The Steamer A. P. HURT – Part I

29 Aug

The Steamer A. P. Hurt in motion.

The Steamer A. P. Hurt in motion.

New Steamboat.

The new iron steamer A. P. Hurt, Capt. Hurt, arrived here yesterday from Wilmington, Delaware, via Annapolis, Norfolk, Beaufort and Swansboro.  The Hurt is intended to ply between this port and Fayetteville, and is owned by the Cape Fear Steam Boat Navigation Company, of which Mess. T. C. & B. G. Worth are agents here, and J. A. Worth, Esq., agent at Fayetteville.  She cost $14,000.  Her length over all is 135 feet, and width 24 feet.  She can accommodate fifty passengers, and will carry 125 tons freight.  The accommodations are airy and pleasant, are furnished with great care to the comfort of the passengers.  Of Capt. Hurt, it is unnecessary for us to speak.  His long experience in his present business, and his affability to those whoever journeyed with him up the old Cape Fear, render him eminently fitted to command so fine a boat.

[Wilmington Daily Herald —  Wednesday Evening, May 16, 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]

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]


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 {misspelled} 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]

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]

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]

[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.


April 6 – 17tf        Ag’t. C. F. Steam Boat Co.

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

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


May 12.                    110-tf

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

THE ” A. P. HURT. ”

This favorite steamer still maintains her old reputation as one of the safest and fastest boats that has ever been placed on the Cape Fear. Under the efficient and obliging Skinner, she is all that the traveler can desire. Those who seek business or pleasure up the river cannot take passage on a better steamer than the A. P. Hurt.

[Wilmington Star – August 12th, 1868]

— Mr. James S. Evans, the energetic, enterprising and indomitable second officer of the steamer A. P. Hurt, is authorized to receive subscriptions for the Carolina Farmer. Amongst the “wimmen” Jeemes is absolutely invincible, and we confidently rely on him to secure the name of every good-looking widow who cultivates an acre of sorghum anywhere in the Cape Fear region. Jeemes is an indispensable appendage of the Hurt. Skinner could no more get along without Evans than he could cross the bar at Elizabeth on the millionth part of an inch of water. “Lord ! Jane, hain’t he got purty eyes ?”

[Wilmington Star – August 16th, 1868]



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


May 12                        110-tf

[The Eagle – Semi- Weekly – Thursday August 27, 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]


— 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]

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]

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]

A COLLISION.—The Steamer A. P. Hurt, on her way from this town to Wilmington, and the Steamer R. E. Lee, on her way from Wilmington to this place, collided at a point about 25 miles from Wilmington, on Monday evening. But little damage was done to either steamer, both having made their trips as usual.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, N. C. – Thursday, May 11, 1871]



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]

THE STEAMER R. E. LEE.—In our last we gave account of the terrible steamboat accident of last Thursday at the Shoals near Thames’ Landing 13 miles below Fayetteville. The Steamers Hurt and Lee were coming up the river from Wilmington, the Hurt about 100 yards ahead, and about two o’clock Thursday morning in pitch darkness and very low water, the Lee in struggling from one eddying channel to another along the sandy shoals. Burst her boiler killing and wounding several, and shattering the upper works of the boat, as briefly stated by us last week.

All our steamers have the boiler, engine and machinery on the lower or open deck, and the cabin, rooms, saloons, office & c. are all above or on the second story. The boiler is in front and engine in rear of the boat and the steam passes from the boiler through the long space from end to end of the boat in a tube or pipe to the steam chest of the engine. The cause of the explosion on the Lee seems not to be fully known. Our river is very low, and a boat is so impeded in getting over sand banks and stopped so much when dragging on the bottom that the steam cannot work itself off. The machinery must stop too and the steam is not worked off like it would be in deep water with full motion.

If heat is applied the steam continues to increase whether machinery moves or not, and close attention is required to test the steam continually and let it off through the valves. The pump pipes when filled from muddy shallow water so near the bottom often becomes obstructed with mud, and water is not forced in at the rate indicated by any measurement attached to the machinery. Thus the boiler does not always have in it the regular proportion of water, and if the water gets very low the boiler becomes hotter, and then if fresh water be thrown in rapidly an explosion may occur.

