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-- Manuscript Group 49, Ship Logs Collection, 1732-1839


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 49, Ship Logs Collection, 1732-1839, 0.25 linear feet / 6 items

Call Number: MG 49 + Item number


Open collection of ship logs.  Included are logs or journals of the following vessels: Ship Catherine (Jasper Farmer, commander), 1732-1734; H.M.S. Chester, 1746-1747; Ship Sampson (Joseph M. Leder, master), 1804-1805; U.S. Schooner Alligator (Robert Field Stockton, commander), 1821; Ship John Wells (Uriah Russell, master), 1837-1839.

Gift in part of A. A. Marsters, 1922.


Scope and Content Note / Item Description:

This is an artificial collection consisting of six ship logs, dating from 1732-1861, which are described below:

1. The ship Catherine was operated under the command of Jasper Farmer. Its ship log describes two voyages, one from New York to Africa and back, September 6, 1732-July 2, 1733; and the other from New York to Madeira and back by way of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, October 23, 1733-March 5, 1734. The first voyage was a part of the slave trade and was undertaken to bring slaves to America. The log of this journey contains the number of slaves on the ship at its departure from the coast of Africa (257) and a list of slaves who died on the trip (30).

2. H.M.S. Chester was a British military vessel operating off the coast of New England and Nova Scotia during King George's War (1744-1748). The log covers the period of March 26, 1746-May 20, 1747. Beyond the description of the routine activities of the ship's crew, the log contains the accounts of military actions against French ships and coastal settlements.

3. The ship Sampson was managed by Master Robert Adamson. Its log records a voyage from London to New York that took place in 1801. The purpose of the trip remains unclear. There are detailed descriptions of the weather, course, as well as scenes on the sea.

4. The brig Washington under the command of the Master Joseph M. Leder completed several trips from London to New York; New York to Bordeaux; Bordeaux to New Orleans and back; and Bordeaux to New York in the period from February 13, 1804 to October 15, 1805. The ship log of these journeys concentrates mostly on description of weather and course. There are brief descriptions of interaction with French authorities and a criminal episode in one of the ports.

5. This unidentified passenger's journal from the schooner Alligator describes the voyage from Boston to Africa, April 3-May 10, 1821. This schooner was under the command of Robert Field Stockton. Stockton became interested in the work of the American Colonization Society and obtained the command of the Alligator to be used to found a colony on the west coast of Africa. The journal of the passenger, however, deals mostly with weather, changes of the sea scene, fishing, and such. The journal also contains an essay contemplating nomadic life and a passion for journeys.

6. The Ship John Wells under the command of a Master Uriah Russel, was used for a whale hunt. Newark Whaling Company owned the ship. The journal, kept by First Mate Abner Coffin between 1837 and 1839, contains entries documenting the whale hunt.  (This item is restricted at this time due to preservation concerns.)


Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 172, John H. Stephens (fl. 1802-1817) Daybook: Stephens was the president of the Newark Whaling Company

Processed by Irina Peris, March 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Submit a request to copy part of this collection


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