The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Argus (Kingston, ON), Dec. 1, 1846

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The Gale on the Lakes.

From the Buffalo Commercial extra, of Saturday evening.

Fredonia Nov. 20th

The steamer Indian Queen, Captain Staring, went ashore last night about ten o'clock, just above the lower point in Dunkirk Harbor. She was fully laden with goods for that port - seven hundred dollars' worth of which was thrown overboard after she struck, to enable her to near the shore. She now lies hard on upon a rock bottom, with a good deal of water in her, and the rest of the cargo must be more or less damaged.

I understand she was insured for $4,000, the policy for which expires in two or three days. The cause of this disaster is attributed to the culpable neglect of the light-house keeper, in not lighting up the beacon light, which prevented the boat making port, and in turning about she unshipped her rudder, lost both anchors, and finally drifted ashore stern foremost. She is probably a total wreck.

We hear of other disasters in the vicinity of Barcelona.

Two Steamboats Lost, and Two Lake Vessels - The steamboat Helen Strong, which left Buffalo yesterday noon, some time in the evening lost her rudder, and soon afterward a steam-pipe burst, rendering her engine useless, and leaving the boat wholly at the mercy of the winds and waves.

Capt. Edwards cast the anchor, and the boat rode with perfect ease while her anchor held, but in half an hour it gave way and let the boat drift. About 10 o'clock she struck broadside against the rock coast, about four miles above Barcelona, the rocks towering nearly thirty feet above them.

The engineer seized a rope, and finding some overhanging twigs in reach, climbed up the precipice and secured the rope, so that the others were saved, except two passengers, a man and a woman, names not known. The boat is a complete wreck, everything washed off from above, and the hull nearly broken in two, when the captain left her this morning to procure assistance.

The Collector, Mr. Pratt, has gone up with him to the boat. Captain Edwards says he has been constantly on the Lake for 14 years, and never knew so severe a blow, except that two years ago, and that was not as bad, for it was light enough to see then, but last night it was pitchy dark.

Besides the H. Strong, the steamer Madison ran ashore about a mile this side the state line, or some six miles above the H. Strong; but we learn no particulars as to damage or situation; but she is probably on a beach.

The brig Osceola was blown ashore about four miles above the Helen Strong, opposite Quincy, and four of her hands were lost. The captain and mate were just alive when the last accounts left. She struck about ten in the evening, and it was eight this morning before assistance was obtained. The vessel is probably a wreck.

A few rods above her, the schooner Cleveland also was driven ashore, and now

lies high and dry, no water touching her. No lives lost, and the vessel not much damaged. Both the Cleveland and Osceola were without cargoes. The Helen Strong had an unusual cargo of dry goods, etc. [Westfield Messenger extra]

By a gentleman from the West this afternoon, we learn that the following vessels are ashore between this and Erie: schs. Dayton, J.H. Lyons, U. States, H.H. Sizer, Chas. Howard and Huron.

From Capt. Randall of the steamer Lexington, just in, we learn that the strs Madison, New Orleans and Niagara are safe at Erie. The Madison had a severe time of it, and lost one of her pipes.

The Albion Knickerbocker of yesterday has the following:

Buffalo, Monday morning.

News reached here yesterday, giving fearful and melancholy accounts of a gale which visited the lake on Thursday night. The amount of property and the loss of life we cannot at this time form any adequate idea. It is immense.

The wind blew from the north-west with a fury never before experienced by some of our oldest seamen. It was awful.

The schr. Swan lies ashore above the same place, and a schooner, name unknown, which are greatly damaged. There is also a sloop, capsized, lying there.

The brig John Hancock, Capt. De Groot, is ashore on the rocks above Erie, and is probably a total loss.

The brig Europe, Capt. Roseman, is ashore at Fair Port, and may probably get off without much damage. The Ainsworth, United States, Charles and A.P. Haywood are ashore at Erie, and will get off with but trifling damage.

The brig H.H. Sizer and schr. Huron at Erie, are total wrecks.

The Steamer Indian Queen is on the rocks at Dunkirk, and is a perfect wreck.

There are fourteen vessels and three steamers ashore this side of Cleveland.

On Saturday morning sixteen dead bodies floated ashore at Barcelona.

The shore for miles along the lake is strewed with fragments of vessels.

Dead bodies are being picked up along the shore.

The storm has been a most disastrous one and we fear to hear further accounts.

The steamer Illinois weathered the gale, and arrived safely at Detroit.

The schr. Convoy was driven back, and escaped without any great damage.

From the Buffalo Commercial, of Monday evening.

In addition to the account published by us on Saturday, of vessels wrecked and injured in the late gale, we learn that the schooner Racine was driven ashore two miles this side of Madison.

The Harwich, of Cleveland, is ashore at Ripley, 7 miles above Barcelona. The Pinta, between this and Erie.

The vessels ashore at Erie, on the Peninsula, are the Ainsworth, United States, Dayton and Charles Howard. These vessels will probably be got off without much damage. The brig H.H. Sizer and schr. Huron are both total wrecks.

The steamer Commerce, Capt. Traverse, came in about three o'clock Sunday afternoon, from Dunkirk, where she lay during the gale. From Capt. T. we learn that the Indian Queen is ashore about a mile this side of Dunkirk, on the rocks, and is a perfect wreck.

