Timeline of Maritime Activities in American History

1492 Christopher Columbus makes first voyage in search of Asia, encountering islands of North America and establishing the route to the New World.
1497 John Cabot brings back word of codfish resources discovered off Newfoundland.
1502 European fishing fleets are working in Newfoundland waters.
1509 Spanish subjugate and settle Puerto Rico.
1560 Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner publishes his NOMENCLATOR AQUATILIUM ANIMANTUM and continues his attempt to identify every known animal.
1565 Spanish establish permanent settlement at present-day St. Augustine, Florida, driving out earlier French settlers in the area.
1565 St. Augustine, Florida, established by Spanish to guard sea-lanes to Spanish America.
1585 – 1586 John White paints watercolors of Native American coastal residents during Sir Walter Raleigh’s unsuccessful Roanoke expedition to the Carolina coast. Inhabitants disappear and settlement becomes known as the “Lost Colony of Roanoke”.
1590 – 1635 Theodore de Bry publishes impressions of coastal America in the many volumes of the illustrated series America.
1607 Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, is established as a commercial outpost to develop sea trade with Great Britain.
1614 The establishment of Dutch Ft. Oranje near present site of Albany, New York, opens Hudson River to European trade.
1619 First Africans in North America are brought to Jamestown.
1620 The Mayflower arrives in Plymouth Harbor and the English Puritans establish the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts.
1620 Having landed in New England and established the Plymouth Colony, the Pilgrims plan to use fish as a trade commodity.
1624 First permanent Dutch settlement at New York.
1624 “Nieuw Amsterdam”, on Manhattan Island, is established as the Dutch entrepot for trade.
1634 English Catholics settle at St. Mary’s in the new colony of Maryland.
1638 A Swedish settlement is established at site of Wilmington, Delaware.
1650 Alongshore whale fishery established by European settlers on Long Island, New York, with assistance of Native American whalers.
1654 Jews first settle in New York.
1660 – 1775 Navigation Acts control trade relationships of American merchants, largely limiting them to trade within the British Empire.
1671 In London, John Ogilby publishes a beautifully illustrated book entitled AMERICA without attributing the work to its Dutch author, Arnoldus Montanus.
1673 Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet travel across the Great Lakes and explore the upper portion of the Mississippi River.
1680 – 1850 “Voyageurs” use the lake and river networks for fur trapping and trade with American Indians.
1681 Philadelphia is established as a port on the Delaware River.
1682 Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, travels down the Mississippi to its mouth and claims the region for France.
1682 Welsh Quakers settle in the new colony of Pennsylvania.
1683 German Quakers arrive in Pennsylvania.
1685 French Hugenots settle in North America.
1689 Scottish and Irish emigration begins.
1690 Beginning of large-scale African slave trade to North America, totaling more than 660,000 before 1808.
1699 Boston, Massachusetts, is the leading colonial port.
1701 French settlers establish outpost at the site of Detroit.
1712 First recorded capture of a sperm whale.
1714 – 1720 Large-scale Scotch-Irish immigration.
1717 An early engraving of New York depicts the sloop yacht Fancy, owned by a wealthy New Yorker.
1718 French establish the settlement of New Orleans.
1720 Cod fishermen of Marblehead and Gloucester, Massachusetts, begin to dominate New England commercial fisheries.
1723 – 1889 Orne-Cushing-Baldwin-Tappan Family Collection; Orne-Cushing-Family
1727 – 1775 Large-scale German and Swiss immigration.
1750 Rhode Islanders develop method of separating oil from the waxy spermaceti found in heads of sperm whales and begin to manufacture candles.
1755 French Acadians evicted from Nova Scotia, some being resettled in Louisiana, becoming “Cajuns”.
1762 New Haven, Connecticut, passes an act to protect natural oyster beds.
1764 French establish outpost at the site of St. Louis.
1767 – 1867 Silas Talbot Collection; Talbot, Silas
1771 Certificate of Membership; Wheaton, William
Membership certificate of William Wheaton for the New York Marine Society.
1775 At a meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress votes to fit out two sailing vessels with guns and men to send out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and provisions to the British army in America. This is widely accepted as the “birthday” of the United States Navy.
1775 – 1890 Henry Wadsworth Fletcher Collection; Fletcher, Henry Wadsworth
1775 – 1839 John Palmer Papers; Palmer, John
Included in this collection are letters to John Palmer at Newport during 1776 from family and friends. Two diaries kept by John Palmer between 1775 and 1777 provide insights into the Revolutionary Period, as do the 2 sea journals from the Privateer REVENGE. Present also are logs and journals for the Snow BLACK PRINCESS, Schooner LITTLE REBECCA, Sloop COUNT D’ESTAINGE, Brig BETSEY, and the Ship READYMONEY. Most of the material after 1800 (about 10% of the total) involves other members of the Palmer family.
1776 The Continental Marines capture Nassau, Bahamas from the British, in the first amphibious operation of the Revolutionary War.
1776 The American fleet on Lake Champlain is defeated, but delays the British invasion of northern New York.
1778 John Singleton Copley paints Watson and the Shark, which is considered to be the first marine painting by an American artist.
1778 Articles of agreement; Revenge (Sloop)
Articles of agreement, 1778, for a six week privateering voyage by the Sloop REVENGE, New London. Articles established the amount or shares of any potential profits realised during the cruise, that would be proportioned to the owners, officers, and crew members. The document, however, was never executed, since no signatures appear in the space provided.
1779 – 1899 Joseph Williams Collection; Williams, Joseph
1779 “I have not yet begun to fight,” Captain John Paul Jones reportedly proclaims as his damaged American ship Bonhomme Richard defeats HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head, England, in the best-known naval engagement of the American Revolution.
1782 – 1809 Joseph King Papers; King, Joseph
1783 The Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolution, but prohibits American ships from trading with its former trading partners in the British Caribbean islands.
1783 United States fishing rights to waters off Newfoundland and Labrador and in Gulf of St. Lawrence recognized in Treaty of Paris ending American Revolution.
1784 The wooden codfish is hung in the Massachusetts House of Representatives “as a memorial of the importance of the cod fishery to the welfare of this Commonwealth”.
1784 Certificate of registry; Hawke (Schooner)
Certificate of registry for the Schooner Hawke, Samuel Stone, master, issued in Salem, Massachusetts. Contains seal and carries signature of John Hancock, governor of Massachusetts.
1785 The Continental Navy is dissolved with the order to sell the last ship remaining in the fleet, the frigate Alliance. United States has no naval fleet for 12 years.
1789 The new federal government establishes Customs Service to license vessels and collect tariffs on trade. During the following century, customs revenues total as much as 90 percent of United States government income.
1790 Captain Robert Gray locates the mouth of the Columbia River.
1790 – 1840 Flatboats are used for carrying cargo downstream on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and keelboats for travel in both directions.
1790 The damming of the Connecticut River and its tributaries for industrial power shuts off access to most Atlantic salmon spawning grounds, nearly eliminating that fish in southern New England waters.
1790 – 1807 Heaviest traffic in African slaves, ending with federal prohibition of slave trade after 1 January 1808, but perhaps 50,000 Africans brought in illegally between 1808 and 1861.
1790 – 1860 Kermit family collection; Kermit family
Manuscripts relating to the business and domestic activities of shipmaster Capt. Henry Kermit, who also owned a store and wharf in New York, and members of the Kermit family, including letters, bills, accounts, receipts, and documents from seaports in England, Europe, and the United States relating to the shipping activities of Capt. Kermit and his merchant shipowner sons Henry and Robert; items relating to family/house expenses, running a retail store, property rentals, and the settlement of estates; correspondence from shipmasters, agents, and commercial firms in European and American ports relating to ships’ business, market conditions, voyages, and political and social news; ships’ papers relating to purchase, outfitting, voyages, etc.; and estate papers of shipmaster Thomas Orange.
1791 First American whale ships round Cape Horn and enter the Pacific Ocean.
1792 – 1812 British Royal Navy routinely stops United States merchant ships to impress sailors of supposed British origin into naval service during the Napoleonic Wars.
