Albany, NY Steamboat EXCELSIOR Boiler Explosion, Sep 1846


Albany, Sept. 11, 7 P.M.
At 5 o'clock, last evening, as the steamer Excelsior, CAPT. NELSON, which plies between this city and Coxsackie, was leaving the dock, her boiler exploded with a terrible concussion, killing several of her passengers and crew.
The boat immediately took fire from the effects of the explosion, drifting at the will of the elements, and for a moment it was feared that those on board her, who had escaped the original calamity, would be engulfed in the flames.
As the wreck drifted down stream, great fears were entertained that she would run foul of several ships that lay at anchor in the stream. This was prevented. She was overtaken by the steamer John Fitch, and conveyed to the Jersey shore. The boat was burnt entirely to the water's edge.
The boat was new, and put on the route in June last, but was not of the first class. She was engaged principally in cheap passage business between New York and Catskill, and Coxsackie, and was owned by Hunt, Nelson and Sons of the latter place.
She was valued at $35,000, and was but partially insured. The whole number of passengers on board, probably did not exceed 40. The explosion shook the large steamers, H. Hudson and Empire lying at the Courtland Street piers. The timbers were thrown high up in the air, and the body of at least one person was seen falling with the timbers. The boiler was not seen after the explosion. That part of it not broken to pieces went to the bottom.
The sufferers were carried to the hospital and taken care of.
DR. SLASSIN, aged 78 years, father-in-law of Mr. Duman Gilbert, 1st Ward, was badly scalded, and died in a few minutes. W. AULT, passenger, lies at 177 Lewis Street. His face is very much battered, and upper and lower jaws both broken in several places, has a deep injury on his thighs, and is burnt on one knee. W. VAN WORT, 1st Engineer, had both arms badly burnt, and was bruised on the back. G. VAN WORT, 2d Engineer, brother of W. VAN WORT, has his legs, arms, back and throat badly burnt. One of the firemen missing -- supposed to have been the body thrown in the air at the time of the the explosion.
The 1st Engineer says that there was but eighteen inches of steam on just before the explosion.
Mil. Courier.

Janesville Gazette Wisconsin 1846-09-26