Joseph J. Fuller Collection

Manuscripts Collection 104

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Fuller, Joseph J., 1839-1920
Title: Joseph J. Fuller Collection
Dates: 1880-1920
Extent: 3 volumes
Abstract: This collection consists of 2 diary-type volumes and 1 scrapbook relative to the career of Joseph J. Fuller, a whaling and sealing ship master from New London, CT. Of singular importance are accounts of the time Fuller and the crew of the New London Sealing Schooner PILOTS BRIDE were shipwrecked on Kerguelen Island for nearly one year. (See also coll.25 and Log 771)
Identification: Coll. 104

Biography of Joseph J. Fuller

Joseph J. Fuller (1839-1920), originally from Danvers, Massachusetts, was a whaling and sealing captain who sailed out of New London, Connecticut, during the last half of the 19th century. He eventually specialized in the branch of this industry that hunted sea elephants for oil, principally at Heard and Kerguelen “Desolation” Islands in the Indian Ocean. In 1880 Fuller was wrecked at Desolation and spent a year there with a mutinous crew, under conditions in which differences of language, race, and color exacerbated a normally harsh existence. (For further information see Joseph J. Fuller, “Master of Desolation: The Reminiscences of Capt. Joseph J. Fuller,” edited by Briton Cooper Busch, Mystic, Conn., 1980.)

Top →


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

Top →

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

Pilot’s Bride (Schooner)


Danvers (Mass.) Indian Ocean
Kerguelen Islands–Description and travel


Seafaring life
Shipwrecks–Kerguelen Islands
Southern elephant seal
Whalers (Persons)
Whaling–Connecticut–New London

Document Types:

Memoirs Scrapbooks–Connecticut–New London


Shipmasters–Connecticut–New London.

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 104, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

Top →

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Volumes; 1880-1920.

1 Diary entitled, “Reminscences of the Life of Capt. Joseph J. Fuller”; ca. 1890. Images
2 Scrapbook, clippings of New London area ship masters, etc; ca. 1920.
3 Diary/journal entitled, “Reminiscences of Schooner PILOTS BRIDE at Kerguellen Island,” by Capt. Joseph J. Fuller; ca. 1920. Images


Top →