On the Water

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.

ID Number:
46 1/2 x 58 x 18 1/2 in.; 118.11 x 147.32 x 46.99 cm

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