The Clipper Ship Era/Chapter 19

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CHAPTER XIX


LAST YEARS OF THE AMERICAN CLIPPER SHIP ERA—SUMMARY OF CALIFORNIA PASSAGES


DURING the Crimean War a large number of merchant ships, many of which were American, were chartered by the British and French Governments to carry troops, but when peace was declared in 1856 and this demand for tonnage ceased, it was found that there were more ships afloat than could find profitable employment, or indeed employment of any kind.

Only eight ships were added to the California fleet in 1856—the Alarm, Euterpe, Flying Mist, Florence, Intrepid, Mary L. Sutton, Norseman, and the second Witch of the Wave. These were all handsome medium clippers, and possessed what is so sadly lacking in sailing ships of the present day—style, distinction. The Florence was built by Samuel Hall, Jr., who had succeeded his father as a ship-builder and continued in the same yard at East Boston. She was owned by Captain R. B. Forbes and others of Boston. Captain Dumaresq commanded her and also owned an interest in her until his death in 1860. As Captain Forbes used to say, "He was the prince of sea captains."

The Sweepstakes made the fastest passage to San Francisco in 1856—94 days from New York—followed by the Antelope, 97 days; Phantom, 101 days; and David Brown, 103 days; the Ringleader made the passage from Boston in 100 days. The abstract log of the Sweepstakes is as follows:

From Sandy Hook to the equator… 18 days.
From the equator to 50° S… 23 "
From 50° in the Atlantic to 50° S. in the
Pacific… 15 "
50° S. to the equator… 17 "
From the equator to San Francisco… 21 "
Total… 94 "

The year 1857 was one of financial depression throughout the United States, which was severely felt by the shipping interests of the country and continued until the Civil War. The rates of freight from New York to San Francisco, which during the years immediately following the discovery of gold in California were $60 a ton, gradually declined, and in 1857 had fallen to $10 per ton. Ships that had formerly loaded cargoes for San Francisco night and day and were hurried to sea as quickly as possible, now lay at their loading berths for weeks, leisurely taking on board such cargo as their agents could engage. During this period vessels lay idle at the wharves of Atlantic ports for weeks and even months, in charge of ship-keepers, with sails unbent, waiting for employment.

The former activity in the ship-building yards had also subsided. During the four years prior to the Civil War, Donald McKay built only one ship,
The Sweepstakes - p290.jpg

The "Sweepstakes"

the Alhambra (1857), and William H. Webb built only one ship for the California trade, the Black Hawk, beside the Resolute, and the barque Trieste (1857), and the barque Harvest Queen (1858). The same depression was felt in all the yards along the Atlantic coast. British ship-builders had made such rapid progress in the construction and speed of their vessels that it was now difficult for American ships to obtain charters from China to England. From 1857 to 1861, they were to be found lying idle for months at a time in Manila Bay, Hong-kong harbor, Foo-chow, Shanghai, and Calcutta, seeking employment.

The depression in the oversea carrying trade was felt quite as much by the ship-owners of Great Britain as by those of the United States, and while of short duration, was as serious there as in the United States. It was at this period, however, that Great Britain began to feel the benefit of Free Trade in her ship-building industry, and entered upon her conquest of the world's oversea carrying trade. In this her ship-builders were greatly assisted by the introduction of iron as a material for construction. In 1855 the Committee of Lloyd's Register had framed rules for the classification of iron ships, as their number had so increased, and the demand of ship-owners for their official recognition had become so general, that they could no longer be ignored. The screw propeller was also beginning to supersede side-wheels as a means of propulsion, and some of the ablest men in Great Britain were engaged upon the development and improvement of the marine engine and boiler. The steam tonnage of the British Empire—mostly engaged in the oversea carrying trade—had increased from 204,654 tons in 1851 to 417,717 tons in 1856, whereas the steam tonnage of the United States engaged in the oversea carrying trade had increased from 62,390 tons in 1851 to 115,045 tons in 1855, but had decreased to 89,715 tons in 1856. It should be noted that while a large proportion of the steam tonnage of Great Britain consisted of iron vessels, many of them being screw steamers, the steam vessels of the United States were very nearly, if not all, still constructed of wood and propelled by side-wheels.

The first symptoms of the decadence of the American merchant marine were the falling-off in the sales of American tonnage to foreign countries—the reduction being from 65,000 tons in 1855 to 42,000 tons in 1856, declining to 26,000 tons in 1858 and to 17,000 tons in 1860, a falling-off of 75% in five years—then in the total tonnage of vessels built in the United States, which fell from 583,450 tons in 1855 to 469,393 tons in 1856, and to 378,804 tons in 1857.

