S. P. Hitchcock




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Texas Tech University Libraries


Ship Name: S. P. Hitchcock; Sailed: 1883-1906; Type: Wood 3-masted; Built by: Bath, Maine by I. F. Chapman; Dimensions: 247.4' x 44.3' x 20'; Tonnage: 2292 tons.


Samuel P. Hitchcock was a later business partner and brother in law of Isaac Chapman, and this three-skysail-yarder was named in his honor. S. P. Hitchcock had the good fortune to be commanded by exemplary captains, including Joshua Nicholls, Frank Carver, and the redoubtable E. V. Gates. The latter not only made good passages, but was able to retain the loyalty of his crews while driving the ship. S. P. Hitchcock made several voyages that approached clipper-ship time. A particularly striking oil portrait of the S. P. Hitchcock, painted by Antonio Jacobsen, shows the Chapman-built down easter off to good advantage. There is also a launching photograph that I have seen of the S. P. Hitchcock, and the usually fulsome accounts of new ships in this particular case, were accurate. S. P. Hitchcock was a good-looking ship and maintained in yacht-like fashion its whole life. Chapman built S. P. Hitchcock for the firm’s own account, and old Isaac Chapman maintained a relative in a San Francisco office to look after the firm’s affairs from wharfside, so to speak. Chapman did not enter into contracts with his partners—a handshake will do, thank you. He lived in Brooklyn most of his life and was well-known in shipping circles for the quality of craftsmanship exhibited in his ships, his business acumen, and his integrity. The photograph shows the S. P. Hitchcock shortly after a typhoon completely wrecked the ship at Hong Kong in 1906.


Ships, Merchant Ships