Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Steamboats Chancellor Livingston and Connecticut

Steamship Chancellor Livingston. 1822 by Richard Varick DeWitt (1800-1868).
Image Credit: Albany Institute of History and Art
The steamboat Chancellor Livingston was under the command of popular river captain Joab Center (1777-1857) when Herman Melville, age 4, rode it to Albany on August 20, 1823:
Allan Melvill's diary:   
Left New York with Mrs. Melvill, five children, Miss Adams & Nurse in the Steam Boat Chancellor Livingston at 4 P M -  
August 21     Arrived at Albany at 11 A M  --as quoted by Jay Leyda in The Melville Log, 2 vols. (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1951) volume 1, page 15.
Allan Melvill's actual diary is held with Correspondence and miscellaneous manuscripts in the Herman Melville Papers at Houghton Library, Harvard. Citation:
Melville, Allan, 1782-1832.Diary. A.Ms.s.(variously); [v.p.] 1800-1831., 1800-1831. Herman Melville papers, MS Am 188-188.6, MS Am 188, (118). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library. Accessed November 27, 2019
New York National Advocate - August 19, 1823 via GenealogyBank
 In August 1823 the five children of Allan and Maria Gansevoort, were
  • Gansevoort, age 7 (b. December 6, 1815)
  • Helen, 6 (b. August 4, 1817)
  • Augusta, almost 2 (b. August 24, 1821)
  • Herman, 4 (b. August 1, 1819)
  • Allan, 4 months (b. April 7, 1823)
(Catherine/Kate was born on May 21, 1825;  Frances Priscilla/Fanny on August 26, 1827; and Thomas/Tom on January 24, 1830.)

The summer before (August 7, 1822), Herman and family left New York for Providence on the steamboat Connecticut, then commanded by Captain Elihu S. Bunker (1772-1847).

Tue, Aug 6, 1822 – Page 4 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·
After a night at Sanford Horton's Globe Tavern aka Golden Ball Inn on the corner of Benefit and South Court Streets they proceeded on to Boston "in a private Carriage" for a long visit with Herman's grandfather Thomas Melvill and family (Melville Log Vol 1, page 11).

Golden Ball Inn, Providence RI via Library of Congress
What Allan Melvill called "Horton's Tavern" in his diary was formerly Chappotin's Tavern, refurbished and re-opened as the Globe Tavern in June 1822 by Sanford Horton.

Rhode Island American - June 28, 1822, page 2
via GenealogyBank
Rhode Island American - June 28, 1822, page 3
via GenealogyBank
On the 1823 trip to Albany, "Miss Adams" was the new family governess hired in late December 1822, as Hershel Parker recounts in Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 1, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) pages 26-27.

More facts about the steamboat Chancellor Livingston can be found with the drawing by Samuel Ward Stanton in American Steam Vessels (New York, 1895). Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:


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