Captain Albert H. Worth

31 Dec

—– The Sentinel says:  A new Boat, called the Worth, has been placed on the river between Wilmington and Fayetteville.

The above paragraph is not Worth much, from the fact that the new boat is not called the Worth.  Her name is the Juniper, and her captain’s name is Worth.  We have a boat called the Governor Worth,  about two years old.

[Wilmington Star – October 5, 1869]

Boats and Navigation on the

Cape Fear River.


…  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 Eagle – Thursday, January 20, 1870]

— The venerable Capt. Hurt has retired from the command of the Gov. Worth, with the intention, we learn, of permanently abandoning active life upon the Cape Fear.  He is succeeded in command of the above steamer by Capt. Albert H. Worth.  Capt. Hurt, we hear it stated, will hereafter devote his attention to the work of improving the navigation of the river, which is being carried on under the auspices of the Cape Fear Navigation Company.

[ ? – May 28, 1870]

NOTE: Recall that Capt. A. P. Hurt’s wife, Morgiana, had died in earlier in the month of May, 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]

To Merchants and Shippers of Cotton:

The light draught Iron Steamer Governor Worth, Capt. Worth commanding, will run in connection with the steamer Rosa, Capt. Philpot, leaving this city every Tuesday morning at 6 o’clock, and Savannah every Friday morning at 11 o’clock.  The steamer Rosa will leave Augusta every Saturday morning at 6 o’clock: Savannah every Tuesday evening at 4 o’clock.  Merchants will please bear in mind that goods from New York by steamships Gen. Barnes and H. Livingstone, marked to our care, are forwarded free of drayage.

(Signed) – W. J. OWENS, Agent

Augusta, Ga.

[Daily Chronicle & Sentinel  — Augusta, GA —  October 18, 1871]

IMPROVEMENT.–  Capt. A. P. Hurt has refitted his store, on Hay St., very tastefully, and now has on hand a large and complete stock of boots and shoes.


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]

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]

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]

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]

Local Dots.

—  It is now stated that Capt. Jas. Smith will go out to Florida in command of the steamer Cumberland, instead of Capt. Albert Worth, as heretofore announced.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Friday, January 14, 1876]

— The steamer Gov. Worth, Capt. Worth, while on her way to Fayetteville, and when about twenty miles above this city, on Wednesday night, had the misfortune to lose her rudder, which became detached from its position in consequence of the worn and dilapidated condition of the rivets and other fastenings.  The rudder was secured, placed upon a flat, and brought to this city for repairs, reaching here yesterday evening.  In the meantime the Worth will remain tied up at the point where the accident took place.  It will take but a short time to complete the repairs necessary.

[Wilmington Star – July 14, 1876]




MESSRS. EDITORS:– It is to be regretted that more of the citizens of Fayetteville and surrounding country did not avail themselves of the opportunity offered them last Thursday of taking a trip to Smithville and the Forts on the Cape Fear river.  These little excursions cost but a small amount of money, and are extremely pleasant this hot August weather.  As I hear there will probably be another such excursion shortly, I have concluded to write a short account of the Odd Fellows’ excursion, in hopes that others may be induced to take advantage of the next opportunity offered them.  A short notice only having been given, some 25 or 30 of our citizens embarked on the fine steamer Gov. Worth, commanded by that genial gentleman and clever host, Capt. A. H. Worth, on last Thursday morning, for a trip to the Forts.  Shortly after 8 o’clock the whistle blew, the gang planks were taken in, the wheels began to turn and we thought we were off, but alas for our expectations; we had not gone more than 100 yards when bump, and our boat was on the ground.  Here we pulled first one way and then another for some time, and finally we “got off” fairly on our way.  The water being very low, we went along very slowly, for the first thirty miles the rain pouring in torrents, preventing us from gaining any accessions to our crowd.  We expected at Elizabethtown to get quite a number, but as before remarked it was raining, raining, and no one put in an appearance.  A trip down the river, as you know, Messrs. Editors, is monotonous, but with pleasant companions you can always make the time pass rapidly.  Your time, too, can be occupied watching the various turns of this beautiful river, with its willow and ash, elms and tall sycamores casting long, varying shadows into the water as the mighty stream glides on to meet the waving billow.  It is curious, too, to watch with what dexterity the jolly boat hands handle the barrels down the long slide, or roll them up the steep banks.  There are no persons who seem to enjoy live more or take more pleasure in their work than these hands on the Cape Fear.  With frequent stoppage to put out the mails, we proceed very slowly, and night caught us a long way from Wilmington.  What took place then your correspondent knows not.  He heard next morning that the boat ran into the bank during the night and broke her rudder chain, but this is only hearsay, as he was too much engaged to know what was going on then, and knew nothing more till the “music from the entire band” aroused him as we reached the “city by the sea.”

