For the first time on our waters, we have the melancholy task of recording a steam boat explosion, attended by the loss of three lives. The following are the particulars, as hastily stated by the Advertiser extra, of Friday last:
STEAM BOAT EXPLOSION! — After our paper went to press, an accident of a most melancholy character occurred. The Steam Boat John Walker, owned by Doyle O’Hanlon, Esq. was, this morning, about daylight, blown up, and made a complete wreck.
It appears that she had raised a head of steam and run down along side the Brig Roque, lying at anchor in the stream, for the purpose of towing her down over the shoals. Soon after making her fast to the brig and while in the act of heaving up the anchor, the boilers burst, — simultaneously blowing out the bow and stern of the boat, which, in a few minutes, sunk; and is now almost entirely under water. Capt. A. G. Dickson, who was standing on the engine house, by the side of the engineer, was blown over the stern of the brig, and has not been recovered. Damon, a black fireman, who was in the hold; and Purdie Jacobs, the pilot, were also killed. Isaac, the Engineer, a black man, was blown on board the brig, and is dangerously wounded. Prince, a black man, was also slightly wounded. The boat had on board some goods for the interior; but we are not informed who are the owners. The Steamboats Clarendon and Henrietta, are about towing the wreck into the dock, where she may be got on shore if possible.
[ Fayetteville Observer – Fayetteville, NC – Thursday, June 16, 1836 ]