George Green Benjamin (AM0431)

George was born on February 11, 1814 in Preston CT, son of (Capt.) Ephraim Benjamin (11/18/1785 -1/23/1859) and Sarah Green (1784 – 12/25/1876). Ephraim and Sarah had four sons who sailed on New London-based whaling vessels: William (AS0434) and George as masters, and Charles D. and Asa as crew members. George married Elizabeth (Betsey) Maria Avery on March 29, 1843. They had two daughters, Henrietta (1849 – 1884) and Amanda (1849 – 1884). George, Betsey and their two daughters are buried in New Poquetanuck Cemetery in Preston where, according to census records, they lived for most of their lives. In census records George was a “mariner” in 1850, a “whaling capt” in 1860, and in 1870 and 1880 a “farmer.” George’s brother William (AM0434) was master of three voyages on two whaling vessels with New London as their home port. Both were masters of a voyage on CLEMATIS.

George was master for five voyages on three ships with a home port of New London. Williams & Barnes were agents for all of these voyages.

    • CLEMATIS (AS1112): (ship, 311 tons, built Duxbury MA 1826, lost off Solomon Islands, September 1861). She sailed on August 9, 1841 for the Indian Ocean and returned on February 28, 1843. AOWV contains a scan of the log book of this voyage, the original held at Providence Public Library. AV02959.
    • LOWELL (AS1812): (ship, 414 tons, built Medford MA 1832). She sailed on July 18,1843 for the northwest coast and returned on April 27, 1845. AV08625.
    • LOWELL. She sailed on another voyage three months later, on July 1, 1845, for the Indian Ocean and northwest coast and returned on May 27, 1848. AV08626.
    • MONTEZUMA (AS1970): (ship, 424 tons, part of Stone Fleet #2). She sailed on August 17, 1848 for South America and the northwest coast and returned on February 17, 1851. AV09999.
    • MONTEZUMA. She sailed again on July 15, 1851 for the North Pacific Ocean and returned on May 27, 1854. Starbuck does not record this voyage. AV10000.

Whether due to decisions of George and/or his agents, his brothers served as crew members on all but one of his voyages. His brother Charles D. (b. 1817) was a member of the crew on CLEMATIS, both voyages of LOWELL, and the first voyage of MONTEZUMA and may have been mate of MONTEZUMA. His brother William (b. 1819) served as a member of the crew on the first voyage of LOWELL.

Sources: See sidebar. Photo copied from Starbuck (before p. 21).

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum)
October 2023