Hudson River Steamboat Company

"Clermont" aka "The Steamboat" & "North River Steamboat of Clermont", launched 1807
size: 149' long x 18' wide x 7' draft (original size was 133' long-then modified )
owner: Hudson River Steamboat Company-Robert Fulton & Robert Livingston
( Clermont was name of Livingson's estate on the Hudson River at Germantown, NY)
Capt Andrew Brink & Capt Bartholomew, service from Albany to NYC
Raritan" launched 1807 service on Raritan River
Car of Neptune" launched 1807 175 x 24 served Albany to NYC, Capt Roorbach
Paragon" launched 1811, 173 x 27 x 9 service on Hudson River, Capt. Wiswell
New Orleans", 138 x 30
Fire Fly", 100 x 19 x 7 served NYC to Newburgh,NY
Jersey", 78 x 32 x 7 ferry boat, launched 1812
Richmond", 153 x 29 x 10 launched 1813 service on Hudson River
Washington", 155 x 25 x 9 launched 1813, served on Potomoc River
York", 78 x 32 x7 ferry boat launched 1813
Nassau", 78 1/2' x 33 x 7, ferry boat launched 1813, served from Brooklyn Ny to Connecticut
Fulton", 134 x 30 x 9 launched 1813, served Long Island Sound.
Fulton the First", 156 x 56 x 20, launched 1814 was a vessel-of-war built for defense of New York
harbors, based at Navy Yard.
Olive Branch", 134 x 30 x 8, launched 1816 service from NY to New Brunswick, Canada.
Emperor of Russia", 134 x 30 1/2 x 9 1/2, launched 1816
Chancellor Livingston", 156 x 34 x 10 1/2 launched 1816 served Hudson River.
Last Fulton & Livingston boat built--only one to be coal-fired (others were wood-fired)
Comet #1 was boat owned by a Mr Bell.

Sincerly, Ronald Fulton
Researching Bokanovich and Fulton families.

01/22/1999: From what I have read so far it looks like Robert Fulton & Robert Livingston had a different company setup for the various rivers they operated boats on. As of now I don't have any info on demise of boats. I will keep on the look out for more info. I can't come up with a direct tie to "Toot" (that was Robert's nickname-given to him by his friend Robert Barlow way before his steamboat days) but am probably distantly related w a y back. Sources were "Robert Fulton His Life and its Results" by Robert Thurston and "Robert Fulton Engineer and Artist" by H.W. Dickinson. Will keep you posted. Ron



The steamer PENNSYLVANIA and Capt. John Klinefelter were involved in a real brough-ha-ha in 1854. The city of Wheeling had built a suspension bridge that hung unusually low to the water. So low that it presented a problem for steamboats (many operating out of Pittsburgh) with high smokestacks. Pittsburghers went so far as going to the U.S. Supreme Court to have the bridge declared a hazard to navigation - infuriating the people of Wheeling. In May of 1854, a bad wind storm totally wrecked the bridge. To celebrate this destruction, Capt. Klinefelter took his Pittsburgh-owned PENNSYLVANIA past the wrecked bridge and lowered the stacks on his boat. This act of lowering his stacks for a bridge that was no longer there made tempers in Wheeling flare. A mob gathered and began throwing stones and brick-bats at the vessel, which quickly departed the hostile area. The local Wheeling paper denounced Klinefelter's actions as "outrageous."
From Jerry Canavit

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Edgar F. Mabrey

From: Ralph Mabrey
Date: Fri Jul 10 03:39:19 1998

Captain Edgar F. Mabrey & Streckfus Steamers

My dad, Capt. Eddie Mabrey, was a master for Streckfus on the S.S. Washington.
Served on the St. Paul\Senator and Capital.  He was port Captain during the
1937 flood when they wintered their Steamboats at Paducah. He also drove the
first rivet on their flagship the S.S. Admiral in St. Louis. In 1948 he
rebuilt the Idlewild into the Avalon in New Orleans for Berger Beer and
served as her master the first season. I have many fond memories of that
season an the annual relief trips on the Avalon and the Admiral until his
death in 1965. As many oldtimers say, once steamboating is in your blood,
you are never happy anywhere else. 


