The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
New Connecticut (Schooner), capsized, 1 Sep 1833

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We learn from the Conneaut Gazette that on Wednesday last, the schooner NEW CONNECTICUT of that place capsized off Northeast, Pa. A Mrs. Appleby was drowned, the remainder of the persons on board, were saved by taking to the boat. She was loaded with flour and wheat, which it was feared would be lost.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      September 7, 1833 p.2 col.3

      It will be recalled that, in giving, in our last, an account of the accident that befel the schooner NEW CONNECTICUT, we stated that Mrs. Appleby who was on board was drowned. We have since learned that she has, after the lapse of five days, been taken from the vessel alive. The following particulars of this wonderful preservation we extract from the Conneaut Gazette.
"When the vessel filled, which it seems she did before she capsized, Mrs. Appleby was standing in the companion-way, and the water forced her back into the cabin, where she floated about until she found herself in an upper berth, on the larboard side.--when the vessel capsized, she lay on her starboard side, which left the berth occupied by Mrs Appleby, partly out of the water. In this situation she lay from Wednesday until Saturday, when the vessel being partly righted up, it filled the berth, and Mrs. Appleby only found space to keep her face out of the water by lying on her back. Not succeeding in righting the vessel on Saturday, she was let down again, which gave Mrs. Appleby a little more room. On Monday last, the vessel was again righted, when Mrs. Appleby seeing a small light at the companion-way, made an effort by diving under the water to get out, and on the second trial she succeeded. Her only food for five days, was one small biscuit. She supposed that the crew had not abandoned the vessel, and would probably succeed in effecting her rescue. The vessel has been taken into Portland, but we are sorry to learn is very much damaged.
      Cleveland Weekly herald
      September 14, 1833 p.3 col.1

      . . . . .

      Our readers will recollect an article published in the Patriot of September 10, 1833, in which it was stated, that the schr. NEW CONNECTICUT from Conneaut, bound to Buffalo, was capsized off Northeast, Pa., with a lady passenger in her cabin, who went down with the vessel and was lost. In the next number of the Patriot our readers were surprised by a statement that the fine vessel had not sunk, but had been righted, and the lady passenger Mrs. Mary Applebee, of Colden, (now of Black Rock,) after being 5 days in the cabin, partly immersed in water, came out alive, like one from the dead! Mrs. Applebee has prepared a narrative of the circumstances attending the disaster to the vessel, and her astonishing preservation and deliverance from such imminent perils. It is a narrative of thrilling interest, and the facts are corroborated by abundant and unquestioned testimony. It is now in press, and will be published in a few days, and we hope the public will extend a liberal patronage to this lady, who has passed through suffering and trials of such a peculial nature.
      Buffalo Patriot
      July 1, 1834 2-3

      . . . . .
      A Woman's Experience on Lake Erie Years Ago.
      Somebody who remembers things of the past contributes the following to the columns of the Erie Dispatch:
      I propose now to give an instance in which a human being was shipwrecked on Lake Erie, remained in the water five days, and was finally rescued alive. In the autumn of 1833 Capt. Gilman Appleby, of Conneaut, Ohio, was captain and part owner of the schooner NEW CONNECTICUT. A steamboat was then being built at Conneaut (the NORTH AMERICA), of which Captain Appleby had charge, and was for many years her master. An aunt of his, then residing at Black Rock, below Buffalo, was at Erie on a visit, staying with a brother who was then a resident of the town. The lady went to Conneaut in company with a nephew to visit her brother there. After remaining for some time she became exceedingly anxious to get home.
      Captain Appleby, who was busy with the steamboat, endeavored to dissuade his aunt from taking the home journey until he should be going out with his vessel, when he would take her home. His efforts in that direction, however, were unavailing, and he had her taken on board the schooner to go to Buffalo in charge of the crew.
The vessel being light and the time of the year August, the Captain had entire confidence in the ability of the crew to manage the craft and land his relative safe at her destination. Everything passed off quietly until after the vessel had passed Erie, when a sudden squall struck and rolled her over upon her side, when she nearly filled with water, but continued to float. The crew, loosening the vessels yawl, jumped in and headed for the shore, leaving the woman in the cabin, as they supposed drowned.
The party landed at or near Portland, Chautauqua county, N. Y., and made their way, the best they could back to Conneaut.
Three days after the accident Captain Wilkins, of the steamboat WILLIAM PEACOCK, in coming down from Detroit, was besought by Captain Appleby to board the wreck if he saw it, and if possible get the body of his aunt out of the cabin and convey it to Buffalo. Captain Wilkins discovered the disabled vessel drifting down the lake, and after coming along side, Captain William Henton, the first mate of the PEACOCK, boarded the wreck and made search.
      The schooner lay upon her side, and, to all appearance, was full of water. A pole was employed, and it was supposed every part of the cabin was touched, and as no object in the shape of a human body was felt, the conclusion was reached that the remains had floated out of the cabin into the lake, hence further search was given up.
      Two days afterwards Captain Appleby came down with a vessel with facilities to right the schooner and tow her into the nearest port. the drowned woman's son being along to assist in the recovery of the body.
The vessel was finally righted, and when the cabin door had nearly reached a level position the woman walked through the water and came up the stairs upon deck. She was caught by Captain Appleby and supported, while her son wept and the sailors screamed.
      Five days and nights had she been in the water, while a portion of the time she was up to her armpits. She could not lie down and what sleep she got was in that position. and all the food she had was a solitary cracker and a raw onion, which floated on the water. She stated that after the vessel capsized and was abandoned by the crew, she found herself alone in water waist deep. The cabin door was open but the flood was two feet above it, and the sea made constant changes in her position.
      When Captain Wilkins stopped she could hear the boarding party talk and walk on the vessel, and although she used her voice to the utmost to attract attention, she could not make them hear. She saw the pole thrust into the cabin door by Captain Henton and asked if she should hold on it and be pulled out, but no answer came, the Captain hearing no noise other than the splashing of the water, and having not the remotest idea
that. the woman was there, alive or dead. This event occurred forty-five years ago, and I have never heard of a parallel case on the lake or other waters, and her salvation from drowning may be regarded as little less than a miracle.
      Sandusky Weekly Journal
      Thursday, June 20, 1878

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: capsized
Lives: nil
Freight: flour & wheat
Remarks: Recovered
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
  • Pennsylvania, United States
    Latitude: 42.12922 Longitude: -80.08506
William R. McNeil
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New Connecticut (Schooner), capsized, 1 Sep 1833