The ill fated Collins liners Arctic and Pacific

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Tarn Stephanos

Member
For a time in the 19th century, the Americans rivaled the British in the arena of trans Atlantic travel. The American Collins Line certainly gave the new Cunard line a run for their money. But a string of misfortune would bring the Collins line to ruin- the sinking of the Arctic in 1854, and the loss of the Pacific- with all hands, in 1856. The wreck of the Pacific was found within the last 10 years. Does anyone know what the standing theory is is to the cause of her loss? I hope the wreck of the Artcic is found- prior to the Titanic sinking, Americans regarded the Arctic sinking as the definative shipwreck.

A great book was written about the Arctic sinking, called "Women and Children Last". The stokers and crew commondeered the boats, leaving the passengers to drown. No rescue attempt was held for days, as New York ship companies asked for outragious prices for the use of their vessels in the resuce effort. Does anyone know if the wreck of ther Arctic has ever been located? I beleive Walter Lord's thesis was on the Arctic disaster..

regards

tarn Stephanos
 
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Geoff Whitfield

Member
Hello Tarn,
Have you read the latest "Arctic" book "The Sea Shall Embrace Them"? by David W. Shaw. It's very good. Also, was it the "Pacific" that was discovered off The Isle of Man - or was that the "City of Boston"? So many disappearing steamers in that early era - I'm getting quite confused!

Thanks

Geoff
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
Hi Geoff!

Is this book avaialble? Ill buy it at once if its in the stores and in print! The Pacific was found near Ireland mehtinks, but Ive heard a follow up dive to determine her identity for absolute certainty never happened due to lack of funds..

regards

tarn Stephanos
 
G

Geoff Whitfield

Member
Hi Tarn,

I got my copy from Amazon.com
The ISBN number is 0-7432-2217-2
There's nothing startlingly new in it - but then after 150 years I didn't suppose there would be!
Good luck!

I thought it was the Pacific that they had found, it's between Ireland and the Isle of Man if I remember the facts properly. how strange that she should founder so close to port as opposed to Mid Atlantic as was believed at the time!

Geoff
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Unfortunately, "disappearances" in that day and age were all too common. The sea remains a dangerous place even today, so how much more so with the old wooded vessels with no watertight subdivision? Also, no radio, so if one came to greif, there was no way of telling anybody about it.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
"The Sea Shall Embrace Them" is a very good book- I just finished it last night! The tale of the ill fated Collins liner "Arctic" was a sad one indeed- the heroism displayed on Titanic was not to be found on the Arctic. Any other Arctic buffs here?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
Here is the passenger list for the Pacific's fatal voyage, published March 22, 1856:

Figuerias, J.
Wilson II, Mr.
Shilden, H.C.
Lieden, Mr.
Atwater, A.W.
McDougal, W.
Pauchet, Mr. and Mrs.
Cutter, G.N.
Haight, R.K.
Getz, H.
Steere, Mr., Mrs. and Child
Dutilh, H.
Glen, James
Erving, Mr. A., and Wife
Barbour, Mr. I., Wife and Child
Kershaw, Mr.
Ridgway, Mr.
Carter, A.K.
Hopf, Mr.
O'Reilly, Mr.
Charlesworth, Mr.
Charrinaud, Mr.
Seymour, Mr. W.B., and Wife
Topling, Wm.
Berridge, Mr. S.B., Wife and Child
Jordan, Miss.
Reilly, Wm Peel
Trimmer, H.
Heck, Misses
Espie, R.
Lapps, Mr.
Jordan, G.
Whittaker, W.
Codosa, Mr.
Dorizano, Mr.
Wilson, Mr.
Moore, A.
Smith, LeGrand

of whom, 15 were carried in First Cabin. It is also mentioned that there were 151 crew aboard, but they are not named.

Tarn- you asked if the wreck of the Arctic has ever been located. A good question. I've wondered that myself.As you might recall from Women and Children last, the wreck was located a year or so after the sinking, so it might not be all that difficult to relocate were any relatively accurate records kept concerning the 1855/56 discovery.
 
K

kevin johnson

Member
why dont they hust start lookinh in the ships last known positions artic cape race pacifif n atlantic
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
Most likely, in the case of the Arctic, lack of funds. They knew exactly where it was in the 1850s, and probably, somewhere, have the coordinates of where she lies. The wreck is in water of comparable depth to the Lusitania, but being less than 300 feet long, and of wood, might prove more of a challenge to find at this point and, financially, less of a reward.

As was said earlier in this thread, the Pacific may well have been found in the 1980s, in English coastal waters, but little has been written about it. Probably another reason why no expedition to find the Arctic has been launched- lack of general interest.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Hi Tarn,

What was the cause of the sinking of the Arctic?

Best regards,

Jason
Happy
 
M

Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
What was the cause of the sinking of the Arctic?

Too much water in the hull, I suppose.
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
She was struck by a smaller vessel- At first it was believed the other ship would sink- turned out Arctic was the doomed vessel.One of the lifeboats was lowered and vanished forever in a fog.
Firemen on the Arctic commondeered lifeboats, and anyone who protested was smashed on the head with a shovel..

Tarn Stephanos
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Tarn said: "Firemen on the Arctic commondeered lifeboats, and anyone who protested was smashed on the head with a shovel.."

How awful! Thanks Tarn.

Best regards,

Jason
Happy
 
J

James Hill

Member
the vessel was a small french steamer called the
Vesta.Arctic is one of my favourite ships does anyone know a website about it exept www.greatocaen-liners.net/
they have quite a good bit of info on Arctic but nothing on the Pacific.
 
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