Great Lakes Maritime History
History of the Great Lakes
Vol. 1 by J.B. Mansfield
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Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899
Vol. 1 of History of the Great Lakes
The First Propeller On The Lakes, 1841 - An Appalling Catastrophe — The Theft Of The Milwaukee — Progress Of Settlement — Loss Of The Post Boy — Other Events Of 1841 — The Storm On November 18, 1842 — Charles Dickens On The Lakes — Early Propellers — Wreck Of The Reindeer — Other Events Of 1842 — Oil Consumed In 1843 — Iron Government Vessels — A Dull Season — A Most Deplorable Disaster — Other Events Of 1843 — The Flood Of 1844 In Buffalo — Copper Rock Is Removed — Steamer Empire Built — Other Events Of 1844 — Loss Of The Kent, 1845 — A Round Trip Each Month During The Winter — The Geo. M. Bibb Goes To New Orleans — First Propeller With Upper Cabin — Boisterous Weather — Other Events Of 1845 — Ice Jam At Buffalo, 1846 — Thrilling Rescue Of The Helen Strong’s Passengers — A Memorable Storm — Wreck Of The Schooner Lexington — How The Chesapeake Went Down — Other Events Of 1846 — Appalling Loss Of The Phoenix, 1847 — Drowned At The Sault — Loss Of The Schooner Daun — A Large Mineral Cargo — Disaster On Lake Superior — Other Events Of 1847 — The Gale Of April, 1848 — Explosion Of The Goliah — Chicago’s First Locomotive — Niagara Falls Dried Up – Other Events Of 1848 — Vessel Sails For California From Cleveland, 1849 — Cholera Breaks Out — Fatally Scalded On The Passport — Other Events Of 1849 — Burning Of The Griffith, 1850 — Wreck Of The Anthony Wayne — Many Lives Lost On The Troy — Extent Of The Losses In 1850 — Other Events Of 1850.
The year 1841 was made notable by the appearance of the Vandalia, the first propeller on the lakes, and the first screw steamer ever built for business purposes. A Canadian ship owner at Brockville, Ontario, hearing that Ericsson’s steamer wheel was on exhibition at the iron works of Hogg & Delameter, in New York, asked an Oswego friend, then visiting in New York, to inspect this model. The Oswego gentleman had no particular knowledge of machinery, and asked Capt. James Van Cleve, of Lewiston, N.Y., a lake navigator, to go with him to see Ericsson’s new wheel. Van Cleve examined the model carefully, and, after a two-hours’ conversation with the inventor, became a convert to the new method of propulsion. Ericsson offered Van Cleve a half interest in his patent for the northwestern lakes if he, Van Cleve, would place on Lake Ontario, within a year, a steam vessel equipped with the new wheel. Van Cleve assented to this proposition, and a written contract was drawn up on the spot.
This interview took place in December, 1840, and Van Cleve returned to Oswego, where he interested several other gentlemen with him, and in 1841 they built the propeller Vandalia, of 138 tons. She made her first trip in November, 1841, and proved a success in all weathers.
An Appalling Calamity. – The most appalling calamity occurring during the season of 1841 was the burning of the steamboat Erie on the night of August 9, off Silver Creek, Lake Erie, and in the same waters where the steamer Washington 2nd, had burned in 1838. The Erie had come out in that year, was of 497 tons burden, and was commanded by Capt. T. J. Titus up to the time of her loss. She had been in ordinary at Buffalo for a few days to receive fresh painting, and started out at about four o'clock in the evening for Chicago; although the wind was blowing fresh, everything promised a pleasant and prosperous voyage. When about 33 miles from Buffalo, off Silver Creek, a slight explosion was heard and almost immediately the whole vessel was enveloped in flames. Some cans of turpentine, it was conjectured, had ignited.
Captain Titus, who was in command, rushed from the upper deck to the cabin where the life preservers were kept, but flames hindered his progress, and he quickly gave orders to the engineer to stop the boat.
The passengers, driven by the flames, plunged madly into the water, catching at anything which might lend assistance in floating. Many went down immediately and were seen no more.
The steamer DeWitt Clinton, 20 miles astern, discovered the fire and came up, reaching the Erie at about 10 P. M. She was instrumental in saving many lives, but in spite of all efforts over 100 persons were drowned.
The steamer Lady from Dunkirk and the steamer Chatauque also came up soon after and together they towed the burned hull of the Erie to within four miles of the shore where she sank in eleven fathoms of water.
The loss of property was heavy. She had on board the first large invoice of merchandise of the season, amounting to 30 tons, worth at least $20,000. Immigrants on board had about $180,000 of specie, and the boat cost over $75,000; making in all a loss of nearly $300,000. The Erie was owned by C. M. Reed, of Erie, and was one of the finest steamers afloat on the northern lakes.
The Theft of the Milwaukee. – During the later thirties the steam-boat Milwaukee came out. She was built mainly for speed, and had a powerful low-pressure engine, the first on the lakes. She was owned jointly by parties in Buffalo and Milwaukee, between whom in course of time arose a fierce legal controversy regarding their several interests. Arriving at the port of Buffalo, this boat was taken up the river as far as possible and laid up in ordinary under the watchful care of a trusty ship keeper. The Milwaukee people kept quiet for a time, in the meantime concocting a scheme by which they expected to surprise their Buffalo friends. They employed Capt. Lester H. Cotton to secure possession of the boat, and he organized a small and trusty crew, which on a summer's night in 1841 got on board the boat, seized the keeper, gagged him and confined him where he could give no alarm, got up steam, cast off the moorings, and quietly passed down the river and out into the lake. Once in the lake, they gave the Milwaukee all the steam she could carry, and away she went, at a speed too great for any other boat on the lakes to overtake her. At Silver Creek pier they released their prisoner, made straight for Put-in-Bay, where they took on plenty of wood for fuel, and passed on rapidly up to Milwaukee, where they ran her hard into the bar inside the mouth of the river. Here she lay for a few years, until purchased by Oliver Newberry, of Detroit, who placed her engine in a new steamboat called the Nile, built by himself, and that was the last of the Milwaukee.
Progress of Settlement. – In 1841, the country bordering on the lower lakes was already pretty well settled, and works for the improvement or formation of harbors had been commenced at most of the important points on Lakes Erie and Ontario. The upper lake region was but thinly settled, and there were no good harbors on Lake Huron, and but one, the harbor of Chicago, on Lake Michigan. Settlers were, however, pouring in rapidly, and there was even then a large and constantly increasing commerce between the lake ports, especially from Buffalo to Detroit and Chicago. Communication with Lake Superior could only be had by portage around the Sault Ste Marie, but the great mineral wealth of the Lake Superior country was attracting attention, and a survey for a ship canal had been made in 1840.
Loss of the Post Boy. – The schooner Post Boy with ten persons, including passengers and crew, was lost with all on board, in Lake Michigan, in October, 1841. She had left Chicago, where a keg of powder was shipped, and it is supposed must have exploded. The victims of this disaster were all citizens of Michigan.
Over Niagara Falls. – Three men in a small boat went over Niagara Falls. The names of two were Jehiel Kenney and John York. They had started to cross over from Schlosser to Hudson's tavern, two miles above Chippewa. Soon after they left, their cries were heard, but they were beyond rescue. The boat was loaded with six barrels of whisky, and being struck by a squall, she sunk. Kinney had kept a tavern eight miles below the Falls.
An Unknown Wreck. – Capt. Jacob Francisco, of the schooner De Witt Clinton, reported finding the wreck of a vessel 20 miles south of Port Stanley, with both masts gone and the bow sprit badly sprung. Her spars and sails hung over the side, and both davits were gone. An anchor weighing 700 pounds was taken on board the Clinton. The name could not be ascertained, but all hands were, beyond a doubt, lost.
Other Events of 1841. – In November the steamboat Rochester, when about 40 miles from Buffalo, en route from Cleveland, was overtaken by a storm and sprung a leak. She put back for the latter port, on her arrival had two feet of water in the hold, which the constant use of the pumps could not gain upon. Had she remained out a short time longer she would have gone to the bottom. The steamer New England was out in the same storm, but by good seamanship on the part of Captain Oliver, she arrived safely at Buffalo. The schooner Amerlica, of 60 tons, which loaded with produce at St. Joseph, went ashore 20 miles from that port, and with her cargo became a total loss. She was quite an old vessel, and had sailed for many years on Lake Erie.
March 27: Schooner Margaret Helm leaves Cleveland, the first departure of the season: Steamer Burlington burned at Queen's wharf, Toronto. April 28: Schooner Eliza Ward in command of Captain Nicholas, ashore in a severe storm near Chicago: schooner Victory sustains injuries during a storm on Lake Michigan.
August 9: Steamer Erie burned near Silver Creek, Lake Erie. Over a hundred lives lost.
September 10: Schooner J. A. Barker ashore near Sandy Town: schooner Louisa Jenkins, in command of Captain Travers, wrecked at Dunkirk: schooner Savannah, of Silver Creek, sunk near Conneaut.
October 14: Schooner Havre in command of Capt. H. B. Hawley ashore near Conneaut. Owned by C. Deming & Co: 17, schooner Dolphin, in command of Captain Morgan, ashore at Death's Door. Crew rescued by the Yankee, in command of Captain Wells: schooner Britannia, 100 tons burden, foundered on Lake Ontario: owned by Calvin Cook & Counter and T. Dodge & Co., of Kingston, and freighted with staves from Hamilton to Montreal: schooner Savannah, sunk on Lake Erie, raised and towed to Conneaut: schooner Maria, in command of Captain Goldsmith, totally wrecked on a rocky reef 20 miles from Mackinac: owned by Mr. Kinney, of Buffalo.
