The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lizzie A. Law (Schooner), U140133, sunk by collision, 19 Jul 1893

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Private dispatches from Detroit today give the outline of a serious lake disaster.
      The schr. LIZZIE A. LAW, laden with corn and bound down in tow of the steamer EGYPTIAN, collided last night with the schr. DAVID VANCE, loaded with coal from Erie and bound up.
      Both vessels were sunk. The VANCE lies in 42 feet of water, and the LAW sank not far from her in presumably a similar depth. The collision occurred about 2 miles west of Point au Pelee.
      The DAVID VANCE is a schooner of 736 tons net register and is owned by Capt. McKenzie and others of this city. She was built in 1874 at Manitowoc, rates A2 in Inland Lloyds, and is valued at about $24,000. Her hull is insured in the Commercial Union for $7,400 and through Smith, Davis & Co. for $14,000. Her coal cargo is insured in Erie.
      The LIZZIE A. LAW is a full rigged three masted schooner of 710 tons net register. She was built by Fitzgerald at Port Huron in 1875 and rebuilt in 1882. She rates A2, and is valued at about $22,000, and is owned by Robert Law of Chicago. Smith, Davis & Co. have $5,000 insurance on her hull and $10,000 on her corn cargo.

      Amherstburg, July 20 - The schooner DAVID VANCE, Erie to Chicago with coal in tow of the srmr. SAMOA and the schooner LIZZIE A. LAW, Chicago to Buffalo with corn and in tow of the EGYPTIAN, collided last night near the Dummy Light. The VANCE went down in 7 fathoms of water, 2 miles west of the Dummy.
      The LAW was run ashore on Pigeon Bay and is full of water.
      The spars of the VANCE extend above the surface of the lake. The crews of both boats were saved.
      The LAW had on board 50,435 bu. corn insured for $21,182 in the following companies: St. Paul, $6,000; Western Toronto, $5,000; Standard, $5,182; Chicago $5,000. The LAW was owned by J.J. Ward of Chicago and insured for $15,000 portioned among the Oriental, Chicago and St. Louis.
      The VANCE was owned by James McKenzie of Buffalo, and was insured for $14,000 with Smith, Davis & Co. of that city, and for $5,000 with the Commercial Union.
      Her coal cargo was fully insured at Erie. It consisted of Anthricite and was consigned to W.L. Scott Co. of Chicago.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      July 20, 1893 7-4

      . . . . .

Sandusky, July 21. -- Capt. Alonzo W. Dwelle of the steamer LOUISE reported on his arrival here from Pelee Island that the LAW lies in about six fathoms of water, a quarter of a mile north, northwest of the point of woods on Point au Pelee mainland. Her entire headgear is gone. Capt. Dwelle went up to the LAW and found that her yawl had been made fast to the vessel and was full of water.
      The LAW heads northeast and is out of the way of vessels going up the passage off the Dummy. The VANCE, however, is directly in the passage. She is south by west half west, one and a quarter miles from the Dummy, and is headed north. Her bob-stay and Jib-stay are gone, but the flying jib-stay is all right. She has her mizzen and foresail set. A lantern was found hanging on one of her stays, still burning. She is in about seven fathoms of water and lies not far from where the schooner CHARGER was sunk.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Friday, July 21, 1893

      . . . . .

The schooner LIZZIE A. LAW from Chicago with 50,000 bushels of wheat, in tow of the EGYPTIAN, ran into the DAVID VANCE, in tow of the SAMOA, loaded with coal Wednesday night in Pelee Passage, striking her on the port side near the fore chains, cutting in nearly to the latter's keel, sinking her, and sinking herself shortly after. The crews were saved. The VANCE went down in 40 feet of water and lies directly in the Passage, an obstruction to navigation.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, July 21, 1893
      . . . . .

      Chicago, August 3 - The contract for raising the schooner LIZZIE A. LAW sunk by a collision with the schooner DAVID VANCE on Lake Erie, has been let to Augustus Hemmerger of Algonac, who is to receive no pay unless he succeeds in floating the wreck. He began work today.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      August 3, 1893 7-4

      . . . . .

      Chicago, August 12 - The Orient Insurance Co. today paid J.J. Ward, owner of the schooner LIZZIE A. LAW, sunk by collision on Lake Erie 3 weeks ago, its policy of $5,000 on the lost boat.
      This action will force the other companies to accept the abandonment. They had been hoping that the boat could be raised and total abandonment avoided.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      August 12, 1893 7-4

      . . . . .

      Detroit, Sept. 11 - The wreckers have removed the wreck of the sunken schr. LAW into shoal water where her decks are out. It is expected that she will be pulled to Amherstburg tomorrow, where the remainder of her corn cargo will be removed.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      September 11, 1893 7-5

Schooner LIZZIE A. LAW. U. S. No. 140133. Of 747.48 tons gross; 710.13 tons net. Built Huron, Mich., 1875. Home port, Chicago, Ill.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1884

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Freight: corn
Remarks: Raised
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
William R. McNeil
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Lizzie A. Law (Schooner), U140133, sunk by collision, 19 Jul 1893