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972 > Page 972 of Annals of the West : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories, from the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six.

972 EXPLOSION OF THE STEAMBOAT MOSELLE. 1838. reported that one man, who was apprehensive of danger, went ashore, after protesting agaiust the injudicious management of the steam apparatus. Yet the passengers generally were regardless of any danger that might exist, crowding the boat for the sake of her beauty and speed, and making safety a secondary consideration. "When the object for which the Moselle had landed was nearly accomplished, and the bow of the boat just turned in preparation to move from the shore, at that instaut the explosion took place. The whole of the vessel forward of the wheels was blown to spli nters; every timber, (as an eye-witness declares) " appeared to be twisted, as trees sometimes are, when struck by lightning." As soon as the accident occurred, the boat floated down the stream for about one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards, where she sunk, leaving the upper part of the cabin out of the water, and the baggage, together with many struggling human beings, floating on the surface of the river. It was remarked that the force of the explosion was unprecedented iu the history of steam ; its effect was like that of a mine of gunpowder. All the boilers, four in number, burst simultaneously; the deck was blown into the air, and the human beings who crowded it were doomed to instant destruction. It was asserted that a man, believed to be a pilot, was carried, together with the pilot house, to the Kentucky shore, a distance of a quarter of a mile. A fragment of a boiler was carried by the explosion high into the air, aud descending perpendicularly about fifty yards from the boat, it crushed through a strong roof, and through the second floor of a building, lodging finally on the ground floor. Captain Perrin, master of the Moselle, at the time of the accident, was standing on the deck, above the boiler, in conversation with another person. He was thrown to a considerable height on the steep embaukment of the river and killed, while his companion was merely prostrated on the deck, and escaped without injury. Another person was blown a great distance into the air, and on descending he fell on a roof with such force, that he partially broke through it, and his body was lodged there. Some of the passengers who were in the after part of the boat, and who were uninjured by the explosion, jumped overboard. An eye-witness says that he saw sixty or seventy in the water at one time, of whom comparatively few reached the shore. There were afterward the mutilated remains of nineteen persons buried in one grave. It happened, unfortunately, that the larger number of the passengers were collected on the upper deck, to which the balmy air