The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Erie (Steamboat), 1 Jun 1838

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STEAM BOAT ERIE. -- This splendid boat, just completed at this harbor, leaves this morning for Buffalo. A pleasure excursion was yesterday given to our citizens on board, which went off with great 'eclat'. The expectation of the owners and the public respecting this boat have been great, and, so far, nothing has occurred to weaken them. Her model is admirably calculated for speed, her frame strong, and style of finish superior. She is 176 feet in length, 27 and a half feet beam, and measures about 550 tons. Her engine (low pressure) was built by T. Holloway of Philadelphia, has a 52 inch cylinder with 10 feet stroke. Her cabins containing ample accommodations for 250 passengers, are fitted up and furnished in the best style; in addition to which she has 12 state rooms with three berths each. For speed it is thought she will not be surpassed by any boat on the lake.
      Capt. T. J. Titus, long and favorably known to the traveling public, lately as the master of the SANDUSKY, has been appointed to the command of the ERIE; and with his urbanity of manners and the superior accommodations furnished by the boat, we have no doubt a trip on board the ERIE will be quite as pleasant as by any other boat on the western lakes.
      Erie Observer
      May 26, 1838

      . . . . .

The following list is believed included all, or nearly all the steamboats at present employed on lake Erie. Several of the smaller onees towards the end of the list, are employed upon rivers and bays, and do not make the trips between Buffalo and Detroit. The tonnage is derived from various sources, and is probably near the mark.
      Names Captains Tons Built
CLEVELAND Hart 580 1837
JAMES MADISON Bristol 700 1837
MILWAUKIE Hazzard 500 1837
CONSTELLATION - - - - - 530 1837
BUNKER HILL Nickerson 470 1837
CONSTITUTION Appleby 500 1837
NEW ENGLAND Burnett 450 1837
GEN. WAYNE Pratt 400 1837
MICHIGAN Allen 462 1833
THOMAS JEFFERSON Wilkins 428 1835
SANDUSKY Titus 387 1834
COLUMBUS Walker 392 1835
PENNSYLVANIA Cotton 355 1833
DANIEL WEBSTER Tyler 376 1833
DeWITT CLINTON Squier 430 1836
UNITED STATES Shook 366 1834
MONROE Atwood 350 1835
COMMODORE PERRY Wilkinson 352 1835
ROBERT FULTON Hart 368 1835
NORTH AMERICA Edmunds 361 1834
RHODE ISLAND - - - - - 200 1837
NEW YORK Shepard 325 1833
O. NEWBERRY - - - - - 170 1833
* ERIE Edwards 150 1836 *
CINCINNATI Young 180 1836
GENERAL PORTER Norton 352 1834
C. TOWNSEND Fox 312 1835
OHIO - - - - - 171 1830
BARCELONA - - - - - 160 1836
W.F.P. TAYLOR - - - - - 125 1835
COMMERCE Stevens 80 1837
GOVERNOR MARCY McKenzie 161 1833
ECLIPSE - - - - - 240 1833
MAJOR DOWNING - - - - - 45 1834
MEZEPPA - - - - - 66 1835
Wm. PEACOCK - - - - - 120 1829
VICTORY - - - - - 77 1834
GENERAL JACKSON - - - - - 65 1833
GENERAL BRADY - - - - - 66 1833
MACOMB Allen small 1837
GENERAL GRATIOT Hanson 62 1831
      Many of the above boats are equal in point of strength, speed, and accommocations for passengers to any in the world. With disparagement to others, we boast the CLEVELAND, for beauty, speed, and luxury of furnishings; more competant judges than we are say she will not be surpassed at present. But she will have competitors probably in the three first of the following list of boats not completed; as well as in the MILWAUKIE of Buffalo which made one trip last season.
      Names Where Building Tons.
      ILLINOIS Detroit 700
      ERIE Erie 450
      BUFFALO Buffalo 700
      WISCONSIN Conneaut 600
      ROCHESTER Cleveland 400
      SAGINAW Sandusky 300
      OSCEOLA Ashtabula 400
      CHESAPEAKE Maumee 375
      PRESIDENT Huron - - -
      BELVIDERE Belvidere - - -
      OSCEOLA Buffalo small
      LEXINGTON Black River 400
      - - - - - - - Fairport - - -
      - - - - - - - Vermillion - - -
      The tonnage of the above boats is stated in round numbers, and may not be entirely correcy. It is believed they are not greatly erroneous.
      Of the boats plying on the Canada side we know nothing. The names of two are THAMES and MINNISSETUNK.
      The following list of steamboats which have been lost, broken up, &c. may be worth preserving:
WALK-IN-THE-WATER; built in 1818, wrecked near Buffalo in 1821, tonnage 338.
SUPERIOR; 346 tons, built in 1822, dismantled.
NIAGARA; 156 tons, built in 1824, she was broken by collision with the PENNSYLVANIA near Huron in 1837.
PIONEER; 120 tons, built in 1825, wrecked on the Upper lakes in 1836
SHELDON THOMPSON; 241 tons, built in 1825, broken up in 1837
UNCLE SAM; 247 tons, built in 1833, engine taken out the present season.
      WILLIAM PENN; 250 tons, built in 1826, dismantled 1837.
      CHIPPEWA; 45 tons, built in 1833, broken up in 1828
      WASHINGTON; 609 tons, built in 1833, wrecked on her second trip near Long Point, U. C.
      DELAWARE; 177 tons, built in 1833, wrecked in Lake Michigan 1836.
      ENTERPRISE; 219 tons, built in 1825, condemned.
      CAROLINE; 219 tons, built at Charleston, S. C. in 1822 of live oak; brought to New York, thence by river and canal to Lake Ontario, where she was employed some time as a ferry boat; afterwards brought to Lake Erie through the Welland canal, and employed upon the Detroit River and elswhere; seized for smuggling the last summer, taken to Buffalo and sold. The end of this boat is well known.
      We find in a list derived from official resources in 1837, the names of several small boats belonging to Detroit which are not given above.
CHICAGO 186 tons
DETROIT 137 tons
DON QUIXOTTE 51 tons, of these three we know nothing more than is given; nor of the
WATER WITCH, they were probably very small boats.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Wednesday, April 4, 1838; 2:2
      . . . . .

