The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
James D. Sawyer (Schooner), U75386, fire, 5 Jul 1878


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VESSEL BURNED. - A despatch received in this city last night announced that the schooner JAMES D. SAWYER had burned. No other particulars were given.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Saturday, July 6, 1878

      . . . . .

      EXCITEMENT IN THE HARBOR.
The great excitement in the harbor yesterday was the fire on hoard the schooner JAMES D. SAWYER, and the explosion of an air chamber of fire engine no. 13 added to the confusion and intensified the excitement. The usual cause of fire on sail vessels was the origin in this case. They were heating tar on deck, forward, it boiled over and ignited, and the deck being covered with it, the flames swept the deck in a flash. Captain Baxter, hearing the outcry, rushed out of the cabin to save his life, and being in his bare feet, met with a very warm reception. He hopped about in excruciating pain for several minutes, and then with a whoop like that a Modac Indian might ring out on the Summer air, he leaped overboard into the cooling waters of the slip. Aid was speedily at hand, and the captain was soon on the dock again. He is badly burned, and suffers greatly. His feet, legs, hands, and face are badly burned and he will be laid up for some time. Indeed, that he escaped with his life is almost a miracle. Had he not leaped overboard as he did he would certainly have been burned to a crisp.
The vessel's cabin is all burned out, bulwarks burned off, deck charred, foremast and mainmast ruined, with their rigging and canvas destroyed except the jibs and mizzen gaff topsail. The effects of Captain Baxter and the mates and cook also burned up, and the stock of provisions on board, the dishes and everything in the pantry ruined. The hull is not badly damaged, but the loss will foot up to quite a large figure. A survey will be held today. Inasmuch as the risk provides that tar must not be boiled on board, it is very likely that no insurance will be recovered. The vessel was light, laying in ordinary, and she was being tarred and jointed. The probability is that she will load grain and be towed to Buffalo for repairs, as her owners, Green & Co., reside there.
      Chicago Inter-Ocean
      July 6, 1878


      BURNING OF THE JAS. D. SAWYER.
The schooner JAMES D. SAWYER was partially destroyed by fire at Chicago Friday. They were heating tar on deck, forward, it boiled over and ignited, and the deck being covered with it, the flames swept the deck in a flash. Capt. Baxter, hearing the outcry rushed out of the cabin to save his life, and being in his bare feet, met with a very warm reception. He jumped overboard into the cooling waters and was soon rescued. He is badly burned, and suffers greatly. His feet, legs, hands and face are badly burned and he will be laid up for some time. Indeed, that he escaped with his life is almost a miracle. The vessel's cabin is all burned out, bulwarks burned aft, deck charred, foremast and mainmast burned, with her rigging and canvas destroyed except the jibs and mizzen gaff topsail. The hull is not badly damaged, but the loss will foot up to quite a large figure. A survey will be held today. Inasmuch as the risk especially provides that tar must not be boiled on board, it is very likely that no insurance will be recovered. The vessel was light, lying in ordinary, and she was being tarred and jointed. The probability is that she will load grain and be towed to Buffalo for repairs, as her owners Green & Co. reside there. The schooner JAMES D. SAWYER, Buffalo, was insured as follows: Mercantile of Cleveland $2,500. Western, Toronto $5,000. Detroit, Fire & Marine $5,000. Toledo $2,500. Lamar, New York $2,500. St. Paul $2,500. Total $20,000.
      Detroit Free Press
      July 7, 1878
     


      The survey on the schooner JAMES D. SAWYER is concluded, and damages estimated at $8,250. All for the fun of boiling tar in the cabin.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Monday, July 15, 1878



THE JAMES D. SAWYER.- The schr. JAMES D. SAWYER, which was partially burned at Chicago some weeks since, passed down on Sunday in tow of the propeller ANTELOPE. The SAWYER looks bad. She has no canvas except jibs, and much of her rigging is gone. Her foremast is charred to its head, and her cabin appears to be completely gutted. She is loaded with grain for Buffalo, where she will be repaired.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Tuesday, August 27, 1878

      . . . . .

Schooner JAMES D. SAWYER. U. S. No. 75386. Of 637.33 tons gross; 605.47 tons net. Built Tonawanda, N.Y., 1871. Home port, Cleveland, O. 183.0 x 32.0 x 13.3
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891
     


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $8,200
Freight: grain
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
1878
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.14708
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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James D. Sawyer (Schooner), U75386, fire, 5 Jul 1878