Postal History of the RCS Steamer Pawtucket

One of the most short-lived items in my collection, The US Revenue Steamer Pawtucket was launched in 1863 and was sold in 1867,

Her service was not notable – there are no recordings of any encounters in terms of rescues, law enforcement, or combat with Confederate forces. Indeed, highlights of her service seemed to consist of conducting harbor tours for a conference of the American Medical Association, assisting with laying submarine cable for Western Union, and towing the schooner Convoy to safety after she lost her sails.

The Pawtucket
This is the Woodbury, a Pawtucket-class steamer. No photos of The Pawtucket herself can be found.

After her sale in 1867, she was to be used as a merchant vessel in trade with China, but she dropped off all maritime rolls.

She was armed with a 30-pound, pivot mount Parrot Rifle and six 24-pound howitzers. Seven

As far as the cover goes, it is addressed to a Mr. John D. Williams aboard the cutter in Boston. She was mailed from – or postmarked – in Port Royal, SC – in September 1865. There is no return address, so the sender is unknown. She was also involved in a minor collision with another steamer but unhurt.

This is in contrast to the RCS Dexter, which has quite a bit of information available.

Likewise, I can find no record of a John Williams attached to the Pawtucket. There’s just not much out there about The Pawtucket, but I’m delighted to add her to my collection.