From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

Fanny Mason

Fanny Mason was the daughter of J. Y. Mason, Secretary of the Navy in 1844 and again from 1846 to 1849.


(Metal Lifeboat: l. 25’; b. 6’6"; dr. 8")


Fanny Mason, built by Francis' Metallic Life-Boat Co., Green Point, Long Island, N.Y., was a copper lifeboat used by Lieutenant W. L. Lynch in his 1847-1848 exploring expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. The expedition sailed in storeship Supply from New York on 26 November 1847. On 31 March 1848 Lynch reported that the lifeboat was landed at Acre, Palestine. Mounted on a carriage designed for overland transportation, Fanny Mason was dragged by camel train over almost impassable mountain trails to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There, on 8 April 1848, she was launched; Lynch reported: "...bouyantly [sic; buoyantly] floated the two ‘Fannies’ [Fanny Mason and Fanny Skinner (q. v.)], bearing the stars and stripes, the noblest flag of freedom now waving in the world."

During the next month Fanny Mason, commanded by Lieutenant Lynch, rode down the Jordan, surviving the terrific beatings of shooting some 176 rapids, and cruised around the Dead Sea, gathering knowledge of that historic region. Early in May 1848, Fanny Mason was disassembled into sections small enough to be carried by pack animals, and was transported overland to the Mediterranean. Loaded once more on board Supply, the lifeboat was returned to the United States.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (