The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Victor (Schooner), aground, 6 Nov 1839

Full Text

SHIPWRECK AND LOSS OF LIFE AT CHICAGO.---We learn by the American, that during the violeny storm on the night of the 6th. The Schooner JEFFERSON, Capt. Keeler, from Buffalo, was wrecked outside the north pier, and the cook and a passenger by the name of Bliss, supposed to be drowned. The vessel struck between 20 and 30 yards from the shore and all on board - 8 crew and 2 passengers - came near perishing. Cries of distress were heard by the citizens, who rendered every possible aid. The Captain, nearly exhausted, jumped overboard and was rescued. The others, except the missing, were saved by assistance from shore. The vessel is quite a wreck, and belongs to Mr. L. Hugunin. She was full freighted for Milwaukee and Chicago, with dry goods, liquors, apples and some furniture. The American says "the goods, we believe will be principally saved." The Schooner VICTOR, was driven ashore near the pier, in the same storm, but was not much damaged. These accidents are attributed to the want of a light on the end of the pier, the volunteer candlelight having been put out by the violence of the storm.
      Cleveland Daily Herald
      Tuesday, November 13, 1839 p.2 col.1
      . . . . .
      Shipwreck and Loss of Life - During the violent storm which raged on our Lake yesterday, the schooner, JEFFERSON, Capt. Keeler, from Buffalo, was driven last night, on the north side of the north pier, between 20 and 30 yards from the shore and pier, and all on board consisting of 10 persons -- 8 crew and 2 passengers, came near perishing. Signals of distress were fortunately heard, and many of our citizens, amid the fury of the wind and rain, hastened to relieve the vessel. They found it beating about in the surf; -- the waves sweeping the decks; the sails and rigging torn; and those on board crying with the little strength which their exposed situation had left them, for assistance. The Captain, nearly exhausted, jumped over the stern of the vessel for the shore and was rescued. After much and praiseworthy exertion of some of our citizens, all with the exceptions of the cook and one of the two passengers, by the name of Bliss, who are missing, and supposed to be drowned, were taken up to the Lake House, and recovered -- the Captain with some difficulty. The vessel was quite heavily ladened with goods, bound for Milwaukie, (where it could not discharge,) and this place -- consisting of liquors, dry goods, apples, and some furniture. The vessel, we understand, belongs to Mr. Leonard Hugunin.
      The goods we believe will be principally saved; but the casks imbeded half way in the beach- the vessel dismantled, knocking about in the surf, and its contents scattered on the shore, present this morning, quite the appearance of a wreck. The schooner VICTOR was also driven, about the same time, on the south side of the south pier, where it was more protected from the storm; the captain and mate swam ashore and got some assistance. We have not learned that she experienced any damage. The steamboat FAIRPORT, which reached Milwaukie about two o clock yesterday morning, after beating about till ten, returned to our harbor last night in safety. At Milwaukie the JEFFERSON and FAIRPORT were about abreast; but in the violence of the wind directly from the north, the JEFFERSON was driven in first. The captain of the JEFFERSON informs us, that there was no light, as there generally is, on the end of the pier, and that he mistook the light house for that light, which deceived him in his course. There is merely a candle light kept at the end of the pier, but owing, we suppose, to the violence of the storm, it went out when it was most needed. This a volunteer candle light house, attended to by Old Cross, as they call the useful old sailor, and does not depend upon the bounty of the government. The end of the pier is the proper place for a light-house, and one should be erected (as we trust there soon will be) by the government. Had there been one there last night, this accident, in all probability, would not have occurred. ---- Chicago American.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, November 15, 1839
      . . . . .

      HARBOR AT MIULWAUKEE.--The late shipwreck and loss of life, which it was our regret to record, furnishes another melancholy argument in favor of the early action of Congress in constructing a safe harbor at this place. On the night of the storm, the schooners JEFFERSON, VICTOR, Steamboat FAIRPORT and perhaps other vessels, after beating off from Milwaukee some time, were obliged to return to Chicago. Chicago American part.
      Cleveland Daily Herald
      Wednesday, November 27, 1839 p.2 col.1

      . . . . .

"The night of the 6th. of November three schooners were lost - the JEFFERSON and VICTORY at Chicago, and the VIRGINIA 35 miles south of Chicago. The night previous the brig VIRGINIA went ashore near Mackinaw. Nearly all of these cases were total wrecks, and the loss of property could not be less than $170,000. - Chicago American part.
      Cleveland Daily Herald
      Tuesday, December 24, 1839 p.3 col.2

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Victor (Schooner), aground, 6 Nov 1839