1793 – 1806 This is an extremely profitable era of “neutral trade” by United States ships with warring British and French ships during the Napoleonic Wars.
1793 United States Congress establishes system of bounty payments to encourage New England cod fishery.
1793 – 1807 Fulwar Skipwith Papers; Skipwith, Fulwar
1794 Congress authorizes construction of six frigates.
1795 Declaration; Stanwood, Winthrop
Sworn to by Winthrop Stanwood of Gloucester, Mass., that his “boat” LUCY will not be employed in trade to defraud the United States of Revenue.
1796 Manifests and entry papers; Caroline (Brig)
Relative to cargo of Brig CAROLINE, Elihu Cotton, Master, on her return to Middletown, Connecticut from a voyage to Jamaica. Cargo consisted of rum and sugar.
1796 – 1862 Charles W. Morgan Collection; Morgan, Charles W.
1797 – 1804 John Turner Collection; Turner, John
1797 Launch of first three frigates, including USS Constitution.
1798 United States Congress establishes Department of the Navy.
1798 – 1800 United States Navy fights Quasi-War with France.
1799 Philadelphia, Boston, and New York vie for commercial supremacy as the leading United States port.
1799 First American maritime museum established as the cabinet of curiosities a the East India Marine Society, now the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.
1799 Bond; Quantibaycook (Brig)
1800 – 1953 Collection of Howard A. Krumwiede; Krumwiede, Howard A.
1800 – 1843 David Gelston Papers; Gelston, David
1800 In the early decades of this century, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is given responsibility for maintaining river navigation.
1800 Sailors of the nineteenth-century, who know rigging of sailing ships better than anyone, fill quiet times aboard ship crafting ships in bottles.
1800 – 1860 Shipping articles
Shipping articles relative to the following vessels: Bark ABBOT LORD (1841-’42), Bark AUSTIN (1851-’53), Brig COM. PREBLE (1825-’32), Bark DANA (1846), Brig FEROX (1819), Ship GEN. BERRY (c. 1845), Sloop GEORGE (c. 1820), Ship HAMLIN (1860-’63), Ship HARVEST (1860), Ship LINCOLN (1861), Brig MERCHANT (1805), Brig SUTTON (1849), Brig TRAVELLER (1805-’07), Brig UNION (1823-’31), Brig VENGEANCE (1802), and Brig WILLIAM (c. 1805).
1801 Consular certificate; Juno (?)
Stating that the vessel JUNO of Bristol (R. I.?), John Kindrich, master, “in consequence of additions since her arrival… is now armed with Ten Carriage Guns.” and signed by James Maury, Consul.
1801 – 1846 Records of the Warren Insurance Company; Warren Insurance Company
1801 – 1805 United States Navy fights war with Tripoli an other Barbary States of North Africa.
1802 – 1848 Drawback forms and certificates; United States Customs
Printed forms & certificates,1802-1848, relative to drawbacks and issued by the Customs Administration at various American ports. These documents were required for drawback payments of duties on foreign goods re-shipped out of the U.S. They usually carried the signatures of the Port Collector and Naval Officer. Cargos included nankeens, linen, silk, camphor, tea, Russia sheetings, olive oil, crepe shawls, Linseed oil, and raisins.
1802 Bill of lading; Olive Branch (Sloop)
1803 Louisiana Purchase opens Mississippi River to United States trade.
1804 Lewis and Clark Expedition begin their journey following the Missouri and Columbia River systems to explore the United States western territories acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.
1804 Customs papers; Susan (Brig)
1804 Nautical Almanac; Great Britain. Nautical Almanac Office.
American impressions in which “no pains have been spared to make [them] perfectly correct by comparing with the original London editions” published in the U.S. [1802-1851] at varying locales and by various publishers. Binder’s title on American editions thus appears as “Blunt’s nautical almanac” or “Patten’s nautical almanac.”
1805 – 1811 James Fennimore Cooper goes to sea aboard merchant and naval ships.
1807 – 1826 Drawback forms and certificates; Port authority (Penn.)
Printed drawback forms relative to cargo aboard the Ship PILGRIM (April 6, 1807), Brig JAMES COULTER (April 27, 1826), and Brig STEPHIN GIRARD (April 26, 1826), through the Port of Philadelphia. These forms were required for drawback of duties on foreign merchandise re-shipped out of the U.S. Cargo included raisins, wine, and barrels of makeral.
1807 – 1808 Affidavit; Providence (Ship)
Affidavit, 1807-1808, of Notary Public, Philadelphia, plus attached sheet of sworn statements, relative to the loss of a cargo of coffee with the foundering at sea of the Ship PROVIDENCE, Holbrook, Master. Vessel was bound for Bremen, and document swears that no revenue is due customs.
1807 Robert Fulton’s North River Steam Boat carries passengers up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany, inaugurating commercial steamboat service in the United States.
1807 HMS Leopard fires into USS Chesapeake over right of impressment, a precipitating factor of the War of 1812.
1808 Embargo on foreign trade imposed by President Thomas Jefferson to avoid harassment of United States ships by British and French.
1808 Shipping articles; Tenedos (Bark)
Shipping articles for the bark TENEDOS of New London, Conn., King, master, signed at the port of Lahaina, Maui, H.I., Lawrence & Co., owners.
1809 Notarized sworn statement; Niagara (Brig)
Notarized sworn statement, July 25, 1808, by the owner, master, and mate of Brig NIAGARA of Philadelphia, that the vessel did not violate its Bond during her voyage from Philadelphia to Havana and back.
1809 Coasting permit and cargo manifest; Polly & Nancy
Coasting permit and cargo manifest issued for the sloop POLLY & NANCY of Egg Harbour to New York and Philadelphia with a cargo of sheathing, lath and sea stores.
1811 Steamboat New Orleans travels down Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, inaugurating steamboat service on the western rivers.
1812 Constitution defeats HMS Guerriere in the first United States victory of the War of 1812.
1812 USS Wasp defeats HMS Frolic.
1812 USS United States defeats HMS Macedonian.
1812 USS Constitution defeats HMS Java. In this battle the Constitution earns her nickname, “Old Ironsides”.
1812 An Act Concerning Letters of Marque, and Prizes; Monroe, James
“An Act Concerning Letters of Marque, Prizes & Prize Goods”; attached with a printed form “Instructions for the Private Armed Vessels of the United States”, which has autograph signature of James Monroe, Sec. of State. This act details the creation & conduct of U.S. Privateers during the War of 1812.
1812 Bond; Crary, Joseph
1812 Collection of Louis F. Middlebrook; Middlebrook, Louis F.
1813 USS Essex rounds Cape Horn, the first United States Navy vessel to enter the Pacific Ocean.
1813 HMS Shannon defeats USS Chesapeake, despite mortally wounded Captain James Lawrence’s plea, “Don’t give up the ship!”.
1813 “We have met the enemy; they are ours,” Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry reports after his United States flotilla on Lake Erie defeats the British squadron, ensuring the United States hold on the northwest.
1814 USS Essex is defeated by British frigates at Valparaiso, Chile. 13 year old midshipman, David Farragut survives and later becomes a naval hero in the Civil War.
1814 Thomas Macdonough’s fleet on Lake Champlain defeats British fleet, stalling the British invasion, and spurs British negotiators to give up territorial claims in America and settle the War of 1812.
1815 Steamboat service begins on Long Island Sound.
1815 The steamboat Enterprise makes a round trip from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, demonstrating the feasibility of upstream travel.
1815 A New Universal Dictionary of the Marine; Falconer, William
1815 With the end of the War of 1812, steamboats begin offering excursions in the New York area, increasing public access to waterside recreation.
1817 – 1855 James Lowell Papers; Lowell, James
1817 The first steamboat reaches St. Louis, Missouri.
1817 – 1825 The construction of the Erie Canal opens an efficient water route to go to the west and spurs forty years of canal construction.
1817 The Black Ball Line introduces regularly scheduled transatlantic packet service between New York and Liverpool, England.
