The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Blue Bell (Canal Boat), collision, 1 May 1851

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A GALE. - The wind commenced blowing furiously from the west this morning about 10 o'clock. In the course of two hours the water in the harbor raised three feet above its ordinary level. The water in the canal at noon was about three inches over the tow-path and rising. The shipping in the harbor has sustained much damage in the loss of sails and rigging.
      ITS EFFECT. - The brig J.Y. SCAMMON cleared from this port this morning, but was compelled to put back on account of the severity of the pending gale. On entering the harbor she dropped both anchors, which, however, did not check her progress, when she ran into the canal boat BLUE BELLE. A passenger named Hiram Burbanks, aged 18 years, was just emerging from the camin when the brig struck the bow of the boat. Mr. Burbank's legs became entangled in the forechains, breaking the left leg about the knee, and horribly lacerating the right leg from the knee to the thigh, laying open the flesh and exposing the bone. He was taken to Bennet's Temperance House and medical attendence called. The damage to the canal boat will probably exceed two hundred dollars.
      During the squall which the SCAMMON encountered, her top galland sail was rent to ribbins, besides suffering other damage to the amount of $150
      No blame can be attached to Capt. Peterson, of the brig. He used every exertion to avoid the catastrophe.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, May 1, 1851

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Blue Bell (Canal Boat), collision, 1 May 1851