Captain Thomas J. Green – Part I

13 Jun

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]


OWNER WANTED for a BOX shipped on Steamer North Carolina, in December last.  No mark.  Supposed to belong to some raft men.  About three feet long, secured with good lock.  Will be sold to pay charges if not called for in 30 days.

T. J. GREEN, Capt., Str. No. Ca.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, May 26, 1868]

A NEW STEAMER – Observing a fine new steamer lying at the wharf in front of Messrs. Williams & Murchison’s, yesterday, and knowing from her name which flaunted gaily from her flag-staff, that she was a stranger in our waters, we made some inquiries and were favored with an opportunity, by her obliging commander, Capt. Green, of a thorough inspection of the splendid craft, and with the following particulars concerning her, which may be of interest to our readers.  Her name is the D. Murchison, in compliment to a prominent gentleman of that name in Fayetteville and father of Capt. D. R. Murchison, of the firm of Williams & Murchison of this city.  She is 120 feet in length; is 20 feet in breadth of beam; has two inclined engines, with 5 feet stroke, and her cylinder is 15 inches in diameter, and works with link motion and the latest improved slide valve.  She has superior accommodations for thirty six passengers, and also has comfortable state rooms, fitted up with special reference to the accommodation of families.  This beautiful steamer was constructed at Wilmington, del., by Messrs. Pussey, [Pusey – name misspelled] Jones & Co., is designed for the Wilmington and Fayetteville Express Company’s Line and, we suppose, will commence her regular trips immediately.  She will be commanded by Capt. T. J. Green, formerly of the steamer R. E. Lee, of the same line, in which capacity he gained many friends, who will be pleased to congratulate him on his promotion to the command of so fine a steamer as the D. Murchison.  In her trip to this place, where she arrived this morning, she made about 10 miles an hour.

[Wilmington Star – November 2, 1869]

(Correspondence of the Eagle.)


The new and elegant iron steamer “Duncan Murchison,” arrived at her dock in Campbellton on Thursday last from Wilmington, Del., via Wilmington, N. C., making her trip around, outside and to this place without the least mishap.  She will no doubt prove a splendid acquisition to our already large fleet of passenger and freight steamers now plying between this place and Wilmington.

She is 129 feet long— 20 feet beam—5 feet depth of hold – and is driven by two splendid link motion engines of 69 horse power each attached to a stern wheel of large dimensions.  She draws 17 inches of water light, and 4 feet loaded to her full capacity—which is 750 to 809 bbls. of naval stores.  It is thought she will make the trip from this place to Wilmington when fully prepared for the waters of this river, in 8 to 10 hours.

She floats like a feather,

In all sorts of weather.

Whether it be murky or clear.

On the bosom of the noble Cape Fear.

She speeds like a Roe.

Be the tides rapid or slow.

Or the bottom be near

To the bosom of the noble Cape Fear.

On the main deck, are her boiler, a ### #### “doctor,” engine room and galley—also a pump and nose to be used in washing down the decks, and in case of fire.  Her boiler and engine room are supplied with all of the latest improved water and steam gauges and patent safety valves.

On the upper deck are first the Captain’s office, furnished with a neat deck lounge, chairs, etc., where all ### ### ### walk up and settle when ### ### rings” –next is a very pleasant gentleman’s sitting and smoking saloon, with neat oak chairs and the floor covered with oil cloth—still aft of this is the gentleman’s berth cabin with accommodations for 12 passengers with berths running “athwart ### adjoining this are two state rooms on either side of a small passage which leads to the dining saloon.  T#### of the state rooms have three stage berths the others—one single and one double berth, the latter are intended for new married couples and #### are all carpeted with ##### carpeting, and furnished with everything that could be desired.

Adjoining these rooms is the dining saloon which is capacious enough to seat all who wish to take first-class passage, except on some “extra occasion”—the floor is covered with the same pattern of oil cloth as spoken of before, the furniture is of black walnut of elegant design and finish—upon which we noticed some beautiful wine bottles, cut wine glasses, wine goblets, elegant silver castors, pitchers, coffee urn, &c., all of which lead us to believe the inner man would “be fortified” at the proper time.  Last but not least is the ladies’ saloon with berth accommodations for 12, provided they should not wish to take state rooms.  This is a rosey little place—the floor is carpeted with Brussels carpeting; elegant rocking and sitting chairs of modern styles, berths with d#### s### and a good supply of things the ladies always delight to look into mirrors.  The painting throughout is all as white as the driven snow.

The arrangement of the saloons, state rooms, &c., is such that in the summer seasons of the year—a fine draft of air can be obtained throughout the whole extent of her upper apartments, which is a great luxury when traveling upon our river.

