The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Hercules (Bark), 1 Aug 1866

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THE HERCULES. - A craft of this name, and belonging to that class known as barks, may be seen occasionally passing this port, which furnished another instance of the longevity of vessels built of the famous oak bordering on the lakes. She was in her day one of the most prominent steamers, and if we mistake not, the second propeller ever introduced on the lakes. She was built at Buffalo, during the winter of 1843 and came into commission during the spring of that year, commanded by Captain G. W. Floyd, and plied for several years, between Buffalo and Chicago, as a freight and passenger boat. She is now 23 years old, has never been rebuilt, and, until quite recently, retained her machinery on board. Some of her early commanders, including Floyd, Wheeler, and others, have long since passed from earth, and those of a later date have become well advanced in years; and no longer fit for such service. The propeller SAMSON, consort to the HERCULES, which came out the same year, has long since disappeared from the lakes. - Detroit Free Press, 22d.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      August 24, 1866

A RELIC OF YE OLDEN TIME. -- The barge HERCULES, engaged in the lumber trade is a relic of the early days of lake navigation. She came into commission in 1843 as a first-class propeller, plying between Buffalo and Chicago with her consort the SAMSON, which came out the same year, which was the second propeller that navigated the Lakes. The VANDALIA, the first, came into commission in 1842. In 1844 the HERCULES and SAMSON ran between this port and Buffalo, and were among the most popular vessels on Lake Erie. It is but a short time since the HERCULES was dismantled of her machinery, at which time a thorough examination was made of her hull, which was found as sound as the day she was launched, if we may except her decks, which were replaced for new. She is therefore in her 24th year and is yet a reliable sea going craft.
      Toledo Blade
      June 15, 1867

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ex vintage propeller
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Hercules (Bark), 1 Aug 1866