The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Jefferson (Schooner), aground, 17 Mar 1844

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March 17 - Schooner JEFFERSON, Dougall, master; ashore at St. Joseph, Lake Michigan, cargo of stone; vessel 116 tons and 10 years old, a total loss. Loss $2,500 (cargo included).
      Lake Disasters of 1844
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      February 8, 1845

      GALE ON LAKE MICHIGAN - The St. Joseph Commercial Bulletin of March 18th contained an account of the schr. JEFFERSON, Capt. Dougal, and the brig ROSA, Capt. Whiting, being driven ashore at that place by the violence of the gale on the 17th. Both vessels were loaded with stone for St. Joseph's harbor, and it is thought they may be got off without material injury. The schr. OCEAN, Capt. Davis, was also driven ashore, about 1 1/2 miles north of St. Joseph, and the schr. WAVE at Racine.
      The schrs. VICTORY, MINT, C. CROOKS, NORTH AMERICA, BOLIVAR, HIRAM PIERSON and CLEOPATRA, left Chicago, on Saturday for Grand River and St. Joseph, and it is feared that the violence of the gale has driven them all ashore.
      Daily Courier & Economist
      March 29, 1844

      From the St. Joseph Commercial Bulletin, March 18. - SEVERE GALE. - At sunrise yesterday morning the wind blew steadily from the southwest, and the lake was comparatively calm, but at 8 o'clock, the wind chopped round to the northeast, almost instantly and commenced blowing a tremendous gale, (which still continues) accompanied with heavy snow squalls. About two o'clock P. M., the wind having veered round to the west, the schooner JEFFERSON, Captain Dougall, was discovered making directly towards the piers, but her sails being torn to ribbons by the gale, and having broken her tiller just as she reached the breakers outside, she was at the mercy of the storm, the violence of which drifted her ashore some rods south of the pier. At this moment the brig ROSA, Capt. Whiting, hove in sight endeavoring to make our harbor, but she being also disabled by the storm went ashore south of the JEFFERSON. Both vessels had cargoes of stone for our harbor, and it is hoped they will be got off without sustaining material injury.
      Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Napier, of the brig SCOTT, Capt. Randall, and many of our citizens, for their intrepidity in braving the fury of the storm at the risk of their lives to rescue the passengers and crews from their perilous situations.
      Since the above was written Capt. Davis, of the schooner OCEAN, has arrived in town with his crew and passengers, announcing his vessel ashore about one and a half miles north of this village. No cargo aboard. They also report the schooner WAVE ashore at Racine.
      The schooners VICTORY, MINT, C. CROOKS, NORTH AMERICA, BOLIVAR, HIRAM PIERSON, and CLEOPATRA, left Chicago on Saturday for Grand River and St. Joseph, and it is feared that the violence of the gale has driven them ashore.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      March 30, 1844

DISASTER ON THE UPPER LAKES.--We published a few days since as slip from the St. Joseph Commercial Bulletin announcing several vessels ashore laden with stone, and fears expressed with regard to others. The Bulletin of the 27th ult. has this further intelligence:
"The Brig ROSA has proved a wreck, the gale having "broken her back." The JEFFERSONÆs fate is considered doubtful, she having sustained considerable injury. The Ocean is considered hopeless. The Mint bore the storm nobly, and came into port in fine style on Monday afternoon. The other vessels named above, we believe, have all been heard from. The extent of the damage to the shipping by the late gale cannot be estimated, as many vessels ventured out on the day previous to the storm from Chicago, Milwaukie, and other ports on the Lake. The Victory and Nancy Dousman are probably lost--they were bound for Grand River.
      Detroit Daily Advertizer
      April 4, 1844

SEVERE GALE. -- A severe gale was experienced on Lake Michigan on the 17th inst, by which much damage was done to the shipping, and it is supposed some lives lost. The schooners VICTORY and NANCY DOUSMAN, have probably gone to the bottom, crews and all. The brig ROSA, and schooners JEFFERSON, OCEAN and WAVE, were lost; crews saved. All the other vessels that were out succeeded in getting into port, though many were much damaged. -- Grand Rapids Enq.
      Detroit Free Press
      Saturday, April 6, 1844

      The brig ROSA and the schooner JEFFERSON which went ashore near St. Joseph, have been stripped of their rigging, &c. The hulls will be an entire loss. - Chicago Ex.
      Buffalo Daily Gazette
      April 17, 1844

