Manuscript

Articles of Agreement, August 4, 1874, Ship Frank N. Thayer: Required Minimum Food Provisions

The Articles of Agreement is a contract between the ship and the crew, outlining appropriate behavior, wages, length of voyage, and food provided to the crew. This is from the Articles of Agreement, August 4, 1874, Ship Frank N.Thayer.

Articles of Agreement, August 4, 1874, Ship Frank N. Thayer

The Articles of Agreement is a contract between the ship and the crew, outlining appropriate behavior, wages, length of voyage, and food provided to the crew. This contract is for a voyage from Hong Kong to San Francisco or Portland on the Kennebunkport owned ship Frank N. Thayer. Below the header are listed some of the strict U.S. rules about use of bad language, sheath knives, and liquor (grog), for the safety of the ship and its cargo.

The original is about 21" wide and 24" long. with space for signatures of crew members.

The Shipmaster's Assistant

The Shipmaster's Assistant was first published in 1837 and updated regularly. It gave a captain information on handling a crew, a ship, its cargo, ship's business, and foreign port requirements. The publisher, the Blunt company, was started by Edmund Blunt in Newburyport in 1796, then moved to New York in 1811 and carried on by his sons. They were the publishers of the Coast Pilot, the American Practical Navigator, and charts; and were the premier American 19th century professional nautical publishers.

Manifest of Coolies

Manifest listing the names, ages, and occupations of 500 Chinese coolies shipped from Macao to Havana, Cuba aboard the ship Forest Eagle of Rockland.

Bill of Lading for Chinese Coolies

Bill of lading from ship Forest Eagle of Rockland, carrying 500 Chinese coolies from Macao to Havana, Cuba.

Coolie Master's Logbook

Coolie master's logbook documents the conditions and life of the 500 Chinese coolies shipped from Macao to Havana, Cuba aboard the ship Forest Eagle of Rockland. This entry notes that one coolie received a dozen lashes on the hand for whipping a small boy. Also, some coolies are put in irons for being part of a scheme to poison the Europeans aboard ship. Read the full logbook text under Special Features on this website.

Clarissa B. Carver Bill of Lading

Bill of lading from ship Clarissa B. Carver, Capt. Dow, of Searsport. The bill of lading is for carrying 23 bales of bamboo from Yokohama, Japan to New York. Clarissa B. Carver was sunk by a steamer near Kobe, Japan nine days after this bill of lading was signed.

Log Entry for the Ship Brunswick, 1844

On this 1844 voyage from Liverpool, the ship Brunswick is recording its distance traveled every two hours. Captain B.H. Melcher has found the ship's longitude by taking lunar distances to two stars, and he had found his latitude by the sun.

Bowditch's New American Practical Navigator, 1833

The New American Practical Navigator has been the navigator's bible for two hundred years, since its first publication in 1802. It was originally published by Edmund March Blunt and then by his sons. After the Civil War, the Blunts sold copyright to the U.S. Government, and it has since been a publication of the Hydrographic Office, now part of NOAA, as H.O. #9. 

U.S. Coast Pilot, with Sailing Directions for the Atlantic Sea-Board

Though Thomas Jefferson founded the U.S. Coast Survey, it was not until 1874 that there were published sailing directions for the East Coast. Until then, navigators relied on the privately-printed sailing directions by Blunt. The government publication included many more charts and illustrations to aid the navigator than Blunt's sailing directions offered; however, the Blunt company stayed heavily involved in the navigation publishing business.

Most of the captains coasting New England in the 1870s and 80s would have had this book aboard.

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