Posts Tagged ‘jacob 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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CivWar Pension Request

Monday, August 18th, 2014


Civil war Pension Request by Jacob Poe (Anna L and John F Nash Collection))

On 4 Apr 1881 Capt Jacob Poe penned a letter to Hon CC Townsend requesting that he be awarded a pension for his service during the Civil War.  In support of his request he has enclosed with his letter a newspaper clipping from a Pittsburgh paper indicating that two pilots, Sylvester and Harry Doss, received pensions.  Each Doss received a pension of $15 per month along with back pay of $7,500 (?).


The letter by Jacob Poe was written on the letterhead of his son’s livery service. 





Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

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
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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Jacob Poe bio has been updated with new material obtained over the past two years.   Similarly, History in Homes has been modified with additional material and images.  As I have indicted before, it may be worth your time to stop by occasionally to see if a subject important to you has changed.


I am working on  Thomas W Poe.



Copyright © 2013 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Mr Matthew S Schulte, Executive director of the Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA), has graciously granted permission to scan and post the pages of two articles published in PowerShips, the voice  of the SSHSA. 


The first article, “No Place For a Lady“, was the description of the Missouri River journey written by Nancy Ann (Poe) Ebert in 1869.


The second article, “The History of a Civil War Transport, the Clara Poe ” was the story of the str Clara Poe during the Civil War and the unsuccessful request for indemnity which spanned six presidencies.



Copyright © 2013 Francis W Nash
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PowerShips Article

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

The story of a Civil War transport, the str Clara Poe, was published in the Steamships Historical Society of America (SSHSA) magazine PowerShips Summer 2013 No 286.


The synopsis follows:


The history of the steamer Clara Poe has been essentially silent despite her lengthy Civil War service to the Union. Fran Nash’s account of the steamer is a bit of American history too important to be left untold.


Like my first article No Place for a Lady!: Journal of the Wife of a Steamboat Captain, this story was edited by Jim Pennypacker who is the editor of PowerShips.  He made me look professional.  If you can find the periodical, the story is a fun read. 



Copyright © 2013 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


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

The First Steamboat War.

Friday, December 21st, 2012

In May 1846, the US Army was completely unprepared for the logistics problems presented by the Mexican War.  Difficult though the procurement of supplies was, the distribution of those supplies presented far more complex problems.  Supply lines were longer than ever experienced in US military history.   For the Army of the West, nearly 900 miles of Indian Territory separated the Ft Leavenworth depot from Santa Fe and 1,050 miles separated Santa Fe from San Diego. For the Army of the East, San Antonio was 600 miles from Chihuahua and 160 miles from Port Lavacca on the Gulf of Mexico.


Beginning in Nov 1846, the US army Quartermaster successfully used steamboats for transporting troops and supplies to Ft Leavenworth on the Missouri River and New Orleans.  Some of the inland river steamboats also “sailed” the 600 miles from New Orleans over open seas so that they could operate on the Rio Grande during the war.  (Sailing vessels also moved troops and supplies from New York and other Atlantic ports to the Gulf.  At that time, the steam powered toy called a railroad appeared destined for nothing more than carrying goods to a steamboat port provided no benefit to the Army.)    


According to the entry in Capt Way’s Directory, the str New England was the flagship of a fleet of steamboats departing Pittsburgh with soldiers bound for the Mexican War.  In Mar 1847, the str New England was purchased by Capt George W Ebert who operated the sidewheeler between Pittsburgh and Wheeling till 1849. [1]  I do not know whether Capt Ebert  participated in the Mexican War effort (combat operations lasted a year and a half to the fall of 1847).

The following table lists the owners of the str New England  according to the Certifiacte of Enrollment record dated 3 Mar 1847.

Str New England

Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6629
Geo W Ebert   Enroll No : 26
Jacob Poe   Cert Date: 3 Mar 1847
Andrew Poe   Cert Type:: Enrollment 180
Thomas Poe   Build Locn: Pittsburgh, PA
Wm J Kountz   Build Date: 1844
David Wilkins   Master GW Ebert



Check the owners of  the str New England in 1847.  All these names spelled history.   Geo W Ebert was my great great grandfather;  Jacob, Andrew and Thomas Poe were brothers and my great great granduncles.  During the Civil War, William J Kountz was the admiral in charge of river transportation.  He declared that Gen US Grant was  a “glorious drunk” who should be court marshaled.  Grant arrested William J Kountz  for insubordination. 



[1]  Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p 343.


Golden Wedding Anniversary

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

In the hand-made book by Mrs Lillian May (Poe) Wagner, I found a fun newspaper clipping of the Golden Anniversary of Jacob Poe and Mary Ann Ebert “held at their comfortable residence” on 27 Dec 1888 in Georgetown, PA.  I do not know the newspaper that published the information.  The author of the article was John A Trimble, my great grandfather.

Mary and Jacob Poe Golden Wedding Anniversary 1888 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

Mary and Jacob Poe Golden Wedding Anniversary 1888 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)






Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
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