Posts Tagged ‘adam poe’

Packet Ownership

Monday, March 12th, 2018


For Georgetown the years between 1852-1858 were a time of speedy economic growth.  River business prospered.  The following table lists the partnership of owners over six years of one steamer, str Washington City, plying various inland rivers.  Few Poe family packets survived as long.     


The consistency of these findings taken from the Record Type 41 of the Certificates of Enrollment are unusual.  Other Poe family steamboats changed ownership annually and were often bought and sold outside the family within three years.  The following table lists the owners of the str Washington City from 1852-1857.   Although no data was found for 1855 during this research trip, it should be remembered that in Apr 1855 Capt Joseph MC Calhoon died of cholera in Alton, IL.   Despite dangerous high-water conditions Capt George Washington Ebert, a brother-in-law, clerk James Wilkins a brother-in-law, /pilot Jacob Poe a brother-in-law, and a skeleton crew of Georgetown relatives, steamed to St Louis to recover the body and return it for burial in Georgetown Cemetery.  Proof that the str Washington City was actively working in 1855.  The absence of data for 1855 is most unfortunately due to pages torn from the Enrollment and License book of records.



Cert of Enrollment for the str Washington City (The National Archives)

Str Washington City


1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857
Richard Calhoon
Samuel Cadman 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16
George W Ebert 3/16 M 3/16 M 3/16 M 3/16 M 3/16 M
AB Gallatin
Samuel Moore 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16
Steel McMillen
John S McMillin
Adam Poe
Andrew Poe
George Poe
Jacob Poe 3/16 3/16 3/16 3/16 3/16
Thomas W Poe
Samuel Smith 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16
Thomas Smith 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16
JT Stockdale
James Wilkins 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16 2/16



In 1857,the town fielded a fleet of ten steamboats to work on all inland rivers as far as the lower Missouri River.  Several keelboats were also launched by Georgetown rivermen.  The following table lists the steamers 0f 1857 and the men who owned and commanded them. 



Georgetown Packets in 1857


Belfast Belmont Clifton Grand Turk John G Fremont Metropolis Neptune Silver Wave Wash City
R Calhoon 3/16 M
James Diehl 1/8 1/8
GW Ebert 3/16 M 1/8 1/8 3/16 M
AB Gallatin 1/8 M
Eliz McClure 1/8
Steel McMillen 3/32
JS McMillin 13/16 M
Adam Poe 1/2 M 3/8 M
Andrew Poe 1/8
George Poe 1/8 1/8 1/16
Jacob Poe 1/8 3/16 1/4 1/8 3/16 3/16
Thomas Poe 1/4 1/4 1/8 M 1/8 1/4
Samuel Smith 1/8
Thomas Smith 1/8 1/8
Alan Stockdale 1/8
JT Stockdale 3/8 M
Samuel Trimble 1/8
David Wilkins 3/32
James Wilkins 1/8




(1)  In an effort of complete disclosure, George Washington Ebert .  The Poes and Samuel Trimble were my third great uncles, Elizabeth (Poe) McClure my third great aunt.

(2)  The bold faces names in the table are the principle steamboat captains who built, piloted, and operated the boats on many rivers far from home – Georgetown.  The names in lighter type are investors who did not work on the rivers.

 (3)  John Smith McMillin and Steel McMillen were brothers although the Custom House clerk spelled their last name differently on several enrollment certs.

(4)  Samuel and Thomas Smith lived in the village opposite Georgetown on the Ohio River named Smiths Ferry.  They operated a ferry which had served the two settlements since circa 1794. 

(5)  Samuel Cadman, Samuel Moore, and David and James Wilkins resided in Pittsburgh and Allegheny City.

(6)  “M” in the fractional ownership cells indicates “Master” as listed on both the Enrollment and License forms.





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Local History at the Hookstown Fair

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Mr Myron Elliot recently visited me in Carlisle, PA.  He was “walking Gettysburg” yet took some time to visit me.  He wanted to use some of the Georgetown local history on this site at the community tent at the Hookstown Fair.   The 2014 fair will run from 19-23 Aug.


The rich early history of the south side of the Ohio River is based largely on eye witness accounts described in letters, journals, and a few books.  The stories are fantastic.  Most of the original documents have been lost forever or are maintained in private collections.  Either way original sources are scattered and hard to come by.


If you are in the area, make time to visit the Hoookkstown Fair and its Historic Village.






Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

Civil War Exploits of Andrew Poe

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

African American Civil War Monument (F Nash Collection 2015)

Andrew Poe, the son of Rev Adam Poe (co-founder of Ohio Wesleyan College), earned the rank of Captain in the Civil War.  Andrew first enlisted at age 35 as a private with Co A of the 63rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on 25 Jan 1862.  He was commissioned Captain of Company C in the 106th Regiment, US Colored Infantry from 16 May 1864 till 14 Nov 1864.  Then he was transferred to Company C of the 40th Regiment, US Colored Infantry.  The 40th  and 106th Regiments were consolidated on 7 Nov 1864.  [1]  He was mustered out on 25 Apr 1865.[2]   The dates seem a bit off.  Some time at the African American Civil War Museum will untangle the dates.


Andrew Poe is listed on the memorial wall of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC.  Andrew’s name is engraved on Wall C plaque 55 and plaque 103.  The 40th US Colored Infantry troops are honored on plaque 55; the 106th on plaque 103.  The museum website link follows:


Andrew Poe, 106th Regiment USCT ( F Nash Collection 2015)

After the war in a letter to General Clinton B Fisk of the Freedmen’s Bureau, Andrew wrote about a battle where he fought with his men until only seven of them survived. The site of the battle has not yet been determined.


“I fought until only seven of my men stood living beside me.  The graves of my poor men and of our enemies are witnesses that I tried to do a soldiers duty.  Long as I could be with the men whom I had personally rescued from Slavery and whose perils and imprisonment I had shared, I preferred my Company . . .”


Andrew Poe 40th Regiment USCT (F Nash Collection 2015)

Rev Adam Poe’s brother, Daniel had a son named Andrew A Poe. (Daniel was a Methodist Episcopal missionary in Texas who died the same day as his wife in Matagorda, TX.  The cause of their deaths is not known.)  Andrew A enlisted with Company D, Ohio 1st LA Batty( Light Artillery Battery) on 15 Aug 1862.  He was promoted to full Corporal on 15 Jun 1864.  He was killed at Kennesaw Mountain and was buried at Marietta National Cemetery.


Rev Adam Poe’s brother Charles, not a minister, was the father of Gen Orlando Metcalf Poe.  Orlando served as a Colonel under Gen Sherman on the march to Savannah.  As Sherman’s chief engineer he orchestrated the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman and hated by the entire confederacy.



Rev Adam Poe’s son and two nephews have quite a record.  They were Union men.  Their loyalties were deeply felt.  They were fearless soldiers much like their great grandfather Adam and his brother Andrew who were famed for their Revolutionary War service and their frontier battles with the Indians along the Ohio River in southern Beaver County, PA.  The Revolutionary War militiaman, Andrew, engaged the Wyandot Indian Chief Bigfoot in hand to hand combat in arguably the most famous bit of history of the Ohio frontier.


Rev Adam Poe’s son and two nephews were first cousins once removed from the steamboat captains of Georgetown, PA:  Andrew, Jacob, Adam W, Thomas W, and George W.   I often wonder whether paths crossed.  Could my Georgetown steamboat captains have transported their OH cousins to their Union duty stations in the western theater?  Think about that for a few moments.





63rd Regiment, Ohio Infantry


Organized at Marietta, Ohio, by consolidation of Battalions of the 22nd and 63rd Ohio Infantry January 25, 1862. Moved to Paducah, Ky., February 18-23, thence to Commerce, Mo. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Mississippi, to April, 1862, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of the Mississippi, to November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 8th Division, Left Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 8th Division, 16th Army of the Tennessee, to March, 1863. 4th Brigade, District of Corinth, Miss., 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to May, 1863. 3rd Brigade, District of Memphis, 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, to November, 1863. Fuller’s Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 16th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 17th Army Corps, to July, 1865.


