New Line of Steamers

April 4, 1868


A company building new steamers and sailing vessels has been funded. These new steamers will stimulate the economy through the new mercantile marine.


New Line of Steamers. We noticed in our columns a few weeks ago that a charter had been granted to some of our prominent business citizens to organize a company for the purpose of building up a mercantile marine. The charter, as it should be in a case of this kind, is broad and liberal, and will enable this community as it recovers from present embarrassments to put in motion both steamers and sailing vessels, adapted either to the coasting trade of our country or to foreign ports. The success of this enterprise, like all others, depends upon the success of the agriculturist; we must therefore be patient. And until that important branch of our industry is restored to its former healthfulness, it is not contemplated to push this enterprise to full development. It will keep pace with the business and the resources of the community. The public generally is not aware of the enormous amount that is annually drawn from this locality in the single item of freights. It is not less than a million and a half of dollars, every dollar of which goes out of our State. It is one of the heaviest taxes that we bear. It is certainly incumbent upon us to stop this drain if we can. No legislation is requisite to do so. If we will it, it can be accomplished. Then why not at least make the effort ? It is needless to say that there is profit in this important branch of business. Let us determine that we will not only stop this drain, but also participate in the profits derived from it. The present purpose of the gentlemen connected with this enterprise is to solicit subscriptions to the stock of this company to a comparatively small amount of the capital, for the purpose of getting up a line of first-class propellers to ply between Richmond, Petersburg, Norfolk, and New York. Succeeding in this, it will be a foundation to build upon, extending the enterprise front time to time to other points, as the business and means of our citizens and trade of the State will warrant. The people of Richmond have, as we before remarked, a two-fold object in viewone, to stop this enormous tax; and secondly, to participate in the profits derived from this business. Prior to the war we were making rapid strides in this direction, and but for its intervention and the disastrous consequences which followed it we would doubtless ere this have enjoyed a monopoly of our carrying trade. We have the evidence for saying that it was one of the most remunerative branches of business that our people were engaged in. The dividends to the stockholders we know were what might be termed "gilt-edged," yet the rates of freight were reasonable, and the money kept at home. The general interest, as well as the remunerative results from the enterprise of the transportation lines to and from this city, should induce our citizens to make liberal subscriptions to the stock of the company.
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Mallory Haskins




“New Line of Steamers,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,