The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
London (Steamboat), collision, 12 Aug 1845

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By an Extra from the office of the Detroit Advertiser, we learn that the steamer KENT, on her downward passage, below Point Pelee, on Lake Erie, came in contact with the LONDON, on Tuesday, the 12th inst., and the result was the loss of the former boat and we regret to add several lives.
      Every effort was made by the LONDON to save the passengers. All the officers and hands, and 79 passengers, including 10 children, were saved. Among those lost are named:
      Rev. James E. Quaw, Bedford, Mich.
      Mr. Chauncey Osborn, Genesee, N.Y.
      Mr. Seth Deming, Galena, W.T.
      James Lowden, Ypsilanti, Mich.
      two young ladies and a boy from Ypsilanti, names not known.
      The accident occurred at 3:00 P.M. and the reason assigned is that the KENT attempted to pass the wrong side of the LONDON, which brought her directly across the bow of the latter boat. The LONDON was not injured.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      Thursday, August 14, 1845

      . . . . .

Some passengers who were on board of the KENT when she was run into, are of the opinion that many more were drowned than announced yesterday. One gentleman thinks not less than 10 or 15 were lost.
      Detroit Free Press
      August 14, 1845 2-1

      . . . . .

STEAMBOAT COLLISION ON LAKE ERIE. - A collision recently took place on Lake Erie between the steamers LONDON and KENT, which resulted in the sinking of the latter, and the loss of several lives. All the officers and hands of the KENT, and 79 of the passengers were saved. Eight persons are known to have lost their lives, but it is feared that others must be added to the number.
      Kingston News
      Thursday, August 21, 1845

      . . . . .

The steamer KENT. - The action brought against the proprietors of the LONDON for the collision with the KENT, which resulted in the loss of the latter vessel, was submitted to a Jury of the Gore District. The case had previously been submitted to a jury in the Western District, and a verdict given for the Plaintiffs, but as it was supposed that local partialities had influenced the jury, a new trial was moved for and obtained, with a change of venue, the defence was not, however, a whit more successful in the Gore District, the jury having returned a verdict for 2,500 Pounds. - the estimated value of the KENT.
      The Kingston News
      Monday, October 12, 1846

      . . . . .

      NOTE. - Steamer KENT was the ex steamer THAMES.

We learn by the LONDON, which came up yesterday noon that she run into the stm. KENT, and sunk her in 60 ft. of water about 5 miles below Pt. au Pelee, in Lake Erie, on Monday night. A great part of the baggage on board and the books and money of the boat went down with her. The passengers, with the exception of the 5 drowned, came back on the LONDON. So fast did the KENT fill with water and sink, after the meeting of the 2 boats, that it was impossible to save any baggage, but such as the passengers caught in their hands, when they went on board the LONDON. The names of the persons drowned are:
Rev. James E. Quaw, Bedford, Mich.
      Mr. Chauncey Osborn, Genesee, N.Y.
      Mr. Seth Deming, Galena, W.T.
      James Lowden, Ypsilanti, Mich.
      Two young ladies and a boy from Ypsilanti, names not known.
The boats are both owned by a Canada company, and were running between this city and Buffalo.
      Since the above was in type, we gather the following letter to the Advertiser:
Without any formal proceedings on the subject, our passengers have endeavored to ascertain the cause of the dreadful accident, and we have no doubt it occurred in consequence of the error in the pilot of the KENT attempting to pass on the wrong side of the LONDON, which brought her directly across her bow, and at this the Engineer of the LONDON, as soon as he saw the course of the KENT, shut off his steam, yet his boat had too much headway, and the KENT was cut down in front of her wheel house.
We remained 5 hours with the wreck gathering floating parcels of baggage, &c., and attempting to tow the hull ashore, but she gradually sunk by the head and we were compelled to perform the sad office of hoisting her flag half mast and leaving her to her fate.
The LONDON is not at all insured. Our passengers have done something to relieve the necessities of the sufferers; the ladies dividing their wardrobes and gentlemen opening their purses.
Among the names of those saved, we observe the following who reside in this state:
      John Honeywell, Troy, Mich.
      Mrs. Moore, " "
      Miss Reickarts, " "
      Willet Stead, Jackson Co., Mich.
      Daniel Tremble, Macomb, "
      Wm. P. Griffin, Redford, "
      Wm. Watson, Bloomfield, "
      Mary Watson " "
      Nancy Watson " "
      Aaron Watson " "
      Oliver heath, Flint
      Benjamin Wood, Southfield
      George Anderson, Canton
      M. Easton
      Josiah Easton
      Henry Nicholson, wife and child, Commerce, Mich.
      Sarah Shear, Novi
      Mary Gage and 2 children, Novi
      Calvin R. Knapp, wife and child, Commerce
      Christian Baldy, Praire Rounde
      Wm. McNulty and wife, Plymouth
      A.W. Murray and wife, Detroit
      Wm. Anderson and child, Canton
      Wm. E. Parsons, Centreville
      George P. Tyson, Oakland, Mich.
      Detroit Free Press
      August 13, 1845 2-1

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
William R. McNeil
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London (Steamboat), collision, 12 Aug 1845