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On the Launch of the "SS City of Boston"

On 12 December 1866, Stephen Wilson Kinsey left Liverpool aboard a steamer bound for New York to escape the possibility of spending more time in the Shropshire Gaol.

The ship that he went on was the SS City of Boston. To learn more about the ship itself, one can turn to the following article that is available via the New York Times Online Archives.


From the Liverpool Courier, Feb. 4.

The Inman new screw steamship City of Boston arrived in the Mersey from the Clyde yesterday, and will form a valuable addition to the numerous and handsome fleet of vessels belonging to the Liverpool, New-York and Philadelphia Steamship Company. For strength, speed, and beauty probably the City of Boston cannot be excelled, although she may be equaled, and the best testimony that the builders -- Messrs. TODD & MCGREGOR, of Partic -- could have of the satisfaction of the owners of the new ship is to be found in the fact that some of those gentlemen, on the passage round from the Clyde, declared that she was likely to sustain the high fame of the line for which she was built.

The City of Boston is 305 feet in length, 39 feet in breadth, 27 feet 6 inches in depth, and 2,278 tons, old measurement. The hull is built in six water-tight compartments, each bulkhead running from the keel to the spar deck, and in effect guaranteeing the greatest possible security to the should any accident occur at sea, such as, under ordinary circumstances, would be likely to cause a ship to sink. To give additional strength the deck is, from one end to the other, made of iron plates of the best quality, manufactured by the Mersey Steel and Iron Company, and upon the plates is laid the ordinary timber deck. The propelling power is supplied by a pair of direct-acting trunk engines, of 350 horse-power nominal, the cylinders being 36 inches in diameter, and having a 3 feet stroke. The boilers are fitted with surface condensers, and fired by wings. The screw has a pitch of 24 feet. On the spar deck, and running its whole length, is a spacious house, the afterpart of which is occupied as a saloon. This is a pattern of neatness and taste in its decoration, and fills one with ideas of the happiness and comfort which must attend saloon passengers -- who have got over the annoyance of sea-sickness on board the good ship City of Boston.

Then there are pantries filled with handsome glass, crockery-ware, cutlery, and one of the finest and most complete services of plate ever manufactured by Messrs. ELKINGTON & MASON, of Liverpool and Birmingham. The officers' and engineers' mess-rooms, the cabin and ship's galleys, a bake-house, a butcher's shop, an hospital for the sick, the officers' rooms, surgery, ice-house, the purser's office, &c., occupy the remainder of the deck-house. On the main deck is the accommodation for steerage passengers, and it is, without exception, about the best that we have ever seen. There is great height between decks, ample ventilation, and the berths are arranged with a view to comfort and convenience. There is accommodation of this description for three hundred and sixty passengers on the main deck, and immediately below the saloon are the sweeping berths for the saloon passengers. The cabinet and upholstery work is handsome, and quite in keeping with the other ships of the Inman line. There is accommodation for 100 cabin passengers, and it will be satisfactory to know that in the arrangement of the cabins, special attention has been paid to those set apart for ladies. By sacrificing a small space for cargo, we believe over 700 passengers could be accommodated on board the City of Boston; and that, if needed as a transport, she could carry u whole regiment of soldiers. The culinary department of the ship is complete, and affords the means to feed, without the slightest inconvenience, 700 passengers, those in the saloon having a bill of fare placed daily before them, which could not be excelled by many hotels in town, and the steerage passengers having an unlimited supply of provisions, including fresh and salt meat daily, and fish, &c. A report of her trial trip which was very stormy is then given, and the Courier say: During the gate the log was heaved repeatedly, and it transpired that with twenty-five pounds of steam the engines making fifty six revolutions, the speed varied from twelve and three eighths to twelve and three-fourths knots. In smooth water, from the Bell Buoy to the Formby Lightship, the run was made in eight minutes and twenty-five seconds. The distance was two and a third knots, and the speed consequently at the rate of about sixteen knots an hour. At twelve o'clock the noble ship was safe in the Mersey, and would dock yesterday afternoon.

She leaves Liverpool for New-York on Wednesday next. The Inman line now consists of thirteen of the finest screw steamships afloat, and there are two more -- the City of Parts and the City of Durham -- now being built. Originally the line consisted of one or two ships only, and its rapid rise may be attributed to the fact and talent of Mr. Inman and his co-owners; to the superior class of boats employed in the service, and to the gentlemen by whom the ships are commanded having special qualifications arising from years of hard labor and experience, for navigating steamships across the Atlantic in all weathers. The Inman Company have achieved a great success, and they deserve it because they have worked for it.


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