The 1867 Train Wreck that Shocked the Nation and Transformed American Railroads
Make sure to visit the Angola Horror:
Railroad’s eastbound New York Express derailed as it approached the high truss bridge over Big Sister Creek, just east of the small settlement of Angola, New York, on the shores of Lake Erie. The last two cars of the express train were pitched completely off the tracks and plummeted into the creek bed below. When they struck bottom, one of the wrecked cars was immediately engulfed in flames as the heating stoves in the coach spilled out coals and ignited its wooden timbers. The other car was badly smashed. About fifty people died at the bottom of the gorge or shortly thereafter, and dozens more were injured. Rescuers from the small rural community responded with haste, but there was almost nothing they could do but listen to the cries of the dying—and carry away the dead and injured thrown clear of the fiery wreck. The next day and in the weeks that followed, newspapers across the country carried news of the “Angola Horror,” one of the deadliest railway accidents to that point in U.S. history.
On December 18, 1867, the Buffalo and Erie
In a dramatic historical narrative, Charity Vogel tells the gripping, true-to-life story of the wreck and the characters involved in the tragic accident. Her tale weaves together the stories of the people—some unknown; others soon to be famous—caught up in the disaster, the facts of the New York Express’s fateful run, the fiery scenes in the creek ravine, and the subsequent legal, legislative, and journalistic search for answers to the question: what had happened at Angola, and why?
The Angola Horror is a classic story of disaster and its aftermath, in which events coincide to produce horrific consequences and people are forced to respond to experiences that test the limits of their endurance. Vogel sets the Angola Horror against a broader context of the developing technology of railroads, the culture of the nation’s print media, the public policy legislation of the post–Civil War era, and, finally, the culture of death and mourning in the Victorian period. The Angola Horror sheds light on the psyche of the American nation. The fatal wreck of an express train nine years later, during a similar bridge crossing in Ashtabula, Ohio, serves as a chilling coda to the story.
More Praise for The Angola Horror:
Several "Meet the Author" events now scheduled through early 2014.
Sat., Oct. 19:
The Buffalo History Museum
Charity with Mary Louise Stanley of the Buffalo History Museum.
Charity talks about how she unearthed the story of The Angola Horror at The Buffalo History Museum.
Charity meets an interested reader following the discussion and pens a note inside The Angola Horror.
Sat., Oct. 19, 2013
Buffalo History Museum,
Buffalo, NY. - 1-3 p.m.
Sun., March 16, 2014
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Other dates to be announced as they become available.
Wed., Jan. 22, 2014
Larkin Building, Buffalo, NY
Sat., Nov. 2, 2013
Undergraduate Open House
Sat., Nov. 30, 2013
Buffalo History Museum,
Buffalo, NY. - noon - 2 p.m.
Buffalo & Erie County
Date & Time TBA
Dr. Vogel '97, addresses prospective students at college's Fall Open House.
Sat., Nov. 2:
Dr. Vogel, a summa cum laude graduate of the All College Honors Program at Canisius, tells prospective students about her experiences at the college.
Dr. Vogel and Canisius College President John J. Hurley at the college's Open House.
Charity signs a copy of The Angola Horror for staff in the visitor's center at Wright's Graycliff Estate on Lakeshore Road in Derby.
Reine Hauser, the executive director at Graycliff, and Charity.
Sat., Nov. 9, 2013
Book Signing, Visitor Center
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
The Buffalo News announces release of The Angola Horror on Sept. 10.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
"On December 18, 1867, the New York Express train from Cleveland to Buffalo derailed in frigid temperatures at Angola, NY, resulting in horrific injuries and heavy loss of life. Charity Vogel has written an exhaustive history of the accident. . . . Her narrative tracing the train's route builds suspense with every mile and station until the train meets its doom. . . . Verdict: This is history writing at its best, as Vogel immerses her readers in the event's 1867 context. Highly recommended."—Library Journal (1 July 2013) – STARRED REVIEW