George Barnard (AM0318)

Despite a diligent search, no definitive record was found about the birth, death or other facts concerning his life. A record was found of a George Barnard born June 14, 1759 and died March 24, 1845. He was married to Jerusha Clapp (born January 16, 17990 , died May 29, 1830) in Hartford in 1812. All of their reported connections were to the greater Hartford area; no connection to the New London was found. Because of the lack of genealogical or census data tying this George to the greater New London community, it seems unlikely that this latter George was the subject of the report.

The otherwise unidentified George was master for one voyage on one vessel with New London as home port:

THAMES (AS2717): (brig, 241 tons, length 83’, built in New London in 1811). Departed June 2, 1821 for Brazil, returned April 1822. (AV13762). Note: Starbuck shows ” _____ Coffin” as master of this voyage, but Colby and Decker show George as master..

Caulkins (p. 641-2) records that T.W. Williams and Daniel Deshon commenced the whaling business “anew” in 1819 and that THAMES was added to the fleet in 1821. Colby (p.5) recounts that ​​“About 1819, as whaling was reestablished there, New London was in the ​​​throes of a depression, and it has been said that vessels lay rotting at the ​​​wharves and grass grew in the streets. The introduction of whaling on a ​​​paying basis was a welcome stimulus. The industry grew steadily; nearly ​​​every man and every business turned to whaling for either whole or part ​​​support….Eight vessels sailed in 1821, including the brig Thames.This suggests that Williams was agent of THAMES.

According to Connecticut Ship Database, the builder of THAMES was AmasaMiller who later served as master on her 1822-3 and 1827-30 voyages.

The sources related to his one voyage contain no information about his personal life. The New London Crew Lists shows no George Barnard.

Sources: see sidebar, also Caulkins, Frances, History of New London

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) May 2023