The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Saratoga (Schooner), sunk by collision, 23 Oct 1851

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Collision And Loss Of Life:- On Wednesday night last, off Long Point, the Steamer BUCKEYE STATE, bound up, and the Schooner SARATOGA, bound down, were in collision. The vessel was struck on her starboard quarter and aft of her mainmast, which cut her nearly in two, causing her to sink almost instantly. And we regret to state that three hands before the mast were drowned. The vessel was owned in Cleveland and was insured in the ---?--- Columbus Co. Her cargo consisted of between 7,000 and 10,000 bushels of corn consigned to C.Ward & Co. of this city, and was fully insured in the Protection Co. of Rome.
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Saturday, October 25, 1851

      . . . . .

A Correspondent of the Ohio Statesman, who was on board the CASPIAN gives a fuller report of the collision than we have before seen. He says "A terrible accident happened to the Schooner SARATOGA of Cleveland that night, of which I presume you have heard by Telegraph. The CASPIAN left Buffalo at about 7 o'clock at night. The BUCKEYE STATE followed immediately after. When off Long Point, on the Canada shore, we passed to the right of the SARATOGA which was coming down the lake with a stiff breeze and very fast. The BUCKEYE STATE was within half a mile, and a little to the right of us. We being in line with the SARATOGA and the BUCKEYE STATE the lights of the latter were never discovered by the Schooner until she had passed us, and tacked in towards the shore. The BUCKEYE STATE, at the same time made the mistake of supposing the lights of the Schooner to be on board of the CASPIAN, and with a full head of steam kept on her course. The SARATOGA being under great headway could not change her course before the BUCKEYE STATE struck her amidships and cut her completely in two. The night was very dark and stormy, and the BUCKEYE STATE did not discover the SARATOGA until she was just on her. She reversed her engines, but it was too late. The shock was terrible. The passengers were frightened, but the officers and crew of the BUCKEYE STATE were calm and behaved nobly. The two vessels parted immediately, but the shrieks of the drowning men mingled with the noise of the wind and waves.
With a true sailor heart Captain Stannard ordered the boat to be lowered to save the poor fellows on the wreck. The boat was then immediately manned with rugged Tars with hearts open to sympathy, and as brave as ever beat. For a long hour and a half did these brave men cruise around the wreck before they succeeded in accomplishing their purpose of rescuing their shipwrecked brothers. This was owing to the darkness of the night and the fierceness of the waves, which rendered it difficult to discover, and dangerous to approach the wreck to which they were directed by the cries of those on it. When taken off they were almost speechless, owing to the succession of waves which constantly broke over them, and to their severe exertions to sustain themselves.
No blame is attached to any one on account of the misfortune. It was a case of pure and unavoidable accident. The greatest praise is due Capt. Stannard and the crew of the BUCKEYE STATE for their promptness in rendering assistance as they did under the circumstances".
      Cleveland Plain Dealer
      October 30, 1851

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 3
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.555833 Longitude: -80.197222
William R. McNeil
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Saratoga (Schooner), sunk by collision, 23 Oct 1851