Edmund RUSSELL | Bark Catalpa of New Bedford

print after Unites States of America 1852 – Unites States of America 1927

Massachusetts, United States of America
lithographer 1862 – 1967 /1971

Bark Catalpa of New Bedford 1876
undesignated impression as issued , published state
printrun unknown
printed image 27.0 (h) x 42.8 (w) cm
The Wordsworth Collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2010
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2010.1039


In 1875 the whaling barque Catalpa successfully released six Irish political prisoners from the British penal colony in Western Australia. Orchestrated by Fenians based in the United States of America, the 1876 Catalpa was purchased in order to sail from New Bedford, Massachusetts to Western Australia under the disguise of a legitimate commercial venture. On 17 April the six convicts escaped from a working party outside the Fremantle prison and raced to the coast where they rowed to the Catalpa anchored offshore into International waters. Despite being chased by a steamship commandeered by the colonial governor, William Cleaver Robinson, the Catalpa sailed into the Indian Ocean, and on 24 August 1876 the boat returned to New Bedford, where they were greeted by thousands of supporters and a 70-gun salute.

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