These facts refute the historic falsehood that the Alabama and her consorts were the first and immediate cause of decadence in the American merchant marine. As a matter of fact, neither the depression preceding the Civil War, nor the depredations of Confederate privateers, nor the Civil War itself, have had any material bearing upon the decline of American shipping during the last fifty years. The gigantic task of driving the American flag from the ocean has been accomplished by far more insidious and potent means than these. It has been the inevitable consequence of irrational and unjust laws, and until these are repealed, as those of Great Britain were in 1849, we may hope in vain that the ensign of the United States will be restored to its place upon the sea.

Amid the discouraging conditions of these years preceding the Civil War, American sea-captains never lost faith in their ships nor in themselves. They seemed to think, the lower the rate of freight, the more reason that it should be earned quickly, and when once clear of the disheartening influences of a seaport and well off soundings, they sent their ships along with the same energy and skill for which they had become famous in more prosperous days.

It was in the year 1857 that the Great Republic made her remarkable passage of 92 days from New York to San Francisco, and established a new record of 16 days from Sandy Hook to the equator. She was still commanded by Captain Limeburner, who had as his first officer, Montgomery Parker, an accomplished seaman and navigator, afterward commander of the ships Judge Shaw and Lord Lyndhurst. The crew of 50 men before the mast were the usual assortment, 15 or 20 good seamen, the rest adventurers and mongrels of various brands, of whom little could be expected. Captain Limeburner and his officers always went armed, and it was perhaps fortunate, with such a crew, that the topgallantsails were never clewed up during the passage, and that Cape Horn was rounded with skysails set. The abstract log of the Great Republic is as follows:

From Sandy Hook to the equator… 16 days.
From the equator to 50° S… 25 "
From 50° in the Atlantic to 50° S.
in the Pacific… 9 "
50° S. to the equator… 23 "
From the equator to San Francisco… 19 "
Total… 92 "

Lieutenant Maury, in a letter on the subject to the Secretary of the Navy, remarks: "This vessel did not have the luck to get a wind that could keep her up to her mettle for twenty-four hours consecutively. Here and there she got into favorable streaks of wind, but she appears to have run out of them faster than they could follow. She made the run to San Francisco in 92 days.

"The shortest passage that in the present state of ship-building will probably ever be made from New York to San Francisco, is 85 days; and the very clever first officer of this ship, writing from California, expresses the opinion that 'should she continue to run between New York and San Francisco, from the experience of this voyage, she will one day make the trip within your possible 85 days.'

"The friends of this noble specimen of naval architecture, however, can scarcely hope for a fair trial and proper display of her prowess until she shall be sent on a voyage to Australia. The brave west winds of the Southern hemisphere, which she will then encounter, will enable her to show herself; elsewhere, she can scarcely find a sea wide enough, with belts of wind broad enough for the full display of her qualities and capabilities."

There can be little doubt that with her original spars and sail plan, the Great Republic would have made this passage in 85 days or less, and it is to be regretted that, even with her reduced rig, she never made a voyage between England and Australia, the service for which she was built and especially adapted. Her best twenty-four hours' run, made upon a subsequent voyage while under the command of Captain Josiah Paul, was 413 miles.

In 1857 the Flying Dragon made the passage to San Francisco in 97 days; the Westward Ho and the Andrew Jackson in 100 days, both from New York; and the Flying Fish in 106 days from Boston. In 1858 the Twilight made the passage from New York in 100 days; the Andrew Jackson in 103 days; and in 1859 the Sierra Nevada in 97 days and the Andrew Jackson in 102 days. In 1860 the Andrew Jackson made the trip in 89 days.

As before noted, the Andrew Jackson was built in 1855. Her builders were Irons & Grinnell, of Mystic, Connecticut; she was owned by J. H. Brower & Co., of New York, and was commanded by Captain John E. Williams, of Mystic. She was 1679 tons register and measured: length 222 feet, breadth 40 feet, depth 22 feet, and while not an extreme clipper, she was a very handsome, well-designed ship. She was heavily sparred and carried double topsails, skysails, and royal studdingsails. Her figurehead was a full-length statue of the famous warrior and statesman in whose honor she was named.

