SAIL VOLUME III

                                                                                                 V. GENERAL TRADERS

                 BRITISH MERCHANT (1880 - 1909) tonnage 1,742 gross and 1,698 net, length 262ft 9in, beam 38ft 3in,
                 depth 23ft 3in.  Of iron construction, built by Harland & Wollf, Belfast, for James Beasley's British Shipowners
                 Co.  She made twelve voyages to Melbourne, San Francisco and Calcutta, and carried cargoes of coal , wheat
                 and jute. In 1896, she was sold to German owners in Bremen and was renamed ARTHUR FITGER.  In  1908,
                 she caught fire while at Seattle and after the fire was sold and converted  into  a towing barge.  She came to an
                 end in 1909 while being towed into Cordoba, Alaska, where as a result of a pilotage error she went ashore and
                 was a total loss.

                GARFIELD  (1882 - 1895), tonnage 2,347 gross and 2,200 net, length 299ft 8in, beam 41ft 2in,
                depth 24ft 8in.  Of steel construction, built by Harland & Wollf, Belfast, for T.H.Ismay and W.Imrie
                of the White Star Line. At the time of her completion she was the largest fulled rigged ship built.  
                She became the flagship of the North West Shipping Co. managed by Ismay and Imrie.She sailed
                mainly in the San Francisco grain trade but made six voyages to Calcutta and one to Melbourne.
                In 1895, on a voyage from Liverpool to Valparaiso with a cargo of coal she was abandoned on fire.
                The burnt hulk was towed into Coquimbo, Chile, where she remained. .  

                EUPHROSYNE (1885 - 1911), tonnage 1,905 gross and 1,799 net, length 270ft 6in, beam 40ft,
                depth 23ft 4in. Of steel construction by Robert Duncan, Port Glasgow, for C.S. Caird.  A powerful,
                weatherly and fast ship, able to reach 13 knots and occasionally 15 knots.  Hearly voyages illustrate
                the pattern of actity as a general trader. In her maiden voyage she carryied coal from the Clyde to
                San Fracico, wheat from there to Lierpool, then salt to Calcutta and linseed from there to Australia,
                coal to San Francisco and grain to England. In 1907, she was sold to Norwegian owners.  In 1911,
                a steamer ran into her in the English Channel. The ship sank but the crew managed to get away. 

                CALIFORNIA (1890 - 1927), tonnage 3,099 gross and 2,901 net, length 392ft 3in, beam 45ft 2in.
                depth 26ft 7in.  Constructed of steel, built by Harland & Wollf, Belfast, for Ismay & Imrie Co of the
                White Star Line. As a four masted barque, she was built as a bulk carrier to bring wheat from the
                West Coast of North America to Great Britain.  She was one of the four last sailing ships built by
                Harland & Wollf. In 1890, when new, she sailed from Liverpool to San Francisco in 130 days and
                made the return journey San Francisco to Liverpool in  1891 in 121days.  In 1896, she was sold to
                another Liverpool firm who in the following yesr sold her to Robert Sloman of Hamburg  who
                renamed her ALSTER.  In 1912, the vessel was sold with others of the Sloman sailing ship fleet to
                E.C.Schramm & Co. and renamed CHRISTEL VINNEN.  The outbreak of World War I found
                the vessel in Valparaiso where she was interned,  During internment the crew did their best to disable
                her.  She was allocated to Italy after the war but the Italians did not refit her.  In 1926 she changed
                hands and was refitted for the nitrate trade. In January 1927 she loaded 5,000 tons of nitrates for
                Norfolk Virginia.  She took 77 days to reach Panama and after being towed through the Canal
                stranded on the Island of Old Providence and was abandoned to the underwriters and was a total

                ROSS-SHIRE (1891 - 1900), tonnage 2257 gross, length289ft 1in, beam 41ft 2in, depth 24ft 4in.  Of
                steel construction, built by Scott of Greenock for Thomas Law's Scottish Shire Line. A four masted
                barque built as a cargo carrier.in the five years from the end of the eighties which saw a boom in sail
                cargo carriers. From Liverpool in February 1900, she made an 84 day passage to Sydney, took on
                a cargo of 4,000 tons of coal at Newcastle, crossed the Pacific to Valparaiso in 41 days, then went
                to Caldera where 2,400 tons of coal was discharged and on to Pisagua to load nitrate for Britain.  
                On the night of 23rd December 1900, at Pisagua, she had 750 tons of saltpetre on board and 500 tos
                of coal still tobe discharged. An explosion of gas set fire to the ship.  The ship went down and the
                crew was saved.   .