Ship Model of the Susquehanna

Susquehanna was built in 1891 by Arthur Sewall in Bath, Maine. It measured 273 feet 6 inches in length, 45 feet 1 inch in beam, 28 feet in depth of hold, and 2591 tons. On its maiden voyage, after an average passage to San Francisco, it reached Liverpool on September 3, 1892, a speedy 94 days out. It sailed in the China trade under Captain Joe Sewell until 1901. Sewell was succeeded by M.T. Bailey and later by Captain Watts. In 1903, Susquehanna sailed between San Francisco and New York in a short 110 days. The ship made the passage between Honolulu and Delaware Breakwater carrying a full cargo of sugar in 89 days. On its last voyage in 1905, it carried 3,558 tons of ore, which was so heavy that the ship’s outer hull planking seams opened up in bad weather. The crew was unable to pump out the water fast enough, and they were forced to abandon Susquehanna on August 24, 1905.
In 1925, the President of the Insurance Company of North America Benjamin Rush commissioned this model from Captain Frederick Williamson, who lived at the Sailor’s Snug Harbor on Staten Island, New York.
Currently not on view
date made
Williamson, Frederick
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 37 in x 63 in x 16 in; 93.98 cm x 160.02 cm x 40.64 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"What you said about the sailing ship Susquehanna is interesting and accurate, except for a datum which may be of negligible importance to most, but is important to me. That is, Captain Sewell was replaced by "M.T.Bailey " in 1899, not 1901. M.T.Bailey was my great-uncle Myron Tozier Bailey, whom I met once, when I was 6, in 1931. He was captain of that vessel from 1899 to 1903. Since you referred to Watt and Sewell as Captains, and used first names for 3 men, I hope you will apply those dignities to Great Uncle Myron. The Maine Maritime Museum has a ship's log of this vessel, and can verify these facts. "
"Mr. Dreselly: thank for you providing this information about your ancestor. We will make every effort to verify and present this information as you describe. Sincerely, Paul F. Johnston, Maritime Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History."

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