Camera Obscura 1860 – 1867

28 Apr

Notes:  A chronological list of articles which act as connective tissue.

BODIES RECOVERED.-We learn that on Friday last the body of Capt. W. T. Evans, late of the Steamer Kate McLaurin, was found at Elwell’s Landing, on the Cape Fear River, about twelve miles below the scene of the fatal explosion by which Captain Evans lost his life.  Captains Hurt, of the A. P. Hurt and Barber, of the North Carolina, paid the last sad respect to the remains, which could not be removed, but were buried near to the place where found.  There were no indications of any blow or other severe injury.  The bodies of the two deck hands have also been recovered and buried.

[Wilmington Journal – Thursday, June 7, 1860]

The body of Capt. William T. Evans, who was killed by the explosion of the Steamer Kate McLaurin, on Thursday of last week, was found on Friday last about seventeen miles below the place at which the disaster occurred.

A friend has just handed us a brief obituary of the deceased.

[The Weekly Courier – Fayetteville, N. C. – Saturday, June 9, 1860]




WILL give special attention to the sale or shipment of all Naval Stores, Cotton, Flour, Timber, and other country produce.  Dealers in Lim, Plaster, Cement, Hair, &c., and


Refer to H. R. Savage, Cashier Bank of Cape Fear Wilmington; Jno. Dawson, Pres’t Wilmington Branch Branch North Carolina: W. H. Jones, Cashier Raleigh Branch Bank of Cape Fear

[Fayetteville Observer – Semi-Weekly, Monday evening, June 9, 1862]

The late Steamboat Disaster.

FAYETTEVILLE, Dec. 24, 1862.

Messrs. Hale & Sons:  As rumors have gained circulation calculated to rest very unfair blame upon Capt. E. O. Dailey, of the unfortunate Stm’r Kate McLaurin, permit us to correct them; statements made by the entire crew, in point of fact, it seems that a deck passenger had, in trying to make himself a more comfortable bed, moved a trunk until it fell overboard.  Being discovered, Capt. Dailey ordered his boat to back and pick it up, which was done.  Performing this, however, they encountered as a matter of course the waves made by the boat as she came up, then forwarding again they met the waves made by backing, which waves broke over the deck, (the boat being down to the guards )  A deck passenger gave an alarm that “a man was overboard,” “the boat is sinking,” &c., which of course excited the passengers in the cabin, causing them to rush to the side of the boat to ascertain if cause for the alarm existed.  This on their part listed the boat sufficient to throw the water still more upon deck.  Capt. D. in the meantime had ordered the boat ashore, and after a line was thrown out and made fast, two of the crew (though colored) whose statement can be relied upon, say that they went into the hold of the boat, through the after hatchway, to ascertain where the water came in, but say that there was no water on the ceiling aft.  As for “the boat leaking and the pumps not working,” the assertion was made by some on perhaps who did not trouble himself to examine, or he would not have made such a declaration.

Grievous as our misfortune is, we cannot but indulge the opinion that all look upon it but with regret and deep sympathy for us.  One of our unfortunate partners has a young family to provide for and is at this time exposing his breast to yankee bullets at Goldsborough, and sinks overpowered by fatigue at night upon the frozen ground to repose and refresh, feeling that the “winds will be tempered to the shorn lamb” by a generous people; while the unfortunate Captain and the other partner exposed their little handful of property to the four winds and served their term in the tented field.  All the parties connected with this feel that they have discharged faithfully their duty to their country and towards their fellow-men, and feeling that there is no cause, cannot indulge the belief that any one would use unfair means knowingly to prejudice the patronizing public against their all.

It is but fair, however, in conclusion, to say, that Capt. Dailey protested against so much freight being put upon his boat, said it was unsafe and he would not take the responsibility; but found, while his attention was directed to one point, freight was thrown, not taken, on his boat at another,–giving reasons for so doing which it is thought best not to mention here.  This is, however, a very prolific fault-finding age.  Our most scientific Generals in the field don’t meet our expectations, and all of us think we could have done better.


[Fayetteville Observer – Semi-Weekly – January 1, 1863]


WILL leave Fayetteville and Wilmington until further notice, on the following days:  From Fayetteville on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 ½ A. M., and from Wilmington Wednesday and Saturdays at 2 P. M.


