The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Saratoga (Steamboat), collision, 10 Jun 1849

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SARATOGA Steamer, ran into the Steamer HENDRICK HUDSON yesterday morning before daylight, below Erie, and killed two negro servants on the boat.
      Casualty List for 1849
      Erik Hyle's private papers

      . . . . .

Stmrs. HUDSON and SARATOGA, collide on Lake Erie, 2 lives lost; damage - $800
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, January 3, 1850 (extracted from list)

      . . . . .

      COLLISION ON THE LAKE.- The steamer SARATOGA, twenty miles this side of Erie,
came in collision with the steamer HENDRICK HUDSON, bound up, at half past three o'clock yesterday morning. The SARATOGA struck the HUDSON on the starboard side
about half way between her wheelhouse and stern, carrying away everything to her hull. Two colored men, (cooks,) asleep in a room on the guard where she was struck, were instantly killed. Their names are Henry Cooper and Henry Butler. Cooper has a wife and three children living in Dawn, C. W. Butler was a single man. The SARATOGA received but slight damage. The HUDSON returned to port, and her passengers were transferred to the ATLANTIC. It seems to be conceded on all hands that the collision was the result either of inexcusable carelessness or design. The matter will be investigated, doubtless, and the responsibility of the catastrophe placed where it belongs.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Monday, June 11, 1849

      . . . . .

      STEAMBOAT ACCIDENT AND LOSS OF LIFE. -- A serious collision occurred yesterday morning between the steamers SARATOGA and HENDRICK HUDSON, resulting in the loss of two lives. It is not our province to adjudicate at present on the demerits of the case, which will probably come before the public on a maturer and legal investigation. We confine ourselves to a succinct statement of the facts, obtained from the officers of the respective boats, and from personal observation. -- The hour was half-past three, the place, fifteen miles down the coast from Erie. The EMPIRE, BALTIMORE and HENDRICK HUDSON were steering for that port, which the SARATOGA had recently quitted. Both parties represent their lookouts as having been regular. The HUDSON is said to have sheered to port for the purpose of passing the BALTIMORE, and the SARATOGA to have stopped her engine, which awakened the captain, who reached the upper deck at the instant of the collision. Of course we cannot vouch for the accuracy of these preliminary details. From whatever cause, the HUDSON was struck on the starboard bow with considerable violence, about 18 or 20 feet of her guard being shattered, while the stem of the SARATOGA sustained a certain degree of injury, comparatively speaking unimportant. The HUDSON will be occupied about three or four days in repairing damage. Her hull was slightly bruised, and from appearances she owes her escape from more fatal consequences, to the strength of her arch. had the contact taken place a few feet more aft, the result would probably have been her total destruction.
      The most melancholy feature of the calamity is the death of two men employed as cooks, whose sleeping place was situated precisely at the point of collision. Capt. Imson supposing them to have jumped on board the SARATOGA, hailed that vessel with an enquiry a few minutes after the event, and their death was then ascertained. It must have been instantaneous. Their blood and brains are viable on the broken timbers of the HUDSON. They were men of color, named Butler and H. Cooper; the latter has left at Chatham, a wife and family to mourn their awful sudden bereavement. Any further particulars which may transpire shall be punctually presented to our readers.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, June 11, 1849

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Damage slight
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  • Pennsylvania, United States
    Latitude: 42.12922 Longitude: -80.08506
William R. McNeil
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Saratoga (Steamboat), collision, 10 Jun 1849