San Francisco, CA Ferry Boat CONTRA COSTA Disaster, Apr 1859

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

San Francisco, April 3, 1859.
The past week has furnished an unusual amount of deeds of violence and disaster. In striking contrast with the character of the State for twelve months, the last few days are brimful of horrors. Homicides, robberies and many other offences have been perpetrated, and disclosures made of unparalleled inhumanity.
On Sunday morning, the 3d Inst., at about half-past nine o'clock, the ferry boat Contra Costa, plying between this city and Oakland, burst her boiler, causing the death of six persons and the injury of a large number of others. The disaster was unquestionably the result of racing. There are two ferry lines in operation between San Francisco and Oakland, and the spirit of opposition and rivalry ran high between them.
The following is a list of the killed, as far as known:
List of the Killed
DAVID W. CADY, passenger, street contractor and formerly an assistant in the County Surveyor's office.
MITCHELL G. SMITH, barkeeper on the boat. He was blown to pieces. A hand recognized as belonging to deceased was found immediately after the disaster.
HENRY S. OSTRANDER, lately from New York, where he engaged in the looking glass business. He was a fireman on the Contra Costa.
JOSEPH HOLSTER, passenger, annealer in the United States mint, was severely scalded, and died in the Sisters of Mercy Hospital yesterday.
GEORGE McDOWELL, fireman. He was close to the boiler when the explosion took place.
ALBERT WINSHIP, an attache of the boat. He was horribly scalded, and expired in Oakland.
List of the Scalded
JOHN LEWIS, captain of the boat, slightly scalded.
MATTHEW McQUININ, severely scalded in the face and breast, keeps a saloon on Market street.
BENJ. F. HILLARD, United States Custom House, severely scalded.
NICHOLAS KNOWLTON (was with MR. SMITH, the barkeeper), slightly scalded in the legs.
T. W. FENN, severely scalded, keeps a boarding house, on Pacific street.
WYATT BIRDSALL, engineer, slightly scalded.
FRANK SMITH, mate, brother of the barkeeper, slightly scalded.
JOSEPH GARCIA, and Italian, slightly scalded.
DOLORES GARCIA, Mexican woman, slightly scalded.
Mexican Woman, name unknown, wounded in the face by a splinter.
Mexican Woman, name unknown, severely scalded.
Mexican woman, name unknown, slightly scalded.
HENRY TOOMEY, slightly scalded.
A Jewish boy, named CHARLEY, slightly scalded.
MR. RAYMOND, purser, slightly scalded.
GEORGE WILSON, passenger, slightly scalded in the left hand.
HENRY ADAMS, slightly burned.
WILTON MAINE, left ankle dislocated and face scalded.
JAMES CRITTENDEN, son of MR. E. P. CRITTENDEN, slightly scalded.
For several days prior to the explosion of the Contra Costa, the indignation of our citizens was roused to the highest pitch by the details of cruelties inflicted by Capt. PENDLETON, of the bark Sara Park, on his crew during a voyage from Cardiff, Wales, to this port. The testimony elicited before the United States Commissioner brought to the knowledge of the public the particulars of perhaps the most cruel and releutless persecution that ever disgraced the history of the American merchant service.

The Banner of Liberty Middletown New York 1859-05-04