November: Steamer Odd Fellow wrecked on a reef two miles east of Gravelly Bay: owned by William Baker, and had been on a trading trip to Canada, having on board a cargo of chestnuts valued at $500: 17, schooner Onondaga ashore near Manistee river. Had on board 6,000 bushels of wheat for Oswego: 25, brig Richard Winslow in command of Captain Beckwith, ashore near Chicago. Insured for $4,000. Brigs Oceola and Illinois wrecked on Lake Michigan.
December 3: Severe storm on Lake Michigan. Schooners McFarlan and Harrison ashore at Racine; brigs Wave and H. Pearsons ashore near Southport.
The Storm of November 18. – The wind, which had been blowing from the west, turned to the southeast November 15, from which quarter it blew until November 17. At 7 P. M., November 17, the wind veered again to the west and began to blow with great force. At Buffalo the gale was accompanied by snow, which fell to the depth of 12 inches. The loss of property and life was great. The number of persons killed was estimated at 100, while about 50 wrecks were scattered over the Great Lakes. Eighteen vessels were driven ashore on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, and many more on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario. Many of the boats were total losses, with their cargoes, while some sustained only a partial loss or serious injury.
On November 16, the steamer Chicago passed Erie, just before the change of wind. November 18 she was a helpless wreck.
The ship Milwaukee was loading flour at Kalamazoo during the fore-noon of November 17. At 2 o'clock the next morning she went ashore and only six persons out of 15 were saved. She was a total wreck, but her cargo, consisting of 2,000 barrels of flour, was saved.
Up to this point in the history of lake navigation, no storm had swept with greater violence and destruction to the shipping interests, and with a greater sacrifice of human lives. A partial list of the disasters which occurred November 17, is as follows: Steamer Chicago ashore at Cattaraugas. Schooner Buckeye ashore at Conneaut. Schooners B. Franklin and Allegan ashore at Fairport. Steamer Macomb ashore at Point Mouille; passengers rescued by the Brothers, which also went ashore a short time afterwards. Brig Francis Mills and schooner Jenny ashore on north side of Lake Erie. Schooner Bancroft ashore near St. Josephs. Schooner Mariner ashore at Point Pelee; taken in tow by the steamer General Scott. The Indiana wrecked near Gravelly Bay. The Mississippi wrecked near the Indiana. The M. Kingman ashore on the Canadian side near Gravelly Bay. The Florida, of Buffalo, ashore at Point Albino. Severe storm over all the lakes, with heavy losses at all important ports.
Charles Dickens on the Lakes. – Charles Dickens, the great novelist, took passage on the steamboat Constitution at Sandusky en route eastward. The Constitution called at Cleveland, April 25, and thence proceeded to Buffalo. In his American Notes Dickens thus speaks of the Constitution: "She was a large vessel of 500 tons, and handsomely fitted up, though with high-pressure engines, which always conveyed that kind of feeling to me, which I should be likely to experience, I think, if I had lodgings on the first floor of a powder-mill. She was laden with flour, some casks of which commodity were stored upon the deck. The captain coming up to have a little conversation, and to introduce a friend, seated himself astride one of these barrels, like a Bacchus of private life, and pulling a great claspknife out of his pocket, began to whittle it as he talked, by paring thin slices off the edges, and he whittled with such industry and hearty good-will, that but for his being called away very soon, it must have disappeared bodily, and left nothing in its place but grist and shavings."
Early Propellers – In the spring of 1842 the Vandalia passed through the Welland canal to Buffalo, where she was visited by large numbers of people who were curious to see this new departure in steam navigation. The firm of Hollister Bros., of Buffalo, seemed to have become satisfied that the new method was an entire success, for in the year 1842 they built two new propellers, the Sampson and the Hercules. The Vandalia was commanded by Capt. Rufus Hawkins, and arrived at Cleveland April 23. On leaving that port she ran into the steamboat Livingston, doing considerable damage. She arrived at Detroit the day following. The propeller Oswego was built at Oswego in 1842, and was the second on the lakes.
Wreck of the Reindeer – On October 21, 1842, there was a terrible storm on the lake, in which the Canadian steamer Reindeer was wrecked off Point Sauble. Nineteen of her crew found watery graves, and her two passengers. Two of the crew were washed ashore unconscious, and were saved. Next day the steamer was broken to pieces and her cargo strewn along the beach for miles. The Reindeer was owned by Holcomb & Henderson, of Montreal, was a side-wheel steamer, and sailed from Chicago October 16, with 13,000 bushels of wheat, 61 barrels of tallow, and some flour.
Other Events of 1842. – April 20: Schooner Caledonia, of Cleveland, in command of Capt. John Gardner, ashore at Bass Island; released April 21 by steamer Clinton: 12, Capt. William Thorn, aged 93 years, dies at St. Clair. It is believed that he was the first man to sail a vessel on Lake Superior. He served as pilot to the unfortunate expedition against Michilimackinac, and was the first settler of St. Clair county: 27, Canadian steamer Western burned at the wharf in Detroit.
May: Schooner John Richards capsized on Detroit river, one mile below Sandwich, and six of her crew drowned: British steamer Com. Barrie lost in Lake Ontario, bound from Niagara to Kingston with a cargo of flour: crew and passengers rescued by schooner Canada: 6, schooner Lewis Goler, of Oswego, bound to Hamilton, ashore near the mouth of the Genesee river.
June: Schooners Thomas Hart, of Oswego, and Detroit, of Cleveland, ashore at Sodus: the captains of both boats thought they were making the harbor at Oswego when they went ashore: both vessels a total loss, estimated at $8,000.
July: Schooner Essex, loaded with merchandise, from Oswego to Toledo, sunk near Turtle island, by collision with a sunken vessel: steamer Shamrock sunk by the explosion of her boiler, near Pointe Claire, St. Lawrence river: several lives lost: schooner Starkey stranded while attempting to enter Grand river.
August: Steamers Illinois and Great Western collide, near Manitou light, by which the latter was seriously damaged: schooners Emily and Acorn, in command of Captain Chase and Captain Cobb, collide, by which the Acorn was sunk: she was a new boat, owned by William Walker, of Amherst, Ohio.
September: Steamers Chicago and Commerce collide on Lake Erie, by which each sustained injuries: during a gale on Lake Erie the schooners Dolphin and Martha Freme, in command of Captain McCloy and Captain McKinty, collide, by which the former is sunk, near Erie. October: Schooner Kinne severely damaged by collision with the steamer Wisconsin, on Lake Huron: steamer Chatauque collides with the schooner Lodi, in command of Captain Hubbs, near Sturgeon Point, by which the latter is sunk.
November: Steamer Vermillion burned at Huron, with a loss of five lives: steamer Wisconsin ashore near Chicago: 9, schooner H. Norton ashore at Buffalo: schooner Leander, in command of Captain Whelan, sustains severe injuries during a storm on Lake Erie: 17, steamer Chicago ashore at Cattaraugus during a gale: steamer Milwaukee wrecked near the mouth of the Kalamazoo; of the officers and crew, numbering fifteen persons, only six were saved. Schooner Josephine ashore near Oswego: the Nile, owned by Mr. Hulbert, of Presque Isle, wrecked at Coburg: steamer St. David ashore at Howe island, with five barges which she had in tow heavily laden with flour. The passengers left the boat during a terrific storm of wind and snow, and after wandering in the woods for some time found a log hut, where they remained two days: they were brought back to Kingston by the steamer Prince of Wales: steamer Erie sunk off Port Huron by collision with ice on Lake St. Clair: owned by William T. Pease and others of Detroit.
December 5: Steamer Trowbridge ashore near Milwaukee harbor: 12, schooner Flamboro ashore near the mouth of the Genesee river, owned by Gunn & Brown, of Hamilton.
A Dull Season. – The season of 1843 was a dull one, and not a few boats had small margins at the close. The steamer Thomas Jefferson was laid up in August for the season: steamer Missouri lay by two months: the Buffalo was hauled off the upper lake route to fill the place of the Jefferson between Buffalo and Detroit.
A Most Deplorable Disaster - The schooner South America, Captain Brady, left Buffalo, November 4 with a cargo of salt for Toledo, and was never heard of afterwards. This was the most deplorable disaster of the season; six lives lost.
Oil Consumed in 1843. - There were upon the lakes in 1843 44 light-houses and beacons, consuming annually 10,000 gallons of oil. The contract for furnishing oil for the United States lighthouses was let at 53 cents for winter and 51 cents for spring oil. These 44 light-houses and beacons had 430 lamps, each requiring 27 gallons of oil annually. Each steamboat consumed 100 gallons, or three barrels, a month for her machinery, lights, etc., which was 750 gallons for the season, and an aggregate for steamers of 18,750 gallons. The number of sail craft in commission at that time was about 300, which consumed 6,000 gallons, making a total used on the lakes, including lighthouses, etc., of 33,930 gallons.
Iron Government Vessels. - An iron revenue cutter was built for the United States Government this year at Oswego, of the following dimensions: Length, 150 feet; beam, 23 feet; depth, 8 feet. The United States steamer Michigan was in the process of construction at Erie, Penn., this season, of iron, the plates of which were transported from Pittsburg, via Cleveland, at a cost of $6,000 between the latter port and Erie. Also an iron survey steamer for the United States Government at Buffalo, which was launched in the fall and named the Colonel Abert. She was 97 feet long, 18 feet 3 inches beam, and 8 feet hold. She was propelled by one of Hunter's submerged water wheels and two engines, 16 inches diameter and 26-inch stroke, with a draft of 40 inches; nothing visible above the deck except the smokestack.
