The Clipper Ship Era/Chapter 3
THE NORTH ATLANTIC PACKET SHIPS, 1815-1850
WHILE progress in ship-building in the United States had been constant up to the War of 1812, American ship-owners and builders had been much hampered by the interference of both Great Britain and France, but in 1815, when the smoke of battle had cleared away and the rights of American ships and seamen had been established upon the sea, ship-building was taken up with renewed energy.
The famous New York-Liverpool packets came out in 1816. The pioneer, Black Ball Line, established by Isaac Wright, Francis and Jeremiah Thompson, Benjamin Marshall, and others, led the van for years. The original ships belonging to this line were the Amity, Courier, Pacific, and James Monroe, of about 400 tons; they were followed by the New York, Eagle, Orbit, Nestor, James Cropper, William Thompson, Albion, Canada, Britannia, and Columbia, vessels of from 300 to 500 tons register. For the first ten years the passages of the fleet averaged 23 days outward and 40 days to the westward. The fastest outward passage was made by the Canada in 15 days, 18 hours, and her total averages—19 days outward and 36 days homeward—were the best of that period. These ships were all flush deck, with a caboose or galley and the housed-over long-boat between the fore- and main-masts. The long-boat, which was, of course, securely lashed, carried the live stock,—pens for sheep and pigs in the bottom, ducks and geese on a deck laid across the gunwales, and on top of all, hens and chickens. The cow-house was lashed over the main hatch, and there were also other small hatch-houses and a companion aft leading to the comfortable, well-appointed cabins, which were lighted by deck skylights, candles, and whale-oil lamps. The steerage passengers lived in the between-decks amidships, and the crew's forecastle was in the fore-peak. The stores, spare sails, gear, etc., were kept in the lazarette abaft the cabins, with a small hatch leading to the main-deck. The hulls were painted black from the water-line up, with bright scraped bends, which were varnished, and the inner side of the bulwarks, rails, hatch-houses, and boats were painted green. It was said that some of the early Black Ball captains had commanded privateers during the War of 1812. At all events, these little ships, with their full-bodied, able hulls, and their stout spars, sails, and rigging, were driven outward and homeward across the Atlantic, through the fogs and ice of summer and the snow, sleet, and gales of winter, for all the speed that was in them. They were in their day the only regular means of communication between the United States and Europe. Their captains were the finest men whose services money could secure, and to their care were entrusted the lives of eminent men and women, government despatches, the mails and specie. Rain or shine, blow high, blow low, one of the Black Ball liners sailed from New York for Liverpool on the first and sixteenth of each month, and for many years these were the European mail days throughout the United States.
In 1821, Thomas Cope of Philadelphia started his line of packets between that port and Liverpool with the ships Lancaster, of 290 tons, and Tuscarora, of 379 tons, which were soon followed by larger vessels, among them some of the finest ships on the Atlantic.
The Red Star Line of Liverpool packets from New York was also established in 1821 with the Panther, Meteor, Hercules, and second Manhattan, and soon after, the Swallow Tail Line of Grinnell, Minturn & Co., came into existence with the Napoleon, Silas Richards, George, and York. Grinnell, Minturn & Co.'s London Line was established in 1823 with the Brighton, Columbia, Cortes, and Corinthian, of less than 500 tons each, and during this year John Griswold's London Line was also started with the Sovereign, President, Cambria, Hudson, and the second Ontario.
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 gave a great impetus to commerce, causing New York to become the eastern gateway of the United States, and from that date to 1850 may be counted the glorious years of the Atlantic packet ships.The Dramatic Line to Liverpool was started in 1836 with the Siddons, Shakespeare, Garrick, and Roscius, under the management of E. K. Collins. These vessels did not much exceed 700 tons, and when, in 1837, Isaac Webb & Co. built the Sheridan,
The first Havre line of packets was founded by Francis Depaw in 1822 with the Stephania, Montana, Henry IV., Helen Mar, Louis Philippe, and Silvia de Grasse. A second line was formed in 1827 with the Baltimore, Charles Carroll, Erie, France, Oneida, Mercury, Utica, Rhone, William Tell, and in 1832 a third line, with the Formosa, Galia, Albany, Duchesse d'Orléans, Isaac Bell, Queen Mab, and Don Quixote.
