The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
George Washington (Steamboat), burnt, 16 Jun 1838


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AWFUL CATASTROPHE.
      The steamboat North America is just in, by the passengers on which we learn the particulars of a most heart rending calamity -- The Destruction of the New and Elegant Steamboat WASHINGTON, by fire, off Silver Creek, about 3 o'clock this morning, with the estimated loss of Fifty Lives.
      The WASHINGTON passed the NORTH AMERICA while the latter lay at Erie, in the early part of the night, and was not again seen by those on board the N. AMERICA, until when within about three miles of this city, a bright glare of light was discovered by the helmsman, in the direction of Silver Creek, and the NORTH AMERICA was instantly put about for the scene of apprehended disaster. On nearing the spot, about 6 o'clock, the burning hull of the large and noble boat was found drifting over the waters, three of four miles from shore, with not a living human being on board. The lake was literally covered with hats, bonnets, trunks, baggage, and blackened fragments of the wreck. The intense anxiety of the witnesses of this fearful scene, for the fate of the passengers on the unfortunate WASHINGTON, was partially relieved by the discovery of several small boats near the shore, in which the survivors of the disaster had been rescued from destruction.
      The alarm had been given at Silver Creek, as soon as the flames were perceived from the shore, and all the boats which could be found were sent to the rescue of the sufferers. There were only three skiffs, besides the yawl of the WASHINGTON. which could be thus used.
      The NORTH AMERICA took on board about 40 of those saved, many of whom, including all the ladies, remained on shore. There were six dead bodies picked up on the spot- those of four children and two women. One man died of his injuries soon after reaching the shore, and one child was dead in its mother's arms when she was taken out of the water.
      After picking up all the floating baggage which could be seen, the hull which was still able to float the engine -- was towed into Silver Creek, where it sank in 6 or 8 feet water. The NORTH AMERICA remained at Silver Creek, employed in this melancholy business, six or seven hours, and everything was done by Captain Edmonds, and his crew, for the relief of the sufferers. Their prompt and efficient services are entitled to all praise.
      The ill-fated WASHINGTON was built at Ashtabula, last winter and had made but one trip previous to her destruction. The fire caught near the boilers, and had made such progress when discovered, as to defy all attempts to estinguish it. The helm was instantly put about, and the boat headed for shore, but in a few moments 'The Wheel Ropes Were Burnt Off,' and she was rendered an unmanageable wreck. Had Iron Rods been substituted, as melancholy experience has taught on the Mississippi, this appalling loss of life might have been averted.
      We hear that the surviving passengers of the WASHINGTON united in stating that no blame was attributable to Capt. Brown, the commander. We hope and expect that the reported loss of life, as stated above, may prove exaggerated. We have heard, since commencing this article, the loss variously estimated from Twenty to Sixty. Many of the survivors were badly burned before they left the boat.
      We have no statement as to the probable amount of pecuniary damage sustained by this distressing event. The passengers must have suffered heavily. One merchant from Illinois lost 96000 in money.
      Below is a list of those known to have been saved, and of the missing as far as could be obtained:
M.D. Hosford, Clayton, Jefferson Co. N.Y.
      Clinton Strait, Marshall, Calhoun Co. Mn.
      David Gibson, Mundee, Genesee Co. Mn.
      John M. Durgel, Florida Mn.
      Ira Holmes, Leicester, N. Y.
      Timothy Edwards, Peru, O.
      Maj. Meach, Carlton, N.Y.
      Giles B. Hadley, Dewitt, N. Y.
      Simeon Nichols, Penfield, N.Y.
      Wm. Nelson, Sumerston, N.Y.
      S.O. Holbrook, Sparta, N. Y.
      David Berdsley, Catharines, N.Y.
      H. Dorgee, Providence, N.Y.
      Tyler Simpson, Worcester Co. Mass.
      N.B. Moore, Pembroke, N.Y.
      Henry Hart, Calhoun Co. Mich.
      J.W. Thurber, Lenawee Co. Mich.
      John Wiler, Huron Co. O.
      Simeon Tyler, Chenango Co. N.Y.
      John F. Shult, Clinton Co. N.Y.
      Israel M. Patty, Cayuga Co. N.Y.
      Wm. H- Rice.
      N. Neely, Boone Co. Illinois.
      George C. Hill, Utica, N.Y.
      Ira H. Bennett, Lagrange Co. Ind.
      Lost and Missing.
      Capt. Clemands, Dudley, Mass.
      Conrad Shurtz, Clinton Co. N.Y.
      Wm. Shurtz, wife and 3 children, N.Y.
      W. Shed, St. Lawrence Co. N.Y.
      Mr Barker, family of six, only one saved.
      A Scotchman, name not recollected, lost 3 children, mother and sister.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Saturday, June 16, 1838

