A Cold Bath

Monongahela Republican – Monongahela City, December 19, 1851

A COLD BATH – Our friend Mr. William Coulter, while skating on the river, on Wednesday last, broke through the ice and went down in ten feet water, and a hundred yards from the shore. He succeeded in keeping from being carried under by supporting himself on the surrounding ice. A large number of citizens were soon collected, but the ice being insufficient, their efforts to rescue him were unavailing. At this desperate extremity he commenced breaking the ice with his elbows, and succeeded in getting within a few yards of shore, when being overcome with cold he sank down helpless; but by the laudable courage of some of the bystanders he was rescued and carried to a private house where, after much difficulty, the vital current was started to his extremities, and is now on a fair way of restoration. His clothing was frozen to his body, and had to be cut in pieces to be removed. He is said to have been in the water at least half an hour, and the thermometer 4 degrees below zero, which is certainly an extraordinary feat of human endurance. A crew composed of such metal would render valuable service in a Polar expedition.


3 thoughts on “A Cold Bath

  1. jesspgh January 11, 2012 / 11:14 pm

    What a suspenseful and exciting story! I also really enjoy the formal style of prose.


  2. DanT February 22, 2012 / 9:38 am

    Wasn’t that a great story? Imagine how differently the same event would be reported in a newspaper today – in a dry and dreadfully serious manner.


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