June 4, 1861
Sources of Information
Many thanks to our cousin Linda Adam who located information at:
for Marine Dynamics indicates:
June 4, 1861
“Hamilton Evening Times Saturday, June 29, 1861 Page: 3"
at The Paper of Record.
| The unfortunate loss of the fine steamer
a few days ago, filled the public mind with feelings of the deepest regret.
Below we give an extract from a letter received from Mr. Thomson, who was
on board the ill-fated vessel, by Messrs. F.W. Gates & Co., of this
St. Johns, N. F., June 18th, 1861.
I telegraphed you that I had arrived here safely. The Canadian sailed from Quebec on the 1st inst., and all went well until Monday night, when the Captain stopped the ship off Florin light, on account of the ice, where she remained till about three o’clock the following morning, when she proceeded through the Straits of Belleisle, and steamed till about ten o’clock, a.m., when on account of the ice and thick weather, when was put about, going very slow – about five knots an hour.
About ten minutes to twelve she struck a small piece of ice, which was only out to the water about three or four feet, but which must have torn off the plates of the three compartments, as they all filled at once.
I was sitting in the Saloon at the time of
the collision, but thought nothing of it, and as it was near lunch time,
I went on deck. When I got there, I say there was something wrong, as the
Captain had ordered the boats to be got ready for lowering, which was done
as soon as possible.
Mr. Panton the mail officer was lost. He worked very hard getting passengers, and some of his mail bags into the boats. He had a seat in one of them; but left it for a short time, and some woman getting it, he told her that he would go to another boat, but he was too late. I saw him hanging by a rope over the ship’s side, and he went down with her. She went down in about thirty-two minutes, at a distance of about four miles from land. All that I saved was my order book, my money, and the clothes I wore. We were very soon picked up by four French fishing vessels, and taken to Quirpon Bay. The Captain chartered one of them, the barque Jules, for £400 sterling, to take us to St. Johns; and we were all transferred to her. No one can describe our sufferings on board. We had hard biscuits for breakfast, ditto with salt pork for dinner, and ditto without the pork for tea. We slept on her cargo of salt, with a little matting over it; one sail under us, and another over us. None of the passengers had their clothes off for ten days. The number of passengers lost is from 34 to 37; but the ship’s papers being lost also, we cannot ascertain this with certainty.
A much loved
And ever lamented brother
Who perished nobly in
The discharge of his duty as
And saving the lives of some
Of the passengers on board the
Ill fated steamship
Which was lost at sea
June 4 1861
This stone is located in
at Cape Bauld
on Quirpon Island
is now automated
and is operated
as an inn.
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