Here we found quite a number of persons, including many ladies, waiting for our arrival.  After some delay the boat steamed to the foot of Market street, took on our passengers and started on the most pleasant part of our journey.  As we pushed out into the river the band gave us some of its finest music, which was echoed back by the shout from the shore.  And then commenced our pleasure.  The lower deck was cleaned and swept, and you heard above the noise and splash of the water the cry “partners for the first set!”  The younger portion of the crowd commenced in earnest to “trip the light fantastic toe.”  Ahead of us was spread the majestic river, now widened and deepened by the action of the tide, and sparkling like a sea of glass.  The wheels of our gallant bark were beating time to the music of the waves, and gay young men and beautiful women were whirling in the mazes of the dance.  But your correspondent desired to look upon some of the scenes enjoyed (?) by him in other years, and repaired to the hurricane deck to get a better view.  On the right as you passed along frowned Battery Anderson, its mound once covered with bristling bayonets and sullen looking guns, now overgrown with bush and brier.  On the left, high above the other shore was Sugar Loaf hill whereon he stood, and intently watched long ago the desperate attack on “Anderson” opposite, when the iron-clad monitor ran up to the walls of the fort and poured her deadly missiles into it, and the shot from the fort had no effect on her, but struck and rebounded as if they had been made of rubber.  On the left, a little farther on, was the famous “Fisher,” now dismantled and overgrown.  After we passed the “mound,” we ran along to the opening of New Inlet, where the government boats are at work filling up the inlet with rock.  Here our boat rolled and tossed about, and your correspondent thought it the better part of prudence to get down to where the boat was steadier, so he left that deck; when he reached the lower deck he found that the dancers, too, had stopped, probably concluding that they could not worship Terpsichore and bow to old Neptune at the same time.  There you could see more than one of our party looking pale and haggard, and I was particularly struck with one who had taken the wood-pile, he said, to rest.  After we passed the inlet and the water became smooth, dancing was commenced and continued till Smithville was sighted on our right.

Here the Revenue Cutter Colfax lying in the stream gave us a salute, which we returned, and as our boys “wanted to get to the surf” we stopped only a short time, and then started for Caswell, which we reached in a short space.  The tide was running out and the boat could not get near the shore, but our gallant captain was equal to the emergency.  He placed benches in the shallow water with boards on them from the boat to the bank, and soon we were getting off in single file – one or two falling in – not being too steady.

Here the party divided, some walking on the beach and others in the fort – some gathering shells and sea-weed, while others were bathing in the surf.  In the latter could be found most of the “up countrys.”  Caswell was a strong fort, but is now dismantled and mouldering away.  The guns used by us are still there and regularly pointed, but the carriages are falling to decay; and herds of goats now roam where not long since the tread of soldiery was heard and the warlike men were waiting for the fray.  What a sad looking thing a dismantled fort is!  Years of work and toil and thousands of dollars thrown away!

After enjoying the beach for an hour or so the whistle sounded for our return.  On our way back we stopped at Smithville for a short time and walked about that old town.  It must be a pleasant place to spend a summer in, with its grassy streets and beautiful oaks.  It is a great mistake to suppose (as some do) that is a hot, sandy place.  Such is not the fact; it looks cool and shady and quiet.  While here an oar boat from the Colfax came over and took the band, our Mayor and some others to it, the band playing that sweet tune “Annie Laurie” as it was rapidly borne towards the cutter.  Over there they were feasted by the officers, and found our Congressman, Hon. A. M. Waddell, rusticating for a few days.

But pleasure cannot last always, and the shrill whistle of the Worth called them back.  “All aboard!” was sounded, and we started back for Wilmington.  Up the river now we are steaming; dancing again commences, and gaiety is kept up as we pass back by Fisher, by Sugar Loaf, by Battery Anderson, to the city.  Here we leave the largest part of our crowd, and at half-past ten start for home again.  The party were tired – most of us desired to sleep – but the young ones would not permit it; what with singing, playing, dancing and noise-making generally, little sleep was had that night.  But next day we took things quietly, and in good time reached home, all having enjoyed the trip and wishing to go again.  The only regret was that the excursion was not patronized as it ought to have been, it having been gotten up for the benefit of a benevolent order in our midst.

