The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Explosion of the Anthony Wayne
Lloyd's Steamboat Directory and Disasters on the Western Waters..., 28 Apr 1850, p. 211-13

Full Text
Explosion of the Anthony Wayne.

The Anthony Wayne was an old steamer belonging to the regular line of Buffalo and Sandusky packets. On Sunday morning, at half-past one o'clock, April 28, 1850, while making one of heir usual trips, this boat exploded, on Lake Erie, opposite the mouth of Vermillion river, and eight miles from the shore. Within twenty minutes after the explosion, the steamer sunk, the hull parting from the hurricane deck, and leaving the latter afloat on the lake. The surviving passengers and crew remained on this fragment of the wreck until daylight, when the schooner Elmira, Capt. Nugent, came up and took them off, together with the wounded, and all the dead bodies which could be recovered. There were eighty-four persons on the Anthony Wayne, about half of whom were saved alive, though some of these were badly wounded.

List of Killed. —Myron Tytus, of Dayton, Ohio; M. Hart, Perrysville, Ohio ; wife and child of John Ellis, Mount Hope, Mich. ; J. W. Doty, Warsaw, Ill. ; J. J. Elmore, and J. Burchard, engineers Henry Sturges, steward. Mount Clemens, Mich.; G. Franklin, fireman, of Detroit ; A. J. Meade, bar-keeper ; Wiley Robinson, John Williamson, and Henry Kelly, cooks; two waiters, colored; Alexander Cartwright, deck-hand ; John Brainard, and James O'Neil, firemen Whitney Parsons, porter ; Henry Blane, deck-hand ; John Falkner Henry McDonough, and several others, names unknown.

Dangerously Wounded.— J. H. Josler, Crittenden County, Vt.; Robert Shay, Dayton, Ohio ; John Terry, Louisville, Ky. ; C. G. Lawrence, Angelica, N. Y. ; A. W. Gray, Stillwater, N. Y. ; a son of Mr. Ellis, Mount Hope, Mich.

Slightly Wounded.—John Beadley, Cleveland, Ohio; Matthew Faulkner, Sheffield, Mass.

The case of Mr. Archer Brackney, one of the passengers, is mournfully interesting. He was on his way from Lafayette, La., to Philadelphia, with the remains of his wife and child, recently deceased. Both the corpses were enclosed in one box. When the explosion took place, he succeeded in dragging his two living children from their berths, and with them plunged into the water. Finding himself unable to support the two children on the surface, he looked around for some piece of the wreck which might be useful in preserving their lives. [p. 213] A floating object attracted his attention ; it was the box which contained the bodies of his wife and child. On this he placed his little boy and girl, and endeavored to keep the box in an upright position, but the surges caused it to pitch and roll in such a manner, that his son, in spite of all his efforts, was washed off and drowned. He now turned all his attention to the preservation of the other child, and finally succeeded in gaining the floating part of the wreck with his little daughter, and both were saved.

Lloyd, James T.
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Date of Publication:
28 Apr 1850
Date Of Event:
28 April 1850
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.5220993114605 Longitude: -82.210693359375
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Explosion of the Anthony Wayne