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


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The Iron Steamer - We perceive by the Pittsburg Post, that the iron steamship intended for our lake is now in process of construction in that city, at the establishment of Messrs. Stackhouse & Tomlinson.
The keel is laid and the stem and stern posts are up. The frame is in progress of erection and the bottom plates putting on. The following are her dimensions:
      Ft. In.
Length between perpendiculars at 8 ft. water line, 162 6
Length over all 177
Breadth of beam 27
Depth of hold 12
Dead rise of half floor 4 6
Height between decks, clear of beam, 5 10
Draught of water (light) 4 5
Draught of water (loaded) 8 8
Measurement in tons 498 3/4
Total weight of vessel 261 tons
Engine, Boilers, coal, fixtures &c. 300 tons
Arnaments, Outfit, &c. 97 tons
      ---------------
      TOTAL 658 tons
The weight of iron required to build her is 370,000 lbs.
There are about 40 workman employed in building her, who, it is stated, are progressing rapidly. It is expected that she will be ready to move about next April, and in the fall following will be completed.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 1, 1842

      . . . . .

A new iron steam ship, intended for Lake Erie, which is now being constructed at Pittsburgh, is to be one hundred and seventy-seven feet in length; twenty-seven feet beam; draught of water, loaded, eight feet eight inches; tonnage four hundred and ninty-eight and three
fourths. The weight of iron required to build her is three hundred and seventy thousand tons.
      St. Catharines Journal
      November 3, 1842

      . . . . .

The Iron Steamer -- The Pittsburg Chronicle makes the following mention of the new war vessel for the lakes now in process of construction in that city:
Her "timbers," which are of iron, constructed in the strongest possible manner, are already placed in their proper position, so that one can imagine what her appearance will be when completed. Standing above her and looking down, she appears as though her hold might contain 1,500 persons. Her length is 177 ft., her breath of beam 27 ft., and the depth of the vessel is 18 1/2 ft. The model is a beautiful one, and the vessel is calculated to be not only exceedingly strong, but a very fast sailer. The timbers (of which a cross section is shaped like a T) are half an inch in thickness. The planking is 3/8 of an inch, and made of the best quality iron.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      November 19, 1842

      . . . . .

Pittsburg, Dec. 1. -- Shafts For The Steamer -- Messrs. Everson & Co. of this city, are at present engaged in forging shafts for the iron steamship now erecting here. Each of these shafts contains 4 tons of iron, and are the largest pieces ever forged in the west. They are made of 8 iron bars of 3 inches square, and are worked by cranes, and are forged under a trip hammer. The shaft on our river boats are usually made of cast iron, and are liable to break, and are much heavier than it would be necessary to make them of wrought iron. -- Gazette
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      December 5, 1842

      . . . . .

      The iron steam frigate was launched on Tuesday afternoon last about 5 o'clock. An attempt to launch was made on the evening previous, but it was no go. In order to prevent the vessel from plunging to the bottom and receiving injury, her bow, which lay from the water, was dropped so low, that she could not be moved. On Tuesday it was raised, and she slipped into her destined element gracefully, and without receiving any injury. She draws 5 feet 10 inches as she is now, without any of her timbers, machinery, or equipments. This is about 8 inches short of her anticipated draught. When ready for service, it is expected that she will draw about 8 feet water. Her model is the praise and admiration of experienced mariners and if she don't run a swift race, and buffet the rolling billows dexterously, we shall miss our guess.
      Mr. Hart, the gentlemanly architect, has been so busily occupied the past week that he has not had time to prepare our promised description of the vessel. It is promised in time for our next paper.
      Erie Gazette
      Tuesday, December 7, 1843


      . . . . .

