In 1869, American George Peabody died in his adopted country: Britain. Here his body is being loaded on the HMS Monarch, Britain's newest warship, for the trip back to the United States for burial. Peabody’s London to Portsmouth funeral train is in the background.
Even though much of the wealth of Bristol and Liverpool merchants came from the slave trade, in 1807 the British Parliament outlawed it. This was at the height of the Napoleonic war, two years after Trafalgar. The Royal Navy was fully committed against the French. The Admiralty sent two warships to West Africa on anti-slavery patrol despite the fact that the war with France and then the United States demanded most of the Navy’s ships.
“Dodging the Pilots off Sandy Hook, August 11, 1893”
Antonio Jacobsen, signed, 1893
This must have been an interesting day. Captain Higgins of the barkentine Mannie Swan had years of experience sailing from New York, his home port. He wanted to save a little money by not using a pilot.
There are three pilot boats trying to get close to the Swan. Higgins is passing the Scotland lightship off Sandy Hook marking the shoal named for the 1866 wreck of the steamer Scotland.
Built in 1854 for C.H. Marshall and Company, by then the owners and operators of New York's famous Black Ball packet line, by William H. Webb, New York's premier ship builder. It is possible that Antonio Jacobsen saw her for she ran for C.H. Marshall until 1881, surviving on what the steamships which had largely taken over the passenger trade could not carry. She was sold to Bremen in 1881 and continued until about 1890. If Jacobsen did not see her and sketch her himself, he may have had access to photographs of the ship, or other data.
Built by John McDonald of Bath Maine, for Bath's Flint & Co. in 1881. Captained by Searsport masters until sold into the San Francisco salmon trade in 1900. Theodore P. Colcord sailed her until 1894; he was succeeded by a Carver and finally Charles M. Nichols. At anchor, she was sunk by a steamer in the fog in Seattle harbor in 1918.
The Phineas Pendleton was built in 1866 at Dunning Yard in Brewer, Maine, and was named for a Searsport captain, whose son Phineas Pendleton Jr. was her captain until 1873. 1332 tons, 185'x 37' x 23' Lost by fire at Manila in 1885. Liverpool artist Charles Waldron specialized in paintings for the American market.
Packet ships were vessels that sailed on a schedule. The service begain in 1817 with three ships sailing from New York to Liverpool. Liverpool and New York were the principal ports but Boston and Philadelphia were other major ports, and packet lines were established to most of the major European ports.
HMS Sheldrake was one of the hundreds of small warships used by the Royal Navy for inshore patrols, conveying merchant ships, and hunting slavers, pirates and privateers. She was a 16-gun brig built in 1806, and sold in 1816.
In 1811, Sheldrake under Commander James P. Stewart distinguished herself. Serving in the Baltic against the Danes, she fought gunboats four times and captured or destroyed five. To finish off the year she took a French privateer. Stewart was promoted to Captain for his good work.