Challenger (1853 clipper)

Career (United States)
Name: Challenger
Owner: W. & F.H. Whittemore, Boston; later, Samuel G. Reed & Co.
Builder: Robert E. Jackson, East Boston, MA
Launched: 1853
Notes: Collided with Roswell Sprague in a gale at Bremerhaven, Oct. 1861
Career (Peru)
Owner: N. Larco, agent for the Peruvian Government
Acquired: 1863
Renamed: Camille Cavour
Fate: Abandoned off the coast of Mexico, Oct. 1875, enroute from Port Discovery to Peru, after damage during a gale. Camille Cavour's wreck drifted ashore at Manzanillo.
Notes: Coolie ship in the guano trade
General characteristics
Class and type: Extreme clipper, designed by Samuel Hartt Pook
Tons burthen: 1334 tons
Length: 206 ft.
Beam: 38 ft. 4 in.
Draft: 23 ft.[1][2]

The Challenger was an extreme clipper ship built in East Boston in 1853. She sailed in the San Francisco trade, and later in the guano trade in Peru.


Between 1854-1863, Challenger made two voyages from Boston to San Francisco, in 112 and 134 days, and five voyages from New York to San Francisco, in 115 to 133 days. In 1861, she "collided with the ship Roswell Sprague in a gale in the roadstead of Bremerhaven."[1]

Guano trade and shipwreck

In 1863, Challenger was sold to the Peruvian Government, and renamed Camille Cavour. She was "used in the transport of Chinese coolies to the guano islands."

In 1875, she was "damaged in a gale on voyage from Port Discovery to Peru and was abandoned off the coast of Mexico. The wreck drifted ashore at Manzanillo."[1]


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