Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William Peacock (Steamboat), collision, 20 Aug 1830
Full Text

Steam-boat Accident.--Another of those careless, and in no degree excusable, encounters between Lake Erie Steam-boats took place near Erie, on Thursday night last, between the Steamboats Wm. PEACOCK and SHELDON THOMPSON. Both boats were considerably damaged, and a hand on board the THOMPSON, had his thigh broken: The boats met, each moving at the rate of 7 or 8 miles an hour, in the open lake, the PEACOCK had her bowsprit broken off, her figure-head carried away, her stem post broken off and foremast much shattered. The THOMPSON received the PEACOCK in her starboard bow, forward of her fore chains, which carried away her railing, cut through her guard and entered the hull. The engines were stopped and the boats disengaged, when each, pursued its course without enquiring after the condition of the other, or giving any explanation, from which we infer each thought himself in the fault, which was undoubtedly the fact. It is a little singular that there should be so many accidents of this description; where there is so much room as lake Erie affords, but there have been eight or ten instances this season of Steam-boats and vessels running foul in the night, which can be only attributed to carelessness or malice.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Thursday, August 26, 1830 p.1 col.2

      . . . . .

      STEAM BOAT DISASTER. -On Thursday night last the Steam Boats SHELDON THOMPSON and WILLIAM PEACOCK, while passing in opposite directions, encountered each other, when at full speed, a few miles above Erie. The cut water of the PEACOCK struck the THOMPSON upon the right hand side, a few feet from the bow, and the figure head was driven quite through into the THOMPSON's forecastle. Many of the deck timbers, which projected over the side to form the guard, were broken off, and one man who was sitting near the bow had his thigh badly fractured. The PEACOCK lost her bowsprit and Figure-head, but whether she sustained further injury we have not learned. The shock though tremendous, did not detain either boat longer than to restart the engines, which had both stopped for the moment.
      Buffalo Journal & General Advertiser
      August 25, 1830

STEAM BOAT ACCIDENT. -- We understand that on Thursday night last, off Erie, the steamboat WILLIAM PEACOCK and SHELDON THOMPSON ran foul of each other, and were considerably injured. One man had his leg broken. This is the third accident of a similar kind this season, and we hope that means will be adopted to prevent mishaps so easily avoided, and so alarming to the publick. ---- Buffalo Republican.
      Erie Gazette
      September 2, 1830

Media Type
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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Damaged
Date of Original
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Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Pennsylvania, United States
    Latitude: 42.12922 Longitude: -80.08506
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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William Peacock (Steamboat), collision, 20 Aug 1830