She was built by Messrs. Pusey, Jones & Co. of Wilmington, Del., (who have an extensive reputation as builders of iron boats and engines, for the Messrs. Williams & Murchison of this place and Wilmington, at cost of $24,000 for the steamer, and $2,000 for the furniture delivered here.  Taking her in all her apartments she is decidedly the finest stern wheel steamer we have ever had upon this river.  They deserve and no doubt will receive a large amount of the travel and freight for their very commendable enterprise and large outlay.  They have shown to all, that energy and enterprise have not as some would make others believe, departed entirely from our good old town.

The name which she floats from her  #### is one familiar to all of our people and is synonamous of energy, industry and enterprise.  If she purposes her avocation with one-half the assiduity and success of the gentlemen after whom she is named, her owners may look for large dividends.  She will be commanded by Capt. Green—the former gentlemanly commander of the Lee.  We congratulate him upon his promotion, and as Bernard would say Green may his age ever be.  She will run in the Express steamboat line in connection with the General Lee.


[The Eagle – Fayetteville, N.C. – Thursday, November 11, 1869]

— Capt. Alonzo Garrison, late of the Steamer Robert E. Lee, has been transferred to the command of the D. Murchison, vice Capt. T. J. Green, resigned.  Capt. Green goes to Fayetteville to superintend the building of two steamers for the Company recently organized.  Capt. Wm. Skinner succeeds Capt. Garrison in command of the Lee.

[Wilmington Star – December 19, 1869]

Boats and Navigation on the

Cape Fear River.


Our river transportation is becoming more active and extensive.  This, with the continued large production of Naval Stores, and the very large increase in cotton farming, shows plainly that the substantial business of this section is improving.  The Cape Fear Navigation Company now reorganized is to open out the river, and keep it in better navigable order.

There are now two new boats building, another in contemplation, three lines of steamers, and three other separate boats, as follows:  The Cape Fear Steamboat Company have two boats, the Hurt, run by Capt. Sam. W. Skinner, and the Gov. Worth, run by Capt. A. P. Hurt.  The Hurt makes two trips to Wilmington a week and the Gov Worth about three trips in two weeks—both excellent boats for passengers and freight.  This company embraces the Messrs. Worth, Lilly, Hurt and others.

The Express Steam boat Company have two boats, each making two trips a week, the R. E. Lee, run by Capt. Wm. Skinner, and the D. Murchison run by Capt. A. Garrison.  Both are new and fast going steamers and do a large business.  This company embraces Messrs. Williams, Murchison, Lutterloh, &c., we believe.  The Peoples’ Line is a new company recently organized embracing F. W. Kerchner, Adrian & Vollers, Smith & Strauss, W. A. Whitehead & Co.  Capt. T. J. Green and others, as we learn.  This company has the Marion run by Capt. Phillips, and which was formerly owned by the Messrs Mallet, Capt. T. J. Green, formerly of the R. E. Lee, is superintending the business of the company, and they are building a new boat at Fayetteville, which is expected to be in use by May next.  The capacity of this new steamer will be about 700 bbls. and 36 passengers, and will be some larger than the Hurt.

The People’s Line Company (capital of $25,000) expect to build another boat during the year perhaps, and with the three, they may accept mail contract and also connect with the Rail Road, both ways, three times a week.

The Juniper also a light new boat is run by Capt. A. Worth, but not on regular schedule.  This boat is owned and used by the Messrs. Bullard, Willard Bros. & c., and some week or two ago went up to Averasboro during a freshet, and received there a heavy load of naval stores, and could not return until the freshet yesterday.  The Halcyon has been repaired and is again on her regular trips, run by Capt R M Orrell.  There has been some proposition by the People’s Line to purchase this steamer.  The Orrell, a light boat is in damaged condition, and we hear is to be repaired and used for freight transportation—perhaps above Fayetteville.

Capt. Samuel W. Skinner is also building a small light steamer, the Little Sam, for use as we hear, on Waccamaw river to Georgetown in S. C.  It will be finished in a few weeks.

Thus we see there are seven steamers actively and profitably engaged in our business now—half of them new and all in good condition, besides three more to be in use on the river during the year.  With such facilities for cheap water transportation, Fayetteville can certainly receive the products of central North Carolina and furnish supplies in return, on better terms, than any other town in the state.  We think arrangements might be made soon for travelers from Raleigh to Wilmington to come this way and spend the night on the boats—all within 24 hours either way, and for eight or ten dollars.

