On this day in cruise history: 113 years ago today on Wednesday, June 15, 1904 there was a passenger ship fire aboard the SS General Slocum in Manhattan New York. The General Slocum was a sidewheel passenger ship which took harbor excursions around New York city.
The General Slocum had been chartered for $350 by the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in the German district Little Germany, Manhattan. Over 1,300 passengers, mostly women and children, boarded the General Slocum. The ship captain was Captain William H. Van Schaick.
Van Schaick would say at trial the reason he steamed ahead, was he was trying to use the wind to blow out the flames, when instead it fanned the flames, and accelerated the growth of the fire. The death tolls was . . .