New York City, NY Steamboat UNITED STATES Explosion, Sep 1830


On Saturday the steamboat UNITED STATES, Capt. BEECHER, left this city at 4 o'clock, P. M. for New Haven, with about 25 or 30 passengers on board. As the boat was passing Blackwell's Island, in the western passage, a little before 5 o'clock, and about 5 miles distant from the place where she departed, the boiler burst, and was attended by very distressing consequences.
Three colored men, employed as hands on board, were so badly scalded as to prove fatal. Their names were CHARLES BULL, CHARLES LEBBY, and BENJAM HASKINS. They were taken to the hospital, and died on Sunday morning. MR. EPHRAIM WOOSTER, of Derby, Conn. supposed to be about 60 years of age, was badly scalded, and went overboard. MR. WOODRUFF, superintendent of the Penitentiary on Blackwell's Island, upon seeing the disaster, immediately put off in his boat, and picked up MR. WOOSTER, and carried him to his own house on the island, where every attention was paid to him, and every effort made to restore him, but without effect; he died in about fifteen minutes. MR. HIRAM N. CLARK, merchant, of New Haven, jumped overboard, and is supposed to have been drowned. MR. CLARK is not known to have been injured by the explosion. A colored boy, about 14 or 15 years old, who was a waiter on board, is missing, and is supposed to be dead. Capt. BEECHER was injured by the explosion, but we are happy to say not seriously. HENRY SHELBY, of Guilford, Conn. who was scalded, was taken to the hospital, and is likely to recover. MARTIN, a fireman, was taken to the Bellevue hospital, and it is feared may not recover. The explosion took place before a list of passengers had been made out, and there fore, neither the number nor the names of all the passengers were ascertained, which renders it impracticable to determine the preicse[sic] number of persons who are missing. All the baggage on board is said too be accounted for.
The foregoing facts were obtained from the coroner of this city, who held an inquest upon the body of MR. WOODRUFF.
It also appeared, by the testimony of Capt. BEECHER and the Engineer, before the coroner's jury, that, within two or three minutes of the time when the explosion occurred, they had both in succession examined the boiler, and found a sufficient supply of water, and not more than 12 1/2 inches of steam, though it was common for the boat to carry 14 inches; that the boiler, which was of iron, had been repaired within a week or eight days previously by MR. ALLAIRE of this city, who had found the iron in the bottom defective, and had taken out parts of it and supplied them by new; that the rent in the boiler was in the new sheets thus recently put in, and did not extend to the old iron. The cause of the disaster is not explained.
The new iron made use of, it is said appears to be good; but we should think the probability is, that it must have been defective.
This melancholy disaster occurred under different circumstances, at least in one particular, from any that we had been previously acquainted with. This steamboat had been under way for nearly an hour, and it would seem, by the testimony of the captain and engineer, without any extraordinary pressure of steam. The Chief Justice MARSHALL, when the explosion took place on board of that boat some months since, had just started from the wharf at Newburgh.
We cannot but think that this case affords additional evidence of the hazard arising from iron boilers.
We are requested by Capt. BEECHER, to say that he returns his thanks to MR. WOODRUFF, Superintendent of Blackwell's Island, Capt. BROOKS of the steamboat CITIZEN, and the master of the ferry-boat at Hurlgate, for the prompt and effectual assistance which they severally rendered to him during the time of this calamity.
New York Adv. Sept. 13.

The Sandusky Clarion Ohio 1830-09-25