The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 13, 1842

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The Steamer Shamrock belonging to Ross, Mathie & Co., left Lachine on Saturday morning last at 6 o'clock, laden with passengers and baggage. On coming up Lake St. Louis about eleven miles from Lachine and opposite Nun's Island, the boiler of the Steamer exploded. She filled with water and drifted half a mile down the Lake and grounded on a Shoal near Nun's Island. The loss of life is very great.

In a letter addressed to the Editor of the Montreal Gazette, Messrs. Ross, Mathie & Co. say: "a List of the names of the passengers, as entered in our shipping-book, is herewith appended. We shipped and received payment for ninety-five adult passengers, a portion of which was composed of children, who were rated as follows: - say from three to twelve years of age, half-price; under three years old, free; above twelve years old, full price. There were equal to ninety-five adults on board of passengers. Of these there survive sixty-three adults and three children, leaving, apparently, thirty-two adults to be accounted for, or equal to that, according to the memorandum of their shipment. It is certain, however, that many of those missing are children; and allowing two for every adult, would make the actual number of souls missing about fifty-four. We have taken every pains in our power, to collect information as to the exact number of souls on board; and the same, as gleaned from the lips of the survivors, is embodied in the subjoined statement.

Of this number, saved, as stated above, one has died, and sixteen are now in the Montreal General Hospital, where they are under the best medical treatment - three of this number are, we learn, dangerously ill.

There was also one man who died at Lachine yesterday, not included in the number of those saved, as above stated.

Of the crew, there are missing, the second engineer, second pilot, two firemen, and two of the deck hands. The Captain of the Shamrock was the last person who left her, and, at the risk of his life, swam out and saved a passenger who was drowning. The steamer Dolphin was at hand when the accident occurred, and rendered prompt assistance in bringing down the wounded to Lachine. Captain Robins, of the Ottawa, was also very active in saving the baggage and property of the passengers, he having, at our request, gone up expressly to render assistance at the wreck; and the inhabitants of Lachine, generally, did all they could to assist in alleviatiing, as far as possible, the sufferings of the distressed passengers.

The Shamrock was a new boat, built with engines complete, during the past winter, by the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company, and was propelled by a 32 horse power, high pressure engine. She was only on her fourth trip upwards. She was engaged in running between Montreal and Kingston, ascending via the Ottawa and Rideau Canal, and returning via the River St. Lawrence.

List of Passengers Entered In The Shipping Copy.

No. of No. Souls Missing or

Adults Souls Saved Lost

J. Coverdale 4 8 2 6

J. Thackerry 2 3 1 2

J. Connor 2 2 0 2

D. Watson 6 6 3 3

J. Breckon 2 5 0 2

J. Hugill 2 2 1 1

Wm. Easton 1 1 1 0

D. Southern 1 1 1 0

Thomas Cousins 5 9 1 8

G. Ager 1 1 1 0

W. Johnson 2 2 0 2

J. Richardson 1 1 1 0

A. Johnson 1 1 1 0

A. Danielle 1 1 1 0

J. McCartery 1 1 0 1

F. Richards 1 1 0 1

W. Garbatt 1 1 1 0

James Adamsley 1 1 1 0

Thomas Kayes 1 1 0 1

John McWilliams 2 2 1 1

John York 3 3 0 3

Allan Pearson 8 15 6 9

John Hunter 3 3 3 0

J. Hamerly 1 1 0 1

J. McArthur 7 11 11 0

A. Yonge 2 4 4 0

R. Reid 2 2 2 0

E. Ross 1 1 0 1

J. Rooney 1 1 0 1

J. Larkin 2 2 0 2

J. Pearson 2 3 2 1

A. Pagin or Pattspin 3 3 3 0

J. Lason 4 4 4 0

W. McKenzie 2 2 2 0

J. Ferguson 2 2 0 2

p. Slater 2 2 2 0

J. Bailey 3 5 2 3

H. Morrison 1 1 1 0

Richard McAllan 2 2 1 1

J. Burk 1 1 1 0

J. Ferguson 2 2 0 2

F. Smart 1 1 0 1

J. Wale 2 2 1 1

95 120 62 58

Persons saved, who

paid the passage with

some of the above

families, or altogether

entered in one name 0 0 4 4

95 120 66 54

List of Persons Sent To Hospital.

James Phelan, (crew) contusion of the eye.

Thomas Mobray, (passenger) contusion of the ankle.

William Mobray, son of the above, do., contusion of the thigh.

John Hutchison, do. contusion of the nose and lip.

John Wright, do., fracture of tibea. (wife drowned)

Joseph Bailey, do., severely scalded.(mother, wife and child drowned)

George Agar, do., face bruised.

John Coverdale, do., fracture of both legs - died shortly after amputation.

Ann Coverdale, wife of the above, slight contusion of back.(husband dead, 6 children drowned)

John Tuckray, fracture of arm. (wife and child drowned)

Mary Pearson, do. do.

George Pearson, scalded. (father, mother, wife and child, 3 brothers and 2 sisters drowned)

Pearson, brother of the above, scalded.

Pearson, do. do.

Sarah Pearson, contusion.

Ann Pearson, daughter of above, contusion of brain - dangerous case.

Ellen McKenzie, scalded.

John Sutherland, dislocation of shoulder.

The cause of the accident is unknown. The loss of life is estimated at about 54. It would appear that the main body of the steam was directed to the bow of the boat, and that she went down stem foremost, leaving the stern out of the water. It is mentioned that a family of the name of McArthur, from Inverarly, Argylshire, consisting of 11 persons, were sitting at the stern and escaped unhurt. The passengers were English, Irish, and Scotch Emigrants, chiefly English. The English numbering about 65 occupied the forepart of the vessel, and suffered the principal loss.

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July 13, 1842
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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.
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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 13, 1842