Steam Navigation On The Carolina Sounds, Page 6

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BALTIMORE AND NORFOLK BOATS

From the Early Days to the Present

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Steam communication between Baltimore and Norfolk was inaugurated in 1815, by the steamboat Eagle, Captain Moses Rodgers, which made several trips up and down the Chesapeake during that year. Although the difference between the little Eagle and one of the magnificent steamers belonging to the Baltimore Steam Packet Co. of the present day was stupendous, yet she was considered something wonderful during her time.

The Eagle was built in Philadelphia in 1813, and was brought around from the Delaware (being the first steam vessel to make the sea voyage below Capes May and Henlopen), to run opposition to the steamboat Chesapeake, which ran to the head waters of the Bay and transferred passengers to coaches, which connected at New Castle with steamboats for Philadelphia. The Eagle ran most of the time on the Philadelphia route, but made occasional trips from Baltimore to Norfolk during the years 1815-16.

In 1817, however, a new boat, built especially for this route, was launched in Baltimore and named Virginia. She bore little resemblance to the Virginia of today. She was the third steam vessel that had been 'built in Baltimore (the first two being the Chesapeake and Philadelphia) and was constructed by W. Flannigan. She was 158 feet in length, 25 feet beam, 8 feet depth of bold, and of 323 tons. Her engine, of but 80 horse power, was by Watchman & Bratt, and she had a copper boiler.

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The Virginia, Captain John Fergusson, made her first regular trip from Baltimore to Norfolk on Thursday, August 28, 1817, and thereafter made a round trip each week. It took her 24 hours to go between Baltimore and Norfolk. In the fall the steamboat Norfolk was added to the line, and both boats ran regularly for many years.

In 1819 the steamboat Roanoke, Captain Middletown, ran between the two points, but it was for a short time only. On November 23 of that year the Norfolk came to Baltimore from the city she was named after, in the unprecedented time of 20 hours. The Norfolk and Virginia were the only boats plying between the two places from 1820 to 1825. In the latter year the steamboat Petersburg, Captain Chapman, was put on this route, but she ran but a short time, although she ran again as a winter boat 1827-28.

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Louisana

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In 1828 the Maryland & Virginia Steamboat Company was organized and proposals to build two new steamboats for them to run to Norfolk were advertised for. One hundred dollars was offered "for the best model of a boat that would combine strength with speed." Soon after this Benjamin Fergusson, the owner of the Virginia and Norfolk, died, and the boats were put up at auction. They were purchased by the aforementioned Maryland & Virginia Steamboat Company for $62,500. The company continued to run the two boats on their regular route, and added their first new boat, the Columbus, to the line the following spring (1829). She was built by George Gardner, and was 174 feet in length, 30 feet beam, 10 feet depth of hold and of 542 tons. Her engine was built by Charles Reeder and was of 90 horse-power. The Columbus ran to Richmond, stopping at Norfolk.

During the spring of 1830 the Richmond ran as a regular boat to Norfolk with the Virginia and Norfolk, and the Columbus ran to Norfolk and the James River. The Pocahontas came out this year and ran with the other boats. In 1832 the steamboat Sandusky appeared on the scene, and ran for a short time in July. Being a fast boat (for those days) and well fitted up, she took not a little of the patronage of the other line; she was finally bought off, as she made the trip in fifteen hours and had reduced the fares. On account of the cholera in August of this year and the almost total suspension of traveling, nearly all the boats on the Bay ceased running. A small steamboat called the John Morris ran between Baltimore and Norfolk this month.

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Chesapeake Bay Steamers Virginia and Georgia

Chesapeake Bay Steamer Virginia

Chesapeake Bay Steamer Georgia

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The Virginia was fitted with three masts this year and ran between Norfolk and Charleston, S.C. In 1834-35 the Columbus, Pocahontas and Norfolk ran between Baltimore and Norfolk. During the latter year the fast steamboat Champion, Captain Reese, came from Washington and ran opposition to Norfolk, and compelled the old line to reduce the fare. The Champion did not remain long. In 1835 the company purchased the Kentucky, a very fine steamboat, built in 1832 by Wm. Skinner for the Philadelphia People's Line. She was 209 feet long, 24 feet beam, 13 feet depth of hold, and had two engines, built by Watchman & Bratt, celebrated engine builders of Baltimore. She was the fastest boat on the bay. On March 18, 1836, she made the run from Norfolk to Baltimore in thirteen hours. On April 28 that year the following announcement appeared in the Baltimore daily papers. "Notice: The Maryland & Virginia Steamboat Co., having tried the experiment of running at $5 a passenger between Baltimore and Norfolk, find that in consequence of the high price of wood, marketing, etc., it will scarcely pay expenses, and are therefore compelled to charge $6, commencing May 2."

