Steamboats 1840-44


Built: 1842, Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet.
Size: 266′ x 34′ x 8′, 709 tons.
Engines: 25’s x 10 ft.
Boilers: Six boilers.
Paddlewheels: 30′ diameter with 15′ buckets, 28″ dip.

Named for Captain Alexander Scott, and built by a veteran of the river, Captain John C. Swan, her principle owner and master, this successful packet ran in the St. Louis-New Orleans trade from 1842-46. In the summer of 1845, Captain John C. Swan sold her in order to purchase an interest in the J.M WHITE. Her new owners, Captain Edward T. Sturgeon and others, ran her between Louisville and New Orleans from 1847. She also carried mail for a time. Her clerks in 1849 were Orlando L. Smith and Thomas Shearer. She was dismantled in 1852.

History records that, in 1851, a group of Mormons, travelling from England to Salt Lake City, took passage on the ELEX SCOTT from New Orleans to St. Louis, paying $2.50 for each adult including all baggage, and half fare for children. In a letter dated March 29, 1851, an Elder, James W. Cummings, wrote: ‘I would recommend the Alex Scott as a good, commodious, and safe boat, commanded by a good captain of the name of Swan. I am persuaded there is no better nor safer boat on the river.’

She is sometimes confused with the larger ALECK SCOTT built in 1848, also by Captain John C. Swan, and converted into the ironclad gunboat LAFAYETTE, during the Civil War.