SS La Bourgogne

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SS La Bourgogne was built in 1885 by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediteranee, La Seyne for the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (French Line).[1] She was a 7,395 gross ton vessel, length 494.4ft x beam 52.2ft, two funnels, four masts, iron and steel construction, single screw and a speed of 17 knots. There was accommodation for 390-1st, 65-2nd and 600-3rd class passengers. Launched on October 8, 1885, she sailed on her maiden voyage from Havre to New York on June 19, 1886. In February, 1896 she collided with, and sank the steamer Atlas off the US coast. In 1897-8 she was fitted with quadruple expansion engines and her masts reduced to two. On July 4, 1898 she was sunk in collision in dense fog with the British sailing ship Cromartyshire off Sable Island.[2] At the time, she was carrying 506 passengers and 220 crew of whom 549 were lost, including Turkish wrestler Yusuf İsmail, the American instructor/sculptor Emil Wuertz, American painter De Scott Evans, and three members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Only 173 people survived, but fewer than 70 survivors were passengers, only one woman was rescued, and all children perished. Reports circulated that the crew had refused to aid passengers in the water, to the point of stabbing them. Surviving crew members required police protection upon their arrival in New York.[3]


  1. ^ Eugene Waldo Smith (1978). Passenger ships of the world, past and present (2nd ed.). G. H. Dean. p. 139.
  2. ^ 210 US 95 George Deslions vs. La Compagnie Generale Transatlantique,
  3. ^ Looker, Janet (2000). "Disgrace". Disaster Canada. Lynx Images. pp. 38–39. ISBN 1-894073-13-4.


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