Disaster on the Potomac: The Last Run of the Steamboat Wawaset

Disaster on the Potomac: The Last Run of the Steamboat Wawaset

by Alvin F. Oickle
     
 

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On August 8, 1873, the elegant Wawaset steam boat carried one hundred fifty passengers down the Potomac River. Families and vacationers were returning to their downriver homes or trying to escape the August heat of Washington, D.C. An engine room fire suddenly spread through the packed, wooden boat. Panicked passengers jumped overboard. In all, seventy-six drowned or… See more details below

Overview

On August 8, 1873, the elegant Wawaset steam boat carried one hundred fifty passengers down the Potomac River. Families and vacationers were returning to their downriver homes or trying to escape the August heat of Washington, D.C. An engine room fire suddenly spread through the packed, wooden boat. Panicked passengers jumped overboard. In all, seventy-six drowned or died from burns. Among the victims were six members of a DC police officer’s family, including his pregnant new wife. Local papers extensively covered the tragedy called for an investigation. A government hearing determined that the master and pilot were unlicensed and that the boat was authorized to carry only fifty passengers. Despite these violations and the public outcry, the captain and crew only received minor punishments at the local hearing and at a federal hearing in DC. Alvin Oickle, author of Disaster in Lawrence and Disaster at Dawn: Cedar Keys, has turned his eye to the Mid-Atlantic region. His latest work centers on Washington, DC, but it also touches on communities in Maryland and Virginia. Disaster on the Potomac is very similar in structure and style to Disaster in Lawrence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596298132
Publisher:
History Press, The
Publication date:
12/04/2009
Series:
Disaster Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

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