Ocean Express

A medium clipper ship built in 1854 by J.O. Curtis, Medford, MA. Dimensions 215'2"×41'0"×24'5" and 1697 tons OM and 1483 tons NM. Her figurehead was a gilded eagle.

Originally rigged with single topsails and was later re-rigged as a barque.

Launched at the shipyard of J.O. Curtis, Medford, MA, for Reed, Wade & Co., Boston. In command of Captain Thomas Cunningham [1815-1896]. The last ship in which Captain Cunningham sailed was the ,Ocean Express," a clipper ship Of 2,000 tons, and one of the finest that ever sailed out of Boston. The ship was built at Medford under his personal supervision, in 1854, and cost $98,ooo. Her first freight bill was $83,500 for a trip from Chinchilla Island to Liverpool with guano.
1854 August 22
Sailed from Boston to Callao in 99 days.
Sailed from Callao to Liverpool in 87 days.
1855 August
The crew mutined and refused work off Rock Light, Liverpool. Although the two ringleaders were arrested, the rest of the crew still refused to work.
Sailed from Liverpool to New York in 36 days.
Rerigged with Howes' double top-sails.
1855 November 13 - Marc 27
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 133 days. The total distance sailed was 15.858 miles which gives a saily average of 117 miles. The cargo had a value of $60.441. [Howe & Matthews have November 11 and 135 days.]
Sailed from San Francisco to Callao in 45 days.
Sailed from Callao to Philadelphia in 92 days.
1858 January 8 - May 13
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 124 days. Hotchkiss [Howe & Matthews have 125 days]
1859 March 13 - August 1
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 140 days. In command of Captain Willis. The ship Amos Lawrence udner command of Captain Nickerson left New York at the same time as the Ocean Express and docked in San Francisco at the same tide. [Howe & Matthews have 136 days]
1860 July 10 - November 30
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 144 days. [Howe & Matthews have 139 days]
Employed during the winter months as a transport for the US Army.
Sailed from New York for San Francisco but sprung a leak off Cape Horn and had to put back to Rio de Janeiro for repairs.
1863 January
Arrived in San Francisco 74 days from Rio de Janeiro and 208 days from New York.
Sailed from London to San Francisco in 129 days.
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 148 days.
Sailed from Liverpool to San Francisco in 129 days.
Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 133 days.
1870 July
Left Bahia in ballast for San Francisco but had to put into Montevideo on September 9 leaking badly. Returned home after temporary repairs. Subsequently re-built at a cost of $60.000.
Sailed from Boston to San Francisco in 137 days.
Sold to Peruanian owners for 75.000 soles.
Sold to Reederei Fr. Roters, Bremerhaven, for $30.000 and was renamed Friedrich.
Sold to Norwegian owners.
Registered in Porsgrund.
Abandoned in the North Atlantic.



Updated 2001-02-03 by Lars Bruzelius

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