Newspaper Reports on the Explosion of the Steamship MEDORA in Baltimore Harbor, 14 April 1842.

This newpaper accounts of the Explosion of the steamship MEDORA were transcribed and provided by:
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From the: American, Baltimore (Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Advertiser)
Friday Morning, April 15, 1842
Published every morning at No. 2 South Gay
street, by Dobbin, Murphy & Bose


It is our melancholy duty to record the most fearful and fatal Steamboat explosion which has ever taken place on the waters of the Chesapeake. The new and splendid steamboat MEDORA, built for the line between this city and Norfolk, was yesterday rendered a wreck by the explosion of her steam-boiler, attended by a fearful destruction of human life.

The Medora was just completed, and preparatory to being turned out from the hands of the machinists, a number of persons were invited to go in her on an experimental trial. The day being pleasant, it is supposed that probably one hundred or more, were on board, including some of the Directors of the Steam Boat Company and their friends, and a number of the hands engaged in finishing the vessel, putting in the machinery, &c, and otherwise connected with the construction or sailing of the boat.

Soon after three o'clock, P. M. the boat was about to start from the wharf of the engine builder, Mr. John Watchman, on the south side of the basin, on the proposed trip. A gentleman who was on board informs us that the engine had only made the second revolution, in order to back the Medora from the wharf, when the boiler exploded with a loud noise, carrying upwards a considerable portion of the upper deck and those upon it, and blowing the smoke stacks high into the air. The main force of the explosion was almost exclusively towards the head of the boat, and the portions of the boat around the boiler were torn to pieces. The boiler itself, an immense one of iron, was thrown crosswise on the deck.

The boat was instantly enveloped in a cloud of scalding steam, which was inhaled by some with fatal consequences, while others suffered externally in their persons from its effects. Our informant was in the after part of the boat, where the steam had no injurious effect. He states that several persons jumped overboard, and that one of them was drowned. The boat immediately settled in the water until her hull rested on the bottom of the river.

In the centre and forward part of the boat there was a fearful destruction of life and limb. Some of those on board were blown high into the air and fell on shore, in the water, and on the boats lying near by. Others were crushed with the splintered timbers; others scalded with the steam; while those below the decks, not having time to escape, were either suffocated by the steam or drowned when the boat sunk.

When we reached the scene of desolation we found a large number of persons, among whom were several physicians, busily engaged in endeavoring to assist the injured, and carrying away those who were dead or dying. So great was the confusion that prevailed, and so little was known as to the number and names of the persons on board, that no complete account could be obtained. We annex a list of all those who were injured or killed, as far as could learn them. There are no doubt some who were on board, whose loss will only be known by their not returning to their homes.

Captain SUTTON, who had command of the boat, was standing over the boiler when it exploded. He was much injured in the head, and it was very doubtful yesterday whether he would recover.

JOHN C. MOALE, Esq., the agent of the steamboat line, was on board with his two sons. Mr. Moale had his right foot dislocated, and was injured in the side and back. Soon after he was taken home, he expired.

Mr. Moale's eldest son WILLIAM, a fine lad about 14 years of age, was killed almost instantly. His second son, who was also on board, was dangerously injured.

JOSEPH LECOMPTE, had both legs broken and was otherwise much injured. He was blown high into the air, and fell on board the steamboat Constitution lying close by. He died soon after being taken on shore.

Capt. JOHN VICKERS, keeper of a public house in McClellan's alley, was blown into the air and fell on the wharf. He was taken up dead.

ANDREW F. HENDERSON, Esq., the President of the Steam Boat Line, was scalded severely, and wounded in the head. He appeared to be doing well last night.

JOHN WATCHMAN, the builder of the engine of the boat, injured, but not seriously.

______ YOUNG, ship joiner, blown on board the Constitution - died immediately.

BENJAMIN FRENCH, painter, who resided in Potter street - dead.

R. H. MIDDLETON, (clerk in the Savings' Bank,) scalded, but not seriously.

JOHN HENDERSON, - block and pump maker, Pratt street, scalded in the hand, but not seriously.

ALBERT RAMSEY, - engineer of the boat, injured; as was also the assistant engineer-but not dangerously.

RICHARD LINTHICUM, - badly scalded, leg broken, and recovery doubtful.

DUNCAN FERGUSON, - slightly hurt.

ALEXANDER SPAVIN, - not much injured.

SAMUEL GLANN, - severely scalded.

WEST CULLY, - sailor, badly scalded.

JOHN SPEEDEN, - ship carpenter, dangerously wounded-not expected to recover.

______ KAYLOR, - severely scalded.

______ BRENAN, - printer, badly scalded.

JAMES WILSON, - (believed to be a workman) severely scalded.

WILLIAM ROBERTS, - badly scalded.

LAWRENCE RIGGER, - seriously injured.

JAMES CLARKE, not expected to live.

THOMAS ELDRIDGE, - not expected to live.

GEORGE ENLEY, - workman at Watchman's foundry, very badly scalded.

JOHN BOON, - printer - dead.

DAVID FRAZIER, - badly scalded.

PATRICK COLLINS, - very much mutilated.


FRANCIS BEZYT, - seriously scalded.

JACKSON REEDER, - very badly scalded - not expected to live.

______ STRIPPLE, - slightly scalded.

JOHN BURNS, - a lad, dead.

JAMES CRAWFORD, - badly scalded.

JAMES MITCHELL, - missing.

