Clipper Ships

The Boston Daily Atlas

Duncan McLean, the marine reporter of the Boston Daily Atlas, wrote at least 161 more or less detailed descriptions of ships launched in Boston and elsewhere in New England for the Boston Daily Atlas between April 1850 and March 1857 [Crothers: The American-Built Clipper Ship 1850-1856. Characteristics, Construction, Details. International Marine, Camden, ME, 1997]. Of these 110 concerned clipper ships and the rest were of packets and ordinary merchant ships. His articles also appeared in the Boston Semi-Weekly Atlas and perhaps also in the Boston Weekly Atlas.



A clipper ship built in 1853 by Hayden & Cudworth, Medford, MA. Dimensions 180'×36'×22'9" and tonnage 1051 15/95 tons. The figurehead was a guilded eagle on the wing. The Climax was the first ship to be equipped with Captain Howes' patented double topsails. This enabled her reduce the size of the crew to about half, or 14 men and two boys. 1853 Launched at the shipyard of Hayden & Cudworth, Medford, MA, for Howes and Crowell, Boston.

1853 March 28 - July 21

Sailed from Boston to San Francisco in 115 days under command of Captain William F. Howes. The freight for the 1785 tons of cargo was $56.000. She sailed the day after the clipper ship the Competitor and overtook her before the Line and had a lead of six days when she got into the Pacific but was overhauled the latter and finally arrived to San Francisco in the same number of days. Sailed from San Francisco to Callo in 60 days.

Sailed from Callao to Hampton Roads in 66 days, 161⁄2 hours with



a cargo of guano.

1854 November 8

Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 132 days under command of Captain Benjamin Freeman.

1855 March 28

Left the Chincha Islands with a cargo of guano for Callao to get clearance. The following day a leak was discovered and when she arrived to Callao she had eight feet of water in the hold. Sheventually sank at 21 fathoms when the pumps were choked by Sold to Antonio Teryy, Callao, for $13.000 and was renamed the guano cargo.


Antonio Terry.


Sold to Hong Kong owners for $19.000.

• Clipper ships, general references.

• McLean, Duncan: The New Clipper Climax.

The Boston Daily Atlas, March 26, 1853.



Ship "Robin Hood"

The original newspaper announcement of the launching of the Clipper The New Clipper Ship Robin Hood, now loading in Glidden & Williams' line of California clippers, is a beautiful vessel of 1170 tons register. She is 183 feet long, has 37 feet breadth of beam, and 23 feet depth of hold, including 8 feet height of between-decks. She has sharp ends, and nearly a straight load-displacement [...]. Her bow is bold and lively, and is ornamented with a full-figure of the noted archer, bow in hand, placed to correspond with the rake of the stem. Her stern is quite neat, and is also tastefully ornamented. She has a beautiful cabin, under a half poop deck, with a house in front, and it is finished and furnished in the best style of marine art, while the house protects its entrance and contains a dining saloon, pantry, staterooms for the officers, and other apartments. The sailors' quarters are in a large house before the main hatchway, which also contains the galley storerooms, &c. She looks well on deck, has plenty of room for working ship, and is admirably fitted out.

Capt. Oliver Eldridge, one of our best sailors, who superintended her construction and equipment, says that she has no superior of her size, either in soundness and substance of materials, or thoroughness of workmanship, and so far as we can see, and are qualified to judge, this appears to be the case. She is certainly, in our opinion, a very superior vessel. Messrs. Hayden & Cudworth built her, and she is owned by Messrs. Howes & Crowell, of this city, who own several other fine clippers. Their ship Climax, Capt. Howes, made the passage from Callao to Hampton Roads in 62 days, said to be the shortest passage on record. She is now in New York. We expect the Robin Hood to sail as well as any ship of her capacity that we have seen.

Boston Daily Atlas, 1854, April 29.

Transcribed by

The Maritime History Virtual Archives | The Boston Daily Atlas.


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