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The Fleets

Inman Line / Liverpool and Philadelphia Steamship Company / Liverpool, New York and Philadelphia Steamship Company

Inman Line was formed in 1850 by three partners as the Liverpool & Philadelphia SS Co and in 1852 added steerage berths to their ships to cater for the emigrant trade. In 1852 two of the partners who were Quakers, disagreed with the policy of chartering ships for trooping purposes and resigned. After this the company became unofficially known as Inman Line after the remaining founder, William Inman. In mid 1854 the transatlantic service ceased as all the company ships were employed on Crimean War service and didn't resume until Apr.1856. To cater for the growth of New York traffic, the official name of the company was changed in 1857 to Liverpool , New York and Philadelphia SS Co and Philadelphia rapidly became a secondary port of call. Due to Irish emigrant trade, Queenstown was added as a passenger call in 1859. The slump of 1867 caused the introduction of services between Liverpool - New Orleans and Antwerp - New York but these did not last for long. However, Inman gained the Queenstown - Halifax contract the same year and also inaugurated a feeder service between Halifax and St. John, N.B. The Inman Steamship Co was formed in 1875 and entered into collaboration with White Star Line. By 1886 the company was in serious financial difficulties and could not raise the money to replace the ageing fleet. They went into voluntary liquidation in Oct.1886 and their assets were purchased by the American owned International Navigation Co. who already owned the American Line and Red Star Line. The ships were then operated under an operating company, Inman & International SS Co and continued to sail under the British flag. In 1892 the U.S. Mail contract was awarded to Inman & International, providing that the ships were transferred to the U.S. flag. The last Inman sailing from Liverpool took place in Feb.1893 and the service was transferred to Southampton and all ships became U.S. flagged under the ownership of American Line.

Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.


  • 1850-1856 Liverpool - Philadelphia
  • 1856 Liverpool - New York - Philadelphia.
  • 1857-1893 Liverpool - Queenstown (Cobh) - New York.
  • 1867-1870 Liverpool - New Orleans
  • 1867-1868 Antwerp - New York.
  • 1867-1870 Queenstown - Halifax (with feeder service to St. John, N.B.)

Black with broad white band


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Ajax 1867 tug at Liverpool. 163
Baltic 1883 1883 chartered from White Star for 2 voyages, 1885 - 1887 chartered from White Star Line for 15 voyages. 3,707
City of Antwerp 1867 1879 sold to Johnston Line renamed Thanemore. 2,391
City of Baltimore 1855 1855-1856 chartered to France as Crimean War transport, 1874 sold to Hall Line renamed Fivaller. 2,538
City of Berlin 1875 1893 sold to American Line renamed Berlin. 5,526
City of Boston 1865 1870 went missing at sea; loss of 177 lives. 2,278
City of Bristol   see Etna  
City of Brooklyn 1869 1879 sold to Dominion Line renamed Brooklyn. 2,911
City of Brussels 1869 1883 sank in River Mersey after collision with s/s KIRBY HALL; loss of 10 lives. 3,747
City of Chester 1873 1893 sold to American Line renamed Chester. 4,770
City of Chicago 1883 1892 wrecked off Ireland; no lives lost 5,202
City of Cork 1863 1871 sold to Italy renamed Mediterraneo. 1,547
City of Dublin 1864 ex- Hellespont, 1864 purchased renamed City of Dublin, 1873 to Dominion Line renamed Quebec 2,138
City of Durham 1865 feeder service Halifax - St John's, NF, 1878 sold to J. Edwards, Liverpool. 697

