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extracted from New York Daily Times, New York, N.Y

Inman Line City of Boston, Captain J.J. Halcrow, from New York January 25th 1870, Halifax January 28th 1870, for Liverpool (list of passengers and crew)

Feb 20, 1870 p. 1

A Mystery at Sea—Anxiety for the Safety of the "City of Boston."

The steamer City of Boston, which left this port on the 25th January (1870) and cleared at Halifax on the 28th for Liverpool, and has not been heard from yet, and naturally some anxiety is felt by parties directly interested with regard to her fate. This has been painfully inceased [sic] by a report that Captain Hackett, of the schooner Charles Tupper, which arrived at Halifax on the 8th instant, saw a steamer off Sable Island throwing signals of distress, but was unable to go to her assistance. This vessel was supposed to be City of Boston, which belongs to the Inman Line and the New-York agents proposed to send to her relief, thinking she might yet be aground on the island. Before doing so, however, they telegraphed to Halifax for further particulars, and received the following reply from the Company's agents in that City.:-

Halifax, N.S. Feb. 14

To J.G. Dale, No. 15 Broadway, N.Y.:
Captain Hackett, of schooner Chas. Tupper, from Glace Bay for St. Jago, about 7 o'clock on the night of the 31st January, the weather being moderate and the night clear and starlight was in latitude 43° 36´ North, and longitude about 61° West. The Schooner had been dismasted by the heavy gale from the south-east and north-west and was then without a rudder, having a foresail and jib. The Captain was alone on deck, and saw a white light ahead, about a mile off, which he at first took for a star, but afterwards found to be the masthead light of a steamer, he then saw the port light on her stern side, then saw the three lights right astern. Saw no steam or smoke, but knew it was a steamer from the lights. She appeared to be going about four or five knots. It was a large vessel, with three masts; cannot say whether she was ship-rigged; she then worked to the western side of me, and I saw the white light and starboard light, and was then about a point on my port bow about north; she threw up three rockets of different colours, I think first white, second blue, third red; the steamer went out of sight, on a course from north to northwest; she was in sight about three hours

J.& R.B. Sutton

family descendent, George E Seeton, states that his ancestors indicated in error as "J.& R.B. Sutton" in this New York Daily Times news extract, were in fact, Joseph (b.1825-d.1890) & Robert Beattie Seeton (b.1823- d.1916) agent[s] of the Cunard & Inman Steamship Lines... and should read ... J.& R.B. Seeton

This is regarded by the agents as conclusive against the supposition that the vessel in distress was the City of Boston, as she must have been far beyond Sable Island at the time, and furthermore, would not have used such signals as were observed by Captain Hackett. It may have been one of the steamers of the Canadian Line from Portland, which left port on the 28th and has signals like those described. On the other hand the City of Boston may have been delayed by any one of a variety of common causes, and no alarm is felt as yet for her ultimate safety.

Feb 22, 1870 p. 8

The City of Boston

Apprehensions for the Safety of the Steamer—Twenty-five Days Since She was Heard from—Description of the Vessel

Nothing has yet been heard from or of the steamer City of Boston of the Inman Line, which as stated in the Times of the 20th inst.. left this port on 25th of January and cleared at Halifax on the 28th, for Liverpool. She has not been spoken, as far as yet ascertained, by any vessel arriving here or at any British port, but the painful anxiety caused by the report of Captain Hackett of the schooner Charles Tupper, of the steamer seen off Sable Island, has been dissipated by the telegram received by the agent of the Inman line in this City. The City of Boston must have been far beyond Sable Island on the 8th inst., and would not have used such signals as were observed by Captain Hackett.
The missing steamer was built by Messrs. Todd & McGregor [sic - Tod & McGregor] at Partick near Glasgow, and was launched on the 15th November 1864. She is a remarkably fine specimen of naval architecture, having like the rest of the numerous fleet belonging to the Inman line, been built with especial care, and has always received the highest premium at Lloyd's, and been ranked in the highest classification by the Association of Underwriters in Liverpool.
In her general build and aspect the City of Boston bears a strong resemblance to the splendid steamer, which in speed rivals those of the Cunard Line; the City of London, belonging to the same Company, and as well as the others which constitute the Inman fleet, she is large commodious and handsome, and is propelled by engines of great power. The City of Boston is an iron vessel, and in her construction the greatest care was taken in selecting the very best material in regards tenacity and strength, while every attention was paid to secure speed, safety and comfort to all on board her. Besides being a mail steamer she is designed as a passenger ship of the first order, and is 305 feet long in the keel and four rake, and measures 332 feet in length over all; her moulded beam width is 39 feet, and she is 27 feet 6 inches deep in the hull; from the bottom of her hold to the spar deck. She is of 2,278 tons of the old measurement, and is propelled by two engines of 300-horse power, (nominal) and was built with a three-flange propeller, but the engines are capable of working up to considerably more than 600-horse power.
The City of Boston, like the rest of the Inman fleet, is ship-rigged, a large spread of canvass being assigned to her to act in aid of her propeller in securing steadiness and speed in sailing. The ribs, beams and plating of this fine vessel are all exceedingly strong and built of the best material, the whole of the framing is securely bound together by heavy stringer plates and ties, and the ship is transversely divided into eight compartments by seven strong and well-secured water-tight bulkheads, which reach from the keelson to the upper deck.
As might well be supposed in so large and fine a ship, the passenger accomodations on board the City of Boston are of the very best description. The principal saloon is 40 feet long by 18 feeet wide, and is 7 foot 6 inches high in the ceiling, and is fitted up with the usual luxurious elegance which characterizes this line. The staterooms connected with the saloon are capacious, well furnished and efficiently supplied with the means on ventilation. Of those there are a sufficient number to accomodate upwards of a hundred first-class passengers. The accomodations for passengers of the second and third classes are also ample and of the best kind. Every department connected with the management and working of the ship, which is under the command of Captain Halcrow, is of the very best description, and consequently every hope is entertained of her ultimate safety. She is provisioned for fifty-eight days, and this apart from her cargo, which consists in a great measure of supplies of food.
Captain Brooks, of the City of Brooklyn, which arrived here on Sunday evening, reports strong easterly gales during the whole voyage, and the officers of ships which arrived yesterday report heavy ice fields on the course the City of Boston must have taken. The propeller attached to the vessel is a new two-flange one, fitted during her last visit to this port, her original three-flange propeller having been broken during her last voyage from Liverpool. Captain Brooks os of opinion that the strength of the new propeller would not be sufficient to enable her to make headway against the adverse winds which she must have encountered, and therefore, that the worst to be feared is that she has been driven out of her course; but he and other Captains recently arrived express confident opinions that she will ultimately reach Liverpool safely.