[The Eagle – Thursday, January 20, 1870]


FRIDAY, May 27.

—  We learn that the North State, the new steamer for the Peoples’ Line, is expected to commence her regular trips on the river in a few days.  Her boiler is now undergoing the process of covering with Captain Brain’s Non-Conductor.  Capt. T. J. Green, formerly of the North Carolina, Lee and Murchison, will, we understand, take command of the North State.

[Wilmington Star – May 28, 1870]

The New Steamer.

Yesterday the new steamer for the “People’s Line,” the North State, glided gaily into our waters for the first time.  Immediately upon her arrival a large number of our citizens repaired on board to take a look at the beautiful steamer, and she was pronounced on all hands to be a most magnificent craft, provided with excellent arrangements for the convenience and accommodation of passengers.  A personal inspection of her various apartments convinced us that the high encomiums passed upon her were by no means extravagant, but fully warranted.

The North State was built at Fayetteville, under the immediate supervision of Capt. Thos. J. Green, her polite and accommodating commander.  The carpenter’s work was done under the superintendence of Mr. A. G. Black, Master Carpenter, a skillful and experienced workman, and the painting by Mr. Thomas Wright, an adept at his business.  In dimensions she is 118 feet in length, 18 feet breadth of beam and 5 feet depth of hole, has a carrying capacity equal to 800 barrels of naval stores, and accommodations for 36 passengers{.}  She has two inclined engines of 13 inches bore and 5 feet stroke.  The ladies’ cabin contains 12 berths, and the gentlemen’s the same number; besides which there are two state rooms containing double berths, convenient for ladies or for small families.  These state rooms are so constructed as to be made strictly private and communicate with the ladies’ cabin, which is neatly arranged, and handsomely furnished and carpeted.  There are also two state rooms for gentlemen, opening from the outside, a gentlemen’s sitting room and other conveniences.

Her boiler, pipes, &c., are being covered with the “Non-Conducter,” manufactured by a company in Norfolk, of which Capt. John C. Brain is President.  All the different apartments have an air of comfort and elegance which is really charming, and when another coat of paint is added, the windows properly curtained and other little necessary touches placed upon her, which will be done without delay, the North State will be one of the handsomest steamers that floats upon the Cape Fear.

We congratulate the People’s Steamboat Company upon this new and beautiful accession to their line, and also Capt. Green, who has cause to feel proud of the noble and majestic craft that “Walks the waters like a thing of life.”

[Wilmington Star – June 8, 1870]

THE STEAMER “ NORTH STATE ” returned from her trial trip and excursion to Wilmington last Friday, 10th inst., and all concerned were well pleased at her success.  She carried a large freight to and from Wilmington also several passengers and excursionists.  On Thursday the proprietors of the new boat gave a brilliant entertainment, when champagne #### and many good things were said and enjoyed.

The North State is not yet announced on a regular schedule, but we learn she is to make regular trips.  She will carry freight and passengers.— Another boat is to be built for the People’s Line resigned for freight and then the North State can be a regular passenger boat with quicker trips.

The North State cost about $12,000, and displays as good workmanship and skill as any boat built at Fayetteville heretofore.  Her furniture cost $950, and not yet complete.  Fine walnut bureaus, tables, cup-boards, &c., with ornamental window lights, and fine carpeted saloons, mirrors, &c., fill the apartments of the upper deck, and impress you with an idea of comfort, luxury and splendor.  The boat can carry 700 or 800 bbls. of naval stores or proportionate amount of other freight.  The stockholders of the People’s Line are Capt. J T Green, W A. Whitehead & Co., A H Slocomb and A W Steele of Fayetteville; and F W Kerchner, Adrian & Vollers, Smith & Strauss of Wilmington.  Some others may own small amount of stock.


ANOTHER SUNDAY SCHOOL EXCURSION (of the children of the Baptist church here) went down the river yesterday in the Steamer HURT.  About 100 of the scholars turned out under charge of Capt. J. F. Marsh, the Supt., and with a number of ladies and gentlemen left on the steamer about 10 ½ A. M. and reached Cedar Creek, 12 miles, by noon, where they landed.—The clouds had cleared away and the day was beautiful, and the scenery cheering.  The party retired to the Baptist Church near the landing, and enjoyed a most sumptuous and bounty- which they had brought in baskets.—The excursionists remained some three hours, much of which time was devoted to singing sacred music by the large crowd.  About 3 ½ P. M. they left the oak groves, cool springs and scenes of this pleasant visit and returned home, arriving here all save and happy by 4 ½ P. M.

[The Eagle – Thursday, June 16, 1870]



Fayetteville and Wilmington.

