CFRS WDOTCF Essence : 1860 – 69

19 Jul

NEW STEAMER FOR THE CAPE FEAR. — The Norfolk Day Book of the 7th inst., says —

The stern-wheel steamer “Hurt” from Wilmington, Del., bound to Fayetteville, N. C., put in here Saturday.  She is constructed for the cotton trade and is well provided for passengers.”

The boat mentioned is an iron steamer, owned by the Cape Fear company, and has recently been built at Wilmington, Delaware, under the superintendence of Capt. Hurt.

We have not yet heard of her arrival here.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday Evening, May 10, 1860]

We noticed the arrival at our wharves yesterday afternoon, from Wilmington, Del., of a new iron sternwheel steamer called the A. P. Hurt, after her worthy commander, Captain A. P. Hurt, under whose supervision she was constructed.

The A. P. Hurt is intended as a passenger and freight boat between this place and Fayetteville, and from her light draught of water, handsome finish and roomy accommodations, we should think her owners would find her adapted to all the demands of the trade.  Her dimensions are as follows:–Length 118 feet, exclusive of wheel; breadth of beam 18 feet; depth of hold 4 feet.  She draws 17 inches when light, and is of 125 tons burthen.  On her upper deck are the saloons and berths; she has 36 berths in all.  There are six state-rooms with three berths in each—a saloon and dining apartment, a social hall for way passengers, and where gentlemen may smoke  –a room, the last aft, for ladies traveling with children.  All these are fitted up in good taste and excellent style.

The Hurt was built by Messrs. Pusey, Jones & Co., of Wilmington, Del., for the Cape Fear Steamboat Company, and will run in connection with the Flora McDonald in the Cape Fear Steamboat Line, for which Messrs. T. C. & B. G. Worth are agents in Wilmington, and Mr. J. A. Worth in Fayetteville.  The fact that the boat was built under the personal supervision of Capt. Hurt, and that she will be commanded by him is sufficient guarantee for the character of the craft and her management.  Her engines, we had almost forgotten to mention, are very powerful, and sufficient to drive her at almost any required rate of speed.

Wilmington Journal.

We are happy to announce the arrival here of this elegant boat.  She left Wilmington yesterday at 11 A. M. and arrived here at 5 A. M. this morning.

She cost $16,000.  Her proprietors have our best wishes for her complete success.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday Evening, May 17, 1860]

Moonlight Excursion.

It has been a long time since we have had a really good excursion down the old Cape Fear by moonlight, and we take pleasure in announcing to our readers that the fine and commodious steamer Flora Macdonald will leave here to-morrow night for the above purpose.  We are requested to state that two bands will be in attendance, one a full brass band, for the benefit of every one, and the other a string band, so that all who feel disposed can add to the pleasures of the trip by dancing.

[Wilmington Daily Herald – Wednesday Evening , May 30, 1860]

A SAD DISASTER.—We are pained to announce another fatal steamboat explosion on the Cape Fear.  The boiler of the Kate McLaurin, a new and handsome freight and passenger boat, exploded on Tuesday morning last about 4 o’clock, at the Little Sugar Loaf, about 50 miles below this place, by which Capt. Wm. T. Evans and three hands lost their lives.  Capt. Evans is supposed to have been thrown 75 or 100 feet into a cane-brake, which being overflowed in the high state of the river, his body was not found when we last heard.  Charles, a free boy of color, is supposed to have been thrown into the river.  William, a negro man belonging to Mr. Duncan McLaurin, was blown over the top of the new steamer A. P. Hurt, which was delivering goods at a landing near by.  Capt. Hurt very promptly had him picked up, alive; he was brought to town in the Hurt, but died before he could be landed from the boat.  The third boat hand lost was a free boy named John Henry Hayes, who was unhurt by the explosion, but was drowned in attempting to swim ashore.

At the time of the explosion the Kate was just in rear of the A. P. Hurt; both boats were stationary—the Hurt had stopped to land a box, the Kate came up and made an effort to pass, but not finding sufficient room had backed down a few feet.

Great credit is awarded to Capt. A. P. Hurt for his kindness to the crew of the ill-fated steamer.

The Kate drifted about 33 miles down stream and was then tied up by the men who remained on board.  Most of the cargo was insured—all of it ought to have been.  The boat is supposed to be not very greatly injured, and nothing in a pecuniary view distressing about it, in comparison with the sad loss of life.

The Kate McLaurin belonged to Messrs. Orrell & Dailey, cost perhaps $6,000, and had been running less than six months.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday Evening, May 31, 1860]

The Explosion of the Kate McLaurin.