O. F.

[North Carolina Gazette – August 9, 1877]

NOTE: See PICNIC AT BLADEN SPRINGS article from the North Carolina Gazette – First Edition – Thursday, August 23, 1877.


Down the Cape Fear – Early Rising – A
Morning Ride – A Merry Party on
the River, &c.


MR. EDITOR: — When I think how often ye poor defenceless {misspelled} editors are overwhelmed by countless dozens of just such scrawl as the one I am about to inflict upon you, I must confess that I feel some compunction in regard to the matter.

Charles Lamb says:  “Epistolary matter usually comprises three topics:  news, sentiment, and puns.“ Don’t, I pray you, look for either here.

No, I only wish to tell you of our trip down the river to Wilmington a few mornings ago.  Monday, Feb. 24th, found us up, not exactly at “six o’clock in the morning,“ but just at two-quarters past.  After an early breakfast we set off on our ride of three miles to the river.  The fresh, crisp morning air blew into our faces, putting more roses into the cheeks of the fairer portion of our party than they had known in many weeks before.  We were a merry crowd, I assure you!  How we laughed and chatted!  How the jokes went round!  How we all enjoyed them – all except one of our cousins, who would – very naughty of him, I’m quite sure – persist in keeping up the reputation he had somehow acquired of late of being “immensely sober and dignified.“ We bowled along at a rapid pace.  “Those dreadful (?) girls“ had been so long getting ready we hadn’t more than time to catch the boat.  Just at the foot of the hill, within half a mile of the market-house, one of the traces snapped.  Such a time as we had fixing that trace, only to go a dozen yards and then break down again!  Such was the pressure upon the good nature of our sober cousin that I’m very much afraid he regretted his inability to say a naught word then.  The last time that trace broke was just opposite harness store.  A new one was soon secured – no a new harness store, but a new trace – and in ten minutes more we were bowling along all right.  We caught the boat – not just in the “nick of time“ – but fully an hour and a half before she left the wharf! Now don’t think all the clocks in the house had run down, and all our watches had gone on a John Gilpin gallop.  No, the boat had been under repair, and could not get off at the usual hour.  We went on board, and for the first time I had an introduction to that clever, genial gentleman, Capt. Albert Worth.  He is a prince of steamboat captains, and deservedly one of the most popular, if not the most popular on the river.  He manages his boat with the skill and dexterity a finished young lady displays in the management of the ample folds of her voluminous train.  There! is not that a comparison for you?

