Whitehall Boat Collection

Manuscripts Collection 189

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Durant, Kenneth
Title: Whitehall Boat Collection
Dates: 1959-1967
Extent: 350 pieces
Abstract: Correspondence, research notes, photographs, clippings, and other papers, relating to the history and construction of Whitehall boats (pulling boats developed in the 1820s near Whitehall St., New York, N.Y., used originally as workboats but later for recreation), principally pertaining to the AMERICAN STAR, a Whitehall boat, presented to Marquis de Lafayette in New York in 1825. Includes photographs and other information for John Gardner’s article on the AMERICAN STAR published in The Log of Mystic Seaport in 1972.
Identification: Coll. 189

Biography of Kenneth Durant

The Whitehall boat Collection is the result of research conducted by Mr. Kenneth Durant form 1958 through 1968, into the history and development of the Whitehall boat. Mr. Durant was then Research Associate for the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake in New York, and was previously a journalist with close associations at United Press International. In addition to information on Whitehall boats, Durant was able to discover the location of the AMERICAN STAR, a Whitehall racing boat that was presented to the Marquis de Lafayette in New York in 1835, making it the oldest Whitehall still in existence. (The GENERAL LAFAYETTE, built in Mystic Seaport Museum in 1976 is a replica of the AMERICAN STAR, and was the result of Durant’s research.)

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division

Restrictions on Use

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

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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.


Gardner, John,–1905-1995
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier,–marquis de, — 1757-1834

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

American Star (Pulling boat)


Boats and boating
Whitehall boats
Whitehall boats–New York (State)–New York

Document Types:


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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 189, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

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


Correspondence, photos, clippings, research notes, etc.; 1958-1967
Box Folder
1 1 Whitehall Boats; general correspondence; 1958-1968
2 Whitehall Boats; research drafts & notes; ca. 1960
3 Whitehall Boats; clippings, brochures, etc.; ca. 1960
4 Cadwallader D. Colden – source information for Whitehall Boats
5 Robert Rogers Journals – source information for Whitehall Boats
6 W. P. Stephens – source information for Whitehall Boats
7 Whitehall Boats – information found in various articles
8 Rodman Gilder – information about the Battery section of Manhattan
9 Whitehall Boat Races (including the AMERICAN STAR race.)
10 AMERICAN STAR; relative correspondence; 1959-1967
11 AMERICAN STAR; sources and research
Box Folder
13 Lake George Rowboat
14 Shad boat, Port Ewen
15 Whitehall-type, GRAY BONNET
16 Whitehall-type racing boat at Mystic Seaport Museum
17 Whitehall-type boat via John Gardner, Saugus, Ma.
18 Pilot boats, St. Davids, Bermuda; 1930
19 Whitehall-type boats used on Steamers
20 Whitehall boats along the shore
21 Richeleau River fisherman
22 Philip C. Bolger and Whitehall-type, SPUR
23 Lake George scenes with Whitehall boats.
24 Miscellaneous photos relevant to Whitehall boats

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