JOSEPH GREGG, - seriously scalded.

LEVIN BOSTON, - fireman, scalded.

FRANCIS McLEER, - missing.

GEORGE HOOFNAGLE, - a workman in the establishment of Mr. Watchman, badly scalded.

_______ SMITH, - Ship Carpenter living near Canton, very much scalded.

Among the Physicians who were promptly on the spot, rendering all aid in their power to the sufferers, were Drs. SMITH, WHITRIDGE, DUNBAR, COLLINS, ROBERTS, THEOBALD, RICH, and MILLER. His Honor the Mayor was also present, doing all in his power that the occasion called for.

We hav a note from Mr. A. W. Ennis, 55 Light street wharf, stating that in assisting to disrobe a young man, apparently about 20 years of age, dressed in black, a double cased gold watch fell from his pocket. He expired in a few minutes afterwards. The friends of the deceased can obtain the watch by calling on Mr. Ennis.

Mayor's Office
Baltimore, April 15th, 1842.
In consequence of the dreadful accident that happened to the steamboat Medora last evening, ONE HUNDRED MEN ARE WANTED, to clear away the wreck of said boat, and collect the bodies of our citizens that are now missing. The men will assemble at the Mayor's office, this morning, at 6 o'clock. The City Commissioners and Commissioners of Health will meet the Mayor, this morning, at the same hour. SOL. HILLEN, Jr., Mayor.

As reported in the The Sun, Baltimore, Friday Morning, April 15, 1842


Great Loss of Life!!! One of the most melancholy occurrences with which our city has for a long time been visited, took place yesterday afternoon, at about half past two o'clock - an occurrence which sent a thrill of horror through the general heart, and carried the woe consequent on violent and unexpected death, into the bosoms of many families. The steamboat Medora, recently built by the Virginia and Maryland Steam Navigation Company, and intended to ply between this City and Norfolk, was about to leave Cully's Wharf upon an excursion down the bay, for the purpose of testing its qualities. A number of respectable citizens were invited to witness her performance; but how many were actually on board when the heart-rending occurrence of her explosion took place, we have, as yet, no means of ascertaining. All things, however, being prepared for her departure, the bell rung and the wheels made three revolutions, when the boiler burst with a tremendous report, throwing up clouds of vapor, attended by fragments of the vessel and by the bodies of unfortunate human beings who were on board - the whole presenting to the spectators a scene of indescribable and terrific sublimity. As the smoke cleared away, the effects of the calamity became visible. The vessel was made, in an instant, an entire wreck - all her timbers, from the engine forward, being rent away. She sank immediately to her guards, and now lies "a sheer hulk" in the basin. Hundreds of persons on the wharf, at the time, displayed the utmost alacrity in rescuing from the water the dead and dying. News of the disaster soon brought a large number of persons to the spot, agitated by the dread of finding relatives or friends involved in the calamity, and among the rest, many mothers, who told, by their tears and cries, the fearful apprehensions they entertained for the safety of their children. Their fate was, from the circumstances of the case, a mystery, and this idea created, for a short time, a scene of unutterable agony and terror. Immediately after th Under the circumstances, and in the absence of any investigation, it is of course impossible to say what was the direct and immediate cause of this fatal calamity. It is generally supposed, however, that as the boat had been some time ready for departure and the steam up, that the boiler must have been nearly exhausted, and had become hot, and that in this state water was turned in; it is certain that at the moment of the explosion, steam was letting off with constant force.

A gentleman who witnessed the event from the deck of the Georgia, directly opposite, remarks that, a dense smoke for an instant obscured the immediate part of the boat at which the explosion took place, and as the report which, though as loud as a small field piece, had a dull and heavy sound, reached the ear, the smoke stack was seen darting like an arrow out of the cloud a hundred feet into the air, and on each side were thrown the bodies of human beings with the arms and legs extended by their whirling motion through the air.

The Medora, at the moment, was immediately abaft of the Steamboat Constitution, and almost in contact with her, a fact which it is necessary to name as explanatory of several circumstances detailed below.

We annex a list of the persons killed and wounded, the latter either suffering from contusion, fracture or scalding: John C, Moale, Esq., General Agent of the Company to whom the boat belonged suffered severe internal injury, attended with a dreadful fracture of the ribs; he was taken from a piece of the upper deck in the water, and conveyed home, where he died within the hour.

William Moale, his son, a youth of about 14 years, was taken from the wreck, dead, the skull having been severely fractured.

John Vickers, long known as the proprietor of a tavern in McClellan's Alley, was blown from the boat completely over the stern of the Constitution, and fell on the wharf; he was taken up dead, his head being awfully fractured.

John Speedy, a ship joiner, of Bond Street, F.P., was thrown on board the Constitution, and fell upon a stout hand-rail, which was broken in two; the scalp of his head was cut in three or four directions from the crown, each cut being as many inches in length. He suffered, in a state of apparent insensibility for about an hour, when he was removed, but died before he reached his residence. He leaves a wife and two children.

John Young, Alice Anna street, F.P., a millwright, was taken out of the water from a piece of the wreck, one or two of his limbs were fractured, and he was so much hurt internally, that he died at the house to which he was taken, within a couple of hours. He leaves a wife and child.

John Lecount, of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was a fireman on board; taken out of the wreck; with both thighs and one arm broken, and badly scalded; he was conveyed to a house adjacent and died about five o'clock. He leaves a wife and children.