{The next 14 or 15 column lines are mostly to partially torn and missing leaving a partial record of the article at that point.}

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trol and directly dependent on the movement of his steam. We hear so far no blame attached to any one for this unfortunate accident, and probably no blame is due.

The boiler, some 10 feet long by 4 feet in diameter, was much larger than was necessary for use on this boat, and the tremendous sound from its explosion shows it to have been strong. It seemed to rise upward, and moved endways towards the rear of the boat. In doing so it tore up the upper floor, and in its slanting upward course at lightning speed it passed centrally through the sleeping berths, the dining room and other apartments, smashing and bursting like a huge shell. In one apartment the middle berth was shattered and carried forward in splinters while the upper and lower berths in the same room were untouched. The boiler was thus thrown up and through one side of the boat from end to end, and all upper works on that side were knocked to pieces, ###

### along the other side were only jostled. The posts and walls being so knocked away, the remaining side slowly keeled or tumbled over and rested in a slanting position on the engine, broken timers, tables, rods, &c., that were now crowded on the lower deck.

A lady passenger, Mrs. VanOrsdell, of Wilmington, and two of her children were asleep in these rooms that were left standing an that fell over into the vacant space caused by the boiler. Mr. Wilson, of Wilmington, father of Mrs. VanOrsdell, was asleep in one of the bunks directly in the course of the boiler on the side of the boat that was knocked away. The boiler carried Mr. Wilson, bunk and all, with it, and Mr. Wilson, we hear, knew nothing of the situation until he awoke out in the river several feet from the boat. The water being shallow he was able to wade and get out easily. The boiler did not leave the boat, and its force was so checked by the many objects it came in contact with that it stopped at the rear end of the boat, and, the timbers being shattered or loosened, it fell and rolled down into the engine room, and then tumbled off the edge of the boat into the river.

John Martin, the engineer, reports, so we hear, that he distinctly heard the boiler in its course, and when it began to fall down, he ran out of the engine room and escaped being crushed. Just as he ran towards the other end of the boat, the portion of the upper rooms that had been left standing began to fall or tumble over into the opening made by the boiler. He then saw one of Mrs. Van Orsdell’s children falling through the shattered floor and timbers and caught it before it fell to the lower deck, and thus saved its life. On account of low water the freight was nearly all on a flat boat fastened to the rear by a long rope. Some four hands were on the flat and they and the goods were all safe. The casualties are, killed: Alex Jackson, pilot; Wm. Gilmore, and Sam McKee all colored; wounded, scalded, &c., Jack Hagins, (since dead,) Zack Roberts, (will probably die,) Griff. Chance, another man and one woman, all colored, badly hurt; and Capt. Wm. Skinner badly bruised, cut and scalded. He is recovering. Mr. Wilson was slightly hurt in the foot, and some others were slightly wounded. Mrs. Van Orsdell and children escaped unhurt.

Capt. Skinner was sent headforemost 50 yards up the river and into the water, and was not conscious of the situation until his head struck the bottom of the river, where he slided along the bottom several feet. On making effort to swim he found himself in water only two or three feet deep and stood up. Capt. Sam. Skinner, a cousin of Capt. of the Lee, was in charge of the Hurt, and just after the explosion, all hands on the Hurt at once jumped into the water and went to the aid of the Lee. They waded along easily in the shallow water, and very soon came up with Capt. Wm. Skinner in the darkness and rescued him. Had not assistance come to him so soon he would probably have drowned, as he was so exhausted by the shock and bruises.

It was a mere accident that the Hurt was near, and had this not bee so the loss of life and property must have been much greater. Altogether this was the most frightful, destructive and remarkable explosion that ever happened on our river.

