The main American Clipper was principally built in Baltimore by William Webb and in Boston by Donald MacKay. The hull was designed for reaching high speeds, built with many sails and uncluttered deck. The first clipper appeared during the American War of Independence, when they were used in the opium and the slave trade. The American Clipper really came into their own when California was incorporated as a state of the Union in 1848. it has been discovered that California had a great deal of natural wealth, as yet developed and many people from the East Coast preferred to emigrate there by fasten passage , rather than joined the across land wagon trains which were not only slow but could not be very dangerous.
The old strike in 1849 also encouraged people to pour into California and Clippers such as Harvey were extensively used to transport businessmen provisions and utensils to that great land. Some of the cargoes were so valuable that their armaments were retained to deal with any pirates who crossed their paths. It is worth remembering that all this happened before the Panama Canal had been built so the journey was round the Horn. The demand was so important that many ships, including HARVEY caused San Francisco to triplicate its population in only 10 years.
The death of the knell of the Clippers appeared with progress as soon as the railroads were extended, The Panama Canal planned and especially when the Suez- Canal was developed in 1870’s. They were to become uneconomic but who can forget the amazing exploits of the Clippers such as HARVEY, in that golden age of sailing ships.