[The New York Tribune Gives]The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1336, p. 303.
September 30, 1865
The New York Tribune gives the following account of the narrow escape at Niagara of Professor Ruggles, of Dartmouth College:--"While walking on Goat Island with a party of ladies, one of them dropped her parasol, which slid some 15 ft. or 20 ft. down the bank of the river. Mr. Ruggles went down and picked it up, but on attempting to return, the bank being steep and the ground hard, lost his footing and fell down to the very brink of the precipice, which at this point is 80 ft. or 90 ft. high; here he caught hold of the roots of an upturned tree, the trunk of which hangs over the abyss. The shock caused the tree to shake violently, and it appeared on the point of falling over the precipice. The ladies shrieked and called for help, but no assistance was at hand. A movement on the part of Mr. Ruggles or a gust of wind seemed sufficient to cause the tree to fall. At this critical moment one of the ladies took off her basquine and skirt, cut them into strips, got shawls and other articles of clothing from the rest of the party, tied them together, fastened a stone to the rope thus formed, and let it down to Mr. Ruggles, who, taking hold of it, walked slowly up the bank. It was a moment of fearful suspense. The rope was held firmly by the ladies above, but it might untie or break, and a fall of 100 ft. on the rocks below must be the inevitable result. When Mr. Ruggles reached terra firma his fair rescuer, who had shown such remarkable presence of mind, fainted, and was taken home in an unconscious state.