SS La Bourgogne

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La Bourgogne, ca. 1895.jpg
SS La Bourgogne, circa 1895
Name: SS La Bourgogne
Owner: Compagnie Generale Transatlantique
Builder: Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer
Launched: 8 October 1885
Fate: Sunk in a collision on 4 July 1898
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 7,395 GRT
Length: 494.4 feet (150.7 m)
Beam: 52.2 feet (15.9 m)
Propulsion: Single screw
Speed: 17 knots (20 mph)
Capacity: 390 first class passengers

65 second class passengers

600 third class passengers

SS La Bourgogne was a French ocean liner.

She was built in 1885 by Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer for the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (French Line).[1] She was a 7,395 gross ton vessel, 494.4 feet (150.7 m) long and with a beam of 52.2 feet (15.9 m). She had two funnels and four masts, was of iron and steel construction, and propelled by a single screw giving a speed of 17 knots (20 mph). There was accommodation for 390 first class passengers, 65 second class and 600 third class passengers.

Launched on 8 October 1885, she sailed on her maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York on 19 June 1886. In 1886, SS La Bourgogne traveled the Le Havre - New York transit in a little more than 7 days. This gave the company first place in the New York postal service, and ignited a competition for the record in the trans-Atlantic run. In February 1896 she collided with, and sank the steamer Ailsa, of the Atlas Steamship Company, off the US coast. In 1897-8 she was fitted with quadruple expansion engines and her masts reduced to two. On 4 July 1898 she was sunk in collision in dense fog with the British sailing ship Cromartyshire off Sable Island.[2] At the time, she was carrying 506 passengers and 220 crew, of whom 549 were lost, including Turkish wrestler Yusuf İsmail, the American instructor/sculptor Emil H. Wuertz, American painter De Scott Evans, an Armenian Orthodox priest, Rev. Stepan Der Stepanian, his wife and three children,[3] and three members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Only 173 people survived, but fewer than 70 survivors were passengers, only one woman was rescued, and all children perished. Reports circulated that the crew had refused to aid passengers in the water, to the point of stabbing them. Surviving crew members required police protection upon their arrival in New York.[4]


  1. ^ Eugene Waldo Smith (1978). Passenger ships of the world, past and present (2nd ed.). G. H. Dean. p. 139. 
  2. ^ 210 US 95 George Deslions vs. La Compagnie Generale Transatlantique,
  3. ^ Ashjian, Arten (1999). 19th Century Pioneer Armenian Churchmen in America: Profiles of the First Ten (1889-1899). Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. p. 30. 
  4. ^ Looker, Janet (2000). "Disgrace". Disaster Canada. Lynx Images. pp. 38–39. ISBN 1-894073-13-4. 


  • Frank Charles Bowen (1930). A century of Atlantic travel, 1830-1930. Little, Brown and Company. p. 189. 

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Coordinates: 43°00′00″N 65°36′00″W / 43.0000°N 65.6000°W / 43.0000; -65.6000