New York, NY Steamboat SEAWANHAKA Disaster, Jun 1880
Many person visited the Morgue yesterday, searching for lost ones who had been passengers on the Seawanhaka. At an early hour the body of the Rev. Dr. Jacob W. Diller was taken to his residence, at No. 315 Vanderbuilt-avenue, Brooklyn. At 1:30 the body of Josiah Hasbrouck, the colored cook of the Seawanhaka, was brought to the Morgue. Later the body of Augusta Reynan was received. She was about 25 years of age, and was employed by a family named Van Riper, at Glen Cove.
Commissioner Brennan accompanied the body to the Morgue. The body was found under the keel of the Seawanhaka, and was identified by the young woman's brother. He said that he was too poor to meet the necessary funeral expenses, and , therefore, the body will be buried in Potter's Field. The body of little Katie Rauscher was also received at the Morgue. Her face, arms, and legs were terribly burned. She died in the Homeopathic Hospital on Ward's Island. The body of the woman that lay in the Morgue on Tuesday, and which was the only one not identified that day, was yesterday recognized as that of Margaret Moloney, of Williamburg. The last body brought in yesterday was that of Lizzie Aikens, of Sea Cliff. All the bodies, except that of Augusta Reynan, have been taken away.
Dr. Howard yesterday gave the TIMES reported a description of the manner in which Capt. Smith beached the Seawanhaka, which intensifies the grandeur of the Captain's heroism. "I ran down to the beach," said the Doctor, "and hailed a passing fishing-boat, offering to pay any price to be conveyed to the meadows. A blasphemous answer was all that I received. Another boat came by a moment later. With the occupant of this I did not stop to parley. Throwing off out coats, Capt. Kerr and I plunged into the water and grabbing hold of the boat, clambered in. The man seemed disposed to demur, but we threatened to throw him overboard, and he pulled us to the marsh, which we struck while the Seawanhaka was still 10 feet away from the opposite side. All this time we had a full view of her Captain. He made a distinct attempt to run upon the grassy point at the northern end of Ward's Island, about 100 feet south of the meadows, but the tide was too strong and he could not make it. He then turned the boat out again and describing a semicircle ran direct toward the meadows. To do this he was obliged to jam the wheel hard down to starboard, and we saw him bend over nearly to the floor in his endeavor to hold her on her course. The wind meantime swept the flames, which were all around him, to that side, but he never straightened up or let go until she plumped full upon the marsh. That is how his hands and the right side of his face were burned. Had he been able to stand upright or bend to the left, he would have been all right. I then saw him jump through a window and spring overboard. He seemed to be the last person to leave the boat."
The funeral of Mary Ellen Reed, a nurse-girl employed in the family of Mr. Henry A. Jackson, of the Evening Express, took place yesterday afternoon. The interment was in Calvary Cemetery. The funeral services over the body of Mr. A. B. Bennett and his wife, Mrs. Evelina Bennett, were also held during the afternoon at their late residence, No. 83 Vanderbilt-avenue, Brooklyn. They were taken to Green-Wood. The funeral of Mr. Abram P. Skidmore is announced for this morning at 10 o'clock, from the Presbyterian Church at Madison-avenue and Twenty-ninth-street. They were taken to Green-Wood. That of David H. De Bevoise will take place at 3 P. M. to-morrow from his late residence, No. 392 Pacific-street, Brooklyn. To-morrow at 2 P. M. the funeral services over the body of the Rev. Jacob William Diller, D. D., will be held in St. Luke's Church, Brooklyn, of which he was Rector. At the same time, Mr. Ethan L. Watson will be buried under the auspices of Holland Lodge, F. and A. M., of this City, of which he was a member.
The wife of Mr. C. E. Harmer, of Harmer, Hays & Co., of No. 72 Beekman-street, was a passenger on the Seawanhaka. With her was her pretty little daughter Carlie, and her brother, William T. Blodgett. Yesterday Mr. Harmer said, "I put them on board the Seawanhaka at about 4:30 o'clock, at the foot of Thirty-third-street. They were going to Sea Cliff for a short stay, prior to making a trip to Massachusetts. When I returned home that evening, at about 7:15 o'clock, I saw my wife and daughter with drenched clohing[sic] enter the house. That was the first intimation I had that there had been a disaster." Mr. Harmer's daughter, Carlie, took up the story at this point, saying: "Mr. Blodgett left us on the promenade deck, and went below to secure tickets, soon after we had started. We heard confusion on board the Seawanhaka, and, looking out, saw the Granite State approaching. We supposed that a collision was about to take place, and did not imagine that our boat was on fire until Mr. Blodgett came and told us that such was the fact. We soon saw the flames. The wood-work all around us became very warm. Mr. Blodgett procured life-preservers for us. He gave many of the passengers life-preservers, and showed them how to wear them. We---all three of us----jumped from the upper deck into deep water. I had a pretty little canary bird in a cage, and knowing that it would be burned up if I left it on the boat, I let it fly away. We were floating in the water for about 20 minutes, when a boat from the Granite State came to us, and we were picked up. While we were floating I felt something tugging at my dress, and turning my head I saw an old gray-haired man holding to my dress, as though he depended upon me to rescue him. He was picked up with us. A boat from the Knickerbocker Club took us to Harlem, and we returned home as quickly as possible." Miss Harmer said that many women with their children remained on the Seawanhaka, and must have been burned to death. Mrs. Harmer lost three trunks filled with clothing, and some valuable jewelry.
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