The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Dunkirk Packet (Schooner), aground, 20 Nov 1829

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NAVIGATION CLOSED.- The navigation of the Lakes may now be considered as closed. A more disasterous Fall for vessels has not been known for some years. Many having been seriously injured, and several have not been heard of for some time, and three or four have been wrecked. The following from the Fredonia Censor, shows the disasters on that part of the lake.- "DISASTERS ON THE LAKE-- The weather has been, for a week or two past, unusually rough and storms on the Lake, rendering navigation difficult and dangerous. The schooner DUNKIRK PACKET, Captain G. Patterson, went ashore Monday last, near Silver Creek, with a cargo of merchandize, salt &c., a great part of which, it is feared, will be entirely lost or much damaged.
      The schooner FAIR PLAY, Captain Fitch, also went ashore, last week, a little distance below Cattaraugus Creek. She broke from her mooring at Erie during the gale, and after drifting about the lake for three days and two nights, during the whole of which time it snowed so fast they could not tell where they were, and to add to their distressed condition, being entirely destitute of fire and provisions, drove ashore as stated. To keep from freezing, the crew, (three in number, including the Captain, one being on shore, when she broke her moorings) frequently exercised themselves on deck, with what is called "rough and tumble." She was in ballast. We are informed that since she ran ashore, she has drifted off, and, without any one on board, "has gone to parts unknown."
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Thursday, December 3, 1829

      . . . . .

......The following is the amount of the losses, as far as we have been able to ascertain:- The schooner DUNKIRK, G. Patterson, master, was beached above Cattaraugus; vessel entirely lost; cargo, salt and dry goods, principally lost.
The schooner MORNING STAR, Tubbs, reported to be lost.
Schooner YOUNG LION, Burnet, ashore at Portland - vessel and cargo but little injured.
The schooner GURRIERE, Wadsworth, left our harbor on Sunday afternoon; fears are entertained for her safety until yesterday, when it was ascertained that she had reached Point Abino in safety, with the loss of some spars, &c.
      The schooner COMMERCE, Sherwood, rode out the storm, and arrived here on Tuesday.
      The sloop WILLIAM TELL, Sanderson, left Cleaveland on Sunday at about 3 o'clock, P. M. next day. --- Buffalo Republican
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Thursday, December 3, 1829 3: 3.

      . . . . .

      We are happy to be able to state that Mr. Farnham's loss by the wreck of the DUNKIRK PACKET, is not so serious as was at first anticipated. It will not be over two or three hundred dollars. Mr. Butler of Jamestown, and Mr. Jackson of Ripley, had goods on board, and have sustained some loss. The vessel went entirely to pieces.
      Fredonia Censor
      Wednesday, December 2, 1829

Media Type:
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Reason: aground
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.54423 Longitude: -79.16671
William R. McNeil
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Dunkirk Packet (Schooner), aground, 20 Nov 1829