In 1831 the New Orleans Line from New York was formed with the Nashville, Huntsville, Louisville, Creole, and Natchez. These were the first packet ships built with full poop-decks, then quite a new feature in ship-building. Gradually the flush deck gave place to house- and poop-deck cabins, then to the topgallant, forecastle, and house from the foremast to the main hatch. The fashion of painting also changed, and most if not all the packets carried painted ports, while the inside green was replaced by white or light shades of other colors.
After the Black Ball Line passed into the hands of Captain Charles H. Marshall in 1836, the Columbus, Oxford, Cambridge, New York, England, Yorkshire, Fidelia, Isaac Wright, Isaac Webb, the third Manhattan, Montezuma, Alexander Marshall, Great Western, and Harvest Queen were gradually added to the fleet. To meet the competition of the Black Ball Line, the Swallow Tail Line built the Washington, Independence, Pennsylvania, Roscoe, Patrick Henry, Ashburton, Hottinger, Queen of the West, Liverpool, New World, and Cornelius Grinnell.
The packet ships slowly increased in tonnage, but did not much exceed 1000 tons until 1846 when the New World, of 1404 tons, was built by Donald McKay, followed by the Guy Mannering, of 1419 tons, and the Albert Gallatin, of 1435 tons, built by William H. Webb in 1849, these three vessels being the largest merchant ships afloat at that period.
The Black Ball ships carried a large painted black ball below the close-reef band in their foretopsails, while the Dramatic Line, not to be outdone, carried a black X which extended diagonally, almost from clew to earring, across their foretopsails. All packet ships carried a white light at the bowsprit cap from sunset to sunrise, but side-lights did not come into use until some years later. These ships also carried a flare-up which was kept in the companion ready for immediate use.
Throughout the various changes of management the Black Ball liners carried a crimson swallowtail flag with a black ball in the centre; the Dramatic liners, blue above white with a white L in blue and a black L in white for the Liverpool ships, and a red swallowtail with white ball and black L in the centre for the New Orleans ships; the Union Line to Havre, a white field with black U in the centre; John Griswold's London Line, red swallowtail with black X in centre; the Swallowtail Line, red before white, swallowtail for the London ships, and blue before white, swallowtail for the Liverpool ships; Robert Kermit's Liverpool Line, blue swallowtail with red star in the centre; Spofford & Tillotson's Liverpool Line, yellow field, blue cross with white S. T. in the centre. These flags disappeared from the sea many years ago.
The packet captain, no matter what his age might be, was usually spoken of as "the old man," a title frequently embellished by the crew with vigorous epithets, which seemed to them appropriate, but which must now, I fear, be left to the imagination of the reader. Few if any Americans sailed regularly before the mast on board of these vessels, the crews being largely composed of the most abandoned scoundrels out of British and continental jails. I shall have something further to say concerning these interesting beings in connection with their exploits on board of the California clipper ships.
Among the famous New York packet captains, and there were many of them, were Charles H. Marshall, of the South America, James Cropper, and Britannia; N. B. Palmer, of the Siddons, Garrick, Huntsville, and Hibernia, and his brother, Alexander, later of the Garrick; F. A. De Peyster, of the Columbus and Ontario; John Collins, an uncle of E. K. Collins, of the Shakespeare; John Eldridge, of the Liverpool, and his brother Asa, of the Roscius, and Oliver, another brother, who was mate with Captain John; Ezra Nye, of the Independence and Henry Clay; William Skiddy, an older brother of Francis Skiddy, of the New World; Benjamin Trask, of the Virginia, Jamestown, and Saratoga; Joseph Delano, of the Columbia and Patrick Henry; John Britton, of the Constitution, later United States consul at Southampton; Ira Bursley, of the Hottinger; Philip Woodhouse, of the Queen of the West; James A. Wooton, of the Havre; William H. Allen, of the Virginia, Waterloo, West Point, and Constellation; E. E. Morgan, of the Hudson and Victoria; John Johnston, of the Rhone and Isaac Bell; and of a later period, Robert C. Cutting, of the Adelaide; and Samuel Samuels, of the Dreadnought.
