The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Congress (Propeller), aground, 26 Oct 1868

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The prop. CONGRESS, with a general cargo from Buffalo to Chicago, was wrecked at North Point, Thunder Bay, on the 26th inst., and became a total loss. Prior to her final disaster she got ashore on Black River reef, but after some 12 hours delay was lightered off to meet on the day following with total shipwreck, which ends her career. She had on board a cargo consisting of salt, apples, railroad iron and stoves. Shortly after getting ashore she took fire, destroying all her upper works down to the water line. A portion of her cargo, it is possible, may be saved. The crew were all saved, and arrived in this city yesterday. The CONGRESS was owned by Capt. F.G. Hentig, who also commanded her and is a resident of this place. She was insured, we learn, in the sum of $20,000, in several companies. She was formerly called the DETROIT, was built at Cleveland, and came out in 1861, was 398 tons burthen, old style. During the war she was taken to the seaboard, where she remained until 1866, when she returned to the lakes. In the meantime her name was changed to the present one.
      Detroit ?
      October 31, 1868

      . . . . .

Propeller DETROIT, built 1861 at Cleveland, of 398 tons. First Home Port, Detroit. Official U.S.Number 4392. Army documented July 31, 1864. Redocumented Nov. 16, 1865 as CONGRESS. Stranded Thunder Bay, Mich. Oct. 26, 1867 (sic.)
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      1790 - 1868 Lytle - Holdcamper List

NOTE:-- 1868 is the proper year of wrecking

      . . . . .

      Detroit, Oct. 30. - The Prop. CONGRESS, which left Buffalo on the 22nd inst. for Chicago loaded with railroad iron and salt, ran on the reef 3 miles west of Thunder Bay Light on the 27th. She began leaking immediately, and was abandoned by the crew, who went ashore in small boats. About an hour after she was abandoned she was discovered to be on fire, and was very soon totally destroyed She was valued at $30,000, and is reported to have been insured in Buffalo companies for $20,000.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 31, 1868 3-8

      . . . . .

      LOSS OF TILE PROPELLER 'CONGRESS' -- The propeller CONGRESS left Buffalo for Chicago on the 22nd. ult. on Sunday night she ran ashore on the reef near Harrisonville, fully 12 miles off her course, she was pulled off and proceeded to Alpena where she took on more freight, which port she left on Monday and at about half past four o'clock and three miles west of Thurder Bay Light, she ran on a reef. There was a heavy sea running at this time and it was apparent that her case was hopeless and the vessel was abandoned, the crew taking to the small boat and going ashore. About 9 o'clock fire was discovered issuing from the hull of the CONGRESS, and in a short time she was all ablaze and totally destroyed.
      Chicago Tribune
      Tuesday, November 3, 1868
      . . . . .
Propeller CONGRESS, of 398 tons, classed as A 2 and valued at $20,000.
      List of Vessels Which Became
      Total Losses During 1868
      Chicago Tribune
      December 14, 1868

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: general cargo
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.00001 Longitude: -83.39997
William R. McNeil
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Congress (Propeller), aground, 26 Oct 1868