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The Skeleton Closet

Red Jacket

An extreme clipper ship built in 1853 for Seacombe & Taylor by George Thomas, Rockland, Maine, USA to the design of Samuel H. Pook. Named after the Native American chief Sagoyewatha of the Seneca tribe.


Length -251'2"

Beam - 44'

Depth of hold - 31'

2305 tons



1853 - November 2 - Launched at the shipyard of George Thomas, Rockland, ME, for Seacomb & Taylor, Boston. Captain Asa Eldridge, commanding.

1854 - Chartered by the White Star Line (Cunard)

1854 - Departed Liverpool on May 4 and arrived in Melbourne on July 12 - 67 days and 13 hours under the command of Captain Samuel Reid. During this trip she sailed 400 miles on July 6, and was in company with the clipper ship Mermaid off Oporto and for part of the voyage. The Mermaid, which had sailed from London on May 3, arrived to Melbourne after 74 days.

**At some period during this part of her life, she was captained by a Mr Eldridge who believed she had had made the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing, a feat which was disputed at great length by the Captain of the clipper "Lightning".

1854 - Sailed from Melbourne on August 3 and arrived in Liverpool on October 15 - 73 days. She rounded Cape Horn 20 days out on August 23 and was 41 days to the Equator.

1854 - Purchased by Pilkington & Wilson for the White Star Line for 30.000.

1855 - Sailed from Liverpool on September 20 and arrived in Melbourne on December 4 - 75 days under command of Captain Milward.

1856 - Sailed from Melbourne on January 12 arriving in Liverpool on April 8 after 86 days.

1856 - Sailed from Liverpool on May 20 arriving in Melbourne on August 13 - 83 days.

1860 - Sailed from Liverpool on January 27 arriving in Melbourne in 84 days.

1860 - Sailed from Melbourne on May 6 and arrived in Auckland on May 17 - 12 days.

1868 - The owner is recorded as Wilson & Chambers, Liverpool.

1871 - Lost her jibboom in a collision at the Downs on January 20.

1878 - Collided with and sank the Eliza Walker. The entire crew of the wrecked ship was saved.

1880s - Reduced to a coalbarge in the Cape Verde Islands.

Was put in the trans-Atlantic Quebec timber trade during her last active years.