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Amos A. Evans collection, 1812, 1813, 1833

3 volumes

The Amos A. Evans collection is comprised of 3 volumes: a "Prescription book of the U.S. Frigate Constitution," also known as "Old Ironsides" (1812); a "Daily Report of Cases in the Marine Barracks at the Navy Yard" at Charlestown, Massachusetts (1813); and a "Reefer's Log" written by Evan's son, Alexander Evans, during a trip from Maryland to Boston in 1833. These volumes provide an overview of the health of seamen aboard an American warship in 1812, along with the medical treatments of the day.

The Amos A. Evans collection is comprised of 3 volumes: a 266-page "Prescription book of the U.S. Frigate Constitution" (March 26-August 27, 1812); a 17-page "Daily Report of Cases in the Marine Barracks at the Navy Yard" at Charlestown, Massachusetts (1813); and a 33-page "Reefer's Log" written by Evan's son, Alexander Evans, during a trip from Maryland to Boston in 1833. The collection also contains 8 loose documents, located in the back of volume 1, including hospital expenditures, a medical supply inventory for the Constitution, and notes on the crew of the Independence.

Volume 1, entitled "The Daily Prescription Book on Board the Frigate Constitution," contains records of the daily treatments Evans prescribed for his patients, providing an overview of the health problems of seamen aboard a United States warship on the Atlantic coast during the War of 1812. Evans listed both in-patient and out-patient visits for each day, and recorded their names, complaints, diagnoses, and treatments. The most common entries relate to sexually transmitted diseases (often gonorrhea and syphilis), with diarrhea (gastroenteritis) being the next most common. Other complaints include delirium, opium overdose, epileptic convulsions and coughing up blood. In accord with the advice of Dr. Rush, Evans treated vomiting with an emetic, ipecac; diarrhea with a laxative, castor oil; and other complaints with bleeding, blistering and poultices. On average, Evans listed about 30 patient visits per day.

Evans witnessed the Constitution's encounter with the British ship, Guerrière, on August 19, 1812, one of the first sea battles of the War of 1812. Evans described in detail the injuries and treatment of five crew members and two officers wounded during the battle (pages 255-263).

At the back of the volume are 8 loose manuscripts:
  1. March 6, 1813: An inventory of medicine, instruments, and supplies for the Frigate Constitution.
  2. December 10-23, 1815: Expenditures of hospital food stores, signed S.D. Townsend.
  3. January 7-20, 1816: Expenditures of hospital food stores, signed by S.D. Townsend.
  4. January 16, 1816: Receipt of goods for the ship Independence.
  5. January 25-27, 1816: A medical report and autopsy on the treatment and death of William Oaty, who suffered as a result of the accidental discharge of a pistol.
  6. [1816]: A report on damages to the Independence.
  7. [1816]: Copy of accounts to George Bates for supplies for the Independence.
  8. April 9, 1846: A copy of a report from Evans to Commander Christopher Morris stating that John Wentworth was wounded on board the Constitution, on August 10, 1812. Evans also described his treatment of the injury.

Volume 2 is entitled "Daily Report of the Cases in the Navy Yard at Charleston." Covering from August 7-16, 1813, and spanning 17 pages, Evans recorded his treatments for cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, other venereal diseases, drunkenness, diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, infections, coughs, injuries, and other ailments. Evans wrote down the name, symptoms, and treatment for each patient, and gave each a case number. He sometimes noted rank and whether or not the patient was a marine.

In the back of the book is a single case history of a man who punctured his lung from fractured ribs sustained from a fall off a wagon (July 18, 1818). Despite Dr. Evan's treatment of drawing more than five pints of blood over the ensuing five days, the patient recovered and was able to walk five miles by the end of the month. By this time, Dr. Evans had returned to private practice in Elkton, Maryland.

Scattered throughout the largely-blank interior of the book are six brief entries on plant and flower classification. These notes were written in a different hand and one entry is dated 1850.

Volume 3 is a 33-page travel log, entitled "A Reefer's Log," written by Alexander Evans, and addressed to his father, Amos Evans (September 7, 1833). Alexander Evans described his trip from the family home in Maryland to Boston by steamship and buggy, with stops along the way in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Evans wonders at the improvements in travel: "it is no longer necessary for one who goes from city to city to make his will...what used to be an immense journey 100 years ago[,] vis. From Maryland to Boston[,] but now is no more than a hop skip and jump" (page 1). He also described architecture, terrain, and people he encountered during the journey. In Boston, several old friends of his father's showed him the navy yard and the surrounding towns. Evans reported on the layout of the Charlestown navy yard as well as the interiors of the Constitution and the Independence (pages 10-11). He also toured a paper mill and wrote about the machinery in the factory (page 19). He visited Noah Webster (page 16), attended a Harvard commencement (page 25), and listened to a Boston glee club (page 20).


