Hamburg, IL Steamboat EDWARD BATES Disaster, Aug 1848

[From the Mo. Republican of the 14th.]


The fine steamer Edward Bates was towed into port yesterday morning, by the Lucy Bertrum, having collapsed two flues of her larboard boiler at the head of West Porte chute, one mile below Hamburgh, Ill., at 4 o'clock on morning of the 12th.
She was on her way to Keokuk. Capt. JOHNSON had not long retired before the accident occurred. She had been running under a pretty good press of steam, but as she was at the time in shoal water, the Engineer was letting off steam, and the boat was going at a slackened rate.
This is the representation of passengers in the cabin, some of whom were awake at the time of the explosion. Two of the flues of the larboard boiler were collapsed, carrying every thing fore and aft, and dealing death to every one within the influence of the steam, and of the missiles which were scattered on the lower deck. The destruction of life on the deck and among the crew was appalling -- numbreing over twenty persons, and the wounding of about thirty others. We have been furnished with a list of the killed and wounded, so far as the clerk of the boat, in the hurry and confusion on board at the time of her arrival, could make it out.
List of Deck Passengers Dead and Missing -- WM. CHAMBERLAIN, residence not known, destination Keokuk, blown overboard; MR. WHITE, res. do., dest. do., blown overboard; RARRIDON, res. do, dest. do., blown overboard; MR. HAINES, res. Pike Co., Mo., dest. home, blown overboard; MRS. BOWEN and nephew, res. Hamburg, Ill., dest. home, blown overboard; MRS. JNO. BOWEN and child, res. St. Louis, dest. Hamburg, died of wounds; MRS. SUSAN BOWEN, do. do.; MRS. EADS and two children, res. Knox Co., Mo., dest. home, died of wounds; MASTER EADS, do. do., blown overboard.
Deck Passengers Scalded -- GEO. BLACKWELL, res. Illinois, dest. not known, slightly; T. B. EWING, rest. Ind., dest. not known, slightly; D. E. CAMERON, res. Ill., dest. not known, badly; SAM'L SIMPSON, res. Ill. dest. not known, slightly; PRESTON LEAPER, res. Clarksville, Mo., dest, not known, slightly; LE ROY JENKINS, res. Ind., dest. not known, slightly; E. MORRISON and wife, res. Ohio, dest. not known, badly; J. H. SIMPSON, res. Mo., dest. not known, slightly; MASTER BOWEN, res. Ill., dest, not known, badly; H. M. SWAZY, res. Iowa, dest. home, slightly; J. RIGHTER and friend res. Marion Co., dest. home, slightly.
Missing and Dead of the Crew -- JOHN BROWN, colored fireman, Quincy, blown overboard; ANDREW HATFIELD, colored fireman, Ill., do.; ELI DELANY, first cook, St. Louis, do.; GEO. MATSON, fireman, do., do.; JOHN LEMON, deck-hand, do. do., HARRY JOHNSON, do. do.; WM. PARKS, do. do.; C. W. LYONS, do. do.; Quincy, do.; ______ HOLLIDAY, do. do.; WM. AMNET, do., St. Louis, died of wounds; FRED., (Frenchman) cook, do. do.; ISAAC DOZIER, deck-hand, Ala., do. Four missing names not known.
Total Killed 28; do. wounded 30.
Died since the boat got into port, MRS. SUSAN BOWEN, ISAAC DOZIER.
The Edward Bates is a new boat, and great care was taken in the construction of her boilers and engines. Both the first and second engineers were on watch at the time, and MR. DONAHOE, the first engineer is said to be an experienced and careful man in his profession.
The boat between decks, is uninjured; the cabin, as well as the passengers in it, entirely escaped the effects of the explosion. The flues of of[sic] the colapsed[sic] boiler were brought togethr by the explosion, as close as if they had been welded together. Aft of the boilers, on the deck, everythingin the range of the flues was swept away, and apart from the destruction of life, presents a most dismal appearance.
The wounded were at once placed in the cabin of the boat, and every attention paid to them by the officers of the two boats. Some of the dead were interred at Hamburg, while the boat lay at that place.
Others died shortly after the boat landed at our wharf. As soon as it could be done, the Mayor, with praisewothy[sic] alacrity, order the removal of all the wounded, except two or three who went to the Charity Hospital, to the City Hospital. In the afternoon, as we learned from the attending physician, the wounds of those at the City Hospital had all been dressed, and they were in a comfortable condition, with a prospect of their recovery.

The Edward Bates -- Of the thirteen wounded persons left at Hamburg after the explosion of the above boat, 12 have died. The cause of the explosion has been traced to the negligence of MR. DONAHOE, the engineer.

The Davenport Gazette Iowa 1848-08-24

Transcriber's Note: The final number of fatalities of this accident was 53.