.^PL RESEARCH LIBRARIES
CAPTAIN CALEB SPRAGUE
BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS
<*„ -FRANCIS WILLIAM SPRAGUE
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO,
1849 — 1856
THE K-W -
Ab'(; ' - I : ANO
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COPYRIQHi-; *9*I3 '
F. W.'S^£P$E '
I/AED^CrtTK this' little book
to' the *m*emopy* of my father,
CAPTAIN C4LEB SPRAGUE,
OF EARNSTAiJLE, MASS.
IT IS MY PURPOSE TO TELL THE STORY OF HIS LIFE, WITH
THE ADDITION OF A FEW NOTES CONCERNING OTHER
BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH SEA CAPTAINS AND
SHIP OWNERS, AND WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF
THE WHALING INDUSTRY AT BARN-
STABLE IN THE EARLIEST
DAYS OF THE
INDEX OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Captain Caleb Sprague
Old Gorham House, Barnstable, built about 1690
Barnstable Village, about 1850
Ship Game-Cock, Captain Daniel C. Bacon
Ship Paul Jones, owned by Captain Daaiek Q. ' B^apph
Captain Daniel C. Bacon,', iSc© « \ I '•! '• '° t
House of Daniel C. Bacon, com^of T.rembnl Street and Tern
pie Place, Boston, built in 18*32'.", .*.:'«•■ '• ■
Ship North Bend, Captain Caleb' jSpragwe t ' "\ '
Ship Gravina, Captain Caleb Sprague, owned by Loring Brothers
Malaga, Spain ........
The Missing Steamer Pacific, Captain Asa Eldridge
Ship Chariot of Fame, Captain Allen H. Knowles .
Brig-Schooner Joseph Balch, Captain William F. Gorham
Barque Prompt, Captain William F. Gorham
Ship Idaho, Captain William Chipman ....
Gold Medal, presented to Captain Thomas Harris by the Lords
of the Admiralty, 1846 .......
Ship Leading Wind, Captain Francis M. Hinckley
Ship Ocean Queen, Captain Francis M. Hinckley
Barque John Worster, Captain G. B. Knowles
Ship Southern Cross, Captain Atkins Hughes, owned by Baker
and Morrill of Boston .......
BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS
FRANCIS WILLIAM SPRAGUE
BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS.
THE earliest record that I find of Barnstable men engaged
in shipping is that of Lieutenant Colonel John 2 Gorham,
born 1652, son of Captain John 1 Gorham and Desire
Howland. He willed the " Old Gorham House," in Barnstable,
to his son Shubael in 17 16.
My own notes of the "Early Whaling Industry" in the Boston
Evening Transcript, are as follows : " The renewed interest in
the whaling industry brings to our attention the question as to
who first introduced it into New England. In 1897, an old
diary written by Colonel John 4 Gorham, in Louisburg, Feb. 20,
1745/6, was sent to me by a Mrs. Sargent of Newburyport. It
had been in the Eben Parsons family of Byfield, Mass., for a
great many years. Before printing notes from it and making
fac-similes of some of its pages, I submitted the* "Wast Book"
to Dr. Samuel A. Green of the Massachusetts Historical Society,
who pronounced it genuine and of much interest.
"About whaling first in New England, an old man from Long
Island, one Lopez, a Dutchman, that had been used to whaling
at Long Island, came to Barnstable and to Cape Cod or Barn-
stable Bay, then abounding in whales, and my grandfather
(Lieutenant Colonel John 2 Gorham) first fixt out with old Lopez,
a whaling in y e year about 1680.
* Waste Book.
8 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
" Old Lopez was accounted a sort of a wizard, ' then after
sometime y e Cape men learnt y e Nantucket men to be whalers.'
Printed notes of this part of the diary may be found in the New
York Genealogical Record for July, 1897. During the French
and Indian Wars from 1690 to 1745, the 'Barnstable whale
boats ' were used to land troops along the coast."
With this diary was bound another diary written by the same
author in 1737. In it he mentions the "Sloop Neptune, Solo-
mon Davis, Commander." He also states that he, Colonel
John 4 Gorham, was master of the brigantine Greenland, Aug.
13, 1737, bound to London. He further made note in his
diary* as follows :
"August 29, 1737 of things to be bought in London.
"To look out for y e Gorham's Coat of Armes, came from
"London, October 1737
" Herald's office 7s 6d
"Paid a man for looking out the Gorhams in the city is 6d."
It is an historical fact that the Gorhams furnished the vessels
that transported the troops from Cape Cod to Louisburg in
1745. This statement is borne out by the following extract
from a letter written by Colonel John 4 Gorham to Sir William
" 'Halifax, July 5, 175 1.
" ' I was importuned by Governor Shirley and desired by your
honor and many more of the Council, to raise a number of men
and purchase whale boats, and proceed in the expedition, as I
did upon condition of my having the liberty of going home (to
England) with your honor's packet, in my own sloop as soon as
the English flag should be hoisted at Louisburg. But I was
disappointed in this, and received no commission in his royal
regiment. My father died, and most of his regiment at Louis-
burg, but I thank you for giving me the commission of Colonel
of my father's regiment.' " " In respect to the promise of send-
* See Mayflower Descendant, July, 1903, p. 174.
t From Parson's Life of Pepperell, p. 240.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 9
ing him bearer of despatches announcing the conquest, it should
be remembered that it was made before Warren joined the expe-
dition. He had an equal voice with Pepperell in selecting a
bearer, and would prefer a regularly commissioned officer of
high rank in the navy as being more respectful to the King."
Captain George 3 Gorham, son of Shubael 2 and grandson of
Captain John 1 Gorham and Desire Howland, born in 1697 at
Hyannisport (Barnstable), was also a sea captain. He removed
to Connecticut. Mr. Henry S. Gorham of Brooklyn, N. Y., has
quoted from Captain Gorham's very interesting diary.
John 3 Gorham, Esq., son of John 2 and grandson of John 1 Gor-
ham and Desire Howland, was born in Barnstable in 1688. He
was a merchant and engaged in the cod and whale fisheries.
He built Gorham's Wharf later known as Scudder's Wharf.
During half a century he was a successful business man. He
lived on the east side of Coggin's Pond, and next to the estate
of Governor Hinckley.
Captain Nathaniel 4 Gorham, son of Stephen 3 was born in
Barnstable in 1709. He removed to Charlestown, Mass., where
he was actively engaged in shipping. His son, Hon. Nathaniel 5
Gorham, was a member of the Continental Congress.
Captain Benjamin 4 Gorham, born at Barnstable in 1726, was
son of Colonel Shubael 3 Gorham. He was born in the " Old
Gorham House." The following notes of him may be found in
Mass. Hist. Society Proceedings, vol. IV: p. 219, and vol. XIII :
p. 173: — "March 6, 1774. Capt. Benjamin Gorham, nine
weeks from London in the Brig Fortune, brought 28! chests
of Bohea tea consigned to several persons here." " March 7,
1774. This evening a number of Indians, as is said of his
Majesty of Ocnookortunkoog tribe, emptied every chest into the
dock and destroyed the whole 28^ chests."
Captain Sturgis 5 Gorham, born in Barnstable* in 1743 ; died
" He was a merchant engaged in the fisheries and West India
trade. For many years he was the business man of Barnstable."
* Barnstable Families, by Amos Otis.
IO BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Hon. William Sturgis, born in Barnstable, Feb. 25, 1782, in
the house now used as the " Sturgis Library." (This house, or
rather one room of it, is much as it was when it was the parsonage
of Rev. John Lothrop.) His father, of the same name, was a ship
master of Barnstable, in 1796. He entered the counting house
of his kinsman, Mr. Russell Sturgis. After eighteen months
he entered the counting room of Messrs. James and Thomas H.
Perkins, at this time engaged in trade on the Northwest Coast
and China. He remained there until the death of his father,
which took place abroad in 1797, after his vessel had been cap-
tured and plundered by piratical privateers in the West Indies.