Autumn (Barque) abstract log book, 1845-1849

1 volume

This volume contains extracted log entries from the Barque Autumn's whaling voyage from Stonington, Connecticut, to the Indian Ocean and South Pacific between 1845 and 1849. Captain Edwin Augustus Perry commanded the vessel. This abstract log provides a condensed version of the official log, only documenting days the crew saw or captured whales. The volume contains 48 pencil drawings of whales and whaling scenes.

This volume contains extracted log entries from the Barque Autumn's whaling voyage from Stonington, Connecticut, to the Indian Ocean and South Pacific between 1845 and 1849. Captain Edwin Augustus Perry commanded the vessel. This abstract log provides a condensed version of the official log, only documenting days the crew saw or captured whales. The coverless volume contains 24 handwritten pages with 48 pencil drawings depicting whales and whaling scenes. The author of the log is unidentified, but a laid-in slip of paper contains a written statement of recommendation for promotion of second officer Zelotes Leonard Almy from Master Edwin A. Perry. The bottom half of the last page contains financial records and notes from Mr. Almy dated 1866.

Leaving from Stonington, Connecticut on November 12, 1845, the Barque Autumn sailed south around the eastern coast of South America. After making port in Rio de Janerio in March 1846, they sailed east toward the Indian Ocean reaching the Cape of Good Hope toward the end of April 1846. By November 1846 the Autumn had sailed off the southern coast of Australia and toward New Zealand. In 1847 and 1848, the Autumn sailed across the Pacific Ocean along the equator. The log concludes off the coast of Chile.

The top of each right hand page begins with the header "Remarks on board the Barque Autumn"; later in the log this header is supplemented by " E. A. Perry Master." A typical entry appears in the following format:

[Day of the Week]

[Month, Day, Year]

[These twenty-four hours commences with…]

[…So ends the day. Latitude and Longitude coordinates]

[Sketch if applicable]

The abstract's entries follow the standard content for whaling logs, documenting wind direction, weather conditions, ship location, and crew activities. The entries include type of whales spotted, number of whales, number of whaleboats lowered, and whether or not the crew succeeded in capturing whales. The whales tended to evade capture on account of adverse weather conditions or lack of daylight. Entries made note of where and when they made port or dropped anchor. The Autumn encountered other whaling vessels and recorded their point of origin, destination, and the amount of whale products onboard. Toward the end of the expedition, the vessel stopped to trade and replenish supplies.

Besides the inherent challenges of whaling, Captain Perry faced setbacks, such as steering into a coral reef in Matavai Bay and dealing with a fire in the cargo hold set by two crewmembers during repairs (entry dated February 27, 1847). Desertions were a recurring issue, two crewmembers deserted on August 31, 1846, and by January 7, 1848, the entire crew had deserted.

The volume contains 62 entries from November 1845 to May 1849, and are broken down as follows:

1845 (1 entry)
  • November 12
1846 (19 entries)
  • January 3 and 28
  • March 1
  • April 14
  • May 30
  • June 5, 6, and 15
  • July 1 and 15
  • August 1, 6, and 31
  • October 25
  • November 18
  • December 1, 11, 24, and 29
1847 (26 entries)
  • February 27
  • April 22
  • May 2, 7, 12-14, 23, 25, 28, 29, and 31
  • July 11, 17, and 26
  • August 8
  • September 1, 19, and 21
  • October 4, 6, 7, 10, and 26
  • November 15
  • December one undated entry
1848 (11 entries)
  • January 7 and 27
  • March 29
  • April 15
  • May 6
  • June 27
  • July 29
  • August 8
  • September 10
  • December 4 and 8
1849 (5 entries)
  • January 6 and 16
  • February 14
  • March 24
  • May 2

The 48 pencil drawings illustrate the success or failure to capture whales. The illustrations depicting a whale belly up with the head and tail above water meant that a whale was spotted or pursued, but evaded capture. Entries accompanied by a drawing showing the whale's entire body meant that a whale was captured and killed. The sketches demonstrate artistic skill in the shading of the whales and ocean waves and in panoramic whaling scenes. One illustration of interest, on page 20, depicts a whale's tail slamming down upon a whaleboat, capsizing the vessel and sending six crewmen into the ocean. The crewmembers shirts are spot colored in brown ink.

Vessels mentioned by name include:

  • Spoke with Ship Ansel Gibbs (December 1, 1846).
  • Spoke with Ship from New Bedford (May 7, 1847).
  • Spoke with the Ship Marialah of Fairhaven (March 1, 1846).

Other entries of interest include:

  • "saw plenty of wright whales but we did not lower for we did not want them" (November 18, 1846)
  • "not liking the harbour we took our anchor put to sea we ware bound to pitcairns island to get potatoes when on the night of the 28th the land about 60 miles off our lee quarter six tahitian natives stole a boat and runaway it being dark they where soon out of sight we stood on diferant tacks until morning the boat not being in sight and thinking it a wild goose chase to follow them we hauled our wind to the northward" (October 26, 1847).