We have received but little additional intelligence of this melancholy disaster beyond a few items from the Fayetteville Courier of yesterday.  The new steamer Hurt was about twenty rods above the Kate, but sustained little or no damage from the explosion.

Captain Hurt says he saw two or three objects in the air shortly after the explosion, and thinks they must have been the lifeless bodies of Capt. Evans, and the negroes Hayes and Jenkins.  Capt. H. made a thorough search for their bodies, but as the water was all over the low grounds he was unsuccessful.

A negro fireman named Chester belonging to Major J. T. Gilmore, was seriously injured.  Others of the crew were slightly injured.

The Pilot had the wheel which moves the rudder blown out of his hands.  He sustained no injury.

Captain Hurt, by his manly exertions, succeeded in saving several of the hands from a watery grave.  He did all within his power to keep the Kate from sinking, but the largest hawsers with which he fastened her to his boat were not sufficiently strong.  The upper works of the boat was blown into atoms; her hull is also badly damaged.

[Wilmington Daily Herald – Thursday Evening, May 31, 1860]

{finger pointing>}     The Excursion last night was a pleasant one.  Instead of going down the river, the boat went up, as far as the Magnolia, on Cape Fear, and then quietly turned round and came back to town, where she arrived all safe and sound, at the “wee hour” of 12, in the night.  In spite of the protestations of the clerk, of the weather, who affirmed that it would certainly rain, the night was a fine one, and we believe all who went came back well pleased with their trip.

[Wilmington Daily Herald – Friday Evening, June 1, 1860]

For the Courier.

RICHMOND, Va., May 26, 1860.

Editor of the Courier:–I left Fayetteville on Monday morning on board of the Kate McLaurin, Capt. Evans, whose politeness and attention is commendable to all who travel with him.  The Cape Fear River reminded me of the stories I have heard of streams in tropical regions, the banks of which were lined with a rich luxuriant foliage almost reaching over the stream.  It was to me a curiosity; exceedingly crooked and sufficiently narrow to enable a person to converse with others on the banks, and yet scarcely a habitation to be seen the entire distance, 120 miles;  but to suffice it to say the Kate arrived about 10 o’clock, while I was sound asleep, and when I awoke the next morning I saw a flat country on one side of the river, on the other a gentle sloping upward, on which the mansions of refinement and taste were erected.  Some I saw would compare favorably with any I have ever seen in any of the great cities of the North west.  Being unwell I did not move about much, I looked around the shops of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Company and saw plainly that the work of renovation was going on both in road bed and rolling stock, but I am sorry to say that some of the passenger cars looked as if they had been recently painted and varnished on the out side at the same time the inside was exceedingly filthy, a thing that should never be allowed on a well conducted trunk line like the Wilmington & W. Railroad.  The question occurred to me whether the man—that is the Fremont that “Graely” said was a Catholic in 1856, was not the great I am on the road—endeavoring to be everything instead of managing the transportation and assign the Locomotive and Car departments to complement men and hold them individually responsible for the proper administration of their respective departments.

The completion of the W., C. & R. R. must add largely to the business of Wilmington, and will have a tendency to take from Fayetteville some of the trade now centering there, and I think it will be to your interest to construct a branch from Fayetteville to the nearest point on the North Carolina Railroad.

I left Wilmington at 2 o’clock and arrived at Weldon about 10, where I stopped for the night to recruit.  Along the whole line there seems to be a spirit of improvement.  At one o’clock on Thursday I left Weldon for this place, there being a marked change as I neared Petersburg and Richmond in the cultivation of the soil and diversified character of its surface.  I shall look around to-day, and give you my impressions of the place where the seceding Democracy are soon to assemble for deliberation.

Yours, truly,     IAGG.

[The Weekly Courier – Fayetteville, N.C. – Saturday, June 2, 1860]


The Captain and three of the Crew Killed.

The Steamer Kate McLaurin of Orrell and Dailey’s Line, which left Wilmington for this place, collapsed her flues at Little Sugar Loaf about eight miles below Elizabethtown, between 3 and four o’clock on Tuesday morning last, killing Captain William T. Evans, her Commander, and two free negroes named Charles Jenkins and John Henry Hayes, and a negro man named Charles Beebee, belonging to Messrs. D. & W. McLaurin of this place.  The Steamer A. P. Hurt was discharging freight about twemty yards above the ill-fated Steamer, and strange to say, she and her crew sustained very little damage.

The Captain of the Steamer Hurt saw two or three objects in the air shortly after the explosion, and thinks they must have been the lifeless bodies of Capt. Evans and the negroes Hayes and Jenkins.  Capt. Hurt made a fruitless search for their bodies, as the water was all over the low grounds where they are supposed to have fallen.

