AWFUL DISASTER
Fayetteville Observer, Thursday March 24, 1836

Posted November 18, 2009 by Myrtle Bridges

The following is an extract of a letter from a gentleman in Mobile, dated March 14th:

"A most terrible accident happened here yesterday. As the steamer Benj. Franklin was starting for Montgomery, 
her boilers burst, killing and wounding thirty, as some accounts say-others between twenty and thirty, passengers 
and boat hands. The lady passengers and others in the after part of the boat were not injured. Mr. ISAAC WILLIAMS, 
formerly of Cumberland County, North Carolina, and recently near Portland, Wilcox County, Alabama, was blown a 
considerable distance from the wreck into one of the slips, and fell a shockingly mutilated corpse. His remains 
were decently interred, and his watch and money, $2500, were taken care of by his Factor. Several persons sunk 
before they could be reached by the boats; most probably they were dead when they struck the water. The boat 
carried into dock to prevent her from sinking."

In addition to the above, we find the Mobile Advertiser, some farther particulars. The boat had just started, with 
a great number of passengers on board, of whom but few had probably registered their names, so that it was impossible 
to tell how many were killed. The Advertiser gives a list, however, of 2 killed, 8 missing, 9 badly wounded and 5 slightly.

Mr. Williams mentioned above, was a highly respectable citizen of this county, from which he emigrated a few years ago. 
He has left a numerous connection, but no immediate family, as we understand.

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