Chevalier de Monteil logbook, 1776-1787 (majority within 1781-1782)

7 items

The Chevalier de Monteil logbook contains daily descriptions of events that occurred while Monteil served as an officer in the French naval fleet during the American Revolution. Included with the logbook are several letters as well as two royal commissions from Louis XVI.

The Chevalier de Monteil logbook is a single oversize volume of logs, four letters, and two commissions. The letters and commissions are laid into the volume.

The logbook contains Monteil's notes for the period of May 20, 1781, to March 21, 1782. Monteil wrote on the outside cover of the logbook that the volume comprises day-to-day accounts from onboard the ships Palmier, Languedoc, Ardent, Neptune, and Aigrette. The logs record such information as the ship's position, the weather, and conditions onboard, including the growing number of illnesses as stores became scarcer. They also document sightings of other ships at sea, both foreign and French; Monteil complained that it was often difficult to distinguish enemy mastheads (August 7, 1781 and September 5, 1781). The logbook provides information on only one significant engagement with British forces, which occurred January 26-28, 1782, and ended in a stand-off.

Laid into the logbook are two royal commissions and four letters. Of the four letters contained within the collection, Monteil wrote three, including one to his cousin (April 21, 1778) and one to Admiral Francois-Joseph-Paul de Grasse, commander of the French fleet (September 23, 1781). In the letter written to de Grasse, Monteil declined a request de Grasse had made to use one of his vessels for an expedition, citing his health and his desire to return home. De Grasse responded in a letter of September 28. Monteil wrote the final letter, dated March 8, 1786.

The two commissions from Louis XVI of France are dated June 1776; they assign Monteil as captain of the Renommée for service to Haiti. The documents order Monteil to lead a seven-month campaign to Haiti in order to provide protection to French vessels and prevent English traders from reaching Haitian ports.


DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine family papers, 1786-1983 (majority within 1801-1877)

3 linear feet

The DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine papers contain the 19th-century letters, letter books, diaries, account books, and other miscellaneous material relating to the DuBois, Ogden, and McIlvaine families. The collection pulls together items from family members in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Louisiana.

The DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine papers (851 items) center on the writings and affairs of Sarah Platt Ogden DuBois, George Washington DuBois, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, and their extended families. The collection is comprised of 656 letters, six letter books, five diaries, four account books, one logbook, 29 genealogical records, and 46 poems, prayers, drawings, cards, and other miscellaneous items. The collection conists of items from family members in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Louisiana.

The Correspondence series (656 items) contains letters written by the extended DuBois-Ogden-McIlvaine families. The earliest letters concern Cornelius DuBois, Sr. (1786-1794), and Sarah "Sally" Ogden, and are from friends and family (1799-1807). Of interest are the letters that discuss the birth and death of Sarah’s son Robert (March 14, 1804, and September 6, 1804).

The series contains 25 letters between Sarah P. O. DuBois on Long Island and her husband Cornelius DuBois in New York City (1812 and 1813). In these, the couple discussed domestic matters such as childbirth, child rearing, and Sarah's poor health. The bulk of the letters between 1813 and 1836 are addressed to Sarah from friends and family members. These provide a glimpse into the family members’ personal lives as well as their views on religious matters, manners, and child rearing.

Many of the letters from 1835 to1845 concern Reverend Charles P. McIlvaine and his siblings Henry, George, and Mary Ann DuBois. Also throughout the 1840s are letters relating to George W. DuBois, including 16 letters from his father, 33 from his wife, and 71 letters written by DuBois to various family members. Of interest are several letters written by Dubois during a European sojourn in 1847-1848 in which he discussed the political turmoil afflicting the Continent. From 1846 through September 1848, many of the letters are between Dubois and his love interest Mamey McIlvaine, in Gambier, Ohio, as well as a few to Mamey from her father, Bishop Charles McIlvaine.

Of special interest are five letters written by George W. Dubois during his time as the chaplain of the 11th Ohio Regiment Volunteers in 1862. The collection also contains several Civil War era letters from the family members on the home front.

Between 1891 and 1892, the series contains 10 letters from George W. Dubois living in Redwood, Colorado, to his mother, father, and siblings. These relate to family health, crops, a new camera, the exercise of bicycling for health reasons (Victor Safety Bicycle model C.), and religious matters. Several items concern DuBois' management of the Marble Cemetery, and describe logistics on moving bodies and selling portions of the cemetery.

Many of the 20th-century items are personal and business letters from Cornelius DuBois, Jr., and Mary S. DuBois. The items from 1960 to 1983 relate to family genealogy collected by the ancestors of the DuBois, McIlvaine, and Ogden families. These also provide provenance information for items in this collection.

The Letter books series (6 items) contains copy books of letters written by Sarah P. O. DuBois, Charles P. McIlvaine, and George W. DuBois. The Sarah P. O. DuBois letter book (92 pages) is comprised of letters to family members spanning 1782 to 1819. McIlvaine’s letter book (125 pages) contains autographs and letters from various prominent religious, government, military, and academic leaders from 1830 to1873. Also present is a binder of typed copies of letters to and from McIlvaine. Many of the original incoming letters are in the correspondence series.

