The Boston Daily Atlas, November 2, 1852.

The New Packet Ship Orient, of New York.

There is a massive boldness in the outline of this splendid ship, which impresses the eye favourably at first sight, and this impression becomes confirmed when she is inspected with the closest scrutiny. Built of oak, in the most substantial style, strongly fastened with copper, iron and treenails, and finished in the first style of workmanship, she is at once an object of wonder and admiration.

She is 1560 tons register, and has the stowage capacity of full 5800 bales of New Orleans cotton; yet her ends are easy, which, taken in connection with her great length and buoyancy of floor, give promise of almost clipper speed. On the keel she is 191 feet 3 inches long; on the upper deck (for she has 3 decks,) from the fore part of them stem to the after part of the sternpost, she is 201 feet 1 inch long; and over all, from the knightheads to the taffrail, about 215 feet; her extreme breadth, which is at the height of 13 feet from the top of the keel, is 41 feet 8 inches; her width at the planksheer is 38 feet 3½ inches; and her whole depth, from the ceiling on the floor to the top of the upper deck, is 29 feet 6 inches. Her dead rise at half floor is 11 inches, and sheer 3½ feet. She is planked up flush to the planksheer, has rounded or convex lines, and a carved and gilded billet head, with ornamental carving upon the trail boards and navel hoods. The moulding of the planksheer is carried forward to the billet, and forms the lower outline of her head boards. Her stern is light and well proportioned; swells gently outwards between the quarter timbers, and between the arch-board and the rail. Instead of windows, it has circular plate glass ports, is spanned by an arch of gilded carved work, in the apex of which is a small female bust, and below which are branches of ornamental gilt-work, tastefully arranged. Her name and port of hail are painted white upon the arch-board. Her bottom is green, for she is not yet coppered; along the waist she has a tier of painted ports in a white streak, and the rest of her hull outside is painted black; inside she is painted buff colour relieved with white.

Her bulwarks are 5 feet high, surmounted by a monkey rail of 16 inches, and the spaces between the main and rack rails are clamped inside and out, and these clamps are bolted vertically and horizontally.

She has a topgallant forecastle 40 feet long, with two of Perley's patent capstans on it, and below this deck there are spacious accommodations for the crew, and in the after wings of it, are several necessary apartments. Her windlass is very stout and strongly secured, and she will have Crane’s self-acting chain stoppers.

Abaft the foremast amidships is a house 45 feet long by 16 wide and 7 high, which contains a sick-bay, two galleys, 4 state-rooms, passages to the main deck, and a trunk ventilator, which communicates with the deck below. Of these ventilators she has several fore and aft, which also answer the purposes of skylights, for they are covered with glass, and have upper sections which are always open. Beside these, she has our friend Emerson's patent ventilators forward and aft, and brass ventilators along the line of her planksheer and in her bitts.

Abaft the mainmast is a square house, which protects the entrance to the deck below, and has also a skylight ventilator in it.

She has a half poop deck, with a trunk built into it, and a shell-house on its after part, with a passage way between it and the trunk. The after cabin contains 3 state-rooms, &c, and a staircase leading aft to the wheel-house. It is wainscotted with mahogany, set off into Gothic-arched panels, relieved with enamelled white pilasters, richly fringed with flowered gilding. The forward cabin contains three state rooms and the pantry, and is tastefully grained, and has a small anteroom which communicates with the quarter deck; and the windows are all of stained glass.

Her deck room is spacious and well arranged for a working ship. On the quarter deck she has a patent capstan, and two winches on each side, one forward, the other aft.

Her second cabin is on the main deck aft, and contains 22 large staterooms, with four berths in each. These rooms are all put up with screws, so that when the spacious is required for the stowage of cargo they can be taken down with ease. This cabin is well lighted and ventilated, and contains all the apartments and conveniences peculiar to packet ships.

The main deck contains her chain locker forward, has three large cargo ports in each side, and is painted white. The lower deck has a ballast port on each side, and the height of each deck is between 7 and 8 feet, and both are admirably designed for the accommodation of passengers. Every entrance to the deck below from the upper deck, is protected from rain and sea.

The above will give some idea of her general outline. We will now give a few details of her materials, and the style of her construction.