Feb 23, 1870 p. 4

The Steamship "City of Boston."

The fate of this fine vessel of the Inman line is still in suspense. She left this port on the 25th of January, and three days afterwards passed Halifax, since which time nothing has been her from her. She was due in Liverpool on the 6th inst., and is therefore eighteen days late. All the great transatlantic lines have their own tracks as distinctly charted down and separated as if they were rival railways. The Inman track, after leaving Cape Race, curves considerably towards the north, and runs in higher latitude than any other of the main sea-tracks, except that of the Glasgow steamers. The City of Boston, if disabled, whether by accident to her machinery, or by a gale, would be in a part of the Atlantic whence escape must be very slow. At this season of the year the Gulf Stream, as is well known, crosses the ocean at a lower parallel of latitude than in Summer; its northern edge being, according to MAURY and others, five hundred miles south of the Inman track. The disable ship, therefore, would probably be in a part of the sea where she would find but little if any current to drift her either towards te Irish coast or towards the Azores. The winds of the North Atlantic are sharply to the west, south of the Inman track; and if the City of Boston were on the Brest or Bremen line route, under ordinary circumstances, with neither steam, sail nor helm, she might, in a few weeks, float safely to the Azores. In consequence of the high latitude followed by her master, she is now probably out of the drift or eastward recurvation of the Gulf Stream washing these Western islands. The indications, both in Europe and here, are strongly in support of the belief that the usually westerly winds have been considerably modified during the past Winter, and the steamship thus subjected to still greater delay.
athe season is somewhat early for icebergs, but the abnormal tropical blasts we have had until lately, and which have been traced on the American coast beyond the Canadas, may have begun the work of dislodging the ice masses on the southern coast of Greenland. The incidents of the loss of the San Francisco, a few years ago, are perhaps fresh in the public mind. That vessel, after foundering on Christmas Day, was so lost sight of by the ship Three Bells,—which faithfully stood by her—that not a fragment of the wreck was visable to tell where she had drifted, until the 4th of January following, when her spars and rigging were found not over 500 miles east from the scene of the disater. At this rate of motion, in the very axis of the Gulf Stream where the San Francisco went down, supposing the now missing steamer to be helpless, she may be out yet forty days before she can reach the coasts of Europe, and nearly as long in drifting to the Azores. If we reemember rightly, it was the Atlantic, of the Collins line, that, a few years ago, on her trip to England, becoming disabled and uncontrollable by accident when a few days out from Newfoundland, was nearly sixty days in drifting to these islands. Fortunately the City of Boston has on board over eighty days' provisions. It is deemed not improbable that she is moving towards the Bay of Biscay; and it may not be too late for the Inman Company to telegraph for vessels to be dispatched in search of her there and elsewhere.

Mar 8, 1870 p. 1

Reported Safe Arrival of the City of Boston Unfounded
A Cruel Canard—Not the Slightest Foundation for the Report of Her Safe Arrival—No Tidings Yet

[Some of the eveing papers yesterday published what purported to be a telegram from Liverpool, announcing the safe arrival of the City of Boston at Liverpool, under sail, with all her passengers safe and well. It has been ascertained that this was a cruel canard—a story utterly unfounded. No news of the sort was received at the office of Mr. John G. Dale, the agent for the steamers of the Inman line, in this City; nor were any such glad tidings about the missing vessel sent in the regular Press dispatches. The following was the only dispatch received during the afternoon:]

London, March 7.—The fact is encouraging that sailing vessels which left New York before the missing steamship City of Boston are just arriving. The managers of the line think if the steamer's engines broke down soon after sailing. she would be obliged to depend upon her sails, with which she was not very well supplied.

