Carrier Dove (clipper)

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Name: Carrier Dove
Owner: Montell and Company, Baltimore, MD
Builder: James Abraham, Baltimore, MD
Launched: 1855
Owner: 1863, Trask & Dearborn; sold at auction in New York in 1863 for $67,000; 1868, Union Navigation Company; 1870, J.D. Fish & Co.; 1875, John W. Elwell & Co. [1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Medium clipper
Length: 220 ft. [2]; 207 ft. 8 in.[1]
Beam: 42 ft. [1], [2]
Draft: 24 ft. [1], [2]

The Carrier Dove was an 1855 medium clipper. She was one of two well-known clippers launched in Baltimore that year, the other being the Mary Whitridge.[1]


The Carrier Dove, like the Andrew Jackson of Mystic, the Mary Whitridge of Baltimore, and the Flying Mist of Medford, was built on a practical modification of clipper ship lines. She combined much of the speed of the sleek, early 1850s extreme clippers with the larger cargo capacity of the fuller-bottomed traditional packet ships. [1]


Carrier Dove was dismasted in a hurricane just eight days out of New York on her maiden voyage to San Francisco in 1855. Nevertheless, she made it to Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 9, in 55 days. She remained in Rio for two months getting repairs. The remainder of her trip around the Horn was more favorable, and she arrived in San Francisco on April 25, 1856, after a voyage of 98 days.

Her voyage from New York to San Francisco in 1860 under Captain Montell was more fortunate, and she arrived in 127 days.

In 1862, she took a cargo of wheat from San Francisco to Queenstown, Australia, in 124 days.[2] [1]

Fast passages

Liverpool to Melbourne, 78 days, in 1858. Melbourne to Valparaiso, 30 or 32 days, under Captain Corner, very close to the record.[1]

Locomotive transport

Carrier Dove left New York on Nov. 2, 1863, carrying San Francisco & San Jose Locomotive No. 4, and arrived in San Francisco on May 20, 1864.[3]

Went ashore

In 1862, Carrier Dove sailed in the transatlantic trade under Captain Nash and Captain Jackson. She went ashore near Valentia, Ireland, in 1863, but was repaired and auctioned to her former owners, Trask & Dearborn.

In 1865, while en-route from Shields, laden with coal and general cargo, she went ashore on Governors Island, just outside her destination, New York. Her cargo was taken the rest of the way to the wharves by lighter.[2]

Loss of the ship

Carrier Dove went ashore for the last time on Stone Horse Shoals, near Tybee, while on a voyage from Liverpool to Tybee, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, March 3, 1876. She was a total loss. [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Cutler, Carl C. (1960). Greyhounds of the Sea. Annapolis, MD: United States Naval Institute. pp. 281-282, 311, 440, 442, etc.. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Howe, Octavius T; Matthews, Frederick C. (1986 reprint of 1926-1927 ed.). American Clipper Ships 1833-1858. Volume 1, Adelaide-Lotus. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 51-52. ISBN 04865152. 
  3. "Vessels/Voyages That Delivered Locomotives to California and Oregon, 1850-1869, Listed in Order of Arrival". Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. 2002. Retrieved May 14, 2010. 

External links