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Appalling Calamity; Erie Burnt!!: Loss Of One Hundred And Se...

Appalling Calamity; Erie Burnt!!: Loss Of One Hundred And Se... image
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The steamboat ERIE isdestroyed. Th Erie icft Buffalo at 4 P. M. Monday, fo Chicago. She had 200 persons, passen gers and crew, on board. Nothfhg occur red to raar the picasure of the voyage, ti So'clock, when the boat was offSilve Creek, 8 miles from shore and 33 irom Buffalo, when aslight explosión was hearc and immediately the whole vessel was in flamea. Capt. Titus, who was on deck a the time, rushed tothe ladie's cabinto ob tajn the JLife Presorvers, of which there Were sqme 90 or 100 on board, but so rap ú had been the progresa of the flames tha t was inipossible to enter the cabin. IJe then rcturqed, and gave orders to stop tho engine, as the progress of the boat increaeed the flames, but the fire prcvented it. - Tbe stearsman was then told ío put the helm hard starboard. The boat then swung heayily around toward shore,and the three small boats ordered oul. Two were low. ered, but in consequence of the heavy sea and headvyay of thé boat, both swamped. We will notattempt to describe the avfully appalling condition of the passcngers. Some wero frantic with fear, others plungcd headlong into the water, others again seized upon any thing buoyant,upon Which they could lay hands. The small boat forward had been lowered. It was aiong sidc the wheel with three or four persoqs in it, when the captain jumped in, and the baat mmediately dropped astern 'filled with water. A lady floatcd by with a life preserver. She called for help. There was hq safety in the boat. The captain threw her the only oar in the boat. She caught the oar and was saved. it was Mrs. Lynde, of Milwaukic, and she was the only lady saved. In this condition, the boat a mass of fierce fijre, and the passengers and crew eqdeavoring to save themselves by whatever means they could reach - tUey were found by the Clinton about 10 P. M. The Clinton left here in the morning, but in consequence of the wind had put into Dun kirk. She laid there ti.ll nearly which time she ran out, and proceeded asfaras Barcelona, when justatlwilight,the fire oí'tlic l'jiie was discovered about 20 miles astern. The Olinton itnmediately puta,bout and reached the burning wreek a bout 1Ö. It was a fearful sight. All the upper wprks of the Erie had been burned away. The engine was standing, but the huil was a mass of dull red llame. The passengers and crew werefloatingaround screanyng in their agony and shrieking for help. The boals of the Glinton were in{an.tly lowered and rnanned and every persou that could bc seen or heard was picked up and every possible relief afforded. The Lady.a little boat !ying at DunJiirk, went out of that harbor as soon as pQSsible after the discovery of ihe fire, and arrived soon after the Glinton. It was not thought by the survivors that she saved any. By 1 o'clock, A. M. all was still but the dead crackling of the fire. Not a solitary individual could be seen or heard on the wild waste of waters. A line was then jnade fast to the remains of the Erie's rudder, and an effort made to tow the hapless huil ashorc. Ábout this time the Chatauquü canic up and lent her assistance. The hul of the Erie was towcd viihiti abouc four miles of the shorc, when it sunk in }l iathoms water. By this time it was dayljght. The lines were cast off. The Clinton headed fot this port which she reached abuut six o'clock. Ofthosowho are saved, several are badly burned, but qone are dangerously injured so fur as we have heard.Oíuuin' of the Fiüe. - Among the passengers on board were six painters in the employ of IVJr. W. Q. Miller of this city, were going to Erie to paint the stcambuat Mqdison. They had with tlicin denoijons fjlled with spirits of turpentine and varnish whjch, unknown lo Capt. Titus, were placed oq the boiler deck dircctly over the boilcr.s. One of the firemen who was saved says he had occasion to go to the deck, and seeing the demijohns, romoved them. They were rcplaced, but by whonr is not known. Immediatoly previous to the burst iqg forth of the flames, asseveral on board haye assured us, a slight explosión was heard. The demijohns had probably burst with the heat, and their inflamable contents, taking fire instantly, communicated, to every part of the boat, which having been freshly varnished, eaught as if it had been gun powder. PQt a paper nor an articleofany kind was saved. Of course it irapossible to give a complete list of those on board. Of cabin passengers, Capt.TiTus Ihink therc were between 30 and 40, of whorn, 10 or 12 were ladies. In the steege wero a bout 140 passengers, nearly all of whorn were Swjss and Germán immigrante. - They were mostly in families, with the usual proporlion of men vvomeii, and children- The heart bleeds at the thought. It is a singular coincidence, (hut the Eric Was burned at altnost, identically,the same spot where the Washington was burned in June, 1838. Captain Brown, who comjnanded the Washington at that time, happened to bc on baarflTíhe Clinton, and was very qctiye in saving the survjvors of the 3Bn. [Here follows a list of the names of those Who were lost and those savcd; the number lost s about 170- saved., about 30.] FURTHER PARTICULARS. As cvery