼ an_ th_ onl• means oµ warmin_ ourselve_ whe_ chille_ throug_ b• water¼ wa_ t_ wra_ ourselve_ i_ we_ blanket_ (fo_ everythin_ o_ boar_ wa_ wet_ an_ la• dow_ i_ huddle_ together¼ an_ whe_ warm¼ agai_ too_ ou_ place_ a_ th_ pump_ o_ buckets« Th_ firs_ sigh_ oµ lan_ w_ had¼ wa_ abou_ tw_ o'cloc_ P.M.¼ afte_ th_ snowin_ ha_ ceased¼ whe_ w_ judge_ fro_ th_ appearance_ oµ th_ shore that we were above Racine.
W_ finall• cam_ i_ afte_ dar_ o_ th_ 18th¼ an_ safel• anchore_ i_ ß bay¼ whic_ th_ mornin_ reveale_ t_ b_ befor_ th_ villag_ oµ Littl_ Fort« Th_ boa_ wa_ s_ relieve_ oµ wate_ tha_ i_ th_ mornin_ th_ engin_ wa_ pu_ i_ motio_ an_ w_ reached Milwaukee at 5 o'clock.
TRU+ HEROISM.---Mr.Griswald¼ oµ Waukesha¼ on_ oµ th_ passenger_ o_ th_ propellerCLEVELAND¼ relate_ th_ followin_ inciden_ i_ th_ conduc_ oµ th_ Engineer.
è Th_ Engineer¼ whe_ th_ wate_ wa_ firs_ discovere_ i_ th_ hold¼ though_ tha_ i_ mus_ hav_ com_ i_ throug_ th_ hol_ mad_ fo_ th_ purpos_ oµ lettin_ wate_ i_ upo_ th_ fire¼ unde_ th_ engine¼ an_ hi_ firs_ effort_ ar_ t_ sto_ th_ hole« Afte_ gettin_ int_ th_ hold¼ an_ findin_ tha_ hi_ suspicion_ wer_ true¼ h_ hun_ o_ b• ß larg_ spik_ an_ holdin_ ß stic_ i_ th_ sam_ hand¼ wit_ th_ othe_ whittle_ ou_ ß plu_ an_ pu_ i_ int_ th_ hole« Whil_ attemptin_ t_ shav_ i_ off¼ ß heav• seß thre_ th_ vesse_ o_ th_ othe_ sid_ an_ carrie_ hi_ bac_ unde_ th_ boiler¼ pullin_ th_ plu_ out« Afte_ rightin_ himself¼ h_ foun_ th_ plu_ floatin_ nea_ hi_ an_ agai_ puttin_ i_ in¼ drov_ i_ fast« Holdin_ o_ t_ th_ spike¼ h_ calle_ fo_ anothe_ sa_ (th_ firs_ havin_ bee_ lost_ an_ wit_ hi_ kne_ upo_ th_ plug¼ sawed it off---in the water to his neck all the while.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, April 27, 1848

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: lost deck load
Lives: nil
Cargo: $1,600
Remarks: Damaged
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Cleveland (Propeller), lost deck load, 18 Apr 1848