Other Events of 1843. - Outside of the steamboat combination there were several independents, which established rates to their own liking, resulting in the reduction of fares. The following extract is taken from the Cincinnati Atlas November, 1843; "We noticed at the upper landing the two-masted schooner Dolphin, Captain Doyle, from Buffalo, N.Y., loaded with white fish and bound for New Orleans. She entered the Ohio via Cleveland, through the Ohio canal, and is probably the first schooner that has ever floated from Lake Erie to the Ohio." The steamer General Wayne, Captain Perkins, made the voyage from Chicago to Buffalo in three days 11-1/2 hours; the schooner Sandusky, Capt. J.P. Davidson, from Buffalo to Detroit and back with cargo, in four days and a half; schooner Windham, Capt. O. Shephard, from St. Joseph to Buffalo in five days and three hours. The last link of the railroad from Buffalo to Albany was finished in the winter of 1843, and the Michigan Central extended to Jackson. In February the steamboat Sandusky, laid up at Buffalo, was set on fire by some unknown miscreant, and almost totally destroyed. In the spring she was rebuilt and converted into a full-rigged bark, with Capt. Charles Marsh in command.
April 1: Ice 30 miles around Nine Mile Point lighthouse, averages a thickness of 20 inches; 25, sloop Erie, flour, floundered on Lake Michigan; six lives lost.
May: Steamer Illinois leaves Detroit for Chicago with the largest load of passengers ever carried on the lakes; the number of persons aboard was over 700. Schooner Troy lost near Manitou Isle during a storm.
July: Schooner Hudson damaged by lightning while at anchor near Peshtigo.
August 2: The Columbus damaged by collision with the Great Western on Lake Erie near Conneaut.
September: Schooner Equator sunk by collision with the steamer Rochester near Conneaut; loaded with 1,200 barrels flour from Detroit consigned to Waring, Stockton & Co. Steamer Kent disabled on Lake Erie, and towed to a Canadian port; passengers transferred to the steamer Huron.
October 1: Severe storm on Lake Erie. Brig Rebecca damaged by collision with the steamer Cleveland near Silver Creek. Propeller Porter damaged during a gale on Lake Erie, while making her first trip. Steamer Constitution sustains injuries during the storm. Schooner Albany, cargo of salt and 123 passengers, in command of Capt. Jacob Imson, wrecked near Mackinaw. Schooner Wyandot struck a pile and sunk at the dock in Detroit; flour cargo damaged. Schooner Alabama, cargo of wheat, sunk in attempting to make Fairport harbor; total loss. Steamer Missouri struck on Point Aux Barques; on reaching St. Clair river, sunk at St. Clair. Steamer Bunker Hill and propeller Independence damaged by collision south of Milwaukee. Ship Superior, in command of Captain Munson, ashore at Michigan City; total loss. The C.A. Van Slyke sunk at Black Rock; loaded with merchandise for American Transportation company. Schooner J.C. King, loaded with groceries from Detroit, ashore near Conneaut; total loss.
November: Propeller Chicago damaged by running on a reef near Mackinaw. Brig Osceola a total wreck at Southport.
The Flood of 1844 in Buffalo. - This flood occurred October 18, 1844. It was the most disastrous that has ever occurred since the city was founded. It came without warning, an avalanche of waters upon a sleeping community, many of whom were drowned and many of whom had narrow escapes from a similar fate.
For several days before the occurrence of the flood a strong north-east wind had been driving the water up the lake, but on the evening of the 18th a sudden shift of the wind took place, and it blew from the opposite direction with a tremendous force, never before or since known to the inhabitants of Buffalo. It brought with it immense volumes of water, which overflowed the lower districts of the city and vicinity, demolishing scores of buildings, and spreading ruin along the harbor front, playing havoc with shipping, and causing an awful destruction of human life.
The municipal rooms over Terrance market were filled with agonized people scanning dead bodies, fearfully expectant of finding the familiar forms of relatives and friends. A similar situation existed at the court house on Washington street, where the dead bodies were laid in windrows awaiting identification. At Huff's hotel, at the corner of Main and Scott streets, the water was six feet deep, and there the bodies of several young women, in their night clothes, were fished out of the basement windows. They were hotel waiters, drowned in their beds. In the lower districts there were many harbor craft and canal boats left by the receding waters, many canal boats being out on the commons, on Division, Eagle and Clinton streets. South Buffalo was strewn with miscellaneous wreckage of all kinds. At the corner of Main and Ohio streets the water was six feet deep and at Michigan and Exchange streets it was five feet deep. The onrush of waters made a break in the south pier, through which a schooner leaped without injury and ran aground at the foot of Ferry street.
In the evening before the storm the steamers St. Louis, Robert Fulton, Indian Queen and Julia Palmer left the port of Buffalo, for the upper end of the lakes with a full complement of passengers. When the St. Louis was opposite Dunkirk she broke her shaft, and when paying out into the trough of the sea four of her passengers were swept overboard and lost. With the power of one wheel aided by a jib and staysail together with good seamanship, she reached the Niagara river at daybreak next morning, and was blown into the river without regard to channel, the river being all channel on account of the height of the waters. She went in with her side and end alternately to the front. Capt. James Haggart came out with his steam ferry boat, which he had then been running four years, and brought in the disabled St. Louis to the foot of Ferry street.
The Indian Queen, the smallest of the four that went out into the lake on the evening before, was the only one able to reach the port of Buffalo on her return. The Robert Fulton, after losing two or three passengers, who were washed overboard, was piled upon the sand beach above Sturgeon point.
The Julia Palmer, with 300 passengers on board, was driven help-lessly down the lake into Buffalo bay, but when she was opposite the foot of Main street her anchors caught and held her fast, and there she rolled and pitched in a manner fearful to behold all the next day. On the morning of the 20th, the sea having gone down sufficiently, a relief boat went out and brought her safely into port, much to the relief of the passengers and the worn-out crew.
Among the other damages were the following: Schooners Potomac, G. H. Walker and Brandywine ashore at Erie. Schooner John Grant ashore at Erie. Schooner Henry Clay ashore near Erie. Schooner Lodi disabled and taken in tow by the Missouri. Schooner John Marshall wrecked near Mexico bay. Schooners Maria Hilliard, Wyandot, Mariam and Georgiana sustain injuries off Erie. The iron steamer Abert driven upon the beach at Buffalo and got off. Steamer Commodore Perry arrived at Buffalo in a shattered condition, losing one man, and ran into the steamers Great Western and Wayne. Steamer Chautauque ashore on her beam’s end near Black Rock. Steamer Columbus driven into a pasture 200 feet from the creek. Brig Europe reached Buffalo damaged in her hull and outfit. Brig Uncle Sam, Capt. John Vail, and schooner Marion, Capt. Jerry Oliver, arrived at Buffalo during the gale with outfit badly damaged. Schooner Robert Wood, Captain Miner, of Oswego, damaged a cargo of merchandise in the gale on Lake Erie. The amount of merchandise, books and papers on the docks damaged and lost was over $10,000. A horse swam ashore from the Julia Palmer with a letter attached to its mane stating that they had burned all the wood and were “now burning the furniture.” Fifty canal boats went ashore between Buffalo and Black Rock. Schooner Ashland beached near Erie street, Buffalo; got off. Steamer G. W. Dale was floated across Ohio street, Buffalo. Steamer Bunker Hill high and dry up the creek. Schooner Hannah, of Oswego, with merchandise for Detroit, wrecked 20 miles below Malden and went to pieces, crew saved. Schooner Ottawa lost anchor and sails on Lake Erie, arrived at Detroit. Schooner Marengo arrived at Detroit from Lake Erie with the sails gone. Schooner Big Z ashore on Hog island, Detroit river; got off. Schooner Congress went ashore two miles below Malden. Brig John Dougall, Canadian, bilged on Peach island, Lake St. Clair. Schooner Pacific wrecked and went to pieces near Dunkirk. Propeller Emigrant sustained serious damage on Lake Erie.
The gale was terrific, blowing from northwest, followed by cold. At Buffalo the loss of life and property was greater than all other ports combined, the water rising within the space of two hours to 22 feet. On Lake Ontario the schooner Charlton, owned by Fitzhugh & Company, while on the passage from the Welland canal, made Sodus harbor during the night, stranded on the bar, bilged, and filled with water. The mate of the schooner Nicholas Biddle was lost overboard in Lake Erie. Schooner Pennsylvania was wrecked on the north shore of Lake Erie and all lost, ten lives. A Canadian craft, name unknown, founded in Lake Erie with loss of thirteen lives. The small schooner Governor Marcy was wrecked near Point Albino with five lives lost. The schooner United States, laden with merchandise for Detroit, was driven ashore on Point Monyea, near Detroit river.
The number of lives lost at Buffalo were fifty-three and those on the lake twenty-five. The Fulton was a high-pressure boat, of 308 tons, and had been nine years in service. She had a large load of passengers on board and a full cargo of freight. The total number of casualties was eighty-five.
