Red River Junction, LA Steamboat CREOLE Disaster, Feb 1841



The steamboat Creole, Captain DALMAN, one of the Red River Packets, on her passage from Natchitoches to New Orleans, with a cargo of upwards of one hundred bales of cotton, boxes of spices, bundles of bank notes, merchandise, &c.
come out of Red River at the grey of dawn on Monday morning. When about twelve miles below, she was discovered to be on fire, and a general alarm was given. The passengers, more than sixty in number, and consisting of men, women, and children, were all in their berths at the time. The fire commenced at the after part of the boat, the tiller ropes were immediately severed, and the confusion, consternation and panic which ensued, defies description. Amid the raging of the flames, the engine continued working, and drove the boat against the shore. Here four persons leaped off and escaped. Rebounding, as it appeared, she altered her course, and running near a mile and a half, brought up against the bank on the opposite side of the river.

In the meantime, and while the Creole was crossing the river, many of the passengers and some of the crew, threw over bales of cotton on which they embarked. Some, missing the airm in jumping, or their balance afterwards, were precipitated into the stream and drowned. Many remained on board till she reached the opposite shore, when they leaped off. A few were fortunate enough to reach the land, but the greater part plunged into the water, and it is believed of these nearly all were rescued. The present estimate is that about twelve human beings lost their lives by the catastrophe. Of the 20 or 30 unaccounted for it is hoped the most of them floated off on cotton, and may have been picked up by steamboats and other craft. There was scarcely an article saved. The passengers male and female, with scarcely an exception, escaped with barely what they slept in.

The proverbial hospitality and kindness of the inhabitants of the neighborhood relieved their pressing necessities, and enabled them to reach the city.

The names of the dead are comprised in the following list:
The family of A. B. CHURCH, consisting of two grown daughters, himself and wife, and two colored servants.
D. M. DELMONICO, New Jersey.
Wife of JOHN ABRAMS, St. Louis.
A. DUTCHER and daughter, Mobile.
E. FITCH, New Orleans.
A. BARKER and wife, Tennessee.
MISS SNOW, of Montgomery, Alabama.
JOHN FLOYD, W. SMITH and EDWARD YOUNG, of Mississippi.
Four colored waiters.
Nine firemen, most Irish.
A German family, six in number.

Besides thirty-one persons who were more or less injured.

The Adams Sentinel Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1841-03-08