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Florida

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In 1837 the boats ran as follows: Kentucky and Columbus to Norfolk, and Virginia and Norfolk to Norfolk and the James River. In 1838 the Alabama, Capt. Thos. Sutton, was added to the line. She was built in 1837, by L. H. Dunkin, for the outside line to Charleston, and was the largest boat on the bay. She was 209 feet in length, 24 feet beam, 13 feet depth of hold, and 676 tons, while her engine, from the shops of Charles Reeder, was of 167 horse-power. The Virginia still ran to Richmond, but the Norfolk had been hauled off the route, after twenty years of constant service. In 1839 a new boat was built in Baltimore, named Jewess. She was put up for sale at once and was purchased by the Maryland & Virginia Steamboat Co. She had a beam engine, 40 inches by 11 feet, with one iron boiler, and was 173 feet in length, 23 feet beam and 9 feet depth of hold. She ran to Norfolk during the season, with the Kentucky and Alabama.

This year, 1839, a new company, called the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, was organized, and it has continued in existence ever since, being the leading line running steamers on the bay at the present day. This company purchased the steamboat Georgia, which had been built in 1836 for the Atlantic Steamboat Company. She was 194 feet long, 24 feet beam, 12 feet depth of hold, and of 550 tons, with an engine of 167 horse-power (same size and power as that in the Alabama) by Charles Reeder.

The incorporators of the company were Gen. Wm. McDonald, Robert A. Taylor, Joel Vickers, John S. Mackin, John B. Howell, Benjamin Bush, Andrew F. Henderson, Thomas Kelso and Samuel McDonald, all of Baltimore, and all now deceased, the last remaining being Thomas Kelso, who died in August, 1878, aged 94 years. In 1840 the Maryland & Virginia Steamboat Company had an auction sale of its steamboats and went out of existence, part of its board of directors taking stock in the new company. The following steamboats were added to the line: Jewess, purchased for $15,250; South Carolina, $15,000; Pocahontas, $8,000, and the Alabama (amount paid for unknown). These boats, with the Georgia, continued to run on the old line. The line was organized in 1840, with the first eight named incorporators as the board of directors, with Andrew F. Henderson as president and Thomas Sheppard, treasurer. The latter was succeeded by John C. Moale, as agent and treasurer, in October of same Year. Messrs. Henderson and Moale were killed by the explosion on steamer Medora, in 1842, in the harbor of Baltimore.

The steamboats Virginia and Columbus were run by the Powhatan Steamboat Company to the James River. They afterward bought the Pocahontas from the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, and later on built the Belvidere and George Peabody. The line went out of existence when the war broke out.

In 1841 the Alabama, Capt. Sutton; Georgia, Capt. Coffy, and Jewess, Capt. Holmes, comprised the regular boats running on the "Old Bay Line" route. The steamboat George Washington, belonging to the Citizens-Union Line of Philadelphia and Baltimore boats, ran for a short time to Norfolk in place of the Georgia.

The Medora was a new boat, being built to take the place of the Alabama, which the company were about to dispose of. She was built by Brown & Collier in 1841, and had been finished. On the day her engine was tried it had hardly turned over when the boiler burst, killing the two officers of the steamboat company before mentioned. The Medora was rebuilt and called the Herald. The steamboat Norwich, of New York, was chartered and ran in the place of the Alabama which was sold to run to Charleston. On August 5, the Norwich came through from Norfolk to Baltimore in 13 ½ hours, which was very good speed.

The steamboats built or purchased by the Baltimore Steam Packet Co. after 1841 were the Herald (Medora), North Carolina and Louisiana (mates), the Wm. Selden, Georgianna, Thos. A.

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Morgan, Mount Vernon, New Jersey (propeller), Philadelphia (ironsides), Transit (propeller), Thomas Kelso, Eolus, Adelaide, George Leary, Roanoke, Westover, Pittsburg, Hamilton, Shirley, Seaboard and Gaston (propellers); steamboats Florida, Carolina and Virginia, and the Georgia.

