Although stated to be a medium clipper Dreadnought's lines bore more resemblance to those of a contemporary packet than an ocean thoroughbred. Built by Carrier & Townsend at Newburyport, Massachusetts, she was launched on 6 October 1853 and was ready for sea the following month. Her owners, the Red Cross Line, had ordered her for their New York to Liverpool service and, having chosen Captain Samuels as her master, they asked him to superintend her construction. The result was a fast and reliable ship that became known as "the wild boat of the Atlantic", a reputation also helped by Samuels' superb seamanship and his determination to drive her with maximum sail whatever the weather. Curiously she broke no records but she maintained her Atlantic schedules with greater regularity than any other sailing packet then afloat. Betweeen December 1853 and Feburuary 1864 she completed thirty-one round trips for the Red Cross Line. Captain Samuels remaining in command for all but the last voyage. In the summer of 1864, Dreadnought was sold and put on to the New York to San Francisco run where she remained for several years On 28 April 1869, she sailed from Liveropool again, bound for San Francisco, but was wrecked on the island of Terra del Fuego just prior to rounding Cape Horn. All of Dreadnought's officers and crew were saved but the ship herself was a total loss and cost her underwriters $83,000.