The R. E. Lee was owned by Williams & Murchison and belonged to the Express Line. This boat was built here in 1866-’67 of excellent material, and was still in good order. It was sold to the present owners about last of 1868 or first of 1869 for about $11,000, and had more than paid for itself, we learn, up to the time of the accident. The machinery, boiler and engine of the Lee are the same that were used on the steamer North Carolina which had been used several years before the Lee was built. The boiler was made new for the North Carolina, and the same engine and machinery now on the Lee was used on the ill fated Magnolia that blew up near White Hall in 1858, when Capt. J. M. Steadman and others were killed. The Lee, first designed for light freight boat, was enlarged and refitted last year for passenger accommodation, and was worth, perhaps, $6,000 or $8,000.—Wooden bottom boats like the Lee cost from $10,000 to $15,000 and will do service 6 or 8 years, and the Lee has paid for herself in about half this time

{Remainder of article missing because page is torn. Appears to have been no more than about 12 lines missing.}

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Thursday, August 24, 1871]


— The passengers of the ill-fated steamer R. E. Lee speak in the highest terms of the services of Capt. Saml. W. Skinner, rendered immediately after the explosion. He commands the Hurt which, it will be remembered was within a short distance of the Lee when the accident occurred. “Old Reliable” is as gallant a steamboatman as ever walked a deck.

— There has been a rise of a few inches in the Cape Fear below Fayetteville; but above that point no rain has fallen recently. We can have no certain navigation until there is a freshet in Deep and Haw rivers.

— The steamer Hurt arrived from Fayetteville Tuesday night. She started on her upward trip at 1 P. M. yesterday.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Thursday, August 24, 1871]


— The steamer Hurt, Capt. Skinner, arrived here from Fayetteville Thursday night, having left that place on Monday. She passed the steamers Murchison, Juniper, Cumberland and North State all aground on Morehead Shoals, 37 miles this side of Fayetteville.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Sturday, October 7, 1871]

UNDER REPAIRS.— The Steamers Hurt and Juniper of the Cape Fear and People’s Line are laying at their wharves under repair.

[The Eagle – Thursday, March 6, 1873]

ON THE CAPE FEAR.– We paid a business visit to Wilmington this week. After we boarded the ” Hurt,” M. J. McSween, Esq., of the Eagle, came alongside. When Capt. Worth saw we were both going to Wilmington, he seemed to be very much worried and troubled in his mind. He asked us what we wanted to go for any way, and then he said a steam-boat captain’s life was a hard, hard, unsatisfactory one, and that he almost felt as if he could leap over into the cold, cold waves, and end his sorrows in a watery grave. He told the passengers not to be uneasy – that he would not allow us to annoy or injure them; and then he directed the engineer if he found the boat getting too full of gas and steam, to put her nozzle to the shore, and hold her there until we got off. But, we did not create much disturbance. We asked a great many questions — enough to make us very wise, if we should remember the answers to one-half of them — and we interviewed a great many people on the subject of Jay Cooke and the Balloon and the crops.

The accounts from the crops all along the river are very generally the same for all sections: Cotton badly damaged by heavy rains – not only cut short in quantity, but injured in staple – and a good deal of low land corn swept away by recent freshets. A portion of the hay has been lost, and some fodder; but a large quantity, of very fine quality, has been harvested. Farther away from the river grain is very favorable, and farmers will secure a more bountiful harvest than for several years. We secured a good many new subscribers on the boat, at the landings along the Cape Fear, and in Wilmington; and every where our innate modesty was put to a severe test by hearing the GAZETTE spoken of in terms of the highest praise. Many business men in the city of Wilmington declared it to be the best weekly newspaper in North Carolina, and subscribed for it for the benefit of their families.

Our trip was very pleasant; the ” Hurt ” is one of the best steamers on the river, and her commander, Capt. A. H. Worth, has no superior any where as a captain. Ever watchful of the interests of his company, he omits nowhere the slightest iota of duty; is cautious, cool and deliberate; and gives passengers a feeling of security by the ability with which all his orders are given, and the promptitude with which they are executed. Nothing is left undone which can add to the comfort of travelers, and render the ride from Fayetteville pleasant.

[North Carolina Gazette – September 25, 1873]

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]

STEAMBOAT ACCIDENT.– The Steamer Hurt, Capt. Worth, was detained an hour or two at her wharf, by a portion of the stove pipe blowing out. The accident amounted to nothing — very little damage and a short detention — but a negro hand became very much frightened, and jumped into the river.

