Casualties and survivors

During the disaster, over 200 people lost their lives while less than 25 people survived. This page lists the names of the people who were or board or who might have been on board. … [Read more...]

The first few days

The trip was the last scheduled trip for the Phoenix that year, since the winter was already setting in. The Phoenix would take the passengers to Milwaukee and Chicago. … [Read more...]


Only a few hours after the Phoenix departured from Manitowoc the fireman discovered the pumps of the steam engine didn't work properly. They should pump water in the boilers to cool them down. However, the level of the cool water was far too low. … [Read more...]

Help from the coast

While the Phoenix was burning, some of the lifeboats try to get to shore. Around half past three in the morning, people in Sheboygan saw the light of the fire. … [Read more...]

Esselinkpas, Hendrik Jan

Hendrik Jan Esselinkpas was one of the survivors of the Phoenix disaster. He later settled in Michigan. His son corresponded about his father's memories of the disaster with William O. Van Eyck. … [Read more...]

Voskuil, Derk Antony

Derk Antony VOSKUIL and Hendrika LANDEWEERD was two of the few survivors of the Phoenix disaster. They probably met during the voyage to the United States. … [Read more...]

The passengers

The passengers of the Phoenix consisted almost exclusively of Dutch emigrants. Most of them came from Afgescheiden (seceder) backgrounds, following in the footsteps of Van Raalte. They came mostly from the eastern part of the Netherlands. … [Read more...]

1997 sesquicentennial commemoration

In November, 1997, a group of Dutch genealogists attended the Phoenix sesquicentennial commemoration in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. We met lots of Phoenix survivor descendants there. This made me realize what an impact the Phoenix had on the community of Sheboygan, and how much larger this influence could have been if all of these people had settled there. … [Read more...]

History of the Phoenix disaster

In the middle of the nineteenth century a lot of people from the East of Holland emigrated to the US. One of the most popular destinations was Wisconsin. In 1847 a group of those emigrants were on the propellor Phoenix, which would bring them from Buffalo to Sheboygan and beyond. In the early hours of November 21, 1847 the propellor burnt. About 25 people rescued themselves using two lifeboats, while a few other were saved by another ship, the Delaware. … [Read more...]