Notable items include:
  • July 21, 1829: Leonidas Polk, a personal letter discussing religion and indicating the role religion played at West Point
  • May 17, 1848: John C. Calhoun, a letter of recommendation for the letter bearer
  • September 16, 1850: Jefferson Davis, concerning reminiscences on instruction at West Point
  • January 8, 1861: Senator John Sherman, concerning the coming war
  • February 7, 1861: John McLean, a personal letter discussing the likely formation of a southern Confederacy within the month
  • August 21, 1862: William H. Seward, a private letter discussing European opinions about the Civil War
  • November 18, 1862: George McClellan, defending his actions in the war and remembering McIlvaine's visit to the front
  • May 29, 1863: Ambrose Burnside, a Civil War travel pass
  • February 15, 1864: James A. Garfield, concerning his views on treason
  • June 19, 1865: Edwin M. Stanton, regarding the military’s use of seminary buildings in Alexandria, Virginia
  • June 19, 1867: Rutherford B. Hayes, concerning the recovery of articles taken by Union troops during the Civil War
  • February 7, 1870: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a personal letter
  • February 9, 1871: Samuel P. Chase, a request for McIlvaine to perform the marriage of his daughter
  • July 10, 1873: Henry Ward Beecher, personal letter

The "Commercial Manifold" copybook (4 pages) contains a fragment of a letter by an anonymous author (October 1879). The final two letter books are both from George W. DuBois. The first (165 pages) spans January 1883 to April 1885, and includes letters, poems, prayers, music, and drawings. The second (99 pages) spans November 1886 to January 1887, and contains letters, a recipient index, and one poem written by DuBois' daughter Mary Cornelia DuBois.

The Diaries, Account Books, and Ships' Logs series (10 items) is comprised of bound volumes that contain personal and financial information on family members:

These include:
  • 1827-1836: Sarah P. O. DuBois' account book, containing itemized monthly expenses for doctor and apothecary visits; sewing; carriage hires and traveling; charity; and mortgage accounts from 1907-1910
  • September 1842-August 1848: George W. DuBois' "Journal No. 1" covering his time at the Theological Seminary at Gambier, Ohio, at age 19, through his European travels in 1848
  • 1847-c.1949: Typescripts of George W. DuBois' journals from 1847-1848 (2 pages) and 1861 (9 pages), and Harry O. DuBois' recollections recorded sometime before his death in 1949 (21 pages)
  • April 21-May 22, 1848: George W. DuBois' logbook for his voyage on the ship Victoria from London to New York. Enclosed is a small photograph of George W. DuBois
  • 1852-May 1893: Two journals kept by George W. DuBois, the first spanning February 1852-May 1878, and the second spanning from February 1853-July 1893. Book one contains business accounts for 1852-1853 (p.2-107), 1853-1857 (p.198-261), and 1873-1875 (271-278), along with George W. DuBois’ and Eugene DuBois' personal accounts from 1872-1874 (p.398-405). Pages 282-299 contain a list of signatures for the Post Office of Crosswicks Creek, New Jersey. Book two consists of a "Farm Day Book," comprised of the accounts and activities of George W. DuBois' farm. Beginning at the back of the volume are 160 pages of meteorological and astronomical records noting latitude and longitude calculations.
  • April 1853-July 1854: Typescript from Kenyon College of Emily Coxe McIlvaine's European trip
  • July 1861-February 1862: A typescript of the Journal of Reverend George W. DuBois while chaplain of the 11th Ohio Regiment during the Civil War
  • 1882-1905: An account book containing records on mortgages, inventories, securities, interest payments, and accounts for various people and companies, kept by George W. DuBois and his son Cornelius M. DuBois
  • 1892-1895: An unsigned journal and poetry book, including 13 pages of verse (some likely original) and a seven-page diary of a trip in upstate New York

The Documents series (42 items) contains of 33 legal documents, George W. DuBois' commission in the Ohio Army as a chaplin in 1861, Cornelius DuBois’ war deeds, and the will of Charles P. McIlvaine. Twentieth-century items include wills and executor documents for Mary Cornelia DuBois, Henrietta DuBois Burnham (draft), Mary Constance DuBois, Peter DuBois, and a copy of Cornelius DuBois ' (father to George W. DuBois) will.

The Genealogy series (29 items) consists of several manuscript books and loose notes, documenting the genealogy of the families represented in the collection. Of interest are notes for the McIlvaine, Reed, and Coxe families beginning in the 14th century and following the line to the early 1700s (9 pages); a comb bound booklet containing "genealogical charts prepared for the decedents of Floyd Reading DuBois and Rosilla Marshall" with annotations; and a DuBois Family Album, which contains copied letters, biographies, and genealogical notes, including copies of letters between siblings Robert and Sarah Ogden and from Sarah to her son Henry Augustus Dubois.

