Norwich, CT Steamer CITY OF NEW LONDON Burned, Nov 1871
Later. -- The loss of life by the City of New London disaster is greater than was anticipated. There were only seven passengers, but of these WM. T. NORTON, of the firm of Norton Brothers;
C. B. ROGERS, of the firm of C. B. Rogers & Co., and HARRISON R. ALDRICH, all of this city, were lost. Of the officers and deck hands known to be lost are WM. P. ELY, of Hamburg, Conn., second mate; M. W. BAKER, of Norwich, engineer; HENRY DUGAN, New London, steward; WEBSTER COOPER, second cook; FRANK FLOWERS, residence unknown, waiter; WARREN MITCHELL, oiler; DRISCOLL SULLIVAN, PATRICK MAHONY and THOMAS ROURKE, deck hands. The New London carried a cargo of heavy freight, principally cotton, rags, groceries, leather, hides, &c., which, together with the boat, is a total loss. On account of the absence of the manager of the line from the city, it is impossible to ascertain the insurances. It is understood the boat is insured for $100,000. The fire extinguishing apparatus and life saving appliances were ample and in perfect order, but the rapid spread of the flames cut off approach to the boats and saloon where the life preservers were. The passengers and crew had to save themselves by grasping such floating matter as fell overboard from the burning boat. A large force of men and boys have been at the scene of the disaster all day, and a vigilant search for bodies of missing passengers and crew has been instituted, but only succeeded in finding the bodies of two men -- deck hands -- which were brought to this city and taken possession of by the Coroner, who impaneled a jury, which, after viewing the bodies, adjourned until tomorrow. The officers of the boat, particularly the Captain and engineer, receive great praised for coolness and bravery in their trying position, the former escaping by lowering himself from the paddle-box by a heaving line, when all avenues of escape were closed by the flames, and clinging to the paddles until rescued in an exhausted conditioni, and the latter losing his life after giving a life preserver which he got from his room on the upper deck, at the last moment, to the only lady passenger, who by its aid was saved. The origin of the fire is a matter of uncertainty, but is supposed to have in some way taken in the kitchen when the cook went to kindle a fire for breakfast. One account states that it was by a poker, heated by raking down the fire, being hung against a pine partition, but nothing reliable is known.
The New York Times New York 1871-11-23