It required an unusual combination of qualities to command these Western Ocean packet ships successfully. Above all things it was necessary that the captains should be thorough seamen and navigators; also that they should be men of robust health and great physical endurance, as their duties often kept them on deck for days and nights together in storm, cold, and fog. Then there were frequently desperate characters among the crew and steerage passengers, who required to be handled with moral courage and physical force, while the cabin passengers were usually gentlemen and gentlewomen of good breeding, accustomed to courtesy and politeness, which they expected to find in the captains with whom they sailed. These requirements evolved a remarkable type of men, hearty, bluff, and jovial, without coarseness, who would never be mistaken for anything but gentlemen.
The packet mates, having no social duties on shipboard to distract their attention, were able to devote their time and energies to improving the morals and manners of the crew, and it was on board the Black Ball liners that "belaying pin soup" and "handspike hash," so stimulating to honest toil, were first introduced for the benefit of mutinous or slothful mariners.Plenty of sail was carried by the packet ships
of this period—square lower, topmast and topgallant studding sails, skysails set on sliding gunter masts which were struck in the winter time, with three reefs in the topsails and single reefs in the top-gallantsails. The racing was fast and furious. In 1837 a match was made between the Black Ball liner Columbus, 597 tons, Captain De Peyster, and the Sheridan, Captain Russell, of the Dramatic Line, then on her first voyage, for a stake of $10,000 a side, from New York to Liverpool, play or pay. The Sheridan, though only 895 tons, carried a crew of forty picked men before the mast, with regular pay of $25 a month, and the promise of a bonus of $50 each, provided their ship won the race. The ships sailed together from New York on Thursday, February 2, 1837, and the Columbus won the race in sixteen days, followed two days later by the Sheridan. This is the first ocean match across the Atlantic of which any record has been preserved, though, of course, there had been many informal races long before.
The Isaac Bell, commanded by Captain John Johnston, made three voyages from Havre to New York in less than eighteen days each, one being in the month of January, which is about the hardest month in the twelve for a ship bound to the westward. The Independence, 734 tons, built by Smith & Dimon in 1834, for a number of years when commanded by Captain Ezra Nye, took the President's message to England, her sailing day being fixed for the 6th of March for that purpose. She more than once made the passage from New York to Liverpool in fourteen days. In November, 1846, the Yorkshire, Captain Bailey, made the passage from Liverpool to New York in sixteen days. This is believed to be the fastest passage ever made from Liverpool to the westward by a packet ship. The Montezuma, 1070 tons, and the Patrick Henry, 997 tons, the Southampton, 1273 tons, built by Westervelt & Mackay, in 1849, also the St. Andrew, Captain William C. Thompson, of Robert Kermit's Line, all made the passage from New York to Liverpool in fifteen days.
It should, however, be remembered that these packet ships, running regularly across the Atlantic for many years, necessarily at times encountered favorable conditions of wind and weather; whereas, a single ship making the passage occasionally, as did the clipper ships in later years, might not find so favorable a slant in a lifetime. None of the packet ships that made these remarkable passages could average more than twelve knots for twenty-four hours, and the utmost limit of their speed under the most favorable conditions was not more than fourteen knots, if as much. Most of these ships, however, made the passage from New York to Liverpool at one time or another in sixteen days, and there were few that did not at least once make the run in seventeen days. The secret of the speed of these ships was that they were commanded by men who kept them moving night and day, in all sorts of weather, and never let up on their ships or crews from the time they cast off from the wharf at New York until they ran their lines ashore on the pier-head at Liverpool. While it is true that the New York packet ships were by no means clippers, still, their models and rig were admirably adapted to the work which they had to perform. It was a splendid service and a fine prelude to the clipper ship era.
Of the earlier New York ship-builders, Henry Eckford, who came from Scotland in 1796, when twenty years of age, died in New York in 1832; Christian Bergh, who was born in Wettenburgh, Rhinebeck precinct, in 1763, died in New York in 1843; and Isaac Webb, born in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1794, the son of Wilsey Webb, died in New York in 1840. To the memories of these men, the founders of modern ship-building in the United States, the highest praise is due for their integrity, perseverance, and mechanical skill.