After his father's death, he decided to follow the sea. At the
age of nineteen he became Captain of the ship Caroline, owned
by Messrs. James and Thomas Lamb. After a voyage to China,
he returned to Boston in 1803. In 1806, he commanded the
ship Atahualpa, owned by Mr. Theodore Lyman, of Boston. In
1809, he again commanded this ship. On August 21st of that
year, while at anchor in Macao Roads (about seventy miles from
Canton, China), the ship was attacked by a fleet of sixteen
ladrones, or piratical vessels. The pirates were repulsed with
great slaughter, and the ship was enabled to escape and find
protection under the guns of the Portuguese fort.
After leaving the sea he was of the firm of Bryant & Sturgis,
of Boston. f His grand-daughter (Mrs. Thornton K. Lothrop,
of Boston) called my attention to these notes.
Mr. Louis Bacon, the Boston banker, has loaned me a book
written by a grand-daughter (Miss Julia Bacon) of Captain Dan-
iel C. Bacon, giving the history of Captain Bacon and his family.
From it I take the following notes :
" The cruelty of these Chinese pirates is well known ; and
Captain Sturgis had a barrel of powder ready, with which, he
told his crew, he would blow them all up if the pirates once got
possession of the ship. In the meantime, he plied the crowded
junks at short pistol range with cannon and musketry, and with
deadly effect. Slowly his ship moved landward with its swarm
t Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, 1864.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS I I
of savage enemies. To those on shore its fate seemed sure ; and
they tried to hold by force the first mate Daniel C. Bacon, who
had been sent from the ship when there was no thought of danger.
" But the gallant seaman tore himself from their hands, and
with his small boat's crew, rowed at full speed to rejoin his
beleagured ship and share her fate. He and his men were got
on board while yet the little battle raged ; and now the good
ship was in range of Macao Forts, which began to throw their
shot also among the eager pirates. This episode put such cour-
age into the cowardly mandarins that, by means of bribery and
treachery they secured the cut-throat Apootsae, and had him put
to death by the slow and prolonged process of hacking, called
1 the thousand cuts.' From this time forth there was intense
respect for Americans at Canton and Macao.
"When Captain Sturgis took the Atahualpa back safe and
sound to Boston, he was reproved by the owner, Mr. Theodore
Lyman, for taking the cannon with him contrary to orders, and
was made to pay freight on them. There was certainly a rem-
nant of a Puritan grimness about this stern old ship-owner, as
there was about the stubborn fighting of his captain.
"To obey orders if it broke owners, was the duty of a young
commander, and no indulgence in gratitude must mar the duty
of enforcing the moral.
" Grandfather [Bacon] sailed several voyages with Captain
Sturgis, and when the latter was married, he and grandfather
brought their sailor's ' ditty-bags ' and together sewed a wedding
carpet, on which the bride was to stand. They would have been
interested to know that nearly a century later, two of their grand-
children married each other."
Captain Daniel Carpenter Bacon was the eldest son of "Squire"
Ebenezer Bacon and his second wife, Rebecca Jenkins, of Barn-
stable. He was born May 25, 1787, in the old house on the
" Bacon Farm," that had been in the family since the time of
the settlement of the town in 1639. (This farm has never gone
out of the family, and is now owned by Hon. Robert Bacon, re-
cently Ambassador to France.) Captain Bacon's father was
always called " Squire Bacon " by the townspeople.
12 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Captain Bacon made his first voyage as Master in the ship
Xenophon. This is shown by a letter to him from his father
dated Barnstable, Nov. 7, 1807. In a letter dated Jan. 10,
1808, he says "I am very sorry that your ship is detained by
the embargo, think it will last several months." In 18 10, he
succeeded Captain Sturgis in command of the ship Atahualpa,
and made a voyage to China in her. In 181 1, he was Master of
the ship Packet, bound on a voyage of several years duration.
" She proved to be a fast sailing ship. The log often indicated
ten, eleven and eleven and a half knots. We had a quick but
rough passage across the Atlantic." Some account of the ship
Packet, Captain Bacon, may be found in Jack in the Forecastle,
by Hawser Martingale.
He next commanded the brig Vancouver, owned by Theodore
" Captain Bacon was married soon after returning from this
voyage, to Desire Taylor Gorham, daughter of Edward Gorham,
of Barnstable. Captain Bacon lived when he was first married
in the house in Bow Lane, where his brother, Ebenezer, after-
wards lived for many years. After a short stay at home he
sailed again for China, in command of the ship Alert, about the
first of April, 18 19. He arrived home in June, 1820.
" He made no more voyages and soon began to think of settling
in Boston." Some time between 1827 and 1832, he moved the
old Bacon house from the farm and built a summer residence
there." From 1832 to 1844, his home in Boston was 149 Tre-
mont Street, corner of Temple Place, on the opposite corner
from the old Masonic Temple. About 1844, he sold this house
and removed to Jamaica Plain, near the Pond.
" Captain Bacon's interests now were in the ships that he owned,
and my father (Eben Bacon) remembered driving with him often
in his chaise to Medford, to superintend the building. He in-
spected every plank and was very particular that every thing
connected with his ships was done in the most thorough manner.
He built at East Boston the Gamecock, which was famous as
the fastest ship of her kind for years. At the first anniversary
of the Cape Cod Association, among the objects of interest
CAPTAIN DANIEL C. BACON, 1850
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 1 3
gathered together was a 'model of the beautiful ship Game-
" A boy named James Percival, who sailed in her some years
later, writes in a letter to his friends at home :
" 'San Francisco, Oct. 12, 185 1.
" 'We arrived here last Sunday ninety-two days from Rio
Janeiro. The ship and Captain Hollis have a good name. The
Gamecock is said to be the handsomest craft that has been here.
We beat the Witchcraft two days in passage. The ship has
been reported lost for some time, but thank God we are safe.
A ship brought the news here that we were seen off Cape Horn
bottom up. Captain thinks the ship will go home from China,
and if so, please God I shall be with you in April.
" I suppose this is one of the worst places in the world for
gambling, murders and robbery. The vigilance committee have
a most excellent but summary mode of procedure. A fortnight
ago, the committee proceeded to the gaol and took out two pris-
oners, put them into a carriage and took them to a store that
had a beam for hoisting goods, and strung them up. Every-
thing is extremely dear here. I had to pay a dollar and a quar-
ter for a common, second-hand chest lock. Eggs are fifty cents
apiece and washing is six dollars per dozen. It is cheaper to
buy new shirts at auction than to get the dirty ones washed.'
" Once in a dreadful storm, one of grandfather's ships (Captain
Daniel Bacon's) went ashore on Nantasket Beach. It was in
winter and he could find no one willing to go into the water and
unload her. With his usual determination he went down him-
self, hired an ox-team, and all day long drove back and forth in
the icy water and saved the whole cargo. The underwriters in
gratitude for the money he had saved them, presented him with
a silver tea-service.
" Other ships of Captain Bacon's were the Hoogly and the
Luconia. The Paul Jones took the first American ice to China,
in 1 844. The Akbar took cotton from Mobile and New Orleans
14 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
" Among the ships in which Captain Bacon had an interest, if
he did not own them entirely, were the Hoogly, Timor, 1828 ;
Gentoo, 1833, in which his sons, Daniel and William, first went
to sea; Santiago, 1848; the Barnstable and Hindoo, 1833;
Heber, Sylphide, George Hallett, 1847; Ilzaide, Eliza, War-
wick, J. W. Sears, 1849; Concordia, Samoset, 1850; Hors-
burgh, Phantom, 1855 ; Chilo, Quickstep, S. Appleton, Oriental,
Raduger, and the schooner Sappho and sloop Mail."
There were two or three different Hooglys. The ship Titan,
which Captain Oliver Eldridge, of Yarmouthport, commanded,
was chartered to the French in the Crimean War. (I think
that Captain Bacon's two sons, Daniel Gorham Bacon and Will-
iam B. Bacon, owned the Titan later on.)
