The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Cortlandt (Bark), sunk by collision, 20 Jun 1868


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MORNING STAR DISASTER
      MORE BODIES RECOVERED - TWO CHILDREN FOUND OFF THE EUCLID SHORE
      UNRECOGNIZABLE - RAISING THE SAFE - THE CORTLAND.
      (From the Cleveland Herald, June 29.)
      On last Saturday afternoon the schooner GOVERNOR HUNT was towed out of the harbor and set sail for Buffalo. When 8 or 10 miles on her way the crew discovered the body of a woman afloat in the water. A boat was lowered, and the body was secured by means of a rope and made fast to the vessel. At the time the schooner hove to and a flag was run up at half mast, that having been agreed upon as a signal for shipping and departing in case of bodies being found. The signal was seen from the harbor, and the tug PETER SMITH immediately steamed out. The body was placed on board, brought to this city and placed in the warehouse of the Michigan Central Railroad Company.
      This was about half past five o'clock, shortly after the arrival of the body, the tug LEVI JOHNSON, which left Saturday morning for a cruise in the lake east of this point, came in with another, also that of a female, which those on board had found about 8 miles down the lake, and two or three miles from shore. It was placed beside the others, and as soon as arrangements could be made, both were removed to Howland's, to be prepared for interment. Life preservers were attached to the bodies, by which they had been supported in the water. By the action of the sun and water, decomposition was in rapid progress. The whole trunks and limbs were much swollen, and the features so distorted and discolored
as to be entirely beyond recognition. The clothing, Etc., afforded the only possible means, if any, of identification.
      The body first mentioned, brought in by the PETER SMITH, was that of a woman evidently from 30 to 40 years of age, although possibly much younger. The hair was nearly gone from the head, but enough remained to indicate that it was black or very dark. The clothing consisted of a brown merino dress, balmoral hoop skirt and red flannel underclothing. Upon the feet were white stockings, and shoes, the latter being cloth gaiters with leather ties. They were laced up and tied. This, with the fact of being otherwise completely dressed, would seem to indicate that the woman was not in bed when the accident occurred. In the bosom of the dress was an old fashioned leathern pocketbook, containing $7.50 in bill and script. No marks could be discovered on the person which might lead to her
identity.
      The body brought in by the LEVI JOHNSON was undoubtedly that of the German emigrants on board the STAR. This was apparent from the clothing, which was of that dark, course material commonly worn by emigrants. She was quite young, probably not more than 18 or 20. In the pocket of the dress was found a handkerchief with the initials "R.V." upon one corner; also a wallet containing four silver quarters, fifty cents in small silver coins, one ten cent script, and $2 in bills, and an emigrants ticket from Baltimore to Detroit.
The condition of the bodies was such as to require their immediate burial. All the clothing was removed from both bodies, and will be kept for some time at Howland's on Bank Street, to afford friends of the missing an opportunity for their identification if possible. Two men, Pease and Ward, who were fishing at Euclid Creek Sunday, found the body of a child, between one and two years old, floating in the lake. It was probably one of the sufferers from the MORNING STAR. The men brought the body to the city and delivered it to the police. It was put in the Michigan Central Railroad warehouse when it arrived at midnight,
and the undertaker, Mr. Howland, notified. The body was clothed in a blue and white checked merino cloak and hood with blue ribbons on the hood.
      Still another body of a child was recovered on Sunday, some distance down the lake, off Euclid. It was apparently a child about 3 or 4 years old. The body was so far decayed that no one could recognize the features. It was sent to this city and placed in charge of Mr. Howland, the undertaker. It was necessary to put lime on it, so offensive was the smell. There was little or no clothing by which the body could be identified.
      SAFE RAISED.
      The safe and American Express trunk was raised by divers from the wreck of the MORNING STAR and taken to Detroit by the tug RELIEF.
      BARK CORTLAND
      Captain W.B. Scott, of this city, has taken the contract to take off all the property value that can be got at from the barkentine CORTLAND, and will leave Wednesday forenoon with the tug S.S. COE and a scow for the scene of the disaster.
      STEAMER NORTHWEST
      The proprietors of the Detroit and Cleveland Steamboat Company are in negotiations with the owners of the splendid new steamer, the NORTHWEST, and it is now probable that she will be purchased and put on the line in the place of the MORNING STAR.
      Chicago Tribune
      July 1, 1868

      . . . . .