At nine o’clock and twenty ### minutes there was the warning whistle, and those of our party who had only come to say “good-bye“ hurried ashore.  Two minutes later the steamer Governor Worth, with “pennons gaily flying“ – there, what am I saying? – the colors were not up.  I forgot – well, the Governor Worth steamed away from the wharf.  We stood on deck, gaily waving our handkerchiefs to friends on shore, just as long as the white cloth (there’s another mistake! Mine had a blue border) was visible; then turned to watch the retreating roofs and spires of Fayetteville till a bend in the river shut them from view.  Then Mr. McR. Our gallant and gentlemanly escort, brought chairs, and, seated on the upper deck, in full view of the “sounding waves“ – no, the murmuring waves; which is right, anyhow? – O, I have it now, the “ripple of the translucent water“ – bad again, the Cape Fear is too muddy!  I’ll begin again:  Seated on the upper deck in plain view not of the  “banks and braes“ of “Bonnie Doon,“ but of “bonnie Cumberland,“ as they flitted by, we prepared to discuss  “Mrs. Battle on Whist.“  She was a sensible old lady, don’t you think?  But the book did not occupy us long.  We preferred to use our eyes in another direction just then.  It was the loveliest of days, not a cloud in the sky, and the blue of the most beautiful and vivid coloring.  The Cape Fear is truly a winding stream.  The trip down the river must be delightful in summer.  Even at this season it is quite enjoyable.  There seems to be such dense foliage along the banks, such a mingling, like Joseph’s coat, of “many colors.“  Even now the trees are beginning to bud, while the cane and smaller undergrowth are displaying a generous leafing of vivid green.  Five or six miles down the river the boat stopped at its first landing to take on some barrels of tar and ###n, ###rawsen,“ as Mr. Mc R. cautioned me I must pronounce it here in Wilmington.  Now I must confess, as I had never seen the modus operandi before.  I was all agog with curiosity to take in every detail.  The steamer “rounded“ in handsome style, and lay alongside.  Where in the world was the landing?  Nothing but a steep bank full thirty-five or forty feet, all on a “down grade,“ and on the summit those “rawsen“ barrels, all in  “grim array,“ waiting to be taken on board.  Now how was it going to be done?  I couldn’t understand it.  A brilliant idea struck me; I would appeal to the Captain.  “Now, Captain Worth,“ I said, “if you please to explain how you are going to get those rawsen barrels aboard, I shall be much obliged.  You certainly are not going to tumble them down that steep bank.  Why, they will either burst open or tumble into the river.  And certainly the men are not going to tote ( that is a very expressive word of ours out in Georgia ) them down on their shoulders.  Why, it will take them a month of Sundays, and we won’t get into Wilmington in time to attend the next 4th of July celebration!“  [These last are what our dear old sober-sided cousin would call “exaggerations of speech.“]  The Captain didn’t reply to these eager questions; he only pointed to the bank, and said, “Look yonder!“  What did we see?  Why, those self-same barrels, all in one nice, precise, exact row, one behind the other, like soldiers in a rank, like ducks in a file, coming gently yet swiftly “down grade,“ closely packed together, yet never encroaching one upon the other.  No smashing, no bouncing, no getting out of order, yet coming with an exact precision to the hands outstretched to lift them on board.  Yes, that was it exactly.  But how did they get that first barrel in place, and start the whole raft of them rolling?  We determined to find out next time.  We wouldn’t turn our back again, and waste so much time talking.  “And now,“ said the Captain, “we will stop a few hundred yards below here and take on water.“  “Take on water?“  we echoed.  “You surely don’t mean to swamp us.  O, I dare say you mean water to drink.  Now where are you to get it?  Not out of the river, I hope.  If you do, I shall decline with thanks.“  The Captain smiled again, and drew our attention to a clear, sparkling rill of water, coming with a rapid, graceful flow from out the mouth of a wooden spout some dozen yards ahead of us.  I tackled the Captain with very nearly the same question I had in regard to the “rawsin“ barrels, “How are we to get it? “ “Lean over the railing and drink from the spout,“ he said, with a  sly twinkle in his eye, “or catch it in your hand ## ### .“  “A very brilliant idea,“ we answered him, “but will you please be so kind as to get out a life insurance policy for us before we do the leaning.“  The boat moved in close to the bank and stopped; a plank was thrown across, a little negro boy leaped upon it and dexterously fitted a long pipe-like piece of canvas and rubber hose to the mouth of the water-spout, an, lo! The water flowed gracefully and freely into the vessels placed on deck to receive it.

Now, I dare say, after all this, you are beginning to think your correspondent very much of a “land lubber.“  Well, although I have been many times out on the “broad Atlantic“ and had more than one “salt water bath,“ yet this was my first trip on board a river boat, and the experience was quite novel, I assure you.

Many pleasing incidents occurred during the trip, but I have not time to tell you of them now.  We had the pleasure of meeting on board Gen. M. P. Taylor, who is representing the Sun and the South Atlantic, of this city.  We found him quite social, and decidedly entertaining in conversation.

We expected to reach Wilmington that evening, but, owing to several delays along the river, the boat did not get in till seven o’clock the next morning.  Therefore we had to spend the night on board, but did not regret it, as we had most comfortable quarters and the best of attention.

Our first impressions of Wilmington are most favorable.  We will write you more anon.

Yours truly,                           ANDY.

[North Carolina Gazette – March 6, 1879]

— 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]



—  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]

NOTE: I may have this accident confused with another sinking, but I recall reading an article, or book entry, that stated that the “experienced” captain was embarrassed by having struck a snag and sunk his boat.  There are several articles regarding the sinking of the Governor Worth, and surprisingly none of them mentions who her captain was, at the time of the sinking.


—  A telegram was received by Messrs. Worth & Worth, yesterday morning, to the effect that there had been a rise of about twenty-five feet in the Cape Fear, caused by the great thaw of ice and snow going on up the river, and that the water was still rising.

