One of the things that I wonder at is this incredible pull to sideline Newburyport. If you come here though, even if you don’t know why, you understand immediately that our City is a special place. I figure it has to do with The Curse.
Regardless, I was incensed when I was reading on the Internet that Baltimore claims to have invented the clipper ship. “Clipper” was given to their ships because they clipped along at a very fast speed. In fact, the swiftness plus the quick maneuvering made them a favorite among privateers. Yes, even Newburyporters were known to favor these fast vessels.
But as you can see, the claim is horribly false. These small little ships look nothing like a Clipper Ship that was invented here by Donald McKay. Inevitably, some historian walled up in a stuffy archive somewhere wants to correct us when we say the Clipper City was so named because it all started here. They need to board a sailing ship and take in some ocean breeze wafting in some reality.
Why is it important? Money and Heritage Tourism – it’s the stuff that lines our wallets and someone out there needs to correct this falsity. We are happily the birthplace of the Coast Guard and now we can say,
We ARE Clipper City AND a Coast Guard City.