Geneva, NY Fireworks Tragedy July 1842


It becomes our painful duty to record, in connection with the festivities of the fourth, one of the most melancholy accidents which has for many years befallen our village. In the evening after the usual ceremonies of the day were over, a large and dense assemblage was collected at the head of Seneca St., and in front of the Bank, extending themselves in both directions along Main St., in order to witness the fireworks which, as report went, were to be of an unusually brilliant and effective character.
Rockets had been provided, some of them of a very large kind, weighing, as was said, six pounds; as also, serpents and other exhibitions of the Pyrotechnic art, and the eager curiosity of the multitude drew them very closely around the staging erected for the purpose of exhibition.
Not more than four or five of the rockets, however, had been discharged, when a spark of fire accidentally communicated with the box or basket containing the fireworks, and the whole were in a moment in a blaze. The rockets lying in a horizontal position, flew of course in the same direction; and the staging was of such a height as gave them a direction the most destructive to human life. Such was their force that one of them, at a distance of forty rods, penetrated the siding of a house. Most of the injuries were inflicted by these missiles.
The following are the names of the persons injured:
JOHN EASTER, of the firm of Mooshier & Easter, rib broken, severe concussion of lungs and other organs. But feeble hopes are entertained of his recovery.
MR. EASTER'S son, a lad, severe contusion of side and injury of eye and face.
GEORGE HANFORD, penetrating wound of back part of arm, near the shoulder, some three inches - not dangerous.
MRS. SCOTT, severe contusion of upper part of shoulder.
MRS. QUACKENBUSH, daughter of MR. J. D. FULTON, concussion of brain from missile striking forehead.
DIMICK, a lad, injury of side, and concussion of lungs.
MRS. FULTON, injury of back from fright and fall.
MRS. SNELLING, contusion of chest - (a corset board for once, proving the means, probably, of saving life).
Some four or five others were slightly injured.
Geneva (N.Y.) Courier.

Vermont Telegraph Brandon Vermont 1842-07-20