The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Good Intent (Schooner), struck against pier, 2 Dec 1825

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from the Buffalo Emporium, Dec. 10
      DREADFUL DISASTER.---It becomes our painful duty to record a shocking disaster, which took place on the lake on Friday night last. The schooner GOOD INTENT, Capt. Talbott, with five or six other vessels, had been waiting in our harbor for some days for a fair wind to sail up the lake. The GOOD INTENT was principally loaded with salt; and, with the utmost industry, we have not been able to ascertain how many persons there were on board. Reports are various on the subject; some stating there were seven, and others, twelve or fifteen. She with other vessels, in the early part of Tuesday, got under way, and proceeded with a fair wind up the lake. In the afternoon the wind shifted when she was nearly opposite Dunkirk, and she was put about with the evident intention of laying her course back to Buffalo harbor. This is the last information we can obtain of her until she was discovered, early on Friday morning, beating against the outside of the pier, masts standing, but her sails torn in flitters, the wind blowing a gale, and the waves dashing over the pier and the vessel frightfully. A man was discovered on board, but it was impossible to save him. After some time the gale abated, and the schooner was boarded. One person was immediately found, dead and dreadfully mangled. Subsequently another was found in the vessel, and the body of a third has since been discovered, drifted on shore below the harbor. The bodies of Capt. Talbott, Mr. Peter Ditts, and Mr. J. Lowe, are those found. Capt. Talbott has left a large family to regret his untimely end.
      It is thought this disaster was caused by the schooners' missing the mouth of the harbor. The night was extremely dark, and the wind heavy. Probably, the shock when she struck the pier, was so great as to throw some of the crew (and passengers, if she had any,) overboard, and the remainder were exhausted by the rolling and beating of the vessel, but these things must forever remain conjectures.
      This event has occasioned a sadness and gloom in our village, such as has not been lately witnessed. We expect that the bodies of those found will be buried today.
      The GOOD INTENT, we understand, was owned by Messrs. Johnson & Wilkinson, her cargo will be lost---she was bound for Sandusky. The other vessels which sailed at the time of the GOOD INTENT have returned. The MILAN, which anchored under Point Abino, parted her cables in the gale, and came safely into our harbor in the night. The schooner COMMERCE has arrived from Detroit.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Friday, December 16, 1825
      . . . . .
      SHIPWRECK. -- On Friday morning last, the schooner GOOD INTENT, owned and sailed by Abraham Talbott, of Springfield township, in this county, was wrecked in attempting to get into the mouth of Buffalo Creek. -- She had left Buffalo on Thursday morning, bound up the lake, with a fair wind, but during the evening the wind came a head, increased to a gale, and she was forced to run back, and is supposed to have reached the mouth of the creek before daylight, and in attempting to get in, run against the pier, where she was immediately dashed to pieces by the violence of the waves, and every soul on board lost. We have not been able to ascertain what number were on board, but have reason to believe there were some passengers. The body of Captain Talbott, and a seaman by the name of Peter Diltz, and two others, whose names we have not learned, have been found. Captain Talbott has left a wife and a large family of children, in indigent circumstances, and principally dependent on him for support.
      Erie Gazette
      December 15, 1825

      . . . . .

On Friday morning last, the schooner Good Intent, Capt. Talbot, came ashore in Buffalo Bay, below the Lighthouse, in a severe gale of wind; &, we regret to add, was totally lost with all the hands and the entire cargo. She left this port on Thursday evening, with the Captain & three hands on board, (but no passengers,) laden with 140 barrels of salt, belonging to the Messrs. LOCKWOODS, of Milan, Ohio. The gale struck her off Dunkirk, while she was in company with several other vessels, a part of which came to anchor under Point Abino, on the Canada shore, and the remainder stood back for Buffalo Harbor. The good Intent, when last seen from the other vessels, was some distance astern, apparently all well. On Friday morning she was discovered aground near the shore, the sea making a full breach over her.
One man was then alive, lashed upon the quarter deck, but before assistance could reach him, the deck parted from the hull, and it was soon after seen to capsize, in the surf, with the unfortunate sufferer still fast to it. Towards noon the gale so far abated that boats reached the wreck, but not a soul was left alive. The bodies of Capt. TALBOT, Peter DILTS, and J. LOWE have been found and interred.
The Good Intent was owned entirely by Captain TALBOT, an industrious man, with a large family, residing in Erie county, Pensylvania[sic]. The vessel was not provided with dead lights, and the inference is that she filled in the lake, before drifting ashore. In no other way can we account for her being in the place she was found, for the night was not dark; and the position in which she lay-seems conclusive that she reached the spot when in an unmanageable condition. --- Buffalo Journal.
      The Republican Advocate
      Batavia, New York
      December 16, 1825
      . . . . .

      In a part of our last week's impression, it was mentioned that it was uncertain how many persons were on board the schr. GOOD INTENT at the time she sailed from this port. We have now good authority for stating that there were but 4 persons on board. The bodies of 3 have been found; they were buried on Sunday last. The GOOD INTENT was owned by Capt. Talbott.
      Buffalo Emporium
      December 17, 1825

      . . . . .

      THE SCHOONER " GOOD INTENT." -- The Buffalo papers concur in stating that there were no passengers on board this schooner when she was wrecked, and that the crew consisted of only four, the captain, two seamen, and a cook. She had 140 barrels of salt on board, belonging to the Messrs. Lockwood's, of Milan, Ohio, which was all lost. The bodies of Capt. Talbott, Peter Diltz, and J. Howe, have been found and interred.
      Erie Gazette
      December 22, 1825

NOTE:-- from the following it would seem the the GOOD INTENT was recovered from the above.

      SHIPWRECK.--The Schooner LAKE SERPENT, Capt. Leet, which left this port on the 24th. ult. for Detroit, laden with pork, flour, and whiskey, struck a reef of rocks, on the evening of the same day, near Point Au Plait, when she filled and sunk, the quarter deck remaining above water, Capt. Leet and several other persons left the schooner the next day, in the small boat, for sandusky, leaving a sailor and one passenger, who voluntarily remained on board the wreck. The schooner GOOD INTENT, Capt. Whitaker, happened to be in port, and proceeded to their assistance. We understand they succeeded in saving the principal part of the cargo, which has been landed at Sandusky. The wreck has not yet been got off, and is supposed to be so much injured as to be unworthy of being repaired.
      Clevelkand Weekly Herald
      Friday, June 2, 1826

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: struck against pier
Lives: 4
Freight: salt
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
William R. McNeil
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Good Intent (Schooner), struck against pier, 2 Dec 1825