The ship Titan was afterwards commanded by Captain J.
Henry Sears, and a picture of her hangs in the Boston Marine
Museum at the Old State House.
Captain Bacon was President of the Boston Marine Society in
1839. His picture hangs in the room of the Society. He died
Nov. 13, 1856.
Before closing Miss Julia Bacon's most interesting book, I
will quote from it an address made at the First Anniversary of
the Cape Cod Association, by Hon. Henry A. Scudder.
"The system of early training upon the Cape is singularly
calculated to develop peculiar attributes of character. We un-
consciously borrow much from the surrounding circumstances of
our early life. The career of a Cape Cod boy is a striking illus-
tration of this fact. By early education he becomes a sailor.
From his infancy he looks upon the ocean as his future theatre
of action. The very nursery is to him a scene of preparation.
A neatly modelled vessel in fact, the beau-ideal of his childish
fancy. The pigmy craft becomes his chosen plaything. At
seven he trims her sails and navigates her successfully from
creek to creek. At eight he takes preliminary lessons, he vent-
ures upon his favorite element and learns the art of swimming.
At ten he is wholly master of the rudiments and is ready to em-
bark upon the fortunes of a sailor's life, to him so full of novelty
U. ^ 10
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 15
and romance. He steps on board his gallant ship with a heart
full of noble aspirations. He rejoices in the office of a cabin
boy and yet he gazes with a longing eye on the post of a fore-
mast hand. He laughs to think the time is coming when he
may climb those dizzy heights and do an able seaman's duty.
Stage by stage he marks the years of his advancement from the
galley to the forecastle ; from the forecastle to the quarter-deck.
With an eye of faith, he views the approaching day when as
master he shall pace that noble ship, and he himself a hero.
" Rising step by step, through every grade in regular succes-
sion from cabin boy to captain, he at length assumes that high
command, Monarch of the deep. Upon that floating deck he
knows no master now. His will, his word, his judgment and his
purpose are supreme. The lives and fortunes, the property and
hope of many are entrusted to his care. With a strong and un-
failing heart he meets his great responsibilities. Thus is he
schooled and thus is he fitted for his exalted sphere."
Captain Caleb Sprague was born in Hingham, Mass., in 1811,
the son of Captain Caleb Sprague, Sr.
The latter was captain of the sloop Liberty, of the Federalist
Line of Packets between Hingham and Boston. Party feeling
ran to extremes in those days, so that there were two lines of
packets from the town, the Federalist and the Republican (Jeffer-
sonian) ; and a packet station for each line on the south side of
Long Wharf, Boston. In these the passengers lodged while
visiting the city.
In 181 1 the sloop Rapid was launched at Hingham, and Cap-
tain Caleb Sprague, Sr., took command of her. When asked
what her color should be, he answered very forcibly "True
blue." At the time of the battle between the Chesapeake and
the Shannon, War of 18 12 Captain Caleb Sprague, Sr., took a
party down Boston Harbor to see the fight. Captain Lawrence,
of the Chesapeake, told him where to find safe anchorage.
Captain Sprague, Sr., in his latter days was a "Trader." His
store (C. & S. Sprague) is still standing, more than a century
old, near the Hingham Wharf at Bear Cove. He died in 1825.
l6 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
His son, Captain Caleb Sprague, of Barnstable, Mass., began
active life as a boy of about thirteen, on the Federalist packet
station on Long Wharf, Boston. One day he saw a procession
going through Commercial Street. Boy-like, he hung on behind
one of the carriages and went to Bunker Hill, to the laying of
the corner stone. He told me that he stood near enough to
Daniel Webster and Lafayette to have touched them.
When about twenty years old (183 1-2), Captain Sprague was
Master of the fishing vessel James Lawrence 'of Hingham. In
1836, he married Sarah Gorham of Barnstable and removed to
In 1840-2, he was Master of the brig Cummaquid, built at
Barnstable (Cummaquid was the Indian name for Barnstable).
In 1843-7, he commanded the ship North Bend of Boston,
owned by Mr. Matthew Cobb, of Barnstable and Boston. There
hangs over my desk a painting of this ship " entering the Texel
1845," by J. Spin of Amsterdam. In 1847, the North Bend
carried troops to re-enforce General Scott, in the Mexican War.
She remained at Vera Cruz until a sufficient force was collected
to march toward the City of Mexico.
" General Scott will have two thousand ready to leave Vera
Cruz on the 10th of July (1847). I visited the camp often and
there is no mistake about the officers from the southern to the
northern points of the United States, and the privates also, but
what they are determined not to let the villainous Mexicans gain
a victory, as long as there is a drop of Yankee blood flowing in
their veins. What few prisoners they have taken, say they are
desperadoes, and almost, you might say, barbarians. Correct
accounts about some of those who have fallen into their hands
are shocking." *
He also made a voyage to St. Petersburg, via Elsinore, in this
Some other extracts from Captain Sprague's letters are in-
* Letter from Captain Sprague.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 1 7
" Bordeaux, France. Aug. 8, 1 844.
"Dunkirk and Bordeaux are fine places, and contain many
curiosities to us. We have had more invitations to dine than
we have wished, as the dinners in this country are very lengthy,
say from three to four hours before you rise from the table, and
then not dry. Today we (his wife and himself) have been to
the Bordeaux Mechanical Exposition, or Fair, and it is splendid.
There are nine American vessels here, and five of the Captains
have their wives."
From a letter dated Cork, Nov. 28, 1847 (the year of the
famine), I take the following :
" This country is in a very bad state. Murders are committed
upon the landholders almost daily by the tenants, and the poor
are suffering very badly for the want of food and clothing and
no person can really imagine the amount of suffering, until they
have been here and seen for themselves. We Americans know
but little about poverty."
The following is from one of his letters dated Hull, England,
Feb. 3, 1846 :
" There is great excitement here about the Oregon question,
and Mr. Adams' speech has caused considerable talk, as it was
unexpected from him, he being in the opposite party to Mr. Polk,
but all that I have conversed with upon the subject of war, shud-
der at the idea of the United States and England coming to
blows, and I think the voice of the people here is decidedly
against any measures that might lead to open hostilities betwixt
the two nations. But I am for Oregon, if it belongs to us, and
think we as Americans never must, nor can, nor we never will
bow to the overbearing John Bull."
The following is quoted from the Boston Advertiser :
"March 29, 1850, a beautifully modelled barque called the
Rosario, to be commanded by Capt. Caleb Sprague, was launched
at Somerset, Mass., built by Capt. James M. Hood, of Somer-
1 8 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
This barque was named for the mother of the three brothers
who constituted the firm of Loring Brothers, of Malaga, Spain,
with a branch house at Valparaiso, Chili. George Loring, born
in Hingham, Mass., in 1771, in the old house still standing next
the Derby Academy, and several doors from the Old Meeting
House ; went to Malaga as a young man and married there a
very beautiful Spanish girl of sixteen years of age. Their sons,
George, Edward, and Joseph Loring, made up the firm of Lor-
The barque Rosario was put under the Spanish flag. The
following is an extract from a letter from Captain Sprague, writ-
ten on board the Rosario, and dated Valparaiso, Jan. 12, 185 1 :
" I get along first rate with my officers and crew, although
they are all Spaniards, excepting my carpenter ; he came from
New York with me. I am learning the Spanish language fast,
and by the time I get to Malaga, I shall be able to speak it cor-
rectly. I understand it well now, but cannot speak it thoroughly
yet, but get along very well now.
" She made the passage in 1850 from Malaga to Valparaiso,
in eighty days. She made the run through the Straits of Le
Maire and around Cape Horn to Valparaiso in ten days, summer
passage and fair winds."
Captain Sprague wrote in his private letters :
"I have never fallen in with a ship since leaving New York
but what the barque Rosario has passed her, and that easily."