1818 Steamboat Walk-in-the-Water enters service on Lake Erie as the first steamboat on the Great Lakes.
1818 Convention of 1818 gives United States fishermen liberty to fish off Newfoundland and Labrador and to dry fish on those unsettled shores.
1818 – 1837 Records of William R. Bowers & Co.; William R. Bowers & Co.
1819 – 1822 Letter copybook; Blake, Joshua
Letter copybook of Joshua Blake, merchant and shipping agent of Boston, Mass., involved in trans-Atlantic trade.
1819 SS Savannah makes the first transatlantic crossing by a steamship.
1819 The Steamer Savannah demonstrates the possibility of crossing the Atlantic with sail-assisted steam power, paving the way for scheduled service with reliable ocean steamships.
1819 – 1860 Port papers; New Bedford Customs District
For the customs district of New Bedford, Mass., including a declaration of no interest in the ship FRANCES, a warehouse bond for champagne, and entry manifests for the brigs BULL, EMILY, and RESOLUTION.
1820 – 1823 The United States Navy makes the first patrols against slave ships on the West African coast.
1820 New Jersey permits individuals to store oysters on unoccupied sea bottom, thereby allowing private control of formerly common ground, followed by similar legislation in Rhode Island (1827), Maryland (1830), and Connecticut (1842).
1820 – 1865 Use of oyster dredges is prohibited in Maryland for fear of overfishing.
1820 – 1886 Records of the Holmes’ Shipyard; Holmes Shipyard
1821 The earliest reference to the art of scrimshaw on an American whaleship.
1822 – 1904 Records of Lawrence & Co.; Lawrence & Co.
1823 Certificate; Durant, John W.
Certificate, 1823, giving an account of the services of John W. Durant as Inspector for the Port of Philadelphia from April through June, 1823. Document includes a receipt for $273.00. Durant’s wages for the quarter. Payment was received through the Customs Collector, John Steele.
1823 The United States Navy eradicates piracy in the Caribbean.
1824 – 1829 The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is built, connecting Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.
1824 Statement; Splendid (Ship)
1824 In his novels The Pilot, The Red Rover, and the Water Witch, James Fenimore Cooper helps launch American sea fiction.
1824 In a celebrated rowing race, New York watermen in the American Star defeat a British Royal Navy crew.
1825 – 1861 Andrew T. Judson Collection; Judson, Andrew T.
1825 – 1855 Heyday of transatlantic sailing packets.
1825 Scandinavian immigration begins, and is heaviest after 1840.
1826 – 1828 Quarantine rules; Bogota (Brig)
Quarantine rules for New York, New York, issued by John T. Harrison, Health Official. Rules apparently given to John Somers of the brig BOGOTA. Clearance certificate, March 31, 1828, given to James P. Sheffield, master of the brig BOGOTA bound from New York to Gibraltar with a general cargo including tobacco, cocoa, flour, and rice.
1826 Journal; Cicero (Brig)
Journal kept by Ebenezer Nye, master, of the brig CICERO for a trading voyage from New York, New York to Maracaibo, Venezuela and Bordeaux, France. Mentions shipboard activity, navigational information nad activity in ports visited.
1827 Journal; Cicero (Brig)
Journal kept by Ebenezer Nye, master, of the brig Cicero for a trading voyage from New York to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Mentions shipboard routine, and navigational information. Cicero was driven ashore and wrecked while approaching Maracaibo. The crew fought off Indians and salvaged part of the cargo. (Nye then spent 4 months in Bogata, returing to Maracaibo in November 1827.)
1827 – 1828 Journal; Economy (Schooner)
Journal kept by Ebenezer Nye, master of the schooner ECONOMY, for a South American trading voyage from Maracaibo, Venezula to Philadelphia. Vessel was chased by a suspected pirate schooner, carried cargo of dyewookd, hides and skins, coffee, and beeswax.
1827 – 1850 Hillman Shipyard Collection; Hillman Shipyard
Correspondence; genealogical notes, including material on early Nantucket whaling; ships’ lines of the ship UNION; spar measurements for ships CHARLES W. MORGAN, ARGO, CALIFORNIA, SEA NYMPH, BONITA, and SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS; dimensions of ship SEA WITCH and barks ELIZABETH HULL and JANE A. FALKENBERG; surveys of ships MARIA THERESA and HIAWATHA, and barks MERMAID and JOHN P. WEST; memo of charges for repairs to ship HUNTRESS; and list of vessels built by the yard.
1827 Logbook; Cicero (Brig)
Journal kept by Ebenezer Nye, master of the brig Cicero, for a trading voyage from N.Y. to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Mentions shipboard routine, navigational information, and port activities. Spoke 5 vessels and mentioned several others.
1827 Irish and German immigration increases, Irish accounting for 44 percent of total, 1830-1840, and 49 percent of total, 1841-50;Germans accounting for 30 percent, 1830-40.
1828 Hillman, Owen; Pilot’s certificate
Pilots certificate of Owen Hillman, New Bedford, Mass., for the harbors of New Bedford and Fairhaven, Mass.
1828 Shipping papers; Chelsea (Ship)
For Ship CHELSEA, of New York, Acors Barns (1774-1862), master, for voyage from New York to London. Includes N.Y. General Clearance certificate, U.S. Consulate’s bill, victualling bill, cargo manifest, passenger manifest, passenger list, and several bills of lading.
1829 – 1841 Certificates; District and Port of New York
On the Exportation of Goods, from a District other than the District of original importation.
1829 The first Welland Canal in Canada opens to carry water traffic around Niagara Falls between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
1830 New England fishermen begin to fish regularly for cod and halibut on Georges Bank, east of Cape Cod.
1830 The railroad era begins, offering American businessmen an economical alternative to operating expensive merchant ships.
1831 – 1888 John F. Harden Collection; Harden, John F.
1831 – 1890 James Bard, in partnership with his twin brother John until 1849, paints in a distinctive draftsmanlike style the sail and steam vessels of New York and the Hudson River.
1832 – 1891 James W. Egleston Papers; Egleston, James W.
1833 [Chart of Cape Horn]; Laurie, Richard Holmes
1834 Certificates; United States Consul
Owners/manufactures oaths,1834, indicating that their goods were properly loaded, shipped and consigned. Documents were issued through customs at Manchester, England, and St. Croix. Includes U.S. Consuls certificates and invoice of cargo. Consulate seal is present on both documents.
1834 Crew List Certificate; Dragon (Bark)
Crew list certificate for the bark DRAGON of New Bedford, Mass., Enos Pope, master.
1835 – 1907 Currier and Ives, America’s most prolific lithographic firm, publishes over 350 maritime scenes among their 4,000 popular images.
1835 Commercial fishery for menhaden established in southern New England to produce industrial oil and fishmeal for fertilizer.
1835 – 1837 Journal; Atlantic (Ship)
Journal kept by Theodore Lewis, M.D., on board the ship Atlantic of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Hunting Cooper, master, for a voyage to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean whaling grounds. Contains illustrations (pencil sketch), mentions death at sea, native contacts, shipboard life. Made 6 ports-of-call and spoke 53 vessels. Contains detailed descriptions of species of whales, whaleboats and whaling gear, cutting and boiling; also the history, government, people, customs and religion of the Falkland Islands; Azores; Tristan da Cunha; Inaccessible Island; Capetown, South Africa; Sandy Island (Rodrigues Island) (off Madagascar); Saint Paul Island (Ile St. Paul); Amsterdam Island; Saint Helena and Ascension Island.
1836 – 1848 Construction of Illinois and Michigan Canal. This canal connects Lake Michigan at Chicago with the Illinois River and, ultimately, links the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River System.
1838 – 1842 Lieutenant Charles Wilkes commands the United States Exploring Expedition in an around the world voyage to gather scientific data and seek commercial opportunities in the Pacific.
1838 Ships’ papers; Loan (Ship)
For ship Loan of Edgartown, Massachusetts, issued at Port of Edgartown & signed by John P. Norton, collector. Documents contain vessel’s specifications and description, owners’ names and master, Henry H. Merchant.
