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Charles Henry Bliss
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Birth: Aug. 22, 1837
Bristol County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Aug. 30, 1872
Providence County
Rhode Island, USA

Occupation: Jeweler
Parents: George Bliss & Jerusha (Martin) Bliss-burial site unknown
Spouse 1: Mary Frances Wheeler-married 9 Jun 1864 in Providence
Spouse 2: Mary Elizabeth Briggs-married 11 Aug 1868 in Providence

Brother: George Nelson Bliss 142111448
Brother: Frederick Drown Bliss 140207040
The following information was supplied by Marcia Briggs (#47831071)
son with Mary Briggs Bliss:
Elliot Lewis Bliss b 15 Mar 1872 Providence RI, d 12 Aug 1912 Barrington RI; buried at Prince's Hill Cemetery, Barrington

The wreck of the steamer Metis, on Long Island Sound, involving a loss of at least forty lives, and perhaps more, with- in fall view of the town of Stonington, was not only one of the most dreadful, but one of the most inexcusable and criminal. marine casualties which have occurred for many years. Accustomed as the public has become to carelessness, recklessness, and indifference, in the management of steamboats and the care of human life, the details of this fearful disaster will shock even the most callous reader. The steamer Metis, of the Neptune Steamship Line, while on her trip from New York to Providence, having on board 103 persons and a fall cargo of merchandise, collided with the schooner Nettie Cushing, bound from Thomaston, Maine, to New York. The collision took place during a heavy gale, about 4 o clock in the morning of Friday last. The shock to the steamer was so violent that all her passengers rushed from their state-rooms and made such hasty preparations as they could, in the dire confusion and distress which prevailed, to save themselves. The officers of the boat, to whom passengers instinctively look for guidance and assistance at such a dreadful time, were in- different beyond comprehension to the danger which threatened all on board. For fifteen minutes the Metis cruised about in a circle, looking for the which bad struck them, without stopping for an instant to ascertain whether the Metis had sustained any damage. About the time of the collision; the steamer Stonington passed the Metis and offered assistance, but the Captain, assuming that there was no danger, declined it. The Metis then resumed her course as if nothing had happened, but the alarm of the passengers continued. The Purser informed them that no dam- age was done, for it was of no use "for the small craft to run into us any way, for they can t hurt us." Finally, and probably to satisfy the passengers, the Captain notified the Engineer to examine the injury, which he failed to do. The result was, that, when all had recovered hcr,6 and themselves safe, the fires 'were suddenly extinguished, and the steamer was left hopelessly tossing about in the fu- , and shipping water at a tremendous rate through in her side, until finally the hall went down, the upper deck floating off, and serving as an insecure raft for those who had not gone down with the boat. The pilot, on - training that the boat was sinking, abandoned his post and sought only his own safety and that of a friend, with cork mattresses which were stored away in his room. The deck-hands testify that the leak might have been temporarily stopped with sail-, if the carpenter had been set to work before the water made such headway. The boat went down immediately after the fires were extinguished, according to the statement of the firemen, but the fires were not - extinguished until half an hour after the col- , during which time the Metis had been sailing in her regular course. Had the Captain gone below, as it was his duty to do, immediately after the collision, repaired the break as well as he could, and then headed his boat for shore, there is no doubt that, in the half-hours time, the boat might have been run ashore and every soul saved. But not a single person in the crew gave any thought to the boat, the half-hour between life and death was wasted, and the boat was lost within sight of the shore.

Whatever the Captain of the Metis may have done toward the salvation of life, after the destruction of the boat was inevitable, counts but little in comparison with what he should have done before it. He should have saved every life, for it was clearly within his power to (lo so, and he is therefore responsible for those lives he allowed to be lost through his recklessness. Ilis first impulse at the moment of collision should have been to examine his vessel, and see if any injury bad been sustained. If he had done so, his vessel undoubtedly would have been saved, with every soul on board, for not only was the steamer Stonington alongside, ready to take off the passengers, but he had a fall half-hour before the were extinguished in which he could have ran ashore. In place of this, he refused every hint of help, ; pot only all danger, but all possibility of danger, ana until the fires were extinguished, -the engines were stopped, and the steamer lay tossing helplessly in the heavy sea, with the water pouring into her, did he bestir himself to save the passengers in his keeping. It was then too late for the efforts of any single person to be of avail to the multitude. Each one must shift for himself, and the result was, that the weaker-the women and children-were sacrificed to the incomprehensible foolhardiness and recklessness of a Captain who was either too wilfully or ignorantly blind to recognize danger when it stared him directly in the face. If human life were not held so cheaply and of such trifling consequence; if these terrible disasters were not forgot- ten so soon, and were something more than the sensations of a day or an hour,-it would be of some importance to demand that this Captain of the Metis should be held responsible for the men, women, and children who were drowned on that terrible night, and who might have been living today but for him. It is almost too much to expect that such conduct will even disqualify him from immediately resuming his place in the service of the company to which he is attached. The facts, however, should be a warning to the travelling public to avoid any boat of which he is commander hereafter.

Chicago Tribune Sept. 2, 1872

History tidbit: In 1873 Captain Jared Starr Crandall, keeper of the Watch Hill lighthouse, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for rescue operations involving the Metis. 
Family links: 
  Mary Frances Wheeler Bliss (1843 - 1867)
  Mary Elizabeth Briggs Bliss (1838 - 1907)
  Corinne Frances Bliss (1869 - 1870)*
  Elliott Lewis Bliss (1872 - 1912)*
*Calculated relationship
AUG. 22, 1837
AUG. 30, 1872
Swan Point Cemetery
Providence County
Rhode Island, USA
Plot: 40 1662
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Dec 09, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62733531
Charles Henry Bliss
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 Added: Nov. 10, 2013

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