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The Fleets


In 1855 Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt of New York built the Vanderbilt. The vessel sailed from New York to Havre. Subsequent sailings also called at Southampton. New York - Bremen sailings started in 1857. Transatlantic sailings ceased in 1860. All ships were wooden hulled, paddle steamers. When war broke out between the States, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the vessels to the US Government. see also Panama Route Steamers.

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 (on-site) ot the Immigrant Ship web site.

Red with black top.

Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Ariel 1855 1868 chartered to Ruger's American Line, 1873 struck reef and sank off Yokohama. 1,295
Illinois 1851 ex- Louisiana, formerly Pacific Mail vessel, later became Illinois for US Mail Line, 1860 purchased by Vanderbilt, 1861 chartered to Federal Government, 1866 engines removed and became hospital ship for NY Quarantine Commission, 1888 sold and scrapped. 2,123
North Star 1853 ex-Vanderbilt's yacht, 1859 transferred to New York - Panama service, 1865 sold to Pacific Mail. 1,867
Northern Light 1851 1867 chartered to New York & Bremen SS Co., 1868-69 chartered to Ruger's American Line, 1875 scrapped. 1,768
Ocean Queen 1857 ex- Queen of the Pacific, 1859 purchased by Vanderbilt and renamed Ocean Queen, 1861 chartered to US War Department, 1869-70 chartered to Ruger's American Line, 1875 scrapped. 2,801
Vanderbilt 1855 1861 chartered to Federal Government, 1862 presented to Government converted to cruiser. 3,360

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Last updated: February 02, 2005 and maintained by and M. Kohli