Derek G M Gardner, RSMA
'Dreadnought', American Packet, St George's or Red Cross Line of New York
Oil on canvas, signed
61 x 81.5 cm (24 x 32 in)
Dreadnought was designed and built by Currier & Townshend at Newbury Port, Massachusetts. She was ordered by her owners for Captain Samuels. Samuels had already made a great reputation for himself on the Atlantic crossing and under his command she became known for her speed.
Her maiden passage was in November 1853. This was in a period when the emigrant trade to the USA was booming. She left New York for Liverpool with a cargo of wheat, flour and cotton, making the round trip in 58 days and showing her owners a profit of $40,000.
She was built to bear driving to the limit in the heavy weather of the North Atlantic and such was the way she was driven by Samuels that the ship was nicknamed “the Wild Boat of the Atlantic”.
The Dreadnought was just 10 years in the Atlantic passage service. With a red cross at her topsail she was the last surviving and only ship representing the St Georges Cross Line of New York.