Copper Rock is Removed. — The celebrated rock of pure copper on Lake Superior, and which caused so much speculation among scientists, arrived at Buffalo, in October, 1844, on board the revenue cutter Erie, Capt. Gilbert Knapp. It was brought from the shore of Lake Superior through the enterprise of Julius Eldred, of Detroit, to be placed in the National Institute at Washington. It was first shipped on board the schooner Algonquin, and transported over 300 miles to the head of the falls of Sault Ste. Marie. It was then transferred to a Mackinac boat, and after passing through the canal around the rapids, it was shipped on board the schooner William Brewster for Detroit, where it arrived October 11. At Detroit it was placed on board the revenue cutter and taken to Buffalo as above stated. Thence it was transferred on cars to its destination. It was pure native copper without alloy. The weight of the rock was never definitely ascertained, but was estimated at 2,200 pounds. Its dimensions were 3 feet 4 inches broad by 3 feet 8 inches long. It was the largest specimen of native copper in the world.
Steamer Empire Built. - The steamer Empire, built at Cleveland in 1844, was the first steamboat constructed in the United States to measure over 1,000 tons, and when she came out was over 200 tons larger than any steam vessel in the world. She measured 260 feet over all. She was of excellent model, sharp at both ends, instead of the round bluff bow and square stern, the usual build of lake vessels at that time. She was also the fastest boat on the lakes, and her first year sailed from Detroit to Buffalo in 20 hours and 25 minutes, and from Cleveland to Buffalo in 12 hours and 44 minutes. Later she was made a propeller.
Other Events of 1844. - In 1844 a new departure was made in the management of certain lines, for the “new and fast sailing packet Prince Edward carried reverend gentlemen of all denominations free.” However it appears that accommodations on board of passenger vessels were not always of the best, for Bonnycastle complains that the charge for wine “was shameful, 7s 6d per bottle, and stuff of most inferior quality.” The first sad casualty of the season was the loss of the schooner Wave, on Lake Michigan, with 13 lives, followed about the same time by the foundering of the Victor and loss of 8 lives on that lake. Three vessels were simultaneously wrecked near St. Joseph, Lake Michigan, during a severe gale March 27, the schooner Jefferson, Captain Dougall; Ocean, Captain Davis, and brig Rosa, Captain Whiting. The two former had cargoes of stone, the latter no cargo. During this storm the wreck of the ill-fated schooner Wave drifted ashore at Racine, and three bodies were recovered. A party from Buffalo in search of sunken wrecks in Lake Erie discovered the schooner Young Sion, laden with railroad iron, off Walnut creek, also the steamer Erie, six miles off Silver creek, but were unsuccessful in raising them. On May 4 the schooner Freedom, Captain Ward, capsized 15 miles above Fort Gratiot lighthouse and 3 miles off shore. There were six persons on board, three of whom were drowned. The vessel was loaded with lumber and shingles. On the 18th of the same month the schooner Nicholas Biddle, lying under bare poles, capsized about two miles above Cleveland; the crew was all saved and the vessel subsequently recovered. The schooner Shamrock, laden with pork and flour from Toledo, capsized eight miles above Gravelly bay, and one man was lost; the vessel was recovered a few days afterward. The new survey steamer Colonel Abert made her trial trip at Buffalo May 18, and gave the utmost satisfaction.
January 1: Steamer St. Clair left Cleveland for Detroit, the first clearance of the season; 4, scow Flat Foot ashore at Madison, Lake Erie.
May: Schooner Smead capsized off Port Stanley; schooner Aurora capsized on Lake Ontario during a storm; two lives lost. June 5: The Empire launched in Cleveland from the shipyard of G.W. Jones, 1,200 tons burnen;(sic) schooner Edwin Jenny sunk on Lake Erie by collision.
July: Schooner Argyle, in command of Captain Teal, damaged during a storm near Gravelly bay; saved from being wrecked by the schooner Tom Corwin, in command of Captain Cannon; 15, british schooner Kent ashore near Grand River.
August: Schooner Daniel Whitney, from Kalamazoo, in command of Captain Crooker, wrecked on Lake Michigan and all hands lost.
September: Steamer Perry sustains injuries from collision with piers at Huron harbor during a severe storm; equinoxial storm accompanied with snow at Cleveland.
October: Steamer Fairport burned at the dock in Newport, St. Clair river; barge Sandusky ashore at Cattaraugus creek, becomes a total wreck; schooner Hannah wrecked near Malden; propeller Emigrant, with 9,000 bushels of wheat from Chicago, ashore at Goderich; brig Alert, in command of Captain Scovill, ashore at Point Wabashanks; 29, schooner Philadelphia, in command of Captain Conner, ashore at Cleveland; schooners Ainsworth, Juliet and Cambridge ashore at Huron during a gale on Lake Erie; schooner Pennsylvania wrecked at Point Albino; schooner Highlander, in command of Captain Jacques, wrecked on Lake Erie.
November: Brig Clarion and schooner Wabash ashore near Buffalo; 20, schooner Essex with cargo of wheat from Sandusky, ashore at the mouth of the Niagara river; owned by Doolittle, Mills & Co.; 24, steamer Rochester ashore near Oswego; passengers taken off by the Telegraph; schooner Gates ashore near Oswego; 23, schooner Charleston ashore and full of water, Sodus harbor. December 6: Schooner H. M. Kinne ashore near Goderick, after running on Point Wabashank reef; schooner W. Foster ashore near Ft. Gratiot; schooner Champion ashore near Point Wabashank; schooner Jenny wrecked at Buffalo; crew saved; schooner Richmond lost on Lake Michigan.
Loss of the Kent. - A sad casualty was the loss of the steamer Kent on Lake Erie by collision with the steamboat London, about five miles below Point Pelee. The Kent was in command of Captain Laing, and was owned by Messrs. Eberts, of Chatham. She was en route to Buffalo with about 75 passengers. The London was sailed by Capt. H. Van Allen, from Buffalo for Detroit. The reputed cause of the collision was an error of the pilot on board the Kent, who attempted to pass on the wrong side of the London, which brought her directly across the bows of the latter. Both steamers were owned by Canadian parties. The Kent went down in deep water, with nearly all of the baggage, also her books and money; eight passengers were drowned; the London sustained no injury.
A Round Trip Each Month During the Winter. - Navigation commenced at Buffalo April 3, the steamer United States, Capt. H. Whittaker, clearing on that date, and it may also be noted as never before recorded that the same steamer performed one round trip each month during the winter. The feat was never before or since accomplished. The Erie canal was ready for business April 15. The Straits of Mackinac were clear April 4, the propeller Hercules, Capt. F. S. Wheeler, the first to pass through, bound westward.
The Geo. M. Bibb Goes to New Orleans. - The United States revenue propeller Geo. M. Bibb (iron built), the material for which was gotten out at Pittsburg and put together at Oswego, left the lake region for New Orleans. On her arrival at Cincinnati she was placed in the dry dock, where her submerged propellers were removed and side wheels substituted. She was en route to serve on the seacoast. In 1881 she returned to Lake Ontario.
First Propeller with Upper Cabin. - In 1845 the propeller Princeton was built at Perrysburg, Ohio. She was 185 feet in length, and was the first propeller on the Great Lakes that had an upper cabin. For many years she ran between Buffalo and Chicago.
Boisterous Weather. - In the fall of 1845, after the close of navigation, there were put in construction on the upper lakes, 7 steamboats, 9 propellers, 14 brigs and schooners, all of the largest class.
The extremely boisterous weather was very destructive to lives and vessels, amounting to, as nearly as a careful account can make it, sixty lives lost; thirty-six vessels driven ashore. Twenty of these became total wrecks, four foundered at sea, with entire loss of crews and cargoes, producing a loss of property in the aggregate over $200,000. In the five years ending in 1845 more than 400 lives were lost, and destruction and damage to steamboats, vessels and cargoes amounted to more than $1,000,000.
Other Events of 1845 - The schooner Chapman, Capt. Charles Gale, of Port Burwell, laden with lumber, bound for Cleveland, was wrecked a short distance above Long Point, Lake Erie, and was a total loss. On the morning of June 3, the steamer St. Louis, Capt. G. W. Floyd, met with a bad smash-up to her engine off Thunder Bay, Lake Huron, by the crosshead giving way. She had on board 300 passengers for Milwaukee and Chicago. Sail was hoisted and a signal of distress set, and soon after the brig Robert Hunter came alongside and took her in tow. The schooner Havre, laden with merchandise, was wrecked on Middle island, Lake Huron; nothing saved. The schooner Essex, of Oswego, cargo of wheat, was wrecked near the mouth of the Niagara river, Lake Ontario. She was owned by Doolittle, Mills & Co. One thousand bushels of the cargo, shipped from Sandusky, were saved. The schooner H. N. Yates, from Youngstown, with 1,500 barrels of flour and 1,000 bushels of wheat, taken from the Essex, went ashore near the fort at Oswego, and damaged the whole cargo. During the same storm three canal boats, together with the steamer President, were driven from their moorings in Black Rock harbor; the Suavity, with 1,800 bushels of wheat, was also driven ashore. The schooner Ocean was wrecked on Lake Michigan, and Captain McGregor; Mr. Russell, mate; J. Quinn, second mate, and the cabin boy were all lost. The steamboat Indiana, Captain Roby, struck a snag in Maumee bay, and sunk. Steamer Ben Franklin, Captain Edmunds, struck, on entering Cleveland harbor, and a heavy sea lifted her on the west pier. One wheel was entirely carried away, and the wheelhouse and guards shattered, and her false sides stove in. March: Schooner Brothers wrecked on Lake Ontario. Steamer Columbia, in command of Captain Peck, damaged by explosion of boiler on Lake Erie.
