The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Jul 1856

Full Text

p.2 Steamer Burnt - Amherstburgh, July 17th - Steamer Northern Indiana burnt this morning at 11 o'clock, off Point Pelee. From 30 to 40 lives lost! Steamer Mississippi took off those saved, together with some dead bodies.


We have no further particulars of the cruel loss of life and property at this Fire. Nobody has yet been picked up, consequently, no Inquest has been held. When an Inquest becomes necessary, it is to be hoped, that it will take place in the City Hall, where the public can attend and see that justice is done in the premises. If the sad loss of life was occasioned by want of boats, that fact should be enquired into. If the fire was caused by negligence, or from want of due precaution in the construction of the vessel, that is another subject of deep enquiry. These Burnings are sad affairs. The public look to the Government for a searching Enquiry, which we trust will be allowed to take place, under the surveillance of a legal gentleman appointed by the Crown.

We add a few items from the News of Saturday:-

Names of the Persons Missing

Patrick Campbell, Master.

Alex. Henderson, Engineer.

R. Lemmon and G. Marcland, Wheelsmen.

Louis ___, fireman.

Frank Farmer, Thomas Baylis & William McMillan, deck-hands.

R. Kincaid, Steward.

Female Cook, name unknown, shipped at Montreal.

A female friend of the Steward, named Sarah ___, supposed to have been betrothed to him.

Mrs. Bento, her nurse and three children.

A French Canadian passenger, named Jaques LeBois, and Nicholas Butler, lampboy.

Names of the Persons Saved

W.D. Handyside, Purser.

Frank Langley, 2nd Engineer.

Moses LaFevre, fireman.

John Gremore, do.

D. Perault, do.

Timothy Ward, deck hand.

Robt. Perry, do.

Alex. Campbell, wheelsman.

Robert Delaney, Mate.

J. Benton, passenger.

Napolean Charbonault.

Louis Brosseau.

_______, Carpenter, name unknown, from Quebec.

Among the few saved were Mr. Benton, late of the Montreal and Champlain Railway, husband to Mrs. Benton, and father of one of the children (the two others being under his care); Mr. W.D. Handyside, purser, to whom we are indebted for these melancholy particulars, he having saved himself by clinging to the rudder, with two other men, for about half an hour or more, and was taken off by a fisherman from the point. The mate, several hands, and others who abstained from entering the small-boat, were saved by throwing themselves into the water with planks and such other buoyant articles as presented themselves at the trying moment. While those mentioned were clinging to the rudder, a keg of powder, which the purser had, in Montreal, carefully stowed in the forward part of the fore hold, exploded with a large concussion, throwing quantities of burning wood piled on the deck high into the air, scattering it over the surface of the water.

The schooner Mary Adelaide, Capt. Davis and the schooner Flying Cloud, Capt. ___, at the time beating about the offing, hastened with praiseworthy celerity, against a head wind, to the burning vessel, and succeeded in rescuing those floating about in the water, who, we are instructed to say, are inexpressibly grateful for their kind and humane treatment while on board their respective vessels. The two schooners continued to beat about the track of the vessel until near daylight, but with no particular result. The steamer City of the Bay, Capt. Nosworthy, and the steamer Wellington, it is said, went to the scene of the disaster, but too late to render service the schooners named having proceeded them.

The wind, as before stated, blew moderately down the lake, and the burning propeller slowly floated down the channel with her stern to the wind, and was watched by a number of people on the shore throughout the night, until her reduced hulk struck the ground at the point of Cedar Island about 4 o'clock, Friday morning.

Mr. Handyside is of opinion that if the unfortunate persons had not been so precipitate, and had shown more coolness under the circumstances, there was ample time to have taken great precautions, and they all might have been saved.

Mr. Benton is a great sufferer, having, besides his wife and child, lost all his apparel, furniture and money, and as at this moment utterly penniless. Others are in a similarly helpless condition.

Imports - July 19th - Str. Cataract, Ogdensburgh, 1 willow wagon, owner.

Str. Kingston, Ogdensburgh, (gen. cargo).

Str. Western Miller, Montreal, (gen. cargo).

Str. Northerner, Lewiston, (gen. cargo).

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
21 Jul 1856
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
Creative Commons licence:
pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Jul 1856