      Bark CORTLAND - This vessel lies three quarters of a mile southwest of the wreck of the MORNING STAR, Capt. W.B. Scott, of Cleveland, has contracted to take off her outfit and everything else of value that can be secured.
      Chicago Tribune
      Thursday, July 2, 1868

      . . . . .

      The MORNING STAR - A Detroit dispatch says: "Everything has been removed from the steamer MORNING STAR, and the wreck is to be raised immediately."
      Chicago Tribune
      Saturday, July 11, 1868

      . . . . .

      The weather for the past few days has been unusually favorable for the parties engaged in raising the stmr. MORNING STAR. Quite a number of casks necessary for buoying her up have been placed in the hold and on Thursday no less that 40 were also deposited. A few days at farthest, we presume, will accomplish the much desired result, when she will be towed to this port.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      July 14, 1868 3-4

      . . . . .

      Bark CORTLAND - Capt. Scott has returned to Cleveland from a second visit to the wreck of the bark CORTLAND, bring with him about $2,000 worth of rigging, sails and other property, which is all that he was able to secure, the vessel lying in such a position that further work had to be abandoned. The divers report the bottom of the lake covered with several feet of soft mud, in which the vessel is embedded and it is thought to be almost an impossibility to ever raise her to the surface. She now lies nearly on her side, with the mud nearly or quite over her bulwarks.
      Chicago Tribune
      Thursday, July 16, 1868

      . . . . .

      The Detroit Post of Thursday says: "The steamer R. N. RICE arrived this morning with both anchors and chain recovered from the wreck of the MORNING STAR, also both 'horse pipes'. They were found attached to the wrecked vessel CORTLAND, which by some means became attached at the time of the collision. Owing to the roughness of the lake the last few days, the work of raising the STAR has not met with favorable progress. A change of wind will, however obviate this difficulty, and the work accomplished for a certainty.
      Chicago Tribune
      Thursday, July 30, 1868

      . . . . .

      The Cleveland Plain Dealer says: Before the close of the present week it is highly probable that the hull of the MORNING STAR will have been raised from her bed in the bottom of Lake Erie, and placed in the dock at Detroit. "The appearance of the wreck - as much of it as can be seen - is that of great destruction, and the fact of her going down after the collision is now easily accounted for. Her stem, including the fore foot, dead wood, planks and timbers, for a distance of 20 or 25 feet, is entirely torn away, leaving a tremendous hole, through which the water must have poured with fearful velocity It is possible, however, that the steamer may have struck heavily on her nose when she reached the bottom which would aid materially in displacing her timbers.
      Her upper works are pretty generally smashed up, but have been held to the main part of the ship by the rudder chains."
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 5, 1868 3-4

      . . . . .

      Bark CORTLAND - The spars, rigging, etc., of this vessel will be sold at public auction on the 15th. September, at Cleveland. The sale is by order of the underwriters.
      Chicago Tribune
      Friday, August 28, 1868

      . . . . .

      The wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR has been towed to and now lies off Vermillion Point.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 16, 1868 3-3

      . . . . .

      THE LATEST FROM THE "MORNING STAR"
      The wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR, was towed on the 5th. to within about four miles of vermillion, Ohio, where it now lies in fifty five feet of water. The next effort to moving her, will place her in shoal water, where she will be temporarily fitted to be towed to Detroit.
      Chicago Tribune
      Monday, September 21, 1868

      . . . . .

      A year or two ago the schooner (sic) MORNING STAR collided with the bark COURTLAND in Lake Erie and both vessels sank. The insurance companies having risks on the bark instituted proceedings against the owners of the MORNING STAR and yet the collision was the fault of the latter and has been pending since that time in U. S. Court in Cleveland. The judge decided against the insurance companies and that apparently ends the litigation.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      March 10, 1871

      . . . . .


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk by collision
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1868
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.15543
Language of Item:
English
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.47282 Longitude: -82.18404
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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Cortlandt (Bark), sunk by collision, 20 Jun 1868