New York, NY Steamer GENERAL SLOCUM Disaster, June 1904

Smouldering Wreckage Smouldering Wreckage Memorial Prior To Disaster Memorial NYC General Slocum drawing of fire.jpg

1,000 LIVES MAY BE LOST IN BURNING OF THE EXCURSION BOAT GEN. SLOCUM.

ST. MARK'S CHURCH EXCURSION ENDS IN DISASTER IN EAST RIVER CLOSE TO LAND AND SAFETY.

693 BODIES FOUND -- HUNDREDS MISSING OR INJURED.

FLAMES FOLLOWING EXPLOSION DRIVE SCORES TO DEATH IN THE WATER.

FIERCE STRUGGLES FOR ROTTEN LIFE PRESERVERS.

The Captain, Instead of Making for the Nearest Landing, Runs the Doomed Vessel Ashore on North Brother Island in Deep Water -- Many Thrilling Rescues -- Few Men on Board to Stem the Panic of Women and Children.

As estimated total of a thousand dead, besides several hundred injured, is the record of the fire disaster which yesterday destroyed the big excursion steamer General Slocum, which was burned to the water's edge before her Captain succeeded in beaching her on North Brother Island. Nearly all the dead and missing are women and children and were members of an excursion party taken out by St. Mark's German Lutheran Church of 323 East Sixth Street.
The estimate that the number of lives lost will be found to reach 1,000 was given by Police Inspector BROOKS at an early hour this morning. Fire Chief CROKER shared his view, saying that at least 900 persons must have perished.

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Comments

Slocum ship disaster 1904

My family was supposed to be on board the SLOCUM during the picnic sail. Due to the "bad feeling" that overtook my Great Aunt Emily Halley Black they did NOT go on the expedition and so were not killed or injured. The mystery remains as to why they were attending the German Evangelical Churce since they were not GErman but the only explanation we can come up with is that when the family came to NY from Birmingham England (and lived where the UN is now) they somehow became friends with members of the parish which was very near by. Even after they moved out to Queens they were attending the Church and we have several marriage and christening records from there. That this disaster was for almost one hundred years the WORST SINGLE DAY disaster in New York City until September 11 2001 and is almost forgotten says something. The disaster also brought about many changes to maritime safety laws and inspection criteria. There are family groups that keep in touch due to this disaster and a small monument in NYC comemmorates it. If any one has info about this or wants to share their story contact me at: jmloebel@sover.net

General Slocum Disaster

Thank you so much for your comment on this terrible event. I have read very much about this incident, and the more I read, the more in touch I feel with the incident. My biggest question would have been the direction the Captain turned the steamer. Did he have a choice? Did he have control of the boat? Readings have told me instead of heading toward North Brother Island, which is a poor location to "beach" a craft of this size, he could have turned more toward the city.
So many lives so sad, so very sad.
I always think of the Sultana Disaster. More individuals were killed in the Sultana explosion than in the sinking of the Titanic, yet, how many remember the Sultana ? It is very much the sand of the Slocum .
Thank you for sharing your feelings and memories with me .
Sincerely Stu