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Wreck of the Steamer Virginia, March 31, 1849

- from The Daily Wheeling Gazette, April 2, 1849, p. 2


By a statement made by Dr. JAMES SINCLAIR of Steubenville and published as an Extra of the Steubenville News, dated four o'clock Saturday afternoon, March 31st., and other information which we believe to be authentic, we are enabled to give further particulars of the horrible catastrophe of the blowing up of the Virginia. We have not, however, been able to obtain as accurate and intelligible information from any source as we could desire, from the fact that the wounded and so many of the dead as could be found, were immediately removed from the scene of the disaster to different places, whilst the Captain and Clerk of the boat, are disabled by their injuries from making any statement of the number or names of those on board. The number is believed to have been twenty-five or thirty. Counting all the missing as dead, it is believed that there are some fifteen already dead.

Mr. ANDREW SNYDER of this city, who had both his legs torn off, died on board the boat which was taking him to Steubenville, just as it reached Wellsburgh six miles from Rush Run where the explosion took place.

Mr. G. R. Spencer from Connecticut, who was scalded and had a leg broken and was otherwise injured, died within six hours afterwards.

Mr. J. R. Sturgeon of St. Clairsville, Ohio, died the same evening.

Mr. W. ROWE and the CHAMBERMAID were killed instantly. They are the only ones mentioned as dead in our hastily prepared account of Saturday morning.

A CHILD, said to have been a child of the Chambermaid, was also killed.

SAMUEL NELSON, a colored fireman, was literally torn into fragments.

JOSHUA EVERETT and WASHINGTON EHBERT, young men of this city, were both killed. The body of neither has yet been recovered.

Two DECK HANDS, whose names are not given in Dr. Sinclair's statement, also killed. Their bodies were taken out of the river Saturday morning.

_____WELLS, ______KELLIGER and J. SHARP whose names are on the register of passengers, are missing and doubtless dead; the register having been found.

A Mr. LEPPER and Mr. JOHN TAYLOR, the latter of whom, was taken to Warrenton, were very severely injured, and it is thought, will not survive. Young ZINK of this city, is suffering severely but with a better prospect of recovering. The names of others of the wounded, as far as we can give them were contained in our account of Saturday.

Mr. SNYDER had been in this city but a few weeks. He had previously resided at Steubenville and was on his way thither for the purpose of removing his family to this city, when overtaken by the sad catastrophe. His mutilated remains were, on Saturday evening brought down from Steubenville, accompanied by the bereaved wife and six children, and taken to the home which he had prepared for them, to be taken thence to their last resting place.

It was a matter of course in such a gentleman as Capt. MOORE, of the Nelson, to refuse to receive any compensation for removing the family and their effects thither, though it was pressed upon him by a gentleman fellow-craftsman of the deceased.

It is said that the widow and young children are left with but very little besides necessary household furniture and clothing, and that the widow is in a delicate state of health. We hope, therefore, that the generosity of Capt. MOORE, may serve as an example to the generous ladies and gentlemen of the city, in the degree in which the wants of the widow and fatherless may require.[ . . . ]


CORRECTION. — We heard it stated yesterday, incidentally, that the boilers of the Virginia had been built in this city. This is a mistake. They were built in Pittsburgh and our mechanics had nothing to do with the building of either her boilers or engine.

[The April 1st issue of the Gazette is missing from our collection]

- from the Daily Wheeling Gazette, Aug. 21, 1849, p. 2

Capt. Dawson, of the ill-fated steamer Virginia the disastrous explosion of which will be long remember in this region, was yesterday, (Monday) arrested in the city, by virtue of a true bill for manslaughter, which the Grand Jury of this county found against him last spring. He entered bail in the sum of $4000 for his appearance at the U. S. District court, to convene in this city next month.

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