We like to dwell upon the romance of our Cape Horn Fleet; and what Donald McKay, master builder of ships at East Boston, did to win fame there should never fade as long as American love of the sea exists. As a crowning accomplishment, when the rush to California was over, there followed from McKay’s shipyard that famous fleet of British- owned clipper ships he built for James Baines & Company, of Liverpool, for their Australian Black Ball Line—Lightning, Champion of the Seas, James Baines, Donald McKay, Commodore Perry, and Japan. Those wonderful ships, having made world records and rehabilitated Great Britain as Mistress of the Sea, gave this New England shipbuilder a reputation and standing in England unapproached by any American at that time, when her ships and shipping interests were paramount, as they have ever been with the English people.
A Famous Shipbuilder Acts as Peacemaker at Home and Abroad
By Richard C. McKay