Daniel S. Babcock (AM0215)

Daniel S. Babcock was born about 1822 in Charlestown RI. The source of his birthplace and approximate age comes from the crew lists of JOHN E. SMITH and JULIUS CAESAR, two of the ships of which he was master. According to a crew list, he had light hair and light complexion and stood 5’10” tall. A Daniel Lewis Babcock was born about the same time in Westerly RI, with the result that the records of the two Daniel Babcocks are confusing. Specific information about Daniel’s birth and his parents could not be located. Available records indicate that Daniel married Henrietta Keeney, born in 1825, in Norwich CT in 1847. The couple are recorded as living in New London in the 1850 and 1860 census reports. In 1850 Daniel was age 26, Henrietta age 23 and daughter Mary age 2; in 1860 Mary no longer appeared, presumably having died, but three minor children are listed, George, Herman and Virginia. No record was found of Daniel’s death. Henrietta died in 1896. Her headstone in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London shows her as wife of “Capt. D. S. Babcock”.

​Daniel was master for four voyages on three vessels with New London as home port.

JOHN E. SMITH (AS1711): (schooner, 119 tons, built in Brookhaven, NY in 1845, withdrawn in 1858). Departed on August 5, 1851 for Desolation Island and returned on June 26,1854. The agent was E.V. Stoddard. AV07729.

JULIUS CAESAR (AS1737): (ship, 347 tons, built in 1812, broken up in 1859). Daniel was her master for two successive voyages. Departed September 3, 1853 for Desolation Island, returned on April 7, 1856. AV07956. Departed October 11, 1856 for the South Atlantic and Indian oceans with Henry W. Bartlett as master. At some point during the voyage, Bartlett left the ship and Daniel succeeded him as master. The crew list for the voyage does not show Daniel as a member of the crew under Bartlett, and when and under what circumstances Daniel joined the ship is not reported. The ship returned on May 28, 1859. AV07957

LEADER (AS2728): (schooner, sold or withdrawn in 1867 (Dennis Wood Abstract #3-343), other information not found). Departed December 25, 1866 for the coast of Africa. ​No return date is shown. How Daniel and the crew returned home is not indicated. Williams and Haven were agents. AV08277.

New London Crew Lists shows Daniel S. and Daniel Babcock serving on the crew of several ships. However, because descriptions of birthplace and color of skin and hair are inconsistent with the available information about Daniel, it is uncertain whether Daniel or a different person with the same first and last name was the crew member on these ships.

Sources used: see sidebar and sources mentioned in text

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) March 7, 2021