(120 Miles by River.)


Leave Fayetteville at 7 A. M., arrive at Wilmington same day at 7 to 10 P. M., (except that Steamers of People’s Line leave now at 5:30 A. M.)


MONDAY—Steamer Hurt, Capt. S. Skinner; Str. Cumberland, Capt. Phillips.

TUESDAY—Str. D. Murchison, Capt. Garrison, Str. North State, Capt. Green.

WEDNESDAY—Strs. R. E. Lee, Capt. Wm. Skinner; Str. Juniper, Capt. A. Worth.

THURSDAY—Steamers Hurt and Cumberland.

FRIDAY—Strs. Murchison and North State.

SATURDAY—Strs. R. E. Lee and Juniper.


Leave Wilmington at 2 p. m., arrive at Fayetteville next day at 6 to 9 a. m.


MONDAY—Steamers R. E. Lee and Juniper.

TUESDAY—Strs Hurt and Cumberland.

WEDNESDAY—Strs. D. Murchison and North State.

THURSDAY—Steamers R. E. Lee and Juniper.

FRIDAY—Strs. Hurt and Cumberland.

SATURDAY—Strs. D. Murchison and North State.


FARE—including state-room and meals, $3. Deck passage $1.

The Steamers Hurt and Juniper are of the Cape Fear Steamboat Company—J. A. Worth Agent at Fayetteville, Worth & Worth Agents at Wilmington.  Steamers Lee and Murchison are of the Express Steamboat Co.—J. D. Williams & Co. Agents at Fayetteville.  Williams & Murchison Agents at Wilmington.  Steamers Cumberland and North State are of the People’s Line—J. B. Starr Agent at Fayetteville, A. Johnson, Jr. Agt. At Wilmington.

The Hurt carries the United States mail each trip.

By above schedule, steamers on downward trip from Fayetteville, pass Cedar Creek about 8 1-4 a.m.; Willis’s Creek 9 1-4 a.m.; Elizabethtown 12 M.; White Hall 2 1-2 p. m., Railroad Bridge 7 p. m., arriving at Wilmington in time to connect with 9 p. m. train going north.  On upward trip from Wilmington, they pass Railroad Bridge (4 miles) about 2 1-2 to 3 p. m., (at which time and place the boats may connect with Wil. Charlotte & R. R. R. and with Wil. Columbia & A. R. R.); White Hall 9 p. m.; Elizabethtown 12 1-2 a. m.; Willis’s Creek 4 a. m.; Cedar Creek 6 a. m. reaching Fayetteville generally in time to connect with Western Railroad, 7 a. m.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Thursday, July 27, 1871]

People’s Steamboat Company,

ON and after to-day the Steamers of this line will leave promptly at 5:30 A. M.

NORTH STATE, Capt. Green,


CUMBERLAND, Capt. Phillips,


Returning – Leave Wilmington Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 2 P. M.

June 1-3m        J. B. STARR, Agent.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Thursday, August 17, 1871]

COLUMBUS COUNTY AND THE LOWER CAPE FEAR.—Last Monday, 22nd September, we left here for Superior Court at Whiteville, Columbus county.  We went down the river on the steamer Hurt, which is now in charge of Capt. A. H. Worth, one of the most gentlemanly and obliging captains that has ever been on our river.  He understands his business well and is a favorite with the people along the river.

Through freight and travel between Fayetteville and Wilmington is not so large now as formerly, but way freight and travel have increased.  For the whole 112 miles of river and country fro several miles on each side, the merchants, farmers and people have no other way of shipment or channel of trade except these river steamers.  At all the landings freight is put on or off once or twice a week or oftener.  Each steamer gets from one to a dozen passengers each trip at way stations.  Very often, too, there is a large number of through passengers.  At least 50 turpentine stills and 50 country stores along in this river country ship by these steamboats.  Freight charges have increased somewhat too since the steamboat lines have been consolidated.  Nearly all the rosin, spirits and cotton bought in the Fayetteville market are sent by the boats.

There are now eight steamboats on this river running to Fayetteville and owned by Fayetteville men, viz:  the Hurt, North State, Murchison, Governor Worth, Wave, Lee, Cumberland and Juniper.  The last two are now undergoing repairs and will not be running for a few weeks.  Heavy groceries for this town and vicinity still come by the boats, but most of Fayetteville goods and travel is now by the railroad to Raleigh and North.  Merchants here who are large stockholders in the boats ship by the river, and the freight by this route is said to be cheaper but takes one or two days longer.