—  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]

Local Twinklings

The River Queen is a new steamer which will soon ply the Cape Fear River and present its claims to public patronage as a carrier of passengers and freight. Capt. A. H. Worth will command the handsome craft.–an officer well known from many years of hard service and ripe experience.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thurs. October 29, 1885.]

Steamer River Queen.

mington every Monday and Thursday at 2 o’clock. Leave Fayetteville Wednesday and Saturday at sunrise.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Sat., January 2, 1886]

Capt. A. H. Worth, a steamboat captain of many years’ experience on the Cape Fear, gives us a graphic picture of the pains and perils of river navigation last week.  At Harrison’s Creek, last Thursday, his steamer, the River Queen, became as completely ice-bound as ever was Dr. Kane in the frozen regions of the North Pole.  The water seemed to be solid almost to the bed of the river, and by no power of steam could the boat cut its way through the dense mass, while the roaring sound of the great cakes of ice grinding and crushing one upon another reminded one of a dozen steamers ploughing their way along the stream.

[Fayetteville Observer & Gazette January 21, 1886]

The freight steamer River Queen, which ran between Wilmington and Fayetteville, and from which Capt. A. H. Worth had only a few days since retired as commander, was burned at her wharf in Wilmington during the big fire of Sunday last.  The River Queen was owned by Mr. Bagley, and was partially insured.

[Fayetteville Observer And Gazette – February 25, 1886]


Col. A. H. Worth, now as good a farmer as he was a captain of a steamboat (and that is saying a good deal.) was on a visit to his old friends last week.  The Captain will be here again about the 23rd.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, August 11, 1887]

Death of Mr. Worth {Joseph Addison Worth}

We are pained to learn (just as we go to press,) of the death of Mr. J. A. Worth, which occurred at half past six o’clock last evening, at his residence on Haymount.

Joseph Addison Worth was the youngest of five brothers, all of whom became prominent in political or business life in this State. Messrs. T. C. and B. G. Worth were for many years leading merchants of Wilmington. Mr. B. G. Worth continuing the business there. Jonathan Worth became Governor of North Carolina after the war; and Dr. J. W. Worth for many years the honored Treasurer of the State.

Mr. J. A. Worth removed to this city from his native county of Randolph about 1850, and became one of our foremost merchants and steamboat owners. He was a man of strong character, and for many years was one of the leading citizens of Fayetteville. For some year past, he has been an invalid, and for some two weeks past has been confined to his house by an attack of pneumonia. He was reading his newspaper shortly before his death. After his sturdy fashion, he had refused to keep his bed.  Laying aside his paper, he walked across the room, took his seat in a chair, and almost immediately expired.

He was in his 74th year. He leaves a widow, who was Miss Walker, of Guilford and seven children. Mrs. Duncan O’Hanlon, Capt. Albert Worth, Mrs. N. A. Sinclair, Mrs. Wm. Overman, Mrs. Moody, Mr. S. G. Worth and Mr. John Worth.  Mr. Worth was greatly honored and respected in this community, where his loss will be severely felt, and was well known throughout the State.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, February 9, 1893]

The Cape Fear River Captains

“Capt. Alonzo Garrason, for many years one of the most popular steamboatmen on the Cape Fear river,” says the Wilmington Star, “but now a popular and prosperous merchant of Fayetteville reached here last night.”

What a good lot they have ever been, anyway, those delightful River boat captains!  His heart must indeed be a dull one which does not quicken its beats when the fine figures of Rush, and Wilkinson, and Hurt are recalled of those who are gone, and the good cheer and good company they presided over, in the cabins, in the winter nights.  And we never see one of the modern ones – Green, Albert Worth, Jim Smith, Garrason and Robeson – without feeling an impulse to embrace him for old times’ sake.

How the time slips by!  Veterans of the Independent and LaFayette companies will recall the May morning when the A. P. Hurt swung out into the stream, thirty-two years ago, loaded down with the young fellows who then made up the pride of Fayetteville, destined for the great war.  And that, by the way, was the only communication by stream conveyance that Fayetteville had with the outside world.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 20, 1893]


Mrs. Fatima Worth, widow of the late Joseph Addison Worth, died on yesterday morning at her residence on Haymount, in the 74th year of her age.