Of these twenty-seven steamers the North Carolina and New Jersey were abandoned in a storm on the bay, in January, 1859; the Louisiana was sunk by collision with the steamship Falcon, of Charleston Line; the Wm. Seldon was burned by the Confederates at Portsmouth, and sixteen other steamers were sold from time to time; so that now the present fleet consists of the Georgia, Virginia, and Carolina, of the passenger line, and Seaboard and Gaston, of the freight line. The Florida was recently sold and wrecked near Cape May, as Seabord readers well know.

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Of the present boats, the Georgia is the largest and finest. She is an iron propeller, the first of her class built to run on the bay, and is 280 feet in length, 40 feel beam, 15 feet depth of hold, and of 1,749 gross tons. She was built in 1887 by Harlan & Hollingsworth, at Wilmington, Del. A steamer similar in style to this boat is now being built by the Maryland Steel Co. at Sparrow's Point, near Baltimore, and will be launched some time in July. She is to be called Alabama. The Virginia is a fine iron sidewheel steamer owned by this company. She is 251 feet in length, 34 feet beam, 7.9 feet depth of hold, and of about 1,000 gross tons. She was built in 1879 by Harlan & Hollingsworth, and has an engine of 800 horse power, 60 inches by 11 feet. The Carolina is similar in appearance and of same size as the Virginia and was built in Wilmington in 1877. The Gaston and Seaboard are fine freight boats, the former having been built by Harlan & Hollingsworth in 1881 and the latter by same firm in 1874.

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Freight Steamer Gaston

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The present directors of the Baltimore Steam Packet Co., or "Old Bay Line," are John M. Robinson. Enoch Pratt, R. C. Hoffman, Charles F. Mayer and ex-Governor Wm. Pinkney Whyte, of Baltimore; Wm. L. Savage and Moncure Robinson, Jr., of Philadelphia and Elihu Chauncey, of New York. The president is John M. Robinson, with R. C. Hoffman as vice-president; Walter Ball, secretary and treasurer: Capt. D. J. Hill, superintendent; Emmett Brown, general agent, and R. L. Poor, ticket agent.

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INDEX TO SHIPS NAMED
with date of building
(All are passenger or freight steam-boats unless otherwise specified)

