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