The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Franklin (Schooner), sunk, 10 Oct 1820

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A severe storm was experienced on lake Erie on the 10th. inst. Various reports are in circulation, respecting the disasters occasioned by it, which are so contradictory that it is impossible to state with any certainty the number of lives which may have been lost, or the amount of the damage which has been sustained. The following are all the particulars we have been able to collect, which are entitled to credit:
      The schooner FRANKLIN, Captain Haight, belonging to P. S. V. Hamot, of Erie, Pa., arrived off Grand River; the cargo consisting of salt and merchandize for Hamot & Tracy, of Painesville. The captain and passengers landed, after which, the captain perceiving a storm gathering, with some difficulty again went on board, and not being able to enter the harbor, put to sea. The next morning the schooner was discovered about twelve miles from the mouth of the river, and three miles from shore--nothing visible but the tops of the masts. It is supposed she upset and Captain haight and three sailors found a watery grave.
      The schooner ELIZABETH, Captain Napier, of Ashtabula, is also supposed to be lost; the bodies of a man and a woman, believed to have been on board of her, floated ashore near Grand River.
      It is reported also, that the schooners AURORA and WOLF were driven ashore; but nothing has been heard respecting them which can be depended on.
      The schooner COMMODORE PERRY. owned and commanded by Philo Taylor, Esq., of this village was driven ashore near Buffalo; but it is said she will be got off without material damage.
      We shall probably be able in our next paper, to give a more correct account of these terrible disasters.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Tuesday, October 24, 1820
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We understand the owners of the schooner FRANKLIN and cargo, Messrs. Hamot and Tracy, have offered one half of the vessel and one fourth of the cargo, to any person who will raise her; which offer has been accepted by some individuals, and hopes are entertained of their succeeding in the undertaking.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Tuesday, October 31, 1820

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      Erie, Oct. 21.
      MELANCHOLY SHIPWRECK. --It is with extreme regret we have to record the loss of the schooner FRANKLIN, Capt. Hayt, belonging to Mr. P.V.S. Hamot of this place. When the gale commenced on Tuesday the 10th inst. she was lying at anchor at the mouth of Grand River, where she had stopped to discharge some merchandise she had on board for Hamot & Tracy, of Painesville. She was seen to put to sea about 8 o'clock on Tuesday night, and was discovered on Wednesday about twelve miles below Grand River, apparently stationary. That evening her boat was found on the beach, and a number of salt barrels came ashore, together with her companionway, binnacle and pump. On Wednesday night she went to the bottom, and, painful to state, all her crew have found a watery grave. She was discovered on Friday the 13th, by Capt. Eaton, of the schooner RACHAEL. She is about three miles from shore, near where seen on Wednesday, in ten fathoms water; stand erect, with her top-mast out of water. Her cargo consisting of Salt and Merchandise, is supposed to have been worth between four and five thousand dollars. The crew consisted of Capt. Charles Hayt, formerly of Boston, Mass.; Daniel D. Norton; James Bothel; and Robert Cory. None of the bodies have yet been found.
      Capt., Hayt has left a wife and four children, who reside in Mill creek township, in this county.
Was also wrecked on Tuesday night, 10th inst. near Conneaut, the schooner ELIZABETH, of Ashtabula, Capt. Maper. The crew consisted of the Capt. and one sailor, with a Miss Rhoda Sloan, formerly of Canandaigua, passenger, perished. The wreck and several trunks were found on Wednesday and Thursday following. The bodies of those who were in her, have not yet been found.
      Detroit Gazette
      November 3, 1820

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from the Niagara Patriot of Oct. 24
The Schr. FRANKLIN, Capt. Hayt, of Erie, of 90 tons, owned by Mr. Peter S.V. Hamot, of Erie, with a cargo of between three and four thousand dollars worth of merchandise, belonging to Mr. Hamot, and 500 bbls. of salt, belonging to Mr. Bracket, of Salina, sailed from Erie and arrived at Grand River - the Capt. went on shore, but returned to his vessel when the gale came on. The schooner now lies sunk in about 5 fathom water, some distance from the shore, with the top of her masts just above water, I0 miles below Grand River.
The crew are lost - consisting of Capt. Hayt, and a Mr. Nortan, pilot, and two others, all of Erie Pa. it is thought but little of the cargo can be saved...
      The schooner ZEPHYR, Napier master, from Ashtabula to Sandusky, with a quantity of goods and salt, was driven on shore near the Pennsylvania and Ohio line, with the loss of every soul on board, amounting to 10 or 12 persons, the crew and passengers.
The body of a female was found upon the shore of one of the islands, which was the only discovery that had been made of the remains of those unfortunate persons, who had thus suddenly been whelmed in the abyss of destruction. Hats, bonnets, &c. had floated ashore...
Another small craft is said to be lost, but we have no particulars
The schooner ELIZABETH, of U. C. is reported to be lost, with most of her crew, but the report is undonfirmed...
The Lake Erie Steam Boat had fortunately just arrived at Detroit and made fast to the wharf, as the storm commenced
      Kingston Chronicle
      November 17, 1820

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      The following list of vessels navigating Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior, in 1818, is taken from David Thomas' "Travels Through the Western Country,: printed in Auburn in 1819. The publication of this list of the feeble lake marine of less than sixty years ago will be interesting. It is stated, incidentally "the steamboat will soon start on Lake Erie."
      FRANKLIN Capt. J. F. Wright 73 tons, of Presque Isle

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 4
Freight: salt, merchandise
Remarks: Total loss ?
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.76032 Longitude: -81.28066
William R. McNeil
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Franklin (Schooner), sunk, 10 Oct 1820