Oil painting. 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. Attributed to Samuel Walters. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, M8259. Gift of Mrs. Francis B. Crowninshield, 1953. Source: Marion V. and Dorothy Brewington, The Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum (Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum, 1981), p. 449, no. 1723.
The U.S. ship AMERICA, 1137 tons, 2 decks, was built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, probably by the shipwrights Fernald & Pettigrew, in 1846, and registered at the port of New York on 9 November 1846. She was built for D. & A. Kingsland & Co's Empire Line of sailing packets between New York and Liverpool (the vessels sailed from Liverpool in the Black Star Line). Her original master was S. Weare, who was succeeded before April 1848 by Edmund or Edward Dunn, who was succeeded by Joseph J. Lawrence in the spring of 1850. Like many "quasi-packet" vessels (in reality, regular traders), the AMERICA often sailed a triangular route, from New York to New Orleans, where she took on a cargo of cotton, to Liverpool, returning to New York. In 1847, she was advertised as running in the Third Line of sailing packets between New York and New Orleans, and in 1859, Capt. J. W. Howe, in the Brigham Line of sailing packets between the same two cities.
Sources: Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., List of American-flag Merchant Vessels that received Certificates of Enrollment or Registry at the Port of New York, 1789-1867 (Record Groups 41 and 36), National Archives Publication 68-10, Special Lists 22 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1968), p. 38; Carl C. Cutler, Queens of the Western Ocean; The Story of America's Mail and Passenger Sailing Lines (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, c1961), pp. 259, 382, 504, 526.
Palmer List of Merchant Vessels