[North Carolina Gazette – Second Edition – Thursday, February 26, 1874]

ON and after Monday next the Boats of the Cape Fear & Peoples’ Steamboat Company will leave this place, for Wilmington, at 7 o’clock, A. M.

J. A. WORTH, Agent

[The Eagle – April 2, 1874]

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.

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

THE ” HURT.” — The steamer A. P. Hurt, Capt. A. H. Worth, always one of the best boats on the river, has recently been undergoing a general refitting and repainting, under the superintendence of Mr. Lewis Worth, a genuine artist in the work. With her red, white and green blending of colors, the steamer is a beauty; and her accommodations and comforts are not inferior to her appearance. She made a short trial trip down the river last Saturday evening, giving perfect satisfaction.

North Carolina Gazette – Second Edition – May 14, 1874]

STEAMBOAT EXCURSION.— The Baptist Sunday School, Superintendents, teachers, pupils and guests, indulged in a pleasant pic-nic excursion down the Cape Fear to Cedar Creek, on yesterday. The safe, commodious and comfortable Steamer, ” A. P. Hurt,” Capt. Worth, was engaged for the occasion, and the trip was greatly enjoyed.

[North Carolina Gazette – Second Edition – May 28, 1874]

A PRIVATE excursion party went down the river yesterday to Owen Hill, Bladen county, of young ladies and gentlemen. Dancing on the boat was one feature of the occasion. Many of our young people went, and we hope they will have rare excitement on their trip.

[The Eagle – June 11, 1874]

RIVER PICNIC AND EXCURSION.—A party of ladies and gentlemen, married and unmarried, fled from the hot brick walls and the sultry summer atmosphere of Fayetteville yesterday evening; and, with many a choicely freighted basket, took refuge on the pleasant, nicely fitted up ” Str. Hurt,” which conveyed them down the river thirty-four miles to Owen Hill, where they were received by Mr. C. P. Mallett. The party were conducted to his residence where a picnic supper, dancing, &c., were the amusements nearly all night. The return trip was then commenced, the steamer making the wharf about 5 o’clock.

Owen Hill is a beautiful country mansion, the former residence of Col. Guion, with grand old staircases, spacious rooms, and cool, airy piazzas; it is situated on a splendid elevation, overlooking the Cape Fear, is surrounded by lovely grounds, and is approached by a broad, smooth, shaded avenue. Several gentlemen and fair ladies from the neighborhood made a very pleasant addition to the party, and the genial, hospitable lady and gentleman, of whom the excursionists were the guest, added much to the pleasure of the occasion.

The down and up rides on the river were delightful; the promenaders who thronged the avenue in slow-moving, soft-whispering couples, seemed to be at the acme of human felicity – to us, who sat and smoked and nodded on the front porch; the torch-light procession of a long cavalcade arm in arm, over bridge, hill and ravine, on the way to the boat at 1 o’clock at night, was conducted with great mirth and hilarity; Capt. Worth, by his politeness a watchful care, is the very captain for an excursion; and the party unanimously pronounced the pic-nic the pleasantest recreation of the season.

The dawn, which found the party on the river, lifted the pall of darkness and replaced with the gray, misty veil of uncertain day over forest and rushing stream, and its increasing light found no listless pallor on fair cheeks, but a good deal of sleepiness on heavy eyelids and in nodding heads. The most of those excursionists won’t read this paper till supper-time.

[North Carolina Gazette – Second Edition – June 11, 1874]

A Reminiscence of 1865.

After the occupation of Fayetteville by the Federal troops, every one will remember the great scarcity of provisions which prevailed here. Every thing had been eaten up, or swept away. The Rail Road was cut off—the Steamboats captured and detained at Wilmington—and the war was not yet over. What was the destitute people to do for sustenance?

In this emergency, six citizens of Fayetteville, four white, and two colored, volunteered their services to the town authorities to go to Wilmington and endeavor to get supplies. The four white citizens were Col. John A. Pemberton, Major Robert M. Orrell, Capt. A. P. Hurt and Ralph P. Buxton. The two colored men were Isham Sweet and John Dunston. Their offer of service was accepted by the Mayor and Commissioners. Major Archibald McLean was at that time Mayor.

