New York, NY Steamboat SEAWANHAKA Disaster, Jun 1880

President Elwell, of the Maritime Exchange, at a meeting of the members of that body yesterday, announced that Mr. Chauncey Hawkins, of the firm of S. A. Mills & Co., No. 170 South-street, ship-chandlers, had lost his life by the Seawanhaka disaster. Mr. Hawkins, with his wife and only child, was on board the ill-fated vessel, the two latter, however, being rescued, but no trace of Mr. Hawkins had been discovered since the moment when he and his family jumped overboard. He was 37 years of age, a most estimable gentleman in business and social life, and a member of the Lee-Avenue Baptist Church, of Brooklyn. His residence was at No. 75 Rodney-street, Brooklyn, E. D. Mr. Elwell read some extracts from a letter sent to him by Mrs. Hawkins, in which she stated that her husband herself, and her child were together on the upper deck forward, and the fire broke out directly beneath them. The heat was intense, and the child, a boy 3 years old, was almost suffocated by the smoke. Mr. Hawkins put life-preservers on his wife and child, and told them to jump overboard, and all three of them jumped together, and since that time she had not seen or heard anything of her husband. She and the child were picked up by the Ward's Island steamer Minnahanocnk. Mrs. Hawkins suffers from some slight bruises, but her child's arm was broken.

The New York Times, New York, NY 1 Jul 1880



Two additional bodies were picked up with grappling-irons in the channel called "Little Hell Gate," between Ward's and Randall's Islands, yesterday morning. One of them, supposed to be that of Theodore Gouther, of Rivington-street, was that of a man apparently 40 years of age, with light complexion and sandy hair and whiskers, and was dressed in black coat, checked jumper, and blue overalls. The other was that of the colored man whose name was variously put down in the list of missing as "A. M. E. Church," or "A. M. E. Clinch." He was about 35 years of age, had a sandy mustache, and was dressed in blue trousers and checked jumper. The puzzling initials already mentioned, and which were found on letters and tracts in his pocket, were finally deciphered to mean African Methodist Episcopal Church. The colored man was a waiter on board the Seawanhaka. An hour later two additional bodies were fished up in the east of Little Hell Gate channel, and taken, with those of Gouther and the colored man, to the Morgue, at the foot of Twenty-sixth-street. One body is supposed to have been that of a deck-hand on the sunken boat. The other was that of a gentleman, 35 years of age, wearing a blue Summer suit, with gaiters. He had brown hair and mustache, and on his person were found a gold watch, gold shirt-studs, and a small sum of money. From some faded pencil writing on a card in his pocket he is supposed to have lived in Manhassett. The two last were picked up by Boatmen Nicholas Conrad, of No. 2,071 Second-avenue, and Frederick O'Connor, of No. 319 East One Hundred and Ninth-street. The body of little Clarence Vandewater, which had been picked up in Little Hell Gate the previous night, was identified and removed by his father yesterday morning.


Twenty-one bodies have so far been found. Nineteen were taken to the New York Morgue, one to the Greenpoint Morgue, and one, that of a woman, is still wedged in among the paddles of the wrecked steam-boat. The bodies have all been identified, except one woman in the Morgue and the woman in the wheel, and they have nearly all been removed by friends, only four remaining. The list is as follows:

BEACH, MAMIE A., of No.20 West Thirty-first-street.
BENNETT, EVELINE D., wife of the above.
COLTON, SUSAN E., of 1,350 Pacific-street, Brooklyn, wife of George W. Colton. was found in the water in an exhausted condition, and removed to the Homeopathic Hospital on Ward's Island, where she died.
DE BEVOISE, DAVID H., of the firm of Kattenhorn & De Bevoise, dealers in syrups, No. 127 Water-street. He was about 50 years old.
DILLER, the Rev. JACOB W., of No, 515 Vanderbilt-avenue, Brooklyn. Dr. Diller was one of the most venerable and widely-beloved Episcopalian clergyman of his diocese. Dr. Diller and his unmarried daughter Lillie, about 45 years old, were on the ill-fated steamboat. He was in his 80th year, and was feeble, moving about with much difficulty. When the disaster occurred, father and daughter were on the aft part of the vessel, and were among the last on board. He was burned to death. His daughter could not prevail upon him to leave the boat. She dropped into the water and was rescued. Her face and neck were severely burned, and she will probably be blind. For over 40 years Dr. Diller had been the Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, in Clinton-avenue. He was born in England, but came here when very young. His wife and several sons and daughters survive him. His body will be taken from the New York Morgue this morning at 8 o'clock to his late home in Brooklyn.
FLANIGAN, THOMAS, of One Hundred and Twelfth-street and North River.
FLYNN, MARY ANN, a servant.
FRANK, JULIUS, of Whitestone, 42 years old.

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