The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
C. A. Martin (Schooner), fire, 4 Jul 1876

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A BRILLIANT EVENT FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE FOURTH AT OSWEGO, -- The indications are that the naval attack on Fort Ontario will be the most brilliant feature of the Centennial celebration in Oswego. The appropriation by the executive committee is most liberal, and the committee having the matter in charge are enthusiastic, energetic, and untiring. The attack upon the fort will be from four schooners outside the harbor, which will be moved in a circle by the propeller Ellsworth, each vessel delivering a broadside as it passes the fort. These vessels will probably be manned by Company A, of the Forty-eighth regiment, whose guns will be brought into requisition for the armament of the fleet. Four guns in the fort manned by the garrison will respond. One hundred guns will be fired on each side. At the close of the engagement a full rigged vessel, prepared for the occasion, will be set on fire and allowed to burn to the water's edge in full view of the city. Its rigging, sails, ropes, and hull will be saturated with kerosene, which will create a brilliant fire.
Six or eight kegs of powder will be placed in the hold to insure a final explosion and the complete destruction of the vessel.
      Cleveland Herald
      Saturday, July 1, 1876

The small schooner purchased by the Oswego Fourth of July committee, and burned off that harbor, was the C. A. MARTIN
      Cleveland Herald
      Saturday, July 8, 1876

      . . . . .

      A British Ship in the River.
The brig HORNET, which is to be offered up as sacrifice tonight after the naval engagement, was anchored in the center of the river, between Seneca and Cayuga streets yesterday, and attracted much attention by her warlike appearance and frowning ports. The flag of the snug little isles and her burgee floated from her peaks, and her yards were squared for action.
A British red coat kept sentry on deck all day and repelled boarders - one hotel having sent down fifteen or twenty hungry fellows, and sounded the bell as often as the cutter did. Captain Jack Barns, the guard, was highly offended when a fellow told him that the top gallant yard was not as long as it should be, and he replied that the yard was as long as it was one hundred years ago.
      Oswego Palladium
      Monday, July 3, 1876

      . . . . .

The ship which will be exploded and burned Monday night has been named the HORNET, after the sloop of war which put her business end into George the Third's fleet in the days long ago.
      Oswego Palladium
      Wednesday, July 5, 1876

      . . . . .

      Naval Engagement.
The long looked for naval engagement, a feature of the celebration, out people thought, would be the most startling ever witnessed in this section came off as advertised. The brig HORNET which was to cap the climax by burning and exploding after the engagement concluded, was towed out on the lake before dark and anchored about a half mile from the piers, on a line with the mouth of the harbor.
She presented a warlike appearance as her black hull with white ports rolled lazily in the sea and her top hamper described the arc of a circle. Soon after dark the fleet moved down the river and on to the lake, and headed by the cutter MANHATTAN, Captain Abbey, circled about the HORNET, passing close under the fore. Captain Scott, the commandant of Fort Ontario, opened the ball by firing three shots at the fleet and from that time to the close kept up a fire on the crafts from guns well manned.
The guns on the cutter were also well served, and spoke like those on the fort in no uncertain sound; but those on the vessels failed to speak as they should, and acted as though they needed the lawyer in Col. Sellers' play to make them "speak up." The sky rockets and Roman candles were good, but the supply seemed to be rather scanty for startling effect.
We have no desire to find fault with the naval engagement, but it was not all our fancy painted it. The HORNET did not burn as she ought to have burned, and the perverse craft refused to explode and disappear in a halo of glory, amid fire, water and smoke. it strikes us that the powder was not up to the standard, excepting that used by the gunners at the fort and on the cutter. The crowd, after watching the HORNET a long time to witness the finale, went home without reward.
      Oswego Palladium,
      Friday, June 30, 1876

      . . . . .

Sloop C. A. MARTIN. Official U. S. Number 5210, of 47.90 tons. Home port, Essex, N. Y.
      First Supplement to Preliminary List of
      Merchant Vessels of the U. S. (March 11, 1868)

Schooner C. A. MARTIN. Official U. S. Number 5210, of 47.90 tons. Home port, Ogdensburg, N. Y.
      List of U. S. Merchant Vessels, 1871

Schooner C. A. MARTIN, 47 tons. Built Whitehall 1854 by E. Budds. Registered at Oswego. Value $800. Class B2. Remarks: Formerly a sloop
      National Board of Lake Underwriters, 1873

Schooner C. A. MARTIN, Built Whitehall 1854. Remarks: Formerly Sloop.
      Association of Lake Underwriters
      Vessel Classification for 1876

NOTE:-- Whitehall and Essex is on Lake Champlain. She likely came into the lakes between 1868 and 1871, which would explain her not being listed with the Underwriters, prior to 1873. I have a large gap in the Merchant Vessels Lists, nothing after 1871 till 1884 so I cannot check on her there, but she is not listed after 1877 in the Underwriters registers.

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Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss ??
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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C. A. Martin (Schooner), fire, 4 Jul 1876