      U. S. STEAMER " MICHIGAN."
      We now have the pleasure of redeeming our promise to give the dimensions of this vessel, which, as indicated, has been christened " MICHIGAN."
      Dimension and Description of the U. S. Iron Steamer MICHIGAN, Launched at Erie, Penn., on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1843.
Length of keel 156 feet
Length on deck 167 feet 6 inches
Length over all 176 feet 6 inches
Breadth of beam outside to outside (hull) 27 feet
Extreme breadth outside of paddle boxes 45 feet 10 inches
Depth of hold 12 feet
Depth of keel 4 inches
Average height of port sills from water
      when launched 11 feet 4-1/2 inches
Height from top of keel to top of rail 17 feet 10 inches
Weight of iron of hull proper as launched 236 tons
Weight of wooden deck, boilers, &c. 46 tons
Mean draught of water 4 feet 1-1/2 inches
Estimated draught of water when fully
equipped for service 8 feet 6 inches
Displacement of one inch at light water mark 8 tons 709 lbs.
Displacement at load at light water line 9 tons 1166 lbs.
The ship will have the common outside water wheels, which will be in diameter 23 feet
Length of paddles 8 feet
Two inclined low pressure engines of the collective power of 170 horses
Cylinders in diameter 3 feet
Length of stroke 8 feet
     
      The shafts and cranks are of wrought iron and in part made from the small pieced punched from the rivet holes in the hull of the ship. The frames of the vessel are T iron, except forward and aft where they are of L iron; the plates of the bottom are 3/8ths (?) thick forward and 5-16ths of an inch aft; the berth deck, guards and paddle-boxes, are of iron, as in the whole of the hull, except the gun deck, which is of wood laid upon iron beams. There are five keelsons running the length of the ship; these support the engine frames, except the principal one which is seventeen inches deep. There are four water-tight bulkheads athwartship, made of 3-16th inch iron. She will have three masts, and will be square rigged forward and have fore and aft sails on the main and mizzen masts.
      Length of fore yard 66 feet
      Length of topsail yard 50 feet
      Length of topgallant yard 30 feet 6 inches
      Height of mainmast to truck 83 feet
      Length from forward end of jibboom to
      after end of spanker boom 223 feet
      She is by measurement 500 tons.

      This vessel was lined before and after launching, and did not alter her shape at all, and she was perfectly free from leak. She is a beautiful model for a good sea boat and fast sailer -- is much admired for her perfect symmetry and clean lines, and is supposed to be fully equal in strength to the largest frigate. She is pierced for twelve guns, (32 pounders,) with two 68 pound Paixhan guns on pivots, upon the quarter-deck and forecastle; this would make her broadside equal to that of a vessel mounting sixteen guns. Her present armament will be limited to four 32 lb. carronades, and the two Paixhan 68s. This magnificent vessel will probably be ready for service on the opening of navigation next spring. Her commander and principal officers having arrived at this station.
      Thus much in relation to the vessel; perhaps the reader would like to know something of the principal officers. To be brief, Commander Wm. Inman entered the service in 1812, at the early age of thirteen years, and served on Lake Ontario during the war under Commodore Chauncey; and afterwards distinguished himself under Commodore Porter in his cruises in the West Indies, which resulted in the suppression of the atrocious piracies that had rendered the navigation of those seas so hazardous to commerce.
      Lieut. J. P. McKinstry is also an officer of much merit, and has seen much service on the Ocean as well as on Lake Erie.
      Sailing Master Stevensm a promising young officer, is the son of Capt. Thos. Holdup Stevens who distinguished himself as Commander of one of the Gun-boats in the engagement on Lake Erie on the 10th, of September, qiq3, under the gallant Perry, which resulted in the capture of the British fleet.
      To the architects, Messrs. Hart & Son, and the contractors, Messrs. Stackhouse & Tomlinson, much credit is due for their good management, taste and genius in the construction of the vessel.
      Erie Gazette
      Tuesday, December 12, 1843

      . . . . .

