Port Huron, MI Steamers NORTHERNER And FOREST QUEEN Collide, Apr 1856


[From the Detroit Free Press, April 28]
On SUnday night about 11 o'clock, the steamer Forest Queen, Capt. WADSWORTH, bound down from Point aux Barques, collided with the steamer Northerner, Capt. COLE, from Cleveland for Saginaw, about four miles above the Fort Gratiot light, and one mile and a half from the American shore. The Forest Queen struck the larboard bow of the Northerner, some twenty-five feet from the stern, cutting her nearly asunder, and causing her to sink in about six minutes. The Forest Queen sustained but slight injury, confined entirely to her stern.
Immediately after the collision, Capt. COLE alarmed the passengers in the cabin, while MR. KELSEY, the clerk, aroused those below. Capt. COLE then jumped on the bow of the Forest Queen -- the boats hanging, as it were, together for two or three minutes -- and succeeded in getting a large number of the passengers off the sinking vessel. As the boats separated, he, with others got out the small boats. By the almost superhuman exertions of the officers and crews of both vessels, the passengers -- all of them, it is hoped -- of the Northerner were saved. The only person known to be missing, is her second engineer, PETER MOORE, of Cleveland. It is possible that some of the passengers are lost, but none are known to be so. The trip sheet, &c. were not saved.
MR. JOHN A. HUFF, his wife and seven children were in the steerage of the Northerner. He was awakened by the noise of the collision, and immediately gathering his family together, pushed them towards the main deck. On deck he missed one of the children, and, on returning to the steerage, found it floating in the water, then some two or more feet deep. He caught it and got it safe on deck just as the youngest of his flock was swept overboard. He plunged into the water, swam some thirty feet, and succeeded in saving the child also. He, together with those for whose safety he had struggled so hard, were finally all got aboard of the Forest Queen.
Many of the passengers on board the Northerner had retired, and were saved with only their night clothes. No baggage or freight of any kind was saved. The passengers and crew of the lost steamer were brought down to Newport, where the females and others were provided for, by the kindness of the citizens, with garments &c. The Forest Queen arrived here about 4 o'clock P.M.

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