Alexander B. Pinkham sailed from Boston, Massachusetts, to Brazil with a crew of boys on the brig Clio in 1829 and 1830. In his report to William Coffin, president of the board of trustees for the Coffin School of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Pinkham discussed his experiences during the first leg of the voyage, intended to teach the boys the art of sailing.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, February 2013
Scope and Content:
Alexander B. Pinkham sailed from Boston, Massachusetts, to Brazil with a crew of boys on the brig Clio in 1829 and 1830. In his 18-page report to William Coffin, president of the board of trustees for the Coffin School of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Pinkham discussed his experiences during the first leg of the voyage.
The Clio sailed from Boston on December 23, 1829, and reached Brazil around 66 days later. Pinkham wrote his report on May 23 and 24, 1830, after visiting Rio Grande and Porto Alegre. He recounted incidents from the outbound voyage, such as his failed attempt to commemorate the ship's crossing of the equator (pp. 5-6), and frequently mentioned his attempts to instruct the boys under his care. After reaching Brazil, where they unloaded cargo, the crew remained on shore while the Clio was repainted, and Pinkham reported his anxiety about possible robbery (p. 3, 5). He also mentioned the crew's encounter with a village inhabited by German immigrants (pp. 13-14). The report is interrupted by Pinkham's account of an encounter with a British vessel, which occurred on May 24, 1830, before he began the second half of his letter (pp. 8-9). The British officers threatened to fire on the Clio following Pinkham's refusal to provide the ship's papers. Near the end of the document, Pinkham referred to personal criticisms by residents of Nantucket and shared his hope that his reputation would be salvaged (pp. 18-19).
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander B. Pinkham (b. 1792), a veteran of the United States Navy, commanded the brig Clio for Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839) in 1829 and 1830. Coffin had founded the Coffin School in Nantucket, Connecticut, and the Clio was used for educational voyages. During the 1829-1830 voyage, Pinkham and a crew of boys sailed from Boston to Rio Grande, Brazil.
1990. M-2590 .
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Additional Descriptive Data:
The Library of Congress and the Nantucket Historical Association have collections related to the Pinkham family. The Nantucket Historical Association also has a passenger list from this voyage of the Clio.
Amory, Thomas C. The Life of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, Baronet, His English and American Ancestors. Boston: Cupples, Upham and Company, 1886.
Herman-Aplet, Naomi, and Erin Platte. "Learning from the Past." The Quarto 37 (Spring-Summer 2012). 11-13.
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