This unusual ship, the first ocean-going yacht, was built in 1816 by George Crowninshield and captained by Benjamin W. Crowninshield. The elegant Cleopatra's Barge was built for pleasure voyages and cost $50,000 to build. The furniture was later appraised at $7,000. She was eighty-three feet long and twenty two feet wide. Many thousands visited her before she made her maiden voyage in March of 1817. Capt. George Crowninshield died on the yacht in November of that year. The yacht was later dismantled and fitted as a merchant vessel. It was eventually sold to King Kamehameha I of Hawaii,in 1819 and shortly after was wrecked on a reef.
- Postcard Image courtesy of CardCow.com
- Vertical File in Salem Collection - Cleopatra's Barge
- The Story of George Crowninshields' Yacht, Cleopatra's Bargeby F. B. Crowninshield.
- George Crowninshield's Yacht Cleopatra's Barge Peabody Museum, 1959.
- Essex Institute Historical Collection Vol. 25, pp. 81-117
- Ships and Sailors of Old Salem by Ralph D. Paine.
- Cleopatra's Barge Salem Focus Website