Benjamin French, a painter, of Fell's Point, was so much hurt and scalded that he died within an hour after the accident. John R. Boone, a fireman on board, was drawn up from amongst the floating remnants by the side of the boat, some two hours after the accident.

The body of John Harper, the second mate, was dragged from the fore part of the Medora, which was gunwale down, a short time before night.

The above completes the list of those known to have been killed, and who were discovered during yesterday evening. The following is, so far as it has been possible, in the midst of the most intense and painful excitement, to make it so, an accurate list of the condition of others who were unfortunately on board.

Andrew F. Henderson, Esq., President of the Company, very badly scalded.
Captain Sutton the commander of the boat, badly hurt and scalded.
Jackson Reeder, a son of Charles Reeder, an extensive machinist on Federal Hill, badly hurt and scalded, very low last night.
Joseph Craig, an engineer, very badly hurt and scarcely expected to survive; living in Light street, near Hill.
John Mitchell, taken from the wreck with both thighs broken; his brother, James Mitchell, is missing.

The following are all very much injured, by contusion or otherwise: -
John Henderson, block maker, Pratt Street.
Duncan Ferguson, the engineer of the Medora.
Samuel Glenn, a painter.
Richard Middleton, clerk.
Richard Linthicum, merchant.
John Kaylor, baker, Market Space.
Samuel Smith, ship carpenter, near Canton.
Lawrence Riegan.
Henry Snyder, Moulder.
George Enley, Albert Ramsay, James Clark, William Roberts, George Claisy, David Frazier, James Crawford, and Robert Doyle, machinists or workers in the building of steamboats.
Wesley Culley and George Hyde, two boys of 12 or 14 years of age, badly hurt.

Missing - Francis McClare and Geo. Gettys.

William Binion, Louis Wagner, and William Tumblison, slightly injured.

A man named Hoofnagle was thrown by the explosion on board the Constitution, but escaped uninjured.

Thomas Wildey, Esq., was on board the Medora, but stood aft, his hat was blown off, but he sustained no injury.

Capt. Chaytor, of the Constitution, who was standing on the larboard side of his boat, was thrown prostrate, and driven several yards upon the deck by the violence of the concussion; upon recovering his feet, he found the unfortunate Speedy, mentioned in the list of the killed, senseless and bleeding by his side.

There were two of Mr. Moale's sons on board with him, one of whom, was either thrown into the water by the explosion, or leaped in, swam ashore and hurried home to announce the catastrophe, which was presently realized to its fullest extent by that afflicted family, the corpse of his brother and the dying father immediately following him.

One man, a stranger, was carried along Light street on a litter, his features dreadfully distorted by the injury he had sustained; he was praying those who carried him to take him to the poor house.

We are requested to state, that in disrobing the body of a young man genteely dressed in a black suit, fount at a later hour in the evening, a beautiful gold watch fell from his pocket, which the friends of the deceased can have by calling on Mr. A.W. Ennis, 55, foot of Light street wharf.

It will be seen by the annexed advertisement that the Mayor has acted with commendable promptitude in providing such means as will be best adapted to relieve the weight of suspense which hangs heavy upon every heart. The uncertainty of the number of those on board, and the apparent few who seem to have escaped, leave us with no unsubstantial fears that the quiet surface of the water still conceals from our knowledge an additional havoc of human life.

Mayor's Office
Baltimore, April 15th, 1842.
One Hundred Men Wanted. - In consequence of the dreadful accident that happened to the steamboat Medora, on last evening, one hundred men are wanted, to clear away the wreck of said boat, and collect the bodies of our citizens that are now missing. The men will assemble at the Mayor's office, this morning, at 6 o'clock. The City Commissioners and Commissioners of Health, will meet the Mayor this morning, at the same hour.

The Latest - 11 1/2 P.M. - Our reporters have just returned from the scene of the disaster. A report gained currency during the evening that some eight or ten bodies had been taken from the forward cabin of the wreck - a close observation an enquiry assures us that there was no truth in the rumor At 11 o'clock there was no person in the vicinity of the wreck, and all persons, by common consent, had ceased operations until this morning, when they will again commence.

The Sun, Baltimore,
Saturday Morning, April 16, 1842

John Speedy, reported as dead, was alive at a late hour yesterday evening.
It should have been Henry, and not John Lecount, in the first list of the killed.
Mr. Young's name, given in the first account, is Edmund, and not John. He is from Duchess county, New York.

(Baltimore) Republican & Argus
Published every morning S. Gay st., opposite
the Exchange, by PRATT, CLOUD & BRO.


Friday Morning, April 15, 1842


We sicken at heart whilst we record for the first time, the destruction of life, by the blowing up of a Steamboat in our harbor. Whilst almost every section of the country, where steamers are employed, have recorded dreadful accidents and loss of life from steamboat explosions, we until the present time have been saved the melancholy task - but our record is now filled with death - 'tis a fearful one event to recount, and indescribably painful to have witnessed. Our heart bleeds as we perform our duty as chroniclers of the times, and we sincerely sympathise with the afflicted relatives of those who have so suddenly been swept from time into eternity.

