The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William Penn (Steamboat), collision, 1 May 1830

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Steam-boat accident.--The Steam-boat WILLIAM PENN, which left here yesterday morning for Detroit, was run foul of by the Steam-baot PIONEER, which plies between Buffalo and Dunkirk. A small room on the larboard guard of the PENN was carried away, and with it two waiters who were asleep at the time, neither of whom have since been seen. The bowsprit, anchors &c., of the Pioneer were carried away.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Thursday, May 27, 1830

      . . . . .

      DISTRESSING CASUALTY. - The Steam Boats WILLIAM PENN and PIONEER ran foul of each other, about thirteen miles from this place, on Saturday night last, while passing in opposite directions. The boats, though considerably defaced, were not materially injured; but a small state room on the deck of the PENN was swept away, carrying with it two of the boat's hands, who were drowned. There names are William Sherry and Joseph King. They were both natives of Ireland, and the former has left a wife and two children to deplore his loss. Every exertion was made to ----? ---- poor copy----------------???------
      Buffalo Journal & General Advertiser
      May 26, 1830

      . . . . .

      ACCIDENT. -- On Saturday night last the steamboats WILLIAM PENN and PIONEER, ran foul of each other in the open lake. The PENN was on her way from this place to Buffalo and the PIONEER bound up the lake. The circumstances are described as follows in a letter from a passenger on board the PENN to a gentleman in this place:-
      "It is with regret I inform you of the loss of two of the crew from on board the WILLIAM PENN, in consequence of the PIONEER running into us a little below Dunkirk, at 2 o'clock this morning. She struck us a little aft of the wheelhouse, and carried away one of the small houses in which two waiters of the boat were sleeping, together with the store-room, boat and all the posts of the upper deck on that side. The other boat was immediately lowered down, but the poor fellows had sunk."
      Erie Gazette
      May 27, 1830

Media Type:
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Reason: collision
Lives: 2
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.454166 Longitude: -81.121388
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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William Penn (Steamboat), collision, 1 May 1830