In Illinois, three mothers and four of their children die in a freezing river when their sleigh overturns
Seven people were drowned or died of exposure in an accident that saw a sleigh carrying ten people overturn while crossing a frozen stream in Mercer County, Illinois. Three young mothers and four of their children died in the mishap. (By John Osborne)
"Shocking Sleighing Calamity," New York Times, February 12, 1861.