The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Passport (Steamboat), incompetent handling, 28 Jun 1849


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SHOCKING STEAM BOAT ACCIDENT
      We learn from the Toronto Globe of Saturday that a most frightful accident occurred on board the steamer PASSPORT, on Thursday evening, on her passage from Montreal to Kingston. It is represented by passengers that the engineer was absent, the assistant in his berth, and the boat left in charge of an incompetent person. When off Lancaster, 16 miles from Cornwall, about 9 o'clock in the evening, the boat struck the ground. The under deck was loaded with steerage passengers. The order to stop the engine and back out was promptly given, but the ignorance of the person in charge of the engine, led to a most sad catastrophe. Instead of backing, he opened a cock which let the hot steam in among the steerage passengers. A shriek instantly broke forth which was heard for several miles. The nature of the accident being for some time unknown, the steam continued to be discharged upon the poor creatures, adding to their insufferable agony. Four persons jumped overboard, two of whom were drowned. The nature of the accident being at length ascertained, the steam was at once shut off. Medical assistance was soon procured, when it was found that forty-four persons were severely scalded. The scene during the night is represented to have been horrible in the extreme; men, women and children, in dreadful agony, continued their shrieks throughout the night. When the boat reached Cornwall, nine persons had died. About twenty were left at that place and the remainder taken to Kingston, where four others have died, and many others were in a critical state. They were all immigrants. A number of passengers signed a card exculpating the Captain from all blame. If he was aware of the employment of an incompetent engineer, we do not see how he can escape censure.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, July 4, 1849

      . . . . .

STEAMBOAT DISASTER. - On Tuesday evening last the steam boat PASSPORT met with a sad accident, whilst between Montreal and Kingston. The Toronto Globe gives the particulars:
      The engineer was absent, the assistant in his berth, and the boat left in charge of an incompetent person. When off Lancaster, 13 miles below Cornwall, the boat struck the ground. The lower deck was loaded with steerage passengers. The order to stop the engine and back out was promptly given, but the ignorance of the person in charge of the engine, led to a most sad catastrophe, instead of backing, he opened a cock which let the hot steam in among the steerage passengers. A shriek instantly broke forth which was heard for several miles.
      The nature of the accident being for some time unknown, the steam continued to be discharged upon the poor creatures, adding to their insufferable agony. Four persons jumped overboard, two of whom were drowned. The nature of the accident being at length ascertained, the steam was at once shut off. Medical assistance was soon procured, when it was found that 44 persons were severely scalded. The scene during the night is represented to have been horrible in the extreme, men, women and children, in dreadful agony, continued their shrieks throughout the night. When the boat reached Cornwall, 9 persons had died. About twenty were left at that place and the remainder taken to Kingston, where four more had died, and many others were in a critical state. They were all immigrants.
      The True Democrat (Cleveland)
      Thursday, July 5, 1849

      . . . . .

      THE St. LAWRENCE RIVER STEAM-BOAT ACCIDENT. - The Kingston Whig of the 30th. June, alludes to the sad accident to the steamboat PASSPORT at Cornwall, and states that 16 of the passengers had already died, and others were lingering in a precarious condition.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, July 9, 1849


Steam paddle PASSPORT.* Official Canada No. 112142. Of 1034 gross tons. Built at Kingston, Ont., in 1846.
      171.4 x 25.0 x 10.0.
      * renamed CASPIAN - Canada -
      Herman Runge Notes
     
     
Paddle wheel steamer PASSPORT; CASPIAN [98] Built Kingston, Ont., 1846. 172 x 25 x 10 Of 1,034 tons gross. Rebuilt barge 1921.
      Preliminary List of Canadian Merchant Steamships
      [Inland and Coastal] 1809 to 1930
     
     


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: incompetent handling
Lives: 16
Remarks: Uninjured
Date of Original:
1849
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.16446
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.01809 Longitude: -74.72815
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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Passport (Steamboat), incompetent handling, 28 Jun 1849