THE MERCHANT. - The following is the dispatch received by the Chicago Tribune with regard to the disaster to the propeller Merchant:
"The propeller Merchant, of the Anchor Line, which left here Wednesday afternoon with a cargo of flour and corn for Erie, struck the Racine Reef, and is now resting on it, full of water. Capt. Beers, the agent of the line, as soon as he learned of the disaster, made an arrangement with Capt. Berriman, of the Coast Wrecking Company, who is at present in the city superintending the raising of the schooner John Dunn, to send the tug Rescue to her aid. The Rescue and pontoons left last evening, and it is believed that they will succeed in getting her off. The Merchant is one of the best vessels on the lake, and will not easily go to pieces.. Her cargo, however, will undoubtedly be greatly damaged."
The following dispatch was received from Racine in regard to this disaster on Thursday evening:
"Considerable excitement exists in marine circles here from the fact that the propeller Merchant is aground just below our harbor and is leaking badly, having at present seven feet of water in her hold. She cleared Chicago yesterday for Buffalo, having a cargo of 1,300 bbls of flour and 20,000 bu corn, and struck the reef about 11 o'clock last night, turning completely around and settling in a position directly opposite from the one she was headed."
Information was received here last evening from Buffalo, that strenuous efforts were to be made at once to release the ill fated vessel. The reef is a dangerous one, and should a gale spring up, the worst consequences will follow. A rumor was afloat during the afternoon that the merchant was a total wreck, but we are unable to trace it to any authoritative source. She is an iron freight propeller of 1,009 tons burden, built by David Bell, at Buffalo in July of 1862, rated A1, was lengthened in 1873, and was valued at $85,000.