The AHGP Project
Irvin-Newspaper Article-EXPLOSION OF THE BAYOU CITY STEAMER
Houston Telegraph, dated Oct. 2nd, 1860
Submitted by: PATRICIA TOLLIVER
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From our Extra of Friday
EXPLOSION OF THE BAYOU CITY.
KILLED, WOUNDED, MISSING
Intelligence was received at an early hour this morning that between twelve and 1 o’clock, the steamer Bayou City, when within a few miles of Lynchburg, exploded her boilers, killing and wounding several of the officers and crew. The steamer Mary Hill, which happened to be lying near the scene of the accident, was immediately dispatched to the relief of the sufferers. By dispatches received by Mr B. A. Shephard, we learn the following particulars of the (accident).
Killed, Wounded and Missing
Killed. – Thomas E Westrop, steward; Mr Cooledge, 2nd Clerk; a negro boy belonging to Mrs. Shaw; and negro man Johnson belonging to Capt. Forrest
Slightly Scalded. – Capt. Hall, of Cold Springs and seven negroes.
Three cabin passengers, strangers, are missing. Four negroes were blown overboard.
A later dispatch says that Capt. Hall cannot live. He is now lying in Galveston.
Two negroes belonging to Thomas Johnson, one belonging to E. M. Lane, one belonging to Mrs. Shaw, and one owned by Capt. Sterrett are dying. All the cabin crew were saved. Three deck hands were lost. The balance all well.
We are unable to gain any particulars of the cause of the explosion.
We are indebted to the Galveston New(s) Extra of Friday, also the Saturday edition of that paper for the following additional details.
The boat left Galveston about half past (IX) o’clock yesterday evening. The explosion occurred about a quarter to (?) o’clock this morning. The (center boiler) was the one that exploded and blew up at the top. The first engineer had just gone forward and was scolding the firemen and their (st)rikers for not getting up ________ enough as they were making slow time. The boilers were new , having, with the boat, been about six months in use. They were cleaned out the last trip to Houston.
They were, as far as we could ascertain from various sources, about sixty or seventy passengers on the Bayou City, including five or six ladies and some children. None of the ladies or children were hurt, though a piece of iron flew into their part of the cabin. Two boys were saved by one of the stewards, a colored man as they were running to the bow, alarmed by the noise; took them up in his arms and ran down a back way and placed them on the barge.
As the clerks office, with the safe, books, and papers, was blown to pieces, it is not likely we shall ever have a complete list of passengers.
Several of the latter, with some of the crew, jumped overboard, and we have not yet any means of knowing how many were saved and how many were lost in the water. As the Bayou is quite narrow at the point where the accident occurred, those that could swim and jump overboard, uninjured by the steam, had a good chance to save their lives.
The explosion injured the boat, we understand, only immediately above the boilers.
Captain Sterrett sent the Mary Hill back to the wreck at once and will go up early in the Neptune this afternoon. A great many of the passengers and several of the officers remained and the former will doubtless go up on the Neptune.
The physicians of Lynchburg and its citizens generally, we are informed, hastened to the scene of the disaster and did all they could to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded.
We present as correct and complete a list as we could obtain, of the killed and wounded:
Dead.- Thos. A. Wostrope, steward. John Coolidge, second clerk. Johnson, negro fireman, belonging to Capt. Forrest. Ben, negro fireman, belonging to Mr McLane. Ned Forbes, negro, belonging to Mrs. Shaw, of Richmond. Lewis and George, Negroes belonging to Mr. T. Johnson, of Boonville, drowned.
Wounded. – Capt. Forrest, slightly scalded. Wm Whitson, first engineer, leg broken and arm badly hurt. J. McGarvey, mate, slightly hurt. W. Dwyer, first pilot, slightly hurt. Mr. Calloway of Georgia, foot slightly injured. Aleck, third cook, belonging to the _____ _____ badly hurt. Henry, fireman, belonging to Mr. Dwyer. Milton, assistant steward, belonging to Mr. W. R. Baker, hand and face scalded. Jim and Garrison, strikers, belonging to Capt. Sterrett, badly hurt. Ike, belonging to Mr. Johnson of Boonville.
Uninjured. – The following are all the names we could obtain: Dick Lewis and his brother of Waverly; Mr. O. L. Battle and a large family of negroes, men women, and children. This gentleman came from Georgia, and was on his way to his plantation in Wharton County. Mr. Carletto, first clerk; Mr Curley, second engineer; Mr. M. White, pilot; seven cabin boys, all colored. Bob, fireman, belonging to Mr. Crawford; Mr. McJenkin; Mr. and Mrs. Geo. II Trabue; Mr. and Mrs. Hurley, cabin passengers, Galveston; Mr fisher of Houston; Geo Patillo, third clerk.
On the steamboat Neptune that went up to Houston last evening on her regular trip we found three gentlemen who were cabin passengers on the Bayou City. They were: Mr Hewes, of N. O., son of the president of the Opelousas Railroad; Mr. T. P. Loyd, of Stevenville, Texas, slightly injured; Dr. A. M. Potter of Galveston.
Col. and Mrs. Clark, of Columbia, were among the passengers, and remained at Lynchburg. They were unhurt.
Mr Hewes lost a negro boy named Frank.
Dr Potter’s room-mate was saved – name unknown. Dr Potter went out through the ladies’ cabin to get into the fresh air. He saw in the ladies’ cabin the piece of iron we spoke of in our extra. It was red hot, and he thought, amid the smoke and steam, that the boat was on fire. He, with others, prevented several ladies from jumping overboard: and he then poured water on this piece of iron until it cooled.
Mr J. T. Irvin (Isaiah Tucker), Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one of the most prominent men in the state, was on board with a family of nine negroes and his brother-in-law O. L. Battle of Egypt, Wharton County. He was seen rushing aft, and it is believed he jumped overboard and was drowned. None of his negroes was injured.
Mr Calloway, we learn, is a large planter near Washington, Georgia. He came over with Messrs. Battle and Irvin with a view to settle in Texas.
We learn that Capt. Hill died last night.
List of the Cabin Passengers
We obtained today, with some difficulty, and at a late hour only, from the civilian office, a list of the cabin passengers on the Bayou City, sent to that office from the steamboat’s books, which had been found. There is no list of deck passengers, and it is not known if any were lost.
Mrs Johnson, C. W. Hurley and lady, Mrs. Sanderson, Con. Sharp and lady, Mrs Darden, Miss Susan Fuller, Geo. Trabue and lady, R. D. Brown, lady, and 5 children, Capt. Hall, ____Lewis, ____Lewis, Hutchinson, J. R. Ogilvie, Watts, Balou, Nolan, O. L. Battle, Josiah (Isaiah) T Irvin, Mr. P. Calloway, S. McJenkin, Jas. Bentley, R. Johnson, Fisher, W. Thompson, Wm. Hunter, Butler, Hughs, J. E. Lewis, F. Van Harten, Ed, Beard, S. Gregory, S. W. Scott, A. M. Patton, W. H. Crutcher, J. A. Fisher, Loyd. J. N. Snedecor, Rowley, D. L. Byuam, S. F. Jones, G. B. Mirchell, MacFarland and nine negroes belonging to J. T (I. T.) Irvin.