Mar 17, 1870 p. 1

Another False Report of her Safety
Intense Excitement Caused Everywhere
Rejoicings Turned to Dispair—Efforts to Discover the Author of the Hoax
Two More Missing Steamers

Early yesterday morning a report reached this City to the effect that the steam-ship City of Boston, of the Inman line, which left this port on Jan. 26th and Halifax on the 28th, had arrived at Queenstown at 1 o'clock in the morning, having been out of sight of land for more than forty-five days.
The Interest Felt in the Ship
News of such importance was immediately bulletined at the various newspaper offices, was circulated far and wide all over the country, and created a universal feeling of joy and congratulation. The steamer had been out so long that her safety—or, at any rate, tidings of her—became a matter in which everybody was interested, and perhaps the interest felt was as great on this side of the Atlantic—by reason of the fact that her passengers were from this country—as on the other, where she was owned. Feelings of humanity dictated the sympathy that has been manifested for her passengers and crew, and no one with sentiments of humanity could, for an instant, feel otherwise that regret that the living freight of the City of Boston had possibly been consigned to a watery grave—for a wreck in mid ocean means almost certain death to the vast majority of the unfortunate victims.
Despairing of Her Safety
The steamer had been absent from port so long and under such circumstances, that those who had hoped for her safety had begun to despair, and were experiencing the bitter pangs of terrible disappointment. the slightest peg upon which they could hang a reasonable foundation for hope had long since been eagerly seized upon, and every opinion which expressed the faintest probability that the steamer and her passengers might yet be safe, was weighed carefully until at last there did not seem the least probability that the ill-fated ship would ever be heard from. The public well remember how hopes were raised and anon dashed to the ground by the reports that a steamer's funnel had been seen; that a steamer bearing some distant resemblence to the City of Boston had been observed mid-ocean.
Watching for Tidings
Let the reader imagine, if he can—and none can imagine or form the least conception save those who have had friends similarly situated—the feelings of the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew of this vessel as they watched from day to day for tidings of the ship, and prosecuted almost daily inquiries as to her whereabouts, of her agents on this side or of her owners on the other. How the daily papers were scanned; how each opinion was clung to in the hope that those who had carefully studied the matter and expressed the conviction that she was safe might not be deceived; how reminiscences of similar long absences were called to bear witness to the possibility that the vessel might yet be heavily making her way under sail to a safe harbor. Imagine this state of feeling on the part of the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew, and then imagine, if possible, the sentiments of thanksgiving which burst from every heart yesterday morning when the intelligence met the eye and ear of the anxious watcher that the City of Boston was safe.
Heatfelt Rejoicings
Is it any wonder that business was suspended in London when the glorious news reached that city. Were not people justified in shouting hurrah ? and expressing their joy in most unmeasured terms as they conversed on the glad tidings ? Are there any with hearts so cold who could not repeat, with gratitude to the Giver of all good, the grand old anthem which rung forth from the chimes of Trinity:
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
PraiseHim, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye angelic hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
At the Office of the Inman Line
The office of the Inman line in the City was thronged with questioners, anxious to learn the most minute particulars in relation to the vessel. The clerks in charge of the office could give no information, save that at an early hour in the morning a dispatch had been received, dated at London, to the effect that the City of Boston had arrived at Queenstown at 1 o'clock in the morning. A second dispatch was received shortly after announcing the arrival of the City of Antwerp at Queenstown, at 4½ A.M. On receipt of the first dispatch Mr. Dale telegraphed back, fearing that there might be some error, inquiring if it was true that the City of Boston had arrived. With a brevity which was cruel under the circumstances, the dispatch was sent: "London, March 16—City of Boston arrived Queenstown, 1 A.M. Rejoicing; business suspended." This was all; not a word to assure the anxious thousands on this side that they were not being made the victims of a cruel hoax, similar to that to which they had fallen victim a week ago. There was nothing to do but wait. An hour or more later the following dispatchset the matter at rest, and gave an official declaration to that which some had asserted, and many more had feared that the story was
A Heartless Hoax

London, March 16—2½ P.M
An inquiry addressed by me to the agents of the Inman Steamship Line is answered at 1:40 P.M. to the effect that they have no information whatever of the City of Boston, and that the current rumor of her arrival is, doubtless, a heartless hoax.
A.C. Wilson, Agent Associated Press

The effect of this intelligence was saddening to the last degree. Again were hopes dashed to the ground, under circumstances which would tend to prevent them ever being raised agin, unless by "confirmations strong as proofs of Holy Writ." The perpetrator of this cruel hoax, could he have been found, would doubtless have suffered death at the hands of an outraged people. "What motive could induce the manufacture of such a story ?" was upon every tongue, but none could answer the question. The vessel was insured on the other side, and her cargo in this country; but no one in the interest of the underwriters would have a motive for circulating such a heartless story.
Efforts to Discover the Perpetrator
The agent of the Associated Press promptly issued the following, which is hoped will serve to bring to justice the perpetrator of the outrage:

To the Editor of the New York Times:
We have telegraphed to our Agent, at London, as follows:
Wilson, London: If report arrival City of Boston proves to have been willful, not accidental, publish following:

FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD,—The Associated Press of New York offer a reward of $500 for the detection and punishment of the author of the hoax which reported the arrival of the City of Boston at Queenstown on the 16th instant.
David M. Stone, President.

