The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
F. W. Backus (Propeller), 18 Apr 1856

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The propeller F. W. BACKUS, formerly the CATHCART, is now in readiness to take advantage of the earliest opening of navigation. -- Detroit Free Press
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Tuesday, April 20, 1852

Screw steamer F.W. BACKUS. Of 289 tons. Built Amherstburg, Ont. 1846. First home port, Detroit, Mich. DISPOSITION:-- Condemned as a Canadian steamer for breach of U. S. Laws; documented U. S., April 8, 1852. Lost November 1866 by burning near Milwaukee, Wis.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      The Lytle-Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

- ADVERT - The propeller F.W. BACKUS is advertised to ply between Buffalo, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Sandusky & Erie for the season of 1856 as an American Transportation Co. boat, built 1846 and of 289 tons.
      Milwaukee Daily Sentinel
      April 18, 1856

Propeller F.W. BACKUS. Of 281 tons. Built at Malden by Bates in 1846. Owned by A.T. Spencer. Home port, Chicago. Value, $4,000. Class C 2
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Lake Vessel Register, 1860
A NEW PROPELLER. -- A new propeller built at Amherstburgh during the summer by Messrs. Parks & Co., and others, arrived here this morning from Toronto, with a large miscellaneous freight (equal to 8,000 bushels of wheat,) and several cabin passengers. She drew 7 feet 9 inches.
      This propeller is of the largest class, and when the St. Lawrence Canals are completed next year, will ply between Montreal and the Upper Lakes.
      The following are the EARL'S dimensions:- Length, 138 feet over-all, Breadth of beam, 25 feet; depth of hold, 9 feet 6 inches; Burthen, about 350 tons.
      She (he ?) is propelled by two engines of 40 horse power each, built by Cayuga Co., of Cleveland, which drive her through the water at the rate of 10 miles an hour. The cabins are tastefully fitted up, and afford good accommodation for 30 passengers.
      The EARL CATHCART, is commanded by Captain Symes, whom, with his noble vessel, we wish every success.
      The Argus, Kingston
      October 13, 1846

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William R. McNeil
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F. W. Backus (Propeller), 18 Apr 1856