Old Pitt-Cin Packet Line
The “first” Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line was established in 1842 by William Thaw, Thomas Shields Clarke and others. At that time, William Thaw also had interests in western PA canal transportation. In later years, he was associated with the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads (PRRs) western lines. The “first” Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line faded from existence before the Civil War.  In 1877-78 the “second” Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line was organized by, Thomas Stevenson Calhoon and Jackman Taylor Stockdale of Georgetown, PA. The two packet lines were not associated in any way other than sharing the same name.
The “first” Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line has no direct connection to Georgetown steamboats other than the following detail data was provided from Benjamin M Laughlin’s hand written book. That book was presented to his brother Robert Dawson Laughlin on 20 Sep 1904. Robert D Laughlin, a steamboat steward, lived in Georgetown in the home overlooking the Ohio River built by Thomas W Poe. Robert D Laughlin purchased the property in 1879.
The Georgetown connection to the first Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line were the steamers Hibernia, Hibernia No2, and the Buckeye State. Capt George W Ebert had a finnacial in terest in the Hibernia and Hibernia No2 and Standish Peppard was the first clerk of the Buckeye State when it made its record run between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in 1850.
This list compiled by Benjamin M Laughlin is unique. I have seen one advertisement in the PLCHC collection listing the steamers for one year, but none describing the entire life of the packet line. I have contacted the National Archives and am awaiting a reply from an archivist.
A Record of the
Old Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packets
from the Foundation of the line about 1843
until the Desolution of the same in the years 1855/56
|New England #2||1847|
1. Express dismantled Engines went into str Wing & Wong.
2. Aliquippa sold to St Louis Ice Co Towed ice.
3. Buckeye State dismantled Engines went into str Red Rover.
4. Pennsylvania blew up 13 Jul 1858 on Mississippi River. (Mark Twain’s brother, Henry, was fatally scalded when the boilers exploded.)
 Thomas Cushing, A Genealogical and Boigraphical History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Clearfield, Chicago 1889, pg 214.
 Benjamin M Laughlin, Brief History and Records given of Steamboats, Hand Written, 1904.
Copyright © 2010 Francis W Nash
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