Palmer List of Merchant Vessels
The steamship AUGUSTA VICTORIA was laid down for the Hamburg-America Line as the NORMANNIA by AG Vulcan, Stettin (yard #183), but was launched on 1 December 1888 as the AUGUSTA VICTORIA, after Auguste Victoria, wife of the Emperor Wilhelm II. (the error in the first name was not discovered until after the launching, and was officially changed in 1897). 7,661 tons; 140,5 (144,8) x 16,9 meters (length x breadth); straight stem, 3 funnels, 3 masts; steel construction, twin-screw propulsion, triple-expansion engines (13,500 psi), service speed 19 knots; accommodation for 400 passengers in 1st class, 120 in 2nd class, and 580 in steerage; crew of 245.
The AUGUSTA VICTORIA was the first German express steamer, and the type-ship of the Augusta-Victoria Class. 10 May 1889, maiden voyage, Hamburg - Southampton - New York. 22 January 1891, first pleasure cruise by any commercial passenger ship, to the Mediterranean and the Near East. 15 March 1894, first voyage, Genoa-New York. 2 October 1896, last voyage, Hamburg - Southampton - New York. 1897, refitted by Harlan & Wolff, Belfast: 8,479 tons, lengthened to 163,1 meters, 2 masts, name corrected to AUGUSTE VICTORIA. 3 June 1897, resumed Hamburg - Southampton - New York service. 8 April 1903, last voyage, Naples - Genoa - New York. 16 January 1904, last voyage, Hamburg - Southampton - New York. May 1904, sold to the Russian Navy, renamed KUBAN, rebuilt as auxiliary cruiser. May 1907, scrapped at Stettin.
Sources: Arnold Kludas and Herbert Bischoff, Die Schiffe der Hamburg-Amerika Linie, Bd. 1: 1847-1906 (Herford: Koehler, 1979), p. 50 (photograph c1900); Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 1 (1975), p. 395.
[04 Jul 1998]
The Bremen ship AUGUSTE was built at Vegesack/Grohn by Johann Lange, for the Bremen firm of E. C. Schramm & Co,and was launched on 2 November 1850. 341 Commerzlasten / 767 tons; 40,6 x 10,5 x 6,1 meters (length x beam x depth of hold). International Signal Code: QBLT. Masters of the AUGUSTE were, in chronological order, Ed. Theodor Lüdering and (1856) Heinrich Ehrichs, both of Bremen, and (1864) Hinrich von Harten, of Vegesack.
The AUGUSTE weathered innumerable storms during her almost 45-year career. The Wochenschrift für Vegesack und Umgegend for 15 June 1864 reports:
Laut telegraphischer Nachricht aus Aberdeen vom 11. d. ist das Bremer Schiff AUGUSTE, Capt. Erichs, von Bremen mit Passagieren nach Baltimore bestimmt, unweit Vonaldsday auf Strand gerathen. Passagiere und Mannschaft gelandet und hofft man auch das Schiff, wenn das Wetter gut bleibt, abzubringen.
The vessel was indeed got off safely and undamaged a few days later, and continued her journey to Baltimore.
The Wochenschrift für Vegesack und Umgegend for 12 July 1865 reports:
Dem Capitain H. von Harten, Führer des Bremer Schiffes AUGUSTE, ist für die von ihm während eines Sturmes vollzogene Rettung der Mannschaft des am 15. Dec. v.J. in der Nähe von Corunna gesunkenen Norwegischen Barkschiffes NEPTUN von Sr. Majestät dem Könige von Schweden und Norwegen die silberne Medaille verliehen worden.
On 26 July 1868, the AUGUSTE, bound from Philadelphia to Bremen with a cargo of petroleum, encountered a severe storm, and, leaking badly, was on forced into Boston on 3 August 1868, in order to effect repairs.
In about 1885, the AUGUSTE, which had been re-rigged in the 1870's as a bark and sailed for almost 20 years under Capt. von Harten, was sold Dutch, to S. van der Hei, of Heveskes. New International Signal Code: NGBV. Her new master was P. Arkeman. In the first quarter of 1895, after a career of almost 45 years, the AUGUSTE was broken up at Nieuwediep.