1838 – 1926 John H. Brower Papers; Brower, John Hamil
1838 – 1852 Daniel Ventres Papers; Ventres, Daniel
1838 Membership certificate; New York Marine Society
1838 – 1849 Letters; Goldsmith, William Douglas
Letters from a young boy, William Goldsmith, to his little sister Mary, in Mystic Bridge, Conn. William and his family are in New Orleans while Mary lives with Capt. Stephen Morgan’s family in Mystic. Goldsmith may be shipping agent doing business with Morgan and other Mystic ships. Letters mention local news (camp meeting, elephants, and family). William leaves for Galveston, TX (1845), and then to California gold fields (1849). Mary weds Nelson Lamb, of Mystic.
1839 – 1840 Logbook; Bingham (Ship)
Logbook for the ship Bingham on a whaling voyage in the Atlantic Ocean. Ezra G. Bailey commanded the voyage, William Bailey served as first mate and log keeper. Entries include a detailed description of a fight between crew members, a stopover in the Azores, and a knockdown. William Bailey became ill and left the ship at St. Helena.
1839 – 1844 Herman Melville spends time at sea aboard a merchant ship, a whaleship, and a naval vessel.
1840 British Cunard Line establishes reliable transatlantic steamship line between Liverpool and Boston.
1840 – 1850 The United States establishes reliable transatlantic service with large wooden steamships, supported by United States mail subsidies.
1840 – 1862 The United States Navy African Squadron operates along the west coast of Africa to prevent slave trading by American-flag vessels.
1840 William Underwood’s canning process to preserve food is adopted for lobsters and oysters.
1840 Beginnings of Cape Verdean immigration as a consequence of employment in the New England whaling industry.
1840 – 1890 Like other religious pilgrims before them, 90,000 Mormon converts cross the ocean to gather at their zion in Utah.
1841 The United States Navy launches its first practical steamships, USS Mississippi and Missouri.
1841 – 1845 Logbook; Charles W. Morgan (Bark)
1842 Annual immigration into the United States first exceeds 100,000.
1843 United States Navy launches its first iron ship, the USS Michigan, for service on Great Lakes, and the USS Princeton, the first naval vessel designed for screw propulsion.
1843 – 1844 Logbook; Halcyon (Bark)
Logbook of the bark Halcyon for an Indian Ocean whaling voyage. William Bailey commanded the voyage which ended in Geographe Bay, Australia when the Halcyon broke her third anchor chain and wrecked on the beach. The crew and 500 barrels of oil were transfered to the ship Charles Henry of New London.
1843 Logbook; Stonington (Ship)
Logbook kept on board the ship STONINGTON of New London, Conn., by George W. Hamley, master, for a whaling voyage to the Indian, Pacific, and South Atlantic Ocean whaling grounds. Contains whale stamps. Made 17 ports-of-call and spoke 25 vessels.
1844 – 1846 Journal; Morrison (Ship)
Journal kept by Rev. Thomas Douglass on board the ship MORRISON of New London, Conn., Samuel Green, Jr., master, for a voyage to the Indian and Pacific Ocean whaling grounds. Journal details shipboard life including a death at sea (Richard Francis, seaman), the religious affairs of sailors and captains, gams with other whaling vessels, whaling in general, descriptions of ports visited, problems with the food and an attempted mutiny. Also contains whale stamps.
1844 – 1893 Discharge certificates; United States Consular Agency
Discharge certificates for various merchant mariners and six different vessels, primarily in the Pacific Ocean area.
1844 Dana’s Seamen’s Friend; Dana, Richard Henry,
1845 The United States whaling fleet reaches its largest size, with 731 active vessels and scores of men at sea leaving communities of whaling industry wives and widows on shore to manage families, homes and businesses on their own.
1845 Fifty midshipmen and seven faculty attend the first term of the United States Naval School in Annapolis, Maryland. Five years later the school becomes known as the United States Naval Academy.
1845 Barges are first introduced for bulk cargoes on the Ohio River.
1845 – 1860 Cotton is the principal United States export.
1845 – 1860 This is the Clipper ship era in the United States, which reaches the height of extreme designs during the 1849-1853 gold rush.
1845 The United States whaling fleet reaches its largest size, with 731 active vessels.
1845 – 1851 Clearance Papers; Baker, Hiram
Clearance papers issued to Hiram Baker, master of the brigs HARRIET and OSCEOLA, for the ports of Mobile, Malaga, and Canarias.
1845 – 1940 Isaiah Larabee Collection; Larabee, Isaiah
Chiefly business papers, correspondence, and documents relating to Larabee’s maritime career and the vessels he commanded, including bills, receipts, cargo invoices, charter-parties, articles of agreement, bills of lading, and crew lists; documents regarding the Alabama claims case filed by Larabee and the owners of bark AMANDA; seamen’s protection certificates (21 items, 1845-1861), including seven issued to black seamen; and family papers, including insurance policies, estate papers, tax receipts, and miscellany of Larabee’s descendants in the 1900s. ‚b Trading ports represented include Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Cardiff, London, Kingston, Messina, and Genoa, Italy. Family members represented include his wife, Mary (d. 1878) and children Mary E., Alice, and Isaiah L. Larabee.
1846 – 1865 Henry W.B. Willis collection; Willis, Henry W. B.
Chiefly correspondence, including many love letters, between Willis and his wife, Sarah (Freeman) Willis, before and after their marriage and between members of the Willis and Freeman families, reflecting family relationships and domestic activities for two middle class New York/New Jersey families; together with articles of agreement, two ships logs, and other documents relating to the SUNNY SOUTH, mastered by Willis, including a consular document (1857) issued at Rio de Janeiro listing crew members discharged, shipped, and deserted form the ship at that port. ‚b Subjects include San Francisco, Calif., and other ports-of-call; Willis’ duties as a young seaman on the ships EXCHANGE and ENTERPRISE; and his work at the railroad freight office in New York, N.Y., after retirement from the sea.
1846 Logbook; Stonington (Ship)
Logbook kept by Abanson Fournier on board the ship STONINGTON of New London, Conn., George W. Hamley, master, for a voyage from Tasmania to the Pacific Ocean whaling grounds and during the time the ship was commandeered at San Diego, Calif., for Mexican war service. Capt. Hamley was captured at San Blas, Mexico, and Alanson Fournier took command for the passage home. Contains whale stamps.
1846 The first New England fishing schooner carries ice to preserve fresh halibut.
1846 – 1848 Robert J. Walker Letters; Walker, Robert J.
1847 – 1863 George W. Dow Papers; Dow, George W.
1847 Charter party; Tom Paine (Brig)
Between Peter Clinton and Charles P. Williams for passage from Bucksville, South Carolina to Mystic and Stonington, Connecticut. Clinton was owner of Brig TOM PAINE. Cargo consisted of approximately sixty thousand board feet of lumber.
1848 African American shipsmith Lewis Temple invents the toggle harpoon, greatly increasing efficiency of whaling.
1848 Overfishing on Georges Bank seriously depletes halibut stocks in those waters.
1848 Canning of steamed oysters begins in Baltimore, increasing greatly after 1864.
1848 The Pacific Mail Steamship Company is formed, inaugurating coastal steamboat service on the West Coast, carrying passengers, freight, and United States Mail.
1848 Gold is discovered in California setting off the great “Gold Rush” of 1849.
1849 Letter; Brewster, Benjamin
Letter from Benjamin Brewster to his mother in New York, N.Y., describing his trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the brig GEORGE EMERY bound for California and giving his impressions of Rio de Janeiro. Includes a carbon copy.
1849 Diary; Minor, James
Minor’s narrative describes his passage, and that of other members of the New Haven Mining Association aboard the bark ANN SMITH on a voyage to California. Includes description of fellow passengers and crew, shipboard life, and his two week stay at Rio de Janeiro. Drinking passengers he called the ‘liquor party”; crossing the line ceremony detailed; music and songs; opinions regarding ship’s captain and his officer, etc., last entry at sea towards Cape Horn.