Operations against New Madrid, Mo., March 3-14, 1862. Siege and capture of Island Number 10, Mississippi River, and pursuit to Tiptonville, March 15-April 8. Tiptonville April 8. Expedition to Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 13-17. Moved to Hamburg Landing, Tenn., April 18-23. Action at Monterey April 29. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Skirmish at Farmington May 1. Reconnoissance toward Corinth May 8. Occupation of Corinth May 30, and pursuit to Booneville May 30-June 12. Duty at Clear Creek till August 29. Battle of Iuka, Miss., September 19. Reconnoissance from Rienzi to Hatchie River September 30. Battle of Corinth October 3-4. Pursuit to Ripley October 6-12. Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign, operations on the Mississippi Central Railroad November 2, 1862, to January 12, 1863. Expedition to Jackson after Forest December 18, 1862, to January 3, 1863. Action at Parker’s Cross Roads December 30, 1862. Red Mound, or Parker’s Cross Roads, December 31. Lexington, Tenn., January 3, 1863. Moved to Corinth, Miss., January 9, and duty there till April. Dodge’s Expedition into Northern Alabama April 15-May 8. Rock Cut, near Tuscumbia, April 22. Tuscumbia April 23. Town Creek April 28. Duty at Memphis, Tenn., till October 18. Movement to Prospect, Tenn., October 18 November 30, and duty there till January, 1864. Veterans absent on Furlough January 2 to February 28, 1864. Decatur, Ala., March 8. Duty at Decatur till May. Atlanta Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstrations on Resaca May 8-13. Sugar Valley near Resaca May 9. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Advance on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Ruff’s Mills July 3-4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Decatur and Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Ezra Chapel July 28. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. At East Point till October 4. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 4-26. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Montieth Swamp December 9. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Reconnoissance to the Salkehatchie River, S. C., January 20. Salkehatchie Swamps February 2-5. Skirmishes at Rivers and Broxton Bridges February 2. Action at Rivers Bridge February 3. Binnaker’s Bridge, South Edisto River, February 9. Orangeburg February 12-13. Columbia February 16-17. Battle of Bentonville, N. C., March 20-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett’s House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June 5, and duty there till July. Mustered out July 8, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 91 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers and 259 Enlisted men by disease. Total 357. [3]


 40th United States Colored Infantry

The 40th United States Colored Infantry was organized at Nashville, Tennessee, in February

1864. The 40th USCI spent its entire service guarding railroad lines and depots in

Tennessee. Its primary responsibilities were guard duty along the Nashville and Louisville

Railroad, the Northwestern Railroad, and railroad depots in the District of East Tennessee.

The regiment fought a skirmish at South Tunnel, near Gallatin, on October 10, 1864. The

40th USCI mustered out of service on April 25, 1866.[4]



106th Regiment Infantry

Organized May 16, 1864, from 4th Alabama Colored Infantry. Attached to District of North Alabama, Dept. of the Cumberland, to February, 1865. Defenses of Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Dept. of the Cumberland, to November, 1865.

SERVICE.–Garrison at Pulaski and railroad guard duty entire term. Forest’s attack on Athens, Ala., September 23-24, 1864. Consolidated with 40th United States Colored Troops November 7, 1865.[5]











Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


Source Documents

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

A friend, and Poe relative, introduced me to the personal diary of Isaac T Goodnow.  In her research of Rev Adam Poe who was a cofounder of Ohio Wesleyan University, she crosses into the Poe steamboat land. 


Isaac T Goodnow helped establish the community of Manhattan, KN in the 185o’s.  His diaries are an interesting read.  Kansas was the topic of the day.  Slavery was the main issue.  Isaac T Goodnow traveled from Boston to Kansas at least once a year.  Isaac T Goodnow knew Rev Adam Poe who arrived in KN via steamboat to attend a religious conference.


In Issac T Goodnow’s travels, he mentioned steamboats often.  However, he rarely named them.  Two daily journal entries are listed below where he named the packets built by Georgetown men:


            (1)  str Financier.  At the time of the journal entry, Goodnow would have steamed on str Financier II built for Capt Adam Poe in 1850.   Capt Adam ran the str Financier II for three years and then sold it.  In 1855, he was commanding the str Ella which was also working on the lower Missouri River. 


            (2)  str Admiral.    In 1857 Capt Jackman T STockdale was a partner in the ownership of the str Admiral, At that time it is unclear whether he was its captain or pilot. 


The Isaac T Goodnow diaries are a fantastic first hand account of the violence in Kansas in the troubled 1850′s.   For me, they also provide source information that confirms my statements that Georgetown steamboats were working at the sharp and dangerous edge of our frontier.





Diary of Isaac T. Goodnow


Transcribed by staff and volunteers of the Riley County Historical Museum from a typescript of the original diary held in the collection of the Kansas State Historical Society.



Thursday, 8/16/55         

            Br. Wm. E. left this morning in the steamer Financier for Kansas City.  Hope to see him back soon.  Very rainy.  Drove to Judge W-s 7 miles to dinner.  P.M. rode on to Mr Roberts’ an Illinois man.  Has 120 acres corn.



