Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Brazil (Propeller), U3467, collision, 22 Nov 1891
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      Sault Ste. Marie, Nov. 23. -- At 3 o'clock Sunday morning the upward-bound steamer BRAZIL collided with the downward-bound steamer SAMUEL MATHER about eight miles out from Iroquois Point, the latter boat sinking in about 25 minutes in 250 feet of water. The MATHER was laden with 58,000 bushels of wheat from Duluth for Buffalo. She was struck on the starboard side aft, and at the time of the collision the weather was clear enough to distinguish lights at a considerable distance. All hands were rescued by the BRAZIL and brought to this port.
      The steamer MATHER was owned by Pickands, Mather & Co., of Cleveland. She was 1,285 net tons register and had a valuation of $95,000.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Monday, November 23, 1891
The steamer SAMUEL MATHER of Cleveland, sunk in collision with the steamer BRAZIL of Buffalo, was insured at Lloyds. The English underwriters are meeting with all the heavy losses this season. The boats came together in clear weather, about 8 miles out from Iroquois point, but there is nothing definite to be said of the collision. The MATHER had a cargo of grain and was herself valued at about $95,000.
      The Marine Review
      November 26, 1891

      The MATHER-BRAZIL Collision.
Through the libel proceedings begun against the steamer BRAZIL for the sinking of the steamer SAMUEL MATHER something is learned of the causes leading up to the collision between the two boats. The libel claims in brief, that the Mather, bound down, was about opposite the foot of Parisian island above the Sault, when she saw a steamer well up on her starboard bow. Only the green light of the approaching vessel was visible, indicating that she would pass well over to starboard; so far over to starboard, it is claimed, that it was not thought necessary to blow a passing signal. The green light was shown until the vessels got very close together, when it is claimed the up bound vessel, which proved to be the BRAZIL, suddenly changed her course. The mate in charge of the MATHER according to the libel, did not have time to even blow two signals indicating that she had been working under a starboard helm and was forced to continue on that course when the bow of the BRAZIL had gone by, the latter blowing one short whistle. The MATHER is represented by James H. Hoyt, of Sherman, Hoyt & Dustin of Cleveland, who is one of the owners of the boat, and the BRAZIL by Harvey D. Goulder of Cleveland.
      Marine Review
      December 3, 1891

A boy on the MATHER, sunk recently in collision with the steamer BRAZIL, gave his season's earnings, $115 in bills, to the captain for safe keeping. The bills were laid between the leaves of the captain's diary and the book was placed in his business desk. After the MATHER sank, the desk with the vessel's upper works came to the surface. Somebody rifled it and found the diary but the leaves were glued together by the water and the bills were not noticed. Capt. Jay Hursley found the book and returned the money to the boy, who was overjoyed at obtaining his small fortune, which he had given up for lost.- Sault Ste. Marie Tribune.
      The Marine Review
      December 3, 1891

      The shipyards are busy places nowadays. There are more vessels in winter quarters at Buffalo this year than at any other port on the lakes, and more than were ever laid up here before. During the winter, or before spring, nearly all those vessels will undergo repairs more or less extensive, and this is why these companies are working by gangs of men early and late.
      The Union Dry Dock, next to Mills, is equally rushed. Men and horses are hauling great timbers and sheets of steel through the mud to various places, while the big black forms of two steel steamers loom up in the docks. The first is the mammoth Erie Liner CHEMUNG. At first sight nothing in particular seems to be the matter with her, but inquiry revels the fact that the vessel lost her rudder in a storm during the latter part of the season. She will have a new one, besides other repairs.
      The other steamer is the BRAZIL, which ran into and sank the steamer SAMUEL MATHER last fall, thereby giving her own stern a bad twist.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      January 4, 1892

      Steamer SAMUEL MATHER, sunk by collision with steamer BRAZIL, November 21, 1891 on Lake Superior. Loss $176,500.
      Chicago Inter-Ocean
      December 7, 1891 (List of Losses for 1891)
      Steam screw BRAZIL. U. S. No. 3467. Of 2,186.97 tons gross; 1,655.03 tons net. Built at Buffalo, N.Y., 1890. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. Of 276.1 x 40.0 x 21.6.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

Item Type
Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.48419 Longitude: -84.63117
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Brazil (Propeller), U3467, collision, 22 Nov 1891