The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Belle of the West (Steamboat), exploded, 23 Apr 1850

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Awful Disasters
We have never before been called on to record so awful destruction of human life on the western waters, as since the opening of navigation, the current season. The disasters to steamboats already number four, of which two have been by explosions of boilers- the TROY on Niagara river and the ANTHONY WAYNE on Lake Erie- one by fire the BELLE OF THE WEST the Ohio river, and one by collision, the DISPATCH and COMMERCE on Lake Erie, The loss of life by these four calamities as near as can be ascertained, will not fall short of Two Hundred and Fifty!. Two hundred and fifty human beings sent into eternity in this brief space of time by steamboat accidents! Were they accidents beyond the power of man to foresee or provide against? If so, what perils encompass the traveler at every step of his journey, in these days of improvement and science! If not what a responsibility rests on law-makers and the owners and managers of these public conveyances! But the subject will cease to be one of public discussion or occasion of remark by the time the details of the calamities have reached the extreme of the Union. Buffalo Courier
      Schenectady Reflector
      May 17, 1850

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Reason: exploded
Lives: ?
Remarks: Total loss
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William R. McNeil
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Belle of the West (Steamboat), exploded, 23 Apr 1850