A Tribute To A Dynasty

A Pre-history of the Peabody Family

from England to America

MV Kalakala pre-history represents a significant amount of Peabody family members who first became respected in England about 61 CE. The name “Pea” “Body,” originally meaning “Mountain” “Man,” risked his life to protect her Majesty the Queen of England. John Peabody immigrated to America in 1635, who had descendants named George, Enoch, Charles, Alexander and others.

George, born in America, lived within a family with little means. He lost both of his parents at the age of 12, and his youth provided him with such strengths that were used to become one of the wealthiest men in America and England. And, reasons why he gave all his fortune to the poor. He financed merchants, entrepreneurs, America’s westward railway, became one of America’s very first Philanthropists, contributed to the poor in America and England, contributed to create; educational institutions of Harvard and Yale Universities, Baltimore, MD Peabody Institute & Library, and Peabody Essex Museum. George Peabody, at the time of his death, had a net worth of over $72 billion USD in 1870’s and was honored by her majesty the Queen of England before his death in 1870’s. He did not have an ego, and allowed all his wealth to be managed outside of the Peabody family by his partner J.P. Morgan after his death. Today, J.P. Morgan Chase is the largest financial institution in America.

Nathaniel Peabody signed America’s Bill of Rights and helped George Washington fight for freedom and independence from the British Empire. Enoch Peabody was a captain on the Black Ball Line Packet ship ‘Neptune” between 1850-1870, and risked his life to bring 100’s of thousands of immigrants into America from all of Europe. Charles Peabody migrated from New York, New York to the Puget Sound during the 1890’s, and became one of the founders of the Alaska Steamship Company and founder of the original Puget Sound Navigation Company. After his death in 1917, his son Alexander Peabody moved from New York to eventually become President of the Black Ball Line and helped to build the private ferry system that became owned by the State known today as the Washington State Ferries. Alexander M. Peabody (President) and Helmuth Schmitz (architect) of the Puget Sound Navigation Company were remarkable and significant Americans. They not only helped to build a successful private Puget Sound ferry system (1907 until 1951), but became famous for the introduction of the “World’s first Streamline and Art Deco Vessel” know as the MV Kalakala.

MV Kalakala still physically remains today as a national and state maritime treasure. The Company is re-instating the 200 year old trade name and trade mark of the original Black Ball Line as the 21st century company’s flag. The flag was established in 1812 and flown on famous Packet ships between New York and Liverpool, as well as other routes to Europe, Australia, Africa, New Zealand and America until the 1870’s. The flag was reinstated again in Washington State from 1907 until 1951. From 1935 to 1951 the MV Kalakala was owned and operated privately by the Puget Sound Navigation Company dba Black Ball Line. The State of Washington purchased her then retired her in 1967. She was the pride, flagship and most favored ferry to ride by local citizens and attracted tourists to Puget Sound from Victoria B.C., Canada and the world.



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