The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John Richards (Schooner), capsized, 1 May 1842

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Detroit, May 12 -The Detroit package received at the Post Office this morning has the following endorsement: "Seven men drowned last night by the upsetting of a vessel in a squall."
      From Mr. Harris of the CONSTITUTION, who conversed with one of the crew, saved, we learn that the vessel in question was the schr. J. RICHARD of Marblehead, J. Doran, master, and that she was laden with a cargo of cut stone for Detroit.
The hand saved says that the captain, Dennis Dolan, --- Owen, and the other persons on board went down with the vessel after she was capslzed.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      May 13, 1842

      DREADFUL DISASTER -- On Tuesday night last about 9 o'clock, as the schooner JOHN RICHARDS, from Sandusky was running up the river, she was struck about two miles below the city, by a sudden and heavy squall which capsized her and drowned all but one of her crew, which was composed of seven persons, viz, James B. Molan ([Moran]?) Captain; R.F. Canners ([Hanners]?) Mate; Dennis Doran; Mr. Owens; Mr. Anthony; James Douglass, lost; Meririt Hunt, saved.
      The schooner was loaded with cut stone for this city. When the squall struck her, all her sails except her flying jib, was set, the stone then shifted and capsized her almost instantly. After the vessel went down the crew clung to the mast heads, which stood above for a few moments. The current soon shifted her side-ways, when the mast heads went under. Hunt then seized hold of a five gallon keg which floated from the vessel and kept himself above water level until he was rescued. The rest of the unfortunate crew found nothing to save themselves upon and sank to a watery grave.
The cries of the men for help, after the squall struck the vessel, were heard on shore, when Messrs Bissell, Goltry ([Godfroy]?) and Loranger of Springwell, went with a boat to their relief. They found Hunt as above stated, but almost unconscious and exhausted. He was however brought in, and was yesterday in the city and gave us the above facts.
The schooner was worth about $1,500 and was owned by Mr. Clamton ([Clemens]?) of Marblehead. She had a load of 60 tons of cut stone, for this city to rebuild the corner where we were burned-out last winter. The crew all belonged to Marblehead except Owens, who was we believe a citizen of Detroit. --Detroit Free Press.
      Cleveland Plain Dealer
      Wed. May 18, 1842 p.2 col.2 & 3

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: capsized
Lives: 6
Hull damage: $1,500
Freight: stone
Remarks: Total loss ?
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.33143 Longitude: -83.04575
William R. McNeil
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John Richards (Schooner), capsized, 1 May 1842