These eight steamers cost $150,000 or more, averaging near $20,000 apiece.  Some of them cost $30,000 while others cost $12,000.  The boats make each two trips a week from Fayetteville and back at a cost of $75 to $100 per trip.  The time usually 12 to 16 hours from here to Wilmington, 112 miles, and fare $4, including bed-room and meals.  Altogether this is the most delightful and cheap route of travel in North Carolina or in the Southern country.  The boat officers are very polite and the table fare is good.

Columbus county is low and swampy and thinly settled.  The recent immense rains have flooded the country… {The majority of the rest of the article is about Columbus county, Whiteville, its people, businesses, Scuppernong wine, politics, and railroads, etc.}

We came up Thursday evening on the steamer North State, Capt. T. J. Green commanding, and there is not a more pleasant boat on the river.  It has most obliging officers and certainly affords first rate accommodations of every kind.  To pass off the time we beat an influential Methodist friend of ours the best two out of three at euchre.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Semi-Weekly –  Saturday, September 27, 1873]

“ NORTH STATE.” —  Mr. J. A. Worth, Agent of the Cape Fear Steamboat Company, invited us last Saturday to make a visit to the Steamer “ North State,” recently overhauled and refitted, and a small party of us were carried on a trial trip down the river.  The steamer runs well, as she made on that occasion six miles in 28 minutes.  The “ North State” is very comfortably furnished, her ladies’ cabin tastefully fitted up, and with her kind and efficient master, Capt. Green, she will be one of the pleasantest boats on the river.  She now takes the place of the “ Hurt,” which rests for a while for repainting, &c.


Steamboat Notice.

ON and after the 16th February instant the agents of the Cape Fear and People’s Steamboat Company at Fayetteville and Wilmington are instructed not to deliver any goods until the freight and charges on the same are paid.

By order of the Directors.


feb 12 3m           Pres’t C. F. & P. Steamboat Co.



ON and after MONDAY 6th of April the boats of the Cape Fear Steamboat Co.’ Line will leave their Wharves at Fayetteville, at 7 A. M., instead of 8 A. M., as heretofore.

J. A. WORTH, Agent.





april 2 1m          Fayetteville, N. C.

[North Carolina Gazette – First Edition – April 23, 1874]

Stolen Watch Recovered.

Some time last August, Capt. T. J. Green of the Steamer North State, was so unfortunate as to lose a fine gold watch, which was stolen from his room at home in Fayetteville by a burglar. The Captain immediately set to work to recover his faithful and valuable time piece and as the result of his labors his watch was returned to him a few days ago, having been found in the hands of a party who had bought it in Elizabeth City.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – Friday, July 9, 1875]

A Notable Instance of Gallantry.

We heard of a circumstance yesterday, connected with the captain of one of the Fayetteville boats, which we think too good to be lost, and of such a highly creditable nature withal that we give the name of the individual as Capt. Green, of the steamer North State. It seems that a young lady from Sampson embarked on his boat a few trips since with the view of visiting some of her relatives in Bladen county. It was the understanding that the young lady was to get off at a certain landing, where some of her friends were to meet her, but upon the arrival of the boat at the landing in question there was not a soul to be found to whose protection the fair passenger could be confided. Finally Capt. Green decided to take the young lady to the next landing, a mile and a half further up, where he expected to find a gentleman of his acquaintance who would cheerfully see her to her destination; but upon stopping at the place designated he found that also deserted, no one being present but a colored man, with whom he was not disposed to trust his passenger, whereupon, rather than see her disappointed or confide her to an irresponsible party, Capt. Green actually tied up his boat and trudged three miles and a half, climbing fences, fording branches and jumping ditches, saw the young lady safely to the home of her relatives, and walked back again to his boat, altogether a distance of seven miles, and proceeded on his trip to Fayetteville. Now, there is an instance of gallantry for you worthy to be compared with the most famed of ancient or modern chivalry.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – Friday, October 22, 1875, p.2, col.4]


SERIOUS COLLISION.—The steamer North State collided with a vessel being towed by the Waccamaw, near Wilmington a few days since, and had her upper work badly smashed.  We regret to learn, too, that Capt. Green was painfully injured during the collision.

[North Carolina Gazette – Fayetteville – January 4, 1877]

RIVER EXCURSION.–  There was a very pleasant excursion down the river last Friday on Captain Green’s steamer, the North State.  The picnic was complimentary by Miss Fannie Green to Misses Maggie and Mamie Johnson, of Wilmington, and was very much enjoyed by all, the dancing being pleasant and the return trip to the wharf delightful.

[North Carolina Gazette – June 28, 1877]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on June 13, 2009 in The Captains


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