*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the disaster by survivors and rescuers *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents There were scenes of horror on the General Slocum and on shore such as it would t be decent to set down on paper... - J.S. Ogilvie, History of the General Slocum disaster by which nearly 1200 lives were lost by the burning of the steamer General Slocum in Hell gate, New York harbor, June 15, 1904 (1904) There is a popular saying that claims timing is everything, and in other field of study is that truer than in history. For instance, under rmal conditions, a ship that sank with more than 1,000 passengers aboard - most of whom died - would be big news, yet today the sinking of the PS General Slocum is often overlooked if t entirely forgotten. While it might have generated the type of publicity and reaction of the Johnstown Flood of 1889 or the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 under rmal circumstances, deadliest disaster in New York City's history before 9/11, and the second deadliest maritime disaster in peacetime in American history has become something of a historical footte. On June 15, 1904, an annual gala was held on the passenger ship as it steamed up the East River, with about 1,400 people from St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Consisting mostly of German immigrants, the boat was packed with women and children, and when a small fire started on the ship shortly after the trip began, faulty equipment was unable to put it out or stop it from spreading. On top of that, the lifeboats were tied up and the crew, which never conducted emergency drills, was unprepared for a potential disaster. When parents put life preservers on their children and then had them enter the water, they soon learned that the life preservers were also faulty and didn't float. As the disaster unfolded, over 1,000 passengers burned to death or drowned, many swept under the water by the East River's current and weighed down by heavy wool clothing. Few people on board knew how to swim, exacerbating the situation, and eventually the overcrowded decks began to collapse, crushing some unfortunate victims. In the end, the General Slocum sank in shallow water while hundreds of corpses drifted ashore, and the fallout was immediate. The captain was indicted for criminal negligence and manslaughter, and the ship's owner was also charged. While the captain would receive a 10 year sentence, the company in charge of the General Slocum got off with a light fine. In a somewhat fitting postscript, the ship was salvaged and converted into a barge, only to sink once again during a heavy storm in 1911. Time heals all wounds, but in the case of the Slocum disaster, the wounds weren't so much healed as overshadowed. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire took over 100 lives in New York City in 1911 and led to calls for serious workplace reforms, and a few years later, World War I began in Europe. With that, much of the sympathy Americans previously felt for the loss of over 1,000 German lives on the Slocum evaporated. The Sinking of the General Slocum: The History of New York City's Deadliest Maritime Disaster chronicles the fateful chain of events that led to one of the worst tragedies in American history. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the General Slocum like never before, in time at all.