1849 Poem; Marchant, Abiah
Poem written by Abiah Marchant, describing her experiences on board the Ship MAGNOLIA on a passage to California. The diary mentions illness and death at sea, food conditions, storm damage to the vessel, stops at Rio de Janiero and Talcahuano Bay (Chile), and the California gold rush. Also mentions the SOO CHOO (Boston) bound for Valparaiso and San Francisco.
1849 – 1850 Papers; Union Association of New York
Papers including the constitution, minutes of meetings, bill of sale, inventory of the schooner PENELOPE (ex SARAH CHURCHMAN) and bills of lading for gold shipped in the steamers PANAMA and CALIFORNIA of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company by the Union Association of New York. Most items are signed by all the members including Samuel Moore, W. Vermeulen, E.F. Strolin, E. Mohr, J.H. Rutenberg, Robert Porter, F.G. Adler, M.D., R. Wunderlich, Henry Volckmann, Charles E. Schirmer, Julius Schultze, and J.H. Siemers.
1849 Letters; Tabele, Montgomery A.
Letter, 1849, from Montgomery A. Tabele, San Francisco, Calif., to his mother probably in New York, N.Y., describing his passage from New York to San Francisco of 186 days in an unnamed vessel. Mentions several vessels with which they sailed in company but devotes much attention to the Straits of Magellan. Also talks about meeting several other San Francisco bound vessels in the Straits and sailing several days in company with the Schooner ROE.
1849 – 1914 Papers; Childs, Willard Curtis
Papers of Williard Curtis Childs of Natick, Mass., a California 49er on the maiden passage of the clipper ship REINDEER of Boston, Mass., John Lord, master. Papes include a Massachusetts passport, cabin ticket, biographical sketch from the Dec. 15, 1898, issue of the “Natick Review,” and obituries
1849 – 1850 Journal; Amelia (Brig)
Log kept by Alexander Boyd, Jr., on board the brig AMELIA [of Passamaquoddy, Maine?], Joseph. Clark, master, for a voyage to the California gold fields. Contains crew list. Made 2 ports-of-call, and spoke 9 vessels. (Contains detailed description of Juan Fernandez, Chile.)
1849 Letters; Williams, Horace
Letter written at sea aboard ship MAGNOLIA by a passenger, Horace Williams, to his sister Harriet, during a trip from New Bedford to San Francisco. Williams,and several fellow passengers from Augusta, Me., were bound for the California gold fields. His letter contains descriptions of shipboard activity, death of fellow passenger at sea, rounding Cape Horn, and Talcahuano, Chili. Mentions a two day race with Ship SWEDEN of Boston. Magnolia departed New Bedford Feb. 9 & arrived in San Francisco Aug. 28, 1849.
1849 Journal; Selma (Bark)
Journal kept by Harvey G. Brown, on board the bark Selma of New York, N.Y., Orrin Sellew, master, for a voyage to the California gold fields.. Contains crew list and list of members of the Fremont Mining and Trading Company.
1849 – 1850 Logbook; Stevens, William Lord
Volume of verse kept by William Lord Stevens on board the ship Trescott of Mystic, Conn. Includes a poem describing the voyage of a group of Stonington and New London men to the California gold fields.
1849 Logbook; Sweden (Ship)
Logbook, 1849, kept on board the ship SWEDEN bound from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California. Logbook kept by Benjamin Bailey traveling to California in company with other gold seekers. Bailey details life at sea including Sunday services, the July Fourth celebration, the bad food they were served, the birth of the Captain’s child, death of a passenger, meeting the ship MAGNOLIA,
1849 – 1850 Logbook; Sheffield (Ship)
Logbook, 1849-1850, kept by Isaac M. Jessup on board the ship SHEFFIELD of Cold Spring Harbor N.Y., Thomas M. Roys, master, for a voyage to the Pacific Ocean whaling grounds. Contains personal accounts, mentions death at sea (Justin Pratt, seaman), attempted mutiny, resulting discipline, carried cargo of lumber and wheels, made 5 ports-of-call.
1849 Logbook; Amelia (Brig)
1849 Annual immigration to the United States first exceeds 250,000.
1849 – 1893 Papers; Harden, John F.
1849 – 1894 Fish Family Letters; Fish Family
1850 The Collins Line introduces United States luxury transatlantic passenger and mail service between New York and Liverpool with wooden side-wheel steamships. The line goes bankrupt in 1857.
1850 United States Congress abolishes flogging as punishment aboard United States Navy ships.
1850 – 1851 Journal; Spray (Schooner)
Log kept by Alexander Boyd Jr., on board the schooner SPRAY, James Hall, master, for a coastwise trading voyage. Carried passengers and cargo of lumber. Made 5 ports-of-call.
1850 – 1860 Mystic Seaport sailing card collection;
Sailing cards (used to advertise vessel qualifications and sailing dates) for a number of well-known vessels, including the DAVID CROCKETT, GREAT REPUBLIC, and YOUNG AMERICA, and other vessels, including several for other vessels built in Mystic, Conn.
1851 Letter; Bolles, Nancy
Letter describes events at sea, from departure at New London, June 1850 to arrival at Maui 9 months later. Also describes officers and crew, and places visited, including Pitcairn Island. Bolles frequently mentions her children, John & Isable, who accompanied her on the voyage. Nancy Bolles and children remain on Maui while the Alert goes whaling in the Northwest Pacific.
1851 San Francisco Bay is choked with 500 abandoned ships as sailors leave them for the gold fields.
1851 Schooner-yacht America crosses Atlantic and defeats Royal Yacht Squadron, winning the trophy now called the America’s Cup, the focus of the longest-running international sporting event.
1851 Herman Melville publishes Moby-Dick.
1852 First Yale-Harvard crew race, which introduces intercollegiate athletics and popularity of rowing as sport.
1852 Two letters; Barber, Jane G.
Written by Jane G. Barber [of Westerly, R. I.?] to her parents, describing her experiences at sea. Along with her husband, William, she sailed from New York to Galveston aboard the Ship OCEAN EAGLE. She also describes a passage from New York to St. Marks, which includes her description of the crew.
1852 – 1854 Papers; Boyd, Thomas
Papers of Thomas Boyd of Boston, Mass., including a map kept by Boyd during a passage from Boston to San Francisco on board the clipper ship GOLDEN FLEECE of Boston, letters of Boyd to his daughters in Boston, and two sketches of Cape Horn.
1853 Steamship operator Cornelius Vanderbilt builds the first American steam yacht, the 270- foot North Star.
1853 Logbook; Challenge (Ship)
Logbook, 1849-1850, of the ship CHALLENGE for a voyage from Hong Kong to London. The CHALLENGE leaks considerably on the voyage to London, pumps are manned constantly and forces the ship to put into Fayal for repairs where the entries end.
1853 – 1855 Construction of locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (The “Soo” Locks), allows direct navigation between Lakes Superior and Huron.
1854 Chinese laborers begin arriving in significant numbers, most intending to return to China after accumulating wealth.
1854 Commodore Matthew C. Perry opens negotiations with Japan on the Treaty of Kanagawa, thus clearing the way for trade with the United States.
1854 Treaty of Medicine Creek secures Indian fishing rights in the Northwest.
1854 Letter; Fessenden. C.B.H.
Letter from C.B.H. Fessenden at the customs house in New Bedford, Ma., to W. Belcher. Letter concerns consulate at Hawaii, stating unsavory reputation, and political influences of same.
1855 Letters; Stark, Mary Rathbun
Letters written by Mary Rathbun Stark in the clipper ship B.F. HOXIE of Mystic, Conn., of which her husband, Henry S. Stark, was master on a voyage from Philadelphia, Pa., to San Francisco, to Honolulu, Hawaii, to New York, N.Y. Most of the letters are to daughter, Lizzie Stark, in Mystic. Letters describe life on board ship and in port and Mrs. Stark’s concerns for her husband and family. The vessel was owned by N.G. Fish & Company of Mystic. Among other things, she carried gun powder to San Francisco. Her cargo from Honolulu included whale oil, whale bone, goat skins, and hides. Includes also one letter from Henry S. Stark to his father.
