Jennie R. Dubois

Her Building

Photo: Mystic Seaport Photography Collection

Launched February 11, 1902


Length: 249 feet

Breadth: 46 feet

Depth: 20.7 feet


Gross Tonnage: 2,227

Net Tonnage: 1,952


Designed to carry

3,000 tons of coal


2 million board feet of lumber




The Dubois (locally pronounced Do-boyz ) was named after the wife of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Edward Church Dubois. Mrs. Jennie Roberts Dubois was a 4/64 th owner in the vessel. Unfortunately to date we have not been able to locate a photo of Mrs. Dubois.

New York Times

Edward Church Dubois

Supreme Court Justice of Rhode Island  

Born London, England

January 23,1848

Jennie Roberts Dubois

Born in West Gardiner, Maine 1853

4/64 Owner in Jennie R Dubois




Photo: Mystic Seaport Photography Collection

Here we see a picture of the Dubois under construction with her master builder, Willard Avery Hodgkins, surveying the progress of his vessel (left side of image, foreground). Mr. Hodgkins had been previously employed by Percy & Small of Bath Maine, who were probably the most well know builders of schooners on the east coast.


The Great Coal Schooners of New England  1870-1909, Lt. W. J. Lewis Parker, U.S.C.G.

The captain of the Dubois was Edward Henry Smeed, shown here, extreme left, in a 1909 photo of the Palmer fleet captains.  He was at this time the captain of the Baker Palmer.  Captain Smeedís task as master of the Jennie R. Dubois was to deliver coal along the eastern seaboard.


Weíre all familiar with the oil tankers that ply our waters today.

Elvira Ball another Mystic Built schooner, authors collection

Coasting schooners like the Dubois were the oils tankers of the day.  They were used, among other things, to transport bituminous coal along the east coast.


Coasting schooners moved coal from primary loading ports in the south. To discharge ports in the north. This coal was used to fuel the industrial and home fires of the north.


Primary Discharge ports

Bangor, ME.

Portland, ME.

Portsmouth, NH.

Boston, MA.

Providence, RI.



Primary Loading Ports

Philadelphia, PA.

Baltimore, MD.

Norfolk, VA.

Newport News, VA.


The Day Feb 12

Photo: Mystic Seaport Photography Collection

When the Dubois was launched she was, at the time, the largest vessel to have been built outside the shipyards of Maine, she would be the largest vessel to be built on the Mystic River, and she was seen as  the revival of shipbuilding in the area.

Number of Schooners Built

And we can see that when she was built in 1902, shipbuilding was indeed seeing a resurgence.




Photo: Mystic Seaport Photography Collection

When the Dubois was launched she was the Grandest triumph in the history of Connecticut shipbuilding and said to be the best vessel ever built in Connecticut.

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