Thursday 11/12/57

            Bought 2 land warrants $281.60  Saw my old friend Hugh M. Thompson, formerly of Greenfield.  Did some considerable business, & at 3. P.M. started by Pacific R.R. for Jefferson City, arriving at 9. & taking the steamer Admiral for Leavenworth City.  Lay by till morning on account of the darkness.  Rested tolerably well.  Rainy, P.M. & Evening.



Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


George Washington Ebert

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

George Washington Ebert was my great great grandfather.  He was born 13 Aug 1810 and died in Georgetown, PA on 24 Apr 1879.  Those were the years of great experiences and many great men.  During his lifetime,  GW Ebert established quite a record as a wide-ranging steamboat captain and owner.  According to the Certificates of Enrollment for vessels more than 20 tons registered at the Port of Pittsburgh, GW Ebert was the principle owner of fifteen (15) packets and was a partner in eight (8) other boats owned by Georgetown men.  My definition of “principle owner” is the person first named on the Certificate of Enrollment record for registration of the vessel.  And I have not yet concluded my review of the Certificates of Enrollment for the Port of Pittsburgh.  No doubt some data is missing due to water damage of early volumes and even worse because of lost or misplaced volumes.  Even with incomplete data, the fragments pieced together paint an impressive picture.   


Ebert Steamers

Date:  24 Mar 2013


Packet Name Build Date Way’s Directory Original Primary Owner (Signed Cert of Enrollment)
Belfast    1843 George W Ebert
Bridgewater 1843 George W Ebert
New England 1844 George W Ebert
Hudson 1846 George W Ebert
Hibernia* 1847 George W Ebert
Glaucus   1849 George W Ebert
Washington City  1852 George W Ebert
Yorktown   1853 George W Ebert
Clifton    1855 George W Ebert
Belmont  1856 George W Ebert
Melnotte  1856 George W Ebert
Argyle 1859 George W Ebert
Kenton     1860 George W Ebert
Yorktown * 1864 George W Ebert
Mollie Ebert 1869 George W Ebert
Fairmont 1837 Jacob Poe
Financier 1845 Adam Poe
Pioneer 1846 Adam Poe
Euphrates 1847 Joseph MC Calhoon
Tuscarora 1848 Jacob Poe
Golden Gate 1852 Joseph MC Calhoon
Caledonia * 1854 Richard Calhoon
Grand Turk 1854 AB Galatin

Note:  The asterisk indicates the second boat with that name.



Copyright © 2013 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


Capt Adam Poe’s Book

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

In writing about his river experiences telling about himself, he was also telling the story about the frontier and expansion to the West.  Capt Adam Poe was contributing to the growing body of literature about the West.  At that time Americans were avid readers of “Westerns”.  These novels, and epic tales of the Indian Wars,  were the core of the motion picture industry through the twentieth century – the struggle between good and evil and survival in a lawless society. 


Make time to read The True History of… by Capt Adam Poe.  The pages have been scanned and loaded for your entertainment.  It is a wonderful story.




Copyright © 2013 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

Lower Missouri River Commerce

Friday, December 28th, 2012

It is important to acknowledge that the Georgetown steamboat owners and their crews were in the river freight and passenger business at the sharp and dangerous, and always moving, frontier edge of our nation.  Without them and men like them, the development of the interior of our nation would have been delayed many years.

I have added a page to tell their story: Lower Missouri River



Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

John Reardon

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The name Reardon is an important piece in the early history of Georgetown, PA.  A page with a brief biography of John Reardon has been loaded.  And a transcript of his Revolutionary War pension application, JR Pension Transcription, has been loaded to give body to his biography.  The pension application is particularly significant because of the people referenced, such as Ensign Andrew Poe, Simon Girty, and Col William Crawford.  The lives of these important figures of the frontier were intertwined as history was being made.


The Reardon name also identified the land on which Georgetown, PA would be laid out.  The Forgotten Frontier Fort is another significant fragment of that early history.  Putting these pieces together, each into its proper place, the whole picture emerges.





Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

Certificates of Enrollment

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Detailed information provided on the Certificates of Enrollment changed trough the years.  The following certificates for the str Financier specify the essential changes in the life of the packet.  The first certificate dated 21 May 1845 indicated that the str Financier was built for and or by Capt Adam Poe of Georgetown, PA.  The  next certificate dated 20 May 1846 indicated that the rights to operate the vessel had been renewed.  The third certificate dated 04 Jun 1846 indicated a change of owners. 