Her keel is of rock maple, sided 16 inches, and is moulded 2 feet forward and 20 inches aft, with 3 inches depth of shoe. The stem is of white oak, 16 inches at the bottom, including the gripe left on, 2 feet 6 inches, and at the top 15 inches, and is sided the same as the keel. The sternpost is also oak, from 22½ inches to 16; and the stern is framed out solid, with cant timbers, without transoms, the whole bolted together in the most substantial style. Her frame is entirely of New Hampshire white oak. The floor timbers on the keel are moulded 17 inches, and sided about 13½, and the ends of the navel timbers, where they butt on the keel, were each bolted into it, before the keelson was laid.

The lower main keelson is of oak, 16 inches square, and every floor timber is bolted through it and the keel was 1¼ inch copper. The second and third keelsons are each 16 by 14 inches, of hard pine, with a rider of 16 by 4 inches, of white oak, all closely bolted. Her depth of back bone is 7½ feet. She has two tiers of sister keelsons, the first 16 inches square, and the second 12 by 13, bolted vertically and horizontally, and in the wake of the main hatchway and opposite the mainmast, there are abuttors or backers of the same dimensions as the sister keelsons, to which they are bolted, and through every timber, with 1¼ inch fastening. The ceiling on the floor is of white oak, 4 inches thick, square fastened with spikes. From 6 feet outside of the sister keelsons over the whole turn of the bilge, the ceiling is 12 inches thick, and none of the ceiling in the hold is less than 7 inches thickness, and all the heavy work is scarphed upon the flat, the clamps upon the edges, and all are square bolted; in a word, she is square bolted throughout; and, in addition, every plank was bolted edgeways at every 5 feet, as the work was put together. The lower ends of the hanging knees in the hold rest upon a stringer of 12 by 14 inches, which is 4 feet 10 inches below the deck, and connects with the hooks forward and aft. There are 4 hooks and pointers in each end, 3 of which fay to the knees under the beams. Her ends are almost filled with massive oakwork.

The lower deck beams are 19½ by 15½ amidships, those under the main deck 17½ by 14½, and those under the upper deck 14 by 8, all, of course, tapered at the ends, and all of hard pine. The knees and stanchions in the hold are all of oak; the hanging knees are 44 in number, mostly moulded 22 inches in the angles, and sided 12 inches, with 18 bolts and 4 spikes in each. The lodging knees are sided 9 inches, and are scarphed together in every berth. The stanchions are kneed in the wake of the hatchways, and are also clasped with iron.

Her lower deck waterways are of hard pine, 17 inches square, with thick work inside and over them, and the ceiling above is 6 inches thick. The main deck hanging knees are 54 in number, and are of hacmatack, but the lodging knees are of oak. Her main deck waterways are 16 inches square, also supported and strengthened by thick work over and inside of them, and the ceiling above is 6 inches thick. Except in the thick work, the bolt heads are plugged over, presenting a smooth surface. The knees in this deck are all of hacmatack, and the stanchions between both decks are truned and secured with iron rods through their centres. Between each of the decks, too, there are massive hooks, which completely span the angles of the ends, and there are also hooks below and above the bowsprit.

The upper deck waterways are of white pine, 11½ inches deep by 11½ wide, with thick strakes inside of them. Her lower deck is of hard pine, 3 inches thick, and the two others are of white [sic], ½ inch thicker.

All her outside planking (except 6 feet 8 inches of topsides, which are of hard pine,) is of selected white oak. The garboards are 7 inches thick, the second strake 6, and the third 5, graduated to 4 without projection, and the wales are 5½ inches thick, and she is butt and bilge bolted with copper, and square fastened with locust treenails. Her planksheer and main rail are each 6½ inches thick.

She is a full-rigged ship, and has made fore and main masts; the mizzen mast is of a single spar. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards:



























































































The bowsprit is 36 inches in diameter and 30 feet outboard; jibboom 18 inches in diameter, and divided at 16½ and 15½ feet for the two jibs, with 5 feet end, and is 18 feet inboard; spanker boom 50 feet long, gaff 36 feet, main spencer gaff 20 feet, and the other spars in proportion. her fore stays set up to the knight heads, the main and maintopmast stays to the bitts before the foremast; and all her standing rigging is of four stranded patent rope, wormed, and fitted in excellent style. Her masts are white, the yards black and booms bright. She has the chain and iron work about the bowsprit and aloft, now in general use, such as bobstays, bowsprit shrouds, patent trusses, futtock rigging, chain topsail ties and sheets, &c.