From the Rochester American of Monday.

Disasters on Lake Ontario.

In the gale of Thursday night, the 19th inst., the steamer Minerva, with 6200 bushels of wheat from Toledo to Oswego, went ashore at Braddock's Point. She lies 40 rods from the land, and is a total loss.

The schr. Cleveland also went ashore at Irondequoit Bay, with 259 brls. salt. Total loss.

On the same night, the schr. W.H. Merritt went ashore at Braddock's Point. She was without loading, and bound for St. Catherines - not much damaged.

Canal Freights - [Oswego Advertiser Nov. 21st]

Terrible Gale - Two Vessels Lost.

The wind commenced blowing strongly from the north west about three o'clock yesterday morning, and soon increased to a fearful gale, which continued with little abatement during the day. The waters of the lake were in a frightful commotion, and the effects of the blow were felt within the walls of our harbor. Two vessels broke from their moorings just within the west pier and were driven on the rocks at the foot of Fort Ontario.

One of them, the Ainsworth, of Cleveland, was dismasted and thrown on her beam ends, where she now lies, a total wreck. She was cleared only the day previous with a cargo of salt for Cleveland. The Canadian schooner Grampus is the other vessel wrecked. She has recently been repaired and refitted - having lost two masts and been otherwise injured in the gale of October, and was to have sailed yesterday morning with a heavy cargo of oak timber. All day the sea broke over her to the height of her fore top. She has broken amidships and will doubtless be a total loss. She was a large and valuable vessel belonging to Hamilton.

The crews of the two vessels were taken off in the morning by the yawl of the revenue cutter.

A schooner was driven past this port in a vain attempt to enter the harbor, and is reported to be ashore at Mexico Bay, a few miles east of this point.

The schooner Mayflower came in last evening and reported a vessel dismasted about four miles west of this place.

A severe blow at this season has rarely been known on this lake; and we shall doubtless hear of many more disasters in a day or two.

At nine o'clock last night the wind was still blowing heavily, but with little modification since morning. [Oswego Whig]

The Steamer Telegraph - We are glad to learn that this vessel has got safely out of the uncomfortable berth which she has for some time held in Niagara river. She reached this port on Saturday evening, without having sustained any injury, and left on Monday for Oswego, at which place she will take up her winter quarters. We understand that the Telegraph will undergo extensive improvement before the arrival of spring, but we are not aware whether she will again ply between Hamilton and Lewiston. We hope at least that her Captain will find his way back to the route on which he has become so popular. The gentlemanly and unassuming deportment of Captain Masson, his strict attention to business, and the trouble he took to oblige in matters that did not come within the line of duty, have rendered him a general favorite in Hamilton, and his return, with the season, will be looked for with satisfaction. The press particularly, is under great obligations to Capt. M. for furnishing regularly on his arrival in port, the latest newspapers from New York and Buffalo, often procured at the expense of annoyance and difficulty. We cannot permit the season to close without making this short acknowledgement and the pleasure which we have in doing it is increased with the reflection that it is a Kingstonian and an old schoolmate who is the recipient, and who has rendered himself so popular at this end of the lake. [Hamilton Spectator]

Welland Canal - damage from freshet. [St. Catherines Journal]

The vessel reported ashore on Pigeon reef, in our last number, was the brigt. General Brock, and it is feared she will become a total wreck. Capt. Pearson and the crew got ashore on the Island and were taken off by the H.M.S. Mohawk, which as mentioned on our last was sent by Capt. Fowell, to their assistance.

p.3 Port of Kingston - Arrived - Nov. 6th - Schr. Ellen, Port Nelson, 3564 bus. wheat, Jones & Walker. schr. Fanny, Toronto, 409 bbls. flour, H. & S. Jones. schr. England, Beamsville, 5000 bus. wheat, McPherson & Crane. schr. Sir Robert Peel, 634 bbls. flour, McPherson & Crane. schr. Sovereign, Hamilton, 870 bbls. Flour, 40 kegs butter, 30 bbls. pork, 2 bbls. ashes, Jones & Walker; 239 bbls. flour, 8 pork, H. & S. Jones; 447 bbls. flour, 13 barley, Hooker & Henderson. schr. Clyde, Port Ryerse, 1158 bbls. flour, 26 whisky, H. & S. Jones; 200 flour, McPherson and Crane; 150 flour, Hooker, Henderson & Co. brigantine John Malcolm, Sydenham, 9200 staves, Calvin, Cook & Co.

The remainder of this list is unavoidably crowded out today.

A Card - The undersigned beg to acknowledge the kindness and promptitude of Capt. Fowell, R.N., in sending out Her Majesty's Steamer Mohawk, to the relief of the Brigantine General Brock, wrecked during the storm of Wednesday last; and the sufferers particularly, would offer their thanks to Lieut. Tysson, commanding the Mohawk, and Lieut. Willoughby, for the very important aid rendered in rescuing them from the perilous situation in which they were placed.

M.T. Hunter, Agent, North Western Ins. Co.

Joseph Pierson

Kingston, Nov. 30th Edward Browne.

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Dec. 1, 1846
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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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Argus (Kingston, ON), Dec. 1, 1846