April 1: Brig T. W. Maurice and sloop Geneva ashore at Conneaut and Ashtabula, respectively; one life lost on the Geneva; 2, brig T. W. Maurice, in attempting to reach Conneaut harbor during a severe gale, runs ashore.
May: Schooner John Grant capsized near Erie; crew rescued by the schooner Kinne, in command of Captain Davidson; schooner Texas sunk and total loss near Put-in-Bay island.
June: Schooner Henry Hubbard capsized on Lake Huron; crew saved. August 1: Brig Indiana, in command of Capt. T. L. Parker, ashore at New Buffalo.
October: Scow Sweden sunk at Buffalo, damaging 1,000 bushels of wheat taken from the schooner Howard; 21, schooner Maryland, during a gale, struck a pier and was sunk at Fairport; cargo of 7,500 bushels wheat seriously damaged; the Maryland was raised and repaired; 23, schooner Mountaineer, after springing a leak, ran ashore at the mouth of Cattaraugus creek.
November: Schooner Caledonia, of Kingston, ashore at Cleveland, while attempting to make the harbor; total loss; brig Francis Mills and schooner Aurora Borealis ashore at Huron; subsequently released; 5, schooner Henry Clay ashore at Erie; brig Owanungah ashore at Madison Rock; both subsequently released; 8, schooner J. A. Barker, in command of Captain Shelby, ashore at the head of Lake Michigan; 9, schooner Commodore, in command of Captain Dorrett, ashore at Cleveland in attempting to enter the harbor during the gale; the revenue cutter ashore at Conneaut; brig Maj. Oliver ashore a half mile south of Chicago; cargo of wheat damaged and vessel a complete wreck; schooner Amazon, laden with dry goods and whiskey; sunk at Milwaukee; raised November 10, sloop James K. Polk wrecked near Michigan City; crew of seven lost; schooner Maryland sunk at Fairport, raised and towed to Cleveland; 11, brig Algomah, laden with grain, wrecked, and the schooner Victoria ashore at Dalhousie; 10, brig Preble ashore at Buffalo in attempting to enter the harbor; 14, schooner St. Regis ashore at the mouth of the Genesee river, Lake Ontario; schooner Elizabeth Ward, in command of Captain Crowl, capsized on Lake Erie; crew saved; boat owned by Russell & Crowl, of Cleveland; schooner Texas capsized near Long Point; the vessel and crew of six were lost; 22, schooner North Carolina, wheat laden, ashore at Ashtabula; schooner Western Trader, in command of Captain Barton, ashore at Buffalo; schooner Bluebell beached below Wind Mill Point; schooner Sylph damaged by collision with the schooner Milan, on Lake Erie; schooner Wilcox driven against the pier and sunk at Cleveland; 25, schooners Niles, Mahala and Boliver ashore on Lake Michigan.
December: Schooner E. Jenny sunk at the pier in Buffalo; schooner Favorite frozen in and sunk near the mouth of the Maumee river; steamer Lexington damaged by fire on Lake Erie; 14, schooner Pilot ashore and full of water near Mackinaw; schooner Kent, wrecked at Thirty-Mile creek.
Ice Jam at Buffalo. - The elements were terribly destructive to life and property, commencing in the month of March, before the opening of navigation; an ice blockade in Buffalo harbor, March 14, was without a precedent in lake annals. During this ice jam at Buffalo the Chatauque, Rochester, St. Louis; brigs Empire, Toledo, Maryland, Illinois, Hoosier, Osceola, Globe and Toledo; and schooners Marengo, Woodbridge, Kinnie, Convoy, G.H. McWorter, H. Colvin, Barcelonia, Dayton, Jane Louisa, Rainbow, Superior, Dolphin and Velocity sustained serious injuries. The schooners Avenger, Milan, United States, Emlin, Baltic, Daniel Webster, Vermont, Adair, Huron and Stranger were damaged; steamer Dole sunk.
Thrilling Rescue of the Helen Strong’s Passengers. - The loss of the steamer Helen Strong, a boat in her second year, was a most thrilling event. She left Buffalo for Toledo, November 20, about noon, with a large number of passengers and a heavy freight of merchandise, mostly for Erie. When in sight of that port she was struck by a heavy beam sea, which parted her rudder chain. The after cabin was being cut away in order to ship a tiller, when one of her steam pipes burst, and let all her steam escape, but no one was injured by the explosion. Her anchor was dropped, to which she swung for half an hour, when the chain parted, and at about 10 o’clock at night she struck a rocky shore which arose perpendicularly some 30 feet above her hurrican(sic) deck. After striking two or three times she broke in two places, and settling in the sand, remained stationary under the cliff. The first sea that struck her after she settled, carried away the whole weather-side of her cabins, making a clean breach through and through her. Every light had been extinguished by the sea, and the night being very dark, no one, unassisted, could scale the cliff, and to remain on the wreck seemed quite impossible. At this critical moment it was ascertained that at the first time the boat struck the rock and when she was high upon the wave, one of the wheelsmen and the second engineer, Mr. Munson, with a small cord had made the fearful leap against the rock, and fortunately without knowing anything of the place and not able to see anything for the darkness, they caught the root of a tree that had run far below the surface, by the aid of which they scaled the heights. The wheelsman went immediately in search of help and lights, and the engineer dropped his rope on the deck of the wreck, directing it to be made fast to some light man. It was done, and the man from the top drew up the man from the wreck, and the two drew up the third, and so on until the 60 men, women and children were taken up. Many of the passengers, especially the women, were badly lacerated, by being hauled up so rapidly over those pointed crags. The rope was thrown down and no one seized it, and after frequent and loud calls from the people on the cliff, it was presumed that all were saved who were alive, but on visiting the wreck the next morning several were found alive and taken off. The number of passengers on the boat was not known, and of the dead bodies of those washed off the wreck none were ever found. One woman perished during the night, and was washed overboard. B. Joy, of Sylvania, was seriously injured by the breaking of the rope when being drawn up. His leg and collar bone were broken, but he fell on the deck and was again drawn up and saved. The cliff against which the boat struck was 50 feet high.
In the above fearful night the schooner Lexington, Captain Peer, cleared from the port of Cleveland for Port Huron, freighted with 110 barrels of whiskey, 53 tons of coal and two boilers. The schooner foundered in the vicinity of the islands, when portions of the wreck were discovered. The crew, including the captain, consisted of six persons, all of whom found watery graves.
A Memorable Storm. — Among other disasters on the memorable November 19, 1846, were the following: Schooner Racine, in command of Captain Dorchester, and owned by T. Richmond & Co., ashore near Madison dock; insured for $7,500. Brig Osceola ashore and total wreck at Silver creek; four lives lost. Schooner Swan ashore near Barcelona. Schooner Harwich ashore near Barcelona. Sloop Bayona, of Conneaut, capsized off Barcelona; three lives lost. Steamer Indian Queen ashore near Silver creek. Schooners Pilot, Merrill, Vieau Savannah and Black Hawk ashore between Manitowoc and Twin Rivers. The Charles Howard, schooner United States, J.H. Lyon, of Toledo, Huron, of Cleveland, ashore, the Dayton, of Black River, sunk at Erie. Brig H.H. Sizer and schooner Alps ashore near Erie. Schooner Ainsworth, of Cleveland, wrecked at Oswego. Canadian schooner Grampas wrecked on Lake Ontario. Schooner Minerva ashore at Braddock’s point. Schooner W.H. Merritt ashore near the Minerva. Schooner Western, in command of Captain Bassett, ashore on the bar at Irondequoit bay, Schooner Missouri ashore at Braddock’s bay. Wreck of the Schooner Lexington. — The schooner Lexington, of Algonac, owned by and in command of Capt James L. Pier, left Cleveland November 17, for Port Huron. She was freighted with 110 barrels of whiskey, 53 tons of coal and two boilers. When off Huron, Ohio, she was met by the terrific gale of the 19th, and soon foundered, with all on board, numbering 13 persons, among whom were the captain’s wife, and the mate, Will Landon, also of Algonac. When the wreck was discovered the masts were visible and the sails were still up.
How the Chesapeake Went Down. — The steamer Chesapeake, while in command of Capt. N.H. Warner, collided with the schooner John A. Porter, Capt. John A. Thomas, one morning in June about half past twelve o’clock, some five miles off Conneaut, with the loss of about 13 lives. It was some two hours after the collision, when every possible effort had been put forth to pump her out, that she was brought to anchor, and gradually went down in 40 feet of water. The passengers numbered between 40 and 50, an unusual proportion being women and children. Captain Warner’s wife managed to reach the mast-head, and remained there after the steamer sunk and until rescued by the Harrison. While the Chesapeake was lying at anchor, gradually sinking, and just before she went down, a gentleman sought his wife who was standing on the hurricane deck, and thus accosted her: “Well, wife,” said he, “that long mooted question will very soon be settled with us.” “What do you mean?” inquires the wife; “to what question do you refer?” “Why,” he said, “the question whether that old Red Dragon had seven heads and ten horns, or ten heads and seven horns.” “ Oh, husband,” responded the lady, “how can you jest at such a time as this?” In about ten minutes the boat went down, and as luck would have it, this jester was saved. He was the editor of the Cincinnati Sunday paper, and his name was G.W. Bradbury.
A touching incident was the death of Daniel A. Folsom. When the engineer ceased to work, the yawl boat was manned and sent ashore in charge of Mr. Shepherd, the clerk. Ten men were put on board and four women, among the latter being Mrs. Folsom. She at first refused to go without her husband. He knew it was no time to debate the question and seizing their child put it a board. She immediately followed, and the husband took an affectionate leave of her at the gang plank as the boat departed. He afterward joined a friend in making a raft on which they floated for some time, but, supposing they could do better by separating, he took his plank alone and was never heard of afterward; his friend was saved.
