Albany, NJ Draw Bridge Collapse, Aug 1840
From the Albany Evening Journal.
HORRIBLE DISASTER - FALL OF THE DRAW OF THE STATE STREET CANAL BASIN BRIDGE AT ALBANY.
Saturday Evening, Aug. 22, 8 o'clock.
Our city is the scene of the most distressing and calamitous dispensation. At 5 o'clock this afternoon, just as the steamboats were departing for New York, and when hundreds of people were crossing the bridge over the Canal Basin, the draw broke and precipitated from seventy to eighty persons, and three or four horses and carts into the basin! They fell about twenty feet into twelve feet of water. The struggle for life among the sufferers was brief but awful! We shudder at the horrible recollections of it. Hundreds of citizens, with a dozen boats, sprang to the relief of their drowning fellow citizens. At 7 o'clock 18 dead bodies had been recovered.
This dreadful loss of life was occasioned by the refractory conduct of the insane man who was refusing to go with his keeper. His resistance drew a crowd which blocked up the passage until the mass of people and carts became too heavy for the draw. Officer Hinman, the moment the draw gave way, was endeavoring to disperse the crowd. A large number of citizens continued their search for the bodies until dark. Several missing persons are supposed to be numbered among the dead. Medical gentlemen continued their efforts to restore life until hope expired. All their exertions were unavailing.
Several bodies were recovered within five minutes after the fall, and we can only account for the abortiveness of every effort to resuscitate life by supposing that the persons lost were injured by the fall or wounded before they sunk. Our medical men, among whom we noticed Doctors Coggswell, Armsby, Van Ohuda, M'Naughton, Hinckley and Sturts, were prompt and untiring in their efforts to restore life. In two or three instances respiration was slightly affected, but all finally sunk. The Mayor, who was early on the spot, assisted to save two boys who were nearly exhausted.
The Columbia Democrat Bloomsburg Pennsylvania 1840-09-05
At sun down, 19 dead bodies had been recovered, which with one recovered yesterday, make an aggregate of Twenty persons ascertained to have been drowned. The following are the names of the sufferers as far as known:
JAMES HINMAN, Constable, Albany.
JOHN DRISCOLL, Palmyra, Wayne County, in the employ of Jackson & Co., forwarding merchants, New York.
JOHN LYON, tobacco peddler, Albany.
H. L. HOFFMAN, Fultonville.
CHARLES KITTLE, aged 17, son of Sybrant Kittle, Fox Street, Albany.
RODERIC DAVIDSON, aged 16, in the Evening Journal office, son of Geo. Davidson.
WM. L. MOREY, Vermont.
JACOB HENDERER, JR., son of J. Henderer, Columbia Street, Albany.
JAMES CAVENAH, of Westmoreland, the insane person, the immediate cause of the accident.
GAVIN J. FULLER, of Rome, one of the persons having charge of CAVANAH. MR. STEVENS, his associate, was saved.
SAMUEL FISHER, lamp lighter, Albany.
FRANCIS RODIER, Albany.
S. MATTHEWS, Troy, formerly of the Eagle Tavern.
JOSEPH WELCH, trackman, Albany.
JAMES VAN BUREN, canal driver, German, assisting to take CAVENAH to the boat.
THOMAS McDOWELL, Albany.
JOHN RIENDON, carpenter, Albany.
_____ WOOD, a boy, about 14.
_____ JONES, of Albany.
SAMUEL A. CHAMBERLAIN, aged 14, son of Mr. Chamberlain of Canada, an intelligent and promising boy, who with his father and other relatives had been a few days in town.
JACOB PLATEAU, reported drowned, is alive.
CHARLES MOSELY, severely wounded in the head and side - delirious.
TEN EYEK QUACKENBUSH, dangerously wounded in the head.
JOHN McKERNAN, porter at Congress Hall, was taken from the water, with his shoulder badly dislocated.
SIMON CUNLIFF, a blacksmith, is said to have had his thigh broken.
The above names taken from The Rutland Herald Vermont of September 01, 1840