Columbia, AR Steamboat ROB ROY Explosion, Jun 1836


The Rob Roy was on her route from New Orleans to Louisville, and was under way, at 8 o'clock P. M, June 9th, 1836, near the town of Columbia, Arkansas, when the fatal catastrophe we are about to record took place. The engine was stopped for the purpose of oiling some part of the machinery ; and although this necessary operation did not occupy more than two minutes, the accumulation of steam was sufficient to cause an explosion. As soon as the accident occurred, preparations were made to run the boat ashore, which was happily reached within a few minutes. By this judicious measure many lives were undoubtedly saved. None were lost by drowning, and the only victims and sufferers were those who were killed or wounded at the moment of the explosion. The clerk of the boat, a few days after the accident, furnished the following account of the killed and wounded, which he certified to be correct, adding, that some of those reported among the wounded had since died, and others were not expected to recover.

KILLED : -- John O'Brian, Michael Bregan, John Cavenaugh, (Irish,) Wm. Lynd, of Cincinnati, P. W. Banton, Madison, Indiana, Jane Vincent, Highland Creek, four men, names unknown, passengers ; Levi Jackson, Jeffersonville, J. Shane, Louisville, Felix Davis, Jeffersonville, George Williams, Cincinnati, two colored men, names not mentioned. Total of killed, 17.

SCALDED :—Wm. Spear, Pittsburgh, badly, John Gebhard Irishman, do., Henry Snodgrass, Parke county, Indiana, Levi Hamblin, Deboyne, Mr. Hentry, Louisville, W. Southworth, New York, E. Ford, Boston, Richard Fulton, Indiana, Wm. Reagan, Scott county, Missouri, R. A. Braden, Lawrence county, Tennessee, Mrs. Barade and two children of ditto, W. W. Creary, Scott county Missouri, Tilden Hogg, Randolph.

Lloyd's Steamboat Disasters, page 73