Other Events of 1846. — There was one steamer less on the lower lakes by the removal of the steamer Julia Palmer to Lake Superior. She was hauled over the portage at the Sault in the fall of 1845, and in 1846 placed in command of Capt. Benj. A. Stanard. The Boston, a fine new steamer of 775 tons burden, built at Detroit, commenced plying early in 1846, in command of Capt. W. Tease, who had for several years been in the forwarding business at Detroit. The Boston, during a gale, was wrecked at Milwaukee in November, the same year she came out. From some cause much more than the usual sickness prevailed among seamen throughout the lake region, chiefly chill fever. The schooner General Houston arrived at Cleveland with the entire crew sick, and it was with great difficulty that the vessel was navigated into port. Another vessel’s arrival was noted with five of the crew sick, two of them so badly that they had to be carried ashore for medical treatment. George Mills, in charge of the government dredge at St. Louis flats, registered the number of vessels passing both ways for the month of July, 1846, as follows: Steamboats, 71; propellers, 37; brigs, 59; schooners, 128, and coasters, 81; total for the month, 384. There were 31 of all classes grounded, and had to be lightered over. In the month of June a greater number passed over, and a greater number stranded than in the month of July. In the spring of 1845 Lake Superior was navigated by only three small schooners, which were reinforced this season by a steamboat, a propeller and ten schooners. The steamer General Scott, commanded by Capt. John Scott, early in the season burst her boiler, near Mackinaw, killing one man and badly scalding two others. The steamer Bunker Hill collided with the brig Fashion, on Lake Erie, near Fairport. The steamer towed the brig into that port in a sinking condition. The steamer had a hole stove in her bow, and a part of her larboard wheelhouse and a portion of her cabin carried away. The brig was freighted with 3,000 bushels of wheat besides a quantity of flour. In 1846 the Maid of the Mist was built in the eddy below Niagara Falls, just above the railroad suspension bridge. She was run up to the cataract, and was a success in every way but financially. In 1846 Chicago became a port of entry, having previous to that time been included in the collection district of Detroit. The sloop Brandywine capsized off Barcelona and was a total loss; three men perished. Steamboat Waterloo, Capt. Midmer, was wrecked in Georgian Bay. Steamboat Boston was wrecked at Milwaukee, a total loss. Steamboat Brothers sunk in the river Thames, below Chatham. The steamer John Owen, Capt. Ira Davis, was the first arrival at Buffalo in the spring of 1846, on April 4, followed soon after by the propeller Phoenix and steamers General Harrison and Ben Franklin. The steamer Lexington, Capt. G. Appleby, which left Buffalo on that date, was the first to arrive at Detroit.
January 12: Steamer Helen Strong, in command of Captain Capron, arrives at Conneaut, the first arrival of the year on Lake Erie.
April: Steamers Sovereign and Transit disabled by collision at Toronto; passengers taken from both boats by the Queen; 16, brig Virginia on a reef near Buffalo; 14, schooner Savannah ashore during a storm near Twin Rivers; brig Europe and schooner Wyandot collide at Silver Creek, by which the latter sustains serious injuries.
May: Steamer Madison disabled on Lake Michigan; passengers transferred to the steamer Missouri.
June: Schooner H. H. Sizer capsized east of Southport; several lives lost; survivors rescued by the schooner Knickerbocker.
September: Steamer Oregon, owned by Mr. Phillips, of Buffalo, provided with two iron lifeboats, capable of holding 100 persons the first boats of the kind on the lake. Propeller Goliath wrecked off Black river; owned by M. Truesdell, of Detroit; loaded with 9,000 bushels of wheat and 1,000 barrels of flour, thus being the heaviest wreck of breadstuffs ever known on the lakes. Propellor California wrecked at Point Pelee; released September 23 by steamer Dewitt Clinton.
October: Schooner Mary Elizabeth wrecked, bound from Green Bay to Cleveland. 19, Schooner Ainsworth ashore at Ashtabula; Schooner Rainbow ashore at Erie; 22, brig Ellen Parker, with 14,000 bushels of wheat, and schooner Westchester, with 8,500 bushels of wheat, ashore near Buffalo; 20, schooner Malcolm sunk at the wharf at Oswego;
November: Schooner Marshall Ney sunk in 20 feet of water at Cleveland by collision with the propeller Cleveland.
Appalling Loss of the Phoenix.-The season of 1847 closed with one of the most terrible disasters that ever visited the lake region, the destruction by fire of the propeller Phoenix on Lake Michigan with the loss of 190 lives. The Phoenix was commanded by Capt. B. G. Sweet. While upward bound, on Sunday, November 2, at about 4 o’clock, some 15 miles north of Sheboygan, and several miles from the shore, a fireman on duty discovered flames on the under side of the deck above the boiler. Mr. House, who was then on duty as engineer, discovered it at the same moment, when to all appearances the fire covered but a small space. It rapidly spread along the under side of the deck. Three pumps and several lines of water buckets were put in operation immediately, but it was found impossible to check the flames. A scene of the most terrible confusion ensued. The propeller was crowded with Holland emigrants, some of whom jumped overboard without support. Others ascended the shrouds, clinging in masses to the ratlines, up to the very crosstrees, from which as the fire reached the combustible material they were soon precipitated into the burning mass beneath. There were about 250 souls (passengers and crew) on board, of whom 25 were cabin passengers, 5 American steerage passengers, and 160 Hollanders.
The propeller Delaware arrived at the scene of disaster about two hours after the fire was discovered, and rendered all the assistance in her power to rescue those in the water. Captain Sweet had been confined to his berth for several days. He was saved in the small boat, with several others of the crew and one or two of the passengers. The burning hull of the Phoenix was towed to the shore near Sheboygan. The engineer, Mr. House, saved himself on one of the fenders.
Two Misses Hazelton, of Sheboygan, were on their return home from the East, where they had been attending school. When all hope of being saved was gone, they joined hands and jumped overboard together and immediately disappeared from sight.
An extra from the Sheboygan Mercury stated the loss of life at 250 and over, and that the fire originated from the boilers not being filled with water, and becoming heated so as to ignite the wood lying adjacent, and was not discovered until the flames burst forth instantly enveloping the whole boat.
The Phoenix was built at Cleveland, was 350 tons burden, had been running two seasons, and was owned by Pease & Allen, of that city. At the time of her destruction she had a full cargo of merchandise.
Drowned at the Sault. - In the month of June a distressing accident occurred at the Sault Ste. Marie. A party of citizens and visitors procured a yawl in which to “shoot the falls,” a feat at times considered hazardous, yet, hitherto, without serious accident. The party on this occasion was nine in number, consisting of Capt. John Stanard, Capt. Robert Brown, Messrs. E. G. Seymour, Thomas Riches, John Parker and William Flynn, of the Sault; Dr. Hugh T. Prouty, of Monroeville, Ohio, and Mr. Wales, clerk of the steamboat St. Clair.
When about half way down the rapids the boats shipped a breaker. Bailing was commenced, but a moment later the boat, having reached what is called the “big leap” (being some eight or ten feet in descent), was by a reaction thrown on end, after descending, and all were precipitated into the foaming rapids. The catastrophe was witnessed by many citizens on shore. Boats were immediately procured and put out to render assistance. Messrs. Stanard, Brown, Wales, Spafford and Parker succeeded in sustaining themselves until picked up by an Indian chief who was fishing. Mr. Seymour was discovered floating at the bottom of the river, and was rescued only by means of a spear, in which the chief succeeded in entangling his coat and then raising him to the surface. The other three, Dr. Prouty and Messrs. Riches and Flynn, were drowned.
Loss of the Schooner Daun. - One of the sad events during navigation was that of the schooner J. C. Daun, which was capsized by a squall on Lake Erie while off Conneaut. The Daun was from Sacket’s Harbor, and was sailed by Capt. Lyman Miner. The crew consisted of 11 persons, 8 of whom were lost. Captain Miner, his cousin, Edward Miner, Paul Dever and Dexter Whipple succeeded in getting upon the bottom of the vessel. During the night Whipple died from fatigue. About six o’clock on the following morning the brig Uncle Sam took the remaining three off, and landed them at Ashtabula.
A Large Mineral Cargo. - The propeller Goliah, Capt. M. H. Esterbrook, came down from the Sault with the largest cargo of minerals of this season, for the Pittsburgh & Boston Company. Of the cargo 164 tons were native copper in rock, 80 tons being in masses weighing from 500 lbs. to 2,900 lbs., and estimated by many to be worth 80 percent. of the pure metal.
Disaster on Lake Superior. - The schooner Merchant, Capt. Robert More, with a crew of seven beside seven passengers, was lost, with all on board, in June, on Lake Superior, with a cargo of supplies. She was formally owned at Buffalo by Barker & Holt, but at the time of her loss was owned by Coe & Colt. A furious gale prevailed at the time, and it was supposed she foundered.
Other Events in 1847. - Steamer Chesapeake sunk by collision with schooner John F. Porter, off Conneaut. Total loss with 11 lives. Schooner Porter, cargo of corn and pork, total loss also. Schooner Aurora Borealis on a reef near Malden and sunk; cargo of staves; raised. Brig Francis Mills, cargo of staves; sunk off Erie. Steamer London sunk a vessel, name unknown, near Malden. The season of 1847 was more eventful in the loss of life and property than any preceeding it. Navigation was resumed at Buffalo, April 23, the steamer Chesapeake, Captain Warner, arriving on that date, the first boat in. The Straits of Mackinac were clear April 28, the steamer Louisiana, Captain Davenport, the first boat through the Erie canal May 1.
