The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
General Porter (Propeller), dismasted, 12 Oct 1843

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The new Propeller PORTER, which left the harbor yesterday morning about 11 oÆclock., was struck with a gale about 3 oÆclock off Sturgeon Point, which immediately carried away her mainmast. She had all sail set at the time, and was endeavoring to beat up. Since then her jib has been carried away, and she had drifted to within five or six miles of the city, where she lay last night at anchor in the bay. She had on board about two hundred passengers, and a number of horses, and should the wind increase, her situation is very critical. This is her first trip. -- Buffalo Gazette, 9th.
      Detroit Daily Advertizer
      October 12, 1843

      . . . . .

      The prop. PORTER, which cleared for the Upper Lakes about noon, was overtaken off Pt. Abino, and dismasted. Her main-mast is gone close to the deck, and the fore head broken square off. Some of the fragments becoming entangled in the wheel, rendering it unmanageable, and left the vessel for a time almost at the mercy of the storm. She is now, however, safe in port, having been towed in by the CONSTELLATION.
      Daily Courier & Economist
      October 10, 1843
      . . . . .
The PORTER was towed into port yesterday by the CONSTELLATION, having suffered much damage in her spars and rigging, beside the loss of her main mast. Several schooner were driven back during the gale. The OTTAWA got on a reef near the mouth of Detroit River, and was compelled to throw overboard 215 barrels of flour. She is now in port.
      Buffalo Daily Gazette
      October 10, 1843

      . . . . .

      An action was brought yesterday before justice Deforest, by William Larabee, against C.L. Gager, for the recovery of certain moneys paid by the plantiff for passage of himself and family to Milwaukie, on board the prop. PORTER, of which the defendant is captain and owner. It will be recollected that the PORTER left this port an Sunday morning last, and encountered the storm a short distance out, by which she was disabled, and was towed back on monday morning. After the return of the vessel the plantiff, asked of the captain the return of the passage money and freight which was refused, and the present suit brought.
It was brought in evidence, that the rigging of the vessel had not been properly strained; or in sailor phrase, was not "taut" enough, and consequently the vessel was more liable to such an accident as she encountered. The captain failed to prove that he procured or offered to procure another vessel for the conveyance of his passengers. The jury brought in a verdict for the plantiff for the amount paid $30.
We are informed that there were some 25 or 30 more suits commenced by other passengers on the same vessel against Capt. Gager
      Daily Courier and Economist
      October 13, 1843


Media Type:
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Reason: dismasted
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.69089 Longitude: -79.04754
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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General Porter (Propeller), dismasted, 12 Oct 1843