She came here with her husband in the early fifties, having four children: Albert H.; Miriam, who afterwards married the late Duncan O’Hanlon; John, and Lou, the latter marrying Edwin Anders, of Bladen, and dying a year or two ago.  After coming here, there were born to her: Stephen; Kate, now Mrs. Thomas Murphy, of Salisbury; Irene, now Mrs. John S. Moody, of Rockland, Me., and Augusta, wife of N. A. Sinclair, Esq, Mrs. Worth’s maiden name was Walker, and her people, of Randolph, were of Quaker origin.

As memory treads the path between this next door neighbor’s and the writer “well-trodden these forty years” it finds no places to step over.  Her tastes, pleasures and work in life were all domestic; work was to her a pleasure, and she pitied those, too proud, too lazy, or too good to work.  Her word about household affairs was authority; an helpmeet was she to her husband, and home and its belongings filled her ideas of wifely duty.  Mrs. Worth had full measure of woman’s crowning grace.  She had as lief wear a fashionable bonnet as serve on a public committee.

Blest with a sweet voice, gentle manners and a kindly heart, the last guest who came to her house (oftimes crowded to overflowing) received as hearty a welcome as the first.  Having a keen sense of the ludicrous, she heartily enjoyed a joke, but was never so happy as when giving pleasure to those around her.  Her eye fell instinctively upon the weakling, and he or she was sure to receive her delicate attentions.  The sick will miss her cheerful presence; the poor will miss her liberal hand.

A useful life has run its allotted race; a sheaf of golden grain, full ripe, has gently bowed its head, and had its rich fruitage first threshed, then garnered by the reaper.

And now strong, robust, rugged manhood “hindered in other ways” would pay this feeble tribute to her memory.  B. Fayetteville, Jan. 11.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday Evening, January 13, 1898]


Captain Albert H. Worth has been appointed captain of the steamer “City of Fayetteville” to succeed Captain Fromberger.  Captain Worth has had over 20 years service on the river and he is considered an excellent man for the position.  Mr. Charles Cagle, clerk at the LaFayette Hotel, has been made city ticket agent in Fayetteville of the new steamer.

[Wilmington Dispatch – January 16, 1903]

Steamer City of Fayetteville.

Fayetteville Observer, 15th:  “Our former townsman, Capt. Albert H. Worth, was to-day appointed captain of the new steamer City of Fayetteville, to succeed Capt. Fromberger, who brought the boat up from Jacksonville, Fla.  Capt. Worth is now at Elizabeth City and is expected to reach here this afternoon or to-morrow.  Capt. Worth, who is a son of the late Joseph A. Worth, for so many years a leading citizen of Fayetteville, and a nephew of the late Governor Worth, is admirably equipped for the position to which he has been appointed.  He has had some twenty years experience as commander of our best river boats, and is a man of excellent mind and mature judgment.  He is, besides, a Confederate veteran of fine record and bears on his body the heavy marks of the great war.  The new company is to be commended and congratulated for this graceful recognition of the fitness of things.”

[Wilmington Star – January 16, 1903]



The City of Fayetteville Made Her

First Trip Down the Upper Cape

Fear Yesterday Morning-Brought

Down Seventy-Five Passengers.

The Schedule to be Run Here-



The elegant new steamer City of Fayetteville, of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company’s Line, made her first trip down from Fayetteville yesterday morning.  She left that city at 3:30 p. m. Wednesday and arrived in Wilmington at 6 a. m.  She was in command of Captain Albert H. Worth and he states that there was fair boating water in the Cape Fear for the trip.  The trip of the streamer was made in good time.  During part of the run she was timed and made twelve miles an hour, and it is probable that in some reaches she skimmed along at 14 miles an hour.

Mr. Walter L. Holt, one of the stockholders and a director of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company, came down on the steamer, and with him as his guests were the following Fayetteville gentlemen:  Messrs. E. H. Williamson, S. H. Webb, E. E. Gorham, Banks Williamson, L. A. Williamson, D. S. McRae, A. J. Hatch, and the Messrs. Morrow.  There was a passenger list of about 75 and among them were Mr. and Mrs. D. D. Hogan and family of Fayetteville, and quite a number of passengers from the various landings between Wilmington and Fayetteville.  The steamer also brought a large cargo of manufactured goods, shipped to New York by the cotton factories of Fayetteville, besides consignments of country produce.

