Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ferry Fire on the Trojan - 1851

Horrible news linked to Coney Island. I'm shocked that men would sleep in ferry boats, even the captain...

THREE MEN BURNT TO DEATH.--The steamboat Trojan, which ran between New York and Coney Island, was burnt to the water's edge early yesterday morning, while lying at the foot of Vestry street, N. R. She was valued at about $18,000, and is fully insured. At the breaking out of the fire, Capt. Joseph N. Rodman, Arthur McNulty, a fireman, Patrick Dougall, a deck hand, another fireman whose name is unknown, and others belonging to the boat were asleep in their births (sic).--The flames spread with such rapidity before the sleepers awoke, that some of them were left with no chance of escape, and horrible to relate, Dougall, McNulty and the unknown fireman were burned with the boat. One Wm. Fuller, also attached to the boat, was missing, but whether he was burned, drowned, or made his escape from the boat, could not be ascertained. THe 5th and 8th ward police were at the scene and rendered every service in their power. Capt. Rodman escaped from the boat after being burned in a dangerous manner. Officer Warlow of the 8th Ward, when the boat was on fire, discovered a trunk on deck which had been broken open, and several hundred dollars strewn about the floor. He gathered up the money and conveyed it to the station house. Yesterday forenoon the bodies of the three deceased men were removed from the wreck, and the coroner notified to hold an inquest. The jury rendered a verdict of death by suffocation and subsequent burns. Patrick Dougall was 19 years of age and born in Albany.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, August 8, 1851

CONEY ISLAND--The CATALINE, we learn, will take the place of the TROJAN to-day, on the Fort Hamilton and Coney Island line. Capt. Rodman, who was severely scorched in the fire, we are pleased to learn, is not seriously injured.

--New-York Daily Tribune, Saturday, August 9, 1851

I had mentioned Captain Rodman at least a couple times. So he piloted ships around Coney Island in 1848, too. At any rate, this tragedy presumably had nothing to do with the captain's work...

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