It is proper to call your attention to the fact that the false report was generally credited in London, and that our agent was unremitting in efforts to get information or particulars, until, in response to a telegraphic inquiry, he learned from Inman's office that the rumor was unfounded. Respectfully,
J.W. Simonton, General Agent
The Latest Report
The following was received late last night at this office:
London, March 16—5 P.M.—The report of the arrival of the steamer City of Boston at Queenstown is still current in this city, and has not yet been authoritively denied to this public. An edtion of the Globe, just issued, prints a dispatch dated at Dublin today, asserting the safe arrival of the missinf steamer at Queenstown. Our Queenstown agent, in reply to further inquiry, telegraphs that there has been no sign of the City of Boston there, and no vessels arriving there report having sighted her. This dispatch is later than that published in the Globe, which must, therefore be false.
At 1 o'clock this morning the following was received:
London, March 16—11½ P.M.—A dispatch has just been received from Queenstown which says: "News has come in from all points on the south coast of Ireland, but there are no tidings of the missing steamer City of Boston."
Telegrams were received during last evening from various points regarding the reception of the news. In Washington, the announcement of the safety of the steamer, a telegram states, "was received here with much joy by all classes throughout the city, and copies were posted at the several telegraph offices. The second dispatch in contradiction of the intelligence produced a feeling of sadness and condemnation of the imposture." From Boston the following was received:
Boston, Mass., March 16:—Gilmore's Band proceeded to the Merchant's Exchange Reading Room this afternoon to give a musical expression to the public joy at the safety of the City of Boston, but upon hearing that the news was a hoax Mr. Gilmore changed his programme. A dirge was played in memory of the lost crew of the Oneida.
In Philadelphia the news of the safe arrival of the steamer was hailed with universal joy, and crowds of people gathered around the bulletin boards. One of the evening journals published an extra containing a sensation dispatch that the steamer had broken her machinery on the 24th ult., and approached to port under sail, and that she had been delayed by frequent heavy storms. The contradiction of this report was a severe blow to the friends of passengers on board the City of Boston.
A Charitable View
It may be that the story of the safety of the City of Boston had this foundation, and this seems to be the only charitable view that can be taken of an event which momentarily raised the hopes of the people of both continents and then as suddenly plunged them into the depths of despair. The City of Antwerp, of the Inman line, is said to resemble her consort somewhat, and, as she was sighted off the lookout station at Queenstown, she may have been mistaken for the City of Boston. The too suddenly arrived at conclusion was, it is supposed, telegraphed to London and then the intelligence circulated far and wide.
A Report of Overloading
One thing which has tended to increase the anxiety respecting the safety of the steamer—if any thing could add to the apprehensions regarding her—was the dispatch from London, printed in the Times of yesterday, to the effect that in the House of Commons, on March 15, "Sir J. Parkington said it was reported that the City of Boston left America loaded twenty inches deeper than the underwriters allowed. He gave notice that he should ask the Government to inform the House if there was any truth in this report."
This statement Mr. Dale the agent in this City, emphatically declares to be untrue. The cargo of the ship was as follows: 390 tons of beef, 200 barrels of flour, 486 bales of cotton, 12 cases of sewing-machines, 18 tons of oil-cake, 88,500 pounds of flour, 189,700 pounds of bacon, 10,376 pounds of wheat, 14 bales of varieties, 82,672 pounds of tallow, and 36 bales of hops.
Description of the Vessel
The City of Boston, A1, belonging to Liverpool, was built in 1864, at Glasgow, and surveyed in New-York in 1869. She was of iron, and her draught was twenty-two feet. She left Halifax without any defect in her machinery, and had plenty of provisions on board.
The Gale She Probably Encountered
A passenger who went over in the Russia, which left here on Feb. 2, when the City of Boston had been four days out, says in a communication to the London Times : "We heard of no gales on that side at that time, and for the first two or three days of our voyage we found the sea smooth and the sailing fine—no signs whatever of previous bad weather. But afterward it became very rough. During the latter half of out passage we were beset by a most ugly tempestuous sea—such an one as, in four previous passages across the Atlantic, I had not known. The wind was ahead, and continued so up to the port of Liverpool. We were constantly shipping the most tremendous seas, and our noble vessel, strong and steady and magnificent as she is, seemed yet put to her utmost resources to hold her position: It was indeed a stormy time, and instead of making the passage in nine days, as is usual with the Russia, we were eleven. We were all grateful enough, however, to get through as we did. I have no doubt that this was the weather from which the City of Boston suffered. Indeed, we heard apprehensions expressed for her safety the first moment of our arrival at Liverpool. She probably encountered the storm several days before we did, and it may then have been even yet more violent. I cannot imagine how a vessel could make her way through such a sea without being very strong and perfect in all her parts. If there was any weak spot in her machinery it must inevitably have succumbed. If, therefore, the steering apparatus of the City of Boston was defective, as is alleged, she was no doubt disabled by this weather, and may be lost.
She May be Safe Yet
A correspondent of the Halifax Chronicle, writing in reference to the City of Boston says:—"If the Boston's shaft has 'snapped off short' and is irreparable, she will have a huge sixteen-foot propeller to drag, and to which there is no lifting-gear to take it out of the water. Although ship-rigged, she will not spread more than the sail area of the Forest King, a vessel one-third her size, and cannot possibly make such headway with the screw dragging. The City of Durham has the best chance of finding her down about the western islands. She, of course, will take her in tow, and our first intelligence will probably be by telegram from Lisbon, carried there by the West India mail-boats, but if one day too late, no other chance occurs for fourteen days by the Brazil mail steamer. I do not know the dates of their arrival at Southampton, so as to say when to expect news. The stern bearings and water-tight bulkhead (in the event of accident to the shaft) are so secure that there is not the remotest possibilty of a repetition of the London's disaster."

