Southern Star

Jesse A Jackson & the “Southern Star” [alias “Chowan, Crusader, and Kalorama”] built 1858 in Murfreesboro, NC to be a regular packet, “the Chowan,” between Murfreesboro & New York City wrecked 1876


from John W. Moore’s History of North Carolina Vol 2, page 110.
“Jesse A Jackson, an adventurous and visionary man, came to our limits from New Jersey. After keeping a store for several years at Pine Tree, he moved to Murfreesboro. He was the contractor for making the bricks used in the construction of the two female colleges and had realized a profit in the undertaking. [He also supplied the white bricks 1854/55 for John W Moore’s magnificent Southern mansion called “Anniesdale” a three-story white brick house.]
1870 photos: top Chowan Baptist Female Institute – built 1851
and bottom Wesleyan Female College – built 1853 by the Methodists
at the front gate of the Baptist school.

With the help of Glines & Graham, a New York commission house, and the contributions of numerous citizens of this vicinity, a fund was raised to build a steamer, which was to become a regular packet [the “Chowan”] between Murfreesboro and the great city on Manhattan Island. Thirty thousand dollars were consumed in the construction of the ship at Murfreesboro and upon her engines built at Wilmington, Delaware. This craft was of a beautiful model and was destined to become famous. Glines & Graham failed in their business, and the North Carolina stockholders fearful that their investments would end in a loss stopped their advancements.

Poor Jesse Jackson got into a sea of troubles. Suits and demands thickened upon him. He was forced to see the sheriff sell the object of all his hopes, and the “Southern Star” became the property of John W. Southall and one, Capt. Thomas Badger, who had recently escaped from the foundering steamship, which perished at sea with her gallant commander Captain Henderson. The new owners towed their purchase to Wilmington [Del}, where she received her engines and was fitted for the sea.

She was soon sold to the United States government, and being rechristened “Crusader” became renowned in her brilliant success against the slave traders. Time and again she over-hauled the swiftest keels engaged in that nefarious business, and nipped in the bud projects of our own infatuated people, some of whom in the Gulf States in defiance of law and humanity, had commenced the importation of the wretched Africans into our own country.

Jess Jackson never recovered from the blow received in his great disappointment. Fresh disasters came upon him and after years of unavailing struggle, at the end of the late war he left our county to seek his bread in other quarters.”

From the U S Naval Historical Center & Murfreesboro Historical Society Southernstar The Crusader was originally chartered for the expedition to Paraquay in 1859. Later that year she was purchased and served in Cheasapeake Bay during the war. The Crusader was built in Murfreesboro, NC 1858. It was acquired by the US gov. Oct 1858 commissioned 27 Oct 1858. [It was formerly the Southern Star.]
Tonnage: 545 tons B, 469 n/r
Dimensions: 169′ x 28′ x 12’6″
Machinery: 1 screw, 2 inclined direct-acting engines (23″ x 2’2″), 1 boiler, 8 knots Complement: 79/92
Armament: 1861: 4 32-pdr/33, 1 12-pdr H. Sep 62; add 2 20-pdr. R.

Notes: Three-masted bark, wood hull.
Service Record: Home Sqn 1859-61.
Captured slaver “William R Kibby,” 23 Jul 1860. SAt/BS Jan-Jul 1862. NAt/BS Sep 1862. Chesapeake Bay, 1862-65. Decomm 13 Jun 1865. Sold 20 Jul 1865. Prizes: 14 May 1861: Wanderer, 20 May: Neptune; 22 Jun: President Filmore; 20 Feb 1863: General Taylor; 22 Feb: A P Upshur; 9 Mar: Henry A Wise; 14 Mar: Jemina; 22 May 1864: Isaac L Adkins; 27 Feb 1865: Catherine Coombs.

Later History: Merchant Kalorama, 1865.
Wrecked south of San Buernaventura 25 Feb 1876.

According to Dr. Thomas C Parramore in “Trial Separation: Murfreesboro, North Carolina and the Civil War” the draughtsman & builder of the ship at Murfreesboro was John K. Kirkman who attached her at the August 1857 Ct in Hertford County for payment of $4,996.18 owed him by the New York and North Carolina Steamship Company. Pine Tree Store Community 21 October 2009

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

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