April 22: Steamers Nile, Lexington, Rochester and schooners Hudson, Trenton and Massachusetts and brig Winslow blocked in the ice near Buffalo, from which they sustained injury.
May: Schooner Marshall Ney sunk by collision with a reef near Bird island. Schooner C. J. Darlie wrecked off Conneaut, Lake Erie. Schooner New Brunswick left Chicago with 18,000 bushels of wheat for Liverpool via Welland canal and St. Lawrence; this was the first clearance of the kind ever made from the waters of the Great Lakes for an European port.
June: The brig Santillo sunk by collision with the propeller Manhattan on Lake St. Clair; vessel new, first trip.
July: Steamer Constitution sunk at Sandusky, at the dock.
September: Schooner Courier sunk by collision with the brig Monteith, in command of Capt. M. Dimmick, between Erie and Conneaut. Schooner Wisconsin totally wrecked at Death's Door. Propellers Pocahontas and Racine damaged by collision on Lake Erie. The revenue cutter damaged by lightning near Mackinaw.
October: Schooner Acorn damaged by collision with the schooner Speedwell at Cleveland. Schooner Charles Walker damaged by lightning, in the Straits of Mackinac. Schooner Adair capsized near Dunkirk. Schooners J. W. Brown, N. C. Baldwin, convoy, and brig St. Louis damaged by collision at Buffalo. Propeller Monticello, launched at Fairport, owned by Col. D. Russell and Geauga Iron Company; the finest boat of the kind ever built at that port.
November: Schooner E. Morgan damaged by collision with the schooner Ontonagon on Lake Michigan. Schooner Lawrence wrecked at Stony Island. Schooner Margaret Allen ashore and wrecked near Death's Door.
The Gale of April, 1848. - Soon after navigation was resumed one of the most violent northeast gales swept over the entire lake region, causing the destruction of half a million of property, beside numerous lives. The steamer Oregon, Captain Chapman, bound westward from Buffalo, when off Fairport, had both smokestacks swept overboard. Her anchor was let go with a full scope of chain, and while swinging to her anchor an immense sea boarded her and swept her cabin from the main deck, baggage rooms and baggage, all on board having previously fled to the upper cabins. In this dilemma she dragged until the day following, when off Cleveland, the steamer Diamond went to her rescue and towed her into that port. The storm set in April 18, and came more in the shape of a cyclone, and gradually settled into a gale of two days' duration.
The steamer Niagara, on Lake Ontario, belonging to the Ogdensburg line, was driven ashore at the mouth of the Genesee river and was wrecked. Five vessels went ashore at Sandusky peninsula, and, in short, wrecks were scattered promiscuously on all the lakes. The brig General Worth, built by Mr. Treat, had just been launched the day previous at Euclid, below Cleveland, met the full force of the storm, but was by superhuman efforts protected and saved from destruction.
Explosion of the Goliah. - The saddest of the season's casualties was the destruction of the propeller Goliah, by fire and explosion, on Lake Huron, with the loss of 18 lives. The Goliah left St. Clair river September 13, with a very heavy cargo, consisting in part of 200 kegs of powder, 20,000 bricks, 30,000 feet of lumber, 40 tons of hay, and about 2,000 barrels of provisions and merchandise, destined for the Lake Superior mining companies. On Thursday morning, soon after daylight, she was seen about eight miles from shore, with her mast and smokestack overboard, the wind blowing southeast by east, and the steamer drifting toward shore. It was evident, from the large volume of smoke that issued on her that she was on fire. She drifted to within 10 miles of the shore, the surf being very high and the wind subsiding. About 9 A.M. the wind shifted to southwest, and the burning hull receded from the shore, and when about three miles out exploded with a tremendous noise, throwing fire and fragments to a great height. Efforts were made by a Mr. Whitcomb and others to launch a boat, with a view of rendering assistance, but the heavy breakers prevented getting a boat beyond the surf. It was ascertained that about 18 persons were on board; Captain Cottrell, Captain Beckley and Lieutenant Schwartz were of the number. There were not less than 15 persons on shore who saw the burning and explosion of the propeller. The schooner Spartan, Captain Fuller, left the St. Clair river three hours behind the Goliah, and after several hours' sail, saw, heard and distinctly felt the explosion, though many miles distant.
The charred upperworks of the ill-fated craft were discovered at Pine Point, above Goderich, the mast coming ashore at Kincardine. Among the articles that came on shore were two or three hundred barrels of flour and corn meal. No bodies were ever found.
Chicago's First Locomotive. - The first locomotive at Chicago, the "Pioneer," used on the Chicago & Galena road, afterwards the North-western, arrived in Chicago from Buffalo October 10, 1848, on the brig Buffalo.
Niagara Falls Dried Up. - The winter of 1847-48 had been an exceptionally severe one, and ice of unusual thickness had formed on Lake Erie. The warm spring rains loosened this congealed mass, and March 29, 1848, a brisk east wind drove the ice far up into the lake. About sunset the wind suddenly veered round and blew a heavy gale from west. This naturally turned the ice in its course, and, bringing it down to the mouth of the Niagara river, piled it up in a solid, impenetrable wall.
So closely was it packed and so great was its force, that in a short time the outlet to the lake was completely choked up, and little or no water could possibly escape. In a very short space of time the water below this frozen barrier passed over the Falls, and the next morning the people living in the neighborhood were treated to a most extraordinary spectacle. The roaring, tumbling rapids above the Falls were almost obliterated, and nothing but the cold, black rocks were visible in all directions. The news quickly spread, and crowds of spectators flocked to view the scene, the banks on each side of the river being lined with people during the whole day. At last there was a break in the ice. It was released from its restraint, the pent-up wall of water rushed downward, and Niagara was itself again.
Other Events of 1848. - During the month of October the Canadian schooner Adventure, laden with stone, foundered off Grand river, Canada, and all on board, three lives, were lost. She was in company with the T. B. Ruggles at the time, and both were standing on the same tack. The brig H. G. Stambach, of Conneaut, Ohio, capsized off Fairport, August 28, drowning three of the crew. An incident of fast sailing in 1848 is related of the propeller St. Joseph, Capt. H. Squier, which performed the trip to Buffalo from Detroit in 29 hours and 45 minutes. On her return by way of Cleveland the run was made in 30 hours and 20 minutes; the time from Cleveland to Detroit, 11 hours and 30 minutes.
January 24: Propeller Cleveland arrives at Cleveland from Black river. Navigation opened at Buffalo March 30; the steamer United States the first boat out. The straits of Mackinaw were clear April 28; the steamer Louisiana, Capt. I. J. Richards, the first boat through going west.
April: Schooner Algomah, wrecked at Racine; schooner Eleanor, engaged in the lumber trade on Lake Ontario, wrecked at Burlington Beach; schooners Sciota and Mary A. Myers capsized near Silver creek.
May: Schooner Porter sunk by collision with the piers at Conneaut.
July: Steamer Empire sunk at Kingston by the force of the wind. August: Steamer St. Nicholas sunk by collision at Fairport; passengers, numbering 150, transferred to the Catilina.
October: Steamer Scott sunk in Lake St. Clair by collision with the schooner Star; brig Sandusky sunk at Long Point.
November: Brig Amazon ashore near Buffalo; schooner Marion sunk at the dock at Buffalo; steamer Fashion damaged by collision with sunken remains of the steamer Columbus near Dunkirk; schooner Jessie Smith wrecked on Lake Michigan; schooner Scotland, ashore at Port Stanley, becomes a complete wreck; schooner Ottawa wrecked at Port Stanley. December: Steamer Indiana burned and sunk at Conneaut; loss $20,000.
The following craft also passed out of time during the navigation of 1848: Steamer Columbus wrecked on Dunkirk pier; steamer Kingston wrecked in St. Lawrence river; propeller Goliah exploded on Lake Huron, 18 lives lost; barque Eleanora wrecked at Hamilton; bark Buffalo wrecked on Manitou island; brig Empire sunk by collision in Lake Erie; brig Iowa wrecked on Point Albino, Lake Erie; schooner Josephine wrecked at Dunkirk; schooner Tribune foundered in Lake Michigan, 10 lives lost; schooner J. Y. Scammon wrecked near Calumut, 2 lives lost; schooner Eagle capsized on Lake Michigan, all lost, 7 lives; schooner Pilgrim wrecked at Port Maitland, Lake Erie; schooner Gallinipper capsized on Lake Michigan, crew saved; schooner Jessie wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie; schooner Essex wrecked on Bass island, Lake Erie; schooner Constitution wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie; schooner Ellen wrecked at Wellington, Lake Ontario, 8 lives lost; schooner Jessie Smith wrecked on Lake Michigan; schooner Uncle Tom wrecked on Long point, Lake Erie; schooner “76” wrecked on Lake Michigan; schooner Robinson wrecked on Presque Isle, Lake Ontario; schooner Oneida wrecked on Lake Michigan, near Chicago, schooner Martha Freeme wrecked at Port Burwell; schooner Ottawa wrecked near Port Stanley; scow Rainbow wrecked near Barcelona.
Vessel Sails for California from Cleveland. - One of the most notable occurrences during the season of 1849 was the departure from Cleveland of the bark Eureka for California via the river and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and with two or three exceptions, the first experiment of sending lake vessels on sea voyages. The Eureka was owned by W. A. Adair, and took her departure in May, having on board 59 passengers. The captain was William Monroe, and first mate F. H. Freeman. The voyage was a success, and all were landed in safety.
