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David Blish 7 [m]
7th Generation

Personal Details
Born November 30th, 1814 No Image On File
Birthplace Surry, NH, USA
Baptized No Entry
Baptized at... No Entry
Baptized by... No Entry
Baptized in... No Entry
Occupation(s) Lumber trade
Died November 21st, 1847, aged about 33 years
Died at... Sheboyan, Michigan, USA
Cause of Death Overcome by flames and smoke
Burial Place No Entry
Disposition No Entry

Father [346]David Blish 6 No Image On File
Mother [346_sa]Mary "Polly" (Whitney) Blish 6 No Image On File

Spouses, Mates & Children
Wife #1
[622sa] - Adaline Sophia (Irwin) Blish 7

Married by: No Entry
Married at: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Children by this spouse:
I [950]+ Robert Irwin Blish 8 b. August 23rd, 1841 c. November No Image On File
II [951] William David Blish 8 b. May 14th, 1843 c. August No Image On File
III [952] Mary Augusta Blish 8 b. July 29th, 1845 c. October No Image On File
IV [953] Charles Frederic Blish 8 b. May 21st, 1847 c. August No Image On File
No Image On File

Immediate Family Tree
Gen. 7 Gen. 6 Gen. 5 Gen. 4 Gen. 3
David BlishDavid BlishDeacon David BlishDavid Blish, (***)Tristham Blish, (***)
Anne (Fuller) Blish
Zeruiah (Skinner) BlishDeacon Nathaniel Skinner
Mary (Gillett) Skinner
Lucy (Wilcox) BlishObadiah WilcoxNo Entry
No Entry
Sarah (Talcott) WilcoxNo Entry
No Entry
Mary "Polly" (Whitney) BlishSamuel WhitneyNo EntryNo Entry
No Entry
No EntryNo Entry
No Entry
Mary (?) WhitneyNo EntryNo Entry
No Entry
No EntryNo Entry
No Entry

Personalized History Timeline, 1814 to 1847
Torquemada's Spanish Inquisition from before birth until age 20
Reign of King George III (Hanover) from before birth until age 6
Napoleonic war from before birth until age 1
James Madison elected president of US from before birth until age 2
War of 1812 from before birth until age 0
French outlaw slavery in France at age 1
Sumbawa volcano (Indonesia) erupts; 50,000 killed at age 1
Battle of Waterloo at age 1
Stethoscope at age 2
Indiana enters the union - 19th at age 2
Photographic Negative at age 2
James Monroe president of US from age 3 to age 10
Erie canal constructed from age 3 to age 11
Mississippi enters the union - 20th at age 3
Alabama organized as a territory at age 3
Pentrich Revolution - England's last revolution at age 3
1st Cholera pandemic from age 3 to age 9
Illinois enters the union - 21st at age 4
Savannah 1st steamship to cross the Atlantic at age 4
Arkansas organized as a territory at age 5
Alabama enters the union - 22nd at age 5
Oersted discovers electro-magnetism at age 5
Reign of King George IV (Hanover) from age 6 to age 16
Maine enters the union - 23rd at age 6
Greek war of Independence from age 7 to age 15
US pop. reaches 9.2 million at age 7
1st US women's college at age 7
Missouri enters the union - 24th at age 7
Florida organized as a territory at age 8
John Quincy Adams president of US from age 10 to age 14
Internal Combustion Engine at age 10
Erie canal finished at age 10
1st railroad tunnel (England) at age 12
1st Black newspaper Freedom's Journal at age 13
Ohms Law formulated at age 13
Ship's propeller (screw) at age 13
1st Webster's Dictionary at age 14
Andrew Jackson president of US from age 14 to age 22
1st railroad in the US at age 14
1st US patent on a typewriter at age 15
2nd Cholera pandemic from age 15 until after line end
Mormons (Latter Day Saints) founded at age 16
Underground railroad leads 100,000+ slaves to freedom in US from age 16 until after line end
Reign of King William IV (Hanover) from age 16 to age 23
Horse-drawn trolleys in New York at age 18
Slavery abolished in British Empire (home and colonies) at age 19
Telegraph at age 19
Modern computer conceived by Charles Babbage at age 20
2nd Seminole War from age 21 to age 28
Halley's Comet at age 21
Mormon leader Joseph Smith prophesies of 'coming of lord' by 1891 at age 21
Battle of the Alamo at age 22
Arkansas enters the union -25th at age 22
Texas war for independence from Mexico at age 22
Michigan enters the union - 26th at age 23
Martin Van Buren president of US from age 23 to age 26
Reign of Queen Victoria (Hanover) from age 23 until after line end
Depression and Panic in the US - inflation, speculation at age 23
Forced relocation of Cherokee from age 24 to age 25
Opium war between China and the English from age 25 to age 28
John Tyler president of US from age 27 to age 30
Chinese cede Hong Kong to the English at age 28
1st telegraph line message, Washington to New York at age 30
Irish Potato Famine from age 31 until after line end
Florida enters the union - 27th at age 31
James K Polk president of US from age 31 until after line end
Texas enters the union - 28th at age 31
The Mexican-US War from age 32 until after line end
Iowa enters the union - 29th at age 32

