In anticipation of our upcoming event with Steven Ujifusa, author of Barons of the Sea, we are highlighting Duxbury connections to both the China Trade and Clipper Ships.
One of the most important Boston shipbuilders was Samuel Hall. He built over 110 ships in his East Boston yard, including the first clipper launched in Boston, the Surprise, in 1850. For a time, the Surprise held the record for the New York-San Francisco run (96 days 15 hours). The ship also carried Warren Delano's wife and children to China in 1862.
Samuel Hall (1800-1870) was born in Marshfield and began his shipwright career there. At the tender age of 26, he was hired by King Caesar to become the Weston firm's master carpenter. While in Duxbury, Hall was responsible for building at least 15 of the Westons ships, including the 530 ton Eliza Warwick. He and his family owned the mansion at 479 Washington Street (DRHS Headquarters) from 1834-1836. In 1839 Hall set his sights on the burgeoning wharfs of East Boston and left Duxbury's soon-to-be waning shipbuilding in his wake.
After retiring, Hall and his wife moved back to their hometown of Marshfield.