Source: Peter-Michael Pawlik, Von der Weser in die Welt; Die Geschichte der Segelschiffe von Weser und Lesum und ihrer Bauwerften 1770 bis 1893, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, Bd. 33 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1993), p. 219, no. 210.
[01 Mar 1999]
AUGUSTUS WATTENBACH (1855)
KING OF ITALY 
The British ship AUGUSTUS WATTENBACH was built under Lloyd's Register of Shipping Special Survey, at Bremerhaven, by R. C. Rickmers, in 1855 (completed [seefertig] on 30 August 1855), the third of three vessels commissioned by Wattenbach & Heilgers from Rickmers. (The other vessels were the WINTERTHUR, 648 brutto register tons, built in 1853, and the IDA ZIEGLER, 955 brutto register tons, built in 1854.) Measurements at time of build: 1,595 brutto register tons; 64 x 11.56 meters (length x beam) [Otto Höver, Von der Galiot zum Fünfmaster: unsere Segelschiffe in der Weltschiffahrt 1780-1930 (Bremen: Angelsachsen-Verlag, 1934), pp. 265-266]. The annual volumes of Lloyd's Register of Shipping for 1856/57-1873/74 contain the following information on the AUGUSTUS WATTENBACH:
Name: 1856/57-1860/61 - AUGUSTUS WATTENBACH 1861/62-1873/74 - KING OF ITALY Built: Bremen [Bremerhaven], 1855 Tonnage: 1856/57-1860/61 - 1282 tons 1861/62-1873/74 - 1363 tons Measurements (1863/64): 219.6 x 37.5 x 22.7 feet (length x beam x depth of hold) Rig: Ship Master: 1856/57 - Kersting 1857/58-1860/61 - J. C. Clare 1861/62-1862/63 - R. Norris 1862/63-1863/64 - E. Marshall 1863/64-1873/74 - H. Brown Owner: 1856/57-1860/61 - Wattenbach 1861/62-1866/67 - Higgin & C 1866/67-1873/74 - E. Gennys Port of Registry: 1856/57-1866/67 - London 1866/67-1873/74 - Plymouth Port of Survey: 1856/57-1859/60 - Liverpool 1860/61 - London 1861/62-1862/63 - Hartlepool 1862/63-1863/64 - London 1863/64-1873/74 - Liverpool Destined Voyage: 1856/57 - India 1857/58-1859/60 - Calcutta 1860/61 - [not given] 1861/62-1862/63 - Australia 1863/64 - India 1864/65 - India [crossed out] 1865/66-1873/74 - [not given].
I do not at present know the ultimate fate of the KING OF ITALY, ex AUGUSTUS WATTENBACH. Although the vessel last appears in Lloyd's Register for 1873/74, the entries in the last volumes for 1868/69 onwards are clearly continuations of the entry in the volume for 1867/68; she was last surveyed in February 1865.
[23 Sep 1998]
[Right] Austerlitz entering the port of Havre. Painting by Frédéric Roux, 1834, owned by Mrs. George E. Ladd. Source: Alfred Johnson, Ships and Shipping; a collection of pictures including many American vessels, painted by Antoine Roux and his sons ... (Salem, Massachusetts: Marine Research Society, 1925), p. 175, plate 71. To request a larger copy of this scan, click on the picture.
[Left] "Austerlitz of New-Orleans, Entering the Port of Havre June [remainder illegible]". Watercolor. 43.8 x 59.7 cm. Signed, l.r., "Frédéric Roux [illegible] 1837". Inscription on reverse: "Frédéric Roux, hydographe & peintre de Marine petit quai Notre-Dame No 13 au Havre Juillet 1837". Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, M10568. Gift of Robert J. Clark, 1960. Source: Philip Chadwick Foster Smith, The Artful Roux, Marine Painters of Marseille; including a catalogue of the Roux family paintings at the Peabody Museum of Salem (Salem: Peabody Museum of Salem, 1978), p. 43, no. 83. To request a larger copy of this scan, click on the picture.