Howes & Co., of New York, built in 185 1 at Somerset, Mass.,
the ship Raven for Captain Sprague, but he did not arrive home
in time to take command of her. In 1853, Messrs. Loring
Brothers, of Malaga, built for him at Hoboken, N. J., the clipper
ship Gravina. (Named for the Admiral Gravina who commanded
the Spanish reserves at Trafalgar.) I was on board this ship
one night, when my father took me on deck to see the burning,
at her dock in New York, of the ship Great Republic. She
was so much damaged by the fire that she was cut down one
deck before going to sea.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS IO.
Many of the Barnstable captains and members of their fami-
lies, when in New York (in the early fifties), made their head-
quarters at the United States Hotel, opposite Fulton Ferry.
When we went up to the Crystal Palace or the theatre, a special
Fulton Ferry omnibus was chartered for our party. One day,
while at the hotel, I was sliding down the banisters, when one
of the guests said, " Well, my little man, you have got on a new
suit of clothes." " Yes, and Mother says they set like a shirt
on a marline-spike." A picture of that suit, with the boy inside,
now in my possession, proves this criticism to have been just.
The Gravina was a beautiful ship. Her cabin was fitted for
passengers. The two guns on her deck excited my boyish inter-
est. They proved to be useful, for when in the China Sea the
ship was attacked by pirates in junks, shots from these guns
drove the pirates away. She made her maiden voyage late in
the year 1853, from New York to Shanghai, with nine passen-
gers, a part of Bishop Boone's missionaries to China. A year
or so later, she sailed from New York, and thisvtime the captain's
wife went with him. The ship was in London, "Feb. 2, 1855 ;
at Shanghai, June 14, 1855 ; from there to Manila, Batavia and
Amsterdam. At Batavia, the captain's wife contracted a serious
illness from which she died soon after reaching home.
The Rosario and Gravina made voyages from Malaga to South
America. In 185 1, at Guayaquil, the captain mentions having
bought five hundred tons of cocoa for seventy thousand dollars.
In those days some captains not only had power to sell the ship,
but to buy and sell cargoes. He did sell the Gravina, in Valpa-
raiso ; Captain Henry Arey of Yarmouth, who was the navigating
officer of the Monitor Monadnock, saw her in 1866 at Valparaiso,
and she was then owned in that city. Captain Sprague contin-
ued in the employ of Loring Brothers until about i860. In
April, 1 86 1, he sailed from New York for San Francisco, as cap-
tain of the ship Neptune's Car. She was built in 1853, at Ports-
mouth, Va., by W. H. Webb. J. D. Fish, of New York, was
consignee. She sprang a leak going around Cape Horn, and
the crew mutinied and refused to pump. The ringleaders were
put in irons, and the ship put into the nearest port for repairs.
20 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Mr. Henry A. Gorham, of Yarmouth, Mass., who was a cabin
boy on her, writes me as follows :
"We had 25 tons of gunpowder, also nitric acid, muriatic acid
and oil of vitriol in carboys on deck, which ignited by friction,
and we threw that overboard on the Atlantic side, near the Equa-
tor. This was for Fort Alcatraz, at the entrance of the harbor
of San Francisco. We were 186 days to San Francisco; 45
days off Cape Horn ; 27 of that time we were ' Hove to ' and
drifting. Got around on to the Pacific side three times and
blown back to the Atlantic. The ship was confiscated by the
Government, because a large owner in her was a Virginia Rebel.
She lay in the harbor of San Francisco six weeks, until the au-
thorities at Washington ordered her back to New York."
Captain Sprague owned an interest in her, but that was wiped
out because of the expenses that had been put upon her. The
sailors rightly called her an unlucky ship. On an earlier voyage
from New York for San Francisco, in 1856, she was commanded
by Captain Joshua A. Patten. On account of his serious illness
and the incompetence of his mate, his wife navigated the ship
around Cape Horn. She had been with him on an earlier voy-
age and fortunately at that time she studied navigation. When
she navigated the Neptune's Car around Cape Horn she was
under twenty years of age. The following record of their mar-
riage I find at the State House in Boston: "Joshua A. Patten
(Mariner) married Mary A. Brown of Boston, April 1, 1853 ;
his age 26; her age 16. He born in Maine, and she daughter
of George Brown of Boston." So that if she was sixteen in
1853, sne was l ess than twenty in 1856. She was a heroine of
international fame. Captain Patten died in Boston, July 27,
1857, aged 30. Some account of him may be found in the Adver-
tiser and Journal oi that time. "Deaf, blind and sick, he has
been for months past cared for by his heroic wife." The Nep-
tune's Car was some years later under the British flag, Cap-
tain Peabody. Her agents were Barclay & Co., of Liverpool,
THE MISSING STEAMER PACIFIC
Captain Asa Eldridge
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 21
In 1863, Captain Sprague was sent by Joseph Loring & Co.,
of India Wharf, Boston, to St. John, N. B., to superintend the
building of the barque Chispa. Mr. Loring was formerly a
member of the firm of Loring Brothers, Malaga. The name
" Chispa " is a Spanish word meaning active, or lively. Before
the barque put to sea, Captain Sprague asked for suitable ballast
in her hold, but the owner took the risk of sending her around
to New York with insufficient ballast. The result was that in
less than forty-eight hours she was dismasted. The captain
rigged up some "jury masts," and after a long time she made
her way to the Bermudas for repairs. The last report I find of
the Chispa, was at New York in 1867. Some years later, Cap-
tain Sprague was Master of the brig Ossipee She was built in
Kennebunk, Me., in 1866. His son Gorham Sprague, as a small
boy, was with him on the Ossipee. One night in a heavy gale,
he rolled out of his berth and broke his arm. The captain set
it, and did the work so well, that on his arrival in port, the
doctor said there was nothing more that needed to be done.
Gorham tells the story that one day the Ossipee was rolling
badly in a heavy sea, when he saw the galley, containing the
cook, washed overboard ; but the return wave brought it back
on deck. The cook jumped out, and the galley went over again,
this time on the other side.
Captain Sprague followed the sea for about fifty-three years, —
forty-three years as captain. After retiring, he lived in Barn-
stable, where he died August 19, 1893, aged 82.
Captain Asa Eldridge, of Yarmouth Port, was Commander of
the steamer Pacific, of the Collins Steamship Company, Ameri-
can Line, from New York to England. She was lost at sea
with all on board, — "The missing Pacific." On an earlier voy-
age he was master of the ship Red Jacket.
Captain Oliver Eldridge, during the Civil War, was Master of
the United States transport steamer Atlantic, formerly of the
Collins Line. In 1867, he was Manager of the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company, with headquarters at San Francisco. Mr.
Robert Smith, Custodian of the Boston Marine Museum, at the
Old State House, saw him there at that time.
22 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Captain John Eldridge was Master of the steamer Baltic, a
government transport steamer, formerly of the Collins Line.
In earlier years he commanded the ship Young Brander and the
ship Liverpool. On the first voyage of the latter from New
York to Liverpool in 1843, the passengers presented him with a
silver fruit dish, which is now in the possession of his grand-
daughter, Miss Isabel Shove, of Yarmouth Port. Two pictures
of the Liverpool are in the rooms of the Boston Marine
Asa, Oliver, and John Eldridge were brothers and were born
in Yarmouth Port.
Captain Allen Knowles, who lived on the opposite side of the
street from the Eldridge brothers in Yarmouth, was Master
of the ship Chariot of Fame, built by Donald McKay, in 1853.
He also commanded the ship Puritan on a voyage to San Fran-
cisco in 1868. She was built in East Boston in 1866, and was
owned by E. Williams & Co. Mr. Robert Smith, Custodian of
the Marine Museum, was a sailor on her at that time.
Captain Sumner Pierce, of Barnstable, commanded the ship
Light-foot. She was wrecked, and became a total loss, near
Saugor, June 29, 1855. She was built in East Boston in 1853,
and owned in New York.