The steamboat Medora, Capt. Sutton, built for the Norfolk line, was about to start on a trail trip, when the sad accident occurred. The afternoon being pleasant, a number of persons invited to witness the performance of this splendidly built boat, assembled on board to the amount of about one hundred and upwards, and had backed from the wharf about one hundred yards, when the boiler (the boat had but one, and that of immense dimensions) exploded, scattering death and destruction in every direction. The explosion was tremendous, tearing off the upper deck, and carrying with it every person on it at the time. Some fell in the water and were drowned - others were blown upon the land. Mr. Vickers was among the latter. It is rumored, and we fear there is too much ground for the rumor, that a number of persons were in the forward cabin at the time, and, as the boat sunk immediately after the explosion, they have perished.

After the explosion, the basin, the boats, lying near at the time, and the wharf were litterally covered with fragments of the unfortunate Medora, which now lies a sunken and complete wreck.

We have not been able amid the confusion and distress, the crowd, and the thousand rumors, to give a full detail of the disaster, but we have given enough to harrow the feelings and bring forth the tears of every sympathetic heart. The following is a list, so far as ascertained, of the dead and wounded.

Dead - J. C. Moale's son Richard; Henry Lecompte, fireman; E. Young, ship-joiner; John Vickers, tavern-keeper; ____ French, painter; John R. Boon, printer; J. Bryne.

Wounded - J. C. Moale; Captain Sutton, badly wounded; Andrew Ramsey, engineer, badly scalded; A. F. Henderson, badly wounded; Frederick Jones, wounded; Robt. Doyle, badly scalded; Mr. Roberts, badly do.; James Wilson, do do.; Jackson Reeder and brother, do.; Lewis Waggoner, do; J. Wagoner, do; O'Leary, do; R. Smith, do; James Clark, do; R. Bonsell, do; D. Farquharson, do; J. Craig, do; Albert Ramsay, do; Hoofnagle, slightly; W. Cully, do; Henry Allen and two sons, slightly; Henry Snyder; Saml. Glenn, painter.

Missing - Harper, mate*; Montgomery, McClare, besides a number of others. *Since dead.

Among those on board who escaped unhurt, was Mr. Watchman, the machinest, and Mr. Thomas Wildey. We have not heard the cause of the accident. A thousand rumors are abroad, but no credit should be placed in any that are not well authenticated.

Upon a knowledge of the dreadful occurrence just recounted, a large number of citizens repaired to the spot with a view of rendering all the assistance in their power to those who might need it.

The promptness with which his Honor the Mayor reached the spot, and lent his authority and aid amid the heart rending scene, is worthy of all praise. -

The police headed by the High Constable Mitchell, were also very active in doing all they could to render comfort to the wounded, and any other assistance which they could.

The following call from our active and warm hearted Mayor, will be responded to with alacrity.
Mayor's Office
Baltimore, 15th April, 1842.
In consequence of the dreadful accident that happened to the Steam-boat Medora, on last evening, - One Hundred men are wanted, to clear away the wreck of said boat and collect the bodies of our citizens that are now missing. The men will assemble at the Mayor's Office, this morning, at 6 o'clock. The City Commissioners and Commissioners of Health will meet the Mayor, THIS MORNING, At SIX O'CLOCK.
The City Commissioners and the Commissioners of Health will meet the Mayor this morning, at the SAME HOUR. SOL. HILLEN, Jr., Mayor.

Source: Maryland State Archives Special Collection
Medora Explosion 1842
MSA SC 1456-1499. 0/70/9/23

Transcribed by Dee Gabler

The Sun, Baltimore,
Saturday Morning, April 16, 1842

This most dreadful and lamentable event of ___ occupied the public mind yesterday, to the exclusion of almost every other subject, and the pull of gloom which seemed to have fallen upon the city, aided by an agony of suspense and anxiety pervaded every department of the ___ __ations of men. Business was scarcely thought of except where its requirements were most mandatory and unavoidable, and the pulse of time seemed to be numbered by the announcement of deaths. The inscrutable hand of a mysterious Providence, by an agent of man's own application and art, has rent a fearful chasm in the bosom - in the very heart - of our city, and every member of the human family within its limits, is painfully sensible of the ___ it has sustained. A warning most terrible, and one that cannot be speedily forgotten, one that will thunder in the ear of memory for many years, and linger in tradition for a century, has been pealed forth at our very threshold and it must not pass with heedless disregard. Our respect for the advancement of sciences and the arts, must not urge us to view, with callous indifference, this fearful calamity as the work of an uncontrollable fate, and an accident that could have been neither foreseen nor prevented. It is enough to know that it was possible for it to occur; and it is due to humanity, it is but sheer justice to the harrowed hearts of women widowed in an hour, and children thrown fatherless on the tender mercies of the world, that a thorough and most searching investigation should be instituted, and that immediately, into every particular that can elucidate and bring nearer to our perception the causes, near or remote, of this tragic affair. It should be also invested with such a character, by the authorities of our city or our State, that it may recede into the back ground of time, a dark and threatening beacon, continually pointing to the future. Neither the number of victims which have been already counted, nor the escape of individuals with life, should be a consideration to shield the indiscretion, culpability or guilt of any, who may have remotely contributed to this awful event; we know not, nor can we suppose it probable, that wilful guilt exists, but the possibility of such a thing, and the more than probability that indiscretion did, is sufficient to demand the investigation we suggest. In the meantime, we can but offer to those of our citizens into whose families Death has so rudely thrown his shaft, our deep and sincere sympathy with those sorrows and afflictions which they have no words to express. We can console with the widow, and mourn for the hapless orphan, and while we commit them to the care of Him who careth even for the sparrow that falleth to the ground, we would remind them that those woes for which they now think there is no cordial, nor cure, will be soothed, if not healed, but the hand of advancing Time.


