New York City, NY Steamboat LEGISLATOR Explosion, June 1825

Philadelphia, June 4.

The New York papers of yesterday morning and Thursday evening furnish the particulars of the unfortunate accident which happened to the steamboat LEGISLATOR, Capt. FISHER. As she was getting under way with 50 or 60 passengers for Brunswick and Philadelphia, at 6 o'clock, on Thursday morning, while captain FISHER was standing on the wheelhouse, giving directions, the boiler exploded, the main flue having bursted, and the false head being driven off. FRANCIS RANEY, the cook, aged 22, was killed. ROBERT GREENLEAF, the fireman, was scalded so badly that he died in a few hours at the hospital. THOMAS WILLIAMS, waiter, a colored boy, belonging to DR. DUNHAM of New Brunswick, was found in the very boiler itself. Another boy was missing. JOSEPH BEASE was badly scalded and taken to the Hospital. FLEMING, the engineer, GEORGE BRADFORD, of New York, 15 years of age, JOSEPH BILLINGS and JOHN HENRY of New Brunswick, were considerably scalded but not dangerously. At the time of the explosion, a dozen ladies were in the cabin, who made their escape out of the cabin windows into a boat, or were taken out through the sky lights. MRS. GARRETSON of New Brunswick informs that although the cabin was completely filled with steam and smoke, she never lost her recollection, and experienced no serious inconvenience to her respiration, although she passed from the after to the forward cabin, in pursuit of her son, about 12 years of age. The little fellow happened to be on deck, and was in pursuit of his mother while she was getting out of the cabin window. One young lady sprang overboard, but behaved with great presence of mind until she was rescued. The steam acts upon the body with surprising power. The face and legs of RANEY were nearly as white as those of a white person. And a medical gentleman took the skin with the nails from one of the hands, as whole and as perfect as a new glove.
"From the force and height to which the steam ascended, it is remarkable, says the Gazette, that the calamity was not more extensive, and that the LEGISLATOR was not in the least injured. As to the cause of the disaster, all is conjecture; but the most natural conclusion is that the quantity of steam was too great for the strength of the boiler."

The Republican Compiler Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1825-06-15