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      DREADFUL STEAMBOAT DISASTER ON LAKE ERIE
      BURNING OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON,
      AND LOSS OF FROM THIRTY TO FIFTY LIVES.
      E X T R A This Morning.
      The new Steamboat GEORGE WASHINGTON, Capt. Brown, took fire on her passage down just below Dunkirk, about 2 o'clock on Saturday morning 16th inst., and with frightful rapidity became a burning wreck. In spite of every exertion to save passengers and crew, from thirty to fifty persons were either consumed or drowned. The number lost is variously estimated, and cannot as yet be ascertained with certainty, as the papers and books of the boat were destroyd. The lowest number named is thirty, and some place it as high as sixty. We understand that some of the officers of the boat judge the number of passengers lost to be about twenty, and ten of the crew. Several ladies and children among the missing. We heard no names.
      The scene was heart rending. The bulkhead between the boilers and gentlemen's cabin was in flames, when the dreadful condition of the boat was discovered - the engine was stopped for the purpose of lowering the yawl into which the frightened passengers quickly crowded, and refused to leave until the fastenings at one end gave way, and the whole were precipitated into the lake. Much time was lost in rescuing the persons unfortunately plunged into the water, thus detaining the only boat that could take them off to the shore. The yawl was despatched to land with a load as soon as possible but did not return in time to take off a second, though several were picked up by the boat struggling to reach land on boards, boxes, &c., and by swimming. A number succeeded in reaching the shore by the aid of floating moveables.
      The NORTH AMERICA was some fifteen miles ahead of the WASHINGTON, and as soon as the flames were discovered, came back to her aid, though not in time to do more than pick up several persons struggling in the water, and to tow the burning wreck into Silver Creek. The hull was scuttled and sunk at the wharf, nothing but the blackened timbers of the wheel-houses being visible. No property was saved from the boat.
We learn that after stopping her engine to lower the yawl, the WASHINGTON became unmanageable, and could not be got under weigh again. The tiller ropes had parted, and the flames cut off all access to the engine.
The above particulars were derived principally from the officers and passengers on the NEW YORK, and may not be entirely correct in details. The NEW YORK stopped at Silver Creek, and brought up Capt. Brown to Ashtabula.
Few serious accidents have happened in the navigation of Lake Erie by steam boat - none ever to compare with this in destruction to human lives. It may be mentioned that a boat called the WASHINGTON was built in 1833, one of the finest and largest boats ever upon the Lake. That was wrecked on her second trip, this one burned on her first.
The Lake was perfectly calm at the time of the accident.
      FURTHER PARTICULARS
      The intelligence today confirms substantially that published by us in an EXTRA this morning. About fifty persons in all were saved, and the number lost is believed to be forty or fifty. The small boat, we learn, went twice to shore and returned to the wreck again. Many of the passengers were frantic at learning the condition of the boat, and thus more lives were lost than would have been had they preserved anything like presence of mind, which however could hardly be expected. The second engineer of the boat, who was saved, thinks that thirty or forty must have burned in the boat. Eight bodies of persons drowned have been found. Many distressing incidents are told on the authority of the survivors. An English gentleman, his wife, two children and servant, were passengers from Detroit. In the terror of the moment he threw his children overboard and they were drowned. He himself perished in the flames. His wife leaped overboard and clung to a floating billet, and was saved.
      The boat was two or three miles from shore at the time of the accident. The WASHINGTON was wholly new, and had been completed but three or four days, this being her first trip. She was built at Ashtabula, and is estimated to have been worth $40,000; no insurance. Mr. M. Kingman of Buffalo, and Mr. Hubbard, of Ashtabula, we understand, are among the principal owners.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, June 18, 1838

