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Flying Cloud: History

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THE FLYING CLOUD


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: The Flying Cloud (66)
Lyr Req: John O'Halloran (Sean McCarthy) (22)
happy? - Apr 15 ('Flying Cloud' launch) (1)


Margo 07 Oct 99 - 03:50 PM
07 Oct 99 - 05:51 PM
Margo 07 Oct 99 - 06:49 PM
Margo 07 Oct 99 - 07:10 PM
07 Oct 99 - 07:31 PM
Barry Finn 07 Oct 99 - 09:47 PM
Margo 07 Oct 99 - 10:38 PM
Barry Finn 08 Oct 99 - 12:12 AM
Bev and Jerry 08 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM
Sourdough 08 Oct 99 - 01:12 AM
Art Thieme 08 Oct 99 - 10:16 AM
bob schwarer 08 Oct 99 - 02:40 PM
Margo 08 Oct 99 - 05:15 PM
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Subject: Flying Cloud: History
From: Margo
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 03:50 PM

What is the real story? There is a shantey whose tale is a tale of woe told by a young man who joined the crew of the Flying Cloud out of Baltimore under the command of Captain Moore. After a slaving voyage, they turned to piracy, and finally being caught and condemned to die, the young man gives his warning to all others to shun all piracy.

HOWEVER, every reference to the actual ship named the Flying Cloud in a historic account talks about a ship built in Boston that holds the speed record for a clipper. (I can't remember the years exactly, that was never my strong suit. Maybe 1840's?) It was a merchant ship, and there is never any reference to scullduggery......What say ye, oh great knowers of things? Am I right to presume the tale of woe is just that, a tale with no historic truth as far as the Flying Cloud is concerned? Can't wait to hear from you.......

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From:
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 05:51 PM

Laws K28. No historical basis known. Laws refers to an article I haven't seen as an enlightening analysis: Horace P. Beck, 'The Riddle of "The Flying Cloud", Journal of American Folklore, 66 (1953), pp. 123-33.


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Margo
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 06:49 PM

Oh anonymous poster, I find your explanation cryptic. Is "Laws" a person's name? Is it Beck who hasn't seen the article as an enlightening analysis? I would appreciate your clarification. Thanks,

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Margo
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 07:10 PM

I think I found what I wanted....The Flying Cloud was actually a ship, but the fo'c'sle song had nothing to do with the actual ship. Horace Beck was a big help. Thanks!

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From:
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 07:31 PM

Laws, number, K28, will find the ballad in DT. All the ballads in Laws 'Native American Balladry' and 'American Balladry from British Broadsides' are noted by Laws' letter/number in DT.


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 09:47 PM

The Flying Cloud (the ship) was a yankee clipper built in the yard of Donald MacKay, for the White Diamond Line & launched on April 15, 1851. She was 225 ft. & her tonnage was 1793 tons. Before she ever hit water she was sold to the Swallow Tail Line. After the Civil War she was sold to the Black Ball Line. Off the coast of New Brunswick Sept. 1873 she ran aground on Beacon Island & was beyond repair. Under light airs she wasn't the racing mare you'd think but under a fresh breeze of in strong heavy winds none could keep her in sight. She was always a hard driven ship. Once when arriving in San Francisco her crew sued for cruel treatment & the owners announced the death of Captain Creesy, who got to read about his death while half way across the Indian Ocean. She had no connection with the slave trade of to the song. Barry


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Margo
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 10:38 PM

Thanks, you guys. Barry, I am reading a fiction about the Flying Cloud. It is based on fact, with Donald McKay being the shipbuilder, etc.. The author does describe Creesy testing her to see what she would do, unfurling every sail and pushing her to the limit. I'd be interested in reading more about the crew sewing for cruel treatment. Do you have a reference for me? Thanks,

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 12:12 AM

Hi Margarita, what I have is different clips from Horace Beck's (you mentioned ) Folklore & the Sea, Classic Sailing Ships-Rob Hendrickson & Book of the 7 Seas-Pete Freuhen. MacKay got his training under Bell, I believe this may be Jacob Bell of Brown & Bell a shipyard on the East River (NYC) they built the opium clippers for the, yup, Opium trade, MacKay went on to outclass all. His ships were known in every port in the world. The Great Republic was the largets wooden clipper ever built, the James Baines set the transalantic record from Boston to Liverpool, the Lightning made the best day's run ever under sail, the Flying Cloud made two runs from New York to San Francisco under 90 days, rounding the horn, only one other ship ever made that time & then only once. To his credit are also the Champion of the Seas, the Sovereign of the Seas, the Donald MacKay & the Staghound. Goodnight , I just faded. Barry


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM

In the song "The Sacramento" there's a verse which says:

Ninety days to 'Frisco Bay

Ninety days is darn good pay

which implies that the crew received a bonus if they could make San Francisco in ninety days around the horn.

The Flying Cloud was the first ship to do it in 1851 making the voyage in 89 days. This speed record held until about ten or so years ago when a ship (who's name we cannot recall), designed on a computer specifically to break this record made the trip in 88 days.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Sourdough
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 01:12 AM

If I remember correctly, Mackay had two different shipyards, only one of which was in Boston. The other was near Cape Anne at Newburyport at the mouth of the Merrimack River. I think the Flying Cloud was built in the East Boston shipyard underneath what is now Logan Airport.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 10:16 AM

I seem to recall Lou Killen calling this fine ballad a test ballad---that it was used to see who had the chops---who could do the ballad in the pubs (and elsewhere) the right way.

Art


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: bob schwarer
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 02:40 PM

A few more bits on the Flying Cloud. Got these from a Time-Life series on sailing.
The reason the crew felt ill-used is that many were fresh off the NY streets and didn't know what they were getting into when they signed on. The ship ran into a storm and lost some rigging. The mess had to be cleared away before the whole thing came apart, and had to be done now; storm or no storm. In short the new "sailors" were scard shitless. After that, any time they had to work in rough weather the grumbling began. Two of them tried sabotage so Creesy would have to put in to a port where they could jump ship.(didn't work)
During his 4 years on the Flying Cloud Creesy made 5 NY-Frisco runs averaging a litle over 100 days. Included are two 89 day trips.
The fast trip on the maiden voyage was made despite the lost rigging and some very calm days. This is attributed to a phenomenal 3 day passage around Cape Horn due to some superior navigating.
Mrs. Creasy was the navigator on at least the maiden voyage.

Lots of interesting stuff in that Time-Life series. All the way from ancient times to modern liners. Maybe your library has it. 22 volumes I am glad I bought.

Bob Schwarer


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Subject: RE: Flying Cloud: History
From: Margo
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 05:15 PM

Thank you one and all. This has been a great converstation! That's what I love about this place.

Margarita


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