The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Emily (Schooner), collision, 31 Aug 1842

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By the ILLINOIS we have an account of another and more serious accident. Capt. Allen says that yesterday afternoon, when a few miles east of Cleveland Light, he discovered a schooner in the distance with signals of distress hoisted, and upon nearing her she proved to be the EMILY, Capt. Chase, a new vessel, with quite a number of persons on board. Capt Allen was informed that during the previous night the EMILY ran foul of a schooner and sank her, and that those on board were the crew and passengers. One body was seen lying upon the hatches, supposed to have been a person either drowned or killed by the collision. The name of the lost vessel we were unable to learn.
      It was the wish of the captain of the EMILY that the ILLINOIS would take off the people and bring them to this port, but, as the wind was fair, Capt. Allen advised them to make for Cleveland, from which place we shall probably obtain further particulars.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 2, 1842

      . . . . .

      The Collision - We have no mail by steamboat from Cleveland today, but we learn from the PERRY, that the vessel lost was the ACORN, Capt. Cobb, loaded with merchandise of considerable value for Milwaukee and Chicago. The captain of the PERRY reports that there were 45 passengers on board, mostly, emigrants, one of whom was drowned. The vessel was struck by the EMILY on the starboard bow, abaft the fore chains, and sunk in ten minutes. Nothing was saved but the trunk of the captain, who sprung into the cabin when half filled and procured it.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 3, 1842

      . . . . .

Loss Of The ACORN - The Cleveland Herald gives the following particulars of the unfortunate collision last Wednesday night:
      The schr. EMILY, Capt. Chase, bound from Vermillion to St. Catharines with a load of wheat, ran into the schr. ACORN, Capt. Cobb, bound from Buffalo to Chicago, with passengers and merchandise, and so serious was the collision that the latter sunk in 15 minutes in 10 fathoms of water, the crew and passengers escaping with nothing but the clothing on their backs. One young man, an Englishman, just arrived in this country, missing, whether carried down with the vessel or lost by jumping overboard, not known by the survivors.
      Capt. Cobb describes the crash and the scene which followed as terrific. The wind was fresh, the night dark and foggy, and neither vessel was drscried from the other until nearly afoul. The man at the helm of the ACORN was ordered to luff, and the helmsman of the EMILY in the consternation of the moment obeyed a similar order, instead of putting his helm up. This brought the EMILY square into the ACORN just abaft of the fore rigging, carring away her side so to that the water poured in in a torrent. The passengers, some 45 in number, were in their berths below, and not a moment was lost in transferring the men, women and children, in their night clothes, on board the EMILY. This was barely
accomplished when the vessels parted from each other and the ACORN went down.
The passengers were emigrants, and are left in a destitute and most forlorn condition. Three of the families Americans, and two English. One man saved his money by means of a belt on his person - the rest lost all. Some $4,000 in gold, it is stated was lost. The ACORN was freighted with 40 tons of iron, about 30 tons of dry goods &c., besides property of the emigrants. vessel new last spring, and owned by Mr. William Walker of Amherts, Lorain Co. No insurance, unless on merchandise. The ACORN lies about 12 miles below this por
and 8 miles from land. An attempt to raise her will probably be made.
      The EMILY lost her bowsprit, cut water and fore rigging. The collision was one of those unfortunate accidents which sometimes occur in spite of the precautions of the best of officers and crews.
      Upon inquiry of Messrs. Beecher & Johnson, the principal shippers by the lost vessel, we learn that she had 80 packages of merchandise and 78 bbls. salt for Milwaukee, 40 tons of iron nails and hardware for Chicago, 244 packages of dry goods and furniture for Detroit. A portion of the Detroit goods comprised a full invoice of merchaandise belonging to a firm about to commence business at that place, and who will be heavy losers. The Chicago goods were fully covered by insurance. The other goods were not subject to canal charges here, but under control of Capt. Cobb, who was agent for the Albany shippers.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 5, 1842

      . . . . .

      The schr. ACORN which was run into and sunk by the EMILY in August last, has been raised and towed into Cleveland, by the UNITED STATES.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      November 1, 1842

      . . . . .

Schooner ACORN run down and sunk on Lake Erie, Sept. 8, 1842 (sic). Loss and damage to vessel $4,400 Loss and damage to cargo $3,000. 1 Live lost.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Casualty List for 1842
      January 18, 1843

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Damaged
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Emily (Schooner), collision, 31 Aug 1842