Edwin J. Ames (AM0136)

 Edwin  was born about 1815 in Norwich according to one source, but the Connecticut Crew List for the voyage below shows him born on Fisher’s Island.  No records could be found concerning his parents. He was married to Charlotte Ames about whom little is known. The New London Crew List shows him as of “dark” complexion with black hair. He died at sea November 11, 1843.  Starbuck records that he and one of his men were killed by a blow from a whale’s fluke.  Connecticut Newspaper Notices, Vol. 14, records that Capt. Edwin J. Ames and Gilbert Beebe, both of New London, died at sea, November 21, 1843. American Whaling Logbook Data for this voyage shows no encounters with whales from October 27 until December 3, 1843, raising a question as to the accuracy of the date of his death.

Edwin’s estate was probated in the New London Probate District in 1845. Reciting herself as his husband, Charlotte declined to serve as administrator of his estate. The inventory of his estate shows several items of value to a sea captain: sextant ($45), sea books, chronometer ($150), charts ($17), as well as other items: cash representing the proceeds of his voyage ($473), a gold watch, six acres of land, and a note of his agent for $1050 ($1 in 1843 would be worth almost $35 in 2019).

Edwin was master of one vessel on one voyage with New London as  home port:

CLEMATIS (AS1112): (ship, 311 tons, built in Duxbury, MA 1826, lost in the Solomon Islands in  September 1861). Departed for the Indian Ocean on 5/9/1843, returned 4/15/1845 under Joseph Bailey (AM0235)as replacement master following Edwin’s death. Williams & Barnes was the agent. Note: Thomas Bailey (AM0239) was a member of the crew on this voyage and was master of the following voyage of CLEMATIS (AV02964). AV02962.

Sources used in addition to those shown in the sidebar:  Starbuck; Connecticut Newspaper Notices, Vol. 14; probate records, New London Probate District.

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) December 2019