He was captain of the ship Sunshine in 1857. She was built
in Bath, Me. On the voyage from Melbourne to Callao one of
the crew poisoned some of the officers, but they all recovered
except Captain Pierce. He died at Callao. Some of these par-
ticulars were given to me by Captain Horace N. Berry in the
Boston Port Warden's office. Captain Berry was at that time
chief officer of the ship South America, commanded by his
brother Captain James Berry, Jr., of West Harwich, Mass., and
his ship was at Callao when the ship Sunshine was there. The
South America was owned by Thomas Nickerson & Co., of Bos-
ton. Captain Horace N. Berry was Master of the brig John
Sherwood from 1866 to 1872.
In November, 1862, I myself was a sailor under Captain
Franklin Percival, of Barnstable, on the ship Charles Hill,
owned by Charles Hill & Son, of Boston. When we went into
5 - o
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 2 3
Liverpool we passed near the ship Dreadnaught, " sixteen days
from New York," was her captain's answer to our inquiry as to
her passage. Her colored crew were singing " Drive her, Cap-
tain, drive her," " Only one more day, my honey," " Tuskar
Light is drawing nigh," and other chanties. The Charles Hill
was destroyed by the Alabama the twenty-fifth of March, 1863.
Captain Percival, and his officers and crew, were on board the
Alabama for ten days, and were then landed at Fernando
Noronha, a convict station near Brazil. I left the ship at
Liverpool, so missed this experience.
When I returned, my father happened to be at home. He
said, " My son, I am glad to see you, but it never took two ships
to carry me around."
Captain Lemuel Simmons, of Hyannis, was Master of the ship
War Hawk, built by W. J. Jackman, of Newburyport, in 1855.
She belonged in Boston. F. T. Bush & Co., consignees.
Ship Grace Darling, was built in 1854 for Baker & Morrill,
and was commanded by Captain Allen H. Bearse, of Hyannis.
He also was Master of the ship Radiant in 1853. She was built
by Paul Curtis, of East Boston, in 1852, and on her first voyage
she was commanded by Captain M. Matthews.
Captain Elijah Crocker, of Barnstable, was Master of the ship
Akbar, built in East Boston, and owned by William Perkins, of
Boston. Another of her captains was Josiah Crocker, also of
Captain Edward Percival, of Barnstable, commanded the ship
Wide Awake, of New York. He was made a captain at a very
early age, for his bravery in taking command of, and bringing
into port under difficult circumstances, a ship in distress with
disabled officers and crew. Some times it is "like father, like
son," for his son, now of Boston, received a medal for saving the
life of a retired sea captain in Barnstable Harbor.
William F. Gorham, of Barnstable, was Captain of the brig
Joseph Balch, of Boston, in 185 1 ; and in 1852 he commanded
the barque Prompt, of Boston. I think he was Master of the
barque Jehu, belonging to Daniel Draper & Son, of Boston.
She was one of the line running to Mediterranean ports. Dra-
24 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
per & Sons' vessels used to dock near the Custom House, where
the west end of State Street Block now stands.
George Bacon, Esq., son of Ebenezer, of Barnstable, and
nephew of Captain Daniel Carpenter Bacon, was of the firm of
Pierce & Bacon, 16 Custom House Street, Boston. The follow-
ing is from the Boston Advertiser, September 5, 1856:
" For Galveston, Texas.
" Pierce & Bacon's Regular Line. From Gray's Wharf, Bos-
ton. Brig Vesta, H. L. Sheffield, Master. For freight or pas-
sage apply to Pierce & Bacon."
Other vessels of this line were barques Trinity, Brayos,
Island City, San Jacinto and Miss Mag (the latter named for
Mrs. General Nichols, of Galveston), brig Empire and ship
Samuel C. Grant, named for Mr. Bacon's father-in-law, a ship-
builder of Hallowell, Me. Captains John Turner Hall and Ben-
jamin Hinckley, of Barnstable, commanded some of these vessels.
One or two of the barques were in Galveston, loading cotton,
when the war broke out, and were burned and scuttled by the
confederates, and one vessel was taken by the Alabama. The
ship Samuel C. Grant was lost about 1866.
After 1866, Mr. George Bacon* removed his business to New
York. He lived in Brookline, Mass., as early as 1852, and for
some years afterward.
Captain Edward Bacon, of Barnstable, was Master of the first
ship Hoogly, owned by his brother, Captain Daniel Carpenter
Bacon, and made voyages in her to Calcutta and Bombay.
The second ship Hoogly owned by Daniel Gorham Bacon, was
at one time commanded by William Wallace Frost, of Hyannis.
He also commanded the ship St. David.
Captains Crocker Nye, James Baxter, Joshua Chamberlain,
Job Handy, and Myron R. Peak, were Barnstable men. The lat-
ter commanded the brig Aristos.
* I am indebted to his sons, Horace Bacon, of New York, and Vaughan D.
Bacon, of Barnstable, for some of these notes.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 2$
Captain Benjamin Weeks, was of West Barnstable, and Cap-
tain Joseph Parker, lived in Hyannis.
Captains Owen and Sylvester Bearse, of Hyannis, commanded
coasting vessels, and owned some vessels. They were afterwards
in the lumber business, on Federal Street, Boston.
Captains Higgins Crowell, Christopher Lewis, Edward Lewis,
Zenas Crowell, Sturgis Crowell, and Elkanah Crowell, were all
of West Yarmouth, Mass.
Captain Elkanah Crowell, now of Hyannis, is one of the oldest
ship masters now living. The following is an extract from one
of his recent letters :
"In 1853, Captain John Baker of J. Baker & Co., ship chand-
lers on Commercial St., Boston, sent for me. When I went into
his office he said to me ' The new clipper ship Spit-fire is loading
tor San Francisco, and Captain John Arey is a driver. He
wants a mate that can jump over the fore yard every morning
before breakfast.' I said I was the man for him, if it laid on
deck. I made the voyage with him, and a hard one it was, 102
days to San Francisco."
In 1856 Captain Crowell was Master of ship Boston Light,
owned by Henry S. Hallett, and later of the ship Fair Wind,
same owner. He also commanded ship Galatea, owned by W.
F. Weld & Co., and ship Carrie Reed owned by Samuel G.
Reed, barque Gerard C. Tobey and the George S. Homer (auxil-
iary sail and steam) owned by W. H. Besse, and others, complet-
ing twenty-nine years as master.
Captain Crowell's brother, Captain Sturgis Crowell, com-
manded ships Volunteer, Orpheus, and Belvedere, all owned by
William F. Weld.
Captain Zenas Crowell commanded ships Goddess, Hoogly,
and barque Hersilla.
Captain Gorham Taylor, of Yarmouth, was Master of ship
Cleopatra, and several ships owned by George Howes & Co., of
Captain Seth Taylor, of Yarmouth, was Master of ships For-
tuna, Fair Wind and Conqueror.
26 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Captain Richard Bearse, of Hyannis, commanded ship Robin
Captain Frank Bearse was Master of ship Winged Arrow.
Captain Warren Bearse commanded ships Flying Scud and
Captain Asa Lothrop was Commander of ships Electric Spark
and Thatcher Magoun.
Captain Alfred Doane, of Orleans, later of Newtonville, was
Master of ship Endeavor, and others.
Captain Cyrus Sears, of West Yarmouth, now of Baltimore,
commanded ships Orisa and Herald of the Morning.
Captain Elkanah Crowell,* in his letter to me says " out of
all the ship-masters that I have named, Captain Edwin Thatcher,
Captain Cyrus Sears and myself are the only ones now living.
Out of the ten Cape Cod boys that left Long Wharf, Boston, in
March, 1850, in the ship Herbert, Captain Bangs Hallett, I am
the only one living."
