SS City of Boston


The City of Boston was a passenger ship of the British shipping company Inman Line, which was used as a transatlantic liner and upgraded 1865-1870 passengers, mail and cargo from Liverpool to New York. In January 1870, the City of Boston disappeared with 191 people on board disappeared without a trace on the North Atlantic. There was never a trace found of the ship, its fate is unclear.

The ship

The steamship City of Boston was built in 1864 Meadowside dock shipyard death and MacGregor in Partick, a district of Glasgow, on the River Clyde and completed in January 1865. Her hull was made of iron. From keel to her upper deck, there were 8,4 m. Owner was the Inman Line company founded in 1850 with headquarters in Glasgow. In the second half of the 19th century, the Inman Line was one of the most successful cruise lines in passenger traffic between Europe and North America.

The ship classification society Lloyd 's Register of Shipping in London and the insurance company Liverpool Underwriter's Maritime Association in Liverpool arranged the ship into their highest categories. Seven reaching up to the upper deck bulkhead divided the hull into eight watertight compartments. The passenger accommodations were comfortable and furnished and were supplied by a ventilation system with fresh air. The main salon measured 12.2 by 5.5 m and was 2.3 m high. From the external appearance it was the City of London in 1863 put into service modeled.

On February 8, 1865 put the City of Boston in Liverpool on her maiden voyage to New York via Queenstown from. On this route, the ship remained during his entire period of service. The last ride on a westerly course she completed on 13 January 1870, when she arrived ten days after departure in Liverpool, New York. Then the preparations began for return trip to England.

The disappearance

On Tuesday, January 25, 1870 put the City of Boston in New York under the command of Captain JJ Halcrow to another Atlantic crossing from. Three days later, on 28 January, she laid in Halifax a one stop and then ran out into the Atlantic Ocean. On board were 84 crew members in addition to 107 passengers, with 55 first class and 52 in the third in the class. Among the passengers were several officers of the Royal Artillery and 19 women and 13 children.

After leaving Halifax the City of Boston has not been seen, they never arrived in Liverpool. We have not found neither wreckage nor human remains, therefore, it is unclear what happened to the ship. Captain of the schooner Hackett Charles Tupper ¸ the sailed into Halifax on February 8, 1870, reported that he had seen a large steam ship with three masts on the evening of 31 January preceding Sable Iceland, the firing different colored signal flares. The ship was but then disappeared. The Inman Line did not stop this ship for the City of Boston, as they must have been left far in their opinion the said date Sable Iceland behind.

Effects and assumptions

The disappearance of the City of Boston broke on both sides of the Atlantic in great consternation, and had a much-publicized result. On March 17, 1870 announced the press that the ship had arrived in the early morning of the previous day in Queenstown. The relatives could not believe it and were happy that the ship was still safely arrived. Shortly afterwards it turned out that the information that had been received by the newspapers were wrong. Whether it was a mistake or a joke, is not known. David M. Stone, President of the Associated Press, however, offered 500 dollars for information leading to the location of the originator of the message.

On the coast of Cornwall, a rescue boat was later found, which was attributed to the City of Boston. In one of the planks reportedly the message was inscribed that the ship had sunk. In February 1913, also a bottle with a written message was found in it, which was apparently written on board the City of Boston. Under the heading " S. S. City of Boston, February 4, 1870 " was to read that the ship sank quickly, also burned, that the propeller was broken and that four people had already gone overboard. As the name with which the paper was signed not appear on the crew list, the authenticity of the bottle has been questioned.

Shortly before the three-bladed propeller of the ship had been replaced by a two-bladed. It was afterwards believed that this was not strong enough to bring the City of Boston by bad weather and heavy seas. One of the theories regarding the possible cause of loss included a hurricane, which was reported on January 29, before Sable Iceland, as well as collision with an iceberg.

It was also noted that the City of Boston have left the port of New York with passengers and cargo completely overloaded and is also found in non- seaworthy condition. Their cargo consisted of 390 tons of beef, 486 bales of cotton, 36 bales of hops, 12 boxes of sewing machines, 18 tons press cake, 88,500 pounds of flour, 189,700 pounds of bacon, 10,376 pounds of wheat and 82 672 pounds of tallow. Several eyewitness reports, the ship is said to have abnormally located on the descent deep in water.