Brooklyn, NY Explosion Of Frigate FULTON, June 1829
New York, June 5.
DREADFUL EXPLOSION OF THE STEAM FRIGATE FULTON.
Between two and three o'clock yesterday afternoon, an explosion took place board the steam frigate FULTON, lying at the Navy Yard, Brooklyn. This vessel has been employed as a receiving ship, and was moored withing 200 yards of the shore; and, at the time of the explosion, the officers whose names are given below, were dining in the ward room. The lady of LIEUT. BRACKENRIDGE, and the son of LIEUT. PLATT, were present at the table as guests, and both were slightly wounded.
This dreadful accident was occasioned by the Gunner's going into the Magazine, to procure powder to fire the evening gun. He was cautioned by one of the officers previously to his going below, to be careful; and soon after, the explosion took place. We understand that he was a man between 50 & 60 years of age, and had just been appointed to that office; the old Gunner having been discharged the day previous. But in what particular manner fire was communicated to the powder is not known, as the gunner is among the unfortunate dead.
The magazine was in the bow of the ship, and contained, at the time of the explosion, but three barrels of damaged powder. The explosion was not louder that that produced by the discharge of a single cannon; and many persons in the Navy Yard supposed the report to have proceeded from such a source, until they saw the immense column of smoke arising from the vessel. Others about the yard saw the masts rising into the air before the explosion, and immediately after, the air was filled with fragments of the vessel. The FULTON is a complete wreck; the bow being destroyed nearly to the water, and the whole of this immense vessel, whose sides were more than 4 feet thick, and all other parts of corresponding strength -- is now lying an entire heap of ruins, burst asunder in all parts, and aground at the spot where she was moored.
Although she was but two hundred yards from the Navy Yard, and many vessels near her, not one of them received the least damage; nor was the bridge, which led from the shore to the FULTON, at all damaged.
There were attached to the FULTON, by the roll of the ship, 143 persons; and, at the time of the explosion, there were supposed to have been on board the vessel from 60 to 100 persons. Of the latter number 24 were killed and 20 wounded, making 44, leaving the rest to be accounted for. A small number on board escaped with very slight wounds -- the remainder, it is feared, have perished.
Commodore CHAUNCEY was on board the FULTON yesterday, inspecting the ship; and left her, in company with JOHN T. NEWTON, Esq. who commands the FULTON, only ten or fifteen minutes before the explosion.
Lieut. PLATT, who was severely wounded, had returned from a month's absence only yesterday morning.
The room in which the officers were dining, was situated about midships. The whole company at the table were forced, by the concussion, against the transom, with such violence as to break their limbs, and otherwise cut and bruise them in a shocking manner.
All the officers that were on board are accounted for, in the list of the killed and wounded, which follows.
It was a fortunate circumstance that there was a much smaller number of men of board the FULTON yesterday than she is accustomed to have. On Tuesday there were sixty-two of the crew drafted, who proceeded to Norfolk to join the CONSTELLATION frigate.
The bodies of the dead were shockingly mangled; their features distorted, and so much blackened that it was difficult to recognize them. They were placed in coffins shortly after the accident, and an inquest was held over them.
The decks of the FULTON were torn up from stem to stern, and among those missing, many, it is feared, have been thrown into the water and drowned.
NAMES OF THE KILLED.
The bodies of the following persons were brought on shore and placed in coffins:
ROBERT M. PECK, marine.
WILLIAM KEMP, seaman.
ALEXANDER CAMERON, marine.
FRANKLIN ELY, do Purser's steward.
HENRY LOGAN, do Corporal.
JOHN McKEEVER, do
CHARLES WILLIAMSON, do
OTTO E. FERGUSTINE, do
SYLVESTER O'HALORAN, do.
HENRY MEGRAN, do
JAMES LIVINGSTON, seaman.
THOMAS WALLAN, do.
THOMAS BURGHER, do.
JACOB BOISE, do New York.
JOHN DILOS RAYES, barber, of Mexico.
JOHN BROWN, orderly seamen, acting cook.
PETER GILLEN, Landsman.
HERMAN VATTEL, a boatman, of New York.
WILLIAM BROWN, a boy.
MRS. BROWN, a mulatto.
MRS. STOCKWELL, of New York.
MRS. NEILSON, a Swede, whose husband was a seamen, and died a few days since.
Lieut. CHARLES T. PLATT, severely.
do S. M. BRACKENRIDGE, do
do ALEXANDER M. MULL, slightly.
Sailing Master, JOHN CLOUGH, severely.
ROBERT E. JOHNSON, severely.
DAVID DOUGAL, do.
ROBERT S. WELSH, do.
MR. ECKFORD, thigh broken (A son of HENRY ECKFORD, Esq. of this city.)
JOHN MONTGOMERY, serg. mar. severely.
ROBERT KILPATRICK, marine, do.
PATRICK GILLIGAN, do, slightly.
JOHN DRISCOLL, do, do.
NICHOLAS D. FARRELL, do, severely.
JACOB DE HART, do, do
______ BUCHANAN, do, do
THOMAS McCULLOUGH, cook, slightly.
CHARLES SCOTT, seaman, severely.
ZEB ROBERTSON, do, do.
JOSEPH MOORE, do, slightly.
THOMAS NEWHARD, do, do.
WILLIAM BROWN, musician, severely.
STEPHEN DECATUR, a boy, do.
Since the above was in type, we have been politely furnished with the following note from an officer attached to the Navy Yard:
"Since you left the Navy Yard, Lieutenant BRACKENRIDGE, and two marines, have died; but no very particular information has been yet optained respecting the sad explosion.
Lieut. MULL states that the necessary precautions had been taken for opening the magazine, and a sentinel placed at the gatch before he left the deck, and that after being in the ward room some twenty minutes, the explosion took place. From all the information obtained, the accident seems to have been altogether accidental. My time has been so much employed with the wounded, that I have thought of little else."
We are informed by a naval officer that there was no other person in the magazine than the gunner, although there is a report in circulation, that a person whose term of service had recently expired, and who had committed some petty crime, for which he had recently been punished, went into the magazine with the gunner, and was supposed to have caused the explosion. There are five still missing.
The following in a continuation of the list of killed:
J. T. D. BURGEN.
THOMAS WILLIAMS, gunner.
WM. A. LEHMAN.
JOHN PIERCE, 1st seaman.
The men are to be interred at half past 1, and the officers at half past 5, P. M.
From the Commercial Advertiser, June 5.
We have had a call from an officer who left the hulk since ten o'clock this morning. The tide had come in, so that she was filled with water.
We are pained to learn that MRS. BRACKENRIDGE is not slightly, but very severely wounded; and the injury of Lieutenant PLATT is so serious, that but a faint hope is indulged of his recovery.
What is a very remarkable circumstance, although several of the persons at dinner in the ward room escaped with their lives, and some of them uninjured, not a vestige of the table, chairs, or any of the furniture in the room remain. Every thing was blown to atoms.
The scene, even this morning, at the Navy Yard, is distressing beyond description. Indeed to attempt a description of such a spectacle, at the very moment when our feelings are harrowed up to a painful degree by the shocking reality, seems too revolting to be undertaken. We night speak of the wounded living, and the mangled dead, and of the gragments of bodies blown to pieces, mingled among the broken relics of the ship -- but such particulars may better be left to the reader's imagination.
When we left the Navy Yard, at 11 o'clock, only five men were unaccounted for. These have doubtless perished, either by drowning, or by being crushed among the timbers.
The Torch Light and Public Advertiser Hagers-Town Maryland 1829-06-11