NAME PAGE
Accomac (1888) 8, 19
Adelaide (1854) 26
Aida, tug (1883) 9
Ajax, U.S. Monitor (1864) 22
Alabama (1838) 25
Alabama (1893) 7, 26
Albemarle, Ram 15
Albemarle (1891) 8, 12, 15
Alice M. Ehrman, tug (1873) 9
Alida (1847) 20
Allegany (1881) 7
Anna, tug (1890) 9
Anna C. Burdsall, tug (1877) 9
Annie 13
Arctic, tug (1863) 9
Ariel (1858) 8, 18-20, 22
Arrow 16
Asher J. Hudson, tug (1891) 9
Ashland (1863) 7, 22
Augusta (1852) 21
Balloon 21
Belvidere 21, 25
Bel Virginia, tug (1873) 9
Bermuda, sailing ship 22
Bonita 8
Canonicus, U. S. Monitor (1864) 22
Canton, ferry 7
Cape Charles (1885) 7
Carolina (1877) 7, 26
Catskill, U.S. Monitor (1863) 22
Champion 21, 25
Catham (1885) 7
Chauncey Vibbard (1864) 20
Chesapeake (1813) 23
Chrystenah (1866) 6
City Of Atlanta (1875) 6
City Of Chester (1872) 8
City Of Kingston (1884) 7
City Of Norfolk, ferry (1868) 8
City Of Portsmouth, ferry (1888) 2,8
City Of Richmond 22
City Of Seattle 7
City Of Springfield (1866) 6
City Of Troy (1876) 6
City Point 21, 22
Columbus (1829) 21, 23, 25
Comet 21
Comet (1887) 8, 13
Croatan, tug (1887) 8
Curtis Peck (1842) 20, 22
Dandelion, See S. A. Mccall --
Dandelion, lighthouse tender 22
Daniel Drew (1861) 20
Daniel Webster 22
Dauntless, tug 8, 11
Defiance 8, 13, 15, 18
Dictator 21, 22
Dorchester (1889) 7
Eagle (1815) 23
Eaglet 13
E. B. Lane, Jr., tug (1890) 8
Elizabeth, ferry (1871) 8
Eliza Hancox (1863) 19, 22
Ellen S. Terry 12
El Sud, steamship (1892) 19
E. Luckenbach, tug (1880) 8
Emily, side-wheel tug 16
Empire 20
Eolus (1864) 26
Essex (1885) 8
Essex (1890) 7
Experiment 13
Express (1841) 20, 21
Fairfax (1891) 7
Falcon 26
Flora 16
Florida (1876) 7, 25, 26
Frank A. Low, tug (1877) 8
Gaston (1881) 7, 26
General (1889) 9
General Cadwallader (1845) 19
Georgeanna (1859) 20, 22, 23
George H. Stout (1858) 8, 13, 15, 16
George Law (1852) 22
George Leary (1864) 7, 22, 26
George Peabody 25
George Washington (1834) 25
Georgia (1836) 25
Georgia (1887) 7, 24, 26
Gipsey, tug 9
Glen Cove (1854) 18-21
Goldsboro (1882) 7, 22
Grace Titus, tug (1863) 9, 17
Gulf Stream (1861) 7, 22
Guyandotte (1882) 6
Hamilton 26
Hampton (1874} 21
Harbinger (1869) 8
Haven Bell (1885) 15
Helen Smith (1870) 8, 12
Herald (1842) 25
Hugh McFadden, tug (1871) 9
Ida, tug (1873) 9
Ironsides, See Philadeiphia --
Island City, See Palisade --
J. B. Schuyler 22
James W. Waterbury, ferry (1878) 8
James T. Brady 22
James W. Baldwin (1860) 6
Jane Moseley (1873) 7
Jessamine, lighthouse tender ( 1881) 16
Jewess (1838) 25
John Morris (1831) 21, 25
John Romer, See Louise --
John Sylvester (1866) 19, 20, 22
Jupiter, tug 9, 16
Kentuckey (1833) 25
Keystone, tug (1872) 9
Kinston (1882) 15, 17
L. A. Cobb (1888) 15, 16, 17
Lady Of The Lake, (1866) 7
Lehigh, U.S. Monitor (1863) 22
Little Nell, tug (1881) 8
Lizzie Burruss (1888) 15
Lota (1871) 15
Louisa Moore 12
Louise (1863) 7, 8, 9
Louisiana (1854) 22, 23, 25
Lucy J. 8, 15
Lumberman, tug (1869) 8
Luray (1882) 8
Magenta (1863) 22
Mahopac, U. S. Monitor (1864) 22
Mamie, tug (1884) 8
Manhasset, ferry (1860) 8
Manteo (1887) 12, 13
Marietta, tug (1891) 8
Mary Powell (1861) 20
Medora (1842) 25
Mary E. Roberts (1873) 15
Milton Martin 22
Mollie, tug (1887) 8
Mollie Wentz, tug 9
Monitor - Merrimac Battle 5
Montauk (1891) 7
Mount Vernon (1846) 20, 26
N & W 1, tug (1890) 8
N & W 2, tug (1890) 8
Narragansett (1866) 6
Nellie, tug (1892) 8, 11
Nelly White 19
Nettie W. (1890) 17
Neuse (1891) 13, 15, 17
Newberne (1875) 8, 10-13, 15-18
New Jersey (1862) 26
New World (1848) 20
New York ( 1889) 7
Norfolk (1817) 15, 20-23, 25
Norfolk, tug (1885) 8
Norfolk (1891) 7
Northampton (1880) 7, 8
North Carolina (1838) 26
Norwich (1836) 25
Norwood, See Palisade --
N. P. Banks (1863) 12
Old Dominion (1834) 21
Old Dominion (1872) 6, 22
Old Point Comfort (1886) 6, 7
Olive (1867) 8, 12
Orient 14
Ox, scow (1889) 11
Palisade 22
Pamlico (1874) 12, 13
Patrick Henry (1832) 21
Petersburg (1819) 21, 23
Petersburg (1856) 26
Philadeiphia (1860) 23, 26
Philadelphia, tug 9
Pinners Point, tug (1891) 8
Plymouth 15
Plymouth Rock (1854) 22
Pocahontas (1829) 21, 23, 25
Pocahontas, tug, (1888) 8
Pocomoke (1891) 7
Powhatan 21
Raieigh 12
R. E. Lee 15
Richmond (1819) 21
Richmond (1873) 6
River Belle (1846) 22
Roanoke (1819) 23
Roanoke (1871) 26
Roanoke (1882) 6
Robert R. Kirkland, tug (1871) 8
Rochester 20
Rosedale (1877) 6
S. A. McCall (1863) 8, 18, 22
Sam Sloan, See Thomas Collyer --
Samson, tug 8
Samuel Eccles, Jr., tug, (1887) 9
Sandusky (1832) 21, 23
Sarah K. Taggert, See Palisade --
Scheu, canal boat 16
Seaboard (1874) 6, 7, 26
Seneca (1884) 6
Shelter Island (1886) 7
Shenandoah (1882) 12, 13
Shirley (1874) 26
S. M. Johnson, tug (1875) 9
South America (1841) 20
South Carolina (1835) 25
Swallow (1836) 20
Sydney (1831) 21 21
Tahoma (1884) 8, 14-16
Tangier (1875) 7
Thos. A. Baine, tug, (1883) 8
Thomas A. Morgan (1854) 25, 26
Thomas Collyer (1863) 22
Thomas Jefferson (1835) 21
Thomas Kelso (1865) 26
Tiger Lily 22
Tolchester (1866) 19
Transit (1864) 26
Trent (1882) 15
Vesper 8, 13, 15, 17
Virginia (1817) 16, 20-23
Virginia, tug (1867) 9
Virginia (1879) 7, 24, 26
Virginia Dare (1888) 8
Washington (1891) 7
Wemple, scow (1888) 11
Westover (1873) 26
West Point 21
William Allison 21
William B. Rogers (1880) 8, 17
William Lawrence (1868) 7
William Selden (1851) 25, 26
William T. Taylor, tug 9
William Whildin (1845) 19
Wyanoke (1870) 7, 22
Zodiac 12