Captain Rufus Gorham, of Barnstable (brother of Captain
William F. Gorham), was Master of a barque running to Medi-
terranean ports, but I am unable to give her name. On his last
voyage a Malayan sailor stabbed him as he came out from the
cabin. The mate (Mr. Sumner P. Gorham) tried to defend the
captain and received a scalp wound. Captain Gorham lived to
get home, but soon died from his wounds. The sailor swam
ashore and escaped.
Captain Ira Bursley, of Barnstable, son of Sheriff David
Bursley, was executive officer or sailing Master of the steamer
Quaker City, June 8, 1867, which had as passengers Mark Twain
and other " Innocents Abroad."
Captain David Bursley was Master of the ships Osceola, Min-
nehaha, and Lotus.
Captain Francis Bursley commanded the ships Alert, Sky-
lark, and Talisman. The latter was owned by James C. Jewett
& Co., of New York. She was built in 1854 in Damariscotta,
Me., Crocker & Warren, of New York, consignees. Eben
* I am indebted to Captain Crowell for many of these notes.
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 27
Crocker of that firm was a Barnstable man. The ship was
burned by the Alabama the fifth of June, 1863.
Captain Daniel Bursley lived in West Barnstable on the old
stage road near Great Marshes. Captain Daniel Marcy was also
of West Barnstable.
Captain William Chipman, of Barnstable, commanded the
barques Azof, Isaac Jeanes, and ship Idaho.
Captain Rodney Baxter, of Hyannis, commanded one of the
unsuccessful line of steamers from Boston to Charleston, S. C.
(Either the Massachusetts or the South Carolina.)
Captain Joseph Hamlin Hallett, who lived next to the Fair
Grounds in Barnstable, was Master of the ship Coringa on a
voyage to San Francisco in 1855.
Captain William Hinckley, of Barnstable, was Commander of
the ship Oxnard, owned by Samuel Hooper, Esq., of Boston.
Captain Thomas Hinckley was Master of the ship Benares.
Captain David Swinerton commanded the barque Orbit, and
made a fast run in her to San Francisco.
Captain Daniel Percival commanded the barque Sicilian, owned
by Baker & Morrill, of Boston. Mr. Ezra Baker, of that firm,
was uncle of Captain Percival. The captain was lost on the
steamer Schiller, when on his way to Liverpool to take command
of one of Baker & Morrill's ships.
Captain Charles W. Hedge commanded ships Cromwell and
Ashburton. He also made a voyage to Yokohama in the barque
Captain Gorham Hallett was Master of ships Midnight and
Charger, and the brig Nellie Hastings. One or more of these
ships were owned by Hastings & Co.
Captain C. Howard Allen, of Hyannis, was Master of ships
Gold Hunter and Importer.
Captain Levi L. Simmons, of Hyannis, was Master of the
ship Red Jacket.
Captain Alvan S. Hallett commanded the ship Northern
Captain Charles E. Jenkins, of Barnstable, was Master of the
28 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Captain James Jenkins, of West Barnstable, commanded the
Captain William P. Lewis was Master of the ship Golden Rule.
Captain Frank Lothrop was Commander of the ship Frank
Captain Allen Baxter was Master of the ship Rambler, which
was also commanded at one time by Captain Sylvester Lothrop.
Captain Alexander Holway was Master of the ship Alexander.
Mr. Aurin B. Crocker, of Hyannis, sent me some of these
notes. He has reported ship news to the New York Herald
and to the Associated Press for many years. He is eighty-two
years of age.
Captain Heman Foster, of Barnstable, commanded ships
George E. Casta and Rutland.
Captain Thomas Harris, of Barnstable, " as a young man spent
many years in the Russian trade, sailing between Boston and St.
Petersburg. He sailed many years for the firm of Charles &
Andrew Cunningham, of Boston. He had many thrilling exper-
iences, one of which certainly received very noteworthy recogni-
tion and appreciation. He was presented with a silver medal by
the Humane Society of Massachusetts, on which is this inscrip-
tion : ' Awarded to Captain Harris for his many and successful
efforts in saving human life during a period of seventy-eight
"While in the brig Pico, on a voyage from St. Petersburg, he
rescued the crew of an English ship in mid-ocean in the night.
He also rescued another crew while in the bark Perua, standing
by the ship in severe weather for two days before he was able to
make the rescue. For this he was given a gold medal by the
"The medal is now in the possession of his son, Mr. Marcus
N. Harris, who is now living in his father's old home at Barn-
stable. The medal has on the face the profile of Queen Victo-
ria, and on the reverse side is this inscription :
" 'Presented by the Lords of the Admiralty to Captain Thos.
Harris, of the barque Perua, of Boston, U. S. September 1846.'
On the outside circle is the following : ' For his humane exer-
Presented to Captain Thomas Harris by the
Lords of the Admiralty, 1846
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 20,
tions in saving the officers and crew of the British ship Brit-
"Captain Harris made a voyage in the brig Pico, about 1850,
to San Francisco. He and his son Thomas left the brig and
went to the gold mines. The brig was used as a restaurant, and
was finally buried as the city grew at the water front."
After he left the sea, he became Sheriff of Barnstable County.
He lived to be an old man, but was always young in spirit. It
was a pleasure to see him dance, for he showed us more fancy
steps and more of the old-fashioned ways of dancing than we
had ever seen.
Most of the notes about Captain Harris, were given me by
Henry M. Hutchings, Esq., of Boston and Barnstable. I am
also indebted to him for notes about his uncle, Captain Francis
M. Hinckley, of Barnstable, and for some photographs of ships
in which the latter sailed.
Captain John Turner Hall, of Barnstable, was Master of the
ship Abelino. " He was on the coast of California, and met
General Fremont at the time the latter made his trip across the
country. Captain Hall remembered vividly that experience, and
also used to recall with interest, the fact that he had been in the
heart of San Francisco and what is now Portland, Ore., before
either of those places were really settled."
Mr. Hutchings gives this information about Captain Hall, and
also states, that his grandfather Captain Matthias Hinckley,
father of Captain Francis M. Hinckley, owned and sailed the
sloop Mail, a packet between Barnstable and Boston. Captain
Hinckley had her built hoping she might sail faster than his
rivals. Many of us remember her, and our other Barnstable
packet, the schooner Sappho, Captain Farris. We used to
go to Boston by packet, and, during our stay, sleep on
At this time Captain Ansel Hallett, of Barnstable, was Master
of the Yarmouth packets, sloops Maria and Flight, and schooner
Brindle. The latter was wrecked near Gurnet Light. He after-
ward went to California, and was thrown from a horse and killed
3<D BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Captain Hallett's son-in-law, Joseph Hamblin, was Master of
the ship Chieftain, and also, at one time, of a steamer on the
Japanese coast. He, too, died in California.
Captain Francis M. Hinckley, of Barnstable, was Master of
ships Winged Hunter, Ocean Queen, Leading Wind, Star of
Peace, and Arabia. While crossing the Indian Ocean on a voy-
age to Singapore, in the latter, the cargo of coal with which the
ship was loaded, caught fire by spontaneous combustion. He
succeeded in safely bringing his ship to Singapore. For this the
China Marine Insurance Company presented Captain Hinckley
with a gold watch and chain. The inscription on the watch is
as follows :
" Captain Francis M. Hinckley, for his brave and skillful con-
duct in subduing a fire in the cargo of coals on board ship
Arabia, on voyage to Singapore, A. D. 1869." At this time
Francis Bacon, Esq., brother of Captain Daniel Carpenter Bacon,
was President of the China Marine Insurance Company, on State
Captain Hinckley was in command of the ship Star of Peace
when she was burned by the Florida, March 6, 1863.
Captain Albert H. Dunbar, of Barnstable, was Master of the
ship Grecian, of Boston. Principal owner, Captain J. Henry
Sears. She was built by Titcomb & Thompson, at Kennebunk-
port, Me., in 1878. Tonnage 1677.
Captain John Easterbrook, of Barnstable, went to Sydney,
Australia. He owned and commanded a vessel on that coast. He
chartered her for Boston, bringing with him all of his family,
but his ship was never heard from after leaving Australia.
