Imágenes de página

are to be placed on this line-two of which, the Britannia and Acadia, have already made their appearance. The citizens of Boston have aided the enterprise with a spirit and liberality honorable to their character, and with a keen perception of its importance to their flourishing city. The Unicorn, the first steamship from Old England to New England, arrived at Boston on the 3d of June. She did not belong to the line, and her voyage was experimental. She made the passage in seventeen days from Liver. pool to Boston. The Britannia, the first of the regular line, arrived at Boston on the 18th of July, in fourteen days from Liverpool ; and the Aca. dia, which left Liverpool the 4th of August, arrived at Boston on the 17th, making the passage in twelve days, twelve hours—being the shortest ever made from Èngland to the United States.

On the same day when the Acadia arrived at Boston, the President came up the harbor of New York. The day was fine, and the spectacle one rarely ever excelled. This magnificent steamship—the largest in the world—belongs to the British and American Steam Navigation Company, and is to ply alternately with the British Queen, in the same line. "The President was launched on the Thames, on the 9th of December last, and in the perfection of her model, style of architecture, and beauty of finish, is unequalled perhaps by any other ship that floats upon the deep. The interest excited by the arrival of this gigantic steamer, will justify a particu. lar description, which we abridge from an account originally published in the Liverpool Standard.


The model of the President is universally admitted to combine all that fineness of bottom which is requisite for fast sailing, with those bearings and rotundity above which will enable her to carry a large cargo, independent of her coals and stores, and render her a safe, dry, and comfortable seaboat. She is a medium, indeed, in construction, between the fast sailing-vessel and the fast steamer, and has already agreeably dissipated the doubts of some, by proving herself A 1 of the latter class. She is painted in man-of-war style, with gunports, and is handsomely rigged, as what is termed a three-masted schooner; with a foremast, foretopmast, and top-gallantmast, like that of a ship. Her bow is finely thrown out, and terminates in a boldly-carved figure, of almost Colossal dimensions, of the immortal "Washington,” the hero of North American Independence. Her stern is projective, and finely formed to withstand a seaway. It has large windows of plate glass, and is ornamented with carved work, as are the quarter galleries. Over the windows are the united arms of England and America, quartered in heraldic shields, supported by the lion of the one country, and the eagle of the other, and also by emblematic female figures. The paddle-boxes are comparatively slightly raised above the bulwarks, and the small portion of the circle which is elevated being painted white, the sheer is uninterruptedly embraced by the eye; and the general appearance of the vessel, when her side is viewed, particularly now that she is set down in the water, is that of a first-class frigate of extraordinary length, under jury or temporary masts.

The following are the dimensions and capacity, power of engines, &c. of the President:


Length over all, from taffrail to figure head
Beam within the paddle-boxes,
Breadth from outside of paddle-boxes,
Depth of hold, .
Height between the main and spar deck,
Height between lower and main deck, (both flush)

FT. IN. 273 0 41 0 72 4 30 0 8 6 78



2366 tons. Capacity for stowage of goods, after

800 to 900 tons. receiving her coals, stores, &c. Engines,-two of 270 horse-power each,

540 horse-power. Much pains have been taken, and no expense spared, to render the President a crack ship. In the quality of the materials, and in fidelity of workmanship, she is equal to any of her majesty's ships of war. In addition to a strong frame, solid to the bilge, she is diagonally fastened fore and aft, with iron, copper, and wood, in a manner, which, (as we stated in a former account,) would seem to put at defiance the rudest assaults of the ocean wave. She is fitted up with all the modern improvements, in pumps, tanks, and other appurtenances, and not a few of a novel, compact, and useful description. She is also divided into watertight sections, (as are most of the iron vessels constructed by Mr. Laird,) so that the springing of a leak would be attended with comparatively little danger, and would be readily overcome. Her steering-geer is of a novel and much-improved description, combining security with facility to the two helmsmen generally employed, --one of whom would, in most instances, be sufficient to guide her immense bulk through the weltering element.

