The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Osceola (Schooner), dismasted & abandoned, 4 Oct 1851

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OSCEOLA Schooner, Oct. 5, 1851. Yesterday towed into Grand River, Ohio, by the Propeller J.W. BROOKS. - Dismasted and abandoned by her crew, and had three and a half feet of water in her hold. She had 90 tons of merchandise and groceries and a quantity of salt as cargo.
      Casualty List for 1851
      Erik Hyle's private papers

      . . . . .

      Schooner OSCEOLA, dismasted on Lake Erie, and deserted by her crew; was afterwards picked up, and towed into Fairport - full cargo of merchandise --
Loss and damage, $6,000.
      Disasters on the Lake in 1851
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. Jan. 2, 1851

      . . . . .

LOSS OF THE SCHOONER "OSCEOLA" -- Capt. Gibbs of the Schooner SCOTLAND has given us the particulars of the loss of the OSCEOLA. The OSCEOLA was dismasted at 8 o'clock Thursday morning, off Fairport, 20 miles from the shore. The stancheons which held her weather fore-rigging gave way, leaving the whole strain on the fore-mast and consequently it was carried away, taking with it the main mast, upon which all the pressure came as soon as the fore-mast went by the board. She remained in this condition, and leaking so badly that two pumps were required to keep her from sinking, until 6 o'clock in the evening, when the crew were taken off by the SCOTLAND, and brought to this port this morning. The crew of the OSCEOLA was in constant fear during the day that she would go to pieces, she being an old vessel, and the sea so heavy that her timbers worked badly all day. It took two or three hours to get the crew off, and the sea so rough that the SCOTLAND's boat could not be hoisted until yesterday morning.
      Capt. Gibbs was informed by the crew, that while in their desperate condition, the Brig QUEBEC of Clayton, passed them so near, that they supposed they were about to be relieved, they were inquired of by the crew of the QUEBEC if their vessel was leaking, and they replied, she was, and that their boat was useless, and requested that a boat might be lowered to take them off. But the Brig kept on her course, without offering the least assistance, althgough it could have been done as easily as by the SCOTLAND. The OSCEOLA probably sunk during the night. She was owned at Oswego, and had on board about 130 tons of merchandise from the American Company of Oswego, for Detroit. The vessel was insured in the N.W.Insurance Co., for $1.300.- Sandusky Register.
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Wednesday, October 8, 1851

      . . . . .

      The Loss of the Schooner OSCEOLA.
The loss of the schooner OSCEOLA, of this port, during the gale of the 2d inst., on Lake Erie, was announced in the Sandusky Register, of the 4th inst., upon information derived from Capt. Gibbs, of the schooner SCOTLAND, who rescued the crew of the OSCEOLA. The Register states that the brig QUEBEC passed so near the OSCEOLA as to speak to the latter vessel and learn her desperate condition and the imminent danger she was in, but
passed on without offering the least assistance to save the crew. We forbear to comment on this statement of what would seem to be reprehensible conduct on the part of the officers of the QUEBEC, as there may be a reasonable explanation for it. Capt. Gibbs is, however, entitled to much credit for his humane and successful efforts in saving the crew of the OSCEOLA, under the most trying and difficult circumstances. Capt. Gibbs writes to his employer, the owner of the SCOTLAND, in this city, as follows:

Sandusky, Oct. 4, 1851.
Mr. F.T. Carrington:
      Dear Sir: - I arrived at this port this morning at 7 o'clock, after a rough passage from the canal, which we left on the 1st of October. We did not have two miles of fair wind on Lake Erie, and we were under doubled reefed canvass nearly all the time after we left the canal, and had a heavy head sea to contend with the whole passage. -
      At about 5 o'clock P.M., on the 2d of October, we discovered a vessel in distress, flying an American ensign union down. She was to windward of us some miles - worked up to her and found her to be the OSCEOLA, of Oswego, with a cargo of merchandize for Detroit. She had lost her spars that morning at about 8 o'clock, some 20 miles from the south shore, off
Fairport. The wind was blowing about south by west. The OSCEOLA had been laying in this situation all day at the mercy of the waves and labored so heavy that she was leaking fast. Two pumps, worked constantly, could not keep her free when we got to her, she then having seven foot of water. Her boat was stove and the crew had nothing to help themselves with whatever. Under these circumstances we lowered our boat and after two hours of the most incessant labor we got the crew of the OSCEOLA on board the SCOTLAND. The sea was so heavy at the time that we could not get our boat hoisted up until 14 hours afterwards, during which time it got badly damaged. We shall want the SCOTLAND's new boat when we arrive at Oswego , which I wish you to have ready. It ought probably to be caulked and the seams painted before it will be fit for use. We shall commence loading on Monday morning,
the wheat being ready.
      I am, yours, with respect, S.C. Gibbs.
      Oswego Daily Times
      Saturday, October 11, 1851

      VESSEL DESERTED. - The brig OSCEOLA, laden with a very valuable cargo, was found this morning in the neighborhood off Fairport, deserted by her crew. She was towed safely into Fairport by the propeller J.W. BROWN. (?) Her cargo was uninjured and the salvage will amount to a considerable sum.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, October 14, 1851

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: dismasted & abandoned
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $6,000
Cargo: included
Remarks: Recovered
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.75004 Longitude: -81.27399
William R. McNeil
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Osceola (Schooner), dismasted & abandoned, 4 Oct 1851