Anthony G. Medine
Anthony Gatien Medine, son of John and Augustine Medine, was born
December 31, 1859 at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and died May 27, 1937 at
New Orleans.  On January 8, 1887, he married Emma Vick Glover, daughter
of John George and Emily Vick (Morse) Glover of New Orleans.  They had
two sons and one daughter.

Submitted by Mary (Sapp) Gregg, great niece of Captain Medine's wife,
Emma (Glover) Medine, The following obituary is from The Times Picayune,
published in New Orleans, June 1, 1937, page 2, column 2.

[The name is pronounced "ma-dean" with the accent on the second syllable.]
Pilot Who Beat Record of Robert E. Lee Is Dead Captain Medine, Former Master of Packet J. M. White, Expires Here By Meigs O. Frodt(?)
Tales of Mississippi river steamboat days during the pageant of the packets were retold by old-timers in New Orleans Monday as news spread that Captain Anthony G. Medine, 78 years old, 2125 St. Charles avenue, had died Saturday after a long illness of which even close friends were not aware and had been interred Sunday in St. John's cemetery. Captain Medine lived out the later years of his life as an attache of the civil district court in New Orleans, the city where once he was a popular hero. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. John H. Peterson, and a son, Walter Medine of Los Angeles, Cal. He was pilot of the biggest, fastest, costliest packets in the history of steamboating on the Mississippi river. He was pilot of the J. M. White, king of the packet fleet for all time, when she beat the upstream record of the historic Robert E. Lee to a point below Vicksburg, Miss., and Captain John W. Tobin wouldn't let the record be announced or the trial carried any further because of his veneration for the name "Robert E. Lee" and his affection for Captain John W. Cannon, that steamboat's owner. He was the pilot who for years held the secret of how to run at top speed up and down the winding Mississippi river channel through blackest night or thickest fog and only recently was it learned that his secret was an almost uncanny power of hearing, so that he judged his distance from both river banks by the time it took the echoes of his steamboat whistle to come back to him. He was the pilot who never lost a steamboat, never "piled her up" on a sandbar or against a bank, never had a boiler explosion or disastrous fire, never smashed into a hull-ripping snag, never lost a passenger or a dollar's worth of cargo. He carried in his ships cargoes estimated in excess of $100,000,000 in value, and thousands of passengers. He rode the Mississippi river on the Robert E. Lee, a boy of 11, when she raced and beat the Natchez, in 1870, and on that trip was born his ambition to become a great pilot and beat the Robert E. Lee's record. The J. M. White was under charter to Captain Cannon, and under another pilot when the packet burned with a loss of some 20 lives and all her cargo at Blue Store(?) landing, Pointe Coupee parish, December 13, 1886. In the mid-1890s, Captain Tony retired from the river with the slackening of river traffic. He opened the Medine Music Company on Carondelet street. The business did not prosper. He took a position as attache of the civil district court. Sight and health failed slowly. But he went his quiet way uncomplaining. The man who had been a popular New Orleans hero vanished from public view but not from the memory of those who know the river's history. ------------- Anthony Gatien Medine, son of John and Augustine Medine, was born December 31, 1859 at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and died May 27, 1937 at New Orleans. On January 8, 1887, he married Emma Vick Glover, daughter of John George and Emily Vick (Morse) Glover of New Orleans. They had two sons and one daughter.
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Steamboat Company of Georgia

The below entries are from those who have provided information on this
 From Dee Swymer:
I have found out a little more about the Steamboat Company of Georgia. 
Apparently, I have a distant relative (John Swymer) that may have
captained 5 (1823-1834) of the 13 boats owned by this company.  The
steamers were:  the Samuel Howard, the Altamaha, the Georgia, the
Savannah, and the Edgefield.  I am interested in finding out more about
the company, the captain, and the boats.  I will forward some additional
info that I have collected thus far in another message.  I don't know
how accurate it is.
Thanks again!