Independently of her roomy cabins, the President presents peculiar advantages for what may be called the “out-door” airing and exercise of passengers. Being frigate built, she has a spare deck, affording an uninterrupted and level promenade along her whole length above board—the pedestrian having but to walk nineteen times over the “ground" to accomplish a mile! The main deck below this also presents, in stormy or rainy weather, a considerable length of sheltered walk on each side; shorter than the other, indeed, only by the length of the quarter-deck and forecastle. We now come briefly to notice


The Saloon.—This room is under the fore part of the quarter-deck, and occupies the full breadth of the ship. It is nearly square, being 28 feet in length by 34 feet athwartships. The height to the beams, which are rendered ornamental, is 7 feet 8 inches, being the height throughout between the main deck and the spar deck. This spacious apartment is finished in the Tudor style of Gothic. There are four doors, two from the main deck, and two from a wide passage or corridor leading to the stern. The tops of these entrances we pointed arches. On each side there are sofa fixtures, upholstered in embossed crimson velvet. The walls are enriched with narrow Gothic panels, of a delicate tint, and the stiles or mullions are raised in alto, in grained oak, a pointed floriated arch being formed in bold carved work at the top of each. The cornice is embattled, and as it projects from the wall, has a fine effect. The whole of this oak work strongly resembles in style that in several of our cathedrals and antique churches. A cheerful light is poured in, not only from the middle of the deck, but from four windows, as large as port-holes—two on each side-each glazed with a single plate. There are four sideboards in recesses near the cor

An oblong mirror is inserted behind each of these, giving it double" effect. Above these there are three Gothic panels, similar to those in the room; and in the middle one in each is inserted a small oil painting or portrait of an American worthy ;-General Washington, the present president, and two others. Four tables are ranged in parallel lines along the floor, with sofa seats. Here upwards of a hundred individuals may sit down to the festive board. The side windows form thorough lights, and afford a view of sea or land as the vessel dashes on her course. Adjoining the saloon, and forming two wings to it, on each side of the entrances from the main deck, and entering from them, are the steward's two pantries, replete with the splendid plate, and glass and earthen ware, &c., of the ship, requisite in the serving up of the good things of this life to the passengers. À portion of the panel work, like a secret door, opens from each of these into the saloon, for the convenience of the waiters.

THE PRINCIPAL CORRIDOR. - This wide passage or corridor, extending from



the saloon to the stern of the vessel amidships, and well lighted from the roof as well as by several large windows in the stern at the further end, is one of the most interesting parts of the ship. It forms an interior promenade, and on each side are the principal state-rooms or dormitories, two deep between it and the sides of the ship, and accessible by passages topped by pointed arches diverging from it at right angles. The style of the corridor corresponds with that of the saloon ; but it is more highly enriched. It is divided at each side into five coinpartments, between each of which there is a mirror within a Gothic panel. These ten large compartments are filled up with oil paintings, executed on canvass, in such a manner as to resemble the fine tapestry of olden times. The whole of the ten pictures are illustrative of the life, early aspirations, adventures, discoveries, and subsequent misfortunes of Christopher Columbus. The artist has chosen the most striking passages in the life of the illustrious and ill-requited navigator : No. 1.-A. D. 1470. Columbus selling maps. 2.-Columbus kindled into enthusiasm in the contemplation of his voyage. 3.-1482. Begging bread for himself and child, at the convent of La Rabida. 4.-His conference with Juan Perez Marcheza, and the physician Garcia Fer

nandez, who admire the grandeur of his views. 5.—1492.-His joyful discovery, from the high stern of his vessel, of the land,

on the 11th of October of this year. He sailed on the 3d of August. 6.—The landing on the 12th of October, 1492, at San Salvador, one of the Ba

hama Islands. He offered up thanksgiving, his crew humbling themselves at his feet. The naked and painted savages regarded them as visiters from

the sky. 7.-His entry into Barcelona in 1493, on his triumphant return to Spain. 8.-His condescending reception by Ferdinand and Isabella. 9.—The arrest-after, through evil counsellors, Ferdinand had him brought back

in chains. 10.–The return in 1500. His arrival at Cadiz in chains.