Upon Captain Williams' arrival at San Francisco, in 89 days from New York, he was presented with a Commodore's pennant, and on his return to New York the owners presented him with a valuable chronometer watch bearing the following inscription: "Presented by J. H. Brower & Co. to Captain J. E. Williams of the clipper ship Andrew Jackson for the shortest passage to San Francisco. Time 89 days 4 hours, 1860."

With this superb record by the Andrew Jackson—four consecutive passages averaging 98½ days each—the American clipper ship era may well bring its brilliant career to a close.

It would be invidious, even if it were possible, to name the fastest of the splendid fleet of California clippers which sailed during the years 1850–1860, as their voyages were made in different years and at different seasons of the year; still, a comparison of their records is of interest.

Eighteen ships made single passages of less than 100 days from New York or Boston to San Francisco during this period. The Flying Cloud and Andrew Jackson share the honor of 89 days each, and are closely followed by the Sword Fish, 90 days; Flying Fish and Great Republic, 92 days; John Gilpin, 93 days; Sweepstakes, 94 days; Surprise and Romance of the Seas, 96 days; Sea Witch, Contest, Antelope, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dragon, and Witchcraft, 97 days; Flying Fish and David Brown, 98 days, and Herald of the Morning and Hurricane, 99 days each. Four of these ships, the Flying Cloud, Flying Fish, Great Republic, and Romance of the Seas, were built by Donald McKay, and two of the four, the Flying Cloud and Flying Fish, each came within the limit twice. Two others, the John Gilpin and Surprise, were built by Samuel Hall, and two, the Contest and Sweepstakes, by Jacob A. Westervelt, with one ship each by other builders. Beside Captain Creesy of the Flying Cloud and Captain Nickels of the Flying Fish, Captain Dumaresq also made the passage twice in less than 100 days, in command of the Surprise and Romance of the Seas.

For an average of the two fastest passages by one ship, the record of the Flying Cloud—two in 89 days each—stands at the head. The others are: the Andrew Jackson, 98 and 100—94½ days; Flying Fish, 92 and 98—95 days; Sword-Fish, 90 and 105—97½ days; David Brown, 98 and 103—101½ days; Westward Ho,100 and 103—101½ days; Sea Witch, 97 and 108—102½ days; Contest, 108 and 97—102½ days; Herald of the Morning, 99 and 106—102½; Phantom, 101 and 104—102½ days; John Gilpin, 93 and 115—104 days; Romance of the Seas, 96 and 113—104½ days; Ringleader, 100 and 109—104½ days; Sweepstakes, 94 and 116—105 days; Flying Dutchman, 104 and 106—105 days; Flying Dragon, 97 and 114—105½ days; Surprise, 96 and 116—106 days; Young America, 105 and 109—107 days; Neptune's Car, 100 and 112—106; Eagle, 103 and 111—107 days; Comet, 103 and 112— 107½ days; Golden Gate, 102 and 113—107½ days; Golden City, 105 and 113—109 days; Flyaway, 106 and 112—109 days; Sea Serpent, 107 and 112—109½ days; Shooting Star, 105 and 115—110 days.

The fastest three passages in 1850–1860 were made by the Flying Cloud, 89, 89, 105—94⅓ days; Andrew Jackson, 89, 100, 102—97 days; Flying Fish, 92, 98, 105—98⅓ days; Westward Ho, 103, 106, 100—103 days; Sword-Fish, 90, 105, 116—103⅔ days; Sea Witch, 97, 108, 110—105 days; Young America, 105, 107, 110—107⅓ days; Surprise, 96, 116, 117—109⅔ days; Sea Serpent, 107, 112, 115—111⅓ days.

The best four passages were made by the Flying Cloud, 89, 89, 105, 108—97¾ days; Andrew Jackson, 89, 100, 102, 103—98½ days; Flying Fish, 92, 98, 105, 106—100¼ days.

By dividing this great race-course into sections, a further comparison of the relative speed of the clipper ships may be obtained. Thus the following separate runs were made during the years in question:

From Sandy Hook to the equator: Great Republic, 16 days; Flying Cloud, Northern Light, Sea Serpent, Storm (barque), White Swallow, 17 days; Adelaide, Jacob Bell, Surprise, Sweepstakes, 18 days; Atlanta, Flying Fish, Golden Gate, Hornet, Samuel Russell, Tingqua, 19 days; Archer, Antelope, Climax, Courier, Comet, David Brown, Hazard, Sirocco, Tornado, White Squall, 20 days. In February, 1858, the Stag Hound, commanded by Captain Hussey, made the run from Boston Light to the equator in the phenomenal time of 13 days, eclipsing all records.