Of note in the volume:
  • Pages 59-83: Record of descendents of John Ogden "The Pioneer" as early as 1460 and continuing through the 19th Century
  • Pages 86-89: Detailed biography of Henry Augustus Ogden
  • Pages 90-93: Biography of brother Cornelius DuBois, Jr.
  • Pages 100-106: Epenetus Platt's family line (George Washington DuBois' great-great-great maternal grandfather)
  • Pages 111-113: Indexes to journals and letters in the collection
  • Pages 114-248: Blank
  • Pages 249-269: Three copied letters between family members in the 1820-1830s and a short biography for George W. DuBois

The Photographs and Engravings series (9 items) contains an engraving of Charles P. McIlvaine and Robert J. Chichester, photographs of C.E. McIlvaine and George Washington DuBois, and five photographs depicting rustic life on a lake.

The Miscellaneous and Ephemera series (46 items) is comprised of 12 poems, prayers, manuscript music, and drawings (undated); 23 printed holiday cards and calling cards (1904 and undated); 18 newspaper clippings, including family death and marriage announcements (February 4, 1910-July 1983 and undated); 14 religious announcements and pamphlets (1873-[1925]); and 10 writing fragments and ephemeral items, such as dried flowers and lace handmade coasters.

Items of note include:
  • Undated: Sketch of the McIlvaine homestead, and music for a chorus entitled "There is a Lord of Pure Delight" by Harry O. DuBois.
  • Undated: Typed copy of Daniel Coxe's A Description of the English Province of Carolina By the Spanish Called Florida and by the French Louiseane..., written in 1727 and published in London.

James Douglas papers, 1738-1850 (majority within 1738-1787)

26 volumes and 29 loose letters and documents

The James Douglas papers are comprised of letters, letter books, logbooks, account books, and official naval documents relating to the career of Sir James Douglas, a British Admiral who was active in European and Caribbean waters and participated in the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg.

The James Douglas papers are comprised of letters, letter books, logbooks, account books, and official naval documents relating to the career of Sir James Douglas. Douglas rose to the rank of admiral and was active in European and Caribbean waters, and participated in the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg. The collection contains 7 letterbooks, 10 logbooks, 1 orderly book, 7 prize and account books, 1 book of sailing instructions (with notations by Douglas), 10 letters, 17 financial and official documents, and 2 genealogical documents (for an itemized list of the collection, see Additional Descriptive Data).

The Letter Books, Logbooks, and Account Books series contains the collection's bound volumes.

The letter books are comprised of copies of over 1,000 letters and orders to and from Douglas and his fellow naval officers. The letter book from Jamaica (1738-1745) includes letters and orders from Edward Vernon, Sir Chaloner Ogle, Thomas Davers, and Commodore Charles Brown, mostly addressed to naval store keeper George Hinde, concerning repairing and outfitting ships. The 1755-1759 letter book contains observations on ship movements and encounters, and letters from him to other naval officers, largely concerning European waters. The letter books from 1775 to 1777 hold copies of letters from Douglas, written when he was commanding the naval base at Spithead during the Revolutionary War. The letters are primarily addressed to Sir Philip Stephens, Secretary of British Admiralty, regarding naval administration and military news during the war in America (August 6, 1775-May 27, 1777).

The collection contains logbooks for the following ships:
  • Tilbury, 1741-1742 (kept by Thomas Lempriere)
  • Vigilant, 1745-1747
  • Anson, 1755
  • Bedford, 1755-1759
  • Alcide, 1757
  • Dublin, 1760
  • SterlingCastle, 1760-1762
  • Cruzer, 1770 (kept by Midshipman James Douglas, Jr.)
  • Cerberus, 1770 (kept by Midshipman James Douglas, Jr.)

Topics of note include: an account of the British attack against the Spanish at Cartagena (Tilbury logbook, 1740-1741); the British capture of Dominica and Martinique, and the Siege of Havana, while Douglas was commander and chief of the Leeward Island Station (1760-1762 logbook); and a logbook for a captured French ship (1760-1761). The logbook of a French ship captured in the West Indies (December 16, 1761-May 1, 1762) contains sketches on the insides of the front and back covers. Depicted are fish and sea creatures; crude portraits of men and women, dressed in finery; silhouettes of faces; and drawings of two stately homes.

Account books constitute four volumes:
  • Ledger of Douglas' private accounts (1770-1771).
  • Two notebooks accounting for prizes taken by British ships in 1759 and 1762.
  • A sederunt book of the trustees, relating to the settlement of Douglas' estate, created sometime after his death in 1787.

Also of note is a printed copy of Sailing and Fighting Instructions, heavily annotated by Douglas.

The Correspondence and Documents series contains 29 letters and documents, including: 8 letters concerning naval matters; 4 letters concerning Douglas' will, estate, and genealogy; Douglas' marriage agreement; 7 signed naval promotions on vellum; Douglas' appointment as baronet (1786); 3 memorials and petitions; 2 essays; 1 speech; 1 receipt; 1 legal disposition; and two genealogical items. Genealogy records include a family tree of Douglas' ancestor Douglas of Friarshaw (d. 1388) and a facsimile of the genealogical chart of Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane's ancestors going back to the 13th century.