The fireman, a negro boy named Chester, the property of Maj. John T. Gilmore, was seriously injured.  Others of the crew were slightly injured.

The Pilot had the wheel which moves the rudder blown out of his hands.  He sustained no injury.

Captain Hurt by his manly exertions succeeded in saving several of the hands from a watery grave.  He did all within his power to keep the Kate from sinking, but the largest hawsers with which he fastened her to his boat were not sufficiently strong.  She drifted several miles down the river where it is supposed she would lodge in a cove.  The upper work of the boat was blown into atoms; her hull is also badly damaged.

Captain Evans was a clever gentleman, who by his affability and attention to his passengers won for himself an enviable reputation.  His sudden and untimely death is greatly deplored.

The Kate McLaurin was built in Lower Fayetteville, under the supervision of R. M. Orrell, for Messrs Orrell and Dailey, and was one of the best and most handsomely finished boats upon the Cape Fear.  She was valued at between $8,000 and $9,000.

At the time of the explosion she had on a cargo worth between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars.

[The Weekly Courier – Fayetteville, N.C. – Saturday,
June 2, 1860]

Recovery of the Body of Capt. Evans.—The body of Capt. Evans , of the steamer Kate McLaurin, and that  of one of the negro deck hands, was found by some raftsmen on Friday evening last about 5 miles below Whitehall, and 30 miles this side of the scene of the disaster.  There were no bruises on the person of Capt. E. to indicate that he had died from the effects of the explosion.  It has been supposed that he was stunned, and while in that state was drowned.

The body, when found, had upon it some $45.00 in money, and a gold watch, besides other articles of light value.  It was put on board the steamer North Carolina and sent to Fayetteville.

[Wilmington Daily Herald – Monday Evening, June 4, 1860]

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]

MILITARY EXCURSION.—On Friday last the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry gave a Steamboat Excursion and Target-Firing, complimentary to their brother-soldiers of the Lafayette Light Infantry.  We regret that press of business prevented us from being present, but learn that, barring the extreme heat of the weather, every thing passed off well and to the entire satisfaction of all present.

The full ranks of the two Companies indicated the interest felt among the members; and soon after nine A. M. the new and beautiful Steamer A. P. Hurt, commanded by that favorite Steamboat Commander, Capt. A. P. Hurt, was under way for Cedar Creek, where a beautiful spot had been selected for Target exercise, near the residence of J. C. Blocker, Esq.

The firing being over, the Military, with a large number of civic guests, sat down to a sumptuous repast provided for the occasion, and mirth and hilarity prevailed.

We have been furnished with the following account of the firing:

Lafayette Light Infantry—No. of balls fired 147; No. of shots in Target 102.  Best average shots, Serg’t B. Rush, 5 41-48; second best, Ensign Geo. Sloan, 6 inches; third best, Private Enniss, 6 1/3.  Best single shot, Private Neubury, 1 ¼; second best, Private J. R. McDonald, 1 5/8; third best, Private hall, 2 inches.

Independent Company—No. of balls fired 137; No. of shots in Target 118.  Best average shots, Private Jas. Wemyss, 3 ½; second best, Capt. Wright Huske, 3 ¾; third best, No. 32, 5 ½.  Best single shot, Private John H. Anderson, ¼ inch; second best, Private James Wemyss, 1 3/8; third best Capt. Vann, 1 ¾.

After the Target exercises were concluded, an impromptu firing was gotten up between some of the elderly gentlemen present, and Mr. Wm. Lumsden, Sen., once of the three survivors in the Independent Company in the War of 1812, was declared the victor.

The Companies returned to town about sun-set, and the Prizes were awarded in front of the Fayetteville Hotel, by Neill McKay, Esq., prefaced by some neat and appropriate remarks.  The first Prize, a beautiful silver Goblet, lined with gold, and provided by the Independent Company, was awarded to Private Wemyss.  The second Prize, a very handsome silver Cup, was awarded to Capt. Wright Huske.  This Prize was presented to the Independent Company (to be contended for by its members alone,) by some of its warm friends (not members) connected with the establishment of A. A. McKethan, Esq., which, by the way, always furnishes its full quota of good and true men to swell the ranks of the Old Company.

[Fayetteville Observer – Monday Evening, July 2, 1860]

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]

THE STR. “GOVERNOR WORTH.”– This elegant and commodious steamer, built in Wilmington, Del., under the superintendence of Capt. A. P. Hurt, expressly for the Cape Fear reached here on Saturday afternoon. We have not had the pleasure of seeing the “Governor Worth” yet, but are informed that she is the most splendidly appointed Steamer that was ever on this River.
It has been told us that the Governor at Raleigh will be down to see his namesake, when it is said that there will be such an excursion as was never heard of before in these parts.