Having hastily constructed a common Batteau they proceeded in it down the River under a flag of truce, reaching Wilmington the third day. They were kindly received by the Federal authorities. General J. C. Abbot being in temporary command, during the absence of Gen. Hawley, and were promised assistance upon his return to the city. When Gen. Hawley returned, they delivered to him their letters from the Mayor and Commissioners, and laid before him the state of things existing in Fayetteville, and solicited aid. Unfortunately for their application, news had just reached Wilmington of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the rejection of the Sherman Johnston treaty, which immediately followed. The Fayetteville delegation were informed that hostilities were renewed, and that they must leave the Federal lines at once. At the earnest entreaty of Mr. Buxton, who begged to be allowed to remain in Wilmington, on any terms, even, to being placed in confinement, he was allowed to remain—his purpose being, if possible, to procure some relief for the sufferers of Fayetteville. The other gentlemen were required to leave at once which they did in the same Batteau in which they had gown down, and rowed their tedious way back to Fayetteville. In a day or two the war cloud passed away, Gen. Johnstone surrendered, and peace followed. Mr. Buxton, who had remained in Wilmington for the purpose, immediately renewed the application for supplies with increased earnestness, and General Hawley placed at his disposal a Steamboat freighted with brad, flour, meat, fish and other provisions, all donated as supplies to Fayetteville. The Steamboat reached the wharf at Fayetteville the very morning his weary associates had landed their Bateau at the same place. On the same Steamer, the “Hurt,” returned to Fayetteville many refugees, citizens, who had been absent from their homes a long time.

The Boat load of provisions was turned over to the Mayor and Commissioners, and was by them properly distributed among the suffering citizens of the town.

These things are well known to the people of Fayetteville, but are now placed on record for the first time.

[The Statesman – Saturday, July 18, 1874.]

An Old Acquaintance in a New Dress.

The steamer Governor Worth, after a long absence from our waters, put in her appearance again yesterday so greatly transformed by the hands of the carpenter and painter that it was difficult to realize that it was the same boat. She will take the place of the A. P. Hurt for the present, which will be laid up for repairs, and will be commanded by Capt. A. H. Worth, of the latter steamer. She is not yet quite ready, but will be in a few days, to commence her regular trips on the river.

[Wilmington Star – November 25, 1874]

— The steamer A. P. Hurt has temporarily taken the place of the steamer North State, running between Wilmington and Fayetteville.

[Wilmington Star – January 6, 1877]

FOUND DROWNED. – We are indebted to the Coroner for the following facts: As the steamer Murchison was on her upward trip on Thursday, the 23rd inst., about four miles below this place, the deck hands discovered the body of a drowned person in the water, which was afterwards identified as that of Betsy Manuel, a colored girl, fourteen years old, the cook’s assistant on the steamer Hurt. She was missing on Saturday, the 18th inst., and was last seen on the boat, playing with a bucket with rope attached, used for drawing water from the river; this bucket was found floating in the river, about half a mile below, a short time after. There were many rumors in circulation, and many opinions expressed, as to the fate of the unfortunate girl. Some supposed she had run away to marry a young man with whom she had been familiar; some thought she had been decoyed from the boat and foully dealt with; while others believed she had been murdered and thrown into the river. Owing to these facts it was deemed imperative that a thorough investigation of the case be had before a jury of inquest, in order that the guilty parties, if any, might be discovered, and that any upon whom unjust suspicion rested might be exonerated. After a post mortem examination of the body by Dr. W. C. McDuffie, and a careful sifting of the matter by the Coroner’s jury, they rendered a verdict that the deceased came to her death by accidental drowning.

[North Carolina Gazette – May 30, 1878]

— Capt. A. H. Worth, of the steamer A. P. Hurt, has been appointed mail agent on the route between Wilmington and Fayetteville. We are glad to make this announcement, as we are satisfied the mail service on the river will now be properly performed. Capt. Worth retains his old position also.