No Tidings of the Samaria
Up to a late hour last evening no tidings had been received of the Cunard steamer Samaria, which left Liverpool on the 26th ult., and Queenstown the day following, for this port. In view of the fact, however, that she has been out only eighteen days, while the Smidt [Hermann Koop & Co.] was out forty-nine days, there is ground for hopes of her safety. The Samaria is a first-class screw steamer of about 2,400 tons register, and is only two years old. She is commanded by Capt. Harrison, and bears two hundred passengers and a general cargo of small merchandise. On previous trips she has been as long as fourteen days in crossing the ocean, and the insurance companies interested say that they have not the least fears for her safety.
Another Vessel Probably Lost
Grave fears are entertained concerning the safety of the iron-clad steamer Triumfo (formerly the rebel ram Atlanta) which left Philadelphia for Port-au-Prince early in December last. She has never been signaled by any other vessel, and up to a recent date had not arrived at the port of her destination. She was the property of the Haytian Government, and was officered entirely by Americans. One hundred and twenty persons were on board, including two Haytian Senators and the wife of the commanding officer. Although there seems to be little room for doubt as to her loss, it is by no means follows that her passengers have perished, as they may have been picked up by sailing vessels bound on long voyages.

Mar 17, 1870 p. 4

It would be useless, we are aware, to protest against the fabrication of such cruel hoaxes as that which was once more made public yesterday concerning City of Boston. There are beings in existence who look upon any thing of the kind as a good "joke." But it is our duty to say that if the agent of the Associated Press had done at first what he did at last, and made proper inquiries about the information he received, this disgraceful imposition never could have succeeded. After sending off two dispatches to America announcing positively the arrival of the City of Boston, he bethought himself of asking the Inman agents whether his news was true. Why not have begun with that proceeding ? The public mind is deeply agitated with reference to this steamer, and cannot tolerate stupidity or carelessness in the transmission of messages regarding her. An agent of the Associated Press ought not to stand with his mouth wide open, ready to swallow any rubbish passers by may throw into it.

Apr 1, 1870 p. 5

List of Passengers and Crew
City of Boston

This is an extaction of the names of the passengers and crew aboard the City of Boston.

from New York Allen Ebbs, wife, child and infant; Mr. Ryland and lady; W. M. Cochrane; M. A. Praeger; Mrs. M. Cosgrove, J. Cosgrove; J. Adshead; R. C. Lawton
from Halifax Capt. Hamilton, 65th Regiment; Mrs. Kildahl, with 13 mo. child and infant; Mr. Baker and lady, two children of 3 & 5 years and nurse; Capt. Stirling, lady, infant and nurse; H. C. Morley, deputy assistant superintendent stores; Mrs. Orange and child, Lieut. Orange and female servant; Lieut. Kildahl and female servant; W. E. Potter; Capt. Forbes; Mr. Leconte; Master T. R. Robinson, Master Thos. H. Robinson; Mr. J. Allan; Mr. A. K. Doull; Mr. E. Billing; Mr. J. B. Young; Mr. J. Barron, Mr. Walter Barron; Mr. P. Power; Mr. James N. Paint, Miss F. Paint; Mr. G. A. Knox; Mr. Wm. Murray; Mr. C. S. Silva [sic.. Charles Stuart Silver]; Mr. E. J. Kenny; Mr. John Thompson; Mr. John D. Purdy; Mr. Charles Fisher; Mr. S. R. Montgomery; Mr. Wm. Parkes
from New York William J. McCrea, wife and infant; Janet Barnsley and two children; John Moran; William Lapsworth; John Gibson; Benjamin Woodhead; James McManaus, Kate McManaus; Michael Parkinson; Edw. Parrey; James McDonnell; T. Fox; Thomas Barton; M. J. Harding; John J. Ashton; William Moalsdale; William Barnsley; George Fearn; James H. Hamsley; George Jennings; John Taylor, Mary Taylor; Thomas Bolton; John T. Bailey; Joseph Davies; Ellen Davies, William Davies, Thomas Davies; W. J. Threstrer; John Davies; Evan Thomas; Samuel McCulla; Michael Dempsey; William Carr; Charles Grattan; James White; Francis McCarthy; L. Floyer; Thomas Francis; William Thompson; A. R. Conk
from Halifax James McCain and wife; Joseph Holland; James Graves; Mary A. Erskine; Patrick Cassidy; Geo. Rowing
Officers and Crew:
Commander Captain J. J. Halcrow
Mates J. Mortiner, First; J. Craven, Second; W. H. James, Third
Surgeon Thomas Spring Rice
Subordinate Officers William Smith, Purser; Alfred Joseph Garrett, barkeeper; James McGregor, chief steward; John Smith, second steward; Charles Joyce, engineers' steward; Henry Stokes, Robert Haigh, John Simeon, Nathan Ramsden, Elias Porteus, Creswell Pigott, Walter Ferguson, Thomas Davies and James Burberry, stewards; John Fennah, Edward Harrison, Thomas Mathews and Thomas Towtrey, cooks; Robert Casey, baker; William Old, butcher; William Collier, carpenter; Jas. Fegan, joiner; William Collins, boatswain; Wm. Farr, boatswain's mate

Charles Stroud, Peter Martin, John Griffiths, Isaac Francombe, Thomas M'Kee, Emmanuel Silva, Edward Condy, Thomas Barker, Thomas Quinlan, Thomas Kelly, Peter Abrahams, Patrick Flynn, Angus M'Millan, James Coffey, Martin Glenning, William M'Mace, James Fegan, Thomas Mason, Samuel Hawkes, Michael Garroty, Edmund Allen, Patrick Rice, Henry Kelly, John Brown, and John Jenkins
Ordinary George Adams, Joseph Regan, Walter Littlejohn, and George Jack
Engineers Department:
Engineers Alexander Urquhart, first; Robert Henry Hawkes, second; J. Walker Tomlinson, third; Charles Occleshead, fourth; and James Hayes, fifth
Firemen John Beggs, James McDonald, Edward Burns, Wm. Dewitt, Emmanuel Taylor, Louis Haverest, Robert Frame, Patrick McLean, Henry Divine, Thomas Kinsella, John Wilson, Hugh Fitzpatrick, John Molyneaux, Evan Thomas, Thomas Scroggie, Martin Lawless, Joseph Bennett, Joseph Kirkham, Stephen Glenna, Michael Gavin and Geo. Young

