Napoleon, AR Steamer PERSIAN Explosion, Nov 1840


On the night of November 9th, 1840, the steamboat Persian collapsed her flues, on the Mississippi river, three miles below Napoleon, Ark. The Captain was asleep at the time of the accident, and, according to common rumor, the pilot was intoxicated. The boat had stopped to take in wood. Six persons were instantly killed by the explosion, seventeen died on the following day, and fifteen or sixteen others were supposed to be mortally wounded. The cabin passengers and the captain and clerk escaped uninjured.

LIST OF THE KILLED—Daniel Green, first engineer ; John Williams, second mate ; Oscar Brown and Washington Marks, colored firemen ; six deck passengers, all of one family, named Floyd ; John Cora, second cook ; John O'Brien, deck passenger ; Wm. S. Hanners, of Illinois ; Mr. Fields, of Tennessee, and nine others, names unknown.

Thirty were scalded, with more or less severity.

Lloyd's Steamboat Disasters, page 169