We yesterday morning re-visited the scene of destruction, occasioned by the explosion of the boiler of the Steamboat Medora, on Thursday. The event, unparalleled in the waters of the Chesapeake, as might have been expected, has created an immense sensation. We might, without deviating far from correctness, indeed say that "the whole city" has been there. Never, since the introduction of steamboats upon our waters, has there been an explosion, with one exception, and that happened some twenty years ago, when the boilers of the "Eagle" exploded and killed two persons. That was an event in those days - this is an epoch in the navigation of the Chesapeake now. Early yesterday morning, his Honor the Mayor appeared upon the ground with a strong force, ready to exert their powers to rescue the bodies of the lost. It was surmised, and beyond question correctly, that numbers were yet "below the waters," and it was the part of humanity to assist in the recovery of their inanimate bodies. Prompt as the mayor was, however, he was not before a vast number of others who came forward to render their assistance.

William Lewis, clerk of the steamboat Rappahanock; the body marked with slight wounds and scalded; blown overboard, and doubtless death was caused by drowning. The body taken charge of by his friends.
George Geddes, an apprentice to Watchman & Bratt, about 20 years of age; much bruised, scalded and probably drowned. His body was taken from the water and delivered to his friends.
James Lavers, was a ship carpenter belonging to the ship Tippecanoe, now in port. His body was found at a considerable distance from the boat. He was a member of the Gratitude Lodge I.O.O.F.; boarded at Mr. Streets, South Exeter street. Taken in charge by the Odd Fellows, a committee of whom were present on the boat.
S. W. Hackney, an agent of the Portsmouth and Railroad Company, connected with the Baltimore and Virginia Steam Navigation Company, and stationed here. He was a resident of Weldon, N.C., and boarded at this city at the Union Hotel, South street. His pocket-book was found upon him, containing his cards, some small change and two gold rings; a brooch in his shirt bosom.
James Mitchell, who has been reported as missing since the accident, was fished up from the bottom, in the vicinity of the boat at about ___.
James Kemp, a painter, recently from Philadelphia, who was not know to have been on board; resided in Thompson street, Old Town; he was got out at about 5 o'clock, from the starboard side of the boat, by a dumb man who had been __ing at that spot almost all day. He left a wife and four children, who, we understand ___ suffering condition. His wife has been sick for a considerable amount of time and is now unable to do anything. This case is particularly worthy of the early attention of the ___ of charity. Let the ladies attend to them.


Andrew F. Henderson, Esq., President of the Company, died about 11 o'clock yesterday morning; he had inhaled the steam, and fatal consequences ___ed from this cause.
George Enly, mentioned in our first edition yesterday, died at 3 o'clock yesterday morning, at Gideon Brown's house; his body was conveyed home.
Richard Linthicum, died at 6 o'clock yesterday morning.
Robert Doyle, a brickmaker, died yesterday morning.
Thomas Eldridge, just out of his apprenticeship to Watchman & Bratt, died at about ten o'clock yesterday morning.
Francis McLear, an apprentice to Watchman & Bratt, it is certain was on board, and has not yet been found.
Duncan Ferguson, the Engineer of the Madora, who was taken up severely scalded and hurt, died at his residence, at the corner of Montgomery and Light streets, at a late hour yesterday afternoon.
George Hyde, a boy of about 14 years, also died yesterday.

John Yeager, late an engineer of Lanville factory, is in Lee street, and so badly hurt and scalded, that he is not expected to live.
Joseph Craig, an engineer. His attendant physician states he cannot live.
John Haley, a German, and a stranger, is lying at a house in Hill Street, near Light; there is no doubt but he must die. He recently lived with his sister in Old Town, but she moved to York, PA.
James Rigley an engineer, is not expected to live.
The same may be said of Wesley Culley, a lad, Jackson Reeder, and Alfred Ramsay.

Isaiah, the bother of Louis Wagner, mentioned yesterday, is also very badly scalded.
John Henderson is much more severely injured than was supposed at first; he inhaled the steam, and it is supposed will not survive the consequences.
Thomas Smith, foreman for Mr. Abbott, at the Canton Iron Works, was much scalded and had his left leg broken. He was standing close to the boiler when the explosion took place, and the wonder is he was not immediately killed. - His Leg was set yesterday, and he is doing considerably well.
Among the many who were saved, was Bemjamin Brown, the first Steward of the boat. - He was on the upper deck, near the skylights, and was blown off into the water. He swam ashore, and found upon trying to walk, that one or two of his ribs were broken. He states an important fact, which will relieve many minds. He says that both cabins were locked, and that no person was in either of them - he has the keys now in his possession. Brown was first steward on the Pulaksi, when she was blown up- a lucky man he is.

John Speedy, reported as dead, was alive at a late hour yesterday evening.
It should have been Henry, and not John Lecount, in the first list of the killed.
Mr. Young's name, given in the first account, is Edmund, and not John. He is from Duchess county, New York.

We had a conversation with Mr. Watchman yesterday morning; he states that the boiler of the Medora was tried on Saturday last and worked for two hours with 30 inches of steam; and on Wednesday it was again worked for an hour with 27 inches of steam. At about three minutes before the explosion, Mr. Watchman tried the water gauge cock and found there was plenty of water to the third gauge. He then passed the engineer and asked him how the steam was; the engineer replied that there was 22 inches.

