The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sea Serpent (Schooner), aground, 3 Oct 1836

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Correspondence Daily Com. Adv.
      Office American, Chicago, Oct. 4.'36
      GENTLEMEN. - We have had a terrible blow, accompanied with rain, hail and snow, commencing Monday afternoon; and continuing till now, (4. P.M.) though somewhat abated. The damage done to vessels has been considerable. The Schr. MARTIN VAN BUREN, has had her bow and stern stove in, and is sunk. Schr. GEN. HARRISON, was run ashore and is full of water, cargo floated out, will probably be got off with little damage to vessel. Schr. ERIE ashore, though is, I believe, still tight. Schr. CELESTE ashore; main-mast gone; otherwise not much injured. Barque DETROIT broke from her moorings along side of the pier, and drifted some few rods before an anchor could be got out. She dragged her anchor some fifty rods further, where she now rides apparently in safety. The Sloop CLARISSA is ashore near New Buffalo; no particulars. [part]
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, October 14, 1836 p.2, c.2

      . . . . .

      It appears considerable damage has been sustained amongst the schooners on Lake Michigan. The schooner CELESTE, belonging to H. Fitzhugh, Esq. Oswego, filled with water, passengers and crew saved; vessel and cargo insured $9,800.
      Kingston Chronicle & Gazette
      October 29, 1836

      . . . . .

      By accounts from Chicago, dated 4th. inst., severe damage was done to the shipping on Lake Michigan and the following vessels are reported ashore:
      Schooners GENERAL HARRISON, CELESTE and ERIE are ashore at Chicago, the schooner MARTIN VAN BUREN sunk inside the piers at Chicago.
      The brig NORTH CAROLINA is ashore 12 miles above Michigan City, high and dry, and schooners CHICAGO and SEA SERPENT are both ashore at Michigan City, the latter vessel with a valuable cargo entirely lost.
      The schooners JULIETTE and JAMES G. KING are ashore at St. Joseph, and the sloop CLARISSA and a schooner are ashore at New Buffalo.
      Kingston Spectator
      November 4, 1836

CAPT. ROBERT K. CASWELL, was born in Grand Island, New York; commenced steam-boating on Lake Erie in 1838, and came to Milwaukee in 1840. In 1841, went to Buffalo, and cut out the steamer "Milwaukee," that was held there in controversy and brought her to Milwaukee in the interest of Solomon Juneau; was master of the schooner "Merrill," which he sailed one season; then built the small schooner called the "Sylvenus Marvin," and sailed her one season. The next year he took the schooner "Sea Serpent" off the beach, repaired her, changed her name to "The Mint," and sailed her one season. The next year he sailed the schooner "Solomon Juneau; in 1846, retired to his farm near the city, which he had purchased from the Government in 1842. In 1858, he started a lumber yard, located near Reed street, where he continued one year, when he removed to Reed street, opposite the Union Depot; remained there almost five years. In 1862, William V. Caswell was admitted as a partner with his father, the firm being R.K. Caswell & Son. The business was removed to South Water street in 1865, and continued by William V. Caswell, alone, R.K. Caswell retiring to the farm, just northweset of the city limits; he remained on the farm until the time of his death, which occurred December 14, 1870, aged 58 years and nine months.

Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 1579
      above article courtesy of Ellen M. Rhor at

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Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
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William R. McNeil
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Sea Serpent (Schooner), aground, 3 Oct 1836