[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday Evening, January 29, 1863]

[pointing finger icon >]  From and after this

date the Steamer A. P. Hurt will leave at 8 o’clock, A. M., on Monday and Thursday.


Ag’t. C. F. Steam Boat Co.

[Fayetteville Observer – Semi-Weekly, March 3, 1864]




NOTICE is hereby given to all persons indebted to the Cape Fear Navigation Company to make payment before the 28th inst., as the present currency will not be received at par after that time.

All persons who have not collected their Dividends are notified to come forward and receive them before the 28th inst., as all funds belonging to the Company will then be funded in 4 per cent. Bonds, and payments will be made in the same thereafter of all Dividends now due.

By order of the Board of Directors.

W. N. TILLINGHAST, Sec’y & Treas’r.

[Fayetteville Observer – Semi-Weekly, Monday Evening, March 14, 1864]

DROWNED.— A negro pilot, on the Str. North Carolina, fell overboard and was drowned in the Cape Fear river, below this place, one day last week.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, May 15, 1866]

CAPE FEAR NAVIGATION CO.- The annual meeting of the stockholders of this Company takes  place on the first day of June next.  See advertisement.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, May 22, 1866]

ARRIVALS OF NEW GOODS.— Since Saturday afternoon, at 2 o’clock, three steamers have reached Fayetteville, notwithstanding the low state of the Cape Fear river, bringing new stocks of Fall and Winter Goods.  The bustle and stir attendant upon these fresh importations, and the formidable array of boxes and barrels which line the side walks are quite grateful to the eye after the late stagnation of trade.  Our country readers will perceive by reference to our advertising columns that different Houses on Hay St. are already prepared to supply all their wants, having received all kinds of furnishing goods, fancy articles, groceries, &c &c, calculated to attract custom.

Several of our merchants are still in New York, making purchases, and others intend going on in a few days.  The people in the surrounding counties will now find it greatly to their advantage to bring in their produce, in exchange for which they can receive every description of goods of which they stand in need.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, September 25, 1866]

THE BOATING BUSINESS ON THE CAPE FEAR.— The Cape Fear Steamboat Co., some months ago, got through with the repairs on the steamer Hurt, and she is now running as good as new.  And the same company built and launched, a week or two ago, a large flat, which they call the Bladen, of a capacity for 13 or 1400 barrels, to which we may add that Mr. C. B. Mallett, has his steamer, the Reindeer, now undergoing repairs, and will soon have her better than she ever was, and ready for business again.

And we learn from Mr. T. S. Lutterloh, that he contemplates putting a new steamer on the river very shortly, and last but not least, Mr. R. M. Orrell has now under construction, a new steamer for the trade between this town and Wilmington.  With the energy and enterprise of the parties engaged in this particular branch of business, we think the publick are assured of facilities for the transportation of all freight offering at all times.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, October 23, 1866]

NEW STEAMBOAT.- We are glad to learn that C. B. Mallett, Esqr., has at length completed his new steamer, the Marion, which started on its first trip to Wilmington, last Wednesday.  She is well fitted up. Admirably arranged, as we have been informed, and is in every respect worthy of patronage.

Mr. Mallett, in the construction of his boat, adopted a new and very good idea, and one which common humanity should have suggested to steamboat lines long since-that of furnishing the lower-deck with berths for the accommodation of colored people.  Hitherto they have been entirely without this comfort, and this improvement will be appreciated.


FRESHET.- The recent heavy rains have greatly swollen the streams in this section.  The Cape Fear river has been higher than at any time in the past ten years, with the exception of the spring freshet of 1865, when it rose above the bridge at Blounts’ Creek Factory, and inundated the yards and premises in the neighborhood.  Fortunately, so far as we have learned, this high water has been unattended by the usual damage along the banks of the river, as the season is not sufficiently advanced for the risk of great injury to stock and produce.  But we regret that mill owners on Robinson creek have been considerably damaged, the dams of Messrs. Vann, Cameron and McDaniel, being broken.  This misfortune, while it subjects them to trouble and expense, affects this community in no slight degree, by the temporary stoppage of the ordinary supplies.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, March 12, 1867]