      THE ERIE. --- Capt. Titus has politely favored us with the following particulars. She measures 176 feet keel, 27 feet 6 inch beam, 11 feet in the hold. She is 550 tons burthen, and has 12 state rooms, and accommodations for 250 cabin passengers. Engine built by T. Holloway, Philadelphia; 52 inch cylinder, 10 foot stroke. Boat built by M. Creamer, master carpenter, Philadelphia. Drapery &c., by Mr. Mooney. Painting, by D.S. Miller, in his usual superb style. This boat made her trip from Erie to this port, a distance of 90 miles, in 5 hours 3 minutes.
      Weekly Buffalonian
      June 2, 1838

      . . . . .
      The ERIE. -- This new and superb steampacket was towed into port on Tuesday last by the CONSTITUTION, and her engine will be speedily repaired. To the eye of the "Old Salt" as well as the landsman, the ERIE is the very beau ideal of a steam craft, and the traveling public all know Capt. Titus, formerly of the SANDUSKY, to be just the officer to make a safe and pleasant voyage over our inland seas with. From the Buffalo Journal, we cut the following description:
      The ERIE is of 550 tons burthen, 176 feet keel, 27½ beam with 11 feet depth of hold. Adjoining the Ladies' cabin, which is roomy and superbly furnished, are 12 state rooms with 3 berths in each. The Gentlemen's cabin, fitted up in a similar style, has accommodations for 250 passengers. The steerage is of ample dimensions. The engine, constructed in Philadelphia, by T. Halloway, is very powerful, the cylinder being 52 inch, with 10 foot stroke.
The citizens of Erie, Pa., where she was built, have just cause to be proud of this craft, for she is designed to be one of the fastest boats on the lakes, having, with all the disadvantages attending a first excursion, performed the distance of 90 miles, between port and port, in five hours and forty minutes. Master builder, S. Creamer, of Philadelphia; the painting by Miller & Co., and upholstery by Mr. Mooney, of Buffalo.
      Cleveland Herald & Gazette
      Thursday, June 7, 1838; 2:4

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William R. McNeil
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Erie (Steamboat), 1 Jun 1838