Dreadful Loss of Life and Limb

Sandy Hook Lighthouse (Image from www.lighthousehistory.info)

Sandy Hook Lighthouse (Image from http://www.lighthousehistory.info)


Dreadful loss of Life and Limb.

It is a long time since our city (New York) has been visited with so horrible a disaster, as the one which we, as public journalists, find it our painful duty now to chronicle. The accident occurred at the black and white smith shop of Edward Duvall, No. 102 Charlton street.

Link to map with Sandy Hook Lighthouse (bottom left of map)

It appears that Mr. Duvall, a young man in the prime of his life, being about 33 years old, has been doing a considerable work for the light house at Sandy Hook; and while engaged in the performance of it, he employed the fishermen resident in the neighborhood, to collect the cannon balls and bomb shells which are frequently found buried in the sand, or rolled up in the surf, which he agreed to purchase as old iron. During yesterday, a load of the above articles were brought to Mr. Duvall’s shop, and on examination, the latter found that some of the shells were yet loaded, and before taking them into the house, he proceeded to empty them of the composition. This was about five o’clock in the afternoon. Mr. Duvall, proceeding to empty the shells, took one, said to be of the shape of an egg, about 24 inches long, upon his lap, sitting on a seat which he procured on the side walk, and with a stick loosened the composition, which he shook upon the walk between his feet. While thus engaged, the shell which was made of cast iron, exploded with a tremendous force killing Mr. Duvall and two others instantly, and severely wounding several others.

— Mr. Duvall’s arms were both entirely blown off, his right leg was taken off at the knee, a horrible hole was blown through his abdomen, and his whole body was more or less injured. He never breathed after the explosion. He lived in the upper part of the house wherein was his shop, and has left a wife and one child to mourn his loss, as also a large circle of beloved friends.

Image from http://dougsloan.com/wagons/

Rockaway Wagon (Image from http://dougsloan.com/wagons/)

Mr. A.O.Price, builder, of No. 79 Thompson street, aged about 39 years, and who is now engaged in building the Grace Church’s new house of worship in Broadway, was passing shortly before the accident, in a one horse Rockaway wagon, on his way to the North river, where he was expecting a cargo of stone from Sing-Sing, and loosing a linchpin from his wagon, stopped at Mr. Duvall’s; and while the wagon was being repaired, he was engaged in conversation with the unfortunate proprietor when the explosion took place.

— He received a blow on the back of his head from a piece of the shell, breaking in the entire back of his skull, causing instant death. When found, he laid on the sidewalk, with his hands in his pockets, entirely lifeless. His horse, a valuable one, was standing in the front of the door, and a piece of the shell struck him on the side of his head, taking it entirely off; the same fraction of the shell passed across the street, took a large piece out of the eave gutter of the house, and glancing off the shingled peak, fell at some distance beyond. Mr. Price has left a wife and two children to mourn the untimely end of the husband and father.

Richard Broderick, a lad of 17 years of age, residing at the corner of King and Hudson streets, was passing at the same time, with a young associate by the name of Bennett, and stopped a moment, picked up some of the composition, and as he started from the scene, was arrested by death; being instantly killed by a piece of the shell, which struck him on the right side of the neck, just on the edge of the cheek, making a wound of about two inches in diameter, severing the jugular vein, killing him almost instantly. His clothes were much burned, and his body dreadfully mangled.

Robert Bennett, step son of Abraham Moses, No. 280 Hudson street, was in company with Broderick, and was thrown into the air several feet, falling in such a manner as to severely cut his lip. Both his legs are broken above the knee, and dreadfully mangled, so that one must be amputated; the other may be saved. If mortification does not set in, his life may be saved. He is perfectly conscious, and has been so all the time since the disaster. These are all that we can hear of with any degree of certainty. It is said that a cartman, who was passing at the time, had an arm blown off, and another young man was much injured. The report of the explosion was heard at the distance of eight squares. The glass in the windows on both sides of the street, is more or less broken from Hudson street to the river. A piece of the iron weighing about 2 pounds, is said to have fallen at the corner of Varick and Carmine streets; another piece weighing about ten pounds, flew towards the river, and entering the office of George Leland, pork and provission packer, corner of Washington and Charlton Streets, knocked a decanter out of the hands of a cartman named Travis, who was standing in the office with several others, without injury to any individual. — Journal of Commerce.

Google Map of the area

The Victims of the Explosion. — The remains of three of the ill-fated victims of the accident of Monday, Aaron O. Price, Edward Duvall and Robert H. Bennet, were interred yesterday afternoon with appropriate ceremonies. Richard J. Broderick, the other person who was killed, was buried the previous day.

The body of Mr. Price was temporarily deposited in the marble cemetery at the corner of Second street and Second avenue, until it can be removed to the family burying ground in Eastchester. His remains were attended to the grave by the New York Tent of Rechabites, New York Lodge No. 10, Washington Lodge No. 12, Mount Sinai Encampment No. 3, and the R.W. Grand Lodge of the I.O. of O.F., a large number of friends and the workmen in the employ of the deceased, the whole forming a very imposing procession. The ceremonies at the burial place were conducted by P.G.M. Wilson Small, who officiated as chaplain for the occasion.

The Lady of Duvall was attended to the grave by Tompkins Lodge No. 9, and Meridian Lodge No. 42, I.O. of O.F., and a large concourse of his neighbors and friends.

N.Y. Com. Adv. March 27th.

Wisconsin Argus (Madison, Wisconsin) Apr 22, 1845

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