The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), December 1, 1842

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Storm On Lake Erie

We have received verbal accounts from Buffalo, which state that a fearful storm has been raging on Lake Erie since Friday night. Several bodies from shipwrecked vessels have been driven into this port, and flying rumors were current that a large number of schooners have been wrecked between that city and Dunkirk. We fear the loss of life and property will prove dreadful.

From The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser Nov. 13

Great Destruction Of Property On The Lakes - The gale blew itself out this morning. The wind is yet high, and an occasional sough may still be heard, but the tempest is over. It was dreadful, though, while it lasted, or from about noon yesterday until some intermediate time last night. The wind blew a prefect hurricane most of the time, and the air was so filled with snow that one could scarcely see twenty yards. The temperature was very low, and altogether it was about the worst gale we were experienced in Buffalo. Although the damage here has been slight, there must have been much personal suffering, in many families poorly prepared for such a fierce advent of the inclemencies of winter.

P.S. since the above was in type we have learned the following particulars: -

The schr. Jefferson, Capt. Dougall, went ashore at 6 o`clock last night, about three miles above Buffalo light-house, and is a total wreck, attended with a melancholy loss of life - one entire family, husband, wife, and five children, together with a young woman, and one of the men belonging to the vessel, having perished.

Capt. Dougall, from whom we have the painful recital, says that about two hours after his vessel beached, the companion-way was washed of, and the children and young woman drowned in the cabin and forecastle. A portion of the crew got ashore, in quest of help, and were endeavoring to rescue the family. The mate wrapped his overcoat around the woman, and tried to keep her warm by walking her to and fro on the beach, but she soon became exhausted and incapable of motion, and was placed in the boat which had washed up, where she died in a short time. Her husband was delirious, on reaching shore and attempted to escape into the swamp near by, but perished within a short distance. One of the hands belonging to the vessel, named James Bruce, got into the swamp and was likewise lost. The family were from Hartford, Ct. - names unknown - the children, aged from 8 years downward. The crew succeeded about midnight in getting on board the brig Olive Richmond, beached below them, in a greatly exhausted state.

When our reporter reached the vessel, this forenoon, the figure of the young woman above mentioned was discovered standing in an upright posture, in the forecastle companion-way, frozen stark and stiff, with hand partly raised in an imploring posture, and her eyes fixed with a cold and stony gaze upon the shore.

The brig Olive Richmond, a new vessel, Capt. Dorchester, went ashore, about a mile below the Jefferson, early yesterday afternoon. She was bound up, in ballast, and will be got off without damage.

The schooner Walter Joy, Capt. Lacy, went ashore about the same time, near the Olive Richmond, with a deck load of flour, which will be partly lost, but the vessel will be got off without trifling injury.

The brig Francis Mills, Capt. Langley, went ashore on the Canada side, three miles below Point Abino, at 12 o`clock, P.M., yesterday. She was bound for Chicago and St. Joseph, - will probably be got off.

The schooner Edwin Jenny, Capt. Davison, dragged her anchors and went ashore below Point Abino, near the Francis Mills. She was loading with stone for some port up the lake.

The following additional vessels are reported wrecked: -
Schr. Indiana, for Chicago, total wreck.
Schr. Mississippi, Capt. Raymond, for Kingston, total wreck.
Schr. M. Kingman lies high and dry.

The above vessels are all on Gravelly Bay.
Schr. Florida, total wreck, a little above Point Abino.
Scr. Henry Roop, Capt. Fish, at Silver Creek.

Of the vessels heard from, eleven in number, all have been wrecked, at a distance of some twenty miles from this port, which is the extent of the coast heard from.

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December 1, 1842
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Peter Warwick
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), December 1, 1842