Francis Skiddy [General Taylor]

Vessel Name: Francis Skiddy [General Taylor]
Collyer, George
American wooden paddle wheel steamer built by George Collyer at New York in 1852. She was 322 feet in length, 38 feet breadth, and 11 feet 5 inches depth of hold, tonnage 1235. The hull was designed for a rotary engine and was laid down in 1849 as the GENERAL TAYLOR. She carried four boilers on her guards and four smoke stacks, fore and aft of the wheels. Her engine was 71 inches in diameter of cylinder by 14 feet stroke of piston, and her wheels were 40 feet in diameter, 12 feet face, and had 33 inch buckets. The day SKIDDY made her first trip up the Hudson, the NEW WORLD also running as a day boat, was ready to race with her. The NEW WORLD got up so much steam before starting that one of her steam pipes burst and she was unable to leave her wharf when the other boat started. SKIDDY ran to Albany for a while daily, leaving New York every morning, and returning from Albany at night. In 1856 she was greatly altered and made into a night boat for the Troy Line. On November w8, 1861, while passing Blue Point, two miles below Poughkeepsie, she ran into the sloop W. W. REYNOLDS. The vessel had no lights and was not seen by the pilot of the SKIDDY until they were close together. The bowsprit of the sloop tore away one of the boilers by which three tug hands were killed and four passengers were scalded. On the night of November 25th, 1864, while going down the river, and in order to avoid a tow which was passing she went out of the channel, struck a rock and sunk near Staat¿s Dock. The SKIDDY was owned by John E. Andrew and another person in conjunction with the New Jersey Steam Navigation Company. Andrew and his associates owning one-fifth and the corporation the remainder. In September the New Jersey Steam Navigation Company sold its interest in her to the New Jersey Steamboat Company. Before the boat was turned over to the purchaser the above accident occurred. The purchaser corporation took possession, dismantling and removing her engines, and left her hull to the action of the water and grinding ice. Mr. Andrew and his associate, owners of one-fifth of the vessel, claimed hat she might have been raised before the ice closed up the river, and repaired, would have been worth as much as when she went ashore. They demanded payment of their share in proportion to the SKIDDY¿s value as a vessel and refused to accept one-fifth of her value of the articles taken from her. The New Jersey Steamboat Company resisted this claim, but on the trial of a suit brought by Mr. Andrew and his associate in the Supreme Court. the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs for $61,125.96. The engine of the SKIDDY was taken out and placed in the new steamboat DEAN RICHMOND of the Peoples Line to Albany.

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