She is seasoned with salt, and, as already stated, is well ventilated. These details will convey but a very imperfect idea of her strength; she must be seen to be properly appreciated. All who have inspected her say that she is the most thorough built merchant ship which has ever been produced in New Hampshire -- and this is saying much, when we call to mind that New Hampshire built vessels rank among the first of all American vessels at Lloyd's.

She has very heavy ground tackle, six boats, four pumps, and in every other detail is most amply equipped. Mr. George Raynes, well known as the builder of the splendid packet ship Constantine, the clippers Witch of the Wave, Sea Serpent, and Wild Pigeon, built her, and owns a part of her, and she is designed for Messrs. Spofford, Tileston & Co's line of New York and Liverpool packets, and these gentlemen are her principal owners. Messrs. T.B. Maxwell and Jeremiah Wintringham, her commander, Capt. Francis M. French, a veteran in the packet service, also are interested in her. We advise the New York mechanics to inspect her; they will find her every inch, a far superior vessel to the imperfect sketch we have given of her. Bear in mind that she was built by the day, in contradiction to contract jobs, and that no expense was spared to make her a perfect ship.

New York Herald, March 8th, 1853

Ship Orient, HILL, Liverpool Feb 3rd with 650 passengers to Stofford Tileston and Co. Feb 20th, 5am, Chas QUACKENBUSH a seaman, a native of Germany, fell from the rigging overboard, it being dark and blowing hard, at the time, it was impossible to render him any assistance. 23rd, lat 42 07, lon 57 40, exchanged signals with the ship SHENANDOAH, from Liverpool for Philadelphia, parted company March 3rd off Nantucket. There were three births and two deaths on the passage.

Liverpool Mercury May 27, 1853

We have seen a very complimentary letter which was presented to the surgeon of the packet ship Orient of the “Black Star Line”, by the passengers lately arrived in the vessel.

The letter speaks in the warmest terms of the services of the medical officer. We understand on her passage out the Orient had 900 emigrants on board, and that only one death, that of an infant occurred. Dr DOUGLAS the medical superintendent of emigrants at Quebec has also written to the same gentleman complimenting him on his services on board emigrant ships.

Morning Chronicle, Dec 27th, 1854

Affray on Shipboard

One of those disgraceful affrays which are a disgrace to the American merchant service and the frequent occurrence of which is a reproach to the consul at this port, occurred on Sunday on board the ship Orient as she was being towed out of the Waterloo Dock for the purpose of proceeding to sea. A dispute arose among the men, in the course of which blows were exchanged and knives drawn. One man Daniel O’Riley was so severely stabbed in the right breast that one of his ribs were divided, he was removed to the Northern Hospital where he remains in a dangerous state. The ship was detained and the man who had inflicted the blow was given into the custody of the police, and will be brought before Mr MANSFIELD.

Chester Chronicle December 30th 1854

Dreadful stabbing case

On Sunday last soon after the ship “Orient”, Captain HILL bound for new York had entered the Mersey from the Waterloo Dock, Samuel DAVIES, 3rd mate of the ship was giving some orders to John ROBERTS, a seaman, who is a native of America, when the latter drew his knife and stabbed the mate severely below the breast bone, through the ribs. He was prevented from stabbing his victim a second time by some emigrants, although he made the attempt and Policeman 64 brought him to the bridewell. The wounded man was taken to the Northern Hospital where he now lies in a dangerous state.

The prisoner was brought before Mr MANSFIELD at the police court on Tuesday, and remanded, as it is doubtful whether the unfortunate man will recover. From the open state of the wound it appears that he screwed the knife round after inflicting the stab, a custom practised amongst Americans in order to make the wound more dangerous.

January 23rd 1855

Death from stabbing

On Sunday evening last Samuel DAVIES, alias O’RILEY, late mate of the ship Orient, died in the Northern Hospital from the effects of wounds inflicted on him on 24th December last. On that day a disturbance took place on the vessel lying in the river, outward bound for New York, where one of the crew John ROBERTS a seaman, stabbed him in the right breast, ROBERTS went before the magistrates and was committed to trial for the offence, and he is now a prisoner in Kirkdale Gaol. The principal witnesses, we understand, sailed with the vessel.

Crown Court, Tuesday March 27th, before Mr Baron PARKE

Fatal case of stabbing on the river Mersey

John ROBERTS aged 19, late a seaman on board the American ship Orient was indicted with the manslaughter of Daniel O’RILEY mate of the ship. On the vessel proceeding into the river from one of the docks on the 24th December last, the parties quarrelled and the mate laid hold of the prisoner for the purpose of compelling him to go up on deck, being below. A scuffle ensued and the deceased drew a pistol and threatened to shoot the prisoner, who thereupon drew his knife, and inflicted a wound in the chest of the mate. He was conveyed ashore to the Northern Hospital where he lingered for some days and then expired.