The U.S. ship AUSTERLITZ was built at Medford, Massachusetts, in 1833. 415 tons; 126 ft 2 in x 26 ft 6 in x 13 ft 3 in (length x beam x depth of hold). She was owned by William Hammond (who was also her master), of Marblehead, Massachusetts; Eliazer E. Bradshaw, of New York; and Frank Perret & Gally, of New Orleans. As her name implies, the AUSTERLITZ was intended for the French trade, sometimes sailing directly from Boston, New York, or New Orleans to Le Havre, but often sailing the "triangle route", from Boston or New York to a southern cotton port such as New Orleans or Mobile, and thence to Le Havre. The AUSTERLITZ was disabled in a typhoon and was abandoned at sea, in a sinking condition, on 26 December 1850.
Source: Philip Chadwick Foster Smith, The Artful Roux, Marine Painters of Marseille; including a catalogue of the Roux family paintings at the Peabody Museum of Salem (Salem: Peabody Museum of Salem, 1978), p. 43, no. 83.
[23 Jul 1999]
The Swedish ship AUSTRALIA, was built at Lulea, Sweden, in 1841.
On 30 November 1844, the AUSTRALIA was purchased from Liliewalch of Stockholm by the Hamburg firm of Joh. Ces. Godeffroy & Sohn, who renamed her ALFRED, despite the fact that the firm already owned another vessel of this name. 225 Commerzlasten (variously 562, 600, 604 tons); 133,5 x 32,8 x 19,11 Hamburg Fuß (1 Hamburg Fuß = .28657 meter), length x beam x depth of hold, zwischen den Steven.
Masters: 1847 - J. Lafrenz 1847-1851 - H. E. Decker 1851-1854 - H. Bruhns Voyages: 1845 - New Orleans 1845-1846 - Valparaiso/Lima 1846-1847 - Havre/intermediate ports/New York 1847-1848 - Arracan/London 1848-1849 - Adelaide/Callao 1849-1850 - Adelaide/intermediate ports/London 1851-1852 - New York/Valparaiso 1852-1853 - Valdivia/Valparaiso/Iquique 1853-1854 - Melbourne/intermediate ports/Antwerp.
The ALFRED ex AUSTRALIA, which was re-rigged as a bark at some time between 1850 and 1853, was sold to Norwegian interests in 1855, renamed RHEA, and placed under the command of Capt. Eckersberg. I have no information on her later history or ultimate fate.
Walter Kresse, ed., Seeschiffs-Verzeichnis der Hamburger Reedereien, 1824-1888, Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, N. F., Bd. 5. (Hamburg: Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, 1969), vol. 1, p. 165; R. T. Sexton, Shipping arrivals and departures, South Australia, 1627-1850; guide for genealogists and maritime historians, Roebuck Society Publication No. 42 (Ridgehaven, SA: Gould Books / Aranda, ACT: Roebuck Society, 1990), pp. 135, 173, 214; Marten A. Syme, Shipping arrivals and departures; Victorian ports, vol. 2, Roebuck Society Publication No. 39 (Melbourne: [Roebuck Society], 1987), pp. 54, 212).
[18 Aug 1998]
[Right]Contemporary print of the AUSTRIA on fire at sea, 13 September 1857. HAPAG-Lloyd, Hamburg. Source: Arnold Kludas, Die Geschichte der Deutschen Passagierschiffahrt, Bd. 1: Die Pionierjahre von 1850 bis 1890, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, 22 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1986), p. 23. To request a larger copy of this scan, click on the picture.
[Left] The AUSTRIA. Source: Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 1 (1975), p. 349. To request a larger copy of this scan, click on the picture.
The steamship AUSTRIA was built for the Hamburg-America Line by Caird & Co, Greenock, and was launched on 23 June 1857. 575 Commerzlasten / 2684 tons; 318 x 39 x 28.10 feet (length x breadth x depth of hold); clipper bow, 1 funnel, 3 masts; iron construction, screw propulsion, inverted engines (twin cylinders), service speed 10 knots; accommodation for 60 passengers in 1st class, 120 in 2nd class, and 450 in steerage; crew of 80.
