Lee Line silver sugar dish

Thank you Lola Culler for sharing these pictures of your Lee Line sugar dish.

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Stylish Ladies on Lee Line steamer Princess day excursion 1918 or 1919

This picture is of my grandmother on the right and the child is my grandfather. The Princess originally named the HW BURTOFF and the the JOHN LEE before being turned into the PRINCESS which was an excursion boat once packet boats business was taken over by rail roads.

My grandmother is second from the right.two of the young women were cousins of my grandmother. This picture was taken in 1919.
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Lee Line Serving Dishes

Justin B., thank you for sending these pictures of Lee Line serving dishes. These silver plated dishes were made by Reed and Barton. Last year I was able to purchase an identical creamer pitcher that had lost just about all its silver plating. When my grandfather was asked how many boats the Lee Line operated, he would reply “We have more boats under the water than on the water.” I am always excited to see new\old Lee Line items turn up as most of the items such as these reside under the water.

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SADIE LEE sunk at Dennis Landing Mississippi Nov. 15, 1912

Way’s Packet Directory recorded the SADIE hit a snag at Dennis Landing. Of interest is the stern sign SADIE LEE of NEW YORK. Sometime after the death of Capt. James Lee Jr., (Feb 1905) the Lee Line reincorporated in New Jersey. I suspect a tax dispute over the value of the assets of the company between the executors of his estate and the state of Tennessee led to the Lee Line reincorporating as a New Jersey corporation. Additionally, my great aunt Rowena Teagle’s husband Walter who was the chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey became the President of the Lee Line. Walter Evans Edge the wife of Lady Lee Philips Edge became the Vice President. Lady Lee Philips Edge was the daughter of my great aunt Sara Lee who married Capt. Sam Philips in 1905. Walter Edge was a newspaper publisher, governor of New Jersey and an ambassador to France. Way’s Packet Directory records Sadie Lee as the daughter of Capt. James Lee Jr. Actually Sadie Ardinger Lee was the daughter of James Lee Jr.’s son James Lee III and Capt. James Lee Jr.’s law partner Hiram Warinner and Bodien Warinner. Capt. Tippits History of the Lee Line seems to be missing pages for 1912.

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Lee Line encounters with law enforcement

This newspaper clipping is from the Memphis Commercial Appeal December 17, 2018.
Tennessee Prohibition began in 1917 2 years prior to when the 18th Amendment was passed
outlawing possession and  manufacturing of alcohol as part of the US Constitution.

June 27, 1929

Posted on February 22, 2012 by leelinesteamers

The Evening Independent Newspaper St. Petersburg Florida reported on June 27, 1929 the following story

G Peters Lee Caught after repeated warnings by Memphis Chief of Police

Memphis Tenn., June 27 (AP)

G. Peters Lee, president of the Valley Line Steamers, Inc. was arrested today on charges of possession of liquor, conspiracy to violate the prohibition law and violating the liquor law.   He immediately made bond of $500 cash of each of the charges.

Capt. Lee’s arrest followed a visit by police chief  Will D. Lee and Capt. Hulet Smith accompanied by Finis Wilson, federal prohibition chief, here.  The officers said they found 75 gallons of liquor on the wharf-boat and 100 gallons in an auto.

“For years I have been telling Captain Lee that we would get him sooner or later,” Chief Lee said.  “We have arrested several of his employees and each time have given Captain Lee a warning.”  We have an open and shut case on him this time.”

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Beautiful cursive script July 3 1891 letter to Lee Line Capt. Robert E Lee

This letter resides in the Lilly Library at the Univ of Indiana Howard Shipyard archive.  

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Howard Shipyard boiler and stern wheel shaft drawing for Lady Lee

This drawing is another Howard Shipyard Univ of Indiana Lilly Library find showing the LADY LEE boiler dimensions and dimensions for her stern wheel drive shaft mechanism.  This drawing is dated May 31, 1889.  

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Howard Shipyard freight hoist and capstan mechanical drawing dated 1874

During a recent trip to the Univ of Indiana Lilly Library Bloomington Indiana I found this drawing dated 1874 showing the under deck drive mechanism powering a steamboat’s freight hoist and capstan.   Also found were drawings of several other Lee Line boats purchased from Howard as well as interesting correspondence to my great uncle Robert E Lee regarding proposed work on the Georgia and James Lee.


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S&D Reflector History of the Lee Line part 4

This colorized picture of the GEORGIA LEE shows her tied up at or near the Beale Street landing Memphis Tennessee.  I hope you have enjoyed reading these 4 articles detailing some of the milestone events in the history of the Lee Line.  David Tschiggfrie, long time editor of the S&D Reflector elevated my submissions with the addition of pictures and his skilled editing to create what you are reading.

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S&D Reflector History of the Lee Line part 3 September 2015

She takes the horns refers to a steamboat that won a time trial seeking to prove which boat was the fastest boat between 2 river town.  The fastest boat either kept a set of deer antlers or was forced to present the faster boat with its set of antlers.   The antlers or horns were a source of great pride for a river town, the rousters on the boat as well as the boat owners.  Boat owners were fierce competitors.  Mail delivery contracts often went to the fastest boat.  The St. Louis and New Orleans Anchor Line was one of the fiercest competitors of the Lee Line.   My hope is you find this history interesting as well as humorous.

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