While at Fayetteville the steamer was furnished throughout, the saloons and state rooms being carpeted and equipped.  The ladies saloon is beautifully furnished, handsome wicker tables and wicker chairs constituting the furniture.  Next to the ladies saloon is the dining room and it is handsomely equipped.  The gentlemen’s saloon is also nicely furnished and the boat is a great credit to the Cape Fear.  Passengers who came down state that the meals served on the steamer are elegant.  Adjoining the dining room is the butler’s pantry and from the galley below the meals are received in the pantry by a dumb waiter and thence served in the dining room.

Captain Worth, who is in charge of the new steamer, is one of the most popular river commanders that ever ran between here and Fayetteville.  Everybody was glad to see him again on the river, for everybody esteems him highly and all feel safe when he  at the helm.  He is courteous and knows how to look after the safety and comfort of his passengers.  He was a captain on the river for eight years during that time having been mate of the steamer Hart, and captain of the steamers Juniper, Governor Worth and Hurt.  After quitting the river he was a conductor for nine years on the C. F. & Y. V. railroad and for the past few years has resided at Norfolk.  He has hosts of friends who are glad to see him back again.  Captain F. M. Fromberger, who was temporarily in charge of the new steamer came down yesterday and will return while here.

The City of Fayetteville left on the return trip yesterday afternoon at 5 o’clock.  Hereafter she will leave Wilmington at 5 p. m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Leave Fayetteville at 5 p. m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

[Wilmington Messenger – January 23, 1903]

Change of Masters.

The steamer “City of Fayetteville “ and “Highlander “ were in port yesterday.  Capt. A. H. Worth has resigned as master of the first named steamer and has been succeeded by Capt. Jeff Bradshaw, of the “Highlander. “  Capt. William Robeson succeeds Capt. Bradshaw in command of the “ Highlander. “

[Wilmington Morning Star — Thursday, May 28, 1903]


A telegram was received Wednesday by Mrs. N. A. Sinclair, announcing the death of her brother, Capt. Albert H. Worth, at one o’clock that morning, at his home in Elizabeth City, aged about 72 years.  Capt. Worth, suffered a stroke of apoplexy some weeks ago, and has gradually been failing since.  He was the son of the late Addison Worth of the city, one of our most prominent citizens and business men and largely interested in the boating business on the Cape Fear River.  Capt. Worth was himself a steamboat captain for years.  He was a man of big heart and manly qualities, and his friends, who were many, were drawn to him by his attractive personality.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he went to the front with the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company (Company H, 1st N. C. regiment) as first sergeant, and afterwards joined Co. I, 22nd N. C. he was in the battles of Bethel, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Seven Days Fight, Around Richmond, and was wounded in the battle of Gaines’ Mill on the 27th of January 1862.  His leg was crushed so that he was in the hospital a long time, and he suffered from that wound all of his life.  As soon as he was able to travel on crutches, he carried arms and ammunition from the arsenal here to the army, going as far north as Fredericksburg, Va., and as far south as Mobile, Ala.

Capt. Worth is survived by his wife and four children — two daughters, Mrs. Edson Carter and Miss Mary Worth, and two sons, Messrs. Albert and Winfield A. Worth, all of whom reside in Elizabeth City; also by three sisters, Mrs. Thos. Murphy of Salisbury, Mrs. J. S. Moody of Globe, Arizona, and Mrs. N. A. Sinclair of Fayetteville, and by a brother,  Mr. Stephen G. Worth of Arkansas.

Mr. and Mrs. N. A. Sinclair left here Wednesday for Elizabeth City, where the funeral services were conducted Thursday.

[Fayetteville Observer – Weekly Edition – Wednesday, July 3, 1912]


Zach. Roberts, a colored pilot on the Cape Fear river for years, died at his home in Campbellton, this city, Saturday morning at 5 o’clock.

Roberts had worked on the boats plying between this city and Wilmington practically all of his life.  He was with Capt. Albert Worth, Capt. Sandy Robeson and Captains Green, Smith, Cole and others as pilot.  He was on the boat with Capt. Skinner when the Robert E. Lee blew up, killing Alex. Jackson, Sam MacKay and Bill Gilmore, (all colored), and was badly scalded in the explosion.

Roberts was one of the few pilots who never had a serious accident on his boat.  He was respected by both white and colored for his faithful services.  He was buried from the First Congregational Church Sunday at 3 p. m.

[The Fayetteville Observer – February 19, 1913.]

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