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I THE GREAT EASTERN. 1

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I THE GREAT EASTERN. 1 I CATTAIX HAERISOX, THE PURSER'S SCX, AND THE I COXSWAIN DROWSED. Misfortunes crowd heavily upnn the noble but unfor- unllte Great Extern. The last, but by no means the least, of tho many calamities that have befallen it, is the d"ath of it!, able And universally esteemed. commander. }<'p,v men have been pl«'-t.'d in m, -)ro trying and more difficult cinumfincM than thnse with which Captain Harrison has been surrounded since his first ni>p.;iut- ment to his omrnand. By his steady adherence to a ma!Iv and honc-t course, Captain Harrison had won the e-t >em and respect of all with whom he came intn contact. As a naval man his abilities and experiore were un. qii-s,ioae t and when directors and siiavehold ;rs were in- dulging in miserable squabble, and contractors 'Ind greedy speculators were considering how they mighi nest nuke the ship ans-A-er their uurrenery purples, the public confidence in the merits of the un- rtakinz was almost entiiely sustained bv the knowledge that Captain Harrison was siiil the commander of tiie ship, The experienced ataman, the able engineer, the thorough man of business, the li ii--st and independent servant, one of the lew remaining props the grcut undertaking has followed to the grave the originator and designer oJ the Great Eastern. The announcement of the death ot C-iptnin Harrison has thrown a gloom over every one connected with the company, find in the town of South- ampton a feeling of almost personal interest was evinced in the nutter by the inhabitants when they heard of the add event. The eircumalances under which the death took p £ «:e are peculiarly distressing. On Saturday morning Capt. H irrison had 0 casion to leave the ship, now lying at her moorings in the Southampton water, to proceed to Southampton on business connected with the Great Eas- tern. A boat was lowered shortly after br. akfast, and in company with Dr. Watson, toc, surgeon of the ship; Capt Ley, the estimable purser; his Ofl, a Jad lif about 14 years of age; and six men of the crew, the captain pro- ceeded to ilvthe, where his wife and danghter are resid- ing. After leaving them Captain liarriion and the otaer officers of the ship proceeded to Southampton, The wind, which had been blowing very fresh, increased to a most violent gale from the south-west before the boat reached the entrance to the duck. As the boat was en- tering, and whih in the act of lowering the sale, a heavy gu,t of wind caught the b )at and capsized it. The whold -4.' .L. I uic occupants were turown out; some of them wero fortunate enough to sieze hold of parts of the rigging, or of the boat; Captain Harrison clung to an oar, by whioh j he was supported tor a short time. The Indus, one of the Peninsular and Oriental Company's ships. lying in docks, put off two boats, which arrived at the sce:ie of the disaster in a few moments, and after considerable exeition the men succeeded in picking up Captain Har- rison, who was in a state of utter unconsciousness, and was lying with his body across the oar and his arms and legs under tiie water. Captain Ley was also picked up y"ry much bruised about itte head, and bleeding exten- sively. Dr Watson was also recovered in a state of ex- treme exhaustion, as well as the six men of the ship who were in the boat. The son of Captain Ley, an ami- able and highly intelligent lad, was not then found, and his body was not recovered until some time after. The rescued men were brought ashore, and all received the utmost possible attention and kindness from the officers of the Indus and others connected with the Peninsular and Oriental Company, as well as the officials of the docl". The condition of Captain Harrison was such as to call for immediate attention and active exertions with a view of restoring him to consciousness. Medical men were summoned, and not fewer than six were in atten- dance, who resorted to every possible mode of restoring animation. Galvanism and ohtr means which medical skill could suggest were unavding to save life. The first intimation of the sad event was conveyed to the directors of the great ship company by Mr. Hedger, the harbour master of Southampton, about eleven o'clock. The tele- gram briefly stilted" Poor Harrison is drowned with Ley's son, by the upsetting of a boat." Mr. Yates, the secretary, immediately telegraphed back for further par- ticulars, and the directors entertained a lingering hope that possibly he might have been resuscitated; but shortly afterwards a second telegram arrived supplying some of the details given above. Air. Trotman, one of the oldest and most attached friends of Captain Harrison immediately proceeded to Southampton, to render any assistance in his power to Mrs. Harrison under the ter- I ible calamity which had befallen her. Captain Harrison possessed in a most remarkable man- ner the confidence of the hte Mr Brunei, and when it be- came necessary to consider the appointment of a comman- der of the great ship he reported to the directors his opin- ion of the qualifications necessary in the captain. He stat- ed in effect that such an officer ought not to be merely an experienced naval man, but one who had a practical know- ledge of naval engineering, and who would be able to corn prehend and deal with the many important and practical questions which would necessarily arise in the develop- ment and carrying out of this great experiment. Such a man in every respect was Captain Harrison, and he an peared to have been admirably adapted for the important position which he occupied. He had a thorough knowl-dra of all the details of the construction of the ship had ivatch ed its growth aud progress from its earliest state to its present condition, aud not the least among the many diffi- culties which committees of investigation or boards of management may have in future to deal with will be the appoiutment of Captain Harrison. The shareholders of the company, however much they may be divided on other questions, will at least be united in their regret at the melancholy accident which has deprived them of so valu- able and devoted a servant. Captain Harrisou displayed at a very early age his predilectiou lor a sea life, and was apprenticed to the merchant service, and even before he was out of his time was entrusted with a command. His service at the commencement of his career was priucipally in the West Indies and on the coast of South America. The wars at that time existing between the minor states oa that seaboard frequently placed the vessels under the charge of Captain Harrisou in juxta position wiih a for- midable enemy. On more than one occasion he has been iu action, and invariably fought his ship with success. Af- ter serving eight years iu those iatit udes he accepted an ap- pointment with the Cuna. d Company, and commanded the Acadia, Britannia, Hibernia, America, Africa, and Arabia. In thesb vesseli he acquired that immense experience which gained for him the title of the Atlantic Naviga- tor." Captain Harrison crossed the Atlantic 80 many times that he would pleasantly say after counting up to 157 he had left otf his "dead reckoning." As, however. each of these vessels made from 10 to 14 voyages a year, an estimate may easity be made on the subject. While engaged in this command, his knowledge, seamanship, and manly bearing attracted the attention of some of the principal promoters of the Grand Trunk Railway of Caaada who were also interested in the Great Eastern steamship, and their influeace induced Captain Harrison to relinquish his engagement on the Canard line, which he bad held for 15 years, and to accept the command of the Great Eastern. His services to that company, which date from January 1, I806, were invaluable; and the numberless persons whom business or pleasure has led to visit the monster vessel will bear eager testimony to the admirable tact aud politeness of the commander while he was placed in the most trying position. Those who were on boaid the Greit ship when the explosion caused 80 much consternation will readily testify how much coofidence was created by his coolness, and how his foresight aud grasp of mind enforced discipline in a temporarily alarmed and disorganised crow Captain Harrison had, we are sorry to hear, invested all the savings of his professional career in the great under- taking with which he had identified himself. He was sanguine of the success of the great ship, if ocly the pro. per means were adopted for developing its great powers and capabilities, and if its management were placed in the hands of a board possessiog uuity of action among them- selves, aud were guided by that practical knowledge with- out whick success in rery enterprise must be wholly unat- taiuable.

FEARFUL CATASTROPHE AT ST.…

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J PJSRPRI(T YEWI-I. )

SHERIFFS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES…

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