Editor's Note: The following text is a verbatim transcription of an article written by George W. Murdock, for the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman newspaper in the 1930s. Murdock, a veteran marine engineer, wrote a regular column. Articles transcribed by HRMM volunteer Adam Kaplan. For more of Murdock's articles, see the "Steamboat Biographies" category.
The “Daniel Drew” was another of the wooden-hull vessels constructed by Thomas Collyer of New York city, built in 1860, with a hull measuring 224 feet The engine of the “Daniel Drew” was from the steamboat “Titan.”
On June 5, 1860, the “Daniel Drew” appeared on the Hudson river and was placed in regular service between New York and Albany. She was an exceptionally fast vessel, making one run in October of the same year, of six hours and 31 minutes traveling up the river and making nine landings. She was a very narrow boat when she first appeared on the river and was at times rather cranky, but this factor was one of the reasons for her ability to attain such high speed. In 1862 she was widened five feet.
James Collyer and other boatmen controlled the “Daniel Drew” until September 25, 1863 when she was sold to Alfred Van Santvoord and another group of steamboat men. On October 7 of the same year, Van Santvoord and company also purchased the “Armenia,” and so was laid the foundation of the present Hudson River Dayline. In 1864 the “Chauncey Vibbard” was built to run as a consort to the “Daniel Drew,” and then the “Armenia” was used as a spare boat and for occasional excursions.
For many years the “Daniel Drew” and “Chauncey Vibbard” plied the waters of the Hudson river on regular schedule, and then it became necessary to have a new boat. The “Albany” was then placed in service on July 2, 1880, and the “Chauncey Vibbard” was retained to run as the new boat’s consort. The “Daniel Drew” was placed in reserve and the “Armenia” was sold for service on the Potomac river where she was destroyed by fire in 1886.
On a Sunday afternoon, August 9, 1886, as the “Daniel Drew” was laying at Kingston Point, she caught fire from the engine house of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and was totally destroyed. Thus ended the career of another of the famous steamboats of the Hudson river.
George W. Murdock, (b. 1853-d. 1940) was a veteran marine engineer who served on the steamboats "Utica", "Sunnyside", "City of Troy", and "Mary Powell". He also helped dismantle engines in scrapped steamboats in the winter months and later in his career worked as an engineer at the brickyards in Port Ewen. In 1883 he moved to Brooklyn, NY and operated several private yachts. He ended his career working in power houses in the outer boroughs of New York City. His mother Catherine Murdock was the keeper of the Rondout Lighthouse for 50 years.
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