This is a noble oak-built ship, designed to stow a large, or carry a heavy cargo, to work easily, and sail as fast as the general run of packet ships. Her frame, all her lower deck knees, stanchions, and hooks are of oak, and the ceiling on her floor, the three thick strakes above her bilge keelsons, and all her outside planking, from the keel to the waist, are also of white oak, and she is square fastened throughout.
Her length between perpendiculars is 175 feet, over all, 185, extreme breadth of beam, 38, depth, 27½, including 7 feet 8 inches between each of her decks, (for she has three of them,) dead rise at half floor, 12 inches, rounding of sides 9 inches, sheer 2½ feet, and she will register about 1040 tons. Her keel is of rock maple and white oak, sided 16½ inches, and moulded 2½ feet forward and 2 aft. The floor timbers on the keel are sided and moulded 12 by 17½ inches, and all are bolted alternately through the keel, and the first keelson, with yellow metal of 1¼ inch. The navel timbers are bolted with iron of the same size, driven blunt into the keel. Her keelsons are of oak, 16 inches square, and the ceiling on the flat of the floor is of the same wood, 4½ inches thick. The bilge keelsons towards the ends, are also of oak, but in the body of the vessel are of hard pine, 16 by 14 inches, bolted with 1½ inch iron, driven alternately from both sides. Above the bilge keelsons, the next three strakes are of oak, of 10, 9 and 8 inches thick, and all the ceiling above is of 8 inches, up to the ends of the hanging knees, which rest upon the projection of the upper strake. The rest of the ceiling above is of 6 inches. In the hold she has three massive hooks forward, and the same number aft, and two of these in each end, cross the cants diagonally, and fay to the beams, and the other is placed horizontally, and is fayed to the nearest diagonal hook. Her hold beams are of 16 inches square amidships, and the other beams in proportion, and all are of yellow pine. The lower deck hanging knees have 12 bolts and 4 spikes in each, and the stanchions are of oak, 10 by 12 inches, kneed in the wake of the hatchways, and between these are clasped with iron above and below.
The lower and main deck waterways are each 16 inches square, the thick work inside and over them, 10 inches thick, bolted vertically and horizontally. The ceiling between the lower and main deck is 6 inches thick, and between the decks above 6½ inches, all square bolted. The hanging knees under the main and upper deck beams are of hacmatac, their lower ends rest upon the upper strake of the thick work, and they have 16 bolts and 4 spikes in each. Her lodging knees meet and scarph in every berth, and are well fitted and fastened. Between each of the decks she has two great breast hooks, which span the bow completely, and have 86 bolts in each. Between the lower and main deck she has an after hook, which spans the stern, and has 72 bolts in it. Her main transom is 18 inches square, and the transom knees extended well along the wings and across the stern.
The stanchions under the main and upper decks are of oak turned -- are 8 inches in diameter, and have iron rods through their centres, which set up in the hold, and thus bind all the decks together.
The upper deck waterways are 10 by 12 inches thick, with two thick strakes inside of them, let over the beams, and all are bolted vertically and horizontally, through every timber and every beam. Her lower and main deck decks are of hard pine 3¼ inches thick, and the upper deck of white pine a quarter of an inch thicker.
As already noticed, she is planked with oak, from the keel to the waist. The bottom planking is 4½ inches thick, the wales 5½ by 7, and the waist, which is of hard pine, is 4 by 5 inches; and her bilge bolts are driven through every third timber, and clinched on the inside. Great care has been bestowed in fastening her butts, and driving her treenails, so as to render the workmanship neat, as well as strong.
The planksheer is 6 inches thick, and the main rail 1 inch stouter, which is further strengthened by a clamp which forms a belt between it and the rack-rail, and this extends from the bluff of the bow to the taffrail. The whole height of her bulwarks, including the monkey-rail, is about 5½ feet opposite the gangways; but, of course, higher forward.
She is seasoned with salt, has air ports in her ceiling below, plate glass lights and stern windows in her main deck, and brass ventilators along the line of her planksheer and in her bitts; and we understand that she will also have Emerson's patent ventilators. We have frequently called attention to the excellence of these ventilators, because we know that their operation for the purification of vessels is indispensable. Some shipowners are of the opinion that if their vessels do not carry passengers, there is no necessity for these ventilators; but those who comprehended the advantages of having their vessels preserved from dry rot, or their cargoes from being dyed blue by noxious gases and bilge-water, invariably apply these ventilators to their ships, whether they carry passengers or not. For passenger vessels they are now regarded as indispensable. Nearly all the New York packet ships and clippers, and many of our own splendid ships, have them. Indeed, we do not know the first ship owner, who understands their operation, but approves of them. Captain Forbes, whose opinions about everything relating to ships are entitled to the highest consideration, has long since applied them to his own ships, and has recommended them for every class of vessels.
The Samuel Lawrence has plenty of room for working ship, notwithstanding that all her accommodations are on deck. Her topgallant forecastle has a beautiful capstan on it, and extends aft to the windlass. Before the foremast she has a massive pair of bitts, to which her main and maintopmast stays set up; and abaft the foremast a house 43 feet long, 17 wide and 6½ high. This house contains quarters for the crew, covers an entrance to the deck below, has divisions for two galleys, state-rooms abaft, and other useful apartments.
Her pumps are of copper, work with engine breaks, and care of the same patent as those in the packet ship Staffordshire. She also has bilge pumps.
On the quarter deck she has a beautiful capstan made of locust and mahogany, brass mounted.