As an historical reminiscence, it may be added, that Columbus was born in 1445-6, at Genoa, and died at Valladolid, on the 20th of May, 1506, in poverty and neglect.

Such are the events in the life of the great discoverer of the New World, which the artist has selected; and he has executed his task with a strict adherence to historical truth. The vraisemblance of the hero is remarkably well preserved throughout all his vicissitudes of circumstance, and the characters who surround him are well and boldly portrayed. The whole give the corridor the appearance of a picture gallery, and the contemplation to which it leads is most appropriate in a transatlantic steamship.

The Ladies' Retiring Cabin.—At the further end of the principal corridor, there is a large and lofty room on each side, handsomely papered and carpeted, and lighted from large windows in the stern. One of these is the retiring cabin for the ladies. From their height being comparatively greater than that of the saloon, in proportion to their size, they resemble rooms on shore, and being close abast, afford a quiet and secluded retreat.

The State OR Sleeping Rooms. These are larger, and consequently more commodious than those generally found on board of our larger passenger ships ; and they are fitted up with every regard to comfort. Owing to the necessity even in a large ship of economizing room, the usual plan has been adhered to of having two beds, one over the other, in each. We hope yet, however, to see the day when, though the sleeping rooms may be made smaller, each passenger will have his or her sanctum sanctorum. As it is, the President's state-rooms are fully equal to any we have seen. They are moreover altogether apart from the saloon, which is considered an advantage. The corridor, and small lobbies leading to them from it, give the whole the appearance of the upper story of a large and splendid hotel.

[ocr errors]


The Lower Corridor AND SLEEPING Rooms.—Below the rooms just noticed there is another, or lower story, corresponding in almost every particular, with the exception of the paintings, and their having a scantier " supply" of light, which, however, is admitted sufficiently for practical purposes, even in the berths, from the ship's sides. This corridor is lighted from oblong openings in the middle of that above, and which are surrounded by handsome railings. It extends forward, as do the sleeping rooms on each side, under the saloon ; and that part of it is lighted from immense thick squares of glass, inserted in the middle of, and level with, the floor of the saloon, immediately below the deck light, and which have, from above, the appearance of sheets of ice. The rooms are as lofty and well furnished as those above, and those at the sides of the ship have each a side light, which may be opened or closed at pleasure. Those nearer the centre of the vessel, in both stories, have larger windows to the respective corridors. There is a most convenient and handsome light spiral staircase leading from the quarter-deck down to the corridors, and also to the after entrances to the saloon.

The Fore Cabin is of considerable size, and well painted. It is surrounded with sleeping rooms not inferior to those abaft, and here 40 or 50 passengers may be accommodated. In the fore part of the vessel there is also a cheerful apartment for servants. In all, from 120 to 130 persons may be comfortably “ lodged and boarded."

Fore DINING-ROOM.—This is a handsome room, erected on the spar deck, between the paddle-boxes, and is consequently one of the most airy and commanding” apartments in the ship, as regards the view. It is about 32 feet long, and 13 in width. Continuous with it in front, is the steward's room, from the centre of which rises the funnel, and further forward, of a half oval figure, is the smoking room, in which those may disport who delight to inhale the fumes of “the fragrant weed."

