On this day: the sinking of the Lexington

The Lexington was a paddlewheel steamboat operated aNortheastern United States between 1835 to 1840 before sinking in January 1840 due to an onboard fire.-Awful_conflagration_of_the_steam_boat_Lexington

The Lexington, a steamboat in the northeast of the United States, caught fire and sank on the night of the 13th of January, 1840.

139 of the 143 people on board died, many from hypothermia after having to jump into the freezing water, and then having nothing to hold onto.

The fire occurred when the casing of the smokestack caught fire halfway through the journey. 150 bales of cotton were nearby, and they also caught on fire, making the disaster much worse.

Charles Follen (September 6, 1796 – January 13, 1840) was a German poet and patriot, who later moved to the United States and became a radical abolitionist.

Charles Follen

Radical abolitionist, German-born Charles Follen was one of the victims.

You can read about the four survivors (all men, and one of whom was in the water for 43 hours) HERE.

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