J. M. Taylor (Schooner) records, 1862

20 items

These letters and documents pertain to the commercial sailing vessel J. M. Taylor, on lease to the Federal government for Civil War service. The focus of the papers is Blackwell & Company's attempts to obtain restitution from the government for wartime damages to the vessel.

The letters and documents that comprise the J.M. Taylor records recount the fate of a commercial sailing vessel on lease to the federal government for wartime service. These papers appear to have been assembled at the office of Blackwell & Company in a topical file, with the bulk concerning Blackwell's attempt to get restitution from the government for the repair of the Taylor after it was damaged by shore fire along the James. The collection includes letters by John Perene to Blackwell & Company and copied extracts from the logbook of the J.M. Taylor.


John Manning, "Diary of the Sick on board of the Mammoth", 1814-1816

1 volume

John Manning, the physician aboard the large privateer schooner Mammoth, kept this volume during the ship's voyage from Portland, Maine, to the Madeira Islands and Cape Verde region during the War of 1812. Entries range from December 30, 1814, to April 13, 1815, when the ship returned to New York. The volume lists the patients' names, symptoms, and treatments, as well as occasional notes on weather conditions, locations, and activities. One partial medical exemption for John Schwartze of Capt. Thomas Simmons' Company of Militia, dated May 6, 1816, from Waldoboro, Maine, appears at the end of the volume. An undated list of twenty exempt men and their medical conditions is written on the back cover.

John Manning, the physician aboard the large privateer schooner Mammoth, kept this volume during the ship's voyage from Portland, Maine, to the Madeira Islands and Cape Verde region during the War of 1812. Entries range from December 30, 1814, to April 13, 1815, when the ship returned to New York. The volume lists the patients' names, symptoms, and treatments, as well as occasional notes on weather conditions, locations, and activities, such as the note, "5 Men of War in chase" on February 5, 1815.

Examples of some of the ailments treated include respiratory illnesses, venereal diseases, stomach complaints and colic, headaches, pain and sprains, frostbite, boils and abscesses, dizziness, ague, and wounds. One partial medical exemption for John Schwartze of Capt. Thomas Simmons' Company of Militia, dated May 6, 1816, from Waldoboro, Maine, appears at the end of the volume. An undated list of twenty exempt men and their medical conditions is written on the back cover.


Kenneth Grace manuscripts, 1908-1914

166 pages (2 volumes)

The Grace collection consists of two manuscripts: "The Sea," an ecclectic compilation of a child's stories on nautical themes, and the Log of the Sea Wren, which includes narratives of Kenneth Grace's summer time cruises in Chesapeake Bay aboard the boats Sea Wren and Sea Bird.

The Log of the Sea Wren includes narratives of Kenneth Grace's summer time "cruises" in Chesapeake Bay aboard the boats Sea Wren and Sea Bird, 1910-1914. The entries map out Grace's activities during August 1910, June 1912, June and July 1913, and June and July 1914, and include accounts of sailing, camping, and, on occasion, staying ashore. Although nothing further is known about Grace, the duration of these cruises suggest that the "log" was kept during his summer vacations.

Among other points of interest in the log are a description of Sharp's Island and the ruins of its failed resort hotel, accompanied by Grace's hand-drawn map. The log also includes a real-photo postcard of a young boy, possibly Grace.

"The Sea," written earlier than the Log, is an ecclectic compilation of a child's stories on nautical themes, including sailing, work in ports, shipwrecks, and salvage operations. Some of the stories may have been copied from newspapers or magazines, but others bear the marks of having been written by, or altered by Grace. The most interesting features of the manuscript are the charming pencil illustrations of sailing vessels and sea life, and three highly imaginative maps done in water color. The authorship of the manuscript is based on the presence of Kenneth Grace's name on page 43 and elsewhere.


Marie Taber logbook and journal, 1853-1861

1 volume

Marie "Alida" Taber, wife of whaling Captain George Taber, kept daily records of wind direction, speed, weather conditions, geographic location, and crew activities during two whaling voyages: the Brig Magdalene's 174-day voyage from Honolulu to Connecticut, January-July 1853, and the Barque William Wilson's 1,192-day voyage from Rhode Island to the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean, May 1860-January 1861. The volume also contains personal journal entries kept by Marie Taber during her time in Acushnet, Massachusetts, while her husband served aboard the Barque William Wilson from October 1857 to 1859.

This logbook and journal contains 150 pages, 51 of which are blank and 99 of which contain writing by Marie "Alida" Taber, wife of whaling Captain George Taber. The opening flyleaf features a carte-de-visite photograph of Marie with the inscription "Alida Taber, Long Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.A." During conservation the carte-de-visite was temporarily removed, and the inscription "Elida Taber" was visible on the verso of the card. While most of the printed photographer's advertisement on the card was obscured, its location in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was present. The volume consists of three sections: two whaling expedition logs and a personal journal.

