I would suggest you get a copy of Captain Fred Way's "Packet Directory" available on Amazon. There was both a Liberty, and a Kate Adams. One Liberty was built in 1857 and sank in 1862. This boat served the Wheeling, West Virgina and Cincinnati trade. There were six other Liberty Boats. One was built in 1861 and later ram Louisville to Memphis. He could have worked on this one. There were three Kate Adams boats, but they were all built after 1882, that would have been 20 years after the date you are referring to.