The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Samuel Ward (Steamboat), freshet, 12 Mar 1849

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      [ By Speed's Line ]
      Chicago, March 13. -- The damage done by the flood to commerce alone, is over $100,000. Brig St. LOUIS sunk, hull entire loss. Schooner NORTON and DIAMOND, broke into. Brig EUROPE, sides stove in and sunk, loaded with salt. Schooner WHIRLWIND, sides stove in and sunk. Brigs, ASHLAND and GEN. WORTH, Schooners H. HAGER and others badly damaged. GEN. WARNER sunk. It is impossible to ascertain the amount of damage.
Verssels, propellers, Steamers, all jammed in, and some top of each other. Water rising, and great fears entertained of further damage. All canal boats with the exception of one or two, entirely destroyed or gone into the lake.
      Several vessels gone outside, and anchored in the lake. One or two lives lost by falling spars.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      March 14, 1849

      Steamer SAMUEL WARD damaged about $300 when caught in the spring freshet and ice jam at Chicago, March 12, 1849.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, March 26, 1849 p. 2

      . . . . .

      The Cleveland Herald of 21st says: Mr. J. F. Warner, of that city, left Chicago on the 17th instant, and reaching Detroit in time for the ARROW, arrived here last evening. He furnishes us with some interesting facts in reference to the great flood. The injuries to the different vessels and steamers are at a low estimate, as follows:
Steamer **WARD, damaged $300 **
      " PACIFIC, " $300
      " GLOBE, " $700
Propeller GENERAL TAYLOR, Bow stove in and one wheel in $2,000
      " ONTARIO, damaged $1,500
Barque UTICA, " $700
Brig ASHLAND, " $1,500
      " EUROPE, went out to the end of the pier and sunk $3,000
      " MARY, damaged $700
      " WORTH, " $500
      " LOWELL, " $500
      " ST. LOUIS, " $1,200
      " SCAMMON, " $900
Schooner HARWOOD, damaged $1,000
      " EXCELSIOR, " $1,500
      " OLEANDER, high and dry, bow stove in. $1,000
      " WALTON, (injured) sunk, mast and bulwarks gone $2,000
      " WOODBRIDGE, damaged $500
      " DIAMOND, went under the jam and came out below, swept to the deck, and
      immediately sunk. $2,000
      " WILLIAM, $1,000
      " H. HAGAR $800
      " VERMONT, $300
      " BUKNER, $800
      " BUENA VISTA $300
      Some thirty canal boats were destroyed, valued at $1,000 to $2,000, the major part worth the latter price. The loss sustaine by the city in bridges alone is $40,000, and the entire amount of the loss sustained by the flood at Chicago cannot be less than $115,000.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Tuesday, March 27, 1849
      . . . . .

THE WRECKS. - Yesterday, after untiring exertions, the brigs St. LOUIS and ASHLAND were rescued from the jam.
      The St. LOUIS is very much damaged. Her main-mast is gone; and it is necessary to work the pumps constantly, to keep her afloat. Her upper works are also very much injured. In fact, she is a complete wreck, with nothing standing but the fore-mast.
      The ASHLAND came out of the scrape in better trim, although she too, is badly damaged.
      The lower tier of vessels are wedged in still more firmly, and press against each other, with greater force, as the water falls.
      The propeller ontario, brig MARY, and steamboat SAM WARD, now lie in such a position as to be easily got out. - Chicago Dem., March 15th.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, March 28, 1849

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: freshet
Hull damage: $300
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Samuel Ward (Steamboat), freshet, 12 Mar 1849