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Ship Isaac Webb

Descriptions and pictures of the ship Isaac Webb

Source Text
The ISAAC WEBB was a 3-masted, square-rigged ship, built at New York in 1849-1850 by William H. Webb, and launched on Saturday, 2 February 1851. 1359 tons, old measurement/1497 tons, new measurement; 188' x 39' 9" x 28', length x beam x depth of hold. Three decks, square stern, billet-head. Draft 22 feet. Built of white oak and live oak. Named after Isaac Webb, father of the builder. Owned by Charles H. Marshall (13/32) and Charles Lamson (2/16), operators of the Black Ball Line; William H. Webb (1/16), the builder; Capt. Thomas B. Cropper (2/16), the master; and Capt. Benjamin L. Waite (1/16), Capt. Nathan Cobb (1/16), Gabriel Mead (1/16), George McBride (1/32), and George Bell (1/16). Because of her great size, the launching of the ISAAC Webb attracted unusual attention. It was estimated that 5,000 people witnessed the event, and the reporter of the New York Herald stated that when she brought to at her anchors in the East River, "she rested like a swan on her destined element". She served in the Black Ball Line of packets between New York and Liverpool from 1851 until the dissolution of the line in 1878, after which she continued as a "transient trader" (the sailing equivalent to the modern "tramp steamer") until 1880. She set sail on her final voyage, under Capt. William Wallace Urquhart, from Antwerp on 2 October 1880, and from Flushing on 8 October 1880, bound for New York. On 25 October, she was abandoned at sea, at lat 42 30, lon 59 20, the captain and crew, 24 in all, being rescued by the steamer ILLYRIAN, Capt. Edwards, out of Liverpool, which landed at Boston on 27 October 1880 [Robert Greenhalgh Albion, Square-riggers on Schedule; The New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938), pp. 276-277, 299, and 313; New York Times, 28 October 1880, p. 2, col. 6]. Charles G[erard] Davis, Ships of the Past, Marine Research Society, Salem, Massachusetts, Publication 19 (Salem, MA: The Marine Research Society, 1929; reprinted in the 1980's by Dover), contains an excellent account of the ISAAC WEBB, as well as redrawn plans for the use of model builders. [Posted to the Emigration-Ships Mailing List by Michael Palmer 6 November 1997]