Page:The Clipper Ship Era.djvu/214

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The Clipper Ship Era

he placed two exceedingly small blue stars in the upper and lower luff of the flag, as he remarked, "to represent their interest in the business." This, however, was his joke, as he was most liberal in every way. After this ship had made her celebrated record passage from San Francisco to Boston, Mr. Huckins usually closed his discussions upon the speed of clipper ships by saying, "Well, anyway, none of them can beat my Northern Light."

The Trade Wind measured: length 248 feet, breadth 40 feet, depth 25 feet, and was 2030 tons register, being 24 tons larger than the Challenge. Those two ships were the largest clippers that were ever built at or about New York, and with the exception of the Ocean Monarch, a packet ship of 2145 tons register, built by William H. Webb in 1856, were the largest sailing ships ever constructed at that port. The Trade Wind was an exceedingly sharp and handsome ship, and attracted a great deal of attention. It was estimated that more than thirty thousand persons gathered about Jacob Bell's shipyard at the foot of Houston Street, East River, one bright morning in August of that year to see her launched. She was owned by W. Platt & Son, of Philadelphia, and was commanded by Captain W. H. Osgood, late of the ship Valparaiso.

The Nightingale, one of the most beautiful clippers launched in 1851, was not built for the California trade, but was originally intended for a yacht. This ship was constructed by Samuel Hanscom, at Portsmouth, with the intention of carrying passengers to the World's Pair, held in London during that year, and was fitted with extensive and