The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Anthony Wayne (Steamboat), sunk by explosion, 28 Apr 1850


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Steamer ANTHONY WAYNE, when off Vermillion April 28, 1850, burst her boiler and sunk immediately. Boat a total loss, supposed to be about 50 or 60 lives lost.
      Casualty List for 1850
      Erik Hyle's private papers

      . . . . .

      TERRIBLE EXPLOSION.
      -----
      (By O'Reilly's Western Telegraph.)
      Terrible Steamboat Explosion - Total Loss of the Steamer ANTHONY WAYNE, and From 60 to 80 Lives. Cleveland, Monday, April 29, 10 A. M.
      From the Clerk of the WAYNE, Mr. H.S. Vorse, who arrived here last night, we learn the following particulars:
      The WAYNE left Toledo at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning, with about twenty five passengers and took on some forty more at Sandusky on Saturday night, leaving there at 10 o'clock. These, and the crew made the number on board from ninety to one hundred. About half-past 12 this A. M., (Sunday,) just below Vermillion, and some eight miles from shore, the two starboard boilers exploded throwing them into a perpendicular position, tearing away the steerage cabin above and shattering the hull badly. She sank in fifteen minutes, going down head foremost. The yawl was launched and twelve persons reached shore in it.
The life-boat half filled on launching and leaked badly, but six persons got ashore in her after six hours exertions by bailing constantly. Capt. Gore, James Edgcomb, 1st. mate, the 2nd. mate and Mr. Vorse, Clerk, are saved. Mr. J Ellmore, 1st, and Mr. Edward Burch, 2nd. Engineers are lost. Mr. D.A. Eddt, of Cleveland, was onboard, and was seen after the explosion, but whether he was saved is not known. The state room of the Captain next to the steerage cabin was blown to pieces and his bed was blown up side down, but her was unhurt.
      When the WAYNE went down she was on fire, and the flames were just bursting out. The cause we cannot state.
      The boilers were only a year old and in good condition. A fireman who escaped says that just before the accident he tried the boilers and there was plenty of water in them.
      The Hurricane Deck is supposed to have floated and was thought to be seen from shore this morning. Two small vessels went out from Vermillion to pick up any survivors.
      Our citizens will wait with painful anxiety to learn further particulars, and the fate of Mr. Eddy, one of their esteemed townsmen.
      FURTHER PARTICULARS. - Monday, 9 A. M. - One of the vessels which went out took off of the Hurricane Deck some thirty passengers, six dead. D.A. Eddy is safe and has telegraphed from Sandusky.
      We learn further that the boilers were entirely new last season, and were built and put in under the superintendence of Wolcott, of Detroit. The engine is the one which was formerly in the COLUMBUS. She exploded off Vermillion on her way from Sandusky to this port.
      The WAYNE was owned by Charles Howard & Co., of Detroit, and was running in opposition to the regular Sandusky line.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Tuesday, April 30, 1850

      . . . . .

