Sunday, August 3, 2014

A melancholy and very distressing accident in Bladensburg, Maryland July 31, 1814

A melancholy and very distressing accident occurred yesterday morning, a few miles north of the city. The excessive rains of Thursday night produced so great a flood the Eastern branch of the Potomac which passes the town of Bladensburg, as to overflow the banks to a considerable extent. One of the Baltimore stages only attempted to for this stream to the bridge, the railings of which were visible; driver on by the passengers, or unfortunately deeding the passage practicable, rashly proceeded, and in a minute the horses, driver & stage, containing five passengers, were all swept down the rapid current. The driver and four passengers, by their own exertions and the aid of boats, were rescued — the remaining passenger perished. Was a young gentlemen, we learn, of the name of Birchett son of Mr. Robert Birchett, president of the Petersburg branch of the Bank of Virginia, and was on his way to one of our Eastern colleges. His body has not been recovered. The driver attempted to preserve his horses by cutting them loose, but to save his own life was obliged to abandon them to their fate.[1]

[1] Delaware Gazette and State Journal, published as DELAWARE GAZETTE.; Date: 08-01-1814; Page: [3]; Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, 2nd August 2014