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973 > Page 973 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.

1838. EXPLOSION OF TIIE STEAMBOAT MOSELLE. 973 and delicious weather seemed to invite them, in order to expose them to more certain destruction. It was understood, too, that the captain of the ill-fated steamer had expressed his determination to outstrip an opposition boat which had just started; the people on shore were cheering the Moselle, in anticipation of her success in the race, and the passengers and crew on tbe upper deck responded to these acclamations, which were soon changed to sounds of mourning and distress. Intelligence of the awful calamity spread rapidly through the city; thousands rushed to the spot, and the most benevolent aid was promptly extended to the sufferers, or rather to those who were within the reach of human assistance, for the majority had perished. The scene here was so sad and distressing, that no language can depict it with fidelity. Here lay twenty or thirty mangled and still "bleeding corpses; while many persons were engaged in dragging others of the dead or wounded, from the wreck or the water. But, says an eye-witness, the survivors presented the most touching objects of distress, as their mental anguish seemed more insupportable than the most intense bodily suffering. Death had torn asunder the most tender ties; but the rupture had been so sudden and violent, that none knew certainly who had been taken, or who had been spared. Fathers were distractedly inquiring for children, children for parents, husbands and wives for each other. One man had saved a son, but lost a wife and five children. A father, partially demented by grief, lay wdth a wounded child on one side, his dead daughter on the other, and his expiring wife at his feet. One gentleman sought his wdfe aud children, who were as eagerly seeking him in the same crowd. They met, and wrere reunited. A female deck passenger who had been saved, seemed inconsolable for the loss of her relatives. Her constant exclamations were, "Oh! my father! my mother! my sisters!" A little boy. about five years old, whose head was much bruised, appeared to be regardless of his wounds, and cried continually for a lost father; while another lad, a little older, was weepiDg for a wdiole family. One venerable man wept for the loss of a wife and five children. Another was bereft of his whole family, consisting of nine persons. A touching display of maternal affection was evinced by a woman, who on being brought to the shore, clasped her hands, and exclaimed, "Thank God, I am safe!" but instantly recollecting herself, she ejaculated in a voice of piercing agony, " "Where is my