Of the next generation of builders, Stephen Smith, who like Isaac Webb was born in Stamford, formed with John Dimon the firm of Smith & Dimon, and prior to 1843 they had built among other vessels the packet ships Roscoe and Independence, the ship Mary Howland, the North River steamboats Rochester, James Kent, and Oregon, and the Greek frigate Liberator. Their building yard was at the foot of Fourth Street, East River. David Brown and Jacob Bell formed the firm of Brown & Bell, and had a yard at the foot of Stanton Street, a part of which had formerly been the Henry Eckford yard. Prior to 1843, this firm had built the ships Orbit and William Tell in 1821, the Canada, Calhoun, Savannah, Pacific, Washington, Great Britain, John Jay, Britannia, George Canning, Caledonia, Hibernia, and Congress from 1821 to 1831; the Victoria, Europe, Francis Depaw, Silvia de Grasse, Vicksburg, Emerald, Switzerland, Shakespeare, Garrick, Sheridan, Siddons, Roscius, and Cornelia from 1831 to 1841; and the Liverpool, Queen of the West, and Henry Clay in the period from 1841 to 1843, inclusive. Besides these, they built fifteen other ships, seven steamers, eight barques and brigs, thirty-nine steamboats, six ferry- and tow-boats, nineteen sloops and schooners, seven pilot boats, and four yachts.
Upon the death of Isaac Webb in 1840, his son William H. Webb, then only twenty-four years of age, continued the firm of Webb & Allen which built during the next ten years the packet ships Montezuma, Yorkshire, Havre, Fidelia, second Columbia, Sir Robert Peel, Splendid, Bavaria, Isaac Wright, Ivanhoe, Yorktown, London, Cruy Mannering, Albert Gallatin, Isaac Webb, and Vanguard. Their yard extended from the foot of Fifth to Seventh Street, East River.Jacob A. Westervelt, born at Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1800, was the son of a ship-builder. He went to sea before the mast and upon his return served his apprenticeship with Christian Bergh, subsequently becoming a partner in the firm and retiring with an ample fortune in 1837. Mr. Westervelt then made an extensive trip through Europe, and after returning built two ships at Williamsburg. He formed the firm of Westervelt & Mackay and built a number of London and Havre packet ships, among which were the Ocean Queen, West Point, Toronto, Devonshire, and American Eagle. The front door of Mr. Westervelt's house in East Broadway was ornamented with a beautiful carved stone cap representing the stern of a packet ship. In later
years, he took his sons Daniel and Aaron into partnership, the firm being known as Westervelt & Co. Jacob A. Westervelt was Mayor of New York in 1854.
George Steers, destined to become famous as the designer of the Adriatic, the Niagara, and the yacht America, was born in Washington, D. C, in the year 1819, and in 1843, after having built a number of fast sail- and row-boats for racing, entered into partnership with William Hathorne, the firm being known as Hathorne & Steers. Up to this time Mr. Steers, though he had shown unusual ability as a mechanic, cannot be said to have done anything predicting his future triumphs. Other firms that were building good vessels at this time were Thomas and William Collier; Perin, Patterson & Stack; Laurence & Folkes, and John Englis, some of whom we shall hear of again.
The merchants of Boston after the War of 1812, built or bought most of their vessels at Medford, Newburyport, Salem, Scituate, and Duxbury, within the State, and at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and other ports where timber was more plentiful. It was not until 1834, when the East Boston Timber Company was incorporated by James Paige, Francis Oliver, and Gideon Barstow, that ship-building began to flourish about Boston. Stephen White was the moving spirit in this transaction, as in 1833 he had bought on behalf of himself and associates, eighty thousand feet of land in East Boston, between Border and Liverpool streets, at three cents per foot, for the establishment of a timber yard and dock. Mr. White also purchased Grand Island, in the Niagara River, which was covered with valuable timber. Sawmills were erected on the island, and a supply of the finest quality of ship timber was created, and brought by the Erie Canal to tidewater, thence by coasting vessels to East Boston. This attracted ship-builders from other towns, and eventually made Boston a famous ship-building centre. Stephen White owned the first ship built in East Boston, the Niagara, of 460 tons, appropriately named after the river from which the timber used in her construction had come. She was built in 1834, by Brown, Bates & Delano in their yard at the foot of Central Square, and was launched amid an uproar of guns, fire-crackers, shouts, and music, with a bottle of good Medford rum trickling down her port bow.
