The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Robert Bruce (Schooner), collision, 29 Nov 1856

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BRUCE, ROBERT Schooner, cargo wheat and beef, ashore near Port Burwell. Total loss.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31,1857 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

      A large crowd assembled on the government pier at the mouth of the river on Saturday afternoon, the news having spread that 2 vessels were afloat in the harbor and in danger of being sunk. It appears that the vessels, the SONORA and the ROBERT BRUCE attempted entering the harbor about the same time. They were both loaded deep and the BRUCE went aground near the east pier and immediately after the SONORA was carried by the sea against the prop. MANHATTAN which had sunk against the west pier the previous night, and coming up with a turn ran her bowsprit into the canvas of the BRUCE. The sea was running high at the time, and there was imminent danger to both vessels. The waves finally forced them within the bar, the SONORA lying square across the harbor, her bow rigging afoul of the BRUCE. As the crowd gathered on the quays to the number of nearly a thousand persons, the scene was, for a few moments, an exciting one. the more so as two more vessels appeared a few miles out , evidently manuvering to enter. A banner was forthwith procured , and the vessels outside signalled of the danger. After repeated and laborius exertions, the SONORA and BRUCE were seperated, but not without severe damage to both. The ROBERT BRUCE had her fore boom, fore gaff and jibboom carried away, and her canvas very badly torn, and also sprung a leak. The SONORA lost her bowsprit and head piece, and received other considerable injuries. After they were seperated the signal was removed, and the vessels outside came in in good style, one of them the HAMPTON, being loaded deep, just grazed the bar, but passed steadily in. The other, the WELLINGTON, followed and having little or no load, entered safely. When will the general government do justice to Cleveland harbor?
      Cleveland Leader
      December 1, 1856 3-2

      On Saturday afternoon, the schooner ROBERT BRUCE, bound down, with wheat, in coming here, struck the bar and swung round, so as to catch the jib-boom of the Bark SONORA, also entering, and just behind her, in the foresail, and the result was the knocking off of the jib-boom of the SONORA, and a trifling injury to her rudder, and the loss of the fore-boom of the BRUCE, and her foresail, and slight injury to some rigging.
      Fortunately Capt. H. Nott had a boom ready, and the schooner had an extra suit of sails on board so that the BRUCE was fitted again for sea by last night and sailed this morning at nine o'clock for Buffalo. She was a strong vessel, otherwise the accident would have been a more serious one. The SENORA will be repaired today, and will sail tomorrow morning, wind and weather permitting. - Cleveland Herald, Saturday.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, December 2, 1856

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Robert Bruce (Schooner), collision, 29 Nov 1856