The Jury found the prisoner guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of the provocation he received. His Lordship sentenced him to three months.

Cruelty on board the American ship Orient, 1857

Liverpool Mercury, Nov 13th, 1857

Alleged cruelty on board an American ship

At the Thames police court on Tuesday a seaman, who gave the name of Charles Yates, entered the witness box and said he particularly wished to make a statement of the cruelty exercised towards him on board an American ship.

Mr Selfe, At Sea?

The Applicant, Yes Sir, on a voyage from New York to London

Mr Selfe, said he had no jurisdiction over offences committed on board American ships at sea, and if English seamen would place themselves out of the protection of their own flag the law of this country would not apply to them. If the applicant had been astruck in a British port he would obtain redress here.

The applicant said that he had been struck and very shamefully used on board an American ship at Liverpool.

Mr Selfe said he had no jurisdiction over offences committed at Liverpool, whether they were on board English or American ships. The applicant ought to have waited on Mr Mansfield, the stipendiary magistrate at Liverpool, who would have listened to his statement, and, if necessary, granted a summons or warrant. He had repeatedly had to listen to statements of illusage on board American ships on the high seas, and he believed that great tyranny had been too often practised on board the vessels of that country, both to American and other seamen of all nations.

The applicant said he wished to caution his countrymen against joining, American ships, for the laws of this country, it seemed, had no jurisdiction over them if offences were committed on the high seas, and it was impossible to obtain any redress if the party injured were in any port of the United States. He wished the magistrate to read a statement of the bad treatment he had received on board the American ship Orient a New York, packet ship, on her voyage from New York to Liverpool.

Mr Selfe said he had no time to do so, and the seaman who said he was a native of England, handed a written statement to a reporter. It was to the following effect :-

“On the 29th September I shipped on board the Orient, after being robbed by the shipping master of my advance. The crimps in New York have a practise of getting the advance into their own hands, and not giving the sailors whom they ship a copper of it. Soon after I got on board, the first act of cruelty was committed on a Dutchman, for some trifling offence. Mr Taylor the third mate, knocked him down on the dock like a bullock, then booted him, he kicked him about the body, the face, the nose and the eyes, so that the skin was completely knocked off the face of the man, and on the following day he could not see out of his eyes, and the deck where he was lying was covered in blood. A few days after that, while at sea, the third mate caught half a dozen of us together about 6pm, and cut our hair short close off, and we occasionally got a blow or two in the course of the night. A day or two after that I was coming from the main hatchway and the third mate took as strap, over two inches thick, and gave me a severe a cut with it across my back and chest, that I could not draw my breath or move for some time. I reasoned with him the next day on his cruelty, and he only acted the worse, for on every succeeding day he either kicked, knocked, or cut about with handspikes, hammers, his fists, ropes, or anything he could lay his hands on. One day the third mate struck four or five of us with a piece of wood as thick and as long as a policeman’s staff. He struck us on our heads. Charles Evans, one of the men who were struck, bled like a pig. He caused a large nail to be driven in the seat of the water closet, and made us draw it out with our teeth, under threat of some kind of torture if we refused. On two or three occasions when shortening sail, and while coming off the yards, the third mate stood in the quarter of the yard and kicked us as we came down the rigging. Charles Evans was all but gone overboard. I managed to escape that time by catching a rope and swinging myself into the rigging, but he saw me and cried out “You --------, I’ll give it you when you come down” and he was as good as his word, for he knocked me down like a bullock, then kicked me in the face and eyes, in fact, all the time I was in the ship I was never without a black eye or a bruised face. On day the second mate ordered me to get a broom out of the hands of another man and struck me with it across the arm, four or five times, causing me to drag my arm, and I could not use it until some days after I left the ship. The third mate was going to repeat this tyranny, when a gentleman passenger looked at him and interfered, and I got out of the way.

