The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sunshine (Bark), capsized, 2 Jul 1859


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TWO BARQUES CAPSIZED - ELEVEN LIVES LOST. - A severe storm of wind and rain swept over Lake Erie on Saturday last, causing considerable damage to the shipping which happened to be out.
      The Barque SUNSHINE, Capt. McNeil, hence for Chicago, when off Fairport, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, was struck by the squall and capsized. At the time of the capsize the captain's wife, Mrs. McNeil, was in the cabin with her three children, one man was in the forecastle, and the rest - the captain, two mates, and seven men were on deck. At this moment four of the men were swept overboard and drowned. The captain and mate, who were clinging to the rigging, a short time afterward, were torn from their hold by a heavy wave, washed overboard and drowned in sight of the vessel. The remainder of the crew went to work after a little while to get into the cabin, which they succeeded in doing. The captain's wife had saved her life by clinging to the berths, but her three children had drowned and perished miserably beneath her very eyes, and she, clinging for life, was powerless to assist or save them. She was got out in speechless agony in a little while and the crew clung to the vessel. For seventeen hours did they remain in this condition on board the wreck, and when almost exhausted were taken off the next morning at a little before 8 o'clock by the schooner NEBRASKA, which took them to Fairport.
      The following is a list of those lost:
      Capt. O. McNeil, of St. Joseph, Michigan
      Mate, Mark Graham, of Buffalo, N.Y.
      Cook, Joseph Watson
      Seamen, Jeremiah Sweeny, Marshall Logan, Frank Larkins
      Three children of Capt. McNeil.
      The second mate and two of the seamen have arrived in this city and have entered protest with Capt. D.P. Dobbins.
      The SUNSHINE was a full rigged barque of six hundred tons burthen, one of the staunchest craft on the lakes. She was owned by J.R. Bentley of this city, and Jesse Hoyt of New York City. The tug RELIEF went out on Monday for the purpose of towing her back to Buffalo. ....
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, July 6, 1859 (the other Barque was the B.A. STANARD)

      . . . . .

      The bark SUNSHINE, of Saginaw, was capsized on Saturday off Fairport, Ohio, and the captain, mate, and 3 of the captain's children were lost. The name of the captain was McNeil.
      Detroit Free Press
      July 6, 1859

      . . . . .

      The bark SUNSHINE, which was capsized on the 2d of July, and afterwards picked up by the tug RELIEF and taken into Buffalo, was brought up to this city last evening in tow of the prop. BUFFALO, to be repaired.
      Detroit Free Press
      July 31, 1859

      . . . . .

      The bark SUNSHINE, which came up from Buffalo on Saturday night, is to be repaired at East Saginaw where she belongs, instead of Detroit, as previously stated.
      Detroit Free Press
      August 2, 1859

      . . . . .

      The bark SUNSHINE was towed into port on Saturday last by the prop. POCAHONTAS. She is a sorry looking craft, all her upper gear being carried away, and her mizzen mast broken off about 10 ft. below the cross tree. The light work about her cabin and elsewhere is almost entirely destroyed, and what little rigging is left is in a most dilapidated condition. Capt. Kirby is at work, with a force of 17 men, putting her in repair again as fast as possible.
East Saginaw Courier, 11th.
      Detroit Free Press
      August 16, 1859

      . . . . .

The bark SUNSHINE having been thoroughly overhauled, repaired, newly rigged sparred, and fitted with a new set of sails, will be ready for sea again in about 10 days. Her rig is that of a 3-masted schooner, so called, and her spars about 1/3 lighter than were the older ones. - East Saginaw Courier, 29th.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 5, 1859

      . . . . .

      The barque SUNSHINE, which capsized on the 3rd. July, drowning four of her crew, has wintered at Chicago, and is now ready for sea, new rigged.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Monday, March 19, 1860

      . . . . .


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: capsized
Lives: 9
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
1859
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.15127
Language of Item:
English
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.75004 Longitude: -81.27399
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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Sunshine (Bark), capsized, 2 Jul 1859