Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Bunker Hill (Steamboat), aground, 24 Apr 1838
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MISSING. -- The steamboat BUNKER HILL, capt. Nickerson, which left Buffalo on Monday evening for Detroit, has not since been heard of. Various rumors are in circulation regarding her, but none of them entitled to credit. Much anxiety is felt here for the safety of the boat, as no intelligence of her is brought by the boats from below or above. It is thought not impossible that she may be ashore on the Canadian side of the lake, but even in that event some intelligence ought to have reached here by this time.
      Cleveland Dailt Herald & Gazette
      Saturday, April 28, 1838; 2:4

      . . . . .

      The Steamboat BUNKER HILL, about whose safety some apprehensions has been felt, is, we learn, ashore on Long Point, U. C., on what is called Horse-shoe Reef. A steamboat was to be despatched from Buffalo on Saturday, to see what could be done for her. We have been politely furnished a letter dated "On board the S.B. BUNKER HILL, on Long Point, Wednesday, April 25, 11 A. M." from which we exctract the following:
" We left Buffalo on Monday evening at 1/4 past 6 o'clock, having in tow the scow boat WARE, belonging to Capt. C. Wilgus. The wind was blowing from the N. E. and rainy. We had not been out of Buffalo more than two hours, the sea running very high, when the line by which we were towing the WARE, parted. We then got out our small chain and made fast to her, but it soon broke the timber heads to which it was fastened. We then concluded to let the WARE go. We got alongside her as near as safety would permit, and by lines secured around the bodies of the men got them all on board the BUNKER HILL safely; we then hauled on our course for Erie, and about 2 o'clock on Tuesday morning, it snowing very hard, we struck and supposed we were near Erie, until morning when we discovered that we were about ten miles within the Point.
"We have got the goods out of her hold, and as soon as the wind goes down or changes to any other point, we shall begin to land the furniture, goods, &c. The boat does not leak a great deal and we can keep her free as yet. Her hull is not injured much, but the wind continues to increase and the sea breaks over her. We are about one mile from shore and in 3 feet water. She has settled in the sand so that she lies easier now than last night. We lowered our boat yesterday but she was soon swamped - no one drowned, the water being so shallow that she had barely enough to float in. Should the wind haul to any other point of the compass she would not labor so hard. We have some 10 or 15 horses on board, but nothing for them to eat. We have plenty of rice and not much fear of starving ourselves. About 100 passengers on board including steerage.
      A Schooner has just hove in sight standing towards us. Should the wind go down we might possibly save the boat. You need not apprehend our lives in any danger!"
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, April 30, 1838


      Steamboat Accident --The BUNKER HILL went ashore on Long Point, during a gale, the early part of last week. She was driven pretty high on the beach by the waves, but we understand will be got off without great difficulty. Attached to the BUNKER HILL was a canal boat, on board of which were five men. During the blow these men were in imminent peril, but they succeeded at last in getting on board the steamboat, just before the towing line gave way, and left the frail canal bark exposed to the mercy of the waves.
      The NEW ENGLAND got aground in Detroit river, as she was coming down, on her last trip. She was soon got off without injury, but we regret to learn that her 2nd. Mate fell overboard and was drowned . We have not heard his name.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, April 30, 1838

      . . . . .

The BUNKER HILL will probably be got off without serious injury.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, May 1, 1838
      . . . . .

The scow boat WARE, that broke adrift from the BUNKER HILL, has been picked up and towed into Silver Creek.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Saturday, May 6, 1838

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      The BUNKER HILL - This boat arrived last evening, and left today for Buffalo. We are glad to learn that she was got off from Long Point without having sustained apparently any injury, and will resume her regular trips.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, May 8, 1838

      . . . . .

      FRIGHT AND VALOR. -- We understand that the discovery of the BUNKER HILL stranded on Long Point, caused a great emotion among the Canadians in the vicinity. The alarm of the Patriot invasion was spread about the country; expresses were sent to Toronto, the militia were called out and every available man was armed to repel the anticipated attack. Detachments were sent from the main shore to reconnoitre the formidable wreck; the clerk of the boat who was sent to Buffalo to convey the news of her situation saw abundance of martial preparation on his route. Since 'the battle of the kegs' or at least since the burning of the CAROLINE, it is probable that so much gallantry and bravery have not been displayed. Should any Colonel of militia succeed in taking the stranded boat, it is probable he will earn a Knight's spurs by the achievement; and the subordinate who shall set fire to the wreck will probably be recommended to the Royal favor. - Cleveland Herald.
      Erie Observer
      May 12, 1838

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Reason: aground
Remarks: Got off
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.555833 Longitude: -80.197222
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Bunker Hill (Steamboat), aground, 24 Apr 1838