Trial Trip of the Steamer Winfield Scott, 1849
- from The Wheeling Daily Gazette, March 1, 1849, p. 2
THE STEAMER WINFIELD SCOTT . — Called yesterday from our sanctum by the repeated firing of heavy ordnance, apparently in the direction of the revolutionary legislature of Ohio, and fearing than an attack had been made by that "blood and thunder" body upon the peculiar institutions of Virginia, we hat-in-hand rushed to the river to ascertain the true cause. We were agreeable disappointed to ascertaining that the "noise and confusion" proceeded from the Artillery on board the new and splendid steamer WINFIELD SCOTT which had for a few minutes previously cut loose from her moorings at the boat yard and was passing our levee on a trial trip.
Expressing in common with our fellow citizens assembled on the wharf, our astonishment at her speed and somewhat peculiar appearance, the moment she touched the landing we found ourself among the crowd pouring on to her decks and into her cabin. Being of rather a Paul Pryish or inquisitive disposition our torrent of questions elicited the following facts in regard to her model and appointments.
But first, we would premise, that she does not sit upon the water with that overburthened appearance presented by most of our river boats. Her guards do not, like most of them, seem to be striving for a resting place on the surface of the wter. Owing to her comparatively great depth of hold she appears, at least to a landman like ourself, to much better advantage.
But to return to the items: She is in extreme length of deck, 182 feet; 31 feet beam; 49 1/2 feet whole width and 8 feet hold. Her hull is "extra fastened," "double-butt bolted" and "double clamped — and as regards the strength of her hull, the universal opinion of those examining her hull yesterday seemed to be, that she is not surpassed by any other boat on the western waters.
She carries three 42 inch boilers, 30 feet long; two 22 inch cylinders 7 feet stroke and a 28 feet wheel with 9 feet buckets. Her hull was built by WM. KNOX of Marietta; Engines by PHILLIPS & Co. of Wheeling; Cabin JAMES MILLINGER; Painting by RHODES & NELSON and Chairs by J. W. ROEB.
She has a commodius cabin, pure white, chaste and plain in finish; and while peeping into the state-rooms, of which she has a sufficient nmber to berth 84 passengers, we found breadth sufficient to obviate the necessity of one's tumbling out in a sudden effort at shifting sides.
One thing in particular about the WINFIELD SCOTT is worth imitation by our river boats generally: She has a commodious room in commonly waste, unused space over and between the engine and side of the vessel, entirely disconnected from the cabin and to be used as Bar, Barbershop and Wash-room — this is a new feature and a decided improvement.
She is designed for the Pittsburgh and Wheeling and New Orleans trade; commanded by Capt. ALEXANDER DEVENNY, Clerk LAFAYETTE DEVENNY — the two being sole owners; and surely any one who could fail to be well pleased with the attentions of her gentlemanly officers and the comforts and conveniences of the boat must be an unreclaimable cynic indeed.
The WINFIELD SCOTT will leave for New Orleans on monday next, and being a Wheeling built Boat she has strong claims upon Wheeling patronage. For freight or passage application may be made to S. C. BAKER, Agent.
P.S. As we understand the Cpatain obtains a portion of the Furniture for his boat in Pittsburgh, we expect to see the papers of that place claiming the WINFIELD SCOTT as a Pittsburgh built boat. So long, however, as Messrs. Phillips & Co. continue to make engines in this city — or that we remain at the "head of navigation" Wheeling can afford to be generous. We shall not, therefore, burst a boiler or allow much steam to escape should our prediction in this particular prove correct.