The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Dunderberg (Schooner), sunk by collision, 14 Aug 1868

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SINKING OF THE SCHOONER 'DUNDERBERG' - LOSS OF LIFE. -- The following telegram was received here yesterday afternoon from Detroit. "The schooner DUNDERBERG, of Detroit, from Chicago, Aug. 8, with a few passengers and 40,0000 bushels of corn, was sunk by a collision with the propeller EMPIRE STATE, off Point Au Barque, last night. Mrs. Wilcox
the owners wife, was drowned. The DUNDERBERG was a first class vessel, valued at $55,000 and insured for $35,OOO. The propeller returned leaking badly.
      Chicago Tribune
      Saturday, August I5, 1868

      . . . . .

      Further Particulars Of The Loss Of The Schooner DUNDERBERG
The Detroit Tribune of Saturday has the following "This morning Captain Charles Green of the ill-fated schooner DUNDERBERG, together with his officers and crew, arrived at Detroit on board the tug B. B. JONES. From them we have obtained further particulars concerning the running down of that vessel by the propeller, the EMPIRE STATE, on Thursday night last. They confirm the statements made by the gentlemen and lady passengers published in the Tribune of yesterday, and also enable us to state definately that Mrs. Wilcox was drowned. As we remarked yesterday, there were very faint hopes entertained by some that she might be rescued alive, but we were not among those who thought there were any chances in favor of this theory, although we hoped there might be a possibility of escape. Her body
has not been recovered, but every effort will be made in that direction, without any delay.
The DUNDERBERG was steering south-southeast, sailing with a fair wind at the rate of 10 or 12 miles an hour and hugging the shore as close as it was deemed expedient. Captain Green had all his lights burning brightly, and they remained burning until the water of the lake extinguished them. He distinctly saw the propeller's lights fully half an hour before the collision and continued to watch them more or less during the whole time until his vessel was run down. A few minutes before the collision, the wheel of the propeller was put hard a-port, which had the effect to change her course and run her into the schooner at right angles, striking her on the starboard side (not port as previously published) about midway between the cabin and main rigging. The course of the vessel was not changed. Her helm was moved but she did not have time to answer it before her side was crushed in and she commenced leaking badly. From this view of the case, we are left to infer, that if the course of the propeller had not been changed, no accident would have happened. Why it should
have been changed we are at a loss to conjecture, but it is possible an explanation of this conduct may be rendered by the officer in charge of the EMPIRE STATE.
As stated yesterday Captain Green placed all his passengers in his small boat and sent them to the propeller. He remained behind to look for Mrs. Wilcox, and when his crew returned, the search was resumed and kept up until the last moment, when the waters closed in and above the once magnificent vessel. Not until then did they abandon looking
for her, but nothing could be found, and all are at a loss to know precisely what became of her. The most probable theory is that she was knocked overboard by the concussion and drowned, this however is a speculation of our own, and may or may not prove correct. During fine weather, this lady was in the habit of sleeping upon a lounge on the deck just in front of the cabin and under the projecting roof, which extends out about three feet. Up to a few moments before the collision she was reclining or sleeping in this locality and her sister, a Mrs. Lazeher was standing near and it is thought she ran to the port side of the vessel, and endeavored to reach the roof of the cabin by a flight of steps, when the propeller struck the schooner. If so, it is easy to conceive how the concussion would throw her off her feet and precipitate her into the water. At any rate, she has not been seen
since the collision.
The DUNDERBERG sank in half an hour after the accident, and went down in about 20 fathoms of water. Nothing is now to be seen of her, and it is supposed that she careened over upon her side. She went down stern first, and the last man to leave her was Captain Green. No arrangements have yet been made, looking to any attempt to raise her, and it is doubtful whether any will be made. The water may swell the corn with which she was loaded, so as to burst her open.
      Chcago Tribune
      Tuesday, August 18, 1868
      . . . . .
We gleam the following from the Detroit Tribune of Monday:- "The propeller EMPIRE STATE, which ran into the schooner DUNGERBERG on Thursday night, and after unloading wheat, went immediately into dry dock. They were in a great hurry to get repairs made and be off
again before the necessary papers could be got out to detain her. This she accomplished, leaving here on Sunday night. When this became known to the owners of the schooner DUNDERBERG, a libel was at once procured from United States Commisioner, Arthur Gore, who taking with him several to assist him in the seizure of the vessel, if necessary, started on the tug, GENERA.L U. S. GRANT in pursuit of the propeller, several hours afterwards.
Early this morning, when about five miles below Sarnia, they observed the propeller lying at the dock on the Canadian side, and passed up to near Lake Huron, and there awaited until the EMPIRE STATE, would pass. They were rewarded for their patience at about five or six o'clock, when she passed them, and was about entering into Lake Huron on the American side. The tug then steamed alongside the propeller, when the Deputy Marshall Gore and Captain John Dumas boarded her, and the former made known his errand. Captain Pheatt was in his bearth asleep at the time, and was called up. An effort was made by those in charge of the propeller, to run her into Canadian waters, seeing which Mr. Gore took hold of the wheel and spiked it. Mr Gore states that when the captain came on board he called several of his hands together on deck and disputed the authority of the Marshal to arrest him or seize his boat; and that the First Mate, Wm. A. Smith, went even further, and after
the passage of some words struck him (Mr. Gore), and also Captain Dumas
They were however, soon quieted and the propeller taken to the dock at Fort Gratiot. Information of the seizure of the vessel was then telegraphed here, and the EMPIRE STATE arrived here about noon.
Upon the arrival the second Mate, John Longder, was arrested by Deputy Marshal Ray, on a warrant, charging him with manslaughter on the High Seas, in running against and sinking the schooner DUNDERBERG, and causing the death of Mrs. O. Wilcox. He was taken before United States Commisioner Wilkins, and committed for examination this afternoon. The First Mate was also arrested on a charge of resisting the process of an Officer, and assault and Battery on the high seas. His examination was also postponed.
      Chicago Tribune
      Tuesday, August 18, 1868
      . . . . .
THE 'DUNDERBERG' -- This vessel has been abandoned to the underwriters, and we learn that no idea of raising her is entertained. She lies in a depth of 150 feet, and although strictly a first-class vessel, and only a year old, she has ere this sustained serious damage by the swelling of her cargo of corn, that every attempt to get her up would be a most unpromising enterprise.
      Chicago Tribune
      Monday, August 24, 1868

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Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 1
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
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William R. McNeil
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Dunderberg (Schooner), sunk by collision, 14 Aug 1868