View Single Post
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 04:46 PM
Francis Nash Francis Nash is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 65
Default The Book

Labor Day weekend my aunt lent me a hand written book identifying every steamboat built in Pittsburgh from 1811-1904. Its author was BM Laughlin (Benjamin M Laughlin) and it was presented on 20 Sep 1904 to his brother, RD Laughlin (Robert Dawson Laughlin). At that time, Robert D Laughlin was a steamboat steward who lived in the home built by Thomas W Poe. Benjamin M Laughlin credits "Mr Snowing" of the US Custom House in Pittsburgh for collection of the data. BM Laughlin also provided personal info such as

"I remember the flood on February 10th 1832."
"I commensed steamboating Augt 1844 sixty years ago."
"My first boat was the Rhode Island captain RD Dawson."

Last week I visited the National Archives in DC to do Enrollment and License research and cross check the data in the BM Laughlin book. The archives in DC have the Certificates of Enrollment for the US Custom House in Pittsburgh from 1831 - 1901. I am still trying to determine whether records before 1831 have been lost. Thursday afternoon at the National Archives, I looked at nine books with enrollment records. On Friday, I reviewed the Vessel Files in the military records for the Civil War. More on that visit in a later post.

This hand written book is a real find. It presents original source data I have not seen in any river museums and libraries that I have visited. The book has essentially eleven distinct chapters with personal notes about some of the Georgetown boats. As you will read, not all the data came from US Custom House records.

(1) SBs built at Pittsburgh 1811-1904
(2) SB Name Changes
(3) SBs built below (ie Marietta, Cincinnati, Louisville, Paducah)
(4) Record of High Waters in Pittsburgh
(5) Old Pitt Cin Packet Line
(6) Names of SBs Dismantled
(7) Diasasters
(8) 23 Str Burnt in St Louis
(9) 10 Str Burnt in Pittsburgh
(10) Names of Capt Deceased
(11) Names of Pilots Deceased

I have not yet decided what to do with this data in this book. The book is too fragile, and too thick, to scan each page.
Attached Thumbnails
The Steamboating Poes-bm-luaghlin-intro-100921.jpg   The Steamboating Poes-bm-luaghlinolg-pitt-cin-packet-line-100921.jpg   The Steamboating Poes-bm-luaghlinsb-1811-100921.jpg  

Reply With Quote