Friday, October 30, 2015

The next time you take the Ft. Morgan ferry, please keep in mind that somewhere on the bottom of the bay between Dauphin Island and the Ft. Morgan Peninsula rests the prototype for the first successful combat submarine in all human history, AMERICAN DIVER. The life the man who designed and supervised the construction of that submarine along with the HUNLEY in a machine shop which still stands on Water Street, Mobilian James McClintock, is one of the most amazing stories of all the extraordinary tales associated with the mouth of the bay over the past three centuries.




Here's a link to the 1876 British Consul's report on commerce through the Port of Mobile. It includes details about lighterage expenses and breakwater construction at the lower anchorage at Navy Cove. Consul Cridland describes plans to dredge the Dog River Bar and to extend a thirteen foot ship channel from the city wharves to the lower anchorage. In addition to lighterage expenses, costs of pilotage, towage, stowage, tonnage dues, harbor dues and ballast discharge expenses are included. Of the 232 ships arriving at Mobile that year, 38 were British. Statistics are included which show a 15% increase in cotton exports along with statistics pertaining to 8 other commodities being exported from Alabama at that time. Statistics for the 27 different commodities imported into Alabama include everything from bacon to whiskey. Consul Cridland's report includes a detailed description of Alabama's post-Reconstruction economy along with plans to exploit the coal fields at Tuscaloosa.

British Consul Cridland's 1878 Report for the Port of Mobile

British Consul Cridland's 1880 Report for the Port of Mobile

Consul Cridland's 1863 appointment as British consul at Mobile after Consul Magee was caught smuggling money out of Mobile on a British man-of-war.

 The oldest U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey marker on the Gulf Coast (1847) is inside Ft. Gaines.

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