The first section is a daily record of the Brig Magdalene's return voyage from Honolulu to Connecticut carrying whale oil and bone from January 12 to July 4, 1853. During this voyage, the Magdalene went south from Honolulu, through the Pacific Cook Islands, around the southern tip and east coast of South America before making final port in New London, Connecticut, on Independence Day, 1853. Mentioned ports of resupply include Pernambuco, Brazil. All entries begin with "remarks on board" followed by the date, weather conditions, the ships geographic location, steering adjustments, and any crew or ship activities of note. She described riggings, repairs, spotting of other ships or land, and acquisition or removal of cargo and supplies. Most of her entries are structured into 'first' (12pm to 8pm), 'middle' (8pm to 4am) and 'latter' (4am to 12pm) parts of the day. Some entries include remarks on porpoises caught and harvested for oil, supplies thrown overboard, and processing of whalebone.

Her logbook entries largely conform to the following format:

Upper left margin: Number of days out

"Remarks on board" [Day of Week, Month, Date, Year]

[Part of the day]: wind strength and direction, weather conditions, sail and/or steering adjustments and sightings/activities of note

Bottom right corner: Latitude and Longitude coordinates

While most of the navigational and weather condition data recorded stayed largely consistent, she specifically mentioned ocean currents on April 13 and 14, 1853 (95 and 96 days out).

Since this voyage was a return trip from a whaling expedition, Taber did not mention whale pursuits or captures; the ship was already full of oil and bone. Although, during the latter entries the crew brought whalebone and oil to the deck to clean, bundle, and prepare the products for market. On May 17, 1853 (117 days out), for example, she wrote that they "Took on deck 22 bundles of bone, some in a damaged state."

The crew captured and processed porpoises on this leg of the voyage to provide lamp oil. Mentions of these porpoise captures can be found in the following entries.

  • "Caught 4 porpoises" April 9, 1853 (89 days out)
  • Boiling porpoise blubber. April 16 and 17, 1853 (95 and 96 days out)

As the Magdalene sailed closer to the eastern coast of South America and the United States, ship sightings became more frequent. These entries include:

  • Bark sighting. January 25, 1853 (14 days out)
  • "At 10am saw a merchant Bark steering to S.West" April 19, 1853 (99 days out)
  • Unidentified ship, April 21-22 , 1853 (101-102 days out)
  • "Saw a manawar steam brig" Saturday, April 30, 1853 (110 days out)

Other entries of interest include:

  • Taking supplies on board, wood, pumpkins, coconuts, bananas, turkeys, ducks, fowls, and pigs, February 10 -12, 1853 (31-33 days out)
  • "Note: during the night one half Barrel of Beef was thrown overboard by some of the crew," March 14, 1853 (63 days out)
  • Leaking oil, March 25, 1853 (74 days out)
  • "Found six bags of bread wet and rotten," April 1, 1853 (81 days out)
  • "Rats almost got possession of the Brig," April 20, 1853 (100 days out)
  • "Saw a comet, westward," May 7, 1853 (111 days out)
  • Waiting for Portuguese holy days to pass, as business is prohibited during this period. Saturday, May 14-18, 1853 (124-128 days out)
  • "Mr. Bolton ashore without permission from master," May 16, 1853 (126 days out)
  • "Mr. Bolton still onshore," May 17, 1853 (127 days out)

The second section of the logbook contains Marie Taber's journal entries from January 1 to August 15, 1859. While Captain Taber was away on the Barque William Wilson, which left Warren, Rhode Island, in October 1857, Marie described her daily activities in Acushnet, Massachusetts, as well as detailed listings of her social activities. The largest portions of these entries list the names of whom she spoke with in person and through letters that day. The most common activities mentioned in these entries include sewing, cooking, baking, shopping, writing letters, and reading. Frequently she spent her days mending, cutting, quilting, and sewing garments for herself, family, and friends. Holding true to her logkeeping skills, she commented daily on the weather and wind, often noting specific wind direction and general conditions throughout the day. Marie noted births, deaths, weddings, and activities such as the circus, church events, and holidays. Marie often wrote of feeling weak or ill and complained of headaches, backaches, and stomach pains. In the latter portions of the journal, Marie's entries took on a more personal tone as she described her loneliness and sadness about town gossip about her--even among her husband's family. In these entries, she expressed her reliance on Christian faith to help her cope with illness and the emotional toll of being far away from home and from her own friends and family. The journal section provides insight into the events and residents of the community of Acushnet, Massachusetts, and the broader community of Bristol County.