      -----
     

      BURNING OF THE WASHINGTON
By the politeness of Mr. Winslow, of the BUNKER HILL, we received this morning the Buffalonian of yesterday, containing the following authentic particulars of the late appalling catastrophe. They ware furnished that paper by one of the passengers, the Rev. Mr. Judd of Garrettville, Portage Co., Ohio, and may be relied on as correct.
Conflagration of the Steam-Ship GEORGE WASHINGTON - The WASHINGTON left Cleveland on her way down passage from Detroit, on June 14, at 8 A.M. She proceeded on her way safely, until Saturday, at 2 o'clock, A.M., when she had arrived in the vicinity of Silver Creek, about 33 miles from Buffalo.
The boat was now discovered to be on fire, which proceeded from beneath Ihe boilers. The passengers were alarmed, and aroused from their slumbers; such a scene of confusion and distress ensued, as those only of my readers can imagine, who have been in similar circumstances.
Despair did not, however, completely possess the mass until it became evident that the progress of the flames could not be arrested. From that moment, the scene beggars all description. Suffice it to say, that numbers precipitated themselves from the burning mass into the water; some of them with a shriek of despair and others silently sunk beneath the waves; others, momentarily fortunate, swam a short distance and drowned; others still, on pieces of boards and wood, arrived on the beach - yet some even of these sank into a watery grave. The small boat had by this time put off, loaded with about 25 souls, for the shore. These arrived safe, picking up one or two by the way. The writer of this article was 0ne of the number. Other small boats came to our assistance, which, together with the WASHINGTON's boat, saved perhaps a majority of the persons on board.
There is reason to believe that as many as forty perished. It is impossible to compute the precise number. Many remained on the boat until it was wrapped in one sheet of flame. Of these there is reason to believe that numbers perished in the conflagration; while others, half burned, precipitated theselves into the watery element; thus suffering the double agony of death, by fire and water.
Most of the crew were saved; the captain being among the number - who, during the awful calamity, acted with the utmost decision and intrepidity. Indeed, no blame, as far as the writer has been informed, has been attached to any officer or hand on the boat, The utmost exertion was used to run her on the shore, until it became necessary to stop the engine in order to let down the small boat, which, having been done, the fire had progressed so far as to render it impossible to again start the machinery.
I will give a few particulars of the losses of the passengers.
Mr. Shudds is the only survivor of his family, consisting of seven. A lady passenger lost three children, a sister and a mother. Mr. Michael Parker lost his wife and parents, sister and her child. But I will not farther enumerate the cases of individual bereavement. Truly it is not in man to know "what a day may bring forth."
It is proper to say, that while the writer alone is responsible for the foregoing statements, all the survivors to whom this paper has been submitted, concur in the parts set forth.
      R.J. TUDD, of Garretaville, 0.
Many were the heart-rending scenes that occurred in this terrible catastrophe. An English family, consisting of a man, his wife and two children, came on board the boat at Toledo.
While the fire was raging, the man worked by the side of our informant till they could stay on board no longer. Then, he and his wife, threw their children overboard and jumped in after them. The father and two children were drowned - the mother was saved.
Several passengers went into convulsions with terror, on the deck, at the outset, and perished in the flames.
A woman with a child grasped under each arm, both dead, was picked up by the NORTH AMERICA on her return to Buffalo.
A newly married couple supposed to have embarked at Erie, jumped overboard in eaoh others arms, and sunk together.
The lost and missing, as far as we hare been able to ascertain them, are as the following:
      Captain Clemans, Dudley, Mass.
      Conrad Shurtz, Clinton co., N.Y.
      Wm. Shurtz, wife and 3 children, do.
      W. Shed, St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.
      Mr. Barker, family of six, only one saved.
      A Scotchman, name not collected, lost three children, mother and sister.
The signers of the subjoined card, were those who came in, in the NORTH AMERICA, whose gallant captain is entitled to much praise, for his promptness in returning to the burning steamer, when only three miles from port.
Several of the circumstances were peculiarly unfortunate. It is thought the boat might have been run on shore, had the engine not been stopped. This was done to pick up the boat,
which, by some accident, swamped in launching. The engine could not be started, and by this time the tiller ropes had been burnt off.
      CARD.
We, the undersigned, passengers on board the steamboat WASHINGTON, on the night of the 16th inst., when the unfortunate catastrophe of the taking fire and burning of the before mentioned steamboat occurred, take pleasure in stating to the public that no negligence can with any justice be attached to N.W. Brown, Captain of the WASHINGTON. He acted with great humanity, and did all that circumstances would allow in rescuing the passengers from the flames and getting them on shore.
It is due to J.L. Edmunds, Captain of the NORTH AMERICA, to state that he came with his boat to the rescue of the sufferers on board the WASHINGTON, took them on board and treated them with great hospitality and kindness. We take pleasure in tendering him our sincere thanks.
Joseph Fisk, Albany
S.0. Holbrook, Dansville, N.Y.
R.J. Judd, Garretsville, Ohio
William Nelson, Surnmerstown, N.Y.
James Guoin
W.D. Hosford, Clayton, Jefferson, co., N.Y.
John Whyler, Norwalk, Ohio
David Gibson, Mundee, Genesee co, Mich.
William H. Rice
Elias M. Dibble
Joshia W. Sherbur, Lawrence co., Mich.
Isaac H. Bennett, Springfield, Ia.
B.G. Merrick
Alexander Neeley, Boone Co., Ill.
Thomas Mulligan
William Hazen
A.H. Coleman
A.B. Moore, Pembroke, N.Y.
David Beardsley, Catharines, N.Y
Hugh Murphy
Charles B. Hadley, Onondaga co., N.Y.
Sylvester Emmons co.,NY.
William Pope
H. Tourje
Ira Holmes, Leicester,N.Y.
Henry Hart, Clarendon, Mich.
Timothy Edwards, Peru, Ohio
Martin Strait, Marshall, Mich.
John M. Durlee, or Dugel, Florida
J.N. Patty
Joseph Myers
James Vaughn
John Jay Hall
Ezekiel H. Wilsey
Tyler Simpson, Worcester Co., Mass.
Simeon Tyler
John Winter
Simeon Nichols, Penfield, N.Y.
Willis Green
Richard Welles
Wm. Parker
Joseph South
J. Tripp
W. Williams
John Johnson
The following are also known to be saved, with many others:
Maj. Meach, Carleston, N.Y.
H. Dongee, Providence
Jn. Shultz, Clinton co., N.Y.
Israel M. Patty, Cayuga co., N.Y.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, June 19, 1838; 2:1,2
     
