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[p. 76]

The same year, Mr. James married and bought a house which he sold later to his father, just before he established himself in his permanent home at the corner of Riverside avenue and Foster's court—as we know them today.

The firm built sixty-three ships, and the partners retired in 1849 after amassing comfortable fortunes, according to the standards at that time.

The first vessels built were brigs and schooners. The first ship was the Rassellas, built in 1820. The same year they built the steam-boat, a stern wheeler, Governor Pinckney for———Sullivan, of Boston. By the name of the boat and the surname of the owner, (no other name is given in Brooks' History) we infer that it was the invention of John L. Sullivan, of Middlesex canal fame, and was put in commission on the Santee River, in South Carolina.

The only other steam vessel was built in 1841 and was modelled much like the ferry boats of today. This one was used by the Eastern Railroad to transport passengers from its terminal at East Boston to the city proper. Her name was the East Boston.

From 1822, the size of the vessels built increased. The Lurilla built in that year was of 369 tons burden and the largest was the Soldan built in 1841. The firm retired from business before the building of clipper ships, but the schooner Ariel, built for the same James Lee who had hindered the young firm, was of that type and was considered quite a wonder at the time, 1841. She was used in the China trade to smuggle opium.

Sometimes Sprague and James built ships for their own investment, selling them on the stocks. In the Palmyra and James H. Shepherd, they retained a share. The captain of the former was named Cushing and was a brother of Mr. David Cushing of Medford. Captain St. Croix Redman commanded the James H. Shepherd, and although Mr. Shepherd owned the major part of her, the captain and the builders each had an interest in her. The Soldan, the last ship built, lay on the stocks all summer before a

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