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The Brig Ceres
Posted by: F. Keenan (ID *****4329) Date: September 07, 2011 at 03:27:55
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Patt Keenan, farmer, and his spinster sister, Mary Keenan, sailed from Newry in Northern Ireland for New York in the USA in October of 1804 aboard the brig Ceres. They were listed as residents of Markethill which is near Armagh. This Patt Keenan was believed to have been the patriarch of the Breckinridge County, Keenans in the USA. (See: Francis Keenan and Perry Ryan. THE KEENAN FAMILY Of Breckinridge County, Kentucky, 2005 Cumulative Supplement, pp. 6,7.) [See also: Carl Boyer, 3rd (Editor). Ship Passenger Lists, National and New England (1600-1825). Newhall, California: The editor, 1977, p. 119.]

Then there was this:

Thomas Jefferson had agreed to join John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in the new commission for negotiating commercial treaties with interested European countries.

“He hurried to Boston, … (and) booked passage on the London-bound brig Ceres...Departure was set for July 4 (1784), the eighth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, but regrettably for those who like their historical coincidences neat, Ceres did not weigh anchor until 4 a. m. the next day. The crossing took a brisk nineteen days.” (Source: Jack Rakove. Revolutionaries. New York: Mariner Books (paper), 2011, p.205.)

It seemed quite a coincidence that the patriarch of the Breckinridge County, Kentucky, Keenans sailed 20 years later in 1804 aboard the same ship that carried Thomas Jefferson to Portsmouth. As an aside, Thomas Jefferson packed his disassembled Phaeton, a ritzy horse drawn carriage, for the trip. He used it during his travels in France. (Rakove, p. 295.)

A brig was a two masted ship with square sails. The Ceres was a luxuriously appointed ship, well crewed and with comfortable passenger quarters. No photo of the ship exists but there are paintings of it.





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