      CORONER'S INQUEST
      Held Monday, April 29, 1850, on the bodies taken from the wreck, and from the water near the wreck of the steam boat GEN. WAYNE, the boiler of which exploded off Vermillion, Sunday morning, April 28, 1850.
      Jurors drawn and Sworn as follows:
      Sam'l B. Caldwell - Wm. H. Caswell - Sam'l W. Butler - Solomon C. Moore - Theron Goodwin - Harlow Case.
      Jas. H. Starkweather, 2d mate: John Johnson, wheelsman: James Edscome, 1st mate, sworn.
      Mr. Edscomb was asleep when the explosion took place. States that he has known the boat ever since she first came out, about 1834. Went on board as mate in April. She left Toledo on saturday morning at half past 9, April 27. She had 30 persons on board belonging to the boat. That they took about 30 passengers at Toledo. Came into Sandusky, and left between 9 and 10 o'clock, Saturday evening - were on their course to Cleveland, steering E. ½ S.
When about 18 miles from the mouth of Sandusky Bay, and off Vermillion, the boiler exploded. Was in company with the SUPERIOR, which was about 40 rods ahead when they left the last stake at Sandusky Bay. Got up jib and then lowered the boat, and soon found the boat was sinking, and then called to the passengers to get on the hurricane deck. Capt. Gore got on deck at the same time. Took on board 11 persons, including one child, besides himself, and was then told by captain to go for assistance if he could take no more. was hailed from the wreck and told to go for help. saw a vessel and told capt. G. he would go to her - fell in with the ELMINA. Capt. Nugent, about 5 miles from the wreck - nearly west - which went immediately ti their relief. he reached the ELMINA about 3 o'clock. No sea running to disturb small boats, and little wind. Capt. Gore went into the boat and took 6 persons and made for shore, with pieces of board, having lost an oar, which he(Edgcomb) had given him. He recognized the bodies of Mr. hart, a drover, resideing near Perrysburg - was taken off from the wreck - a body was taken from the water one mile from the wreck, with two pillows tied to him under his arms - does not know his name. Also the body of the first cook taken from the wreck dead. A Feamale, wounded in the head, was taken off dead - she came on board at Toledo. This body was not in the water
      Missing Part
Passengers who came in the cars with him, went on board in company. Was told by the captain that the boat was new and the boilers new - that he had enpended about $25,000 on her in fitting out. - That he took a ticket at the office from a man who called himself the captain of the boat while in the care. - Took a room (letter M) after having been twice been into the cabin to examine. They left the dock about 10 o'clock. heard the remark that the WAYNE would pass the SUPERIOR before they got to Cleveland. , which was about half a mile ahead ????????? out of the bay. Thought that nearly or quite all passengers went on board at sandusky. Was asleep when the explosion took place. After coming out the first he saw was the boats around the wreck. - Saw three in the yawl-boat, playing around the wreck and picking uppersons. Saw 9 in. Saw the boat sinking - threw over dining table, and saw 4 men get onto to it - one of them was the captain. heard several persons call to the captain to come and save them - heard no reply. The deck parted in two parts and seperated some rods. saw and counted 12 living persons on the forward deck, and 17 in the after deck. Saw the yawl-boat go around the wreck, but saw the life-boat with the captain leave wreck apparently as soon as he could get away, although called to by myself to save the children, and by others for help, but saw no person taken on board life-boat. The water was filled with persons all around the wreck, and all around said life-boat. Saw further, this life-boat making among these persons and heard one man call several times "For God's sake captain, save me." but saw hime take in none. described the captain as about the size of Coroner wade - thick, stout built man - thinks he wore a black hat or cap, and about 40 years old. He lost his trunk containing several notes, one against his brother. Asa Smith, for $500, a draft for some $1,700, and letters to him at Cincinnati - a russet leather trunk of large size, with a brass lock, heart-shaped, and a spring over the key-hole.
      Signed Charles J. Smith.
     
Edward Cavanaugh, of Troy, N.Y. Thinks the man Mr. Smith calls the captain, was the clerk. Did not hear the calls made to the captain, testified to by Smith. heard a woman call for help. saw both boats goingaround the wreck. saw the captain some time around the wreck in his boat - heard him call several time to persons, giving direction what to do. heard him tell them to throw off floats to get on. Thinks Capt. G's boat would have been in danger if he had come near the wreck, as they all knew the wreck was sinking. Knew J.W. Doty of Warsaw, Ill., was lost. Saw him on the wreck, and afterwards could not see him. saw 3 persons in the boat with the captain. Thinks he might have saved one woman some 12 feet distance from him.
      Signes Edward cavanaugh
     
      Archie Brackney of La Fayette. Was going to Philadelphia, where his family resided. Got on at Toledo, at Sandusky saw quarreling and much drinking in the saloon, and an Irish passenger, drunk, but none among the hands. After the explosion, saw and helped to launch the life-boat, filled half full of water. saw two persons jump in and swim to it.
      Missing part.
      Sandusky Clarion
      Tuesday, April 30, 1850
     
     


      THE EXPLOSION OF THE ANTHONY WAYNE. - It has been pretty satisfactorily ascertained that there were at the time of the disaster some 63 passengers on board. Of this number, 25 are known to be saved unharmed, 11 wounded, 10 pretty definately ascertained killed; leaving 17 (if on board) missing unaccounted for The crew consisted of 30. Of these, 11 were killed, 4 wounded, and 15 saved uninjured. Making an aggregate of 93 persons on board, 40 of whom are saved unharmed, and 15 wounded - leaving 38 persons killed and missing. The verdict of the Coroner's Jury elicits nothing new or conflicting with the above statement.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Wednesday, May 1, 1850

      . . . . .