ERECTIONS ON THE Main Deck.-On this eck, in the middle, passing from the saloon forwards, are two commodious rooms, (a sitting and sleeping room) for the head engineer, and adjoining these, similar accommodations for the first officer, furnished with desks, &c. Further forward there are three distinct galleys, or cooking houses, one for each cabin, and one for the crew. These are provided with cabooses, or coppers, of the most approved construction. There are also separate establishments for the butcher, the baker, and the pastry cook. On each side of this deck, forward, there are the captain's private room, of a good size, and opposite to it a similar one for the second and third officers. Further aft are rooms for the providore, the engineers, and others connected with the ship. Under the forecastle, on this deck too, are two large rooms, reaching to the bow, for the seamen, fitted up in an ingenious and excellent manner, to insure air, cleanliness, and comfort. Every man has his sleeping berth and his drawers and locker, with locks and keys below for his clothes, so that the lumber of sea-chests is altogether avoided.

The Engines.—To scientific individuals, the stupendous engines of the President, the largest ever yet made, and their working, while at sea, with a ceaseless power which may be considered sublime, are objects of interest, and induce frequent visits to the engine-room. The frame-work of these gigantic machines is in the Gothic style ; the castings are all beautiful and ornamental ; and the polished iron and brass admirably finished, like a piece of fine

clock-work. They were built by our celebrated townsmen, Messrs. Fawcett, Preston, & Co. The following are some statistical particulars : Diameter of cylinders,

80 inches. Stroke,

7 ft. 6 in. Weight of cylinders,

11 tons. Gothic pillars, 4 pair, each

11 t. 7 cwt. Boilers, each.

30 tons. Bed plates (two) each in one casting,

15 The whole engines and boilers, with the water, weigh about 510 tons.


The four ships of this line are to be of the same capacity as to tonnage and engines, style of finish, accommodations, &c. The Britannia is 230 feet long, by 32 feet between the paddle-boxes. Her forecastle is four feet above the main deck. The officers' rooms are in deck-houses adjoining the paddle-boxes. The principal deck-house, consisting of the saloon and steward's bar, is 71 feet long by 141 feet broad. The saloon is 26 feet long by 14 wide, and 7 feet high, with a passage.way each side four feet wide. Behind the saloon, is a platform, about two feet from the deck, for the helmsman, from which he has a view of the whole deck of the vessel over the saloon. Her bulwarks are five feet high, so that the passengers are commonly sheltered when pacing the deck. The Britannia has three masts ; the foremast is brig rigged, and the main and mizzen are fore-and. aft (schooner) rigged. There is a bulkhead which extends the whole width of the ship from the main deck to the second deck, 80 feet from the stern. In this space are the state-rooms and berths. Next to the bulkhead, and nearest to the middle of the vessel, are the ladies' apartments, consisting of eight state-rooms, containing twenty-two berths, and two upper berths at the end of the ladies' cabin, which is in the centre of the above-mentioned state-rooms. There is a passage by which communication can be kept up with the ladies' and gentlemen's cabins, without going on deck. There is accommodation for 124 cabin passengers, viz: twenty-four berths in the ladies' cabin, and one hundred berths for gentlemen. There are four pub. lic rooms—the ladies' cabin, the gentlemen's two cabins—the one before and the other aft-and the grand saloon.

The engines, boilers, and coal-bunkers, occupy a space of seventy feet, the width of the vessel. There are four boilers, having three furnaces each. These are placed two in the width of the vessel, two of them being fired from the engine-room, and two further aft. The steam of all these lead into one chest, from which it passes through a pipe to the engine, and the smoke flues all terminate at the basis of the funnel. There is a very great advantage in this arrangement of the boilers. Should any of them get

deranged, all communication between it and the others can be cut off, and the vessel thus enabled to proceed with the others till it is repaired.

A writer in the Montreal Courier, noticing the fact that the Britannia and Acadia have proved themselves the most speedy in crossing the Atlan. tic, attributes the cause to the more proper adaptation of the power of the engine to the tonnage of the vessels in Cunard's line, than in those of the other companies. The following table shows at one view their several proportions, and the power of engine which each vessel would have, if the proportions used in the Britannia had been adopted :

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »