Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Niagara (Steamboat), collision, 1 Aug 1860
Full Text

NIAGARA Steamer, collided with the Schooner MAIL at Oswego, damage to the former $500, to the latter $100
      Buffalo Morning Express
      March 11, 1861. Casualty List, 1860

      Collision Of The Steamer Niagara And An Unknown Schooner. - last evening the steamer Niagara, on her way down from Rochester to this port, when about eight or ten miles from Oswego, came in violent collision with an unknown vessel. May of the passengers, not intending to land at this point, had retired for the night, and being startled from their sleep by the sudden crash, for a time considerable excitement and confusion prevailed until the extent of the damage was ascertained.
The bowsprit of the schooner first struck the Niagara on the paddle box and raking aft demolished and carried away three staterooms and a portion of the upper saloon the damage was confined to the upper works and the hull of the steamer was uninjured in the least. Mr. John Adger, of Columbus, S.C., who occupied one of the staterooms penetrated by the schooner¹s bowsprit, was severely injured; both legs were broken above the knee joints. Immediately upon arriving in port Mr. Adger was conveyed to the Welland House, and professional aid procured. His injuries though painful are not considered dangerous, and he is carefully attended by friends. Several other passengers experienced slight bruises, but none of a serious character.
It is stated that the schooner was not noticed on board the steamer until too late to avert the collision. The night was cloudy and the schooner might not have been furnished with the required signal lights, or have
properly displayed them. The injuries sustained by the Niagara did not prevent her from continuing the trip, and she departed for Ogdensburgh at the usual hour last evening.
      Oswego Commercial Times
      Wednesday, August 22, 1860

Collision Between The Steamer NIAGARA And A Schooner. - On Tuesday night, about eleven o'clock, a collision occurred on Lake Ontario between the American steamer NIAGARA and a schooner, the name of which is unknown. The NIAGARA left this port between six and seven o'clock for Oswego and Ogdensburgh, and was in sight of Oswego light when she came in collision with the schooner. We have no details of the affair, and hence cannot state where the fault lies.
It is said that the night was dark, and the schooner showed no lights. Her bowsprit went into the upper works of the steamer, just abaft the wheels, doing considerable damage to the state rooms, and what is more, injured two passengers. A man and his wife, from Geneva we believe, occupied one room, and both were injured - the man having a leg broken - and the wife slightly. A lady occupied the next state room, and she was roughly handled in the crash of matter, but was not seriously injured.
The machinery of the steamer was not injured at all, and as soon as she got clear of the vessel she went into Oswego, where the injured were taken care of and the NIAGARA laid up for repairs.
It is clear that the schooner was crossing the track of the steamer, and a few seconds more time would have enabled her to pass clear astern. If she carried no light, then, of course, she is at fault. It is so seldom that accidents occur to the Lake Ontario steamers, that this one will create surprise. There is no better managed, and therefore no more fortunate line of steamers in the world than the one on which the NIAGARA belongs.
The repairs to the joiner work of the NIAGARA will be effected this week. Meanwhile her
place will be filled by the other boats with a single exception. There will be no boat to Toronto tonight, but there will be one down the Lake, and from this time the line will be kept up as usual.
      Rochester Union & Advertiser
      Thursday, August 23, 1860

The Steamer Niagara - Her Late Collision. - At a meeting of the passengers on board the steamer Niagara held on the boat, on the twenty-second day of August, 1860, on motion of Mr. J.L. Eldridge, of Wisconsin, Mr. Henry Hartzog was called to the chair, and Thomas W., Berry, Esq., was appointed Secretary.
The object of the meeting being stated by Mr. J.L. Eldridge, to exonerate the Captain and crew of all blame in regard to a collision with an unknown vessel.
Mr. C. Monroe, one of the passengers on board, made the following state: That he was on deck at the time of the accident, and thinks no blame can be attached to Capt. Warner and crew; the vessel was bound up and the steamer bound down; the vessel had plain view of the green light sometime before the collision took place; the vessel showed no light whatever as he saw. Emello Calunano was in the stern at the time; heard the collision; first thing he saw was the bow of the schooner, she showed no lights whatever; came immediately into the cabin and saw what had been done.
On motion of Dr. W.S. Wilson, of Fla., it was moved and carried that the proceedings of this meeting be presented to the Captain, and that the same be published.
      HENRY HARTZOG, Chairman. Thos. W. Berry, Sec¹y.
      Oswego Commercial Times
      Friday, August 24, 1860

      . . . . .

Item Type
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $500
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Niagara (Steamboat), collision, 1 Aug 1860