New Orleans, LA Steamer MARQUETTE (MARQUITTE) Explosion, July 1845


On the 1st inst., as the steamboat MARQUETTE was backing out from the wharf at New Orleans, both boilers burst with a tremendous explosion -- scattering death and destruction around.
The very foundations of the buildings were shaken for several squares. Her boiler deck and cabin were torn into fragments, and the boat completely destroyed. The number of persons on the boiler deck at the time was from 10 to 15. They were all blown to the height of 150 or 200 feet into the air, some with their limbs rent asunder, and all of them falling into the river, without exhibiting any signs of life, and sinking to the bottom instantly. The number of deck passengers and of the crew killed, wounded, and missing, is supposed to be between 25 and 30. The scene presented on the lower deck was of the most heart-rending description. In one place laid a body with the head severed from it, another with both legs tornoff above the knee, some with frightful gashes upon their heads and limbs; others without scarcely a particle of skin upon their bodies, from the effects of the steam and the scalding water.
The Captain of the steamboat was arrested and held to bail in the sum of $5,000 to answer to the charge of manslaughter. The first engineer was also arrested on a similar charge, and in default of bail was committed to prison.
This is the proper way to act towards men who are so reckless of the lives of passengers, as many are on the Western waters.

The Adams Sentinel Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1845-07-14

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