She has a trunk cabin built into a half poop deck, with a projecting front above, which shelters the entrance.
Her after cabin contains four state-rooms, a water closet, &c., and is splendidly wainscotted with mahogany, set off into oblong square panels, relieved with rosewood pilasters, edged with gilding. The cornices are also of mahogany, and are enclosed between burnished mouldings; and forward and aft are mahogany settees, placed in comfortable positions. The table, side seats, and other furniture, as well as the furniture of the state-rooms are not only neat, but elegant. The cabin before it contains three state-rooms, and is handsomely grained, has white ceiling, and cornices lined with gilded mouldings. Both cabins have skylights, and the state-rooms side-windows, which overlook the sides of of [sic] the poop. The ante-room is little more than a passageway leading to the cabin abaft it; but on its starboard side is a large pantry, and on the opposite side a spacious state-room for the mates, which overlooks the deck before it.
The quarter deck is spanned by a gallows, which, in connection with the house abaft it, is designed to bear her spare boats. Her long boat is stowed on the house amidships.
She has Reed's patent steering apparatus, on the same principle as that in the packet ship Staffordshire, the steamer S.S. Lewis, and other fine vessels, and is steered on the poop deck abaft the trunk. Her poop is protected by a strong railing supported by iron stanchions; and the spaces in the wings and aft, under the poop, are available for store rooms, &c.
She has carved mahogany boards, pannelled monkey rails, and outside cabin work, and is painted dark buff color, relieved with blue waterways. Her main deck has the sides and ceiling white, and the thick work blue, and the lower deck the same, except the thick work, which is granite color. Her chain lockers are in the lower deck, forward; and abaft the main mast she has a circular iron tank, capable of holding 4500 gallons of water. The arrangements of all her decks, water closets, &c., are designed upon the same principles as those of first class packet ships, for the accommodation of steerage passengers.
We have already stated that she is of a full model, designed to stow a large cargo, but she has good ends, and great length of floor, and may therefore be expected to sail well. She has a light billet head, ornamented with gilded carved work, and her trail-boards in their sweep take in the navel hoods and make a handsome finish forward. The line moulding of her planksheer is carried forward to the extreme, and rise with the bow in a bold and regular sweep, and harmonizes well with her sheer.
Her stern is decidedly handsome. It swells between the quarter timbers, and between the arch-board and the rail, and is tastefully ornamented with an arch of gilded carved work, which spans the windows. In the centre of this arch is a representation of the globe, with massive eagle perched on the north pole. On the starboard side are warehouses, bales of merchandize, and other emblems of commerce; and on the opposite side a ship under full sail by the wind, with the starboard tacks on board, and descending on both sides, are elegantly carved and gilded branches. Below this arch, across the stern, her name and port of hail, Samuel Lawrence, Boston, are carved into the arch-board and painted white. The ground of the stern is black, her bottom green -- for she is not yet coppered -- and the rest of her outside black, except the white belt into which her ports are painted.
Aloft she is not over-sparred; but has been masted for the Atlantic trade, with moderate spread of canvas; but still we think she would have been more manageable with Forbes's rig. Having paid much attention to the operation of this rig, and being fully convinced of its superiority over the rig now in general use, both for the safety of the ship and the labor of the sailor, we deem it our duty to call the attention of ship owners to it, upon every occasion that offers.
The Saml. Lawrence looks as well aloft as any ship belonging to the port, both in the size and proportions of her spars. Her lower masts, commencing with the fore, are 76½, 80 and 64 feet long, including 12½ feet mast heads to the fore and main, and 9½ to the mizzen mast; fore and main topmast 43, with 7 feet heads; mizzen topmast 33, with 5½ feet head; fore and main topgallant masts 23½, and mizzen topgallant mast 16½ royalmasts 15½, 15½ and 9½, and poles 12, 12 and 8 feet long. Her yards on the foremast are 66½, 54½, 41½ and 30, and on the mainmast 4½ feet longer; and on the mizzen mast 54½, 43, 31 and 20 feet. The bowsprit is 27 feet outboard; jibboom and flying jibboom is in one spar, 46 feet long, divided at 26 and 20 feet for the two jibs; spanker boom 46, gaff 40, main spencer gaff 23 feet, and the other spars in proportion.
Her standing rigging is of Russia hemp and her running rigging of Manila, and in all the details of her rig, she is finished in the first style of workmanship.
Viewed as a whole, she is as complete a ship of her class as belongs to Boston. She was not built in a hurry, but was thoroughly seasoned on the stocks. Her frame was raised last fall, and was exposed to the action of the weather during the whole of the winter, and was then carefully examined before a plank was placed upon her; and in the course of her construction she was salted in every crevice.
She was built at Medford by Mr. Paul Curtis [?], one of the most faithful and thorough [?] ship builders in the country, and is owned by Andrew T. Hall, Esq, of this city. Capt. Patten, formerly of the ship Mary Ann, commands her. He is not only an excellent sailor of long tried experience, but a man of noble and generous heart, beloved by every one who knows him ashore, and all but adored by his seamen. Having risen from before the mast himself, he knows the channel to a sailor's heart, and treats him as a man and a brother, not as a hireling serf; and consequently, can always rely upon his obedience and efficiency in the hour of peril. She has been named as a compliment to one of our most distinguished merchants, a gentleman of high honor and great public enterprise. May she be as successful on her element as he has been on his, and we believe her owner will be perfectly satisfied.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.