The first Boston ferry-boats, the East Boston, Essex, and Maverick, were built at East Boston in 1834–35, but nothing further was done in shipbuilding there until 1839, when Samuel Hall a well-known builder, of Marshfield and Duxbury, removed to East Boston and established a yard at the west end of Maverick Street. Mr. Hall not only contributed to the reputation and welfare of East Boston by building a large number of splendid vessels and providing employment for a great number of men, but he was also active in all municipal affairs. In appreciation of his successful efforts for the introduction of Cochituate water into East Boston in 1851, his fellow-citizens presented him with a thousand-dollar service of plate, consisting of eleven pieces, with the usual inscription, with which most of us are more or less familiar.
The Briggs Brothers, of South Boston, came from an old and celebrated ship-building family of Scituate, their great-grandfather having been a shipbuilder of note in colonial times, while their grandfather, James Briggs, was the builder of the famous Columbia, in 1773. After his death the yard was continued by his sons, Henry and Gushing, who built some of the finest ships sailing out of Boston, besides many of the New Bedford and Nantucket whalers, during the first half of the last century. The brothers E. & H. O. Briggs, who established their yard at South Boston in 1848, were the sons of Gushing Briggs, and they possessed the skill in design and thorough knowledge of construction for which the family had long been famous among the merchants and underwriters of Boston.
At Medford, on the Mystic, Thatcher Magoun established his shipyard in 1802, and there built the brig Mt. Etna, of 187 tons, in 1803, followed by other merchant vessels as well as privateers for the War of 1812. The Avon, the most famous of these privateers, was launched in twenty-six days after her keel was laid. In 1822, Mr. Magoun built the Amethyst, Emerald, Sapphire, and Topaz, ships of about 350 tons, for the Boston and Liverpool Packet Company, which ran for a few years between Boston, Charleston, S. C., and Liverpool, and home direct to Boston. One of the novel features of this line was the arrangement as to agents, their office being at the end of India Wharf, but in Liverpool each ship had a separate agent, as it was imagined that four agents would attract so many times the more business. It is evident that the promoters of this line had something to learn concerning Liverpool ship-brokers and their system of working freights, for the enterprise was not successful.
Another Liverpool Line was started in Boston in 1828, and the ships Boston, Lowell, Liverpool, Plymouth, and Trenton of this line were built by Mr. Magoun. He also built between 1822 and 1829, the ships Lucilla, 369 tons, owned by Daniel P. Parker; Brookline, 376 tons, and Courser, 300 tons, owned by Henry Oxnard; and the Margaret Forbes, 398 tons, owned by Bryant & Sturgis, all sailing out of Boston. Other Medford ship-builders were Sprague & James, Isaac Taylor, Hayden & Cudworth, J. O. Curtis, Waterman & Elwell, Samuel Lapham, and Paul Curtis. Their ships were known all over the world as fine, well-built vessels. In 1845 one quarter of all the shipwrights in Massachusetts were employed in Medford, and 9660 tons of shipping were launched from its building yards.
The leading ship-builder at Newburyport was John Currier, Jr., who from 1831 to 1843 built the ships Brenda, Republic, Oberlin, St. Clair, Leonore, and Columbus for the Black Ball Line, and in 1836 the Talbot, Flavio, Navigator, Huntress, Strabo, and Virginia, ranging from 339 to 365 tons, as well as several barques, brigs, and schooners. The firms of George W. Jackman and Currier & Townsend had not been formed at this date.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was also noted for her ships and seamen, the principal builders in 1840 being George Eaynes, Fernald & Pettigrew, and Toby & Littlefield, while the Shackfords and Salters had been sea-captains for generations. Mr. Raynes was born at York, Maine, in 1799 and in 1835 removed to Portsmouth where he established a shipyard upon the famous Boyd estate, with its fine old trees, lawns, and gardens of vegetables, fruits, and flowers sloping to the clear blue water's edge. The family residence, erected by Colonel George Boyd in 1767, was an excellent example of colonial architecture. In later days it became known as the Raynes mansion, and for many years was one of the show places of Portsmouth. The original beauty of the grounds was preserved so far as possible, and this was perhaps the most beautiful and picturesque shipyard of modern times.