Additional Information

From the 1st Compiler's work, JKB, ca. 1905

David Blish was for many years engaged in the lumber trade at Green Bay and Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is described by those who knew him as one of the best of men. Genial, intelligent, and devoted to his family and friends, only words of commendation and praise are spoken of him. His unselfishness and courage are best shown in the tragic manner of his death. On the morning of November 21st, 1847, the propeller "Phoenix" was burned near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He was on the steamer and did heroic service in rescuing the helpless. He brought many fainting and unconscious women and children from the hold, which was filled with smoke and flames. He was warned by the Captain not to go down again, as the steamer was fast settling, but he insisted on making one more trip, and descended into the hold. He never returned, and was doubtless overcome by the flames and smoke. The vessel shortly went down and he went with her. Mrs... De Nevue, near Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin, was well acquainted with David Blish and is authority for the forgoing statement. She speaks of him as "one of the best men I ever knew."

From the 3rd Compiler, CBB, ca. 2001

I have taken the following quotes from a considerably longer historical account of the Phoenix disaster. You will note details which do not agree exactly with the JKB account, but gives the same sense of heroism; also that at the time, there appear to have been many stories regarding his final acts. It does seem clear that while the precise details may have been lost, David Blish made an immensely strong impression on those who would later tell stories of that fateful evening:

"If the most basic of human urges, the dark will to survive at any cost, was seen that night, so was the bright beacon of heroism and selfless giving.

A young merchant traveling first class named David Blish of Southport, Wisconsin, now known as Kenosha, had given up his seat in one of the boats so that he might stay aboard the Phoenix and assist the frightened passengers. Mr. Blish was a man of substantial means, an owner of docks and warehouses in the Kenosha, a married man with children, but he chose to stay and throw in his lot with the immigrants that he had come to know so well. It was told how, when the fire started, Mr. Blish organized passengers into bucket brigades, and, then, when the flames were out of control, he helped many over the side onto makeshift rafts. When he could do no more aboard the stricken vessel, he rounded up two lost children and, holding one under each arm, plunged into the icy waters. He did not survive."

"Perhaps, one day, a monument will be raised in Sheboygan in the area of the harbor to commemorate the heroism of David Blish and the hundreds of sturdy Dutch immigrants who gambled everything for religious freedom and a new way of life -- and lost -- just five heartbreaking miles short of their goal after a journey of over four thousand miles."

"On November 24, 1847, the Schooner Liberty carried word of the disaster to Milwaukee which relayed the terrible news to Chicago who informed the world by telegraph. As the word of the calamity spread, newspapers throughout the county and then the world carried the story.

Slowly, stories of the loss of the ship were told by the survivors -- stories of cowardice, heroism, uncontrolled fear, and calmness in the face of certain death. Time and time again, the name of David Blish, the Southport merchant, came up, and he began to loom large as a hero. A newspaper of the day commented that, if one tenth of the stories told about Mr. Blish were true, he would go down as the greatest of heroes. At first, it was hoped that Mr. Blish had survived in a third boat (which later turned out not to exist), but, as the days went by and no other survivors were found, all hope for his safety was given up."

Author's Credit: Bill Wangemann, City of Sheboygan Historian, ca. 1995

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