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Posted May 20, 18 8:37 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: packets Grey Eagle

Morning Ken, Bernard, and all.

Way's Packet Directory actually lists ten boats [#2454 to #2463] carrying the name Grey Eagle between 1847 and 1918. Packets were cheap compared to the revenue they generated for their owners. Wood boats underpowered by hot steam boilers running in waters marginally capable of navigation led to a short life.

The first War Eagle was build in Cincinnati in 1847 but was lost in 1850. Five more were built and lost between 1851 and 1866. The last was built by the Howard yard in Jeffersonville, Indian in 1892 and lost in the great ice of 1918 which is recognized as the demise of the packet boat era.

I believe there are several covers know marked with this name but not sure of their dates or which boat that are connected with. Can anyone post cover examples from the early days of these boats?

Best regards,

Russ Ryle

Posted May 20, 18 8:09 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Justify won the Preakness. In three weeks the Belmont Stakes will run for a huge crowd sizzling with suspense and the chance for a new champion.

Those horse racing letters I posted yesterday are in my swap file, which I was browsing in preparation for the APS Summer Seminar in June. If anyone here is captivated by them, write to me.

Posted May 19, 18 22:49 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Grey Eagle

Mention of speedy horse Grey Eagle: I seem to recall a steamboat purser marking for the Gray Eagle -- if so, I wonder if there is a connection.

Posted May 19, 18 21:30 by David Benson (dbenson)

Wake Island

To those interested in Wake Island,

see this,

It was unsold from yesterdays's auction.

David B.

Posted May 19, 18 20:51 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)


Matt: You left one more 20th century win for the sweep, Rebecca Liebson wins the Youth Grand award for her single frame - The 8.4 Cent American Piano Coil.

Posted May 19, 18 20:22 by John Bowman (johnbowman)


Does anyone use a sheet-fed scanner that will handle exhibit pages mounted on heavy paper with or without outer mylar sheet protector? OCR capability is a must, of course.

Posted May 19, 18 16:20 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)


20th century sweep at ROPEX today.  Greg Shoults' "Washington & Franklin Coils:  Third Bureau Perforated Issues 1908-1922" won the grand at ROPEX today. Reserve was Charles Ekstrom's "Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamps."  Single frame grand Louis Pataki's "Along the Shantung Railway, China:  German Postal Administration 1900-1914".

Posted May 19, 18 16:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Classic Horse Race song

    In this 23 June 1853 folded letter from Savannah, Georgia, to Philadelphia, the sender reported that while he was writing the slaves were "amusing themselves" and "driving away on"

            "I'm bound to work all night

            "I'm bound to work all day

            "But I'll bet my money on the bobtail nag

            "If somebody will bet on the bay."

    Those aren't exactly the words to the chorus of The Celebrated Ethiopian SongCamptown Races that Stephen Foster published in 1850, but might have been truer to life.


Posted May 19, 18 15:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Classic Horse Race letter

    Two weeks ago Justify won the Kentucky Derby (first run in 1875). He is favored to win the Preakness Stakes (begun 1873) today, if he isn't scratched owing to a reported bruised heel. If he wins today, excitement will build over his chances to win the Belmont Stakes (begun 1867) on June 9 and become the next Triple Crown champion.

    Here is a pertinent 28 September 1839 folded letter from Louisville, Kentucky, to Beatties Bluff, Mississippi, about a legendary race run before Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course, and Belmont Park were built, but which contributed significantly to public enthusiasm for the Sport of Kings.      The letter begins, "I have been lumbering around here for a few days looking at that is to be seen and hearing all that is to be heard. The races which are to come off next week is the greatest excitement and is the principle and almost only topic of general conversation. Our house (the Galt House) is crowded to overflowing, and all of sporting characters from all parts of the country, N. Orleans, Nashville, Cincinnati and a dozen other principle racing places."

    On 30 September 1839 a two-horse race at Oakland racetrack in Louisville pitted Grey Eagle of Kentucky, ridden by Stephen Welch, against Virginia horse Wagner with the slave jockey Cato riding him, for a $14,000 purse. Grey Eagle held the speed record at two miles and was the bettors' favorite.     The  race consisted of three four-mile heats, with the winner of two heats being declared the champion. Wagner won two heats, setting a speed record in the second heat, with no need for a third. Cato was the winning jockey.

    Disappointed racing fans pled for an opportunity to redeem Grey Eagle's reputation as the champion thoroughbred. Five days later, Wagner beat him again. Cato earned his freedom by winning those races.     


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