George Nelson Bailey (AM0229)

George Bailey was born in Groton on March 25, 1825 and died on July 10, 1880 in Groton. His parents were Giles Bailey (1798-1883) and Dorothy Read Bailey (1795-1883). His wife Mary was born August 1, 1836, died May 12, 1900. George and Mary had two children, a son George, born about 1839, and a daughter Carrie, born about 1859 who apparently died in childhood. Federal census reports list him variously as “shipmaster”, “mariner” and “seaman”. He and Mary are buried in Colonel Ledyard Cemetery in Groton. Gravestone can be found at Find a Grave.

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

VESPER (AS2557): (ship, 321 tons, built in Newbury, MA in 1827, condemned and sold in Hilo, Hawaii on April 1, 1861). Departed on August 10, 1858 for the North Pacific. Dennis Wood Abstract #3-576 records that her sale in Hawaii was for $1,865 in “bonds” of which 10% was applied to duties that were due. How and when George and the crew returned home after her sale is not known. Agent: Williams & Barnes  AV15133.

LEADER (AS2728): (schooner, 81 tons, built in New London in 1861). Departed on May 15,1866 for the Cumberland Inlet, returned six months later on November 15. Agent: Williams & Havens. AV08276.

ISABELLA (AS0423): (brig, 192 tons, built in Derby, CT in 1845, lost in the Hudson Straits on July 20, 1884). Departed on May 25, 1867, destination not recorded, returned September 14, 1868. AV07177. She left again on April 14, 1869 for the Cumberland Straits. AV07179. For the 1869 voyage she is described by Starbuck as a brig but in AOWV as a schooner. Later voyages show her as a schooner. It appears that she may have been re-rigged between George’s two voyages as her master. Agent: Richard H. Chappell.

George served on the crew for at least two voyages: ROBERT BOWNE (AS2303) for her 1842-1845 voyage and CORNELIA (AS1157) for her 1864-1865 voyage. About the time of his 1845 voyage, at age 20, we was issued Seamen’s Protection Certificate #120 in New London. It described him as 5’ 7” in height with dark hair and dark complexion.

Sources used: see sidebar and sources mentioned in text.

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) `March 2022