………. Brooks (AM0627)

Without a first name and with a common last name, no pertinent information about Capt. Brooks as a person could not be found.

Records on AOWV show two voyages of ARCHITECT (AS0902) with a home port in New London: (bark, 400 tons, built in Thomaston ME in 1855 (Rockland ME in 1854 in Starbuck)). Starbuck says withdrawn 1859”, AOWV reports “sold”, and Dennis Wood Abstract 3-530 says “Reported sold in San Francisco in 1859).

Sailed in 1855 with ”Brooks” as master, destination not known, returned in 1857. Neither Starbuck, Decker nor Colby record this voyage. AV17069. Sailed again on August 25.1857 with Asa W. Fish (AM1853) as master. This voyage is reported by Starbuck and Decker. AV01195

Unfortunately, the records on AOWV are conflicting as to the identity of the master of the 1855 voyage. The information under American Masters and American Crew Lists shows “Brooks” as the master of that voyage. However, the American Crew Members for that voyage shows Capt. Fish as master. Neither Starbuck, Decker, nor Colby record the 1855 voyage. Susan Lebo, an experienced and careful researcher in Hawaii, found information in the Hawaiian archives that “Brooks” brought ARCHITECT into Hawaii. While uncertainty remains as to the master of the 1855 voyage, all sources confirm Capt. Fish as master of the 1857 voyage.

The original handwritten crew list for the 1857 voyage (MSM microfilm NA362, roll 56) shows what appears to be the same crew list as the crew list attributed to her1855 voyage (AC170691). Furthermore, the date shown on AC170691 (August 24, 1855) is within one day as the date for her 1857 voyage. The New London Crew List site at MSM shows no crew list for any voyage of ARCHITECT. The cited microfilm does not contain a crew list for the 1855 voyage. The 1857 voyage does not contain a crew list. The author concludes that there is no recorded crew list for the 1855 voyage, adding further mystery to that voyage, and that AC170691 should be the crew list for the 1857 voyage.

There was another Capt. Brooks, also with no known first name, who served as master of LEVERETT (AS1795), home port in San Francisco, sailed on voyages in 1855, 1856 and 1857. Her departure dates conflict with the dates of the voyage of ARCHITECT, indicating that there were two Capt. Brooks.

Sources used: see sidebar and sources cited in text.

George Shaw (Mystic Seaport Museum) December 2023