Captain Elisha Howes commanded the steamer Morning Star.
He was a Barnstable man.
Captain Solomon Smith was Master of the barque Warren
Hallett, and of the Sicilian.
Captain Frank Hallett commanded the ship Ringleader, barque
Mabel and brig Ocean Belle. The latter was built in Waldo-
boro, Me., in 1854. Reed, Weld & Co., were owners or con-
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 3 1
Captain Joseph Bursley, of Barnstable, was Master of the ship
Victory ; and Captain James Bursley commanded the barques
Wheatland and Bounding Billow.
Captain Leander Hallett, of Barnstable, made a voyage to
Buenos Ayres as Master of the barque Prescott.
Captain Francis Gorham, of Barnstable (he lived near Gusta-
vus A. Hinckley, Esq.), sailed from Boston for San Francisco,
as Master of the ship Winged Racer, Jan. 25, 1854. He sailed
in the same ship, Feb. 3, 1855, from Boston for San Francisco.
She was built by R. E. Jackson, at East Boston, in 1852. Cap-
tain George Cummings was Master of her at the time she was
burned by the Alabama, Nov. 10, 1863. Captain Gorham made
a voyage in the ship Polar Star, and in 1863 he commanded the
ship Star of the Union on a voyage to San Francisco. 'She was
owned by Samuel G. Reed, Esq.
Captain Ansel Lothrop was Master of ships Pilgrim, Agenor,
Conqueror and Edward O'Brien. He was lieutenant (acting) in
the United States Navy during the Spanish War, and is now in
the United States Transport service, having been Master of
several large steamers in that service.
Captain John H. Frost, of Hyannis, commanded ships Con-
queror and Agenor. He is now Secretary of the Boston Pilot
Captain Charles Crocker was Master of the barques Alice
and Sarah Hobart.
Captain Benjamin Hinckley commanded the ship Samuel C.
Captain Benjamin Lothrop was Master of the brigs A. J. Ross,
Alice Tarleton, Jane Adelaide and William Mason. His father,
Benjamin Lothrop, Sr., was one of the old ship masters.
Captain Edward Titcomb was Commander of the barques Jen-
nie Cushman, Wheatland and D. A. Brayton. I am indebted to
him for some of these notes.
Captain Danforth Parker was Master of the steamer Chatham
of the outside line, Boston and New York.
Captain G. B. Knowles, of Yarmouth, commanded the barque
John Worster in 1870.
32 BARNSTABLE AND YARMOUTH
Some of these notes were supplied by Judge Freeman H.
Lothrop. He went as a sailor with Captain Heman Foster in
the ship Rutland. On his return, he served nine months in the
army during the Civil War, and later, as acting master's mate
and acting ensign in the United States Navy, till Lee surren-
dered to General Grant. He is now Judge of Probate for Barn-
One of the Barnstable (Osterville) owners of shipping, was
George Lovell, Esq. Some of his vessels occasionally landed
runaway slaves on the south shore of Cape Cod. They were
then passed along by the " underground railroad " to Barnstable
village, and harbored by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Howes. I, myself,
as a small boy used to go to Mr. Howes' home to teach these
slaves their letters. They were treated as equals, but some-
times they made their way to "Mary Dunn's Road" where they
found rum and congenial companions. Ezekiel Thatcher, of
Barnstable, and Obed Howes, of Dennis, well known abolition-
ists, were also interested in the welfare of the runaway slaves.
These abolitionists were kindly people, with strong convictions,
never attending church because the sermons did not condemn
slavery. Two near neighbors tell me that they used to see
Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison go to Mr. Thatch-
er's house, presumably on business connected with anti-slavery.
The inscription on Mr. Obed Howes' gravestone in Dennis, is
as follows :
" Reason was his guiding star,
Whatever is, is right."
I am indebted to Mr. Frank H. Hinckley, of Barnstable, for
some of these notes.
The first ship named Southern Cross, was built in 185 1 for
Baker & Morrill, of Boston. She sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, June 25, 1852, commanded by Captain Levi Stevens,
of Truro. She arrived at Montevideo, August 24th, with cargo
on fire in lower hold. About the middle of September she con-
tinued her voyage and arrived at San Francisco, Nov. 28, 1852.
She was burned by the Florida, sixth of June, 1863. At that
time her captain was Benjamin P. Howes. His next voyage w a s
SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS 33
in a brig to China. She was boarded by pirates, and he was
shot in his cabin in the presence of his wife. Captain Atkins
Hughes, of North Truro, tells me that he was in China at that
time, and heard the story there.
The second ship Southern Cross, was built for Baker & Mor-
rill, and on her first voyage, October, 1868, she was commanded
by Captain Atkins Hughes, and, with the exception of one year,
he was in her until 1879, when he retired from the sea. Captain
Hughes crossed the equator 88 times. He also commanded
ships Mary Glover and Aureola, both belonging to Baker &
Morrill. He is now eighty-five years old, but his memory is
good. I am indebted to him for much information. His mate
at one time in the Southern Cross, was Mr. Davis Annable, of
Barnstable, who brought home the picture of the ship which is
Captain Nathaniel Matthews, of Yarmouth, Mass., at one time
commanded the ship Radiant, owned by Baker & Morrill, of
Boston. He was also Master of the missionary schooner Morn-
ing Star, from Boston to Honolulu.
Captain Edwin E. Thatcher, of Yarmouth, commanded the
Audubon, built in Chelsea, by Stetson, in 1859, and owned by
Howes & Crowell.
Ship Conquest was built in Medford in 1855, owned by the
Joshua Sears Estate, managed by Alpheus Hardy, Esq. In
1 86 1, she made a voyage from Boston to Callao, commanded by
Winthrop Sears, of Yarmouth. His mate was David Fuller, of
Osterville, who has given me some of these particulars.
Captain Richard Matthews, of Yarmouth, commanded the
State School Ship, George M. Barnard. He was also Master
of the ship Ringleader, Oct. 21, 1853, from Boston for San
Captain Sylvanus Nickerson made a voyage in the ship Val-
iant, from New York to San Francisco in one hundred and
Captain Frederick Howes, of Yarmouth Port, the inventor of
the " Howes Rig," was Master of the ship Climax. She sailed
from Boston, March 28, 1852. — Boston Advertiser,
34 SEA CAPTAINS AND SHIP OWNERS
Captain Joshua Baker, of Hyannis, was, in his early life, Mas-
ter of coasting vessels. He afterward was of the firm of J.
Baker & Co., Commercial Street, Boston. His son-in-law, Mr.
Edward F. Smith, has given me many items concerning Hyannis
Captain Henry Arey, of Yarmouth Port, was navigating offi-
cer of the Monitor Monadnock, in 1866. In 1864 and '65 he
was Captain of the gun-boat Wilderness, of Admiral Porter's
squadron, and was with him at Fort Fisher. When the fort was
taken Captain Arey towed the powder boat in with the Wilder-
ness, and assisted in firing her cargo of 2 1 5 tons of powder, in
the attempt to blow up the fort.
Some other early captains from Barnstable were John A.
Baxter, Thomas Percival, Ezekiel Gorham, Nathaniel Percival,
Oliver Chase, Kimball R. Smith, Allen Howes, Thomas J. Smith,
Otis Hinckley, David Anderson, Nelson Scudder, Reuben Sea-
bury, Joseph Huckins, James Otis and William Lewis. I am
not able to find the names of their ships.
Many of the captains mentioned in these notes were personally
known to me, some having been my schoolmates. Most of them
are gone now, and so is the merchant marine.
