at Black River,
Ohio, by William Jones. She measured 185 tons, 120 feet in
length, 23 feet in
, and 9 feet in
depth of hold
little is known about the early history of the Meridian,
the family of shipwrights that built her is well documented
as a leader of mid-nineteenth century Great Lakes shipbuilding.
Jones' father was the shipwright and ship captain Augustus
Jones. Augustus built sailing vessels in Connecticut as early
as the War of 1812. The Jones family later moved west to the
Great Lakes region, building hundreds of ships of all types
through the mid-nineteenth century. William built twenty-eight
vessels at his Black River, Ohio, shipyard, including the
schooner Meridian in 1848.
Milwaukee Sentinel mentions the schooner Meridian in
August of 1849. The article outlined an incident in which
the Meridian's second
, James Bain, was killed
in a scuffle among the officers. Bain had attacked the captain
and thrown the first mate, Harvey Rammage, overboard. Rammage,
hauled back aboard by the crew, subsequently killed Bain with
a blow from his fist.