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Loaded passenger/cargo ship burns in New York's North River

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
09/02/1861
The William Tell, a 175 foot 1153 ton ship was moored in the river off New York City preparing for a voyage to Le Havre in France fully laden and with her passengers aboard.  At around 2 a.m. a fire was discovered in the forecastle and soon the entire ship was afire.  All the passengers and crew were able to escape but the William Tell burned for several days, having been beached on the flats.  The cargo was mostly lost but the ship was eventually salvaged to sail again.  She hit a reef and was destroyed in Puget Sound in January 1866.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
"Terrible Fire on Shipboard," New York Times, September 3, 1861.
Robert G. Albion, Square-Riggers on Schedule: The New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports (Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press), 286-287.

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