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GENERAL INDEX

Albemarle Chesapeake Canal 10-12, 15
Albemarle Sound 10, 15
Atlantic and Danville R.R. 6
Baltimore and Norfolk boats 7, 21, 23-26
Baltimore Steam Packet Co. see Old Bay Line --
Bell Haven, N.C. 15
Carolina and Suffolk R.R. 8
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Co. 6, 8, 18
Chowan River 15 City Point, Va. 22
Clyde Line 7, 8, 13, l5, 19, 22
Coinjock Canal 16
Croatan Sound 10
Currituck Sound 11, 12, 14
Deyo, Capt. Stephen 8, 22
Dismal Swamp Canal 8, 11, 12, 15
Elizabeth City, N.C. 12, 13, 15, 17
Elizabeth River 5, 10, 12
Fergusson, Capt. John 22, 23
Ferryboats, Norfolk 4, 8
Great Bridge, Va. 11
Hampton Roads 4, 5, 18
Hatteras Inlet 15
James River 5, 15, 18-22
James River Steamboat, Co. 21
Jamestown, Va. 20
McCarrick, James 7, 22
Maryland and Virginia Steamboat Co. 23, 25
Map of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds 13
Merchants and Miners' Transportation Co. 7
Milligan, J. F., quoted 9
Monitors, U.S. Navy 21, 22
Neuse River 10, 15, 17
Newberne and Beaufort Canal 11
Newberne, N.C. 10, 12, 15, 16, 17
Newberne Steamboat Co. 15, 16
Newport News, Va. 8, 9, 18, 19, 20
Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. 19
New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk R.R. Co. 6
Norfolk and Carolina Line 6
Norfolk and Southern R.R. Co. 6, 12
Norfolk and Washington Line 7
Norfolk and Western R.R. Co. 6, 8
Norfolk Harbor, Va. 2, 5-9
North Carolina Waters 10-18
North Landing River 12, 13, 16, 17
North River, N.C. 10, 15, 16
Old Bay Line 7, 24-26
Old Dominion Line 4-6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 22
Pamlico Sound 15
Pasquotank River 15
Pilotage, Norfolk 5
Portsmouth, Va. 18
Powhatan Steamboat Co. 25
Pungo Ferry, N.C. 14
Raft Blockade 18
Richmond, Va. 18, 22
Roanoke Island 16, 17
Roanoke River 8, 14, 15
Rodgers, Capt. Moses 23
Rogers, W. B., Line 14
Scotland, Va. 20
Southgate, Capt. Thomas M. 8, 10, 12-14, 16
Surry, Sussex and Southampton Railway 20
Trent River 17
Tugs, Norfolk 8, 9
Vanderbilt, Cornelius 13
Virginia Steamboat Co. 8, 22
Ward Line 13 13
Washington, N.C. 12, 13, 15
Washington, D.C. Lines 7
Washington, George 11
Weems Lines 8, 19
Wi1mington (Del.) Steamboat Co. 13

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Prepared by John McGowan and Other Children of Carolina Watermen

Copyright 2005
Carolina Work Boats Project

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