Benjamin Franklin Ash (AM0170)

Benjamin Ash was born in Stonington, CT on February 14, 1801. His parents were Thomas and Mary “Polly” Stanton who married in Stonington about 1795. Thomas was a ropemaker and owner and/or master of several sloops, schooners and a brig. Benjamin married Lucretia Ann Comstock on October 31, 1832 in Stonington. Her parents were Richard and Rebecca Beckwith Comstock who married in New London in March 1809. Benjamin and Lucretia lived in the family homestead, the “Captain Benjamin F. Ash – Master Mariner” house at 5 Divers St. in Stonington, throughout their marriage, although he appears in Beverly and Salem MA shipping articles as a resident of Salem in 1845. A Stonington Historical Society plaque appears on the house. They had nine children. Benjamin died on November 30, 1876, Lucretia died on November 15, 1894. Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Stonington. Gravestone found at Find a Grave.

Benjamin’s War of 1812 pension application shows that he served as a private in Capt. William Potter’s Company of the Connecticut Militia during the War of 1812 and participated in the Battle of Stonington in 1814.

​His Seamen’s Protection certificate (#5919, issued 5/15/1820) describes him as 5’4”, dark hair, grey eyes with a scar on his left cheek.

​​Benjamin was master of one ship with New London home port:

SOMERSET (AS2500): (brig, 134 tons, built Waterville, ME, 1833). Departed June 20, 1839 for the South Atlantic, returned 1840, probably for sealing. AV13229.

​​He was also master of two other ships:

EMILY (AS1294): AOWV shows two voyages: 1834-1835 under Jonathan Ash, home port Stonington (AV04396) and 1835-1836 under Benjamin, home port not shown (AV04398). Starbuck shows only one voyage of EMILY, leaving New London on August 15, 1834 for the South Atlantic for whaling and sealing, no return date shows. Decker shows the same departure date as Starbuck and a return date of April 6, 1835 with EMILY’s master Jonathan Ash, Jr.

ENTERPRISE (AS1311): (brig, 95 tons, home port Stonington) AV04530.

​In addition to the above voyages, he was master of the four other vessels:

​​ELIZA (sloop), 1823

​PENGUIN (ship/schooner, built 1825 in Rochester, MA, 67’ long, 82 tons, licensed for “coastal trade”), departed July 1, 1833 for Cape Horn for a sealing voyage, the proceeds from which he allegedly used to purchase from his brother the land at 5 Divers St. and to build the house now on that site.

​​MARION (schooner), 1823

​​UXOR (brig), departed 8/13/1838 for ocean whaling in the South Atlantic

​​Sources in addition to the sources shown in the sidebar: Records and files, including information about the last four listed vessels, of the Stonington Historical Society relating to Benjamin’s  grandfather Michael Ash and his descendants.

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) March 2020