1855 Connecticut oystermen begin to practice aquaculture, buying or leasing underwater plots and taking young oysters from natural beds to grow in these artificial beds.
1855 Castle Garden at New York is established as principal East Coast immigrant processing depot, operating until 1890.
1855 – 1860 Scattered papers; Morning Glory (Ship)
Papers of ship MORNING GLORY, of Portsmouth, N.H. Hiram H. Hobbs master, including correspondence, disbursements, charters, Lloyd’s inspection, bottomry bonds, repair bill, bills of lading, average bond, and loss inventory
1856 Certificate; Morning Star (Brig)
Boston, issued by the Amercan Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, showing that Vernilia Lewis contributed $.10 (1 share) to the missionary packet MORNING STAR. Certificate contains illustration of a brig along island shore.
1856 – 1860 Track of four passages; Andrew Jackson (Ship)
Chart with tracks of the clipper ship ANDREW JACKSON between New York, N.Y., and San Francisco, Calif., via Cape Horn, including one original chart and three photostatic copies of a different chart. The photostatic copies indicate an incorrect latitude for the Cape Horn area.
1857 Receipt; Emily Morgan (Ship)
Receipt issued to the ship EMILY MORGAN of New Bedford, Mass., Prince W. Ewer, master, from Thomas W. Everett, deputy sheriff, Lahaina, Hawaiian Islands, for arrest and detention of deserted seaman.
1857 New York Marine Register
1858 New York Marine Register
1858 – 1865 Papers; Charles S. Pennell (Ship)
Of the ship Charles S. Pennell of Bath, Maine, Robert Giveen, master, including receipts, bills accounts, letters, custom house records, certificate of measurement, and some italian bills. Also contains insurance policy for bark
1858 Journal; Marion (Ship)
Journal, Jan. 1858-Sept. 1860, kept by Henry Eason, a seaman aboard U.S. Sloop of War MARION (U.S. naval vessel with 16 guns), Captain Brent, during an anti-slaving naval cruise off the African coast. ‚b MARION patroled near the Congo River, and the volume contains descriptions of searching and seizing vessels, activity aboard ship, and places visited. Many American and British naval vessels are mentioned. A good account of naval life at sea and the African slave trade. Mentions death at sea, burial at sea, discipline, native contacts, food at sea. Contains accounts of crew wages, illustrations, prose and verse.
1858 – 1859 Logbook; Mary and Louisa (Bark)
1858 Clearance; Hound (Ship)
Clearance issued by the District and Port Of San Francisco, Calif., to the ship HOUND, L.D.(Lorenzo Dow) Baker, master, outbound to Hong Kong, China.
1858 Notice to mariners
Broadside of a Notice to Mariners concerning the establishment of a Bell Boat just outside the bar, at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, California, includes notification that the Fog Gun Signal at Point Bonita is discontinued.
1858 Journal; Victoria (Brig)
Log kept on board the Honolulu brig VICTORIA, Milton Fish, master, for a whaling and trading voyage to the Arctic Ocean. The VICTORIA traded with Arctic natives for sable skins, otter skins, mink skins, fox skins, ivory, and whalebones, while hunting for whales. Logbook records required navigational data, Captain Fish’s philosophical musings, details regarding the loss of French ship NAPOLEON III in the Arctic Ice, a crew list and the rescue of the two sole survivors from INDIAN CHIEF which was lost the previous year.
1859 Logbook; Perserverance (Schooner)
Journal kept on board the schooner PERSERVERANCE for a Great Lakes trading voyage. Contains illustration, and carried cargos of sand, salt, and staves.
1859 American Lloyds
1859 Samuel Clemens spends three years training to become a Mississippi River pilot, later adopting Mark Twain (two fathoms, or 12 feet of depth to the river pilot) as his literary name.
1859 The first successful oil well drilled at Titusville, Pennsylvania, introduces the age of petroleum.
1859 Steamboat service is available from St. Louis to Ft. Benton, Montana, 2,000 miles up the Missouri River.
1861 – 1865 The “flight from the flag” occurs to avoid high insurance rates and possible destruction by Confederate commerce raiders during Civil War. This results in the sale of more than 30 percent of United States merchant fleet to foreign owners.
1861 With the outbreak of Civil War, President Lincoln proclaims blockade of Southern coast, requiring expansion of United States Navy from 90 to more than 600 vessels during the war.
1861 American Lloyds
1861 Shipmaster’s license; Post, Charles
Shipmaster’s license for Charles Post issued by the American Shipmasters’ Association in New York.. Certificate is illustrated with four engravings of ships at sea, and figures of a woman and sailor.
1861 – 1875 Legal Records of the Smack L. A. MACOMBER; L. A. Macomber (Smack)
1861 Logbook; Kearsarge (Sloop-of-war)
Journal kept by William Wainwright on board the U.S.S. KEARSARGE, Captain Pickering, and later Captain John A. Winslow, commanding for a Naval cruise. A detailed and descriptive journal, including details of burial at sea.
1862 American Lloyds
1862 – 1917 Edward Lupton Papers; Lupton, Edward
1862 In February, a United States gunboat flotilla begins to advance on the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers.
1862 The first battle occurs between ironclad warships as USS Monitor confronts CSS Virginia(ex-USS Merrimack), which had destroyed three wooden United States Navy ships in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
1862 In April, the Union fleet under Admiral David Farragut runs Confederate defenses of Mississippi River Delta, leading to the fall of New Orleans.
1862 The United States Congress abolishes the daily grog (alcohol) ration in the United States Navy.
1862 The registered tonnage of United States deep-sea fishing vessels reaches its highest point.
1863 After a year of Union naval attacks and three month siege, the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi, falls. With surrender of Port Hudson, Louisiana, five days later, the Mississippi River comes under Union control.
1863 Shipping Articles; Kamehameha V (Bark)
Hawaiian Shipping Articles for a whaling voyage to the California coast. Contains names of crew and mentions previous vessel name as being Bark Zoe.
1864 – 1920 Peter Strickland Collection; Strickland, Peter
Letter books (1883-1922) and diaries (6 v., 1894-1920, chiefly after 1907), with information of Strickland’s daily life in Africa and business, political and social conditions there; journal logs (1864-1870) of the schooner INDIAN QUEEN; brig ROBERT WING, and barks RAPID and ZINGARELLA of which Strickland was shipmaster; business ledger; 1883 consular report; and published grammar of the Wolof language (1878) and book entitled Trading Monopolies in West Africa (1901).
1864 In the first successful submarine attack, CSS H.L. Hunley sinks USS Housatonic off Charleston, South Carolina, but is lost in the attack.
1864 The USS Kearsarge sinks the CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France, after Alabama had destroyed 64 United States merchant ships during nearly two years of commerce raiding.
1864 The Union fleet under Admiral Farragut aboard USS Hartford storms Mobile Bay, with Farragut reportedly ordering, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” capturing the ironclad CSS Tennessee and sealing the last large Confederate Gulf Coast port.
1864 The Hume brothers of Maine establish a salmon cannery in California, moving to the Columbia River in 1867, which initiates a large-scale salmon fishery from California to Alaska.
1864 The fame of Captain John Winslow and the USS Kearsarge are put to good use at the National Sailor’s Fair in Boston in 1864. Copies of the song, Welcome Song, Dedicated to the Commander, Officers, and Crew of the Kearsarge are sold to raise money for Civil War navy veterans.
1865 In April, the 161-foot stern-wheel steamboat Bertrand strikes a submerged “snag” (log) and sinks north of Omaha, Nebraska. More than a hundred years later the remains are recovered in a field far from the modern river course. The cargo preserved on board reveals much about the trading patterns that supplied the western communities.
1865 American Lloyds
1865 Longline trawl, equipped with hundreds of hooks and set from dories, becomes the primary method of catching bottom-dwelling fish.