This was, of course, considered perfectly safe; indeed no thought of danger for a moment was entertained. Mr. Watchman walked aft and immediately the explosion took place. His only conclusion is that the men were anxious to display the qualities of the boat, and concealed or misrepresented the truth; he says that such an explosion could scarcely have been effected with less than an expansive force of 60 m. steam. The boiler is torn like a piece of pasteboard, and doubled up, and the strong built flues were completely carried away. The boiler laid as usual fore and aft, but was twisted by the violence of the steam directly athwart ships.

We have also conversed with Daniel Stevens, one of the assistants in the engineer department, and who was trying the steam and water gauge both, at the instant of the explosion. He says the third water gauge was flush, showing an abundance of water, and the index of the steam was certainly 22 inches. He is confident, however, that the boiler could not have exploded with that force, and attributes the accident to a bad or false gauge of the steam - its technical name we know not - or to the fact that it had been tampered with by jealous parties.

During the day the flags of all the shipping in port were displayed at half mast, and that on the Observatory, with the ensign indicative of the deep distress in the community. Also, upon all the fire engine houses, and at the different market houses. The bell of the Watchman Fire Company tolled, from sunrise to sunset, the knell of several individuals who have been taken from its ranks.

The activity and energy displayed by the Hon. Solomon Hillen, Mayor of the city, in this painful emergency, command our warmest admiration, and afford an earnest of the admirable adaptation of disposition and temperament to the peculiar characteristics of the office. He seems to have neglected nothing which could conduce to relieve the community from the weight of suspense which has been almost insupportable. Under his orders and direction, a field piece was conveyed to a scow, and fired at short intervals, for two or three hours, at different points in the vicinity of the Medora. The whole of the scene presents quite a changed aspect now to what it did at first; the scattered remnants of the wreck have been collected from the surface of the water and removed and a large portion of the forward part of the boat taken up. Yesterday a mud machine was placed on each side and rigged with "sheers" preparatory to hoisting out the machinery, with a view to raise the boat.

The last information from the wreck, was that the men could distinctly feel the legs of a person under the boiler, but as violent efforts to remove the body would probably tear it asunder, it has been permitted to remain until the boiler can be raised, to-day. It is supposed to be the body of Francis McLear, and confidently hoped to be the last that will be found to have been involved in the immediate destruction of the boat.

We understand that an inquest will be held to-day on one of the bodies taken from the Medora, under the superintendence of the Mayor, the City Counsellor, and the Coroner, with a few to a thorough and complete investigation of the cause or causes of the disaster.

The residents in the vicinity exerted their utmost efforts for the comfort of the wounded, and did all they were able to render proper respect to the unfortunate dead. The houses were opened freely, and attention bestowed without stint. Indeed too much praise cannot be awarded to the householders for the great and unwearied application to the relief of all.

We have omitted to mention above that in connection with the force employed by the mayor yesterday, the port wardens and commissioners of health were promptly on the spot, and rendered whatever service was deemed requisite.

The number of dead - up to the time of going to press, as far as we have been able to learn, there have been twenty-three deaths, viz. John C. Moale and his son William, John Vickers, John Young, John Lecount, Benj. French, John R. Boone, John Burns, John Harper, Wm. Lewis, George Geddes, James Lavers, S. W. Hackney, James Mitchell, James Kemp, Andrew F. Henderson, George Enley, Richard Linthicum, Robert Doyle, Thomas Eldridge, Francis McLear, Duncan Ferguson, and Geo. Hyde.

A suggestion - A correspondent suggests that a meeting should be called at the Exchange to take measures to obtain subscriptions of money for the relief of many of those who have been injured by the explosion, and the surviving wives and children of those who have been killed. The suggestion is a good one, and we hope it will be acted upon. Another correspondent suggests that the flags of the shipping and on all the public places in the city, be hoisted to-day and to-morrow at half mast, as a token of the deep affliction which the city has experienced by this awful catastrophe.


The most affecting, though not the most startling part of such tragedies as that which it has pained us to record for two days past, is to be found in the funerals of the deceased. The friends of the departed are there - the relatives - the widow it may be, and the orphan children, or the bereaved parents, or altogether; and all prepared to take a last look at the beloved deceased, untimely snatched from the embrace of their affections, and consign him to the last earthly home appointed to man. Many circumstances combine to render the scene deeply affecting. We are shocked at the violent death, we are melted and solemnized at the funeral; and if we visit the late residence of the deceased, and witness the effect of the sudden bereavement on the survivors - but here we pause; we may not draw aside the curtain, and expose to the public the scene sacred to such grief, such unutterable woe and misery, as we witnessed yesterday - the young widow and her only child, just old enough to articulate its father's name, and to ask for him repeatedly; and while too young to understand what death is, yet sufficiently old to pierce its mother's heart with inquiries, which it were next to death to answer. But we cannot permit ourselves to dwell on the theme, or to give up our pen to the government of feelings excited by the funerals of yesterday; such submission would carry us too far; we must therefore confine ourselves to a simple record of the facts, thus:

