The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 14, 1841

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p.2 Melancholy Catastrophe - On Monday evening last, the fine Steamboat Erie, while on her usual route from Buffalo to Detroit, was burnt to the waters' edge, having upwards of Two Hundred and Forty souls on board at the time - of whom only 27 were saved.

The Vessel had been out from Buffalo on her upward trip about three hours, when the dreadful occurrence took place. We understand that the fire originated from the bursting of two Barrels of Varnish, which had become heated by being placed on the boiler deck. Some of the Varnish having communicated with the fire, the whole Vessel, which had been newly painted, was in a few moments enveloped in flames. Among the passengers were 90 German Emigrants. The crew numbers about 35, and the rest were, it is said, citizens of the United States. We have heard it mentioned that Mr. Stowe lately Clerk in the Bank of Upper Canada, was among the unfortunate sufferers.

Among those saved were, the Master of the Vessel, Captain Titus, one German, one Lady, three of the crew, and 21 other passengers. There were about 50 females on board. It is stated that one Lady saved herself and a coloured woman by means of a life preserver.

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Aug. 14, 1841
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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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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 14, 1841