Painting, Brig Peep O'Day

This oil painting of the brig Peep O'Day is variously attributed to one of two 19th century British marine artists: either William Kimmins McMinn (1820-1898) or Joseph Heard (1799-1859). The vessel is shown in choppy water, approaching the North West Lightship off the English port of Liverpool; a local pilot schooner is approaching to drop off a pilot. Pilot boats were small, fast local craft that delivered pilots, or people with local knowledge of a port, to help navigate up to a wharf or anchorage.
A popular ship name in the 19th century, Peep O'Day is a reference to a late 18th century Irish Protestant gang, who would raid the homes of Catholic weavers and destroy their machinery. The raids were carried out at dawn, or the peep of day. This brig was built in Waldoboro, Maine in 1848 as the Ella Fleming. A Civil War blockade runner in 1862, in the 1860s the vessel was purchased by a British ship owner and registered in Liverpool, England. The ship was later owned by several Irish owners and registered as a brigantine in 1898. It passed out of the registers in 1902.
Currently not on view
Object Name
painting, oil
date made
ca 1869
Heard, Joseph
McMinn, William Kimmins
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cigna Maritime Collection
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Cigna Maritime Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Additional Media

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