April, 1870

The Case of the City of Boston

From Mitchell's Marine Register April 2:-
The steam-ship City of Boston left New-York on the 25th January, and was off Halifax on the 28th, since which time nothing has been heard of her. She has been out sixty-seven days, and looking to the large number of steamers now plying between Europe and America and to other circumstances, we fear it is hoping against hope to ecpect any tidings from her. Had the City of Boston been a vessel whose length exceeded her breadth by more than ten to one, we might have still looked for her. With her proportions she would be a manageable vessel under canvas, and, being full-rigged as a ship, with square yards on all three masts, she ought to have worked her way into the tracks of ships weeks ago, unless dismasted; and, even in this disabled state, she could not have knocked about the Atlantic so long without being seen by those on board some of the hundreds of vessels navigating that ocean. A strongly built ship like the City of Boston, whose length was but equal to to eight breadths moulded, if her lower masts only were left standing, and her rudder not carried away, should have got on the lines of Transatlantic steam navigation and received assistance before this. Without masts, rudder or screw propeller, the gales would have drifted her where she must have been fallen in with, unless she foundered from the violence of the winds and waves, by heavy and continuous laboring in the trough of the seas. In this case her boats would be afloat and,—if they lived in the sea—picked up. The Atlantic is traversed by so many steam lines that it is almost impossible for a large steamship to knock about for more than two months without being reported. The owners sent out their fine steam-ship City of Durham, but nothing could be seen of the missing vessel. This looking for a ship on the surface of the sea, when the probabilities are all against her being afloat, exhibits a most praiseworthy spirit; but the renewed search will, we fear, be in vain. The Smidt, from Bremen for New-York, which sailed about the same time as the City of Boston, was seen by several vessels, and reported by one in our columns before she reached New-York. She got into a port of safety before three vessels that saw her had tiem to make the fact known. The Samaria also, was spoken in lat. 51 N., long. 21 W., and her Master told the Captain of the Madge Wildfire that he did not want assistance. the Samaria broke down when two-thirds of her voyage across, and was driven to the south-west; but she was passed by several vessels, and eventually reached the coast of Ireland under sail. the City of Boston in a like manner, if afloat, would, in out opinion, have been signaled at sea and reported before this. Looking uon her, therefore, as a lost ship, the cause must be looked for, and we think it is easily found. The City of Boston, on the 29th of January was off Nova Scotia, and on that night a hurricane set in from the south-east to south-west. As already mentioned in this journal, Capt. Bulmer, of the Helene Marion, on arrival at Spithead, reported that he left New-York with the City of Boston, that his ship fell in with the hurricane, and while hove to, lost his ships's foretopmast and jibboom, although no canvas was on her at the time, and his new sails were blown away out of the gaskets. This hurricane was felt more or less severely in that part of the Atlantic for several days, so that the City of Boston could not have escaped it. In the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette of February 23 the following appeared in the maritime intelligence:

"Halifax Feb. 11.—The Master (Hackett) of the Charles Tupper schooner, arrived here, has just reported that on 31st January he saw to the southward of Sable Island a steamer, which threw up rockets three times and shifted her position round all points of the compass so that he could not make out he position; at 5 p.m. it was a lat. 43.30."

