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Catalog entry

inv. 475
Departure of the "Jamestown" for Cork, Ireland
Boston, March 28th 1847 Departure of the Jamestown, for Cork, Ireland, R. B. B. Forbes, Commander; Departure of the Jamestown, for Cork, Ireland, R. B. B. Forbes, Commander
1847
Lithograph on paper
8 x 4 1/2 in. (20.3 x 11.4 cm)
Sheet: H. 5 1/2 x 23.5 in. (14 cm) 9 1/4 (frontispiece in book)
Boston, March 28, 1847
F.H. Lane del.
Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston

Commentary

This lithograph was drawn by Lane and printed at Lane & Scott as a frontispiece for Robert Bennet Forbes's book, Voyage of the Jamestown in Her Errand of Mercy.

 

When news of the second year of the devastating Irish potato famine reached Boston in 1846, Bostonians formed a relief committee and began to look for ways to help. Robert Bennet Forbes lobbied the U.S. Navy for use of the "Jamestown," a sloop-of-war that was lying idle in Charlestown Navy Yard. On March 3, 1847, by United States Congressional resolution, R.B. Forbes was authorized to take command of the "Jamestown," while Captain George Coleman McKay was authorized to command USS "Macedonian," then at New York Navy Yard. Tons of food and $151,000 were donated and loaded onto the "Jamestown" by the Boston Labourers Society (mostly Irish), free of charge. On March 28, 1847, the "Jamestown" left Boston at 8:30 a.m. under the command of R.B. Forbes, who managed to complete the Atlantic crossing in a record-breaking seventeen days.

Upon his return, Forbes wrote a book about the voyage, Voyage of the Jamestown in Her Errand of Mercy. In 1847, Lane was running his own lithography shop in Boston with his partner John Scott. Lane had already made two lithographs of Forbes's innvotative steam-powered vessels in 1845, Auxiliary Steam Packet Ship Massachusetts (inv. 442) and Steam packet ship Mass., in a Squall, Nov. 10, 1845 (inv. 443). It was natural that, in 1847, Forbes would turn to Lane to make a lithograph for the frontispiece of his book.

In the print, the vessel is sitting low in the water, attesting to its heavy load. Forbes's steam towboat, the "R.B. Forbes," is in the water behind the "Jamestown," and the buildings of Boston and Charlestown can be seen behind that.

–Melissa Geisler Trafton

Related Work in the Catalog

Provenance (Information known to date; research ongoing.)

See IMPRESSIONS tab for provenance.

Exhibition History

Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts, Drawn From Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, October 7, 2017–March 4, 2018. [Impression: Cape Ann Museum (inv. 406)].

Published References

Forbes, Robert Bennet. Voyage of the Jamestown in Her Errand of Mercy. Boston: Eastburn Press, 1847., frontispiece, Departure of the "Jamestown" for Cork, Ireland.
Crossman, Carl L. "Lithographs of Fitz Hugh Lane." In American Maritime Prints, edited by Elton W. Hall. New Bedford, MA: The Whaling Museum by the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, 1987, pp. 63–94. The Proceedings of the Eighth Annual North American Print Conference held at the Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Mass., May 6–7, 1977., p.90. ⇒ includes text
Craig, James. Fitz H. Lane: An Artist's Voyage through Nineteenth-Century America. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2006., fig. 32. [Impression: Boston Athenaeum (inv. 427)].
Barnhill, Trafton. Drawn from Nature & on Stone: the Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane. Gloucester, MA: Cape Ann Museum, 2017., fig. 58, text, p. 35, Departure of the "Jamestown" for Cork, Ireland. [Impression: Cape Ann Museum (inv. 406)]. ⇒ includes text

Impression information

American Antiquarian Society (inv. 630)

no image available
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.
Provenance
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.

Boston Athenaeum (inv. 427)

enlarge
Photo: Boston Athenaeum
Departure of the Jamestown, for Cork, Ireland, R. B. B. Forbes, Commander
Inscribed across bottom: Printed below image left to right: F. H. Lane, del. , Lane & Scotts Lith. Tremont Temple Boston.
Boston Athenaeum, Gift of Charles E. Mason, Jr., 1975 (1975.30)
Provenance
Charles E. Mason, Jr.
Boston Athenaeum, December 1975

Cape Ann Museum (inv. 406)

enlarge
Photo: Cape Ann Museum (inv. 406)
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass.
On view at the Cape Ann Museum
Provenance
Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1992
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass.

The Huntington Library (inv. 716)

no image available
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. The Jay T. Last Collection.
Provenance
The Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Peabody Essex Museum (inv. 664)

no image available
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (M14300)
Provenance
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Peabody Essex Museum (inv. 741)

no image available
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (DA950.7.f67 1847)
Provenance
Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Princeton University Library Rare Books and Special Collections (inv. 738)

enlarge
Photo: Princeton University Library (inv. 738)
Boston, March 28, 1847 F.H. Lane del. Lane & Scott's Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston.
Princeton University Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton , New Jersey, (GAX ND237.L24 F67)
Provenance
Princeton University Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton , New Jersey
Citation: "Departure of the "Jamestown" for Cork, Ireland, 1847 (inv. 475)." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/catalog/entry.php?id=475 (accessed March 8, 2021).
Record last updated July 27, 2016. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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