Str Financier


Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6628
Adam Poe   Enroll No : 11
Jacob Poe   Cert Date: 21 May 1845
Thomas W Poe   Cert Type::  
George Calhoon   Build Locn:  
Andrew Poe   Build Date:  
George Poe   Master Adam Poe
Washington Ebert      



Str Financier


Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6629
Adam Poe   Enroll No : 68
Jacob Poe   Cert Date: 20 May 1846
Thomas W Poe   Cert Type:: Admeasurement
George Calhoon   Build Locn: Pittsburgh, PA
Andrew Poe   Build Date: 1845
George Poe   Master Adam Poe
Washington Ebert      



Str Financier


Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6629
William J Kountz   Enroll No : 69
Geo Black   Cert Date: 04 Jun 1846
Robert S Hays   Cert Type:: Admeasurement
Clark and Thaw   Build Locn: Pittsburgh, PA
    Build Date: 1845
    Master William J Kountz


Note the new owners of the str Financier.  William J Kountz was a steamboat man from Pittsburgh who was later charged with providing river transportation for troops and supplies during the Civil War.  His clashes with Gen US Grant were famous.  He wrote to Gen Halleck who was the commander of the western theater headquartered in St Louis that Gen Grant was a “glorious drunk” who should be court marshaled.  Admiral Kountz was reported to be a teetotaler.


Thaw was William Thaw who had interests in the western PA canal transportation and was one of several who established the first Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line in 1842.  Later he was associated with the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad (PRRs) which was a significant player in the the Molly Maguires sensational trials.  Twenty Mollies were prosecuted, and hanged, by the president of PRR and chief prosecutor on the testimony of one Pinkerton agent.  The president of the PRR and acting prosecutor was Franklin B Gowen who stood to gain financially from the destruction of the striking coal miner union. 


So much fun!


On 12 Oct 1850, the boilers of the str Financier exploded near Alton, IL causing the death of the captain’s son and second engineer.  Others were scalded.  [1]






[1]   Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 165.



Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


Cholera and Steamboats

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

“The Ghost Map” by Steven Johnson tells the story of the most severe outbreak of cholera in London’s history and one determined man’s efforts to analyze the outbreak.  That man was Dr John Snow.  The date was 1854.  In the study Dr Snow mapped the location of each victim and interviewed family survivors, if any.  At the time, health officials believed that cholera was spread by “ill humours”.  London was notoriously known for its bad air and odors due to its dense population and lack of sewage management.  Bacteria were unknown.  Yet Dr Snow identified the one common factor of the victims – the Broad Street public pump.  He effectively stopped the cholera outbreak in Soho by removing the pump handle on the contaminated well.  Although his hypothesis was not well accepted for another twenty years, Dr Snow determined indirectly that cholera was spread by contaminated water and is credited with the development of the epidemiological method.  


On Saturday evening 21 Apr 1855 at about nine o’clock, Capt Joseph MC Calhoon died.  The cause of death was described as “attacked with Cholera or Cholera Morbus” in a letter from WH Turner, Esq to Mrs Joseph MC Calhoon. Capt Calhoon took ill near the mouth of the Missouri River.  He tried to return to his family in Georgetown, PA but only made it as far as Alton, IL.  His body was taken to St Louis by local Free Masons and later transported to Georgetown, PA by relatives.  More details of Capt Joseph MC Calhoon’s death are found in the page – The Body.


In a letter written by Dr Isaac H Harriott II dated 15 Jul 1855, another incident with cholera took place.  On 5 Jul in Keokuk, Dr Harriott booked passage on the str Ella bound for St Paul.  Before the str Ella reached Montrose, IA two deck passengers had died of cholera.  Permission to bury the two victims was denied by local health authorities on 6 Jul 1855.  According to Dr Harriott, the two men were put into one box and buried about two or three miles from Montrose, IA on 7 Jul. 


The same incident of cholera in Montrose, IA was described in Capt Adam Poe’s River Experiences.  Cholera was so feared that Capt Adam Poe could not hire local laborers to load freight onto the str Ella.  The disease was terrifying.  A victim would lose up to five gallons of water a day, leading to a rapid painful death from dehydration.   Capt Adam Poe’s opinion of Montrose on a scale of  criminal to fair-minded was made clear.  According to Capt Poe’s recollections, the steamboat carpenter made two rough boxes.  The men were buried on a low island in the Mississippi River.


There was no Dr John Snow like person on the Mississippi in 1855.  But it is not unlikely that these two incidents on the Mississippi, separated by four months and a hundred miles of water, had a common factor like the town well in Keokuk or another river town.  Today contaminated water is still a serious worldwide problem.  One estimate indicates that more than 100,000 deaths a year are caused by cholera infections.




Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved