West Point (1847)

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For other uses, see West Point (disambiguation).
History
United States
Name: West Point
Owner: Robert Kermit, Kermit & Carow, Charles Carow Cie.
Route: New York – Liverpool
Builder: Westervelt & MacKay, New York
Launched: 1847
In service: 1847–1863
Refit: November 1857
Homeport: New York City
Fate: unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: A, 1½
Type: Full rigged vessel
Tonnage: 1,046 tons
Length: 166.5 ft (50.7 m)
Beam: 37.1 ft (11.3 m)
Height: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Draft: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Decks: 3 (initially 2)
Notes: [1] wooden ship (made out of southern live oak)

The West Point (sometimes Westpoint[1]) was a full rigged vessel built in the 1840s and used for the transportation of goods, passengers and mail to and from Liverpool and New York. It was one of a few ocean-going packet-ships operated by the Robert Kermit Red Star Line company,[2] not to be confused with the Belgian/US-American shipping company Red Star Line, whose main ports of call were New York City and Philadelphia in the United States and Antwerp in Belgium.

In 1846, Robert Kermit commissioned the shipbuilders Westervelt & MacKay from New York to build the West Point.[1] Kermit's West Point was not the only ship to bear that name: it was overshadowed by the widely known steamship SS America, which was acquired by the US Navy on June 1, 1941, renamed to USS West Point[3] and used as a troop transport during World War II.

Construction[edit]

West Point was built in 1847[1] by Westervelt and MacKay, a company that acquired renown by constructing streamlined clipper ships and fast steamships.[4] The shipyard also produced United States Navy ships such as the screw sloop USS  Brooklyn.[4][5]

West Point was built of southern live oak[1] despite the fact use of iron had started to catch on in the building of ships – especially in the United Kingdom.[6][page needed] In the following years, the advantages of iron ships became more obvious and the value of wooden ships decreased perceptibly. The owners of wooden ships therefore began to fasten[clarification needed] their vessels with iron and copper. In case of West Point, this happened in November 1857.[1]

Property situation[edit]

Robert Kermit: The early years (1794–1834)[edit]

It was Robert Kermit who ordered the construction of West Point for his Red Star Line.

Captains of the vessel West Point[edit]

Based on the remaining passenger lists,[7] it was possible to determine that, within the 16 years the full-rigged sailing vessel West Point was in service, at least seven captains were the ship's masters. Listed below is a summary of all verifiable passages from Liverpool, with the arrival dates in New York City (assigned to the relative captains):

Number Shipmaster Liverpool-New York passages made under the command of the captain
1
William Henry Allen October 25, 1847[8] – March 7, 1848 – July 3, 1848 – October 30, 1848 – Mai 26, 1849 – September 22, 1849 – February 13, 1850 – Mai 20, 1850 – September 2, 1850 – November 6, 1858[9] – August 8, 1859[10]
2
Francis P. Allen March 29, 1851[11] – July 26, 1851 – November 4, 1851[12] – February 12, 1852 – June 19, 1852 – September 24, 1852
3
William R. Mullins March 6, 1849 – February 15, 1853 – August 15, 1853 – December 19, 1853 – Mai 19, 1854 – April 17, 1855 – August 11, 1855
4
William H. Harding June 7, 1856 – October 30, 1856 – Mai 6, 1857 – December 7, 1857
5
J.E. Ryan July 12, 1858[13]
6
L.W. Spencer September 17, 1860
7
J.H. Childs March 16, 1861[14] – August 7, 1862 – September 23, 1863

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "American Lloyd's Register" of American and Foreign Shipping 1859. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  2. ^ Western Ocean Packets by Basil Lubbock, p. 26
  3. ^ Webseite dedicated to the USS Wespoint: "USS Westpoint Reunion Association". Accessed 16 march 2009.
  4. ^ a b Genealogy of the Westervelt family, by Walter Tallman Westervelt, page 72/73
  5. ^ Steamboat Days by Fred Erving Dayton, chapter 19
  6. ^ Thiesen, William H. Industrializing American Shipbuilding: The Transformation of Ship Design and Construction, chapter 5, ISBN 0-8130-2940-6
  7. ^ Lists of passenger arrivals for the port of New York (1789–1957) are available on microfilm at the "National Archives" in New York. Accessed 16 march 2009.
  8. ^ Passenger list of "October 25, 1847". Accessed March 16, 2009
  9. ^ Passenger list of "November 6, 1858". Accessed March 16, 2009
  10. ^ Passenger list of "August 8, 1859". Accessed March 16, 2009
  11. ^ Passenger list of "March 29, 1851". Accessed March 16, 2009
  12. ^ Passenger list of "November 4, 1851". Accessed March 16, 2009
  13. ^ Passenger list of "July 12, 1858". Accessed March 16, 2009
  14. ^ Passenger list of "March 16, 1861". Accessed March 16, 2009


Literature[edit]

External links[edit]

  • mysticseaport.org Information about the Kermit family
  • immigrantships.net Website with a couple of passenger lists of this ship
  • theshipslist.com Website with lots of information about ships and shipping lines (ship descriptions, passenger lists, fleet lists, ship pictures etc.)