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The WASHINGTON seems to have been badly arranged, her wood work being unusually exposed to the action of the fire from the furnaces. The editor of the Elyria Atlas, thus states his acquaintance with the boat.
"This is the boat, on which, with a pleasant party of traveling companions, we came from Buffalo to Cleveland, in her upward passage on the same trip which terminated so disasterously. Her fate was anticipated by several of our company. Either from some fault in her construction or management, she did not make steam enough to give her desirable headway, without creating a heat which made it unsafe to breathe between the ladies' cabin at the stern quarter and the center of the boat."
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, June 19, 1838; 2:4
     
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      Beacon Office, Dunkirk.
Gents: June 29, 1838
      About 4 o'clock this afternoon, the steamboat SANDUSKY, Capt. Simons bound up, came in port with five dead bodies, picked up opposite Silver Creek. They are no doubt some of the unfortunate passengers on board the illfated Washington. Two were colored men, who were probably hands on board the boat, the name of but one, being discovered, -- A. Holand, formerly of Buffalo. Two of the others were undoubtedly passengers.
      Great credit is due Capt. Simons, for his exertions to pick the bodies up, he having detained his boat between two and tree hours for that purpose. The bodies were decently intered, after a Coroner s jury having been called.
      We learn from Capt. S. that two more bodies were picked up to-day at Silver Creek.
      These, with those already buried at Silver Creek, make eighteen that have been found; which gives us reason to believe that the number lost is greater than we have stated on a former occasion -- say twenty five in all. About $30 in money was found on the bodies.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Saturday, June 30, 1838

