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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Niagara (shipwreck, 1856)


The burning of the steamer Niagara four miles northeast of Port Washington on September 24, 1856, caused 100 fatalities (another estimate places it at 175). Congressman John B. Macy of Empire, Fond du Lac County, was numbered among the victims. Macy insisted on taking a money belt heavy with gold when he jumped to a lifeboat from the deck of the burning vessel. The lifeboat capsized and drowned most of the occupants, including Macy.

[Source: WHS Library reference file]
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