[Wilmington Star – April 11, 1879]


— Frank Williston, colored, of Fayetteville, who arrived here from Elizabethtown yesterday morning, reports that he left the steamers D. Murchison and A. P. Hurt at Morehead shoals, five miles above Elizabethtown, on Wednesday, trying to pull over, the former making her way up and the latter down. He went across the country to Abbottsburg, and there took the train for Wilmington. Up to the time he left Elizabethtown not a drop of the recent rains, so abundant here, had fallen there or anywhere in the vicinity. The steamer North State, which left here for Fayetteville Tuesday, cracked her cylinder head near Elizabethtown, and will, we learn, return to the city for repairs. No tidings of the Wave, which left Fayetteville for this place Monday.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Friday, July 2, 1880]


— A flat loaded with cotton, which was in tow of the steamer D. Murchison, ran on a snag near Kelley’s Cove, about fifty miles up the Cape Fear river, on Sunday afternoon last, and sunk. The steamer A. P. Hurt, which arrived here on Sunday, left that night about 12 o’clock to render assistance in recovering the cotton, and the steamer Wave, which arrived here yesterday morning, at 4 o’clock, left with the same purpose in view early in the forenoon. The steamer was bound for this city, and the flat had on it about 300 bales of cotton, the damage to which will probably not be material.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Tuesday, November 9, 1880]



— The cotton which was sunk by the snagging of a flat at Kelley’s Cove, while in tow of the steamer D. Murchison, on Monday last, has been brought to this city by the steamers Wave, A. P. Hurt and Murchison.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, November 10, 1880]



— Messrs. Worth & Worth are in receipt of a telegram from Fayetteville announcing that the steamer Governor Worth was snagged and sunk at Council’s Bluff, about thirty miles this side of Fayetteville, on Wednesday morning last, while on her upward trip. A messenger was forthwith sent to Fayetteville to report the disaster, when the steamer A. P. Hurt was dispatched to the assistance of the unlucky steamer. Steam pumps will also be sent up from Wilmington to aid in raising her, which will not be a very difficult matter unless the thaw now going on among the snow and ice in the upper Cape Fear should precipitate a heavy freshet upon her before she has been brought to the surface. The cargo, which was a light one, was all saved.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Friday, January 7, 1881]


— We learn that the steamer A. P. Hurt was under pretty good control when she arrived here yesterday morning, with not the slightest chance of her “cutting up any capers” to hurt, there being no less than five steamboat captains on board to keep her straight, to-wit: Green, Worth, Garrason, Thornton and Watson.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Saturday, January 8, 1881]



— The steamer A. P. Hurt, which arrived here yesterday morning, reports only about twelve feet of water now on the shoals. The work of raising the steamer Gov. Worth is expected to be commenced to-day, under the supervision of Capt. S. W. Skinner, who has the contract for the work.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, January 19, 1881]

Local Dots.

— The colored military company came down from Fayetteville on the steamer Hurt last night, to take part in the Decoration ceremonies to-day.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Tuesday, May 30, 1882]

— The steamer North State, Capt. Green, arrived yesterday from the “Cypress,” having there exchanged cargoes with the steamer A. P. Hurt. The Wave is on the other side of the shoals.

[Wilmington Star – July 28, 1883]

— The steamer North State, Capt. Green, arrived here yesterday, being the first Fayetteville boat here in several days. Capt. Green has had word from Capt. Worth, of the steamer A. P. Hurt, not to leave Wilmington again until he hears from him at Fayetteville. In the meantime, however, the North State will make a trip to “The Cypress” with a quantity of freight for that place, intermediate points, and Waddell’s Ferry and Elizabethtown. The freight for “The Cypress.” For Waddell’s Ferry, seven miles above, and for Elizabethtown, ten or twelve miles above, will be left at “The Cypress” and the persons notified by letter from the agents here to call and get their goods. The river was still falling at last account.

[Wilmington Star – August 4, 1883 BRC]

— The low stage of water in the upper Cape Fear prevents the Fayetteville boats from running their regular schedules. The steamers A. P. Hurt and Bladen, due here yesterday, had not arrived up to last night.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, September 10, 1884.]

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