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      The WASHINGTON. -- The Proprietors of the boat WASHINGTOIN, published a card in the last Ashtabula Sentinel, clearing Capt. Brown, Engineer, and crew from any blame, and stated that the boat was well built, every precaution being taken to secure safety and comfort. They deny that the boat had been racing, or that there was any defect in the engine, or in putting it up, within their knowledge. They state that the boat was turned toward the shore soon after the fire was discovered, which was in a place difficult to extinguish, and that after proceeding a considerable distance, the engineer became apprehensive from the great heat around the boilers that they would burst and communicated his fears to Capt. Brown, who directed the steam to be let off, and immediately lowered the small boat, and promptly aided by his officers and crew, used every exertion in his power to save the lives of his passengers.
The proprietors think probable that the lives of nearly all would have been saved, had not the excitement caused many to throw themselves into the Lake, without the precaution of taking anything to sustain them in the water. They say "the number of lives lost cannot be ascertained, but does not exceed 18 or 20. It is ascertained that the number of passengers on board the boat, was between 75 and 85 - of whom 45 were taken to Buffalo on the North America, and about 23 are known to have landed at Silver Creek. Of the crew all were saved but 5 or 6."
      The following from the Buffalonian of yesterday, shows that the number lost must have been some larger than supposed by the proprietors as 25 bodies have now been recovered. It is still hoped and believed that the number lost was considerably less than the first accounts of the melancholy accident stated.
      The WASHINGTON - Our worst fears begin to be realized respecting this boat. In addition to the sixteen bodies found, we are compelled to add nine more which have been picked up within the last four days. Part of them were brought down yesterday by the MONROE and WEBSTER. We will particularize them as far as our information goes, which may reach their friends at a distance. In the pocket of one was found several papers and a letter directed to Mr. E. Hess, N. Washington, Richland co., Plymouth Post Office, Ohio, signed by Colson & Co., Feb. 7, 1838. He was about 5 feet 8, light hair, and wore a blue coat.
      Another body was full six feet and stout in proportion, from sundry papers found upon him, it is supposed that his name is Piersons, and from LeRoy, N.Y.
      The other is from Skaneatles, N.Y., and by name of Huff or Hough; one very remarkable thing about the dress was the vest buttons. They were stamped "whigs of '76" a specimen may be seen at our office. The papers are in the hands of the Coroner. On the back of Mr. Huff, was strapped a large valise containing his wearing apparel, a lot of garden seeds, a few grains of corn and some cranberrys. He probably jumped overboard with the intent of swimming ashore, but perished in the attempt.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, July 2, 1838; 2:6
     
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      More Bodies Found - Yesterday evening the Coroner was called to view the body of a boy about 9 years old, found afloat in the Niagara River, at the foot of Squaw Island. He bad on a black fustian round jacket, black buttons, brown linen pantaloons light vest, flowered brass buttons, name unknown. He must have been one of the sufferers on board the WASHINGTON. or have drifted from the Canada shore.
      This morning the Coroner was also called to view the body of a female child, 7 or 8 years old, picked up by Capt. Case, of the schooner HELEN MAR, of Huron. She was afloat on the lake about one mile from the harbor. The captain came to, and sent a boat with the child into port. Dress - blue and red checked calico frock, short sleeves, long linen stockings and slippers, light brown hair - name unknown. She was evidently one of the sufferers from the burning of the steamboat WASHINGTON. ---- Commercial Adv. July 3
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Wednesday, July 4, 1838; 2:5

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      Two more bodies from the Washington have been found near Buffalo.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Saturday, July 7, 1838; 2:2
     
