The “Dreadnaught”


The crack New York and Liverpool packed this, Dreadnaught, came down the ways of the Currier and Townsend shipyard in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1853. A ship of 1,414 tons resister, she was owned by a New York syndicate that financed her construction for her well known skipper, Captain Samuel Samuels. The Dreadnaught flew the house flag of David Ogden’s St George, or Red Cross, Line. Under the able command of Captain Samuels, she made a remarkable number of fast voyages. In 1854, her true time of passage from New York to Liverpool was only thirteen days, eleven hours and fifteen minutes, when many packets were requiring three weeks or more for the eastbound crossing! In 1859 the Dreadnaught again sailed from Sandy Hook to the Northwest Lightship, off the Mersey, in thirteen days, eight hours mean time of passage. During the ten years that Captain Samuels commanded the Dreadnaught, she made over seventy transatlantic passages.

Captain Arthur H. Clark writes in his classic book, The Clipper Ship Era (New York, 1910):

The Dreadnaught was a strikingly handsome and well designed, though by no means a sharp ship. Her masts, yards, sails, ironwork blocks, and standing and running rigging were of the best materials and were always carefully looked after. She was a ship that would stand almost any amount of driving in heavy weather, and her fast passages were in a measure due to this excellent quality, though mainly to the unceasing vigilance and splendid seamanship of her commander. She was wrecked in 1869 while under the command of Captain P. Mayhew; her crew were rescued after being adrift fourteen days in the boasts, but the noble old packet ship went to pieces among the rugged cliffs and crags and roaring breakers of Cape Horn.

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John Stobart


21" x 30"