The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Madison (Steamboat), 1 Oct 1842

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The CLEVELAND, COLUMBUS, BUFFALO and MADISON have gone into winter quarters. The latter boat has completed her 6th. season in the Chicago trade, and has during that time performed 69 trips without a failure. She was built by Mr. Reed expressly for the Upper Lakes business and has never made a trip short of Chicago. When she comes out again she will present an entire new model, it being her owners intention to build a spacious new hurricane cabin, and modernize the boat throughout. Of course her old commander, Capt. McFadgen, will be at his post as usual where he has so long and so faithfully discharged his duties. In connection with the laying up of the MADISON, the Milwaukee Sentinel says:
      Her appearance was in 1837, and no boat has met with better success than she; no lives have been lost, no accidents of a serious nature has ever happened to her. She has traversed the upper lakes early and late. We have seen her in Milwaukee Bay in November, when her upper deck was covered with snow and our rivers frozen over, notwithstanding all this, under the skill of her faithful commander, the hard weather was but little trouble to her. She has travelled her 25,000 miles per year, up to the present time, and we hope that the same run of good luck will follow the boat after she is refitted.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 15, 1842

      . . . . .

The steamer MADISON a well known and popular steamboat is again at our dock. During the winter she has been almost rebuilt. She has a new cylinder, timbers and an entire new deck, with commodious and well furnished cabins on the upper deck put into her, and having thus taken a new lease on life, is ready to compete with any of her younger sisters upon the water.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 15, 1843

      This truly splendid steamer, under the command of that ale and vigilant officer, J. McFadyen, has grown upon us like the verdure of spring, until she now claims to be the "Belle" of the lakes.
      The MADISON has been nearly re-built from her keelson upwards, with an addition to her previous accommodations of an upper deck containing splendid saloons and state rooms finished in the most modern style -- the whole designed and executed under the direction of that accomplished architect A. J. Mead.
      For strength, convenience and beauty, this boat may vie with the world -- so happy a combination of good qualities united to the ability and attention of her officers, make up the sum of safety sought after by passengers. The MADISON, upon her upper deck, has a splendid saloon cabin, in length nearly one hundred feet, from which opens twenty-four state rooms of the most ample size and accommodations -- all of which are so admirably lighted that together with the decorations and general finish form a whole so splendid and beautiful as to draw from the coldest observer expressions of admiration. On the after part of the upper deck, and communicating with the grand saloon, is a Ladies' Receiving Room, wearing truly the appearance of "Fairy Land," such are the decorations and furniture that when filled with pretty and accomplished faces, and the air vibrating to the guitar and Piano, one may fancy himself transported to the regions of elysian. This room communicates by stairs with the Ladies' cabin, which is located on the site of the former Gentlemen's cabin on the main deck, which is also decorated with elegance and beauty -- the whole opening into commodious state rooms as also on the promenade deck, which is so happily arranged as to be free from intrusion.
      The MADISON's accommodations for steerage passengers are still more worthy of note, surpassing as they do in extent and convenience those of any other boat. Her former ladies' cabin aft, is now appropriated to the use of ladies taking steerage passage, and from its spaciousness and convenience will naturally add to the comfort of this increasing and respectable class of passengers. Forward and below decks she has an extensive steerage cabin of capacity sufficient to carry some hundred passengers. Passing thence on to the promenade deck, you find a commodious steerage cabin for men; and adjoining excellent state rooms, some of which are calculated for the reception of several, while others are fitted to accommodate single families. These state rooms are independent of each other, their doors opening to the promenade deck, and are equally free from the bustle of the crew in working ship, or intrusion from the curious, and vie in comfort with the more gaudy rooms of the after cabin. Speaking of steerage accommodations, remind us that we have been a passenger on this as on other boats, and it affords us pleasure to bear testimony to the benevolence of her excellent clerk, Mr. John Moore, whose exemplary assiduity in ministering to the sufferings and wants of steerage passengers in distress, has won for him a reputation so enviable as to impart character to the boat on which he sails.
      Erie Gazette
      May 11, 1843

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Madison (Steamboat), 1 Oct 1842