Yesterday afternoon, the bodies of George Enly and Robert Doyle, two of the persons killed by the explosion of the Medora, were interred in the Methodist burying ground on Light street, Federal Hill, the Rev. Mr. Guest officiating on the occasion. The deep interest excited by the disastrous occurrence which caused their death, was evinced by the presence in Light street of about ten thousand persons, of all ages and both sexes, merely as spectators of the funeral procession, which was itself composed of some two or three thousand persons. The deceased were both members of the Watchman Fire Company, and in addition to their personal friends, immediate relatives and near connexions, they were attended to the grave by thirteen fire companies, the members of which, on very short notice, turned out in large numbers, most of them with banners, and accompanied by a band of music, together with the music of the United States recruiting party, under Sergeant Twist. The following was the order of the procession as it entered the cemetery:

First, the Watchman Fire Company, which opened to the right and left at the gate, and became stationary, the others passing between the files thus: the corpse of Enly; with a large train of mourners and friends, male and female, on foot, and one carriage containing aged mourners. To this succeeded the corpse of Doyle, attended also by a very long train of mourners, male and female, on foot, with a large number of friends, of both sexes, the coffins of both being borne by firemen. To these succeeded the following Fire Costumes in their respective costumes, viz: the Mechanical, the Union, the Deptford, the Liberty, the Independent, the Vigilant, (preceded by a band of music) the New Market, the Columbian, the United, the Washington, the Patapsco, and the Howard. After the performance of the appropriate religious services by the Rev. Mr. Guest, the bodies were placed in the public vault, and the procession left the cemetery in the order in which it entered. The whole scene was one of very unusual solemnity; imposing and impressive in a high degree; and which in truth will never be forgotten by those who either witnessed or took part in it.

The funeral of John Harper, second mate of the Medora, took place yesterday afternoon, from his residence in Frederick near Baltimore street. It was attended by one or two lodges of the I.O.O.F. in full regalia and band of music, an d proceeded to a place of interment in the eastern suburbs of the city.

The funeral of Benjamin French, was attended by the members of the Marion Total Abstinence Society, who were out in great numbers. The proces sion moved down Gay and up Baltimore street, towards the western section of the city.

The funeral of S. W. Hackney, took place from his late residence, the Union Hotel, South street and was, though private, very respectfully attended.

American, Baltimore
(Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Advertiser)
Saturday Morning, April 16, 1842
Published every morning at No. 2 South Gay
street, by Dobbin, Murphy & Bose.


The truly painful duty is imposed upon us of adding to the list of deaths occasioned by the fearful explosion on board the Medora on Thursday, the names of several of the sufferers who have since expired from the injuries then received, and of those who were missing and whose bodies have been recovered from the wreck. This most melancholy occurrence, by which so many human beings in the full enjoyment of health and vigor have been suddenly cut off, has not only visited with grief and mourning the immediate relations and friends of the deceased, but has cast a deep gloom over the whole city. The following are the names of those who have died since Thursday night:

It is with unfeigned sorrow that we place at the head of this list the name of ANDREW F. HENDERSON, Esq., President of the Baltimore and Norfolk Steam Packet Company. It appears that at the time of the explosion Mr. H. was in the forward part of the boat, and was found after the explosion very much scalded. The steam which he inhaled at the same time produced his death, after lingering until half past eleven o'clock yesterday morning. Almost to the last Mr. Henderson retained a perfect consciousness of his approaching end, and yesterday morning with great calmness he made suitable disposition of his temporal affairs. He was a true Christian - unobtrusive and retiring in his manners - active useful and enterprising as a citizen - and estimable in all the relations of life.
RICHARD LINTHICUM, residing in Lee street, died at an early hour yesterday morning.
ROBERT DOYLE, brick-maker.
JOHN SPEEDY, ship joiner, Fells' Point.
GEORGE ENDLEY, reported yesterday as George Enley. He died on Friday morning at 2 o'clock, retaining his mental faculties up to a few minutes before his death. His own account of the explosion was that he was standing on the deck immediately over the boiler, at the time of its occurrence, and was carried up by its force. When consciousness returned he found himself in the wreck by the boiler immersed in scalding water. By his own exertions he extricated himself from this dreadful situation, and was soon afterwards conveyed to a tavern in the neighborhood. Mr. E. was an industrious machinist and had served his apprenticeship with and continued in the employment of Mr. Watchman up to the time of the explosion. He has left a wife and three children.
THOMAS ELDRIDGE, died yesterday morning.
JOHN HARPER, 2d mate of the Medora, died on Thursday evening.
JOHN HALEY, a German, recently arrived from Strausburg, Germany, went on board in search of work, was thrown into the air, and fell into the water, severely scalded. He died yesterday afternoon.
JOHN BOSTON, fireman of the Medora, died yesterday at 2 o'clock.

The bodies of the following names persons were taken from and about the wreck during yesterday.
WILLIAM LEWIS, bar-keeper on board the steamboat Frederick.
GEORGE GEDDES, an apprentice to Mr. John Watchman, aged 19.
S. W. HACKNEY, M.D. of Weldon, N.C., Agent of the Portsmouth Rail Road Company.
JAMES W. LAVERS, carpenter of the ship Tippecanoe, and a member of the Gratitude Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
JAMES MITCHELL, (brother of one of the wheelmen) was taken out of the water soon after the firing of cannon commenced.
JOHN KEMP, painter, living in Thompson st. O.T.
We mentioned yesterday the truly afflicting circumstances of the death of JOHN MOALE, Esq., the active Agent of the Steamboat Company, and of his son WILLIAM, a fine boy of 14 years. The immediate cause of Mr. M's speedy death is attributed to the fact that his ribs were broken and driven inwards towards the region of the heart. He was very near the engine at the time of the explosion. His son, besides being scalded, received a severe fracture of the skull, which it is believed caused instant death. Mr. MOALE was a good citizen, and an affectionate husband and father; and his son was as promising and interesting a boy as ever gladdened the hearts of fond parents. The sudden cutting off of both father and son, in the full enjoyment of life and health, is a bereavement, the bitterness of which language cannot find words to express.

