The Damned

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of the most vile
creatures escaped...
Capt. William Van Schaick (1837-1927)
Jurgen Prochnow
Van Schaick was captain of the General Slocum when the ship caught fire and sank. By most accounts he was not a good captain. Immediately after the disaster, Van Schaick was charged with and found guilty of crminal neglect and manslaughter. Sentenced to 10 years in Sing Sing, he was the only person involved with this disaster to serve any prison time. Due to his old age, President Taft pardoned him after serving three years.

Van Schaick lived his remaing years declaring himself a scapegoat. He died in 1927, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Oakwood Cemetary, Troy, N.Y. In 1999, a grandniece put a headstone on his grave which simply read VINDICATED. You can view his grave at

There is a new book about the sinking of the General Slocum and the more than one thousand people who died that day.. It's called SHIP ABLAZE, and was written by Edward T. O'Donnell.

Actor Pictured:

Jurgen Prochnow