      THE WAYNE DISASTER. - By the Detroit Tribune of Saturday we learn that a further examination of H.G. Vorce, Clerk, Capt. G.E. Gore, etc, in regard to the sea-worthiness of the WAYNE, has resulted in establishing the fact that she was a safe vessel, both as to hull and boilers. ( That is, if we admit all their testimony.)
      It is now supposed, from baggage picked up by the schooner ALMIRA, deposited at Cleveland, that four more persons, whose names have not heretofore been given, are among the lost on the WAYNE; unless two of them were among those who went ashore at Vermillion. There names are:
      Henry Palmer, Springfield, O.
      Charles Kelly, London, C. W.
      Presley H. Holbrook, Buffalo, N. Y.
      James Hawkins, St. Catharines, C. W.
      There is no prospect of any of the machinery being raised, from the depth of water and the roughness of the sea. She will probably be a total loss. The safe containing $600, may be raised.
      ---ALSO---
      THE WAYNE. - The Detroit Tribune of Friday says:- We hear nothing from the WAYNE. Mr. Howard left Sandusky yesterday morning with a vessel, to coast along the shore in search of the bodies of the sufferers, and pick up fragments of the wreck, &c.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Monday, May 6, 1850

      . . . . .

      Awful Disasters
We have never before been called on to record so awful destruction of human life on the western waters, as since the opening of navigation, the current season. The disasters to steamboats already number four, of which two have been by explosions of boilers- the TROY on Niagara river and the ANTHONY WAYNE on Lake Erie- one by fire the BELLE OF THE WEST the Ohio river, and one by collision, the DISPATCH and COMMERCE on Lake Erie, The loss of life by these four calamities as near as can be ascertained, will not fall short of Two Hundred and Fifty!. Two hundred and fifty human beings sent into eternity in this brief space of time by steamboat accidents! Were they accidents beyond the power of man to foresee or provide against? If so, what perils encompass the traveler at every step of his journey, in these days of improvement and science! If not what a responsibility rests on law-makers and the owners and managers of these public conveyances! But the subject will cease to be one of public discussion or occasion of remark by the time the details of the calamities have reached the extreme of the Union. Buffalo Courier
      Schenectady Reflector
      May 17, 1850
     
     


      Terrible explosion on Lake Erie
Cleveland April 28 . -- The steamer WAYNE left Toledo on Saturday morning about 9 o'clock, with 29 passengers, and took on board some 40 more at Sandusky on Saturday night, leaving there at 10 o¹clock. These and the crew made the number on board from 80 to 100.
About half past 12 o'clock on Sunday morning, just below Vermillion, and some 8 miles from shore, the two starboard boilers exploded, throwing them into a perpendicular position, tearing away the steerage cabin above and shattering the hull badly. She sunk in 15 minutes, going down head foremost. The yawl was launched and 12 person reached shore on it. The life boat half filled on launching and leaked badly but six persons got ashore in her after six hours of bailing her constantly.
Captain Gore, James Edgecomb, 1st make and Mr. Vorce, clerk were saved.
Mr. J. Ellore, 1st engineer, and Mr. Edward Burchard, 2nd do., are lost.
Mr. D. A. Eddy of Cleveland, was on board and was seen after the explosion, but whether he was saved is not known.
The state-room of the Captain, next to the steerage cabin was blown to pieces, and his bed blown upside down, but he was not hurt. When the WAYNE down, she was on fire and the flames were just bursting out.
      The cause of the explosion we cannot state. The boilers were only one year old and were in good condition, and the fireman who escaped says that just before the accident, he tried the boilers and there was plenty of water in them.
The hurricane deck is supposed to have floated and it was thought to be seen from shore this morning. Two small vessels went out from Vermillion to pick up any survivors.
      Our citizens will wait with painful anxiety for further particulars of the fate of Mr. Eddy, one of their esteemed townsmen.
      Buffalo Monday 9 a.m.
One of the vessels which went out took of the hurricane deck some 30 persons, six of whom are dead. Mr. D. Eddy is saved, and has telegraphed us from Sandusky.
      Schenectady Reflector
      May 3,1850
     
     
Steam paddle ANTHONY WAYNE. Of 400 tons. Built Trenton, Mich., 1849. First home port, Detroit, Mich. DISPOSITION:-- Lost 1850 by explosion at Vermilion, Ohio, April 28, 1850. 22 lives lost.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      The Lytle-Holdcamper List, 1870 to 1868
     


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk by explosion
Lives: 38
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1850
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.9329
Language of Item:
English
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.42199 Longitude: -82.36461
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Anthony Wayne (Steamboat), sunk by explosion, 28 Apr 1850