Maine and the Orient

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.

Rose Medallion Plate

Chinese Rose Medallion platter brought back by the Dow/Eaton family of Searsport.

Chinese Ceramic Tea Bowl and Saucer

Chinese export ceramic tea bowl and saucer, with scalloped blue and white border and enameled decoration. Design has Mandarin man and his lady at the tea table and a boy at the window.

Chinese Tea Box

Chinese tea box, decorated with two horses on front. Bottom reads "Per Mails Steamer, Choicest Specialty Selected First Crop Lap Sang Souchong." By the time this tea was exported, the fastest way to get tea from China was by fast steamship, the same steamship that carried the mail. The days of racing to England with the fresh tea crop under sail were gone.

Chinese Export Ceramic Teapot

Chinese export ceramic teapot, with a scene showing people playing with a dog.

Captain James P. Butman

Capt. Butman was captain of the Searsport-built ship William H. Conner in 1891, which was but one of eight local vessels to sail to Australia just in the first quarter of 1889.

Ship Belle of Bath

The Belle of Bath was launched in May, 1877 in Bath, Maine, by Goss & Sawyer; 1418 tons; length 203.9 ft, beam 39 ft., depth 24.3 ft. She was built for Parker M. Whitmore et al. and sold to Searsport parties in 1883 for $47,500. She was destroyed by fire in June, 1897, while bound from New York to Hong Kong loaded with case oil (kerosene). The Belle of Bath was captained by William G. Nichols and Henry G. Curtis of Searsport. This painting, done by an unknown Chinese artist, was given to Penobscot Marine Museum by the Nichols family.

Bangalore at Bayonne, NJ

British ship Bangalore, Captain Ray D. Congdon, 1893. The ship is loading at Tide Water Oil Works, Bayonne, with 65,000 cases of "case oil" for Calcutta. Case oil is kerosene, shipped in wooden "cases," a frame that held two 5-gallon tins of oil.

She was an iron ship built in England in 1886 and sold to the Maine Navigation Company in 1899 whereupon she was put under US registry and continued in the case oil trade.

From 1900 to 1908, the Bangalore was commanded by Captain Phineas Banning Blanchard of Searsport.

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.


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