Chartered by the British Government as an Indian Mutiny troop transport. 5 October 1857, sailed from Cork, but suffered severe storm damage in the Bay of Biscay, and forced to return to Plymouth; after a second attempt to sail was abandoned when her machinery broke, the British Government cancelled its charter. 1 May 1857, first voyage, Hamburg - Southampton - New York (2 roundtrip voyages). 1 September 1857, sailed from Hamburg on her 3rd voyage to New York. 13 September 1857, about noon, in lat 45 01, lon 41 30, it was decided to fumigate the steerage by dipping a red-hot chain into a bucket of tar; the chain became too hot for the boatswain to hold, and he dropped it on the deck, which immediately burst into flame; although the ship was traveling only at half speed it was impossible to stop the engines as the engine crew had become asphyxiated, and when the helmsman abandoned the wheel, the ship swung into the wind, spreading the flames down the length of the ship.
Of the 538 passengers and crew aboard the AUSTRIA, only 91 (not 67, as is usually given) survived in a boat. Of the 91 survivors, 69, including the following crew, were taken on board the French bark MAURICE, of Nantes, Ernest Renaud, master, bound from Newfoundland for the Isle of Bourbon with a cargo of fish:
- L. F. Hahn, first officer
- B. H. Heitmann, second officer
- T. C. Burnett, third officer
- C. Plate, quartermaster
- C. Michaelis, second boatswain
- T. Friebold, fireman
- T. H. Richter, seaman
- N. Jurgensen, sailor
- O[liver] Poll, engineer-assistant
- Edward Allendorf, of Sante Crux, steward
On 14 September, the MAURICE transferred 12 of the surviving passengers (mostly American citizens and British subjects) to the bark LOTUS, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Trefy, master, from Liverpool for Halifax, and proceeded with the remaining 57 passengers and crew to Fayal, arriving on 19 September. At Fayal, nine of the crew--the exception was Allendorf, who appears to have been a passenger working his passage--, boarded the steamer IRELAND, Capt. Jackson, to return to Hamburg; they landed at Gravesend on the evening of 13 October 1858. Allendorf, along with all but three of the other passengers (who, being badly burned, remained in hospital in Fayal), boarded HM steam frigate VALOROUS, Capt. W. C. Aldham, RN, which arrived at New York on the evening of 14 October 1858, 28 days from Plymouth and 16 days from Fayal. (The purpose of the voyage of the VALOROUS to New York was to convey Sir William Gore Ouseley to Central America, as British Special Envoy.)
The remaining 22 survivors, 15 passengers and 7 crew, were taken off the burning steamship on the morning of 14 September 1858 by the Norwegian ship CATARINA, Funnemark, master, from Fowey for Quebec, where it arrived on 3 October 1858. The names of the crew of the AUSTRIA arriving at Quebec on board the CATARINA are:
- Martin Folge, cook
- Joseph Karze, fireman
- Frederick Thefeldt, fireman
- Heur Rieper, fireman
- Johann Rohmondt, sailor
- Johann Heinrich, sailor
- ________ Jaht, sailor
Sources: Arnold Kludas and Herbert Bischoff, Die Schiffe der Hamburg-Amerika Linie, Bd. 1: 1847-1906 (Herford: Koehler, 1979), pp. 24-25 (picture); Arnold Kludas, Die Geschichte der Deutschen Passagierschiffahrt, Bd. 1: Die Pionierjahre von 1850 bis 1890, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, 22 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1986), pp. 22-23 (picture); Walter Kresse, ed., Seeschiffs-Verzeichnis der Hamburger Reedereien, 1824-1888, Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, N. F., Bd. 5. (Hamburg: Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, 1969), vol. 1, p. 189; Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 1 (1975), pp. 349 (picture) and 388. New York Herald, 28 September 1858, p. 1d; 29 September 1858, p. 1a; 15 October 1858, p. 1e; 23 October 1858, p. 1c; New York Times, 5 October 1858, p. 1; 23 October 1858, p. 1; Times (London), 15 October 1858, p. 10f. A list of 23 officers lost on the AUSTRIA is printed in the New York Times, 5 October 1858, p. 1b. Although the original crew list burned with the ship, the Staatsarchiv Hamburg contains extensive lists of surviving crew and passengers, compiled in the course of the official investigation of the disaster, and in conjunction with inheritance and pension claims by the families of the deceased officers and crew members.
[16 Sep 1999]