Disaster on Lake Erie: The 1841 Wreck of the Steamship Erie

Disaster on Lake Erie: The 1841 Wreck of the Steamship Erie

by Alvin F. Oickle


View All Available Formats & Editions


On August 9, 1841, the steamship Erie, one of the most elegant and fastest sailing between Buffalo and Chicago, departed carrying 340 passengers. Many were Swiss and German immigrants, planning to start new lives in America's heartland most never made it. The Erie erupted in flames during the night, and despite the heroic efforts of the crew of the Dewitt Clinton, 254 lives were lost. As news of this disaster spread, internationally renowned artists and writers, including Charles Dickens, were inspired to reflect on the lives lost. Historian Alvin F. Oickle's minute-by-minute account weaves together the tragic journey of the passengers, the legend that developed in the aftermath and the fury of a fire on an ocean-like lake.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609490980
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 05/14/2011
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Alvin Oickle is the author of two other recent disaster books"? from The History Press: Disaster in Lawrence: The Fall of the Pemberton Mill and Disaster at Dawn: The Cedar Keys Hurricane of 1896. His other nineteenth-century history books include Jonathan Walker: The Man with the Branded Hand. Al has been an Associated Press feature writer, a daily newspaper editor and a writing instructor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His long career in journalism has also extended into broadcasting."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

1 The Elegant Erie 13

2 A Glorious Gathering 27

3 Disaster on Lake Erie 43

4 "Appalling Calamity" 59

5 What and Who to Blame? 67

Afterword 79

Appendix: Travelers on the Erie, August 9, 1841 93

Notes 131

Bibliography 141

About the Author 144

Customer Reviews