thing relating to the terriblecalamity, is looked tbr with painful incer est, we subjoin a few acldiüonal particulat gleaned from a friend, (Mr. Tan, of Pitl ford, Monroe cuunty, N. Y.) who was o board of the Erie, but who was Providen tially among the few who were saved. He statcs that he was walking on tli promenade deck ai the time, in company with a young lady (Miss Siiearman) ant had just reached the point above the boile deck. wherc the demijohns of turpentine were, when the explosión took place. Th explosión - which sounded like the puil' o a high pressure boat, but not so loud, wa followed by the ascensión of a volume o dense black smoke, which our informan likened to a cloud of coal dust. Withou feeüng nmeh alarmed, he stopped for ai instant, when the smoke was directly suc ceeded by a column of red, lurid flame which spread wjlh a íearful rapidity ;cotn muqicating, in an instant, to every thin, combustible - cracking the sky lighls bj its intense heat - and filling up the sp;ice betwoen decks, with what appeared to be a dense red flame. After a mornent's reflection, our inform ant ran to the stcni of the boat, and soon perceived the awful character of the catas tropho. Whilo looking around for some mode of escape, the young lady rushed rom him, and disappearcd. She however almost instantly returned,calling upon her father, who, being like herself a few minutes before, sea sick, had relired to his berth. Frantic with the scène, and the awful fate which seemed inevitable be lora ïer she was a bout" again to rush below, when Mr. T. induced her to remain with lim, until he should procure some means for her escape. This appeared at hand . - lio observed a gentleman, near by, forcng one of the seats which surrounded the iromenado deck. He succeeded. and, hrowing it overboard, leapt after it. - Vhether he was saved or not, is not known. Our informant, iraproving by this example Iso forced up one of the seats, and placng it across the railing of the promenade eek, and over the stern, sat Miss SiikaRs ian upon the outer end of it , uid calledupon inose below wuo were ciusierca ai the rudder post) to assist the young lady n her descent into the water. But no attion was paid to these solicitations, ant the young lady, bccoming dizzy from her fearful posiliou, feil from the board among the rudder chaina, and eunk to rise no moro. Maving fiiüed in his noble attempt to save this young lady,Mr.T. looked uround íirn before he made an eflbrt to save him elf. He saw Capt. Titus make his efbrt to reach the lady's cabin, and heárd imgive the order to.stop the engine. It moment of awful terror. From bulkead to rudder, the flames were raging ith an iinpetuosity which mocked every ttempt at escape. The shrieks of '.he ying and tefriííed, borne upon ihe íiery ast, sounded fearfully. The cngineseem d to play with a doublé power, as if itself addened by the appalling character of ie scene. The ílames,as they rushed alt ounded liko ihe roaring of a hurricanc, nd seemed to throatcn the instant enulphment of Ihe vessel and cvcry aíIYight ened soul on board of her. Forward of the wheel house, there were severul persons struggling to wrench loose limber from the vesscl. Below, and in rear of the ladies' cabin, some 20 or 30 persons yere clustered, each struggling to descend by the rudder chains for safe. Sume had succeeded, but were forced off by olhers struggling to reach the same point. Olhers were hanging from ihe sides of the boals; husbands vainly endeavorinj to support their wives: mothers their children; andill themselves. ïn this group, wero a nqmberof tlio unfortunatc Swissjsomanf of w hom pcrishedi but, it appears, not one of all the females whom Mr. T. saw gatheroij thcre - not one oí the children - not one of tho wives - not one of the mothers wore savod. All sank inlo the deep tomb of waters! Afier muking this survey, and seeing no liopo of other escape, our informant - who had clung,!with a dea'li grasp, to the plank from whieh the unfortunute young lady, whom he had attempted to save, had taken her fearful death plunge; stripped himself of his superfluous 'clothing, cast the plank overboard, and nstantly leaped after it. Il was a fearfu!, an avful leap - a leap akin lo tho eternal plungc of the grave; but ihanka to a kind Providence, it was a leap ofsafety and of life. líe aróse lo the sur-face direetly by the side of the plank, to which he cluug during the enijrc of his awful voyagc, Ile had companions in h3 terrible etruggle for life; bul they were l'ew. Here was one buftbting, unsusiained by any thing but his own strength, the tossing waves, which, the next moment, formed his winding sheet. Near by was another, shrieking foraid, first in a voice of strength but soon with a gurgliug fainlness, which indicated a speedy termmation of the struggle. In anotner direction, the voice of supplication was heard - the last faint prayer of the dying, to ihé Qod of Tempest and Fire, for that succor and mercy which man's arm could not give. Still e!sewhere,the shriek of the wife or mother carne up, (like the howl of despair) for her lost ones, whom she in vain strove to keep out out of the distenbed jaws of the deyourer. With his eye still upon the tossing wreek, he saw one after another, dark massos passing from the boat to the water - saw thetn strike upon the tunibhng surges - marked thdr iew fecble