Extreme clipper designed and built in 1851 by Samuel Hanscomb Jr, Portsmouth,
Dimensions: 185'×36'×19' and 1060 tons, or 722 tons new
measurements, later adjusted to 657 tons.
Griffiths gave a description of the ship in the U.S. Nautical Magazine Volume III (1855-56).
What is supposed to be the figurehead has surfaced in Sweden in 1994, where the Gothenburg antique dealer Karl-Erik Svärdskog bought the
figurehead in the neighbourhood of Gothernburg. The figurehead of the Nightingale was a bust of the singer Jenny Lind.
It has been possible to trace it back to Kragerø where according to a strong oral tradition the deckhouse and
the figurehead was taken off the Nightingale after she was bought to
- 1851 February
- The keel was laid.
- 1851 April
- The original name Sarah Cowles was exchanged
for Nightingale in honour of Jenny Lind, "The Swedish Nightingale" who at the time was touring the United States.
- 1851 June 16
Launched a the shipyard of Samuel Hanscomb Jr,
Portsmouth, NH, for Captain A.F Miller, Boston, MA.
- 1851 September 6
- Sold at auction in Boston for $ 43.500 to
Davis & Co. Sailed for Sampson & Tappan's
Pioneer Line of Australian Packets.
- 1851 October 18
- Sailed from Boston for Sydney in 90 days under
command of Captain John H. Fiske.
- 1852 July 31 - December 11
- Sailed with a cargo of tea from Shanghai to London in 133 days under command of Captain Samuel W. Mather.
- 1853 August 8 - November 29
- Sailed with a cargo of tea from Woosung to London in 113 days.
- 1854 May 20 - August 2
- Sailed a general cargo and 125 passenger from New York to Hobson's Bay, Melbourne, in 75 days. The abstract log was reprinted in Volume III (1855-56) of the U.S. Nautical Magazine.
- 1855 February 16 - May 21
- Sailed with a cargo of tea from Shanghai to London in 94 days.
- Sailed with a cargo of tea from Shanghai to New York in 88 days.
- 1858 December 17 - May 18
- Sailed from Boston to San Francisco in 152 days under command of Captain Peterson.
- Sold to Salem, MA, and was sent to Rio de Janeiro where she was again sold.
- 1861 April 21
- Captured by boats from the USS Saratoga while engaged in slaving off Kabenda, Africa.
- 1861 July 6
- Sold to the United States Government for $ 13.000. Fitted out as a coal and store ship, the Nightingale was commisioned on August 18 with Acting Master David B. Horne in command.
- Fitted out as an ordnance ship at Pensacola.
- 1864 June 9
- Returned to the Boston Navy Yard where she was decommisioned on June 20.
- 1865 February 11
- Sold at auction in Boston to D.E Mayo, Boston, for $ 11.000.
- Sold to the Western Union Telegraph Co. in San Francisco
for $ 23.381 to be used for laying a telegraph cable across the Behring
Straits. [Fairburn has April 1866]
- 1868 September
- Sold to Samuel G. Reed & Co., Boston, MA.
- Sold to George Howes in San Francisco for $ 11.500. Sailed from San Francisco to New York with a cargo of oil [?].
- Sold to S.P. Olsen, Krager°, Norway, for $ 15.000. [Howe & Matthews has 1876].
- 1882 June 19 - July 8
- Sailed from Quebec to London in __ days.
The old clipper ship John Bertram that left at the same time arrived to London four days later.
- Reduced to barque rig during the winter, when also the deckshouse was removed.
- 1893 April 17
- Abandonded at sea en route Liverpool -
Halifax, NS, under command of Captain Chr. Ingebritsen, Krager°.
[Brighton has April 5]
This figurehead was exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Art in Stockholm,
September 1-9, 1996, during the Royal Swedish Festival (Svenskt Festspel).
- Clipper Ship Nightingale - Getting Under Weigh off the Battery,
New York. Lithograph after painting by James Edward Buttersworth, published by N. Currier, 1854.
- At anchor off the Battery. Oil painting by James Edward Butterworth. Private
- At anchor off the Battery, New York. Lithograph after painting by Buttersworth, published by N. Currier, 1854.
- At anchor off the Battery. Lithograph by Emrik & Binger. 19x26 cm, fp to
- A lithograph of the Nightingale was also published in The U.S. Nautical Magazine, Vol. I (1854). This is presumably a small scale copy of the preceeding lithograph.
- At anchor in a Chinese harbour. Painting by an anonymous Chinese painter, Marine Historical Society, Mystic, CT.
- Barque rigged under Norwegian flag. P.C. Holm or W.H. Yorke.
- Clipper ships, general references.
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. V, pp 89-91.
- The U.S. Nautical Magazine, Vol. III (1855-56).
- Brighton, Ray: Clippers of the Port of Portsmouth and the Men who built
The Portsmouth Marine Society, Portsmouth, NH, 1985.
- Howe, Octavius T. & Matthews, Frederick C.: American Clipper Ships
Argosy Antiquarian Ltd, New York, 1967/1927.
- Pedersen, Einar: Karager° Sj°fartshistoria fra 1850.
Bibliografisk forlag, Kragerø, 1980/1933.
- H.W. Schokker: Handboek voor de kennis van den scheepsbouw, voornamelijk met het oog op het amerikaansche stetsel, naar de geschriften van John W. Griffiths en andere bronnen.
Gebroeders Kraay, Amsterdam, 1861. p 349.
Updated 2000-01-11 by
Sj÷historiska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives |
American clipper ships
Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.