Empress of the Seas

A clipper ship built in 1853 by Donald McKay, East Boston, MA. Dimensions 230'×43'×27' and tonnage 2197 tons old measurements and 1647 RT.

Rigged with single topsails and a main skysail.

1853 January 14
Launched at the shipyard of Donald McKay, East Boston, MA, for William Wilson & Son, Baltimore, who bought the ship from McKay for $125.000 when it was half completed. McKay had originally intended to operate the ship on his own account. Captain M.E. Putnam was given command of the vessel.
1853 March 13 - July 12
Took in a general cargo for J.S. Oakford's line of San Francisco clippers at a freight of $104.000 and sailed from New York to San Francisco in 121 days. She had 100 tons of boilers loaded upon the upper deck. Sailed in company with the clipper ship Surprise under command of Captain Ranlett and which latter ship arrived at San Francisco three days ahead of the Empress of the Seas.
Captain Oakford assumed command of the ship.
1854 November 28
Sailed from London to Bombay in 97 days.
1856 February 9 - June 3
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 115 days under command of Captain Wilson.
1857 July 13 - November 14
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 124 days under command of Captain Haley.
1860 September
Sold to the Black Ball Line, Portsmouth.
1861 June 1 - August 6
Sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 66½ days.
1861 December 18
Burnt at Queencliff Bight, Port Phillip, and became a total loss.

Updated 1998-01-04 by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.