From Cape St. Roque to 50° S.: Samuel Russell, days; Hornet, Ocean Pearl, 17 days; Bald Eagle, Comet, Electric, Hurricane, Ocean Express, Raven, 18 days; Electric Spark, Galatea, Governor Morton, John Gilpin, Sovereign of the Seas, Sword-Fish, Witch of the Wave, 19 days; Aurora, Flying Fish, Golden Gate, John Wade, Mandarin, North America, Panama, Ringleader, Seaman, Sea Witch, Skylark, Trade Wind, 20 days.

From 50° S. in the Atlantic to 50° S. in the Pacific: Young America, 6 days; Flying Fish, Flying Cloud, Robin Hood, 7 days; Flying Dutchman (twice), Herald of the Morning, Stag Hound, SwordFish, 8 days; Mary L. Sutton, Sovereign of the Seas, Great Republic, 9 days; Atlanta, Golden City, Hornet, Snap Dragon (barque), Sweepstakes, Typhoon, Whistler, 10 days.

From 50° S. in the Pacific to the equator: Live Yankee, Mary L. Sutton, 16 days; Flying Cloud, Sweepstakes, 17 days; Celestial, Eagle, Hurricane, John Bertram, Surprise, Young America, 18 days; Belle of the West, Courser, Don Quixote, Flying Dutchman (twice), Flying Fish, Mermaid, Neptune's Car, Ocean Telegraph, Sirocco, Starlight, Sword-Fish, Wild Pigeon, Winged Arrow, 19 days; Alarm, Archer, Electric, Flying Dragon, Golden Eagle, John Gilpin, Malay, Stag Hound, Starr King, Syren, Shooting Star, Telegraph, Unknown, 20 days.

From the equator to San Francisco: White Squall, 14 days; Flying Cloud, John Gilpin, Phantom, 15 days; Antelope, Comet, Contest, Flying Dutchman, Game-Cock, Trade Wind, 16 days; Aurora, Flying Fish (twice), Sovereign of the Seas, Surprise, Young America, 17 days; Cleopatra, Challenge, Golden City, John Bertram, Samuel Appleton, Seaman, Sea Witch, Staffordshire, Typhoon, Westward Ho, Winged Arrow, 18 days; Bald Eagle, Boston Light, Defender, Eagle, Electric, Golden Eagle, Great Republic, Hornet, N. B. Palmer, Wild Pigeon, 19 days; Celestial, Cyclone, Eureka, Governor Morton, Herald of the Morning, Intrepid, Living Age, Ocean Telegraph, Raven, Samuel Russell, Sparkling Wave, Sword-Fish, 20 days.

These records indicate the remarkable sailing qualities of the clipper ships, for, if the quickest single runs are added together—the Stag Hounds 13 days from Boston Light to the equator with an allowance of 2 days for the run from the equator to Cape St. Roque; the Samuel Russells 16 days from Cape St. Roque to 50° S.; the Young Americas 6 days from 50° S. in the Atlantic to 50° S. in the Pacific; the Live Yankee's and Mary L. Sutton's 16 days from 50° S. to the equator; and the White Squall's 14 days from the equator to San Francisco—we find that these six ships sailed long distances at the rate of a passage of 67 days from Boston Light to San Francisco, or 22 days less than the record of the Flying Cloud and Andrew Jackson—89 days. Yet no one of the six ships which made these splendid runs made the passage from an Atlantic port to San Francisco in less than 100 days.

The records of the other ships are even more remarkable, for allowing 20 days as the outside limit of the four longer runs, with 10 days from 50° S. in the Atlantic to 50° S. in the Pacific and 2 days from the equator to Cape St. Roque, we find that no less than 157 runs were made over distances of thousands of miles, most of them considerably within an average rate of 92 days from Sandy Hook to San Francisco, or well within 3 days of the fastest record time. These records prove, if proof were needed, that the reputation of American clipper ships for speed does not rest upon the fast passages of a few ships, but is based upon the established records of many swift vessels.

Judged by any standard of beauty, the American clipper ships were handsome, noble-looking vessels. During the past fifty years I have seen many fleets of men-of-war and merchant ships, besides naval reviews, and at various times the squadrons of yachts that gather each summer in Cowes Roads and Newport Harbor, but I have never seen a collection of vessels which could compare in stately beauty with the fleet of American clipper ships which lay in the harbor of Hong-kong during the autumn of 1858.

