Pioneer Line of Australian Packets.

Among the numerous lines of sailing vessels which unite this commercial metropolis to every quarter of the globe, the pioneer line of Australian packets is not the least imposing. We, are and ever have been, disposed to give preference to regular lines of transit, because of the reliability secured to passengers, over that found in the transient vessel, as to time of sailing, as well as the length of the voyage. In taking the average time of seven steamers, (for ocean travel is now measured by days and hours, instead of miles, as formerly,) from Southampton, England, to Melbourne, we find that 96½ days were required to make the passage, which is more than the vessels of this line require, although the distance from New-York to Melbourne is greater than from Southampton thence, by several days. The proprietors of this line deserve the highest credit for the bold and enterprising spirit developed in its construction, both as it regards the character of the vessels, and their determination to make this not only the first, but the best, line of clipper ships to Australia. We had designed to publish the log of the Nightingale one of the ships of the line, but shall be unable to do so in the present number. We shall endeavor, however, to make amends by inserting a lithograph of the vessel herself, inasmuch as the particulars of her construction are beyond our reach, consequent upon the decease of her builder.

The following letter from Messrs. Sampson & Tappan, of Boston, to R.W. Cameron, Esq., of 116 Wall Street, one of the proprietors and agent of the line, will speak for itself:--

Boston, January 10, 1855.

R.W. Cameron, Esq., New-York:--

Dear Sir:-- We have no abstract of the log of ship Nightingale. Capt. writes us he has one, and shall send it to Lieut. Maury. From his letter we give you the following:- Ship had 75 days 16 hours from anchorage to anchorage; 30½ days to the line, all the time light baffling airs and calms; from the line into anchorage at Hobson Bay, Melbourne, 45 days, which is the shortest passage on record.

We cannot give you the particulars of the ship, as we never had them, beyond simply length, breadth, &c. Her builder died some year or more since. Her dead rise we measured when in dock, and it was forty-five inches!

In going to Melbourne she run as far South as 57°; in the longitude, 120° East.

We take from the register the following:-- 177 9-10 feet length; 36 feet beam; 1,066 12-95 tons.

Depth of hold, we think, is 19, and may be 20 feet, but we are not sure.

We wish we could give friends Griffiths & Bates more valuable information about this sweet craft.

We are truly yours,

Sampson & Tappan

The following is the order in which the ships of this line have sailed for Sydney and Melbourne, which we presume, is a sufficient guarantee for future regularity:--

Revenue, 1,300 tons, July, 1852. Edward, 1,400 tons, October, 1853.
Epaminondas, 1,400 tons, Aug., 1852. Ocean Steed, 1,600 tons, Nov., 1853.
Ocean Eagle, 1,450 tons, Sept., 1852. Carthage, 900 tons, December, 1853.
Oneco, 1,500 tons, October, 1852. Albert Franklin, February, 1854.
Scargo, 1,450 tons, December, 1852. Nightingale, 1,066 tons, May, 1854.
Baltimore, 1,300 tons, January, 1853. Gertrude, 1,200 tons, July, 1854.
Euphrasia, 1,200 tons, March, 1853. Flying Scud, 1,713 tons, Sept., 1854.
Oregon, 1,000 tons, March, 1853. Nimrod, 800 tons, October, 1854.
Nimrod, 800 tons, April, 1853. Tropic, 700 tons, December, 1854.
Sea Ranger, 1,200 tons, July, 1853. Windward, 800 tons, Dec., 1854.
Lady Franklin, 900 tons, Aug., 1853. Ocean Queen, January, 1855.

The new clipper ship Georges, of 1,200 tons, will succeed the Ocean Queen, and sail on the 1st of March, 1855. Australia when first discovered, in 1787, was called Botany Bay.

The U.S. Nautical Magazine, Vol. III (1855-56), p 144.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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