The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), Nov. 30, 1821

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p.2 Steam Boat Walk-in-the-Water beached in a storm, on Thursday morning last

On Wednesday last, the Steam Boat Walk-in-the-Water left Black Rock at 4 P.M. on her regular trip to Detroit; the weather though somewhat rainy, did not appear threatening. After she had proceeded about four miles above Bird Island, she was struck by a severe squall which it was immediately perceived had injured her much, and caused her to leak fast. The wind from the south southeast continued to blow with extreme severity through the night, which was exceedingly dark and rainy, attended at intervals with the most tremendous squalls. The Lake became rough to a terrifying degree, and every wave seemed to threaten immediate destruction to the boat and all on board. This was truly to the passengers and crew, a night of terror and dismay - to go forward was impossible; to attempt a return to Black Rock in the darkness and tempest, would have been certain ruin, on account of the difficulty of the channel; and little less could be hoped, whether the boat was anchored or permitted to be driven on the beach. She, however, was anchored, and for a while held fast, but as every one perceived each wave increased her injury and caused her to leak faster, the casings in her cabin were seen to move at every swell, and the screaking (sic) of her joints and timbers was appalling; her engine was devoted to the pumps, but in spite of them all the water increased to an alarming extent - the storm grew more terrific. The wind blew more violent as the night advanced, and it was presently perceived that she was dragging her anchors, and approaching the beach. In such blackness of darkness could her helm have commanded her course, not the most skilful pilot could have chosen with any certainty the part of the shore on which it would be most prudent to land. The passengers on board were numerous and many of them were ladies, whose fears and cries were truly heart rending.

The boat was at the mercy of the waves until half past five o'clock Thursday morning, when she beached a short distance above the light house, when the passengers and crew began to debark, which was effected without the loss of lives, or any material injury. Some idea may be formed of the fury of the storm, when it is known that the boat, heavily laden as she was, was thrown entirely on the beach. [Buffalo Patriot]

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Nov. 30, 1821
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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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Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), Nov. 30, 1821