The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Vandalia (Propeller), collision, 23 Apr 1842

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THE VANDALIA, a new species of water craft, appeared in our port on Saturday last, she carries a fore mast, square rigged assisted by one of Erricson's propellers, the wheels of which play under water each side of her rudder.- She attracted much attention from our citizens, some calling it a splendid inprovement and others doubting it. Experience will settle the question. She had a collision with the steamboat LEXINGTON upon leaving port, which carried away her jib-boom. The LEXINGTON also received considerable injury.
      Cleveland Plain Dealer
      Wed. April 27, 1842 P. 3 Col. 7

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The following notice of the Steamer VANDALIA of this port, is from the pen of J.C. Busner, Esq., formerly of this place, but now editor of the Buffalo American. It is candid, and when contrasted with the snarls of the other Buffalo prints, is truly gratifying. The VANDALIA - We paid a visit on Tuesday last, to this new fashioned vessel, propelled partly by steam, and partly by canvas, and had a long conversation with Capt. Hawkins, respecting both her prospects, and her performances. The VANDALIA is one hundred and thirty-eight tons burden, and has very comfortable accommodations for a good number of passengers. She has but one mast, with a large fore-and-aft mainsail and a large jib. She was originally intended for a schooner and planned solely with the view to carry a large cargo though he Welland Canal. After her frame was got out, it was determined to fit her up with the Ericsson propellers, and they were placed in her without making any alteration in her model: of course she labors under some disadvantages, which it is thought may be remedied by an improved construction of model in future vessels, to be built purposely for the Ericsson propellers. The machinery, including boiler, occupies just seventeen feet of the stern in the vessel, taking up only that part that has been heretofore used as a cabin room, and a cabin has been built on deck with much betteraccommodations than were to be found in the old fashioned ones below. The wheels that drive the vessel, are directly under the counter, and act on the water as the winds of a wind mill are acted upon by the air. Capt. Hawkins tells us he can get seven and a half miles an hour out of her, and that he can make his trips between Oswego and Chicago, in one month's time, without any doubt. This would give between this city and Chicago, less than three weeks. The VANDALIA carries only eight men, all told, and consumes six cords ofwood in twenty-four hours, with her macinery at work all the time. her engine cost over three thousand dollars, but engines of the same size, power and finish can now be procured for two thousand. In the rig of such vessels, too, a great improvement can be made, as even the addition of a half-square-sail would add much to her speed, and a distribution of the amount of her canvas into sails more convenient for handling, would add to the comfort of her crew, and to the ease of navigating her. It is to be remembered, that such a vessel needs no flying kites, for in light head winds she has her engine, and when the wind is fair, it must be tolerably fresh before she will need the assistance of her canvass. When she does need it, she ungears her drive wheels, and their easy play offers but little resistance to the motion of the vessel. We have always, however, been inclined to think that this patent would prove a failure, and both the performance and fate of the CLARION of NewYork, tended to confirm us in the belief, still all we hope the plan will succeed, and if a mere trifle of the improvement is made in the vessels that are to follow the VANDALIA, we feel assured that it will. A very short time will test the experiment. Should the plan succeed, Buffalo will enjoy the full benefit of it, and many a vessel will during the next winter adopt the propellers. The navigation between this and the upper lakes will be rendered more certain, more speedy and more convenient, and those who are emigrating to the West, will find vessels of this class much more pleasant than crowded steam boats. Their goods and baggage will also be more directly under their own care, and the difference in time, will be more than counter-balanced by the reduction in expense. The VANDALIA with rough weather, has made an excellent trip, accordingto the account of Capt. Hawkins promises well. We have long known Capt. H., and are perfectly satisfied that he would not willfully give too favorable an account of the prospects or performances of his vessel. In the evening the VANDALIA left our harbor, light, and it was the opinion of those steamboat men who saw her, that her rate was quite seven and a half miles.
      Oswego County Whig
      Wednesday, May 25, 1842

SHIPMATES, AHOY!! - A brother tar would inform his old shipmates and others, that having buffeted many gales, received many hard knocks, and become unseaworthy, he has entered a snug harbor at the sign of the ship, on First-street, East Oswego, where he will be happy to wait upon his friends and furnish them with a choice lot of DRY GROCERIES, PROVISIONS, &c. And he pledges himself that those who may favor him with their patronage, will be supplied with the very best of articles in his line, and at the lowest price. Paying cash for his goods, and dealing exclusively upon the cash principle, he feels confident of furnishing at as cheap if not cheaper rates than can be found elsewhere.
      THOMAS M'INTOSH. East Oswego, July 26, 1843.
      Oswego County Whig
      July 26, 1843


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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Damaged
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Vandalia (Propeller), collision, 23 Apr 1842