On the 11th of February the City of Boston was behind time, but the terrific weather alone was enough to account for a few days over-due. When fears began to be entertained, the paragraph just quoted was canvassed; and so confident were all parties that the steamer in distress could not have been the City of Boston, that the report was discredited. It was stated that search had been made for wreck between Sable Island and the main land, but none could be discovered. Capt. Hackett however, it will be seen, speaks of the southward, which would be to seaward of the island. Bearing in view the fact that the gale veered round to north-west, the steamer in distress would be about where the City of Boston might have been expected to be fallen in with on the 31st, particularly if the machinery broke down, and the Captain determined to put back. We have not seen any statement tending to clear up the doubts as to the steam-ship in distress seen by the Master of the Charles Tupper; and to discredit is not to disprove. The Master of this schooner, we must suppose, did not invent the tale, and, his crew could confirm or contradict the report. If this steamship from which rockets were thrown up was the City of Boston, she, no doubt, foundered ont he night of the 31st January; and if no tidings are heard of any of the crew, it would be owing to her boats having been destroyed by the fury of the elements previous to her sinking. This is the only incident reported in any way bearing to her loss. If we discard it, we must speculate upon other causes. The first is—was she in a seaworthy state? The ships of this line are uninsured, and have the reputation of being well found, and kept in a sound state of repair. What the waves might do during a hurricane it is beyond any human power to predict. Machinery is lable to break from excessive strains, and it is a common occurrence for the blades of screws to break off, or the shaft to meet with accident. Granted, therefore, that her hull and equipment were in an efficient state, we come to the question of her lading. The City of Boston called at Halifax after leaving new-York, and Mr Inman's agent there wrote to say that, on steaming out of that port, she drew twenty-one feet seven inches. This, it is said, is less by seven to ten inches than she had been loaded on previous voyages; anf the professional Officers of the Board of Trade have pronounced an opinion that it was quite impossible that, with the declared weights of the cargo put on board, and the great accomodations set apart for passengers, she could have been overloaded. There is, after this authorative opinion, but one theory left to discuss. We discard altogether fire and ordinary leakage; when either of these takes place there is usually time to get boats into the water. The Glasgow (Inman Line 1865) steam-ship, and Austria (Hamburg-American 1858) steam-ship, on the New-York line, were burnt at sea, but there were survivors from both ships. The Hibernia (Anchor Line), steamship, sank in 1869 [sic - 1868] from the water entering by the screw aperture.
We could name a few steamers, also, which have sprung a leak and yet allowed time to save some, or all, of the passengers and crews. There are missing Trans-atlantic steamships of whose loss there is no record. The United Kingdom (Anchor Line), steamship, left New-York for Glasgow 19th April last, and has not since been heard of. This was the latest, if we except the City of Boston. The only theory, therefore, that we can revert to as a last resort, is that of a collison with ice in heavy weather. Larger quantities of drift ice and bergs have been encountered in the Atlantic this season than for many years past, and the ice has got detached, and thus fetched away to the southward and westward much earlier than usual. The steamship Aleppo, which arrived at Boston on the 20th February from Liverpool, reported that "on the 15th she passed south of some immense fields extending about 100 miles east and west; her position at noon that day was, by dead reckoning, latitude 48°, longitude 46°." The City of Baltimore, (steam-ship) from New-York on Feb. 19, "passed several small icebergs on Feb. 23, in lat. 44 N., lon. 49 W. and subsequently spoke the Euxene (ship), bound east, lat. 51 N. lon. 14 W." There were a few arrivals, also, of sailing ships, during February, which brought still earlier intelligence of the disruption of ice from the Polar regions. The America (steam-ship) which arrived at New-York on the 13th March, reported passing, in lat. 40.05 N., lon. 48 W., two immense icebergs; and the Nebraska (steam-ship) which reached New-York about the same time, reported heavy ice in lat. 44 N., lon. 48 W. The master of the Etna (steam-ship) on his last voyage, also reported that a considerable amount of field ice was seen. We counld extend this list to the reports of between seventy and eighty vessels arriving in Europe or America during the past two months. The New York steamship had much difficulty in working out of the mass of ice, and for security the steamers are ordered to be kept to the southward of their tracks. There is no great stretch of the imagination required to conceive that the City of Boston may have received such injury from the ice as to cause her to founder rapidly. She was certainly one of the first vessels this season to cross when the ice appeared, and may have been caught in a dangerous position for ships and boats. As to the ship being in such a high latitude as to be out of the drift or eastward recurvation of the Gulf Stream and where she would find but little if any current to carry her toward Ireland or the Azores, we give no credence to it. If the City of Boston did not go down in the hurricane of the 31st of January, or founder from contact with ice, she would have been heard of before this; and her passengers and crew are, we fear, beyond human aid.

April or May, 1870

The Missing Steamer City of Boston
Dangers of the North Passage

No tidings in regard to the missing steamer City of Boston were received by Mr. Dale, last evening, and her fate is still enveloped in mystery.
A letter from a sea captain is published by the Washington Chronicle, in which is pointed out the danger attendant on crossing the Atlantic at this season. Until July, he says, the ice is afloat, and fields of it, miles upon miles in length and breadth, will be met with on the northerly passage. That was the fate of the United Kingdom. She left New-York on the 19th April 1869. Her Captain had science on the brain, but no discretion; he headed for Cape Race, and he headed the United Kingdom into, or on to, an iceberg, or field of ice, that destroyed his ship so suddenly that none were left to tell the tale. The writer of this left New-York on the 21st April, and the Captain (Guard, of the Guion Line) gave Cape Race a 205 mile space, kept south of the Banks of Newfoundland, and saw no ice. This same Captain of the City of Boston has [before ?], to my knowledge, been in the ice forty-eight hours, on account of his high-latitude sailing; and I do not hesitate to say that so long as they continue it at this season of the year there will be missing steamers. Can there be no law of Congress to regulate this matter, and force them to steer clear of the Banks while ice is afloat? If no law can reach it, then let the European tourist sail only with those who will take them safe from the ice on the Banks of Newfoundland.

Aug 26, 1870 p. 2

The Suit Brought by the Inman Steamship Company
Interesting Evidence

Soon after the disappearance of the steamer City of Boston, a certain Benjamin G. Jenkins published a letter asserting that the steamer left Halifax in an unseaworthy condition and overcrowded with passengers. For this he was sued for libel by the Inman Steam-Ship Company. The case is pending in an English Court, but much of the testimony was taken in Halifax, N.S. This testimony has been published in pamphlet form, and further condensed as follows:-
For the plaintiffs twenty-two witnesses were examined, and fifty-three testifiedin behalf of the defendant. It is evident that the defense proposes to prove the truth of the alleged libel.
The pilot who took the City of Boston out of Halifax harbor the last time she ever left that port, says that she appeared to him in seaworthy a condition as any ship that ever came to the wharf; he is certain that she was not deep, and save that if she had been heavily laden he would have remarked her.
Hon. Charles Tupper, the President of the Privy Council of the Dominion of Canada, was a passenger on the lost steamer on her last trip from New-York to Halifax. he remarked that the passage was unprecedentedly short, being only about forty-eight hours in duration. As far as he could judge, everything about the ship was in good condition; and this fact and the steadiness and attention of the Captain and officers to their duty made him very unwilling to believe that the ship had been lost, or to give up hopes of hearing from her.
The Captain of the City of Halifax, of the same line, swears that he examined the City of Boston minutely while she was at the wharf, and that he never saw in his life a ship in better trim for an Atlantic voyage. He considered her lightly loaded, and says that he has seen her more deeply laden for a Winter passage; if she had been twenty-four inches deeper he would have no objections to go home in her.
A number of witnesses were examined to show that the cargo put on board the steamer at Halifax was principally light military luggage; that her red line was visable above the water while she lay at the wharf, and that some barrels taken on deck were so carried instead of being stowed in the hold because they were wet freight, and not because the ship was too full to put them below. Much more testimony was also adduced to show that the steamer was in what is called good trim—that is, loaded so as to float in the proper position—and that she was not too deep. All these facts were sworn to by witnesses in behalf of the plaintiffs, and by some of them very strongly and emphatically.
For the defendant, Very Rev. Dr. Hannan, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Halifax, swore that he saw the City of Boston on the morning she sailed, and went on board her. He thought she appeared to be very low in the water; he has seen a good many steamers leaving that port, but this one was lower in the water than he had ever seen any steamers of the Inman line before. Another witness, a Nova Scotian ship-owner, who was a passenger on the steamer from New-York to Halifax, testified that he thought she was too deep on leaving New-York, and spoke of it to a friend on board, and old ship-master. He felt some anxiety as to her condition. From the second officer he learned that a new screw had been put in, having a fan of only two wings instead of three, as she had before. he heard a peculiar noise at every evolution of the screw, and was not easy on board th ship that night. Although he had traveled in ocean steamers, he thought he had never made a trip in one so deeply laden as City of Boston.
Philip H. Warner, a machinist, who was in the habit of visiting the steamers almost every time she came to Halifax, went on board to see the Chief Engineer the day before she sailed. He went into the engine-room with that officer. he saw that her shaft had been beated, and had some conversation in regard to that fact. As the statements made to him by the Chief Engineer were admitted by the Judge subject to the objection of the plaintiff's counsel, we quote that portion of the evidence:
"The Chief Engineer said the main shaft had heated, and that it was not running true, the same as it had done with the three-winged fan, and that he had to drive the engine faster and the shafting faster, which was the casue of the heating; he said the steamer had been over-driven in her last trip from New-York to Halifax, and still she was not doing the same amount of work she had been doing; and he never approved of a two-winged fan, and never ran a boat with one all the time he had been an engineer; he helped to put on the two-winged fan in New-York; he told me the two-winged fan would heat her, and be likely to set her on fire; he was not very willing to go home in her with the two-winged fan."
The same witness said that if he had wanted to cross he would not have crossed in her that trip; he saw Mr. Rollins Carpenter go aboard; he coaxed him to stop, and advised him that she was too deep to go across at that time of the year; Mr. Carpenter came ashore once and took off his trunk, but a friend of his persuaded him to go on board again, and coaxed and persuaded him till he did.
The defense adduced much other evidence for the pupose of showing that the City of Boston was out of trim, and that she was loaded too deeply. On these points there was the most direct and positive contradictions between the witnesses for the respective parties.
The publication of further evidence in this important case, and the final determination of the suit, will be awaited with much interest.

(note: there was lengthy reporting of the actual proceedings of the libel suit - omitted here)

Sep 1, 1870 p. 8

The public is familiar with the controversy which the loss which the loss of the City of Boston raised, and the assertations, respectively, that her wreck was, and was not, due to overloading. We now learn that in the trail of the suit Inman vs. Jenkins, for libel, the defendant having alleged that the steamer was overloaded, Jenkins has been cast with costs, the Judge reflecting severely upon him in his remarks. It is further stated that Mr. Inman was entirely vindicated, and the fact established that the steamer left port in a perfectly seaworthy condition in every respect.

The Halifax Citizen:- Nov 25, 1870 p. 4

The City of Boston:—A bottle has been cast upon the shore of the west which presumes to throw some light upon the mystery enveloping the loss of the missing steamer City of Boston. Obviously, however, the relic must be received with reserve, especially as we are without any collateral evidence of its authenticity. On Saturday a bottle appears to have come in and been picked up on Cranstock Sands, two miles west of New Quay. On being opened it was found to contain four or five pieces of envelope, upon which the following names and words are written in pencil:
"O. Jones, E. Williams." "Seth,—A collision; 403, Greenwich street, New York." "Evan Evans, Cadinst, Landulle." "We are lost." "City of Boston.—We are all sinking, goodbye. I should like my." Written in ink—"Michael Jones, Cariboo-house, 212, Culton street, N.Y." There is some other writing in pencil, which our correspondent thinks is Welsh. Upon the envelopes there are two postmarks also. One is as follows: "Ebenezer, A. Jy, 4, 70;" the other ringed mark reads, "London A C, Jy, 5, 70." The derelict bottle bears evidence of having been many months in the water.—English Exchange.

Washington Star:- May 31, 1871 p. 1

The Lost Steamer City of Boston:—A dispatch from Halifax, N.S., states that the writing found in bottles some time ago, washed ashore at Shediac, N.B., and Newport, N.S., containing statements to the effect that the ocean steamer City of Boston, lost last summer [sic], had struck an iceberg, is pronounced genuine, the handwriting having been recognised.


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