1865 Maryland limits oyster dredging to sailing vessels.
1865 An amphibious assault with naval support captures Fort Fisher, North Carolina, closing the last Confederate port on the Atlantic to blockade runners during the Civil War.
1865 In April, at end of the Civil War, the United States Navy totals more than 600 vessels and 51,500 men.
1865 In June, the CSS Shenandoah sinks 24 American whaleships off Alaska before learning of the war’s end.
1866 The federal bounty to support codfishing vessels is eliminated.
1866 In the first transatlantic yacht race, James Gordon Bennett, Jr’s schooner Henrietta defeats two other schooners in the December crossing.
1866 – 1917 George C.Bugbee Collection
Bugbee Collection;
Bugbee, George C.
Chiefly papers (1866-1869) from Bugbee’s voyages as an ordinary seaman aboard the ship PREMIER, of Bangor, Me., and the bark LOCH LAMAR, including journal, 3 vols. of his poetry,3 letters between Bugbee and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Bugbee, of Boston, and miscellaneous notes and sketches; together with clippings of Bugbee’s poems printed in newspapers (1916-1917). ‚b Bugbee’s journal describes life at sea and at port and social condition in cities visited, including Calcutta, India, Pernambuco, Brazil, and Simonstown, South Africa.
1867 Letters; Hanson, Henry
Letters, 1867, written by Capt. Henry Hanson on board the Ship Good Hope on a voyage around Cape Horn enroute to California. Letters, addressed to “Mr. Wikoff”, “Friend W.” and “My dear little friend” joke about the rounding the Horn and about setting up a farm in Terra del Feugo, and Patagonia with a natural grazing pasture in the Falkand Islands. Includes a map of the proposed farm with tracks for the voyages of the Ships Good Hope and Wild Pigeon.
1867 The purse-seine fish net becomes the primary method of catching surface-schooling fish, especially menhaden and mackerel.
1867 The Pacific Mail Steamship Company introduces regular United States transpacific passenger and freight service from San Francisco to Hong Kong, via Honolulu and Yokohama.
1868 The USS Wampanoag sets an ocean speed record with a run of almost 18 knots; however, the United States Navy returns to small-scale force with ironclad monitors for coastal defense and a few wooden sail and steam powered vessels for distant stations.
1868 Maryland establishes “Oyster Navy,” the Maryland Marine Police, to preserve order between oyster tongers and oyster dredgers.
1869 Journal; Waterman, Lucius A.
Journal kept by Lucius A. Waterman during voyages on the Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s Ships CHINA, CONSTITUTION, and OCEAN QUEEN, from Hong Kong to New York. Contains illustrations, photographs, menus; mentions death at sea.
1870 Letter; Maxson, Maud
Letter from Maud Maxson to her mother, Mrs. Arthur L.Maxson, Mystic, Conn., describing her trip to San Francisco, Calif., in an unnamed vessel of which her uncle, Charles Wheeler, was master.
1870 Logbook; Kilauea (Steamship)
Logbook, kept by engineer Robert Wilson Andrews on board the steamship KILAUEA of Honolulu, Hawaii,Thomas, master, for a voyage to Ocean Island to rescue the stranded crew of the Steamship Saginaw. Captains Harrison and Brown took success commands. Contains illustrations, made 2 ports-of-call.
1870 Journal; Andrews, Robert Wilson
Journal kept by Robert Wilson Andrews relating daily social and work evenst in Honolulu, Hawaii, primarily in the Fort Street area, and a small amount of time serving on board the Hawaiian Steamship Kilauea. Andrews often mentions religious activities such as meetings as well as the arrivals and departures of various vessels as well as the Kilauea.
1870 – 1890 These years make up the Era of “Down Easters,” large wooden sailing ships mostly built in Maine which carry bulk cargoes between the East and West Coasts, take American goods to Asia, and deliver California grain to Europe.
1870 The number of steamships exceeds the number of sailing vessels on the Great Lakes.
1870 – 1900 Art colonies are established in various coastal locations, including Provincetown and Cape Ann, Massachusetts, Old Lyme and Cos Cob, Connecticut, and Easthampton, Long Island, New York, frequented by American realist and impressionist artists such as Winslow Homer, Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, Edward and Thomas Moran, and J.H. Twachtman.
1870 American Lloyds
1871 In the first America’s Cup challenge, the New York Yacht Club fleet defeats the British schooner Cambria.
1871 Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club is established at the beginning of the “Corinthian movement” to emphasize amateur sailboat racing.
1871 Record of American and Foreign Shipping
1871 Captains of the American whaling fleet who are trapped by ice in the Arctic Ocean on north coast of Alaska sign a document testifying to their dreadful situation and resolution to abandon ship. In the end, 32 vessels are lost, but 1,200 whalemen, with a few captains’ wives and children, are rescued without a single loss of life. This disaster dealt yet another deadly blow to the whaling industry which was already in decline.
1871 – 1873 Logbook; Helen Mar (Bark)
Copy of a logbook kept by J. J. O’Donnell on board the bark Helen Mar of New Bedford, Massachusetts. William H. Koon, master, for a voyage to the Arctic Ocean whaling grounds. Mentions injury at sea, native contacts, and women at sea. Made 9 ports-of-call and spoke 33 vessels. Mentions shipwrecks in Arctic of whalers caught in the ice in 1871.
1872 Letters; Wood, N.H.
Description of a trip to the Kilauea Crater on the Island of Hawaii; written by N.H. Wood. Includes pencil illustration of the crater, and details of activity.
1873 – 1878 Shipping articles;
Shipping articles of vessels from Honolulu, Hawaii, including the schooners FAIRY QUEEN, SEAHE, and HALEAKALA
1873 – 1874 Logbook; Sea Breeze (Bark)
Copy of a logbook kept by J. J. O’Donnell on board the bark Sea Breeze of New Bedford, Massachusetts. R. D. Wicks, master, for a voyage to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean whaling grounds. Mentions death at sea, injury at sea. Made 10 ports-of-call and spoke 9 vessels.
1873 – 1875 The Eads Bridge at St. Louis, the first bridge across the Mississippi, is constructed.
1873 – 1919 After emigrating from Denmark, Antonio Jacobsen becomes a ship portrait painter in the port of New York, completing 2,600 paintings during his 45-year career.
1873 – 1909 Winslow Homer paints coastal and river fishing scenes in oil and watercolor, including Breezing Up (1876).
1873 – 1888 Charles Lewis Richards Collection; Richards, Charles Lewis
1873 – 1895 Letters; Wood, Aaron H.
Letters, primarily written by shipmaster Aaron H. Wood and his wife, Isabel during trading voyages from N.Y. to Liverpool, San Francisco, and other ports, aboard the Ships SAGAMORE & SOVERIGN OF THE SEAS II. All letters were to George & Hattie Wood in Warren, R.I., including the four written by John B. Wood. Isabel & son, Oscar, traveled aboard ship with Aaron. Letters detail shipping and domestic activities.
We are now at the Birkenhead dock (across a ferry from Liverpool) where we are to discharge our cargo I wrote you Wed. 27th. We took pilot aboard nine that evening, and anchored in the river yesterday morning, just a year from the day we sailed from Eng. This morning we came to dock. Aaron went on shore yesterday as soon as the anchor was down, and last night, brought off about thirty friendly letters, and several business letters. You have all been so very good, we were quite overjoyed, and so thankful to hear, (on the whole) good news, all seem as well as usual &c. We read letters (rather I read, for Aarons eye was very bad, so he could read none of them. he always likes to do his share of reading them aloud)
1874 American Yacht List
1874 – 1887 Thomas Eakins paints boating scenes on the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.
1874 Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) publishes Life on the Mississippi.
1874 The first steam-powered fishing vessels are built for coastal use in oyster and menhaden fisheries.
1874 Maine begins to set open season for lobstering and minimum size for harvesting lobsters to conserve species.
1874 – 1875 Logbook; Jireh Perry (Ship)
Copy of a logbook kept by J. J. O’Donnell on board the ship Jireh Perry of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Leander C. Owen, master, for a voyage to the Pacific Ocean whaling grounds. Mentions native contacts. Made 3 ports-of-call and spoke 8 vessels.
