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Historical Materials: Vessels (Specific / Named)

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"Julia" (Sloop Yacht)

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The New York Yacht Club’s regatta was held in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1856. The winner in the first class (largest yachts) was the “Julia”, owned by J. M. Waterbury, who commissioned George Steers to design and build her in 1854. Waterbury was a founding member of the New York Yacht Club, who had commissioned Steers to design and build the racing sloop “Una” for him in 1847.(Ref. 1)

Throughout the race, “Julia” led the other yachts in her class and led all other yachts in the regatta at the finish line. She is almost certainly the sloop in the left foreground of New York Yacht Club Regatta (1), 1856 (inv. 66), and while nearly identical to the sloop in the center foreground of Camden Mountains from the South Entrance to Harbor (inv. 290), the two fly very different owner’s pennants, probably the only way sloops of this design can be told apart in this series of paintings. (Ref. 2)

–Erik Ronnberg


1. William P. Stephens, “Traditions & Memories of American Yachting” (Camden, Maine: International Marine Publishing Company, 1981), pp. 44, 272, 274.

2. “The U. S. Nautical Magazine, and Naval Journal” (New York: Oliver W. Griffiths, 1856). Vol. V, October, 1856 to March, 1857, pp. 15-17.

Related tables: New-York Yacht Club »  //  Regattas »  //  Yacht & Small Pleasure Craft »

1856 U.S. Nautical Magazine and Naval Journal v. 4
April 1856
The U.S. Nautical Magazine and Naval Journal, vol. 4, no. 1
pp. 464–65.

Contains brief announcement of the line-up of the August 8, 1856 race depicted by Lane.

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1856 U.S. Nautical Magazine and Naval Journal v. 5
John W. Griffiths, ed.
October 1856–March 1857
The U.S. Nautical Magazine and Naval Journal, vol. 5
pp. 16–18

Article about the New-York Yacht Club regatta held at New Bedford on August 8, 1856, as painted by Lane. Includes lists of participating yachts and times in New Bedford.

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Regatta at New Bedford, August 8, 1856
Robert Bennet Forbes
Reprinted in American Neptune, Vol. 10, 1950, pp. 213-234

First-hand account by Robert Bennet Forbes of the 1856 New-York Yacht Club regatta. 

Citation: "Vessels (Specific / Named)." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum.§ion=%22Julia%22+%28Sloop+Yacht%29&ref=catalog:66 (accessed July 24, 2024).
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