The third section of the volume contains a daily record of the whaling voyage of Barque William Wilson, traveling off Rodrigues Island, from May 27, 1860, to January 5, 1861. Marie began the log about 2 years and 6 months into the whaling voyage (the complete voyage spanned October 1857 to January 1861). The log is of a similar format as that of the Brig Magdalene, but fewer entries contain specific latitude and longitude coordinates and it lacks a running count of the days passed since the voyage began. As in Mrs. Taber's earlier log, entries include weather conditions, wind direction, sail and steering adjustments, ships spotted, and specific activities. Days on which whale captures were attempted and successful are marked with black ink whale body stamps, the number of stamps equaling the number of whales killed. Instances where whales evaded capture are indicated with black ink tail stamps. Processing of the whales into product is described with phrases "employed boiling", "employed cutting", and "commenced cutting." These entries frequently made note of the vessel's specific distance from land or other ships and listed many of the ships spotted and communicated with by name.

Vessels mentioned include:

  • Bark America (August 16, 1860)
  • Bark John A. Robb (September 17, 1860)
  • Barque Millwood (July 7, 1860 [incorrectly written in log as June]; August 2, 1860; August 22, 1860)
  • Bark Ocean Pierson (August 23, 1860)
  • Bark Pamelia (September 4, 1860; September 22, 1860)
  • Bark Tyne (August 3, 1860)
  • Bark San Francisco (August 17, 1860; August 22, 1860; August 30, 1860; September 24, 1860)
  • Ship Alimire (August 23, 1860)
  • Ship Elmiro (August 30, 1860)
  • Ship Mercury (September 1, 1860; September 19, 1860)

At the beginning of this log, Marie wrote with a slightly more personal tone, including information about her general feelings of wellbeing, or feeling unwell (entries dated May 27 and 28, 1860). Generally, the entries in the first portion of this log (July-early October, 1860) emphasize the frantic chase and hunting of whales. Many entries refer to sightings of whales by species and note that when nothing was seen, they were actively "looking for whales." The latter half of the log (mid October 1860 to early January 1861) focuses on the goal of returning with the whale products. Most of these entries emphasize wind and sail orientation, navigation, and reading important geographic landmarks. On the return voyage ship maintenance was a priority and the crew painted and repaired parts of the ship.

Stamps indicating whale captures and escapes can be found in the following entries:

  • June 6,1860
  • July 9, 1860
  • August 2, 1860
  • August 15, 1860
  • August 19,1860
  • September 26, 1860
  • 1 sperm whale killed, September 28, 1860
  • 4 sperm whales killed, 1 escaped October 4, 1860
  • 3 sperm whales killed, October 5, 1860

This volume also contains the following:

  • 2 blank logbook pages with running header "Bark Sea Bird towards Cape of Good Hope"
  • Inscription on inside back pastedown, handwritten in pencil, "Sadie Taber lived on Long Plain Rd Sunds Corner outside of New Bedford Mass"
  • A list of New Bedford ships (pencil handwriting, differing from Marie Taber's script) on page 144. The names include:
    • Bark Millwood
    • Ocean River
    • Almira
    • San Francisco
    • Thomas Pope
    • St. Peter
    • Mercury
    • John A. Roff
    • Bark America
    • Tarmelia
    • Congress
    • Bartholomene
  • Laid into the volume, between pages 92 and 93 is a handwritten slip of paper reading, [in ink]"See if you can find any vessel bound to the Cape of Good Hope or the island of Mauritius if any the price of passage and time of sailing" [in pencil] "first of week $150 or 125; 1 Brig 1st next week $150 Edmund Boynton, 1 vessel about a month $150 Isaac Taylor 16 Kirby Sr."
  • A clipping of a poem "For the New York Mercury My Nelly's Eyes: Inscribed to Miss Ellen M.M, by: John F. Gilwee (September 7, 1858)," laid in between pages 132 and 133
  • At various points in the blank section of the volume, pages have been ripped out.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a partial name index for the journal portion of the Taber journal: Partial Name Index .


Ontario (Sloop of war) journal, 1829-1831

1 volume

This deck log for the sloop of war Ontario (1,004 pages), commander Thomas Holdup Stevens, contains daily information on the weather, ship location, movement and response to the weather, crew activities, sicknesses, and out-of-the-ordinary events, while serving in the Mediterranean Squadron. Also recorded in the volume are 28 port stops, the most frequent at Mahon and Gibraltar, for ship repairs, delivery of specie and other items, transport of diplomats, demonstrations of amity, and other purposes.

This oversize deck log for the sloop of war Ontario (1,004 pages) bears a protective canvas cover, on which is written the title "Journal of the U. S. S. Ontario Thos Holdup Stevens Esqre Commander." It contains daily entries for almost two years of a voyage with the Mediterranean Squadron, with notes on 28 port stops--most frequently Mahon and Gibraltar, but also including Algiers, Tunis, Barcelona, Smyrna, and others. The stops were typically for ship repairs, delivery of specie and other items, transportation of diplomats, demonstrations of amity, and other purposes.

The regular entries were kept by officers of the watch, who maintained detailed reports of the day's weather and sail changes; shipboard routines, such as renewing the water supply, sighting passing ships, and muster and exercising the crew; and shipboard conditions, such as the number of men sick, water remaining on board, and the kind of meat on the day's menu. Considerable attention was given to activities involving the repair and upkeep of the ship, and the restocking of supplies.