Steamboats in New Bern, continued
[From: The Daily Journal, June 18, 1882]
After the steamer Norfolk, George Dalton, Lieut. Engineers U.S., had a small steamboat that he ran about our harbor, which he offered May 29th, 1832, as follows for sale:
“The small steamboat recently used as a towing lighter in the public operations on the Swash. The engine is of 10 horse power, on the high pressure principle, and in good order with the exception of the boilers and furnaces, which require repairs. The boat is of 30 tons burthen, timbered with live oak and cedar, and sheathed and fastened with copper.”
Next we had the Edmond McNair, quite a heavy side wheel steamboat, drawing five or six feet water. The effort was made to navigate our rivers Neuse and Trent with her. She ran for a while, and, notwithstanding the depth of the water required for her, she was carried at times pretty high up the Neuse, and was finally wrecked above Kinston, where for years, if not now, her ribs could be seen at low water. Perhaps Gen. Ransom has removed them during the progress of his work.
A steamboat was sent here from Wilmington, and it was soon found she was not properly constructed for our waters, and was taken away. Then came the Wayne, which ran on the Neuse for years. The subjoined extracts from the Newbernian of December 16th, 1843, will give part of her history:
For some days our citizens were kept in expectation of the arrival of the steamboat Wayne, in our waters, which was realized by her appearance on Monday last. She was built in Hartford, Conn., and has been employed in the navigation of the Connecticut river, transporting passengers and towing flats from Hartford to Greenfield in that State. She was purchased by our enterprising friend, Mr. C.B. Dibble, for the purpose of navigating Neuse and Trent rivers, for the accommodation of travelers to and from this place, and towing flats laden with produce to our market from the country lying on the waters of those rivers, or returning with goods, etc., on the homeward trip. The boat is 83 feet in length, has three boilers and two engines, of 36 horse power, draws only twenty inches of water, and is propelled by one wheel astern.
Again we quote December 23d, 1843:
The Wayne whose arrival from New Haven, we spoke of in our last number, left Newbern on Friday morning of last week for Waynesboro, and returned here on Tuesday evening. She left Waynesboro on Monday at 2 o’clock P.M. and arrived here at 25 minutes before 4 on Tuesday evening. The captain states her running time from Waynesboro to Newbern at about 11 hours. The obstructions in the way of her running from Newbern to Kinston were not found to be very great. It is believed that $2,000 expended in clearing out logs from the bed of the river, trees overhanging the banks between here and Kinston, etc., would enable the Wayne to navigate that part of the river at all seasons; $3,000 more expended between Kinston and Waynesboro would in all probability put the river in navigable order the whole distance, nearly or quite all the year. We have not space now to enlarge on the great advantages to the upper counties, that this would secure; we shall do so at another time, but as the court sets in Kinston the first week in January, we beg leave to suggest and earnestly recommend that the citizens of Wayne, Lenoir, etc., hold a meeting in Kinston on Tuesday, Jan. 2, to consider the propriety of making an effort to clear the river. We understand, and we cannot see how it can be otherwise, that much interest is felt in the success of this experiment, to run a steamboat from Newbern to Waynesboro.
Again April 2d 1844 from the same paper.
The Steamboat Wayne left Newbern on Saturday morning freighted with goods for Kinston, Waynesboro, Goldsboro, Smithfield and other points, having also on board about 30 passengers; this promises well for future success. If the people above Newbern will only manifest the right spirit, and do their part in having the obstacles in the river removed, we have every reason to believe that the enterprise will succeed and this important addition to the navigation of the river be continued. What is there to hinder the Raleigh merchants from making a trial of this route for importing their supplies from New York? We doubt not they would on trial find it equally safe, cheaper and more expeditious than the route by which they presently get their goods.
Once more from the Newbernian.
HURRAH FOR CLAY.
We give the following correspondence, to let it be seen that the Wayne was deemed of sufficient importance to bring to us so great a man as Henry Clay:
Newbern, N.C., Jan. 25th, 1844.
We will tell what became of the Wayne in our next. She had a tragic end--observe she could run from Waynesboro’ (one mile from Goldsboro) to Newbern in 11 hours. As you have had the honor, Mr. Senior Editor, to command a river steamer, please give us your best time for comparison. D.