The American clippers were all built of wood and their hulls were painted black from the metal up, though the Invincible carried a crimson stripe, and the Challenge, N. B. Palmer, Sweepstakes, and perhaps two or three others, a stripe of gold. Their yards and bowsprits were usually painted black, the lower masts white to the tops, with the tops and doublings above scraped bright and varnished, but the Challenge, Young America, and Mandarin carried black lower masts, and a few other ships kept their lower masts bright.

Many of their figureheads were of considerable artistic excellence, being designed by skilful artists, some of whom have already been mentioned. The Romance of the Seas carried the full-length figure of an ancient navigator, whose original might have stood on the high poop of Magellan's flag-ship, with head bent forward and right hand raised to shade his eager eyes, as he gazed upon an unknown land in an uncharted sea. The Sea Serpent carried a long slender serpent, whose life-like, slimy-looking body, picked out in shades of green and gold, suggested his recent escape from the waters of one of the summer resorts along the Atlantic coast. The Nightingale carried a beautiful bust of Jenny Lind, for whom she was named. The Panama carried at her bow a nude, full-length figure of a beautiful woman with arms extended, pure white and of great artistic merit, perhaps the most beautiful figurehead ever carried by a ship. The Flying Fish carried a fish on the wing, of life-like color and giving a vivid sense of speed; the Witchcraft, a grim Salem witch riding upon her aerial broomstick; the Game-Cock, a fighting bird with outstretched neck and head, apparently eager for combat; the Northern Light, the full-length figure of an angelic creature in flowing white drapery, one graceful arm extended above her head, and bearing in her slender hand a torch with golden flame.

One of the most striking figureheads was the tall square-built sailor, with dark curly hair and bronzed clean-shaven face, who stood at the bow of the Champion of the Seas. A black belt with a massive brass buckle supported his white trousers, which were as tight about the hips as the skin of an eel, and had wide, bell-shaped bottoms that almost hid his black polished pumps. He wore a loose-fitting blue-and-white-checked shirt, with wide, rolling collar, and black neck handkerchief of ample size, tied in the most rakish of square knots with long flowing ends. But perhaps the most impressive of this mariner's togs were his dark-blue jacket, and the shiny tarpaulin hat which he waved aloft in the grip of his brawny, tattooed right hand. The only exception that one could possibly take to this stalwart sailorman was that his living prototype was likely to be met with so very seldom in real life. There were many other figureheads that might be mentioned, but these are best remembered.

In those days New York was one of the most beautiful and picturesque seaports of the world; the water-front was lined with majestic clippers, stately Indiamen,and noble packet ships, their American ensigns and well-known house flags of many brilliant colors floating in the breeze. [1] The view and skyline of the port from the harbor were very beautiful; Battery Park with its fine lawns and trees in the foreground, the graceful spire of Trinity Church forming a prominent landmark, while clustered on every side were the modest yet dignified and substantial residences, gardens, and warehouses of the merchants, with a quiet, refined atmosphere of prosperity and contentment, long since departed. The New York pilot-boats were remarkably fast and able schooners of from 80 to 90 tons, which cruised to the eastward as far as the Grand Banks, with a hand in the crow's nest on the lookout for the packets and steamships bound for New York. Among these stanch little vessels were the Washington, Ezra Nye, George W. Blunt, William H. Aspinwall, Mary Taylor, Moses H. Grinnell, Charles H. Marshall, Mary Fish, George Steers, and Jacob Bell. The New York pilots themselves were a very superior class of men, who always wore beaver hats when boarding a vessel, and owned their boats, and it was regarded as a compliment and an honor for a citizen of New York to have one of their vessels named for him.

Of the men who commanded the American clipper ships, it may be said that they carried the ensign of the United States to every quarter of the globe, with honor to their country and themselves. They were not, however, all cast in the same mould. Each had his strongly marked individual traits of character, and his human weaknesses. Nothing could be more remote from the truth than to imagine these men as blustering bullies at sea or rollicking shellbacks on shore; neither were they Chesterfields or carpet knights, afloat or ashore, nor at all the type of skipper that one is apt to meet in works of fiction. Many of them might easily have been mistaken for prosperous merchants or professional men, until a more intimate acquaintance disclosed the aura of salted winds and surging seas, and a worldwide knowledge of men and cities. These were the qualities which made so many of these master mariners delightful companions and welcome guests at the firesides of refined and luxurious homes, whose doors could not be opened by golden keys. It may well be doubted whether braver, truer-hearted gentlemen or finer seamen than many of the American clipper ship captains of half a century ago have ever sailed the seas.

