The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mohawk (Schooner), aground, 7 Dec 1849


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Schooner MOHAWK, ashore Oswego Harbor and went to pieces in a few minutes
      Sandusky Clarion
      Dec. 7, 1849

      . . . . .

Marine Disaster and Loss of Life. -- The schooner Mohawk, Capt. Carmichael, from Chicago for this port, came out of the Welland canal early on Thursday morning, Dec. 6th, and reached this port, at about one o'clock on the morning of the of the 7th, the night being the worst of the season. The wind was blowing a gale from the West, North West, with a tremendous sea running, and the weather intensely cold. In attempting to make the harbor, under a double reefed foresail and jib, the Mohawk, as she reached the mouth of the harbor, and struck the current, was driven from her course by violence of the sea, and struck the East pier, when her masts went by the board, and the vessel drifted down out side the pier and went to pieces.
The bow of the vessel, with a part of the wreck, went ashore at the East end of the pier immediately under the walls of Fort Ontario. There were seven persons on board, including one passenger, five of whom saved themselves by jumping the pier. Mr. Connor, the mate, was washed off by a sea, and afterwards rescued from the surf in a state of insensibility, but recovered. Capt. Carmichael and a hand by the name of Parker was lost. Capt. Carmichael was one of the most energetic and skillful seamen belonging to this port and a universal feeling of sorrow pervades the city at his loss.
The Mohawk was owned by J.B. Morris Esq., of this city, and was a sound vessel, having been rebuilt last season. She was deeply laden, having on board 8,000 bushels of wheat. Her policy of insurance expired on the first instant, and had not be renewed. There was an insurance of $5,000 on the wheat in the North Western office. There was also an insurance on the life of Capt. Carmichael for $500 in the American Mutual Life Insurance Company, of which E.C. Bancroft, Esq., is the agent in this city. Capt. Carmichael leaves a wife and child. His body was found yesterday upon the beach about two miles below the city.
When the Mohawk made the Oswego light, coming in, the lights of a vessel were distinctly seen under her stern, for the safety of which much apprehension is felt here, as it is deemed extremely doubtful whether, with the direction of the wind and seas, she could have made the Sackets harbor pass.
      Oswego Commercial Times
      Saturday, December 8, 1849

      . . . . .

      MARINE DISASTER---LOSS OF LIFE
The Oswego Times of Dec. 8th., says the schooner MOHAWK, Capt. Carmichael, from Chicago for oswego, came out of the Welland Canal on Thursday morning, Dec. 6th., and reached that port at about one o'clock on the morning of the 7th., the night being the worst of the season. The wind was blowing a gale from the West-North-West, with a tremendous sea running, and the weather intensely cold. In attempting to make the harbor, under a double reefed foresail and jib the MOHAWK, as she reached the mouth of the harbor and struck the current, was driven from her course by the violence of the sea, and struck the east pier, when her masts went by the board, and the vessel drifted down outside the pier and went to pieces. The bow of the vessel, with a part of the wreck, went ashore on the east end of the pier immediately under the walls of Fort Ontario. There were seven persons on board, including one passenger, five of whom saved themselves by jumping upon the pier. Mr. Conner, the mate, was washed off by a sea, and afterwards rescued from the surf in a state of insensibility, but recovered. Capt. Carmichael and a hand by the name of Parker were lost.
Capt. Carmichael was one of the most energetic and skillful seamen belonging to that port, and a universal feeling of sorrow pervades the city at his loss. The MOHAWK was owned by J.B.C.Morris, Esq.,of Oswego, and was a sound vessel, having been rebuilt last season. She was deeply laden, having on board 8,000 bushels of wheat. Her policy of insurance expired on the first instant, and had not been renewed. There was an insurance of $5,000 on the wheat in the North Western office. There was also an insurance on the life of Capt.Carmichael for $500 in the American Mutial Life Insurance Co. Capt. Carmichael leaves a wife and child His body was found the samd day upon the beach, about two miles below the city.
When the MOHAWK made the Oswego light, coming in, the lights of a vessel were clearly seen under her stern, for the safety of which much apprehension is felt as it is extremely doubtful whether, with the direction of the wind and seas, she could have made Sacketts Harbor pass.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, December 10, 1849 p.3

      . . . . .

Shipwreck and Loss of Life - The Schooner MOHAWK, Capt. John Carmichael, owned by J.B.C. Morris Esq., of this city, and having on board 8,000 bushels of Wheat, was blown upon the East Pier on attempting to enter this port about 11 o'clock on Thursday night, 8th inst., and in a few minutes went to pieces. There were seven persons on board when she struck, five of whom succeeded in getting upon the pier, but the Captain and one hand were lost. The first Mate was severely injured.
Capt. Carmichael was a resident of this city, and leaves a wife and one child. His body was found on Friday. he had effected an insurance of $500 on his life in the American Mutual Life Insurance Company, E.C. Bancroft, Esq., Agent, which will be paid to his family.
      The vessel was valued at $10,000, and not insured. Cargo insured in North Western Insurance Company.
      Oswego Palladium
      Sat., December 15, 1849

      . . . . .

      MARINE DISASTERS AND LOSSES ON THE LAKES DURING THE SEASON OF 1849
      -------------------------------------------------------------------
Schooner MOHAWK, wrecked at Oswego. Two lives lost. Total loss of vessel
      and cargo .............................................$11,000
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, January 3, 1850 (extracted from list)

      . . . . .

BODY FOUND. - The Oswego Times says an inquest has been held on the body of Robert Campbell, a pasenger on the schooner MOHAWK, wrecked at that port last week. He was a Scotsman by birth, about 35 years old, and is said to have friends residing at Buffalo.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      December 17, 1849

      . . . . .

      "O Pilot, 'tis a Stormy night,
      There's danger on the Deep."

      On a bleak and dismal night, last December, past midnight, a large number of hardy looking men were seen hovering in the darkness near the foot of Fort Ontario. In the distance, surrounded by gloom and the roar of the tempest, the light of an approaching vessel was seen. It neared the mouth of the harbor and in a vain endeavor to enter it, the Schooner Mohawk was dashed against the eastern pier. The scene was a fearful one, and as she beat with appalling violence upon it, the surf carrying her nearly over its top, those on board seemed beyond the reach of human aid. Almost superhuman efforts were made by the noble-hearted men, who had watched her progress until she struck the pier, in their struggles to save the sufferers. Five of them who sprang from the doomed schooner were saved, but the heroic commander Carmichael, refused to leave his barque, but perished
with her, when she was cast helpless on the beach.
A walk in the vicinity of the wreck the other day, when the lake was comparatively calm, was full of melancholy pleasure. There is always a mournful interest attached to a wreck. A few hours before, perhaps, she freighted with joyous beings, moves like a thing of life, with sails set and the graceful motion of a bird.
Now she lies helpless, broken in fragments, and deserted. The bows and part of the frame and a portion of the storm, are all that remain of the gallant Mohawk. The storms of the past winter have broken her robust frame. The surf washes sullenly through her timbers, with a moan that makes the heart ache, when it is known noble men perished with this fatal shipwreck.
      Oswego Commercial Times
      March 30, 1850


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: 2
Hull damage: $11,000
Cargo: included
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1849
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.11359
Language of Item:
English
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Mohawk (Schooner), aground, 7 Dec 1849