We have also learned of the following additional persons who were seriously injured, and are not expected to live: GEORGE HYDE, an apprentice to Mr. Watchman, had two of his ribs broken, his head injured, an his face badly scalded.
JOHN YEAGER, late an Engineer of Lanvale Factory - cannot recover.
JAMES RIDGELY, an engineer.
ISAIAH WAGNER, and LOUIS WAGNER, brothers, both badly scalded.
GEORGE HYAM, seriously scalded.
JACKSON REEDER, (son of Charles.)

The following are the names of persons injured, not before mentioned.
PATRICK COLLINS, badly scalded.
JAMES CLARK, badly scalded.
Wm. ROBERTS, head much injured.
Wm. ELLERY, badly hurt in the back, but not scalded.
DANIEL STEVENS, fireman, badly scalded in the face, breast and arms - is supposed not to have inhaled the steam and may get well.
MARTIN HICKLEY, badly bruised.
GEORGE CLAY, slightly scalded
GEORGE REYNOLDS, badly scalded.
JOHN MITCHELL, both legs broken - cannot survive.
DANIEL STEVENS, slightly scalded.
HENRY SNYDER, scalded.
ISAIAH WAGNER, Block-maker, slightly.
DAVID IRWIN, cook of the Medora, slightly.
Wm. ALLEN, and two sons, ship joiners, slightly
Captain COFFEY, of the steamboat Georgia, slightly.

Among the missing is FRANCIS McALEAR, engineer and machinist.

The persons on board who escaped uninjured were
R.B. CULLY, ship carpenter.
WALTER BALL, Clerk to the Steamboat Company.
JOHN WATCHMAN, engineer and machinist.
A. WATSON, Engineer of the Steamboat Gosport.
GEORGE AIRES, engineer of the Georgia.
Wm. SMITH, (colored) chief steward of the Georgia, was blown overboard but not injured.
JOHN CHAPMAN, (colored) chief cook of the Georgia, was blown overboard but not injured.
BENJ. BROWN, (colored) first steward of the Medora, blown overboard-uninjured. Brown was blown up in the explosion which destroyed the steamer Pulaski.

We learn that Captain SUTTON was blown high in the air, and fell among the wreck of timber in the water. He received a severe wound in his head, had his face and arms bruised and mutilated in the most shocking manner. He appeared to be doing well last night.

We learn that Mr. JOHN HENDERSON, of Pratt street, was more severely injured than was at first supposed. We stated yesterday that probably one hundred persons or more were on board the Medora at the time of the explosion. We have since been informed by a gentleman on whose accuracy every reliance may be placed, that there were not, to all appearance, more than fifty or sixty on board.

In mentioning yesterday the names of those physicians who promptly repaired to the assistance of the unfortunate persons who were in the Medora, we omitted to include the names of Drs. DURKEE, HINTZE, MONKUR, MAGUIRE, REILLY, KINNEMON, ALBERS, BAKER, two Drs. RICH, and two Drs. ROBERTS.

At an early hour yesterday morning his Honor the Mayor, and other officers of the Corporation, including the High Constable and a large body of police officers, promptly repaired the scene of desolation, prepared to render all possible assistance in rescuing from the sunken wreck the bodies of those who were believed to be carried down or blown into the water. A large body of workmen were employed who were busily engaged all day in clearing away the wreck, and dragging the bottom of the basin. In the course of the day the Mayor ordered a piece of ordnance to be brought to the spot and fired, in the hope that the concussion would, as is frequently the case, cause the bodies to rise.

Last evening, a large number of men commenced the removal of the machinery on board the Medora, for the purpose of getting the hull afloat.

At the suggestion of the Mayor, a coroner's inquest will be held to-day over one of the persons taken from the wreck of the Medora, when it is expected that inquiry will be made into the causes which produced the sad disaster.

The Marion Temperance Society yesterday afternoon attended to the grave remains of their deceased fellow member, BENJAMIN FRENCH, who was killed by the explosion of the Medora.

The burial of several members of the Watchman Fire Company, who were killed by the explosion of the Medora, took place yesterday afternoon. The Watchman Fire Company, accompanied by a large number of the members of other companies, marched in the funeral procession.

The flags of the shipping and public places were all at half mast yesterday.

It should be borne in mind that the steamboat Medora, at the time of the accident, was yet in the hands of the builders, she having never been delivered to the Baltimore and Norfolk Steam-packet Company, for whose use she was built. No accident of the kind has ever happened to any boat while under the control of the careful agents of this Company.

The following is a complete list of the persons who were killed by the explosion, or have since died from its effects, as far as ascertained up to nine o'clock last night. The number of dead, thus far, is twenty three! The last six in the list were those who were taken out of the water in the course of yesterday. - From the condition of some of the sufferers, it is feared that others will be added to it:

Submitted and transcribed by Dee Gabler, Deesroots@aol.com Dee's Web Page http://members.aol.com/deesroots/Index.html