Rigged Model, Philadelphia Packet Ship Shenandoah

The packet ship Shenandoah was built in 1840 by John Vaugn & Son at Philadelphia, Pa. for Thomas P. Cope & Son, better known as the Cope Line. Wealthy Philadelphia Quakers, the Copes transported about 60,000 passengers—mostly Irish immigrants—from Liverpool to Philadelphia from 1820-1870.
Measuring 143’ long and 738 tons, the Shenandoah spent nearly its entire career on the Philadelphia–Liverpool passage. It made 14 voyages for the Cope Line from 1839-44. In 1845 it sailed for the Dunham & Dimon Liverpool Line out of NY, but the following year it returned to Philadelphia for the Black Diamond Line. By 1847 it served the New Line, clearing Philadelphia on the 1st of the month and leaving Liverpool five weeks later, on the 8th of the following month. In the late 1840s, it lost its popular captain to the new Collins ocean steamship Atlantic. Many of the old sailing packet companies lost their captains to the newer and faster transatlantic steamship lines. The Shenandoah was abandoned at sea in August 1854.
Object Name
model, rigged packet
Date made
original ship built
Cope Line operated
sailed with the Cope Line
sailed for the Dunham & Dimon Liverpool Line out of New York
sailed for the Black Diamond Line out of Philadelphia
sailed for the New LIne out of Philadelphia
abandoned at sea
John Vaugn & Son
ship owners
Thomas P. Cope & Son
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metals (fittings material)
textile (sails material)
overall: 46 1/2 in x 58 in x 18 1/2 in; 118.11 cm x 147.32 cm x 46.99 cm
ship sailed to
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
ship sailed from
United States: New York, New York
where ship was built and sailed to and from
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
On the Water exhibit
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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