The explosion of the Farmer
Two steamers, the Farmer and the Neptune, were racing from Galveston to Houston on March 23, 1853. During the race, the Farmer exploded, killing J.M. Reynolds.
A coroner's inquest into Reynolds' death was held at Galveston, the Houston Democratic Telegraph and Texas Register reported a few days later.
The jury decided that Reynolds died from injuries received when the Farmer exploded during the race.
Blame for the explosion was not placed on the owners or agents of the Farmer. In fact, the paper reported, "Gen E.B. Nichols is the principal, if not the sole, agent in this city of the line to which the Farmer belonged, and he informs us that he repeatedly charged Capt. Webb not to engage in racing with the Neptune or any other boat."