The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 7, 1857

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p.2 need for elevators at Kingston -

Narrow Escape of a Lake Steamer

The Chicago Journal gives the following narrative of the dangerous storm which over took the steamer Cleveland on Lake Michigan:

"The steamer left Green Bay on Tuesday at 10 a.m., with sixteen passengers and a full freight. On her way down she touched at different points, and took in all about 60 passengers. Everything went on smoothly until about eleven o'clock on Wednesday night, when the blow struck her. She was at that time a short distance above Milwaukee. The wind and snow raged with fearful violence, and every wave, as it washed into the noble craft, seemed bent on destroying her. Her fires were put out, and it then seemed that destruction was inevitable. Captain Flood, undaunted, however, set about to bail her out, and the passengers and crew, with one dastardly exception, took hold and worked for four hours and a half. At the expiration of this time the fires were rekindled, and steam once more got up, but they were soon put out again. The passengers again went to work with a will, and bailed until nine or ten o'clock, a.m., when steam was once more got up. They headed for the shore and kept on bailing in the midst of this terrible storm. About 3 p.m. they espied, much to their gratification and delight, a chimney, which proved to be in Chicago. At 7 1/2 o'clock the steamer reached her docks. Once or twice during the gale all hopes of ever reaching the shore was given up, and a list of the passengers on board was prepared by the captain to throw overboard. Happily so terrible a calamity was averted. In the midst of the unflinching courage displayed on every hand, shines still brighter the courage of a woman, who was one of the passengers, the brighter as it stands in contrast with the sheer cowardice of a craven-souled man who was aboard. That man was a Frenchman, as we stated yesterday. He absolutely refused to work, when a woman, which should have brought a burning blush of shame upon his cheeks if he was possessed of any manhood, stepped forward and volunteered to take his place. That woman's name was Miss E. Wishard, of Milwaukee. The passengers, however, would not allow her to work. Her noble behavior on this occasion won for her the admiration and esteem of every one on board, while the conduct of the Frenchman provoked just the opposite; and we should not have blamed the crew had they looked upon him as a second Jonah on board their noble craft."

-C.J. Kershaw expected at Montreal.

-The propeller Alps left this port on Saturday evening with a partial loading of whitefish.

Fatal Accident - man fell in hold of freight steamer Britannia at Railway Wharf, Hamilton.

Marine News - An attempt was made yesterday to raise the schooner Europa, with three steam pumps and the propeller Relief, but the damage she has received since Tuesday rendered all efforts unavailing. Rocks are sticking four feet through her bottom. The canal boat and pumps had a narrow escape from being totally lost last night. It was with the utmost difficulty they were got away. All attempts to save her are now abandoned. She is much broken up and has been stripped, and will doubtless be sold as she lies. [Buffalo Times 3rd]

A letter from Port Colborne dated yesterday, says the ice breaker arrived there the previous evening. A number of vessels immediately left through the canal. It was thought that all the vessels below Allensburgh would be out of the canal today. [ibid]

The propeller Geo. Moffatt, with a cargo of copper from Lake Superior, is lying at Conneaut, with a broken shaft. When she entered that port there was 12 feet of water, and now there is only 8, so that she is compelled to remain.

The brig New York and schooners Tartar and Lucy J. Latham arrived at Oswego on Tuesday from the Welland Canal. They report considerable ice in the canal, which is pretty well broken up, and vessels are moving slowly.

Capt. Rowan, of the steamer Ploughboy, deserves to be remembered. The news of the wreck of the schooner Game Cock, near Goderich, and the helpless condition of her crew, reached him on Friday the 20th, towards night. He immediately went to work to devise means to get off the crew. He carried his long boat nine miles on a sleigh to near the scene of the wreck, and got the men all off. One of them had his hands frozen. The vessel lies on a gravelly bottom, and would no doubt be got off if assistance could reach her. [Oswego Times]

The Oswego Times says that the schooner Peerless, reported ashore at Presque Isle, was got off a few days since and sailed for Oswego, but in consequence of heavy weather was obliged to put back. Her cargo of barley was not damaged.

The schooner Dreadnought was at Detroit on Wednesday preparing to leave for the canal. This vessel was in difficulty on Lake Huron during the recent gales. The captain, writing from Saugeen, 25th November, says he was caught in a gale of wind and snow, and was unable to carry sufficient canvas to work to windward, and could do nothing but heave-to for four hours on each tack; it was snowing so hard that he could not see the length of the vessel and blowing a perfect gale. Lost canvas and boat in trying to keep off the lee shore, which the captain found he could not do, but drifted into the bay and let go both anchors. Had not been able to go ashore until the 20th on account of snow and ice. The captain had his hands and feet frozen.

The propeller Inkerman, which exploded her boilers at Toronto last summer, has been rebuilt at Ogdensburgh, and is ready to launch.

The schooner L.J. Farwell, in reference to which some anxiety was felt, is reported to have passed Detroit on the 20th. The Detroit Tribune however says that no vessels passed Detroit on the 20th.

Capt. Gray of the schooner Kitty Spangler, and part of her crew, reached Chicago on 20th. The captain says he left Chicago on the 17th with a load of wheat for Buffalo. When off the Beavers the schooner sprung a leak, and he was compelled to run her upon a sand beach in Sleeping Bear Bay. The weather was intensely cold and the crew nearly all froze their hands and feet. To add to the horrors of their situation they were two days and nights without food, their own boats were lost, and death was apparently to terminate their sufferings, when they were rescued by the boats of the Great West, which had also gone ashore.

The barque Great West left Chicago on the 18th with 17,000 bushels wheat for Oswego, met the gale on the 19th, had her head sails carried away, threw out both anchors and dragged over to the main land on Sleeping Bear Bay, when her cables parted.

Schooner Kenosha of Chicago, Capt. W. Kelly, went ashore seven miles north-west of that station on the morning of the 19th inst. She was bound from Cleveland to Chicago and was laden with coal. At the time she went ashore the wind blew a perfect gale and the snow was falling very thick and fast. As soon as the vessel struck she shipped a heavy sea aft, which carried away her mainmast, boat and oars. The captain and crew made a raft of the main boom, gaff and loose pieces of timber, and succeeded, after incessant toil and suffering, in reaching Sugar Island and thence Thunder Bay Island. All hands were saved. The captain had his feet frozen.

The Chicago Press reports the schr. James Navagh of Oswego ashore high and dry fifteen miles above Presque Isle, completely encased in ice.

The schooner Poland is ashore on the east side of the peninsula at the head of Grand Traverse Bay.

The Buffalo Advertiser, 2nd, says the M.F. Johnson had been got off and brought into port without much damage.

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Dec. 7, 1857
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Rick Neilson
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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 News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 7, 1857