The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Cincinnati (Steamboat), collision, 12 May 1837

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CINCINNATI Steamboat, and Steamboat BUNKER HILL, about 9 o'clock last evening, came in contact under full head-way. The latter bound down, and the former up the lake, and they were passing each other off Huron, when the accident occurred.
      The helmsman of the CINCINNATI is said by our informant, who was a passenger on board of that boat, to have been unaquainted with his duty. By a wrong turn of the wheel, he threw the boat directly in the track of the BUNKER HILL as they were passing, which caused her to strike the former just forward of the shaft, carried away her starboard wheel-house, and the Captain's office, which was on deck, broke the shaft and injured the boat very considerably. Capt. Bradley, who was in his office at the time, was very badly wounded, and it is doubtful whether he survives. The Mate and one or two hands slightly hurt. The BUNKER HILL was not damaged according to our informant. She towed the CINCINNATI into the Harbor at Huron, where she now lies.
      Daily Herald & Gazette, Cleveland
      Saturday, May 13, 1837

      . . . . .

      The CINCINNATI, was towed into this port from Huron, by the DeWITT CLINTON, on Saturday night, where the injury sustained by her tremendous collision with the BUNKER HILL, will be speedily repaired. The boat is much damaged, and in addition to the loss of her shaft and starboard wheel, will require nearly entire new upper works abaft the wheel-house. Hull, uninjured. Damages estimated at $3,000. The BUNKER HILL sustained a very slight in jury, and we are happy to learn that Capt. Bradley of the CINCINNATI, will probably soon recover from the severe personal injury sustained in the unfortunate encounter. His escape with life is astonishing, the office in which he was standing being literally crushed to atoms. No other person was hurt on the boat, and it is a little remarkable, that had the BUNKER HILL struck the CINCINNATI a few feet either way from the point of contact, she must inevitably have passed completely over, and sunk her instantly.
      Daily Herald & Gazette, Cleveland
      Monday, May 15, 1837

      . . . . .

      Toledo, June 20 - The steamboat CINCINNATI, which met with an iniury some time ago by coming in contact with the BUNKER HILL, has resumed her trips. She re-appeared at our wharves last week after an absence of 33 days, and will hereafter ply twice a week between the River and Cleveland. We were gratified to find that the injury sustained by Capt. Bradley in the encounter was not so serious as had been anticipated, and that he is now almost entirely recovered. At the time of the shock he was in his office receiving fare, and wherever the blame of the accident may rest, he is in no way responsible for it. We know of no captain on the Lakes who is more strict in his attention to his duties, and we may add, more obliging in his department to passengers.
      Buffalo Daily Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, June 29, 1837

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $3,000
Remarks: Damage
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.39505 Longitude: -82.55517
William R. McNeil
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Cincinnati (Steamboat), collision, 12 May 1837