Cholera Breaks Out. - The cholera was alarmingly prevalent in 1849 at nearly all the lake ports, and many deaths occurred on ship board. Among those carried off was Captain Chesley Blake, long in the employ of Oliver Newberry, Detroit. This veteran sailor, who had been on the lakes since 1818 and was well known as an able commander, died at the American House, Milwaukee, October 3. He was taken with cholera on board of the steamer St. Louis, on her trip up to Chicago, while on Lake Michigan.
Fatally Scalded on the Passport. - In 1849 there was a terrible accident to the Canadian steamer Passport, on her trip up the St. Lawrence from Montreal to Kingston, by which 44 of her passengers were severely scalded by escaping steam from the engine. About 14 of the scalded died from the effect of their wounds.
Other Events of 1849. - The season was an unusually dull one, both in freight and passenger traffic, owing chiefly to the epidemic which prevailed. The steamer Oregon was burned at Chicago early in the season; loss $15,000. The schooner Outward Bound, Capt. John Church, foundered; eleven lives lost. In 1849 there were afloat upon the northern lakes, craft of every description, a total of 914 vessels as follows: Of side-wheel steamers, there were 95, with a total of 38,492 tons; 45 propellers, 14,435 tons; 15 barques, 1,645 tons; 93 brigs, 21,330 tons; 548 schooners, 71,618 tons; 128 sloops and scows, 5,484 tons, with a total valuation of $7,868,000.
January 27: Sloop Speedwell, in command of Captain Ackeron, leaves Cleveland for Vermilion, the first clearance of the season.
March 20: Scow Diana, in command of Captain Dayton, arrives at Cleveland from Black River; first arrival of the season.
May 26: Sloop Planet, built at Geneva, Ohio, launched; afterward on her trial trip capsized and Capt. Chas. Bogrand drowned.
June: Schooner Merchant lost at Point aux Barques; five men drowned. Steamers Saratoga and Hendrik Hudson collide below Erie, by which the latter sustains serious injuries. Steamer New Orleans wrecked at Thunder Bay island; passengers rescued by the Nile, in command of Captain Pierce.
July: Sloop Morning Star, in command of Captain Miesel, sunk at Sandusky bay. Loss $600. Schooner Acorn sunk by collision with steamer Troy near West Sister island. Steamer Empire State ashore near Sleeping Bear; passengers transferred to the Delaware. The Empire State was the largest boat on the lakes, owned by Montieth, Hazard & Co., and valued at $180,000. Brig Stambach capsized near Fairport; three lives lost.
September: Schooner Big Z, of Silver Creek, sunk at Cleveland. Propeller Detroit and schooner William and brig Rocius and schooner Breeze collide at Cleveland. Steamer Ben Franklin sustains severe injuries on Saginaw bay. Schooner La Salle capsized near Racine. October: Schooner W. G. Buckner capsized off Milwaukee; crew rescued by the schooner Erwin. Lighthouse burned at Cleveland. Schooner Milan, in command of Captain Richardson, sunk off Oak Orchard.
October: Propeller Globe sunk near Point Albino.
December 27: Navigation still open between Buffalo, Cleveland and Chicago.
Burning of the Griffith. - The navigation season of 1850 was long remembered as the most disastrous in loss of life that had yet been recorded. By the burning of the steamer G. P. Griffith of Chagrin, 20 miles east of Cleveland, June 17, 286 lives were lost, one of the greatest casualties that has ever occurred on the lakes.
The Griffith had just been purchased by Capt. C. C. Roby and W. Studdiford, his brother-in-law, of Detroit, and took her departure from Buffalo on Sunday morning, the day before the fire, for Chicago. There were 256 in the steerage, 45 in the cabin, and a crew of 25. Not a woman or child was saved except the barber’s wife. The steamer was about three miles from shore when she took fire, at four o’clock in the morning. When the first alarm was given the passengers were cool and collected. It was thought that the boat could reach land, for which she was steering, and that thus all would be saved. But the steamer struck upon a sand-bar half a mile off shore and then panic reigned. The passengers became wild with despair and a great number of them plunged madly into the water. Captain Roby, his wife, two children, and mother were of the lost. As soon as the boat struck he gave the command “overboard all,” threw his wife overboard and then jumped after her, when both were drowned together. The mate swam ashore and obtained boats, by means of which several of the survivors escaped, but over 100 of the passengers were drowned soon after jumping overboard.
A searching party set out at once for the bodies of the lost, and in a short time the beach was strewn with 100 of them. So closely had they sunk that at one time 8 bodies were recovered by drawing one to the surface with a hook. The boat was insured in Buffalo for $27,775. The propeller Delaware reached the burning wreck and towed it ashore.
Wreck of the Anthony Wayne. - The explosion of the boilers of the steamer Anthony Wayne, early on the morning of April 28, resulted in the complete destruction of the vessel and in the loss of many lives. The vessel left Toledo the previous morning with 25 passengers, and reached Sandusky the same day, - there adding about 40 to the list. At 10 P.M. she left Sandusky and after about two and a half hours, when about 8 miles from Vermilion, met with the disaster, which resulted in the drowning of eleven members of the crew, and a large number of the passengers.
Fortunately the hurricane deck aft was cleft in two so that it floated, allowing several people to stand upon it. It was kept stationary by the tiller ropes, which still hung to the rudder and the forward part of the foremast. But a short time after the explosion, most of the passengers were seized with fright and jumped into the water, having just caught hold of anything that might lend an aid in floating. The night was clear and the sea not rough, but all who were wet suffered intensely with the cold, and they who had been scalded made piteous moans, crying for help and for water.
The captain, the clerk, H.D. Vance, one fireman and two passengers launched the lifeboat and drifted ashore, and started two sail vessels from Vermilion, which brought aid to some who had thus far remained afloat.
It was the two starboard boilers that exploded, throwing them into a perpendicular position, tearing away the steerage cabin above, and shattering the hull badly. The steamer sunk in 15 minutes, going down head first, and carrying away the steerage cabin and the foremast, on which were six persons. The yawl was launched and 12 persons reached the shore in it. The lifeboat half filled on launching and leaked badly, but with its six occupants got ashore after six hours constant bailing. The stateroom of the captain, next to the steerage, was blown to pieces and his bed blown upside down, but he was unhurt. When the steamer went down she was on fire. Three-fourths of the boat was owned by Charles Howard, of Detroit, and one-fourth by Capt. E.C. Gore, who was in command. She was valued at $20,000, and insured in part. She had but little freight on board, but 300 barrels of high wines and whiskey from Sandusky. The Anthony Wayne was built in 1837, and rebuilt in the winter of 1849. The number of lives lost has been variously estimated and has been placed as high as 69.
Many Lives Lost on the Troy. - The steamer Troy, commanded by Capt. Thomas Wilkins, exploded her boiler on her way to Black Rock and opposite Bird island pier, near that place, on March 23. A number were killed outright, while others jumped overboard and were drowned, besides several who died from injuries. Twenty-two perished.
Extent of the Losses in 1850. - The loss in value on steamboats in 1850 was $265,7000, on propellers $30,444 and on sail vessels $262,782, making a total loss of property of $558,926. Ten steamboats, including two tugs, 21 sail craft, and one propeller, the Petrel, passed out of existence. The loss on propellers was exceedingly light, but on sail vessels large in proportion to the value and number of the craft; the aggregate loss was the largest and accidents most frequent among steamboats.
The loss of life aggregated 431; 29 on the steamer Troy, 65 on the steamer Anthony Wayne, 38 on the steamer Commerce, 280 on the steamer G.P. Griffith, 11 on the steamer America, one on the steamer Canada, one on the Calumet, one on the scow H.M. Eddie and one on the scow which capsized at the wreck of the Griffith.
Other Events of 1850. - January 19: Steamer Oregon burned at Chicago.
March 2: Navigation opened at Cleveland by the steamer Arrow; 25, navigation opened at Buffalo, the steamer Southerner, Capt. J.L. Edmunds, being the first boat to leave.
April: Schooner Lawrence sunk near St. Helena by collision with the pier.
May: Canadian steamer Commerce a total loss by collision with the steamer Despatch off Grand River, Canada, and about 40 lives were lost; the Commerce had aboard a detachment of the 23d Regiment; steamer America considerably damaged by fire on Lake Erie, near Buffalo.
June: Brig Flora collides with steamer Baltic near Buffalo, and sustains severe injuries.
July: Steamer America damaged by explosion of her boilers, and towed to Erie by the Alabama; several lives lost.
August: Steamer Lexington sunk on Lake Erie near Conneaut by collision with the propeller Allegheny; schooner Neckeck capsized on Lake Ontario and towed to Cape Vincent; propeller Globe sunk near Point Albino, last fall sold to Messrs. Nott, of Cleveland, for $9,000; schooner Howard sunk at Racine; brig Maurice wrecked at Wind Point; schooner Thornton wrecked on Lake Michigan; several lives lost.
October: Brig Europe wrecked on an island in Green bay, a total loss; brig S.F. Gale collides with and is sunk by the schooner Telegraph on Lake Huron.
December: Brig Henry Clay sunk in the Straits of Mackinac; schooner Columbia ashore near the Henry Clay; schooner Sea Bird sunk on Lake Erie off Black River. The steamer Southerner was during this season put between Detroit and Cleveland, in connection with the steamer Baltimore, which was the inauguration of that route.