The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Commodore Perry (Steamboat), boiler exploded, 26 Sep 1835

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STEAMBOAT ACCIDENT - We learn that the steamboat COMMODORE PERRY, on her last trip to Detroit, burst her boiler, when about six miles from that place, by this unfortunate occurrance four persons were killed, and one drowned - including the sub-engineer and two waiters of the boat. We shall give the particulars as soon as they come to hand. The PERRY was towed by the steam boat DANIEL WEBSTER, as far as Cleveland, where she remains to repair the damage caused by the accident. - Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, 29th.
      Buffalo Daily Star
      Wednesday, September 30, 1835

      . . . . .

      The weather, for some days past, has been very unfavorable for navigation upon the Lake, Various rumors, of losses having been sustained by Steam Boats and other vessels, have reached us within the last few days. Many of these are doubtless much exaggerated, The report of the MICHIGAN having got aground is confirmed; but that in reference to the COMMODORE PERRY wants confirmation, It is reported, yesterday, that this vessel, after leaving Detroit on Saturday morning, and within five miles of that place, burst one of her boilers, by which several of her passengers were badly scalded. This report has since been contradicted.
      P.S. Since writing the above, the DANIEL WEBSTER came into port, having in tow the COMMODORE PERRY; thus establishing the correctness of the report in reference to the explosion. At the time of the accident there were some fifty or sixty passengers on board; and, we are gratified to learn, that, with the exception of four individuals who were lost, the whole were most miraculously preserved. Of the sufferers, was an individual of the name of Maxfield, who was at the time sick, and in the cook's room; and two cooks. The fourth, an individual whose name we have not learned, jumped overboard and was drowned.
      The boat and furniture are somewhat injured. They can be repaired however, it is supposed, in six or eight days.
      Cleveland Daily Herald
      Tuesday, September 29, 1835; 2:1
      . . . . .

      STEAMBOAT ACCIDENT. - The steamboat COM. PERRY, on Saturday morning last, about five miles below Detroit, and while lying along side the DANIEL WEBSTER receiving passengers for Monroe, which the WEBSTER had brought past, collapsed the flue of one of her boilers by which five persons were killed; two passenger and three of the persons belonging to the boat.
      From a personal examination of the PERRY immediately after the disaster we are enabled to give the following particulars. The end of the flue next the kitchen burst, sending the whole force of the boiling water through the kitchen into the cabin, which fortunately at the time was empty, with such force as to break almost every pane of glass in the sky lights, and forcing the stern windows out, sash and all. Boots lying in the cabin at the time were burned to a crisp, rendering it certain that no person in there at the time, could have survived the explosion.
      Two cooks and a passenger were killed instantly, and a second passenger who was scalded, jumped overboard and was drowned; the second engineer survived until evening and expired. The boat itself is not materially injured, she was towed by the DANIEL WEBSTER on her last passage down to Cleveland for repairs. -- Buffalo Transcript.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, October 1, 1835 p.2, c.5

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Reason: boiler exploded
Lives: 5
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.33143 Longitude: -83.04575
William R. McNeil
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Commodore Perry (Steamboat), boiler exploded, 26 Sep 1835