NEW BOAT.- We are pleased to learn that our enterprising and thorough going friend and townsman, Major R. M. Orrell, is getting on rapidly with his new steamer for the Cape Fear.  Under great disadvantages, and contending with difficulties which, in the very beginning of such an undertaking, would have checked many a man, he has progressed steadily and energetically, and is now rapidly putting in his machinery.  Nearly all the upper and wood-work is finished.  The whole work is being done here, with our own material and our own mechanics, and we can only wish it the success of the “Orrell,” which was built by Major Orrell soon after the close of the war, and is now doing good service on this river.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, August 20, 1867]

NEW RIVER STEAMER.- Maj. R. M. Orrell, of Fayetteville, is now building a new steamer for the Cape Fear trade.  The boat is nearly completed, and will, probably, make her first trip about the 15th proximo.  She is to be a first-class steamer, having all the essentials for both freight and passengers.  The machinery is that formerly used in the old favorite, the “Kate McLaurin,” and is almost as good as new.

We wish Major Orrell all that success he so richly deserves.  In the face of obstacles that would have appalled a man of less energy, he has built two boats, since the war, doing all the work at home, and thus setting an example of enterprise worthy to be followed.

As soon as the new steamer is “ready for action,” the little steamer “Orrell” will give way to her consort, and be laid up for repairs.

[Wilmington Evening Star – Monday Evening, September 23, 1867]

THE STEAMER HURT.- This favorite steamer, commanded by that prince of steamboatmen, S. W. Skinner, moved gaily up to her wharf, last evening, with a heavy freight and full passenger list.  An unusually large number of ladies graced her decks, and made the air resonant with their joyous laugh.

It was  a nice place to be, last evening-down near the steamer “Hurt.”  Captain, literally, “had his hands full,” for several minutes; for, with his usual gallantry, he was busy in assisting the ladies down the gangway to the wharf, and in trying to make everybody comfortable around him.  “Fifth and Orange” was around, in the persons of some of its fairest daughters, to say nothing of its rougher representatives who went down to look after the luggage and the babies.

We remark again, it’s a nice thing to be down at the “Hurt‘s” wharf when she comes in DECKED with ladies.  They look like so many “beautiful STARS;” and the, it makes a young man feel better just to look at ’em.

But the clock strikes twelve, and we go to the arms of “tired nature’s sweet restorer,” to dream of the merciless Fate that consigns us to the fortunes of a daily newspaper.

[Wilmington Evening Star – Tuesday Evening, September 24, 1867]

FROM ABOVE.- Three Fayetteville steamers, the GOV. WORTH, ORRELL, and NORTH CAROLINA, arrived last night, and one this forenoon (the MARION), with good cargoes of naval stores.  They bring no news of moment.

The river is now in fair boating order, the largest steamers making their trips without detention.

[Wilmington Evening Star – Wednesday Evening, September 25, 1867]

ARRIVED.- The Fayetteville steamers NORTH CAROLINA and ORRELL arrived last night with full freights.  We have tried our “level best” to corkscrew an item out of Orrell and Green, both, but we can’t do it.  Everything keeps “kam and serene” in the Fayetteville section; nobody gets murdered or drowned; and this Local is miserable.

[Wilmington Evening Star – Saturday Evening, September 27, 1867]

NEW STEAMER.- Major R. M. Orrell has just completed his new steamboat, the “Halcyon,” and has already very successfully made one or two trips between this place and Wilmington.  The Halcyon is a very trim and pretty passenger and freight steamer, with accommodations for 30 first-class passengers.  She is tastefully and elegantly fitted up with every comfort and convenience.  Her length is 112 feet, beam 19 feet, hold 4 ½ feet, and tonnage between 600 and 700 barrels.  She runs easily and with very good speed.

We cannot omit to notice here the enterprise displayed in the building of the Halcyon.  Maj. Orrell has had great difficulties to overcome, but with his accustomed energy and perseverance he has obviated them all.  His boat was built here on our banks, the workmen being employed in our midst, and their wages being expended for our benefit many a man would have waited for “capital” and “resources;” Maj. Orrell made both by industry and hard work.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, December 31, 1867

The Cape Fear River Steamers

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 28, 2009 in Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: