York Times - Dec 02, 1851 p. 3 Prometheus was Panama
Route steamer owned
by Cornelius Vanderbilt
Arrival of the
$600,000 in Gold Dust
Five Hundred Passengers
The steamship Prometheus, Capt.
H. Churchill, arrived
at her wharf yesterday morning from San Juan [de Nicaragua], via Havana,
with 510 passengers, $120,677 gold dust on freight, and $500,000 estimated
in the hands of
The Prometheus left San Juan at 4 o'clock, P.M. of the 21st
ult.; arrived at Havana on the after noon of the 25th, and left that
port for New-York on the morning of the 26th.
Sixty-three passengers were left at Havana, bound for New-Orleans.
The steamship Pacific, which
left San Francisco on the 1st November, arrived at San Juan del Sud
on the 16th, with 470 passengers.
A Mr. Eddy died on board the Pacific on the 9th November. His remains were
interred at Acapulco.
We are indebted to the attention of B.S.
Hopkins, the Purser of the Prometheus,
for memoranda and papers promptly furnished.
On Sunday evening, 11 o'clock, Nov. 30th,
north of Barnegat, the Prometheus was run into by a schooner, name unknown, standing
into the land. Her bowsprit struck the ship a little forward of the foremast,
penetrating quite through the ships's side ' she then swung around against
the starboard wheel, and bent one of the arms of the wheel, which detained
the steamer two hours to repair. At the time of the collision the ship
was kept up five points to westward of her course, and the engine was stopped.
Captain Churchill says he thinks that they could not have seen him till
the moment they struck the ship. The wind was strong N.N.W. The last he
saw of the schooner, she was under sail and showed no light.
(Specie List omitted here) Annexed is the List of Passengers:—
||Miss E.C. Lucas
|Miss S. Rinman
|William D. Ren
|Capt. J. Marsh
||Capt. D. Thayer
||L. Lithonor (Lithenor)
||G.L.W.C. Chapman [!]
|C. Van Loon
||. . . . . and 367 in the Steerage
The following New-York passengers were accidently left
Rev. R.T. Huddart, W.C. Arman, W.C. Martin, E. Pillett, N. Hunter, S.
Sproston, and several other names unknown.
A letter from Mr. Vanderbilt states that everything was
quiet at San Juan del Sur, and that no war, riot or disturbances of any
kind existed on that route.
We have received by the Prometheus, the San Francisco Picayune of
the evening of Nov. 1st,—half a day later than by the Cherokee—which
announces the arrest of the mate of the Challange, on
the morning of that day, nine miles beyond the Mission, on the San Jose
road. He was
lodged in the county jail, and placed in charge of the United States
Marshal. The Picayune expresses the belief that Capt. Waterman would
also be arrested.
On leaving the harbor of San Juan, the Prometheus was fired into by the
English brig of war Express, under the following circumstances, as related
by the Captain:—
San Juan, Friday, Nov. 21, 1851
In order to correct any misstatement that may be made
of the circumstances of the English brig of war Express firing into
the Prometheus, I beg of you to give the following statement an insertion
in your paper:
At 2 P.M., I proceeded to get my ship under weigh to proceed to sea,
having but just received the last of our passengers from the Pacific steamer,
numbering in all about 500. At this moment the city authorities of
Greytown, constituted, as they stated, by the authority of the Musketo
King. came on board the ship with a police force, and served a process
of attachment on the ship and myself for the amount of $123, claimed
by the authorities for present and arrearage port dues charged on the
ship, which we supposed to be illegally demanded, and had consequently
refused to pay them, as I did in the present instance.
The port dues are made up from the weight of anchorage in the harbor,
Captain of the Port's fees and pilotage.
I hove up my anchor and dropped down the harbor with the current, having
alongside one of the river steamers, receiving from her the baggage
of the passengers. The English brig-of-war laying a short distance
from us, immediately got underweigh, made sail for us, and when within
a quarter mile from us, fired a round shot over our forecastle, not
clearing the wheel-house over ten feet. In a few moments another shot
was fired, which passed over the stern so near that the force of the
ball was distinctly felt by several of the passengers. I sent a boat
on board the brig to inquire the cause of the firing into us.
The Captain stated it was to protect the authorities of Georgetown
in their demands ; and if we did not immediately anchor he would fire
a bomb-shell into us, and ordered his guns loaded with grape and canister
shot ; at the same time, our small steamer left us, and I proceeded
under steam back to our anchorage, and anchored. The brig stood up
the harbor, and anchored very near us ; sent a boat on board of us
with orders that our fires should be put out, and that an officer would
be sent to see that the fires were extinguished. The shore authorities
then came on board, and, under the circumstances of the case, the amount
demanded was paid, under protest, and we were permitted to proceed
to sea by the Captain of the brig.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain of Steamship Prometheus.
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