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Texas Tech University Libraries


Ship Name:Hotspur; Sailed: 1885-1887; Type: Wood 3-masted; Built by: Bath, Maine, New England Shipbuilding Co.; Dimensions: 191.9' x 38.8' x 22.8'; Tonnage: 1309 tons.


This Nathaniel L. Stebbins photograph, much reproduced, shows the Hotspur on its maiden voyage to Australia just as the ship commences to set sail from a quartering breeze. Sailors have loosed the gaskets on the fore royal and mizzen topgallant and the main royal. Other sailors on deck hoisting the fore topgallant yard may resent the sailor hitching a ride up—or, perhaps he is just kicking loose something stuck on the spanking-new ship. The Hotspur was a study in Yankee craftsmanship, built by the successor to the better-known Goss & Sawyer firm that launched so many wooden down easters. William H. Besse, who was well-known in shipping circles, managed the Hotspur. Three skysails announce to any who care to look that romance was not dead—by 1885 skysails, while not unknown, were something of an extravagance. Lamentably, the Hotspur struck a reef on her second voyage laden with coal from Australia to Manila and this beautiful ship wrecked.


Ships, Merchant Ships