The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
E. B. Allen (Schooner), collision, 18 Sep 1868

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PROBABLE LOSS OF THE SCHOONER 'PERSIAN' -- The following telegram from Oswego of yesterday - "The schooner PERSIAN, from Chicago to this port with wheat, collided with the schooner E. B. ALLEN 15 days ago on Lake Huron and as nothing has been heard of the former vessel since, it is feared that she is lost with all on board"
The schooner E. B. ALLEN, the vessel which collided with the schooner PERSIAN - reached this port on Thursday, with a cargo of 520 tons of coal, from Cleveland, and from the captain we learn that his vessel collided with the PERSIAN about 4 o'clock on the morning of the 16th of September. When about four miles north of Presqu'isle and three miles from shore - both craft being bound down at the time of the disaster - striking the PERSIAN on the starboard quarter with the blunt of her bows. He also informs us that the last he saw of the PERSIAN she was heading for land, and is surprised to learn that nothing has been heart of her since that time. The ALLEN lost her jib-boom; aside from this her damages were of a trifling nature.
The PERSIAN was the property of Captain Long, her commander, and Mr. Micheal Murphy of Oswego. She registered 545 tons, old style, rated B 1, was built at Oswego in 1855 by James Navagh. Valued at $11,000 and received large repairs in 1865. The crew also hailed from Oswego.
      Chicago Tribune
      Saturday, October 3, 1868

      . . . . .
      The Schooner PERSIAN. - As all hopes are abandoned as to the safety of this vessel or any of her crew, the depositions of the crew of the E.B. ALLEN, which collided with her, were taken here yesterday. From their statement, both vessels were bound down with a fair wind, near Presque Isle (Michigan), some four miles from land. The Persian was ahead, winged on.* The ALLEN, with both sails on one side, and hauled up more**, was gradually gaining. In attempting to pass the PERSIAN who, being ahead, had the right-of-way, through some mismanagement, the ALLEN struck the PERSIAN on the quarter, and the last seen the PERSIAN she was hauled up, heading for shore. It seems almost unaccountable that such an accident, with such fatal results, could occur with both crafts in plain view, in good weather, and the conduct of the Captain of the E.B. ALLEN will not bear a favorable scrutiny either on moral or legal ground. Some small articles have been picked up in the vicinity of the disaster, which, without doubt, belonged to the PERSIAN, beyond that there will probably be nothing learned. The knowledge that she has gone down with some ten human beings, and desolated ten homes, through the mismanagement of one man, is all that is known at the present time. - Chicago Republican, 5th.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 7, 1868

*winged on - in a fore and aft vessel, sailing with the wind from near astern, with booms and sails out on both sides of the boat's centerline. Also termed "wing on wing" or "wing and wing."
**hauled up more - tacking a few points off the wind. This adds speed, but heels the boat over more and requires more sail-handling.

NOTE--The virtually-intact PERSIAN was located in deep water in the area of the collision in 1991. Both vessels were from Lake Ontario - the PERSIAN out of Oswego and the ALLEN from Ogdensburg, NY. Ironically, the ALLEN was lost about 40 miles to the southeast of the PERSIAN in another collision, three years later.

      . . . . .

The Detroit Tribune calls the attention of captains to the fact that the wreck of the schr. PERSIAN, which was sunk by colliding with the schr. ALLEN a few years ago, lies in the track of passing steamers, a short distance above presque Isle, Lake Huron, with her masthead not far below the surface of the lake and in danger of being run foul by passing crafts. It was doubtless this vessel that was reported a few days since by Capt. Hunt of the stm. PHILADELPHIA.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 8, 1869 3-4

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
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  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.3514 Longitude: -83.48887
William R. McNeil
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E. B. Allen (Schooner), collision, 18 Sep 1868