F.W. Backus (1846)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden steam screw F.W. Backus was built as the vessel Earl Carthcart in 1846 in Amhurstbury (Malden Centre), Ontario by the Milan, Ohio ship builder Bates. The Backus was valued at $20,000 and rated at B1 and she had two insurance policies, one for $6,000 and the other for $ 6,000.

April 8,1852: Condemned as a Canadian steamer by the United States for a breach of U.S. shipping laws in 1852 and became a U.S. vessel.

1861: Rebuilt.

1865: Repaired.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Milwaukee: November 1866: "Vessel Burned".
Final Voyage

The propeller F.W. Backus burned at Racine on November 25,1866. The Backus was en route from Chicago to Marquette and, loaded with hay and assorted livestock, was found to be on fire while about two miles off Racine. The crew and nine passengers escaped in the ship's boat, and the Backus was taken in tow by the tug Daisey Lee. Salvagers were unable to scuttle the burning vessel, and she drifted ashore near Racine, Wis., opposite 13th Street, and burned to the water's edge.
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