Thomas Bloomfield (AM0489)

Bloomfield’s first name and middle initial (F. R. Bloomfield in AOWV) are uncertain. There are three primary sources of information about Bloomfield. Thomas (no middle initial) was issued Seamen’s Protection Certificate #356 on July 15,1851showing him age 32, born in Suffolk, England, naturalized as a U.S. citizen in New York on April 27, 1844. The original crew list for the voyage of PHOENIX (see below) shows “Tho. R. Bloomfield”, age 29 in 1846, 5’8” tall, light complexion, dark hair. The 1850 census for Groton CT shows “Thomas B. Bloomfield” age 33, born in England, occupation “sailor.” The dates above are consistent with a date of birth about 1817. The handwriting of his middle initial in the original crew list (“R”) and census (“B”) is clear and definitive both cases: this is not a case of the letter being uncertain. New London Crew Lists show his middle initial as “R” in all but one case when it is “B” No record was found concerning his death.

Thomas was replacement master for one voyage of one ship with a home port in New London:

PHOENIX (AS2188) (ship, 404 tons, built in Philadelphia PA in 1811, ended life as part of Stone Fleet #1). Sailed on August 6, 1846 for the Indian Ocean, returned on September 1, 1850. N. and W.W. Billings were agents for this voyage. Thomas succeeded the initial master, Andrew Hagan (AM2628), when he left the ship under circumstances not identified, Starbuck lists “…Higgins” as master of the 1846 voyage; Colby does not show Thomas as a New London whaling master; Decker lists “Bloomfield.” AV11626

Sources: see sidebar and sources cited in the text.

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) October 2023