      . . . . .
The Chicago Journal gives the following statement, showing the number of vessels lost on Lake Michigan; their value, and the value of their cargoes when known; and the number of lives lost, from 1824 to 1847.
      Schooner LAWRENCE, 1824. $3,000
      Schooner RED JACKET, 1826. 2,000
      (here follows an interval of 7 years during which vessels must have been lost; but the record is not found.)
      Schooner ERIE PACKET, Dec. 1833 1,500
      Schooner PRINCE EUGENE, Oct. 1834 27,000
      Steamboat NEWBURYPORT, Oct. 1834 15,000
      Steamboat PIONEER, Aug. 1834 10,000
      Schooner name forgotten, 1835 2,000 Green Bay.
      Schooner UTICA, 1835 7,000
      Schooner CHANCE, Nov. 1835 7 lives 2,000
      Schooner BRIDGET, Nov. 1835 16 lives 5,000
      Schooner SLOAN, Nov. 1835 6 lives 3,000
      Steamboat DELAWARE, Apr. 1835 20,000
      Sloop CLARISSA, Nov. 1836 1,500
      Schooner CHICAGO, Oct. 1836 8,000
      Schooner AUSTERLITZ, Oct. 1836 12,000 vessel and goods
      Schooner OHIO, Oct. 1837 6,000
      Schooner LaPORTE, Oct. 1838 3,000
      Schooner THOS. RICHMOND, Oct. 1838 6,000
      Schooner LaFAYETTE, Oct. 1838 3,000
      Schooner WHITE PIGEON, Nov. 1839 3,000
      Brig JOHN KENZIE, Nov. 1839 3,000
      Steamboat DETROIT, Aug. 1839 20,000
      Schooner VIRGINIA, Nov. 1839 7,000 wheat
      Steamboat TAYLOR, Oct. 1840 8,000
      Steamboat CHAMPLAIN, May 1840 10,000
      Schooner NEPTUNE, Nov. 1840 24 lives 15,000 goods
      Schooner CINCINNATI Oct. 1840 1,500
      Schooner JEFFERSON Apr. 1840 1,800
      Schooner HURON Oct. 1840 2,000
      Schooner POST BOY Oct. 1841 13 lives 1,000 goods
      Sloop SPITFIRE Oct. 1841 500
      Schooner ONEIDA Nov. 1841 20,000 wheat
      Schooner BANCROFT Nov. 1842 4,000
      Ship MILWAUKEE Nov. 1842 9 lives 10,000
      Ship FLORIDA, Nov. 1842 4,000
      Brig COLUMBUS, Nov. 1842 12,000 wheat
      Brig HUMMINGBIRD. May 1843 6 lives 1,000
      Schooner HARRIET, May 1843 8 lives 2,500
      Schooner MINERVA SMITH, May 1844 1,000
      Schooner WAVE, March 1844 5 lives 1,000
      Schooner VICTORY, March 1844 7 lives 2,000
      Schooner WHITNEY, Aug. 1844 6 lives 2,000
      Ship SUPERIOR, Sept. 1845 5,000
      Schooner JACOB BARKER, Nov. 1845 2,000
      Brig OLIVER, Nov. 1845 2,000
      Schooner OCEAN, Apr. 1845 6 lives 1,000
      Schooner SAVANNAH, Apr. 1845 5,000
      * Schooner JEFFERSON, Apr. 1845 4,500
      Brig INDIANA, Oct. 1845 4,000
      Schooner SWIFT, Oct. 1845 600
      Brig ROSA, Oct. 1845 8,000
      Schooner MARGARET HELM Nov. 1845 1,500
      Steamboat BOSTON, Nov. 1846 70,000
      Sloop JAMES K. POLK Nov. 1846 1,000
      Schooner ----?---- Nov. 1846 4,000
      Sloop RODOLPH, Nov. 1846 4 lives 400
      Schooner St. JOSEPH, Apr. 1847 1,000
      Schooner SOLOMON JUNEAU Apr. 1847 4,000
      Schooner MARY ELIZABETH Apr. 1847 2,000
      Schooner WISCONSIN, Apr. 1847 1,500
      Schooner OUTWARD BOUND Oct. 1847 2,000
      Schooner ILLINOIS, Nov. 1847 5,000 Green Bay
      Propeller PHOENIX Nov. 1847 164 lives 80,000
      Schooner CHAMPION Nov. 1847 15,000
      Schooner E.G. WOOLCOTT, Nov. 1847 10,000
      Schooner H. MERRILL, Nov. 1847 10,000
      Total Value $512,000
      Total number of lives lost 288
      Buffalo Republic
      Wednesday, February 9, 1848

      . . . . .

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $2,500
Cargo: included
Freight: stone
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.10976 Longitude: -86.48002
William R. McNeil
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Jefferson (Schooner), aground, 17 Mar 1844