Pittsburgh, PA Collision of the Steamers FORREST and PULASKI, May 1843


On Friday night, May 5th, 1843, at 11 o'clock, as the steamer Forrest was lying to, to put off a passenger, about twenty miles above the mouth of the Alleghany river, with her head down stream, she was run into by the steamboat Pulaski, which was coming up the river with about one hundred and fifty passengers. The bow of the Forrest struck the side of the Pulaski opposite the boilers. The boilers were thrown down, the steam-pipes separated, and the steam rushed out among the passengers, scalding many of them in a terrible manner. The side of the Pulaski being broken up by the collision, the boat almost immediately sunk, leaving the boiler-deck above water. Five or six persons, names unknown, were thrown overboard and drowned. One of these floated past the Forrest, calling piteously for assistance, but before it could be afforded him the current had swept him away. Another was drawn in under the wheel and drowned. One young man swam ashore after throwing himself from the cabin window of the Pulaski.

The following list of the sufferers was furnished by the officers of the wrecked steamer:
BADLY SCALDED—Wm. Coon, Erie co., N. Y. ; Michael Hawkins, steward of the Pulaski ; Sheridan McCullough, of Red Bank, Pa. ; James Gibson, Crawford co., Pa. ; Joseph Hughes, Jefferson co., Pa. ; and — Wing.

We have not been able to learn the names of the persons who were drowned.

Lloyd's Steamboat Directory and Disasters on the Western Waters, Cincinnati, Ohio; James T. Lloyd & Co, 1856


FATAL STEAMBOAT ACCIDENT -- On Friday eening last, as the steamboat Forrest was lying to, to put out a passenger, about twenty miles up the Allegheny River, the steamboat, Pulaski, which was coming up with about one hundred and fifty passengers board, run into her, the bow of the Forrest striking the side of the Pulaski opposite her boilers. The boilers were immediately thrown down by the concussion -- the steam pipes separating, and the hot steam rushing among the passengers and scalding some of them severely. The Pulaski immediately after the collision sunk to the boiler deck. In the coalroom, some four or five are supposed to have perished, either being forced overboard by the violence of the concussion, or jumping into the water in their fright.

New York Herald, New York, NY May 1843



History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1889 Read it online

Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : personal and genealogical, with portraits Read it online

History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania 1886 Read it online

Allegheny County : a sesqui-centennial review 1938 Read it online

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