Many of the clipper ship captains were accompanied on their voyages by their wives, whose influence at sea was humanizing, while their companionship was a comfort and solace to their husbands. In foreign ports, especially in China and India, they were made much of. The merchants vied with each other to render their visits enjoyable, and nothing in the way of lavish entertainment or costly gift was regarded as too good for them. Mrs. Babcock, of the Sword-Fish and Young America; Mrs. Low, of the N. B. Palmer; Mrs. Very, of the Hurricane; Mrs. Creecy, of the Flying Cloud, and Mrs. Andrews, of the Red Gauntlet, were veritable sea belles, while Mrs. Patten of the Neptune's Car proved herself a true heroine.

The Neptune's Car sailed from New York for San Francisco in June, 1856, and before she reached Cape Horn, Captain Patten was compelled to put his chief officer under arrest on account of incompetence and neglect of duty. That winter off Cape Horn was unusually cold and stormy, and the exposure and fatigue which Captain Patten was obliged to endure brought on an attack of brain fever which soon resulted in his becoming entirely blind. The second mate was a good seaman but knew nothing about navigation. Mrs. Patten at that time was not more than twenty-four years old, but she had acquired a thorough knowledge of navigation upon a previous voyage with her husband round the globe, and she at once assumed command of the ship. For 52 days she navigated this heavily masted clipper of over 1600 tons, taking her safely into the harbor of San Francisco, besides acting as nurse and physician to her husband and keeping him alive by constant care and watchfulness. The chief mate asked to return to duty, but Mrs. Patten declined his aid, as she had no faith in his ability or loyalty, and preferred to trust the faithful though illiterate second mate.

Captain Patten never recovered his health and died at Boston on July 26, 1857, in his thirty-sixth year. His funeral took place at Christ Church in that city, with the colors of the shipping in the harbor at half mast, and the bells of the church tolling in his honor. Captain Joshua A. Patten was born in Rockland, Maine, and had followed the sea from boyhood. He was a prominent Mason, and for several years had been a member of Christ Church. Mrs. Mary Patten was a beautiful woman of the finest New England type, with a refined, gentle voice and manner. While not active in the then newly-organized women's rights movement, she was unwillingly made to appear as the star example of woman's ability to compete successfully in the pursuits and avocations of man.


  1. The following are some of these house flags: The crimson field and black ball, of Charles H. Marshall; the red, white, and blue swallowtail, of Grinnell, Minturn & Co.; the yellow, red, and yellow horizontal bars with white "L" in centre, of A. A. Low & Brother; the thirteen blue and twelve white squares, of N. L. & G. Griswold; the crimson field and yellow beehive, of Sutton & Co.; the crimson field, white border, and white "D" in centre, of George Daniels; the red, white, and red vertical stripes with red "B" in centre, of Vernon H. Brown; the blue and white half -diamonds, of Russell & Co.; the crimson field and white diamond, of Augustine Heard & Co.; the white above blue and red ball in the centre, of Sampson & Tappan; the white above yellow and red star in centre, of Glidden & Williams; the narrow blue and white horizontal stripes with red ball in the centre, of Napier, Johnson & Co.; the white field and blue cross, of George B. Upton; the crimson swallowtail and blue cross, of Charles R. Green; the white swallowtail, red cross with white diamond in the centre, of R. W. Cameron; the crimson swallowtail, blue cross, and white ball in the centre, of Wells & Emanuel; the blue above white, white ball in blue and red ball in white, of D. & A. Kingsland; the white field and red cross in the centre of D. G. & W. B. Bacon; the white swallowtail and black S. & B., of Snow & Burgess; the white field and black horse, of William F. Weld & Co. The flag of Rowland & Aspinwall had a blue square in the upper corner of the luff and lower corner of the fly; the rest of the flag was white with narrow blue lines in the lower corner of the luff and upper corner of the fly, which formed squares, and also formed a white cross extending the full hoist and length of the flag. David Ogden's flag was a white field and red cross; Crocker & Warren's, blue above yellow with a yellow "C" in the blue and blue "W" in the yellow. Then there was the red swallowtail with white cross and black star in the centre, of Samuel Thompson & Nephew; the blue field, white diamond, and black star, of Williams & Guion; the crimson field and black "X" of John Griswold. These were the private signals of most of the leading New York and Boston ship-owners, which, half a century ago, enlivened the water front of New York, though there were some others which have now faded from memory.