The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Monticello (Propeller), collision, 31 Jul 1851

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MONTICELLO Propeller, and Propeller MANHATTAN, came in collision near Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, and the MANHATTAN sunk to the waters edge.
      Casualty List for 1851
      Erik Hyle's private papers

Detroit, Aug. 6, 1851 :- About midnight , July 31st., the Propellers MONTICELLO, bound down, and the MANHATTAN, bound up,came in collision off Whitefish Point. The MANHATTAN was struck on her starboard, forward of her smoke pipe, she sank to her upper deck in a few minutes. No lives lost, Passengers and crew taken off by the MONTICELLO, and the boat towed to source of St. Mary's River. No insurance on the MANHATTAN. The MONTICELLO was uninjured.
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Thursday, Aug.7, 1851

      The Lake Superior Journal gives the following particulars of the collision between the Propellers MANHATTAN and MONTICELLO:- The accident occurred at midnight, about five miles this side of White Fish Point, and thirty five miles above the Sault, the MANHATTAN being bound up, and the MONTICELLO, bound down. There was a large pleasure party on board the MONTICELLO, and many of the passengers, were up at the time and were out on deck to see the other boat pass; but by some unaccountable mistake or misapprehension of the part of one or both, they came in collision; the MONTICELLO striking the MANHATTAN on the starboard side, about midships, and cutting through the narrow guard into the hull, so far that she filled and sunk to her upper deck in less than ten minutes.
The passengers on the MANHATTAN were generally asleep, but by most wonderful good fortune they all succeeded in getting on board the MONTICELLO, and it is not known that a single person was lost or was seriously injured. The MANHATTAN had just left port on an upward trip, and had a large quantity of wood and pine lumber in her hold, and on her lower deck, which prevented her from sinking altogether. In this condition she was towed back to a small bay at the mouth of the river, where she now lies. The most of the passengers left their baggage on the lower deck, which with much valuable property was lost, or buired for the present, several feet beneath the water.
      Capt. Wilson is spoken of in high terms of praise for his conduct on this occasion, in affording every accommodation in his power to the distressed crowd of passengers from the wrecked vessel.
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Friday, August 8, 1851

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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.76947 Longitude: -84.95258
William R. McNeil
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Monticello (Propeller), collision, 31 Jul 1851