The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Acorn (Schooner), sunk by collision, 31 Aug 1842

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      A melancholy disaster occurred about 11 o'clock kast evening. The schooner EMILY, Capt. Chase, bound from Vermilion to St. Catharines with a load of wheat, ran into the schooner ACORN, with passengers and merchandise, and so serious was the collision that the latter sunk in fifteen minutes in ten fathoms water, the crew and passengers escaping with nothing but the clothing on their backs.
      Capt. Cobb describes the crash and the scene which followed as terrific. The wind was fresh, the night dark and foggy and neither vessel was descried from the other until nearly afoul.
      The helm of the ACORN was ordered to luff and the helmsman of the EMILY in the consternation of the moment obeyed a similar order, instead of putting his helm up. This brought the EMILY square into the ACORN just abaft of the fire rigging, carrying away her side so that the water poured in a torrent. The passengers, some 45 in number, were in their berths below, not a moment was lost in transferring the men, women and children, in their night-clothes, on board the EMILY. This was barely accomplished when the vessels parted from each other and the ACORN went down.
      The passengers were emigrants, and are left in a destitute and most forlorn condition. Three of the families, Americans, and two English. One man saved his money by means of a belt on his person -- the rest lost all. Some $4,000 in gold, it is stated, was lost. The ACORN was freighted with 40 tons iron, about 30 tons dry goods, &c., besides property of emigrants. Vessel new last spring, and owned by Mr. William Walker of Amherst, Lorain county. No insurance, unless on merchandise. The ACORN lies about 12 miles below this port and 3 miles from land. An attempt to raise her will probably be made.
      The EMILY lost her bow sprit, cut water and fore rigging. The collision was one of those unfortunate accidents which sometimes occurr in spite of the precautions of the best of officers and crews.
      Erie Gazette
      September 8, 1842

      . . . . .

      The schooner ACORN which was run into and sunk by the schooner EMILY on the night of 31st. August, about 12 miles from this port, has through the enterprise Messrs. Pease & Allen and B.F. Smith & Co., been raised and brought into port. She was a new and staunch vessel of 125 tons burthen - had on board at the time of the disaster 72 tons of freight and 43 passengers. One passenger only was lost, and the damage to her freight remains to be known, as nothing yet has been taken from her hold. We are informed that about 36 tons were dry goods and the balance iron, and that the whole amount of insurance covered about $10,000. The cost of raising her will probably not exceed $2,000.
      Cleveland Plain Dealer
      Wednesday, November 2, 1842 2-3

      . . . . .

The Storm on the Lakes - asks the question: could the gale of 18th Nov. have been anticipated? The answer is yes with the use of barometers.
      Losses on the Western Lakes
      The annexed list is supposed to comprise all the vessels that have suffered material loss the past season on Lake Erie & the Western lakes. The estimated damage, being founded on public report, is not to be relied upon; but the aggregate amount is supposed to be much short of the actual loss. No estimate has been made of furniture of emigrants, or baggage of passengers. The amount of losses covered by insurance heard of is $21,725.
      Loss and Loss and Lives
In the gale of 18th Nov. Damage to vessels damage of cargoes lost

Brig 0. Richmond, ashore in Buffalo Bay $700
Schr. Jefferson, do. do. (total loss) $2,500 $600 9
Schr Walter Joy, do. do $2,000 $1,000
Schr Brandywine, do do (total loss) $1,000 $800 8
Schr Lord Seaton, (Brit) do do $1,000
S.B. Chicago, ashore near Catteraugus creek $5,000 $5,000
Schr N Hubbard, near Conneaut, (total loss) $3,000 7
Schr Ben Franklin, ashore near Fairport (total loss) $2,500
Schr Alleghan, ashore near do $500
Schr Ohio, ashore near Point Abino $400
Schr Edwin Jenny, do do $1,200
Brig Frances Mills, do do $1,500 $1,200
Schr Florida, do do (total loss) $2,000 $1,483
Schr Lagure, do do, do $1,500 $2,500 6
Schr M Kingman, do do $400
Schr Mississippi, do do $400 $75
Schr Indiana, do do (total loss) $3,000 $750
Ship Milwaukie, ashore near Kalamazoo, Mich. (total loss) $10,000 $7,500 7
Schr Columbus, ashore near G. River, Mich. (total loss) $2,800 $2,812
Schr Florida, ashore near St. Josephs, Mich. (total loss) $3,000
Schr Bancroft, do do, (total loss) $2,700
S.B. Wisconsin near Chicago $3,000
Schr S Juneau, dismasted and drifted into Grand River, Mich $500
S B C Trowbridge, ashore near Milwaukie $3,000
Schr Herald, (Br) ashore near G. River, Canada $500
Schr H Colvin, on Lake Erie, deck loading $80
Schr John Grant, on Lake Erie, chain and anchor $100
Schr A Wilcox, on Lake Huron, deck loading $375
Schr J Richards, ashore on Point Au Barques, Lake Huron $1,000
Schr Detroit, missing no tidings, (total loss) $750 6
Schr Carolina, missing on Lake Huron, (total loss) $1,500 6
Schr Emily, (Br) missing no tidings, (total loss) $2,500 8
Schr Merchant and schr J _ , lost 1 man each 2
      $58,850 $24,275.52
Sept. 8 - Schr Acorn, run down and sunk on L. Erie $4,400 $3,000
Oct. - Schr. Lodi run down and sunk on Lake Erie $500
Nov. 5 - S B Vermillion burned at Huron, Lake Erie $25,000 $5,7003
Dec. - S B Erie, cut by ice and sunk on Lake St. Clair $3,000 3
      $91,750 $52,97569
[note - these figures don't add up but are as per originals]
      [Cleveland Herald]
      Upper Canada Herald (Kingston)
      January 31, 1843 p.2

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 1
Hull damage: $4,400
Cargo: $3,000
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Acorn (Schooner), sunk by collision, 31 Aug 1842