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      The Dunkirk Beacon says the hull of the steamboat Washington was towed into that port, last Monday morning form Silver Creek. She was burned to the water's edge, and barely enough of the hull remains to float. It is intended to break her up for her irons. If ever a steamboat accident demanded a judicial investigation, the burning of the Washington does, and we earnestly hope that it will be made the subject of most strict and rigid inquiry. The accounts which have been published, and which remain uncontradicted, go to show that the horrible disaster is fairly and exclusively attributable to the culpable neglect and carelessness of those who had the management of the boat. We have remained silent on this subject, since the unhappy event, from an unwillingness to increase the feeling which it was calculated naturally to excite in the public mind, and because, from what we heard, we believe that an investigation of all the circumstances should be demanded and made. The time has now come when the affair can be dispassionately examined. If, as many believe, human life has been sacrificed to a fearful extent by those to whom it was entrusted, justice should be meted out to the offenders: if not, if those implicated can show that they are guiltless, than surely they should be allowed the opportunity of freeing their names from the imputations that now rest upon them.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, August 24, 1838

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The WASHINGTON - The hull of this ill fated craft has been towed into Dunkirk, where it will be broken up for the irons. She was burnt to the water's edge, barely enough of the hull remaining to keep her afloat. The Buffalo Commercial suggests that a judicial ibvestigation of the cause of the destruction of the boat should be had. Accounts charging culpable neglect and carelessness on those who had the management of the boat have been published in various papers, and it seems due to public feeling as well as the reputation of the officers of the boat, that the cause of the sad catastrophe should be more stisfactorily explained.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, August 27, 1838; 2:2

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      The Dunkirk Beacon copies our article, urging a investigation of the circumstances attending the burning of the Washington and appeals to it the following remarks ?
      We insert the above for two reasons, first, it is to the point, and treats the matter candid. Second, it coincides with our views, and we wish to make a few remarks in connection with it.
      At the time of the accident, we stated on the authority of what we could learn from a conversation with Capt. Brown, of the Washington that the number of lives lost would not probably exceed fifteen or twenty. Since which statement we have published the number of bodies found, and find that they amount to forty-one. Other statements published to convince us that the whole number of lives lost must exceed fifty, and that more of less of this guilt attached to this horrid affair, is fixed by common consent of the survivors, either upon Capt. Brown or his officers.
      In view of these facts we would urge the prepropriety of an immediate and rigid investigations into the causes which led to that unwarrantable sacrifice of human life. Let the District Attorney (for we think it is his duty) refer immediately into the investigation, and in our opinion sufficient evidence will be addressed to warrant a more full and explicit charge against the officers of the Washington than has yet been made. An inquiry into the matter is certainly due the public and if Capt B. is innocent of the charge brought against him, it is his privilege to demand an investigation. The survivors, we doubt not, can testify to the guilt or innocence of those charged with the safety of those who were on board the Washington.
      We make these remarks, not for the injury of any man, but for the good of all. If the accused are innocent, let them be pronounced so by a jury of their country, if guilty, let the law inflict its penalty.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 2, 1838

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      Steamboat Inspection. -- The Hon. H. H Levi, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Ohio, has appointed Col. J. Williams of this city as Inspector of Steamboats for the Port of Cleveland, in accordance with the act of congress of the 7th of July 1838, entitled an "Act to provide for the better security of the lives of passengers on board of vessels, propelled in whole or in part by steam." We understand that two inspectors under the new law were decided on for this port, one with particular reference to the hulls of Steamboats, the other to an inspection of engines, boilers, &c. The character of the gentlemen selected, united with the long experience of Capt. Belden in shipbuilding, and the extensive acquaintance of Col. Williams with machinery, guarantee to the public that the duties of their respective appointments will be well and satisfactorily discharged --Cleveland Herald & Gazette.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, September 4, 1838