1875 – 1892 The first efforts to establish sailors’ unions result in National Seaman’s Union.
1875 The Navigation of the Pacific Ocean, China Seas; Labrosse, F.
1876 Mark Twain publishes Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
1878 Fish dealer Henry Mayo of Boston first patents “codfish balls” better known to us as codfish cakes. His product is wildly successful with the American public, thanks in large part to Mayo’s curious trade cards which comment on public affairs or simply celebrate his products in verse.
1878 – 1896 Construction of locks around Columbia River Cascades extends navigation up the river.
1878 The first salmon cannery in Alaska opens.
1879 The greatest annual loss of life in the New England fisheries occurred this year, with 29 vessels and 249 fishermen lost at sea.
1879 The Mississippi River Commission is established to manage levees and flood-control efforts on the Mississippi.
1880 Baltimore becomes the second leading destination for transatlantic immigrants.
1880 – 1920 Steamboat Ephemera;
1880 – 1920 Joseph J. Fuller collection; Fuller, Joseph J.
Memoirs containing descriptions of the sea elephant industry (principally in the Indian Ocean) and the year Fuller spent shipwrecked with the crew of the schooner PILOT’S BRIDE in the Kerguelen Islands; together with a scrapbook of clippings relating to Fuller and other subjects of maritime interest in the New London area.
1881 Annual immigration first exceeds 500,000.
1881 The enlarged lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, permits large-scale shipment of iron ore from Minnesota to Cleveland, Ohio, for the expanding United States iron and steel industry.
1882 Admiral Robert W. Schufeldt, in command of United States Navy squadron, negotiates commercial relations with Korea.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act limits entry of Chinese laborers.
1883 Dorymates Howard Blackburn and Thomas Walsh go astray in fog while fishing 100 miles off Newfoundland; Walsh dies but Blackburn rows to shore and survives, despite losing his fingers and toes to frostbite, setting the standard for the heroic endurance of Gloucester fishermen.
1883 Congress authorizes first steel ships of the United States Navy – the ABCD ships Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Dolphin – inaugurating the nation’s “new” modern navy and setting the stage for the military-industrial complex.
1883 Invitation; Haley, Nelson ColeInvitation issued to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Cole Haley for the coronation ceremonies of the King and Queen of Hawaii
1884 Mariner’s Medical Guide; Folsom, James
1884 – 1888 Records of the Sea Queen (Bark); Sea Queen (Bark)
1884 Mark Twain publishes Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1885 From Keel to Truck: A Marine Dictionary; Paasch, H. (Heinrich)
1885 American Yacht List
1885 Maryland oystermen harvest a record 15,000,000 bushels of oysters.
1885 Immigration from Russia, Poland, Italy, and Eastern Europe increases.
1885 Record of American and Foreign Shipping;
1887 – 1879 Logbook; Janet (Bark)
Logbook kept by Henry M. King, third mate, on board bark Janet of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Peter Gartland, master for a voyage to the Atlantic Ocean whaling grounds. Contains whale stamps, crew list, mentions death at sea and injury at sea. Made 10 ports-of-call and spoke 50 vessels. King discharged on October 20, 1879 and returned home on bark Veronica of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
1887 A Testimonial to Charles J. Paine and Edward Burge; Boston City Council
A testimonial to Charles J. Paine and Edward Burgess from the City of Boston, for their successful defence of the America’s Cup.
1887 Specifications; Providence and Stonington Steamship Co.
Specification for the machinery of a side wheel passenger steamer for the Providence & Stonington S.S. Co. The specifications are said to be for the steamship CONNECTICUT.
1888 Commercial halibut fishing begins in the Pacific Northwest.
1888 Congress suspends the southern mackerel season for five years as experiment to conserve the species.
1888 The Standard Oil Company builds the first United States oil tanker, Standard.
1890 – 1910 These years mark a transitional period on the Mississippi River system with a shift from large passenger and freight-carrying steamboats to towboats pushing strings of barges carrying bulk cargoes.
1890 Maryland imposes a minimum size for harvestable oysters.
1890 Steamboat Sailing Card; Hart Line
1890 – 1899 The gasoline engine is perfected as a safer alternative to steam engines or naphtha engines in small recreational boats that appeal to masses of consumers.
1890 – 1950 Charles G. Davis Collection; Davis, Charles G.
1890 Record of American and Foreign Shipping
1891 American Yacht List
1891 Japanese immigration begins.
1892 Ellis Island opens as the principal East Coast immigrant processing station. A 15 year old Irish girl named Annie Moore becomes the first of more than 12 million immigrants who will pass through the doors of the Ellis Island Immigration Station.
1892 British-built City of Paris and City of New York are given United States registry, making them the first modern United States ocean liners, followed by United States built St. Louis and St. Paul.
1893 – 1903 Charles Oliver Iselin Papers; Iselin, C. Oliver
1894 Steam-powered tonnage exceeds sail-powered tonnage in United States merchant marine for first time.
1894 Sailing Schedule; Clyde’s Steamship Lines
1895 The Cunard Passenger’s log-book; Cunard Steamship Company, ltd,
1896 – 1927 Engineers Licenses; Steamboat Inspection Service
1896 George Harbo and Frank Samuelson row across the Atlantic, from New York to Le Havre.
1896 – 1897 Rudyard Kipling publishes Captains Courageous about a boy’s coming of age aboard a fishing schooner.
1896 Letters, newspaper clippings, and notes.; Williams, John E.
Letters, newspaper clippings of John E. Williams, master of Mystic built Clipper ANDREW JACKSON. Relative to record making passage (March 1860) of ANDREW JACKSON from N.Y. to San Francisco.
1898 The short story, “The Open Boat” is published by Stephen Crane.
1898 Battleship USS Maine explodes in Havana Harbor, killing 251; war declared in April as Americans “remember the Maine”.
1898 “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,” Commodore George Dewey orders as the United States Navy Asia Squadron enters Manila Bay and defeats Spanish fleet, leading to eventual United States acquisition of the Philippines.
1898 In Battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba, United States Navy Atlantic Fleet defeats Spanish fleet, leading to United States acquisition of Puerto Rico and capitulation of Spain on August 12.
1898 The United States annexes Hawaii; Spain cedes the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico to the United States to settle Spanish-American War.
1898 – 1912 Oyster production peaks in the Northeast: nearly 25,000,000 pounds of oyster meat in New York, 15,000,000 in Connecticut, and 15,000,000in Rhode Island.
1899 New York is the leading United States port.
1899 Log of the Columbia, Season of 1899; Leeds, Herbert Corey
1901 Pamphlet; North German Lloyd Steamship,
1902 Schedule; Martha (Steamboat)
1904 Postcard; Merion (Steamship)
1905 Menu; Baltic (Steamship)
1906 Program; Parisian (Steamship)
1909 Passenger Logbook; Lusitania (Steamship)
1910 Passenger Logbook; Lusitania (Steamship)
1912 Lloyd’s Book of House Flags and Funnels; ,
1913 Customs papers; Ceres (Brig)
1913 Passenger list; George Washington (Steamship)
1915 Information Booklet for Passengers; Hamburg-American Line,
1920 Passenger Ship Pamphlets
1925 – 1971 L. Francis Herreshoff Collection; Herreshoff, L. Francis
1931 – 1990 Roderick Stephens Collection; Stephens, Roderick
1931 – 1865 Certificate of Classification; American Lloyds.
Certificates of Survey and Classification for the schooner E. ARCULERIOS, Y. Jackson, master, issued by American Lloyds Register of Shipping; the schooner AMARANTH, Robert Gay, master, issued by the surveyors at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina; and the ship GERMANIA, Charles H. Townsend, master, issued by Universal Lloyd, and American Lloyd’s.
1992 American Maritime Documents, 1776-1860
Stein, Douglas L.
2001 Directory of Private Signals Flown by American Merchant Sail; Crothers, William L.