eíForts ti keep away from the cold, dark deeps which bore them - and then lost them forever! For about five minutes ufter Mr.Tana lenped trom the boal, she continued in a straight direclion, and seemed lo fly ¦through the glaring waters. At the expiralion ofwlmt appeared to be that lenglh oftime, shc suddenly veered around, still progressing rapidly, when, as suddeniy, she appeared to stop, and rose and feil in thc trough ofthe sea, as if al the mercy of tlie waves. At this time, she appeared to he ahout two miles from our informant , but she verysoon floated very near to him- so near asto ih reaten his engulphment. But he had the presence of rnind lo svvim, with his plank, from under her course, and around to her bow. And he re wa3 another scène of horror. He saw five or six persons hanging to the anchor, and as muny more holding on the liberly cap, which is attaehed to the pole at the bow, the guies oí' which had givon way, and dropped it into the water. As it was held fasl to the boat by its iron hinge, it aíiorded safety to several. The latter persons, howcver, suíFered a good deal froni t!io heat, but more from thc dashing ofthe waverf. Directly above them, and by the bulk Iiead, a person stood surroundcd ahnost by the fire. He held in his hand frpicce of white cloth, with which he appearëd to bath his face, to keep off the heat. When saw Mr. T., hecalled1 upon him for God's sake, to allow him to get upon his plank, as he could not swim, and thcrefore dare not leap into the water, which he would soon be obliged to do or pertsh by fire. Mr. T. saw no otlier; hope for himself, andso informed his half-: frantic supplicant. His reply was - ','youj can swim, and can get to thc paddle wheels and be safe." Mr. T. was about doing so, when a heavy swell bore the blazing wreek bevond his reach. As the wreek was floating off, ho saw a man standing upon the wheel-house, sliricking luce a maniac, for assistance, and looking like (he picture of despair, lit up ns lis countenance was, by-the red light which cast its glare upon every object within the circle of miles. Uut there was no id near - no arm to save, and scarce-1 y an eye to pity ! The crackling of ihe James, jningled with tbc shricks of the dying, was the only requium chanled over the grave of these two hundred souls! Ilow sad were the rellections of our Triend, as he rested his breast upon his aithful plank - from which had launcheu ntoeternily, the young and beautilul girl lio had vainly attempted to save! What i moment for thought! Ilow emph.itical-1 ly ill.ustralive of ihe frailty of man, andot the power of that Being, whosc will the elements obey ! Above liim wns the starit-lieavens, made red and lurid by the doud-reaching flaines, wlitch ascended Trom iho rumblihg huil of the ill-faiod Srie. Around him wore his companions, struggüng, like himself, i'ur that life whicli aeeiced iho in re precious as it appeared ede from them. And bene.ilh him was the dark green deep, whoro slept so nany who senree an hour beibre, were countin the proress of the sunny hours, and looking forward to the bright prospects vhieh seenied todawn upon their patliwav n the future. It wasan hour for thoughi! An hour big wilh admonitions from cternity! Buoycd up wilh hope - ihoügh suffurin greally from the chilly coldness wliicli eized upon liini, from being so long immersed - Mr. T. struggled with the waves n the hope that relief was at hand. Disrncted by the constant tossings, he soon üj'got the directioa iti whicli he land luy, nd consequent!}' made no efibrt to proress tovvard any point. After he had jeen in the water two hours or more, he aw liiihls, like lurhls Trom a window, butsaw llallis, like Iights irom a winuow, uut soon dcemed them, froni thoir upparently xed pciöiiion, stars and tiot lights fVoin a vessel. A litlle before 11 o'clock, howovcr, he observed the Clinton, and, when almostexhausted, and when death scemed at his elbow, the yawl of the C. picked hirn up, and placed him on board! He soon recovered,and informing those around him, that there were several stilt clinging to the wreek, boats were despatced, and as man y as could be fuund, picked up - Their names are given eisewhere. But not all the names, we fear, of those lost, are giren. It is impossible that they should be. Those who came in on the packet boat in the morning, could not be known, as they left the BuiiUlo, before the calamity was known. The next mail will doublless bring more particulars. I Later. - The Clinton had returned lo BuilUlo, before the VVisconsin left, and re-j ported that two more persons had been, found - Fred. Parmelec, the Bar Keeper, and a passenger, an American - name not known. By one of the persons saved ! who carne up on the VVisconsin, we leam' that ihe following persons were known to be aboard in addition to those named. Mr. Mittlemore and lady, Boston; Mr. Sherman, and daughter Centreville, Pa. The fuur St. Louis murderers were executed July 9th. An immense concoursc of poople were present on the occasion. Sixty-two indictroonts have been found by the Attorney General of Boston, for selrling ardent spirits without licences. The amount depoeited in the Savings Bank by the factory girls at Lowell up to the present time, is stated to be ÏQO.OOO. Theodore Weid has commenced speaking again irj public. He has nddresscd several meetings on the subject of slavery.