Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lexington (Steamboat), aground, 1 Apr 1845
Full Text

The LEXINGTON was on shore on the reef at Marblehead, entrance of Sandusky Bay, but she arrived here on Saturday evening, without any very serious injury. She has however, gone on the Marine Railway, for necessary repairs.
      National Daily Pilot
      Monday, April 21, 1845

      . . . . .

A CARD.-- We the undersigned, passengers on board the steam packet LEXINGTON, from Detroit to Buffalo, having experienced some difficulty and danger, deem it our duty, as well as privilege, to give to the public an expose of the facts in relation to her recent disaster, that false and erroneous reports may be prevented. The boat, after having taken in her wood at Put In Bay Island, was headed for Sandusky. About 3 o'clock in the morning, in a dense fog, she struck her bow on the rocks near shore. The engine was reversed instantly, but to no effect, except to keep her from being forced further on. The wind at the time was blowing fresh. After the fog had cleared away a little, it was ascertained that we were ashore on Marble Head Point, about one fourth of a mile from the lighthouse, with her head directly in shore and fast, and her stern afloat. At the time she struck, no one on board could see the lighthouse or the shore, so dense was the fog; and as might be expected, much alarm prevailed among the passengers. The wood was immediately thrown overboard, an anchor put out astern, and every effort made to warp her off, but she could not be moved. They then, to lighten her, commenced discharging her cargo, by taking it ashore in a small boat, the fog having cleared up. About 3 o'clock, the steamboat MADISON, Capt. McFadyn, hove in sight, and the LEXINGTON hoisted a signal of distress, having ascertained that with her assistance we would be immediately relieved; but she did not heed our signal, and passed within two miles to windward.
      We ask her commander, Capt. McFadyn, to discharge himself from the imputation of unseamanlike conduct, in thus disregarding our signal, if he can, honorably; and hope, for the honor and dignity which characterize the noble and generous hearted, he may be able to do so. Unless the wind increased, no one on board the LEXINGTON, was in imminent danger; yet the commander of the MADISON could have no surety of our safety.
      We wish to make no invidious remarks, or indulge in any vituperations against Capt. McFadyn, further than his conduct, unexplained, merits. If he can satisfy the public that he has acted from no dishonorable motive, we will most willingly exculpate him from all blame; if not, he will receive, as we will most assuredly extend to him, our condemnation.
At 6 o'clock P.M., the steamboat INDIANA, Captain Roby, on his upward trip, came to our assistance, and the LEXINGTON was once more afloat, about 9 o'clock P.M., much to the satisfaction of all on board -- for the wind was increasing, with every appearance of a stormy night. At the request of the passengers, Capt. Appleby did not stay to take in his anchors, but made for the nearest island where there was a dock, that we could make fast. We rejoice, that with the assistance of Capt. Roby, we were able to leave our perilous situation, for the wind increased to a gale, and our noble boat must have been a wreck before morning.
      Daily National Pilot
      Tuesday, April 22, 1845

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Item Type
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.54033 Longitude: -82.73546
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lexington (Steamboat), aground, 1 Apr 1845