THE IRON STEAM FRIGATE was launched at Erie on the 5th inst. The Gazette, at that place, says:
An attempt to launch was made on the evening previous, but it was no go. In order to prevent the vessel from plunging to the bottom and receiving injury, her bow, which lay from the water, was dropped so low that she could not be moved. On Thursday it was raised, and she slipped into her destined element gracefully, and without receiving any injury. She draws 5 feet 10 inches as she now is, without any of her timbers, machinery, or equipments. This is about 8 inches short of her anticipated draught. When ready for service, it is expected she will draw about 8 feet of water. Her model is the praise and admiration of experienced mariners, and if she don't run a swift race, and buffet the rolling billows dexterously, we shall miss our guess. Her dimensions and properties are as follows:
Length of keel . . . . . . . 156 feet, 4 inches
Length on deck, . . . . . . 167 " 6 "
Length over all, . . . . . . .176 " 6 "
Breadth of beam, . . . . . . 27 "
Breadth over guards, . . 45 " 10 "
Depth of hold, . . . . . . . . . 12 "
Height from top of keel to top of rail, 17 feet, 10 inches. The hull is entirely of iron, except the gun deck; there are four water tight bulkheads athwartship for the greater security of the vessel against rocking; four keelsons for the engine frames to rest on, besides the main keelson, which is seventeen inches deep. The wheelhouses and guards are entirely of iron. She will be schooner rigged, and have three masts, and can carry sixteen guns, although her present armament will comprise but two 64 Paixhan guns and four 32 pound carronades. This vessel will probably be ready for service upon the opening of navigation next spring.
      Detroit Democratic Free Press
      December 15, 1843



U. S. STEAMER MICHIGAN. - The Erie Gazette gives the following account of the officers of the U. S. steamer Michigan recently launched at Erie:
Commander Wm. Inman entered the service in 1812, at the early age of thirteen years, and served on the Lake Ontario during the war under Commodore Chauncey; and afterwards distinguished himself under Commodore Porter in his cruises in the West Indies, which resulted in the suppression of the atrocious piracies that had rendered the navigation of those seas so hazardous to commerce.
Lieut. J. P. McKinstry is also an officer of much merit, and has seen much service on the Ocean, as well as on Lake Erie.
Sailing Master Stevens, a promising young officer, is the son of Capt. Thos. Holdup Stevens, who distinguished himself as Commander of one of the Gun Boats in the engagement on Lake Erie on the 10th of Sept. 1813, under the gallant Perry, which resulted in the capture of the British fleet.
      Detroit Democratic Free Press
      December 21, 1843



      . . . . .

IRON STEAMER MICHIGAN. - This vessel put together at Erie, is at length said to be completed, and presents a perfect model. She made two trial trips, the first going 46 miles in 4 hours and 18 minutes, the second 50 miles in 4 hours and 22 minutes, with a heavy beam wind.
      According to the Erie Gazette, her draught of water is quite small. With all her guns, and forty tons of coal on board, she draws but 7 feet 1-1/2 inches of water, being a less draught than any war vessel of her class now afloat, and combines more strength than is possible for any wooden vessel of her tonnage.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 17, 1844



      The old steamer MICHIGAN, which is unofficially stated may shortly be put out of commission was according to the best authority, launched at Erie on the 9th. of November, 1843. She is of 538 tons burden, is built wholly of iron, excepting the spar deck, and draws 8 feet of water when ready for cruise. She is pierced for twelve guns, but carries only four large guns and three 3-inch pieces. The MICHIGAN is a side-wheeler, with a length over all of 167 feet, an extreme breadth of 47 feet, a depth of hold of 14 feet, a registered tonnage of 450 tons, and a displacement of 685 tons. She was built at Pittsburg, transported in pieces to Cleveland, brought from that city to Erie in a steamer and put together at that harbor, being the first iron hull ever set afloat on the lakes. Her engines, two inclined low pressure one, of combined 170 horse power, were desinged by United States Engineer Copeland.
      The crew of the MICHIGAN averages 98 persons including eleven officers. Her tonnage, armament and crew are regulated by treaty with Great Britain, which is also authorized to place a vessel of the same character on the lakes. Erie has always been the headquarters for the MICHIGAN. Several of the officers have risen to the ranks of Commodore, and one of them, Joseph Anman, to that of Rear Admiral.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      March 25, 1892

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Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
description (iron stmr.)
Date of Original:
1842
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.E.2804
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Michigan (Steamboat), 1 Oct 1842