To the Oregon Spectator
Milwaukie, Dec. 4 1850
GENTLEMEN — Your’s bearing date 10th inst. is before me, apprising me of the meeting held by the citizens and members of the Legislative Assembly on the 7th inst., in which the committee appointed to express to me the sense of such meeting, as well as to notify me of the name that they should decide on for the New Steamer being built at Milwaukie, Your committee will first please accept my most unfeigned and sincere respects, and through you to the citizens and legislative assembly I beg leave to tender my hearty thanks for the honor they have done me.
I cannot but feel proud at this much of respect shown me. It always has been my earnest desire to keep pace with, and assist in forwarding any improvement proposed in this my adopted country, and rest assured the compliment you have paid me in naming the Steamer “Lot Whitcomb of Oregon” will tend to add another impetus to my desire. With my best wishes to all, I subscribe myself, Gentlemen.
Your ob’t serv’t
The launching of a steamboat, such as the capacity of the one that heads this article, was something new in the Territory. We have been informed that it was participated in by a large number of person, residents and strangers. Christmas was truly a proud day for Milwaukie. We regret to state that the death of a very estimable man, occurred, the Star says: That of CAPT. F. MORSE, of the Schooner Merchantman, while in the act of touching fire to a cannon, was instantly killed by the bursting of the piece which was blown into atoms, and fragments scattered about for some distance – injuring no one, however, but Capt. MORSE. A fragment of the gun struck him in the neck below the jaw, carrying away one-half of the contents of the neck, breaking the vertebrae of the neck and lower jaw-bone — Thus it ever is, with us mortals, — truly “in the midst of life we are in death.”
Capt. MORSE was a man who had acquired many warm friends here; and whom a short acquaintance with, had strongly prepossessed us in his favor and his untimely fate has cast a gloom over our mind which we cannot easily dispel. He leaves a family, we understand, at New Bern, North Carolina.
his being the day for launching this new and beautiful Steamer, which has been built here, within the last few months, naturally called together a large assemblage of people from the surrounding country, to witness the launch of a steamer, the product of the enterprise and energy of one of our most worthy citizens, which must be of incalculable benefit to the interests of Oregon.
At about 3 o’clock P.M., everything being in readiness, and a goodly number on board, she was cut loose from her fastenings, like a meteor from the heavens. Everything being so well arranged, she went off safely without any straining of the boat, or any other damage or accident.
Great credit is due to the constructor, Wm. L. Hanscom, for the fine model, and the workmanlike manner in which she has been built; and also for the nice arrangements perfected for the safe and expeditious launch, which we had the pleasure of witnessing.
(Oregon Spectator, January 2, 1851)