The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Aurora Borealis (Schooner), capsized, 1 May 1844

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      In our last we just mentioned the capsizing of this vessel in the gale of the 1st inst., and the loss of two of the hands. Since then we have conversed with one of the survivors, Mr. Daniel King, of this place, mate, and have learned the following particulars connected with the disaster: The AURORA left this port a few minutes past 9 in the evening, with a light breeze from the south, - the moon was shining brightly, and the vessel was moving under all her canvas, except the top gallant sail. About ten, when about 8 miles distant, the wind shifted to the southwest, and freshened considerably, when her topsail was furled; but before 11 o'clock the wind died away, to a perfect calm. At this time our informant retired below; and had remained there some thirty minutes, when he was awakened by the water rushing down the companion way into the cabin, and he ascertained that the vessel had been struck by a squall, and was then on her beam-ends. Two other persons were with him in the cabin, Mr. Richard Hall, cook, son of Mr. Daniel Hall, of Scriba, and Mr. Robert Long, of Cobourg, who had entered but a few minutes before. The cabin almost instantly filled with water, when Messrs. Kingand Long made their escape from the vessel through the dead-lights, and it would seem that Mr. Hall must also have escaped from the cabin, as since the vessel has been brought into port, she has been pumped out, and search made for the body, but in vain. The captain, Mr. Samuel Loveland of New York, the helmsman, Mr. John Long, father of Robert above mentioned, and two hands before the mast, Mr. Asahel Jackson of this village, and Mr. Albert Smith, of Schroeppel in this county, were at the time of the accident upon deck and were all washed overboard. As the mate came out of the stern window, the helmsman passed him, precipitated from his station, and sank to rise no more. The mate succeeded in reaching the keel, as also Mr. Smith, and the other three were assisted to this position by Mr. King and Mr. Smith. Here they all remained some four and a half hours, when Mr. King succeeded in loosening her boat from the davy tackles, and after bailing it out with their hats and boots (being full of water,) all entered the boat, where they remained some two hours, sculling away from the wreck about three miles with a broken oar. In the meantime a signal of distress was formed of a red silk handkerchief, which was noticed by the Steamer ONEIDA, by whom they were picked up, and brought to this port on the morning of the 2d inst. The wreck was brought in about twelve o'clock the same night. She is very little injured. The bodies of the drowned have not been recovered. The AURORA is owned by the North Western Insurance Company. She was without a cargo.
      Oswego County Whig
      Saturday, May 11, 1844

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Reason: capsized
Lives: 2
Remarks: Recovered
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.795555 Longitude: -77.905555
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Aurora Borealis (Schooner), capsized, 1 May 1844