The most famous clipper-ship builder of his time, Donald McKay, was born at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, in 1810, and was a descendant of that sturdy Highland chieftain, Donald McKay, who died at Tain, County Ross, Scotland, in 1395. At about the age of sixteen, Donald went to New York, where he worked and learnt his trade in the shipyards of Isaac Webb, Brown & Bell, and perhaps others. By his energy and mechanical talents, he soon became a master shipwright, and turned his face toward the Eastern country again. In 1840 he finished the ship Delia Walker, of 427 tons, for John Currier at Newburyport. This vessel was owned by Dennis Condry, who, when visiting his ship from time to time, was impressed by Mr. McKay's superior mechanical ability and energetic manner of handling his men. In 1841, Mr. McKay became a partner in the firm of Currier & McKay, and the barque Mary Broughton, 323 tons, was built by them during this year, followed in 1842 by the ships Courier, 380 tons, and Ashburton, 449 tons. The firm then dissolved, the models and moulds being equally divided—with a saw.
The little ship Courier was the first vessel designed by Mr. McKay. She was owned by W. Wolfe & A. Foster, Jr., of New York, who employed her in the Rio coffee trade. She proved a wonder for speed, and outsailed everything, big and little, that she fell in with at sea. No one at that time believed that such a vessel could be built outside of New York or Baltimore. She not only made a great deal of money for her owners, but at once brought her designer prominently before the maritime public.
In 1843 the firm of McKay & Pickett was formed, and the New York packet ships St. George, 845 tons, in 1843, and John R. Skiddy, 930 tons, in 1844, were built by them at Newburyport. In this year Enoch Train, a well-known ship-owner and merchant of Boston, engaged in the South American trade and who had already sent the ships Cairo, St. Patrick, and Dorchester to England, decided to put on a regular line of packets between Liverpool and Boston. While crossing the Atlantic on board one of the early Cunarders, for the purpose of establishing his European agencies, it happened that he found himself a fellow-passenger with Dennis Condry, owner of the Delia Walker, the gentleman who had been so much impressed during his visits to Newburyport, by the energy and skill of Donald McKay. Mr. Train and Mr. Condry soon became acquainted and naturally talked a good deal about shipping. Mr. Train was in doubt as to whom he should entrust the building of his ships; he did not like to construct them in New York, yet he felt unwilling to risk failure through employing local talent, however able, for Boston builders were inexperienced in building this class of vessel, while the construction of packet ships had been developed to a high degree of perfection in New York. His doubts were freely expressed, but Mr. Condry had a strong conviction on this subject, and so convincing were his arguments in favor of his young ship-builder friend, that Mr. Train, before landing at Liverpool, had promised that he would see Mr. McKay upon his return to the United States.
The meeting at Newburyport of these two really great men, Enoch Train and Donald McKay, should be memorable in the maritime annals of the United States. It was the swift contact of flint and steel, for within an hour a contract had been signed for building the Joshua Bates, the pioneer ship of Train's famous Liverpool Line, and Mr. Train was returning to his home in Boston. He visited Newburyport frequently while his ship was building, and whether Mr. McKay, during the four years that had elapsed, had further developed the qualities which Dennis Condry had so admired, as seems probable, or whether Mr. Train's perceptive faculties were keener than those of his fellow-passenger, it is a fact that on the day when the Joshua Bates was launched and floated safely on the Merrimac River, Mr. Train grasped Donald McKay by the hand and said to him: "You must come to Boston; we need you; if you wish financial assistance to establish a shipyard, let me know the amount and you shall have it." So the young ship-builder had on that day launched his last ship at Newburyport. He soon closed the pleasant relations which had existed with his partner, and at the age of thirty-four opened 'his great shipyard at the foot of Border Street, East Boston. There he built in rapid succession, between 1845 and 1850, the packet ships Washington Irving, Anglo-Saxon, Ocean Monarch, Anglo-American, and Daniel Webster for Train's Liverpool Line. These ships carried a black T in their foretopsail below the close reef band, and flew the Enoch Train signal, a red field with white diamond. The ships New World and Cornelius Grinnell were built here for Grinnell, Minturn & Co.'s Swallowtail Line; the A. Z., L. Z., and Antarctic for Zerega & Co., New York; the Jenny Lind for Fairbank & Wheeler, Boston; the Parliament, Plymouth Rock, Reindeer, and barque Helicon for George B. Upton, Boston; the Moses Wheeler for Wheeler & King, Boston; and the barque Sultana for Edward Lamb & Co., Boston. These vessels were much admired in New York, London, Liverpool, and other seaports, and established the reputation of Donald McKay as a ship-builder equal to the best.