John Jones Harlow Collection

Manuscripts Collection 349

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Harlow, John Jones (1833-1922)
Title: John Jones Harlow Collection
Dates: 1856-2006
Extent: 108 pieces/1 volume
Abstract: Collection, 1856-2006, of John Jones Harlow includes a personal memoir of his life on whalers, a logbook from the whaling brig LEONIDAS, papers relating to whaling and other personal papers. Memoirs and logbook contain descriptions of whaling mutinies, injury at sea as well as shipboard life. Logbook also contains whale and porpoise stamps.
Identification: Coll. 349
Accession number: MC 2008.24

Biography of John Jones Harlow

John Jones Harlow was born in Sandwich, MA on August 29, 1833. As a young man of sixteen he began his sailing career on the whaling bark PARKER COOK. During most of his years at sea Harlow worked aboard whalers, beginning as a seaman and working his way up to second mate on the brig LEONIDAS. In 1863 Harlow returned to North Falmouth, Massachusetts and married Susan Percival on November 19, 1863. Together they had seven children.

With his whaling career behind him, Harlow and his brother Thomas bought a canal boat and ran it from Albany, NY to Princeton, NJ and from New York City to Philadelphia, PA. Returning home to Barnstable, MA John J. Harlow worked as a carpenter and a builder of cranberry bogs. He also served as Deputy Sheriff and Constable of Barnstable, MA until his death on March 11, 1922.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

The John Jones Harlow Collection (Coll. 349) is arranged chronologically; 1856-2006.

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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.


Harlow, John J., 1833-1922
Harlow, Susan Percival, 1838-1928
Harlow, William, 1624-1691

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

Leonidas (Brig)
Narragansett (Ship)
Parker Cook (Bark)
Sea Ranger (Bark)
Zone (Bark)


Barnstable (Mass.)
Bridgetown (Barbados)
Islands, Bay of (N.Z.)
Plymouth (Mass.)
Prince Rupert Bay (Dominica)
Sandwich (Mass.)


Injury at sea
Seafaring life–19th century

Document Types:



Whalers (Persons)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 349, 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.

Papers 1856-2006
Box Folder
1 1 Separation papers from voyage aboard ZONE (Bark); 1856-1858 (2 pieces)
2 Logbook, LEONIDAS (Brig); January 1863-May 1863 (1 volume)
3 Photocopy of marriage certificate with photograph of John and Susan Harlow; 1863 (2 pieces)
4 Handwritten memoirs; 1833-1920 55 pieces
5 Typewritten copy of memoirs; 2006 (12 pieces)
6 Genealogy of William Harlow (1624-1691) family; compiled in 1931 (39 pieces)

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