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      The WASHINGTON. -- The Proprietors of the boat WASHINGTOIN, published a card in the last Ashtabula Sentinel, clearing Capt. Brown, Engineer, and crew from any blame, and stated that the boat was well built, every precaution being taken to secure safety and comfort. They deny that the boat had been racing, or that there was any defect in the engine, or in putting it up, within their knowledge. They state that the boat was turned toward the shore soon after the fire was discovered, which was in a place difficult to extinguish, and that after proceeding a considerable distance, the engineer became apprehensive from the great heat around the boilers that they would burst and communicated his fears to Capt. Brown, who directed the steam to be let off, and immediately lowered the small boat, and promptly aided by his officers and crew, used every exertion in his power to save the lives of his passengers.
The proprietors think probable that the lives of nearly all would have been saved, had not the excitement caused many to throw themselves into the Lake, without the precaution of taking anything to sustain them in the water. They say "the number of lives lost cannot be ascertained, but does not exceed 18 or 20. It is ascertained that the number of passengers on board the boat, was between 75 and 85 - of whom 45 were taken to Buffalo on the North America, and about 23 are known to have landed at Silver Creek. Of the crew all were saved but 5 or 6."
      The following from the Buffalonian of yesterday, shows that the number lost must have been some larger than supposed by the proprietors as 25 bodies have now been recovered. It is still hoped and believed that the number lost was considerably less than the first accounts of the melancholy accident stated.
      The WASHINGTON - Our worst fears begin to be realized respecting this boat. In addition to the sixteen bodies found, we are compelled to add nine more which have been picked up within the last four days. Part of them were brought down yesterday by the MONROE and WEBSTER. We will particularize them as far as our information goes, which may reach their friends at a distance. In the pocket of one was found several papers and a letter directed to Mr. E. Hess, N. Washington, Richland co., Plymouth Post Office, Ohio, signed by Colson & Co., Feb. 7, 1838. He was about 5 feet 8, light hair, and wore a blue coat.
      Another body was full six feet and stout in proportion, from sundry papers found upon him, it is supposed that his name is Piersons, and from LeRoy, N.Y.
      The other is from Skaneatles, N.Y., and by name of Huff or Hough; one very remarkable thing about the dress was the vest buttons. They were stamped "whigs of '76" a specimen may be seen at our office. The papers are in the hands of the Coroner. On the back of Mr. Huff, was strapped a large valise containing his wearing apparel, a lot of garden seeds, a few grains of corn and some cranberrys. He probably jumped overboard with the intent of swimming ashore, but perished in the attempt.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, July 2, 1838; 2:6
     
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      More Bodies Found - Yesterday evening the Coroner was called to view the body of a boy about 9 years old, found afloat in the Niagara River, at the foot of Squaw Island. He bad on a black fustian round jacket, black buttons, brown linen pantaloons light vest, flowered brass buttons, name unknown. He must have been one of the sufferers on board the WASHINGTON. or have drifted from the Canada shore.
      This morning the Coroner was also called to view the body of a female child, 7 or 8 years old, picked up by Capt. Case, of the schooner HELEN MAR, of Huron. She was afloat on the lake about one mile from the harbor. The captain came to, and sent a boat with the child into port. Dress - blue and red checked calico frock, short sleeves, long linen stockings and slippers, light brown hair - name unknown. She was evidently one of the sufferers from the burning of the steamboat WASHINGTON. ---- Commercial Adv. July 3
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Wednesday, July 4, 1838; 2:5

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      Two more bodies from the Washington have been found near Buffalo.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Saturday, July 7, 1838; 2:2
     
      . . . . .
     
FOR SALE - A steam engine suitable for a large Boat - The Engine made for the steamboat WASHINGTON of Ashtabula is offered for sale on accommodating terms. The engine in nearly new, having been used but one or two trips only, when the boat was lost. The cylinder is 25 inches bore and 8 feet stroke; six boilers, each 42 inches diameter and 20 feet long; with wrought iron heads and 3 flues in each boiler; shafts 11 inches diameter at the journals. It was made in Pittsburgh and of the best materials and workmanship.
It may be examined by calling on Mr. Henry Hubbard, at Ashtabula harbor.
If not previously disposed of, it will be sold at public auction at Ashtabula harbor on Monday, the 22d July next, The sale will be positive to close a concern.
The Engine will be sold in its present condition, or will be put up on a boat in good order, as shall suit purchaser. Terms made known by the undersigned.
      CHESTER BIDWELL
      Poland, Ohio
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, July 8, 1839; 2:6 Advertisement
     
      . . . . .
     


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: burnt
Lives: 50
Hull damage: $40,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1838
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.10017
Language of Item:
English
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.4795 Longitude: -79.33393
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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George Washington (Steamboat), burnt, 16 Jun 1838