Item #7844 $100 Reward! The above REWARD will be paid by the undersigned for the RECOVERY of the BODY of HILLYARD C. WEIR, who was lost on the steamer “Bavarian,” on Lake Ontario…

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$100 Reward! The above REWARD will be paid by the undersigned for the RECOVERY of the BODY of HILLYARD C. WEIR, who was lost on the steamer “Bavarian,” on Lake Ontario…

Chatham, Ontario, [1873]. Broadside, 12.25” x 18.125” (sheet size). Early note in ink at upper left: “Nov 5 1873” and brief pencil note in margin at right. CONDITION: Very good, old folds, recently backed with Japanese tissue, one chip repaired at upper margin.

A poignant broadside published by a relative of a young man who drowned when the steamer Bavarian burned on Lake Ontario, describing his appearance and other distinguishing features that would help identify his body.

Published after the Bavarian was consumed by fire fifteen miles off shore on November 5th, 1873, this broadside advertises a hundred dollar reward for the recovery of the body of twenty three year old Hillyard C. Weir, who drowned along with “Miss Ireland,” a young lady he was accompanying, and at least twelve other passengers and crew:

He was…about five feet nine inches in height, and had dark hair, moustache and whiskers, the latter small, wore dark clothes and underclothes of Ribbed Lambs Wool, (grey or flesh color,) and had on his wrists home-knitted yarn Cuffs, brown, with a red edge; he carried a Silver Watch, with Gilt Chain, and an old fashioned Seal attached, and wore, on the little finger of his left hand, a Plain Gold Ring. When last seen, he was in the water without his coat.

The reward was offered by James C. Weir of Chatham, Ontario—presumably Hillyard’s father.

The Bavarian had been making a run from Hamilton, Ontario to Montreal, and caught fire off the coast of Oshawa, not long after leaving Toronto. The fire broke out “amidships” and the boat was “almost immediately in a mass of flames.” One of the three lifeboats was lost, as was its captain. In addition to people, the Bavarian was also carrying “about 1,300 barrels of apples, about fifty tons of bacon, and a small quantity of other freight when she was burned.” The Bavarian was rebuilt from the remains of the Kingston, which had burned in June of 1872. It was rebuilt once more, as the Algerian, and was again partially burned in 1905.

REFERENCES: “The Burning of the Bavarian,” The New York Times, November 9, 1873, p. 5.

Item #7844

Price: $975.00

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