City of Glasgow

1850 1851 purchased from Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, 1854 went missing; loss of 480 lives. 1,610
City of Halifax 1868 1871 feeder service Halifax to St John's, NF, fate unknown. 697
City of Limerick 1855 ex- African, 1863 purchased from Dixon & Co renamed City of Limerick, 1870 rebuilt to 2536 tons, 1880 sold to Thistle Line. 1,529
City of London 1863 1869 rebuilt to 2765 tons, 1878 sold to Thistle Line. 2,536
City of Manchester 1851 1854 Chartered to France as Crimean War Transport, 1857 Indian Mutiny military transport, 1871 sold and converted to barque. 2,125
City of Montreal
1872 1887 burned at sea with cargo of cotton; no loss of life. 4,451
City of New York (1) 1861 1864 wrecked near Queenstown; no loss of life. 2,360
City of New York (2) 1865 ex- Delaware, purchased on stocks, completed as City of New York, 1883 sold to Allan Line renamed Norwegian. 2,642
City of New York (3)
1888 1893 transfered to American Line renamed New York 10,499
City of Paris (1) 1866 1870 rebuilt to 3500 tons, 1884 sold France renamed Tonquin. 2,566
City of Paris (2) 1889 1893 transfered to American Line renamed Paris. 10,669
City of Philadelphia 1854 1854 wrecked near Cape Race on maiden voyage; no loss of life. 2,168
City of Pittsburgh 1851 owned by New York & San Francisco SS Co., but wore Inman Line colours and Inman acted as agents, 1852 burnt out at Valparaiso. 1,500
City of Richmond 1873 1891 sold to British owners. 4,607
City of Rome 1881 1882 sold to Anchor Line. 8,415
City of Washington 1855 1855-1856 chartered to France as Crimean War Transport, 1873 wrecked near Cape Sable; no loss of life. 2,381
Edinburgh 1855 1859 purchased from Glasgow & New York SS Co., 1870 chartered to H. E. Bates & Co., 1872 sold to Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co, converted to cable ship. 2,197
Etna 1855 1860 purchased from European & Australian Royal Mail, 1871 rebuilt to 2655 tons, renamed City of Bristol, 1881 sold to Italy renamed Messico. 2,215
Glasgow 1851 1859 purchased from Glasgow & New York SS Co., 1865 caught fire and sank at sea; no loss of life. 1,962
Kangaroo 1853 1854 taken over from Australasian Pacific Mail SS Co. as Crimean War transport, 1856 entered Inman service, 1870 chartered to H. E. Bates & Co, 1876 sold to Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co, converted to cable ship. 1,773
Ohio 1887 1889 chartered from American Line for 13 voyages. 3,392
Vigo 1854 1858 purchased from Cie. Franco-Americaine, France, 1861 sold to Lopez renamed Isla De Puerto Rico. 1,953

Rates as of Dec 6th 1850

Rates of Passage.-From Liverpool:-1st Cabin, 22 guineas; 2nd Cabin, 13 guineas. From Philadelphia.-- 1st Cabin, 100 dollars; 2nd Cabin, 60 dollars.

These rates include provisions and steward's fee, but not wines or liquors, which can be had on board.

Rates of Freight.-From Liverpool--4 per ton measurement. From Philadelphia.-According to agreement.

Passengers and shippers will find Philadelphia the most central port, possessing railway communication in a few hours and at trifling expense to New York for the North; being also on the main line from the North through Baltimore to Washington and the Southern States, and the great central railway (now open to within 80 miles of Pittsburg[sic] on the Ohio) forms the shortest and most direct route to the Western States. All goods sent to the agents in Philadelphia will be forwarded with economy and despatch.

For further particulars apply in Philadelphia and New York to Richardson, Watson and Co.; in Belfast, to Richardson, Brothers and Co.; in Glasgow to Patrick Henderson and Co., and in Liverpool to Richardson, Brothers and Co., 12 and 13, Tower Buildings, Liverpool.

Pages 45-46 of The Atlantic Ferry, Maginnis, 1892.

Ad of 1854

The following add is taken from The Atlantic Ferry, A. Maginnis, 1892 (extracted from the Liverpool Albion of July 17, 1854).
Favourite Iron Screw Steamships.
City of Manchester2125 tonsCapt. W. Wylie
City of Philadelphia (new)2189 tonsCapt. R. Leitch
City of Baltimore (new)2538 tonsCapt. R. Leitch
Are intended to sail as under:
City of Philadelphia----Wednesday, 26th July
City of Manchester----Wednesday, 6 Sept
City of Manchester----Saturday, 22nd July
City of Manchester----Saturday, 19th Aug
City of Manchester----Saturday, 30th Sept
Rates of Passage From Liverpool:
Cabin, in Two-berth State Rooms21 guineas each Berth
Cabin, in Three-berth State Rooms17 guineas each Berth
Cabin, in Forward State Rooms15 guineas each Berth
Including Provisions and Steward's Fee; all having the same privileges and Messing together.
A limited number of Passengers will be taken at 8 guineas, including as much Provisions as required; and these Passengers are hereby informed, that in order to satisfy the requirements of the Government Officers, the date filled into their contract ticket will be in every case the date of the day preceding the fixed day of sailing.
These Steamers carry "Phillips's patent Fire Annihilators"
An experienced Surgeon is attached to each Steamer.
Dogs charged £3 each.
Freight £4 per Ton, and Unmanufactured Goods, &c., will be taken subject to agreement, payable here or in Philadelphia, at $4.80c. per pound Steerling.
Apply in Philadelphia, to SAMUEL SMITH, 17, Walnut Street; in Belfast, to RICHARDSON BROTHERS and Co.; in Dublin, to CORNELIUS CARLETON; in London, to EDWARDS, SANFORD and Co., for Passengers, and PICKFORD and Co., for Goods; in Paris, to FRED. REDFERN, 8, Rue de la Paix; in Havre, to W. DAVIDSON; in Manchester, to GEO. STONIER; and in Liverpool, to
12 and 13, Tower Buildings
N.B.--When the arrangements are completed, and sufficient Goods offer, one of the above, or other Steam-vessels, will proceed to Baltimore, calling at Norfolk, Virginia, or other Ports on the Chesapeake, going or returning.

Inman From Scandinavian Ports

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