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Migrant Ships

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Clipper "Parramatta" (1879)

Parramatta was built in 1866 by James Laing in Sutherland, England for Devitt and Moore's passenger trade run to Sydney, Australia. The ship measured 231 feet in length and 1,521 tons. The ship was one of the wool fleet from 1875-1876, going from Sydney to London in 79 days. Captain J. Swanson commanded the ship until 1874, when Captain Goddard took over until the ship’s sale in 1888 to J. Simonsen of Norway. In January 1898, Parramatta sailed from Galveston, TX headed for King's Lynn, Norfolk, England and disappeared along the way.
Parramatta was a Blackwall frigate. Blackwall frigates were three-masted merchant ships originally built to replace British East Indiamen in the trade between England and India. However, many Blackwell frigates, including Paramatta, became active in the trade between England and Australia. It was the second fastest of the Blackwall frigates after the Tweed. The picture shows Parramatta off Sydney Heads, Australia with a view of the coastline in the background. A small flight of steps and some women can be seen on deck. The presence of women is indicative of the Parramatta as a passenger ship, as a group of women would likely not have been on a trading voyage.
Other details about the ship include the use of davits to hold up the lifeboats, where earlier they would have been merely tied to ropes and lowered over the side. Leather strips called "brails" used to shorten the sails can be seen running across the sails, and the flags on the lifeboat match the house flag located on the mainmast.
This picture (painted in 1879) is a clip of an original painting by the Artist Frederick Tudgay (1841-1921) who was the youngest in a family of marine artists.
(Acknowledgements: The National Museum of American History)

Owner/SourceThe original painting can be seen at the National Museum of American History, by following this link
DateAdded 12 May 2013
Linked toMark Brown (Travel Record)

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