The third mate used to say he should take great delight in knocking out our brains, kick us overboard, or put us to some death or other. The boatswain and two of the crew named Devine and Dungaree Jack, were as great tyrants as the second mate, for they would commit the same cruelties. No it was many nights before we got into Liverpool these barbarians caused a noose to be made in one of the ropes from the mainmast, and made us put our legs in the noose, and the ship being on a wind, it had a lurch. They made us crawl up to windward, they pulling the end of the noose at the same time, then when as close up to the side of the ship as we could get, they would let us go, which caused us to swing round and round like a cat, and when we stooped our heads they would come in contact, and inflict tremendous blows, which took our senses away for some time. Other torturing operations were practised which would take me too long to describe. On the night we came into Liverpool docks, the boatswain, without any cause whatever, took a piece of wood or some instrument, and commenced striking four or five of us over the head. When he came to me he gave me a violent blow across the mouth, which laid both my lips open, and at the same time made a remark, “You -------, I’ll take care you shall not leave the ship without a broken head.”

Charles YATES, one of the crew from New York to Liverpool.

Liverpool Daily Post, 24th July 1858.

Testimonial to Captain George S. HILL

The following address was presented to Captain George S. HILL, the commander of the Orient, one of Messers GRIMSHAW and Co’s New York packet ships, upon his arrival at New York on his last voyage from this port :- “We the undersigned second-cabin passengers in the ship Orient, from Liverpool to New York desire to record this testimonial to Captain HILL, Mr WELLLS and the officers under their command for their care and attention to the health and comfort of the passengers, and the kind manner in which their duties were performed, so different and superior to that generally practised in emigrant ships. Signed by all the 2nd cabin passengers. New York harbour May 7th, 1858.”

Many of these passengers have previously made voyages between Liverpool and New York in both directions, and being, therefore, well able to know not only what should be done on board such ships, but also what is usually done, their grateful expression of satisfaction with the treatment received on board the Orient must be doubly pleasing to Captain HILL and his officers. The ship is now on the berth for New York, and we trust she will sail again with a full compliment of passengers, who may also experience the excellent treatment so highly spoken of by those who last sailed in her from our “good old town”

New York Herald, May 10th, 1862

American Shipmasters Association

No 51 Wall Street, rooms 23 and 25

The following officers have received certificates of this association:-

Captains, John H.STARKEY, bark Magnolia, John B. MORRISON, brig Revenue, Sam B. REED, ship Fawn, John REA, mate in the ship Orient. Geo J. GILES, ship Roanoke, Gilbert T. GOWDIE mate ship Colombo, Tobias ADAMS, Schr Kate Weston, Geo HAESLOOP, ship Cambria, Milo L. STOCKTON, mate of the ship President Filmore, Joseph J. ELWELL, ship Northampton, Geo S. LEWIS, bark Stampede, Rufus LODGE, bark Fanny Ealer, Henry T. WAITE, ship Uncle Toby, Danl MERRILL, brig Ella Maria, Timothy BATCHELDER, ship Harvest Queen, Elihu E. WINCHELL, ship Samuel Russell, Mariner CUNNINGHAM, mate ship Aurora.

John REA took command of the Orient in December 1864

New York Herald, July 3rd, 1869

Sip Orient, HILL, Cardiff, 25th May with 6966 bars of railway iron to Spofford Tileston and Co. Have had a continuation of light westerly winds with dense fog and much rain. June 13th Lat 44 lon 56 20, was boarded by boats from the following fishing schooners, Annie Hooper of Marblehead, Isaac Patch of Gloucester, John G. Cawell and Richoety of Marblehead. Tuesday May 11th, lost overboard from schr W. H & J. A. Hooper of Marblehead, Capt Christopher BURRAGE of Marblehead and a man belonging to Boston, name unknown.

New York Herald, October 3rd, 1872

Death, in London, on Saturday September 14th Elizabeth HILL, wife of Captain George S. HILL, of the ship Orient of New York

New York Herald, September 25th, 1879

New Orleans, Sept 24, An accident occurred on the ship Orient on Saturday caused by the giving way of a hawser by which the vessel was being towed. Edward HANSON, a seaman and William HALL  a stowaway boy, have since died of the injuries they received.

Chicago Daily Tribune, March 30th 1881

A sailor murdered.

New Orleans, March 29th, Last Friday night a sailor’s boarding house at Ball’s Head, was burnt down and Charles O’BRIEN mate of the ship Orient was supposed to have perished in the flames. Today the testimony of one of his comrades that O’BRIEN had been brutally beaten, and his skull fractured by a barkeeper named GOETZ, and he was put to bed drunk, bleeding and insensible. After the house was discovered to be on fire efforts were made to arouse him, and he was found to be dead. GOETZ was arrested today for the murder.


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