Galveston, TX (Off Coast) Steamer FARMER Explosion, Mar 1853


The Galveston News, of the 25th ult., gives the following account of an explosion on board the steamboat Farmer, about 11 o'clock on the night of the 23d, when she was about ten miles from Galveston, in the bay, on her way from Houston, by which calamity a large number of lives were lost, and many persons were more or less injured. The account of the catastrophe has already been given briefly, by Telegraph:
The steamers Neptune and Farmer again undertook
to race last night, coming from Houston to Galveston.
About 11 o'clock the Farmer blew up a little West of Pelican Island, in sight of Galveston.
The number of killed and wounded has not yet been ascertained. The Neptune was close by when the explosion took place, and immediately took off the survivors and some of the killed and wounded. Among the killed were S. E. HART; W. HUBBY; T. HALE, the assistant barkeeper, and several others. Missing and supposed to be killed are CAPT. WEBB, the commander; THOS. PRITCHARD, the clerk; CALEB ROBERTSON, who kept a coffee-house in this city; WM. WARNER, second engineer; and C. H. STERNS. Among the wounded are MR. DIXON; BLAKEMAN, the mate; CURTIS, the engineer; McCORMICK, the pilot; G. HUNTER, of Cincinnati;
and McREYNOLDS. The ladies all escaped unhurt.
We learn that the Neptune was about an hour employed in taking off the killed and wounded. The scene of distress is described as heart rending in the extreme. The Neptune returned immediately, after discharging her passengers to renew the search for the missing, and has not yet got back.
We learn there were some fifty passengers on the Farmer, but we cannot get a list of names.
MR. E. M. STACKPOLE was slightly wounded. It is said that he was expostulating with CAPT. WEBB against such reckless exposure of the lives of his passengers, when the boat blew up, and was getting the passengers to sign a written protest. Since writing the above, we learn that MR. DIXON is not expected to survive, and that MR. McREYNOLDS is very badly, though it is hoped not fatally injured. We have just seen MR. WESTROP, the steward of the Farmer, who is very badly wounded, and can hardly be recognized. WILLIAM HALE, assistant steward, is also badly wounded, one leg being broken. His recovery is doubtful. MR. HUNTER, of Cincinnati, is severely hurt. MR. BORNUM, of Main, has had to have his arm amputated. JAMES COTTON, of Houston, is one of the missing. MR. GEARY, formerly connected with the Fournal of this City, is also among the missing.

Half-past 7 o'clock, A. M. -- The Neptune has just come in with the body of MR. STERNES, the only one of the missing that has been found. Nothing can be seen of CAPT. WEBB or the rest. All the forward part of the Farmer is blown to atoms. It is the opinion of all whom we have seen, that fully half of the passengers are lost.

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William Hale and Thomas

William Hale and Thomas Pritchard are burried next to each other in one of the cemeteries in Galveston. It was interesting reading this after just seeing their gravesites yesterday.