Louisburg, AR Steamer CHEROKEE Explosion, Jan 1841


We find in the Arkansas Star, of the 7th, some further particulars relative to the late dreadful explosion of the CHEROKEE, by far the most disastrous which ever occurred on the Arkansas River. The Cherokee left Little Rock for New Orleans on Thursday evening, 5th inst., and arrived at Louisburg about sunrise on Friday morning, after stopping at that place about 15 minutes and just as the captain had rung the bell to start, she collapsed the flue of one boiler and burst another. The boiler which exploded was hurled with terrible velocity directly through the cabin crushing every thing that impeded its impetuous progress, and tearing away the starboard side of the boat, leaving it a hopeless wreck. Ten passengers and the second engineer were instantly killed, and six others were so badly scalded, that they survived but a few hours.
Capt. HARRIS who was in his berth at the time the explosion occurred, was hurled from it into the after part of the ladies cabin, with such violence as to break his neck, and little hope of life is entertained. The Cherokee was just leaving the landing and the first revolution of her engine sounded the death note of sixteen hopeless individuals. The explosion must have been a powerful one, the noise we are told was tremendous, and the boiler which was bursted was literally rended from end to end. We have heard no cause assigned for the terrible and heart-rending calamity, but those who have been made widows and orphans by it will be comforted by the assurance that "no blame can attach to any one."
One of the boilers was blown into the river and another on the bank. Capt. ARMSTRONG who was on board with $140,000 in spices, was slightly injured. The spice was nearly all saved. The boat commenced sinking so rapidly, that nearly all her freight was lost. It is supposed the accident was caused by not letting the steam off when the boat stopped.

Southport Telegraph South Port Wisconsin 1841-01-26