The Steamboat Company of Georgia was incorporated in 1817 and was in full 
operation in 1823. The original charter expired in 1837, but was extended 
20 years from that date. At various times, the company owned some 13 boats. 
Of these, John Swymer is known to have mastered or captained at least 5. 
#1 was built in Charleston, S.C. in 1817; 138 ton side-wheeler; the 3rd 
steamer on the Savannah River; was one of the first boats to try to go to 
Darien and to probe the Altamaha and Oconee Rivers; she seemed to be the 
vessel that towed new steamers OCMULGEE and SAMUEL HOWARD to Savannah from 
Charleston; final fate unknown. SAMUEL 
HOWARD was built in Charleston, S.C. in 1819; 195 ton side-wheeler; 
the hull was built in Charleston and towed to Savannah by Captain Talmadge 
on the steamer GEORGIA; then, the hull was fitted with engines and finished; 
she was considered one of the fastest of the early boats making the trip 
to Augusta in 2 days, 7 hours; she was one of the early boats used on the 
Altamaha and Oconee Rivers; her last recorded trip was December 7, 1829; 
reported abandoned in 1830. SAVANNAH 
was built in 1828 in Savannah; 152 ton side-wheeler; she spent her entire 
lifetime on the Savannah River; called one of the "good boats" on the river, 
no snagging or running aground ever reported; carried largest number of 
cotton bales at one trip (March 4, 1833) ever listed; 1829 bales; last record: 
June 16, 1834; final fate unknown. ALTAMAHA 
#1 was built in Charleston about 1817; arrived at Savannah on October 
27, 1818, in tow of CAROLINA; final fate unknown. EDGEFIELD 
was built 1824 in Charleston; 227 ton side-wheeler; spent her entire lifetime 
on the Charleston, Savannah, Hamburg, Augusta run; reportedly sank at Burton's 
Ferry on Savannah River in 1835. Source: River Highway of Trade: The SAVANNAH 
by Ruby Rahn, published by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Office, 
Savannah, 1968. Source: Tidecraft by Rusty Fleetwood, Coastal Heritage Society 
(page 91) talks about the formation of the Steamboat Company of Georgia. 
Magic Cabin
More on the Steamboat Company of Georgia
From Ken Hulme
     To: Dee Swymer as an enclosure:
"In 1816, the brothers Samuel and Charles Howard received the exclusive
right to navigate Georgia state waterways by steam-powered vessel and
formed the Steamboat Company of Georgia. They built a 90-foot vessel, which
they named "ENTERPRISE", for service between 
Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. She was the first tow boat launched in America, 
and although she was built to pull cotton barges, she was capable of much 
more. On May 11, 1816, the "Enterprise" impressed her owners and other interested 
onlookers by pulling a large ship named the "Georgia" down river from Savannah 
to Five Fathoms at a speed of five knots. Two months later, she was used 
to tow another large vessel, the "Arethusa", from the harbor at Charleston, 
South Carolina to the outer buoy several miles away. When doing the work 
for which she was designed, the "Enterprise" easily handled two of the 70 
to 90-foot cotton barges. To the delight of the Howard brothers, she also 
paid for herself by generating passenger revenues." Way's packet Directory 
doesn't show any of the boats in your list. Neither does Hunter's "Steamboats 
on Western Rivers" For documents relating to the vessels, I recommend the 
National Archives & Records Administration, in Washington, DC (they may 
have an office in Atlanta or somewhere too, they have a western brach in 
Seattle, WA). The records you would ask about are called Certificates of 
Enrollment, sort of like a car's registration... Sorry we can't be of any 
more help right now; we'll keep our eyes open for you though; Ken Hulme 
& Sharon Kouns

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