The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Sep 1859

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p.2 Loss of the Propeller Banshee

From one of the hands employed on board the steamer, we learn a few particulars in reference to the loss of the Banshee. She left Port Dalhousie on Tuesday evening, at 9 o'clock, and was out in the heavy storm of that night, and the following day and evening, when she labored very hard, and 350 bbls. of flour, shipped from the mills of Messrs. R. & J. Lawrie, Port Dalhousie, had to be thrown overboard. She reached Kingston on Wednesday night, between 9 and 10 o'clock, and remained there a couple of hours. The sea was extremely high during the passage of the steamer down the lake, but when the river was reached the weather moderated, and it was supposed that all danger was passed, and all hands 'turned in' to have a good sleep, having been unable to obtain even a 'nap' from the time they left port, leaving a man named Patrick Finnigan at the wheel. Finnigan had not strength to hold out, and he also went to sleep and the steamer being left to her own guidance, went ashore on Whiskey Island, a small Island on the American side of the river, about five miles below Alexander Bay. She struck a sunken rock, which stove a hole in her bow about two feet square, and also splitting her down about five feet. - In fifteen minutes after she sank, with her bow out of the water. During the passage down the Lake Capt. McRea very nearly lost his life by being struck with a barel of flour, but just as he was going overboard, the second engineer, Mr. Swails, caught and saved him.

The fishermen of a little place called Rockport behaved in a most unchristian and unmanly spirit toward the sufferers, for instead of affording them assistance, they did all they could to injure them, and even were so inhuman as to steal their provisions, leaving them nothing but a few potatoes, which the men had to obtain by wading up to their waists. No trouble will be experienced in raising the Banshee, as she is about two feet from the bottom, and anchored to a tree. The insurance, however, may be forfeited. The load of the Banshee was composed principally of flour from the mills of Messrs. Norris & Neelon, T.R. Merritt, and R. & J. Lawrie. The other portion of her cargo was composed as follows: 30 or 40 bbls peas, 300 or 400 sheep skins, 25 bbls gin, 14 bbls potash, 10 bbls ale, and 4 tons bran.. [St Catherines Journal]

-Walking on the Water - new kind of shoes to be exhibited at Kingston.

-Imports - 22,23.

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24 Sep 1859
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Sep 1859