The Daniel Webster, packet ship of Boston, shown off Sandy Hook, New York.
Thomas and Michael
Griffin, my great great grandfather and uncle, arrived in Boston Nov. 16, 1853 on this ship according to records in the Massachusetts Archives. (Click the link "Excerpt_day16" to the right to read about them.) The ship was "...one of the finest packet ships of the 1850’s, a fast sailer, built at Boston in 1851 by Donald McKay for the
Enoch Train line of packets plying the North Atlantic between Boston and Liverpool. The Train Line operated a fleet of some twenty-four packets and advertised two sailings a month from Boston and four from Liverpool. The ship could accommodate 600 passengers in steerage. First-class passengers enjoyed rich mahogany paneling. She had two sick bays, an icehouse to keep the cabin passenger’s food fresh, and a laboratory for the ship’s surgeon. Like all of McKay's ships the Daniel Webster was built to withstand the heavy weather of the frigid North Atlantic winter and completed the passage from Boston to Liverpool in thirteen days, ten hours on her maiden voyage. Until the advent of steam, the sailing packets provided the chief means of travel and communication between the Old and the New Worlds, carrying the mail and choice items of international trade. Their passengers included both the rich and famous and those countless thousands of emigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and other countries who supplied the labor, energy and talent necessary to build the developing United States..." Painted by John Stobart, well-known painter of maritime vessels.