The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Fickle Fortune
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), 18 Sep 1860

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Fickle Fortune. - Most of our readers will remember the famous diver and sub-marine explorer of the lakes. The individual was originally a resident of Oswego, and for some years obtained his livelihood by odd jobs and laboring upon the docks. He finally became somewhat noted about town as a diver, and did considerable in the way of diving up coal, old iron, and other articles lost overboard from vessels in the harbor.

From this he engaged in the wrecking business, invented a sub-marine armor, and made himself famous by his operations in Lake Erie, in exploring the wrecks of sunken steamers and recovering the treasures. The diver made a deep dive into the tide which leads to fortune, and it is supposed he secured a handsome competency by his operations.

But it appears the diver could not stand prosperity; he retired from business, and adapted his habits to an aristocratic sphere of life - took to broadcloth, diamond pins, eschewed straight whiskey for smashes and cocktails, and shook a tolerable hand at draw-poker. Such accomplishments are not the inspiration of a vision, and of course too sudden accelerated velocity in one's mode of life is hazardous. It proved so in the present instance, and landed the diver farther on the road to perdition than Morse's telegraph would have taken him in a year.

He makes the entire revolution of the wheel of fortune, and next turns up in the jail in this city, under charge of the poormaster - probably without the requisite capital to accomplish a respectable suicide. The story of the diver is a warning and suggestive to young men about starting in life who contemplate diving.

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Date of Publication:
18 Sep 1860
Richard Palmer Collection
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.4639619620828 Longitude: -76.5146298411128
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Fickle Fortune