Memphis, TN Steamboat HELEN McGREGOR Explodes, Feb 1830

Explosion of the Helen McGregor

From the Memphis (Tenn.) Advocate, of the 26th February.

It has never before fallen to our lot to witness an event of such a heart rending nature as that which occurred at our landing on Wednesday morning. The steamboat HELEN McGREGOR, with about 410 passengers on board having stopped at this place for a short time, was in the act of pushing off, when one of her boilers having burst with a tremendous explosion, was thrown from its bed over the forecastle into the river, the chimneys thrown down; every boiler dislodged, and the boiler deck, engineer's room, and adjacent offices made a complete wreck in an instant. To give an accurate description of the scene which followed, would exceed the powers of those far more gifted than ourselves.

A large number of deck passengers, as is usual when starting out of port, had crowded to the forward part of the boat, and were on this occasion the principal sufferers. Amid the smoke and dust were to be seen, at the same moment, the death struggle and spouting blood of those who had received their wounds; while the shrieks of the wounded and the dying were mingled with the general confusion. Our citizens rushed spontaneously to the scene of disaster, and, by their activity and exertion, rescued many a poor fellow from a watery grave. Houses were thrown open, oils, lints, bandages and blankets freely furnished for the use of the wounded, and some were seen even contending for, and claiming the responsibility of nursing and protecting such as they had been instrumental in saving. We take particular pleasure in noticing the activity of our physicians on this occasion, all of whom immediately repaired to the spot, nor ceased their labours until the wounded had received every attention and comfort which their situation required.

For the satisfaction of those aboard, who may have had friends and relations on board of the boat, we have taken the pains to collect a list of the killed and wounded, which we annex hereto; doubtless many were blown overboard, who have sunk, amidst the whirls and sands of this impetuous river, never to rise again. As yet, however, we have only heard the names of two who perished in this manner, whom we have included in the list of killed.

RICHARD HANCOCK, from Louisville, Ky.
A. VAN METER, Hardin county, Tenn.
MR. TALBOT, Long Beach, Ohio.
MR. CARROLL, Cincinnati, Ohio.
EDWARD P. BEADLES, Clark county, Indiana.
J. DUNN, East Tennessee.
C. B. GILES, Cincinnati.
EPHRAIM GOBLE, Brookville, Indiana.
JOHN DELANEY, a free black.
SOLOMON JONES, Maysville, Ky.
WILLIAM EWING, Clark county, Indiana.
J. REAVES, Harrison county, Indiana.
LEWIS YOUNG, a black fireman.
JACK, colored boy, 12 or 13 years old.

Badly Wounded:
GEORGE TREY, from Tipton county, Tennessee.
JOHN CAMERON, Clark county, Indiana.
JOHN VALENTINE, Massachusetts.
MR. DE HAVEN, Philadelphia.
JOHN LELAND, one of the pilots.
J. SUGGS, Union county, Kentucky.
R. BAILEY, Hardin county, Tenn.
H. HELDRETH, Madison county, Indiana.
JOHN ADDISON, one of the crew.
THOMAS DRENARD, Wilson co., Tenn.
J. SWANN, Orange county, Indiana.
J. TENYCK, Shippingport, Ky.

Slightly Wounded:
Capt. TYSON, captain of the boat.
MR. TURNER, engineer do.
MR. GRAY, 2d Mate, do.
P. O'DANIEL, from Indiana.
J. MONACO, Tipton county, Indiana.
JOHN DOUGHERTY, Overton county, Tenn.
THOMAS BANK, Lawrence county, Ind.
GREEN WILLIAMS, a black fireman.

(Unknown Paper) 1830-03-23