Guide to the Ship Logs Collection 1732-1839 MG 49


Descriptive Summary
Historical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Container List

Ship Logs

Guide to the Ship Logs Collection
MG 49

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Irina Peris as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. August 2005. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ship Logs Collection
Dates: 1732-1839
Abstract: This is an artificial collection consisting of six ship logs from American and British ships dating from 1732-1839.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet / 6 items
Collection Number: MG 49

Historical Note

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 and the number of slaves who died on the trip.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Ship John Wells under the command of a Master Uriah Russell, 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.)

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Scope and Content Note

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.

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Access Restrictions

Access to the log of the ship John Wells is restricted at this time due to preservation concerns.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Adamson, Robert.
Farmer, Jasper.
Leder, Joseph M.
Russell, Uriah.
Stockton, Robert Field, 1795-1866.
Subject Organizations:
Alligator (Schooner)
American Colonization Society.
Catherine (Ship : 1732-1832)
H.M.S. Chester (Ship : 1746-1747)
John Wells (Ship)
Sampson (Ship : 1801)
Washington (Brig : 1804-1805)
Subject Topics:
Ship captains.
Slave trade–United States.
Transatlantic voyages.
Whaling ships.
Subject Places:
Atlantic Ocean–Navigation.
Bordeaux (France)
Boston (Mass.)
London (England)
Newark (N.J.)
New Orleans (La.)
New York (N.Y.)
Perth Amboy (N.J.)
United States–History–King George’s War, 1744-1748.
Document Types:
Journals (accounts)
Ships’ logs

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Related Material

This is a selective list of related collections at the New Jersey Historical Society.

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

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

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

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 49, Ship Logs

Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.
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Container List

Ship Logs

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Log of the ship “Catherine” (fragile condition) 1732-1734
1 2 Log of the ship “H.M.S. Chester” (Also available on microfilm) 1746 Mar. 26-1747 May 20
1 3 Log of the ship “Sampson” 1801
1 4 Journal of the brig “Washington” 1804-1805
1 5 Passenger’s journal from the schooner “Alligator” 1821 Apr. 3-May 10
Box Title Date
OS Journal of the whaling ship “John Wells” (In map case, RESTRICTED ACCESS) 1837-1839

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