Angels in the Gate: New York City and the General Slocum Disaster


On June 15, 1904, a disastrous fire aboard the steamboat, General Slocum, devastated the largest German ethnic population in the United States in a matter of two hours. Close to two thousand people, mostly women and children, were on board the General Slocum, bound for a picnic on Long Island Sound. A carelessly tossed cigarette butt turned this pleasant excursion into a raging inferno that claimed over a thousand lives. This book contains the uniquely personal recollections of the survivors and their families, the good Samaritans, the heroes, the caregivers, and the passers-by whose families where touched by the largest maritime disaster, and most deadly fire, in New York’s history prior to September 11, 2001.

Each family’s experience has been compiled separately and is augmented by a descendants’ family tree. In some cases, the family tree begins with the original immigrant ancestor of the family. The stories are presented in the descendant’s own words and (as available) photos of their ancestors have been included. Appendices include the most complete listing of victims, survivors, and their families ever compiled. A wealth of illustrations enhance the text.

Karen T. Lamberton

(2006), 2016, 5½x8½, paper, 404 pp.

ISBN: 9780788438271