Daily Event for January 23

In the early days of steam power sometimes a ship owners hopes of success went down with the ship. Such was the case for the Collins Line of New York. The line, established in 1848 made it's first New York to Liverpool trip in 1850. By the end of the year they operated four ships Arctic, Atlantic, Baltic and Pacific, all sidewheelers. The first tragedy took place on Sept. 27, 1854 when the Arctic collided with the SS Vesta off Cape Race,
Newfoundland. The tragedy killed about 350 people including Collins' wife, two of his three children, his wife's brother, his wife and three children. James Brown, President of Collins Line, lost his two daughters and one son along with his sons wife and two grandchildren (none of the 109 women and children survived).

Tragedy would strike the Collins Line again when on Jan. 23, 1856 the Pacific sailed from Liverpool for New
York. She never made it and her loss remained a mystery until 1991 when the wreck was found 12 miles northwest of Anglesey Island, Wales. While we now know she did not get far we still don't know the exact cause of her loss. She took with her between 186 and 286 people. While the line operated until Feb. of 1858 the loss of both ships, frequent breakdowns and the delay of the newest ship Adriatic combined to cause the line to close and sell their remaining vessels.

© 2007 Michael W. Pocock

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2006 Daily Event