[The Fayetteville News – Tuesday, May 8, 1866]


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 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]

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]

C. F. Navigation Co.

THE annual meeting of the Stockholders of the Cape Fear Navigation Company, will be held in the Town Hall in Fayetteville, on Friday, May 29th 1868, at 12 o’clock M.

W. N. TILLINGHAST,                                                 Gen. Agt. C. F. N. Co.



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.



FROM and AFTER this date this quick and fast iron steamer will leave her wharf at 7 a.m., on Mondays and Thursdays.


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

Messrs. Skinner and Wright have for some time been building a Boat 20 miles above here which is well nigh completed—and arrived here yesterday with cargo of 200 Bbls. Rosin.  This boat is intended to ply between this place and Averasboro, and has promise of plenty of freight.

[The Eagle – Thursday, September 3, 1868]

STEAMBOATS.—We learn that several of the steamboats that ply between Fayetteville and Wilmington are aground at various points in the river.  The Gov. Worth is grounded at “Cypress,” the Hurt at Elizabethtown, the Lee and Halcyon a few miles below Fayetteville.

Old river men pronounce the Cape Fear to be lower than it has been for several seasons, and unless a change takes place we may consider ourselves estranged from river intercourse with Fayetteville until next Fall, when the plentiful Autumn rains shall have again raised the Cape Fear to the dignity of a navigable stream.

[?? – July 15, 1869]

—- No steamboat from Fayetteville has arrived in this city for nearly two weeks.  The Gov. Worth was the last to reach this port, and it did not come from Fayetteville, having attempted to go no farther than Kelly’s Cove, and then return.  We must again express our regret at the exceedingly low stage of the water in the river.

[Wilmington Star – August 20, 1869]


—  We are glad to say that the water in the river has risen three feet, and is now sufficient to float the steamers that ply between Wilmington and Fayetteville.

Yesterday the Gov. Worth, A. P. Hurt, Marion and R. M. Orrell, all arrived at this port, bearing respectable loads of freight, the sight of which caused some of our commission merchants to smile in self-satisfaction as they glanced at the rows of barrels of naval stores ranged along their wharves.

[Wilmington Star – August 21, 1869]

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]

SEVERE DISASTER.—LOSS OF THE STR. HALCYON ON THE CAPE FEAR, 35 MILES ABOVE WILMINGTON.—Last Monday evening, 29th ult. The steamers Halcyon and Gov. Worth were on their way up the river from Wilmington to Fayetteville.  The boats passed each other alternately, and about 9 o’clock, when 35 miles from Wilmington, while the Worth was passing ahead, the Halcyon turned across the river by some mismanagement, making collision with the Worth.  The Worth was not damaged, but the prow of the Halcyon was so shattered and damaged, that she commenced leaking and sunk in a few minutes in 15 feet water with most of her cargo.  The boat’s crew, passengers, baggage and some of the freight were saved and transferred to the Worth, which came back to the rescue.

The Worth had a flat boat in tow, or the loss of life and property on the Halcyon would have been greater.  The Halcyon on becoming disabled, floated at once along side the flat by which a speedy escape was afforded to those aboard.  The Halcyon had on 300 sacks salt, consigned by F. W. Kerchner, Wilmington, to Col. J. B. Starr here, 10 barrels sugar for W. A Whitehead & Co., iron for Charles Glover, 1 box Millinery goods for Mrs. I. Dodd, and other goods we are unable to state, all lost.  One box of card clothing, &c., for Beaver Creek Co., was saved in damaged condition.  The entire cargo was worth some $1,500, all lost except the box of card material worth some $250.

The boat was not insured we learn, and indeed we hear none of the boats on our river are insured.  We suppose the marine insurance on the goods lost extended no farther than Wilmington.  The Halcyon was owned and run by R. M. Orrell & Co., and built by them here in 1865-‘6, and cost, probably, some $12,000 or $15,000.  This was a light, fast boat, well built and in good order.  The engine and machinery had been used before, but had been repaired and refitted into the Halcyon.  This is a heavy loss and we hope the boat may be recovered, fitted up and again go on her regular trips.  It will cost probably $1,000 or more to recover the boat, and as much more, no doubt, to repair her, while the cargo and furniture are a total loss.  We hear that blame attaches to the pilot for the misfortune. Right here, we would say that all our boats need better management and more rigid regulations.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, N.C. – Thursday, December 2, 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]

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Posted by on July 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


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