The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Rhode Island (Steamboat), 1 May 1838

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THE RHODE ISLAND. -- A new steamboat bearing the above name, made her appearance in our waters during the last week. She is destined to run between Detroit and Cleveland, stopping at the towns at the foot of the rapids, each way.
      The RHODE ISLAND is a very neat boat, of about 200 tons burthen, and from the short trial which has been made of her qualities, she has proved an excellent sailer, and very seaworthy - she is principally owned by E. Morse & Co., of Detroit and commanded by Capt. Joy. -- Express.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, May 11, 1838

      THE RHODE ISLAND. - We got a glance a few days since at this new, snug craft, and were pleased to observe "Detroit and Cleveland Packet" on her wheel houses. On enquiry we learned she measures 200 tons, is nearly finished and furnished - very sea-worthy, and withall a swift sailer. She stops at intermediate ports, visiting the towns at the foot of the Maumee Rapids each way. Capt. Joy is a gentleman as well as a good seaman. The enterprise of running steam packets between this city and Detroit should be encouraged, and we hope the owners of the RHODE ISLAND, (E. Morse & Co., Detroit) may be amply remunerated for their outlay.
      We do not know who are the agents of the boat here, as we do not see her advertisment in any of the city papers.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, May 15, 1838 2:2

      . . . . .
      1838 NEW ARRANGEMENT 1838
The Proprietors of the Commercial Line, Transportation Line and Telegraph Line of Canal Boats on the Erie canal have united their severa1 interests, for the purpose of conducting a general FORWARDING AND COMMISSION BUSINESS, on the Erie and Ohio canals, and on the Western Lakes, under the name and style "Western Transportation Company," and will start six CANAL BOATS daily from Albany and Buffalo carrying freight and passengers, and a daily line of STEAMBOATS for Toledo, Perrysburgh and Detroit, touching at all intermediate ports, and a semi-weekly line for the Upper Lakes.
      WISCONSIN, Capt. G.F. Powell,
      CONSTITUTION, " G. Appleby,
      ANTHONY WAYNE, " A. Pratt,
      COM. O. H. PERRY, " D. Wilkinson,
      COLUMBUS, " A. Walker,
      VERMILLION, - - - - - -
      RHODE ISLAND, - - - - - -
      JAMES MADISON Capt. R.C. Bristol,
      THOMAS JEFFERSON " Thomas Wilkins,
      New boat at Buffalo, - - - - - -
      New boat at Huron, - - - - - -
      The most of the above boats have been built within the last year, are of the largest class, all of them are fitted in the best style for passengers, and are commanded by experienced
      The RHODE ISLAND is about 200 tons, the only small boat on the list, and will put in at Lower Sandusky and Monroe once each week on her upward passage to deliver and receive freight. All goods destined for ports on Lake Erie, Maumee River, and Detroit; will be shipped by steam unless otherwise directed, and all goods for the Upper Lakes intended to go by steam should be marked "By Steam."
      BARNARD, CARD & PROSSER, 123 Bond St., N. Y.
      NOYES, TOMLINSON & HUBBY, 99 Pier, Albany.
      NORTHRUP & PEASE, Rochester.
      GELSTON & EVANS, Long Wharf, Buffalo.
      PETRIE & ROOT (at G.C. Davies & Co.'s old Stand), Cleveland.
      Wickham, Walker & Co., Huron, 0.
      Barber & Barney, Sandusky City.
      B. Dickinson & Co., L. Sandusky.
      Palmer, Bush & Co., Toledo.
      Grey, Gallagher & Co., Detroit.
      J. Hollister & Co., Perrysburgh.
      Bingham & Furey, Maunee City,
      Ballard, Edmonds & Compton, Ypsilanti.
      H.C. Holbrook, Michigan City.
      John S. Wright, Chicago.
      Liberal advances made on property destined for the Eastern market.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, March 12, 1838 2:6 Advert

      . . . . .

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


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new vessel, & route
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William R. McNeil
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Rhode Island (Steamboat), 1 May 1838