During my month in Liverpool in 1863, the American flag
predominated from one end of the docks to the other. Since
then, as a traveller, I have visited many foreign ports, but have
never seen the American flag except on our warships, or on a
LIST OF SAILINGS
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO,
1849 — X ^5 6
FROM A DIARY KEPT BY MR. LEAVITT SPRAGUE,
BORN AT HINGHAM, MASS., IN 1799, DIED IN
1875, AN ANTIQUARIAN OF LOCAL CELEB-
RITY. THE DIARY IS NOW THE
PROPERTY OF THE BOSTON
MARINE MUSEUM, OLD
LIST OF SAILINGS, 1849 TO 1856.
Ship Dnxbury, Captain Varina, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Feb. 9, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Aug. 22,
1849, I0 3 passengers. Among them were Ezra Leavitt, Jr.,
Joseph Hudson and Nathan Hudson, of Hingham, Mass. Ezra
Leavitt died at the mines, Jan. 7, 1850.
Barque Valesco, Captain Spencer, sailed from Boston for Cal-
ifornia, Feb. 14, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Oct. 7, 1849,
Schooner Gazelle, Captain Currier, sailed from New Bedford
for San Francisco, Feb. 14, 1849. Arrived Aug. 9, 1849.
Ship Audley Clark, Captain Dennis, sailed from Newport for
San Francisco, Feb. 14, 1849. Arrived there Sept. 1, 1849.
Barque Anne, Captain Cobb, sailed from Bristol, R. I., for
San Francisco, Feb. 18, 1849. Arrived there Aug. 29, 1849.
Ship William and Henry, Captain Church, sailed from New
Bedford for San Francisco, Feb. 22, 1849. Arrived at San
Francisco, Sept. 16, 1849.
Schooner Paragon, Captain Haley, sailed from Gloucester for
San Francisco, Feb. 20, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Sept.
Ship Sweden, Captain Cotting, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, March 1, 1849. Arrived Aug. 3, 1849.
Ship Regulus, Captain Bradford, sailed from Boston for Cali-
fornia, March 5, 1849, with Bunker Hill Co. of 124 men. Ar-
rived Sept. 27, 1849.
38 LIST OF SAILINGS
Ship Charlotte, Captain Savary, sailed from Boston, March 4,
1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Sept. 17, 1849.
Barque Edward Fletcher, Captain Holbrook, sailed from Bos-
ton for California, March 5, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco,
Sept. 9, 1849.
Barque Nahumkeag, Captain Champlin, sailed from Providence
for California, March 3, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Nov.
Brig Sea Eagle, Captain Hammond, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 8, 1849. Arrived Oct. 30, 1849.
Barque Floyd, Captain Mayberry, sailed from Providence for
San Francisco, March 5, 1849. Arrived Sept. 16, 1849.
Barque Russell, Captain Folger, sailed from New Bedford for
San Francisco, March 8, 1849. Arrived Aug. 2, 1849.
Barqice Winthrop, Captain Moore, sailed from Bristol, R. I.,
for San Francisco, March 9, 1849. Arrived Aug. 29, 1849.
Schooner John A. Sutter, Captain Eddy, sailed from Warren,
R. I., for San Francisco, March 9, 1849. She was lost in the
Straits of Magellan, in a gale and snow storm, June 26, 1849.
Her captain and crew were carried into Callao, Aug. 17, 1849.
Schooner Horace, Captain Randall, sailed from New Bedford
for San Francisco, March 10, 1849. Arrived Nov. 13, 1849.
Barque Anna Reynolds, Captain Bottume, sailed from New
Haven for San Francisco, March 12, 1849. Arrived Nov. 23,
Schooner Alfred, Captain Harris, sailed from New London for
California, March 11, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Nov. 3,
Ship Henry Astor, Captain Joy, sailed from Nantucket, March
12, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Sept. 16, 1849. Josiah
Sturtevant, one of the passengers, died at the mines Nov. 4,
1849, a g ec * 4°-
Barque Lagrange, Captain Dewing, sailed from Salem for San
Francisco, March 17, 1849. Salem Trading and Mining Co., 65
passengers. Arrived Sept. 17, 1849.
Schooner Willimantic, Captain Rogers, sailed from New Lon-
don for San Francisco, March 17, 1849. Arrived Nov. 2, 1849.
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 39
Barqtie Yeoman, Captain Clark, sailed from Plymouth for Cal-
ifornia, March 18, 1849, 41 men. Arrived at San Francisco,
Oct. 2, 1849.
Ship Samoset, Captain Hollis, sailed from New York for San
Francisco, March 22, 1849. Arrived Sept. 9, 1849.
Barque Emma Isadora, Captain Henry, sailed from Boston,
March 31, 1849, for California. Arrived Sept. 13, 1849.
Ship York, Captain Cheever, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, April 1, 1849, w i tn 39 passengers. Arrived Sept. 17,
1849. A. O. Gay, of Hingbam, one of the passengers.
Ship Mayflower, Captain Randall, sailed from New Bedford
for San Francisco, March 31, 1849. Arrived Sept. 13, 1849.
New Bedford and California Mining and Trading Co. 60 per-
Ship Obed Mitchell, Captain Cox, sailed from New Bedford
for San Francisco, March 31, 1849. Arrived Sept. 17, 1849.
Ship Ameiica, Captain Seabury, sailed from New Bedford for
San Francisco, April 1, 1849. Arrived Sept. 22, 1849.
Brig Canonicus, Captain Martin, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, April 1, 1849. Arrived Nov. 2, 1849. 57 passen-
Brig Pianet, Captain Henry Pratt, of Cohasset, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, April 2, 1849. Arrived Sept. 10,
1849, 161 days, with the South Shore and California Joint Stock
Mining and Trading Co., 31 men. Mr. Leavitt's diary gives the
list of passengers.
Brig Tarcento, Captain Saunders, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, April 2, 1849. Arrived Sept. 15, 1849. Shawmut
Mining and Trading Association, 60 men.
Ship Arcatus, Captain Knowles, sailed 'from Boston for San
Francisco, April 5, 1849. Arrived at San Francisco, Sept. 23,
1849. Bay State and California Mining and Trading Co., 138
men. The ship went to Calcutta from San Francisco, where
she loaded for Boston. Abandoned at sea on her voyage to
Boston, June 29, 1850.
Ship Elizabeth, Captain Kimball, sailed from Salem for San
Francisco, April 4, 1849. Arrived Sept. 17, 1849.
40 LIST OF SAILINGS
Brig Vesta, Captain Mayhew, sailed from Edgartown for San
Francisco, April 10, 1849, with a company of 23 men, all from
Dukes County. Arrived Dec. 2, 1849.
Ship Memnon. Captain Joseph Gordon, sailed from New
York for San Francisco, April 14, 1849. At Montevideo, May
27, with trouble on board. Arrived in San Francisco, Aug. 28,
Ship Frances Ami, Captain Proctor, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, April 17, 1849, with 20 passengers. Arrived Oct. 31,
Ship New Jersey, Captain Boss, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, May 1, 1849, with Suffolk and California Mining and
Trading Co., 181 passengers. Arrived Oct. 12, 1849.
Barque Helen Augusta, Captain Myrick, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, May 14, 1849, ^vith 61 passengers. Arrived
Oct. 31, 1849.
Schooner Roanoke, Captain Shelley, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, July 19, 1849, with Boston Marine Mining Co.,
21 men. Arrived Jan. 1, 1850.
Barque Helen B. Fiske, Captain Tufts, sailed from Boston,
July 26, 1849, for San Francisco. Arrived Jan. 25, 1850.
Brig Chatham, Captain Huffington, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, May 15, 1849, with a company of 30 men. She
arrived Oct. 31, 1849.
Barque Henry Ewbank, Captain Cooper, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, May 15, 1849. Arrived Dec. 27, 1849.
Schooner Mary M. Wood, Captain Smith, sailed from Bos-
ton, Aug. 29, 1849, f° r San Francisco. Arrived Feb. 17,
Ship Harriet Rockwell, Captain Hawes, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Sept. 18, 1849, with 97 passengers. Arrived
Feb. 26, 1850.
Ship Splendid, Captain Baxter, sailed from Edgartown for San
Francisco, Sept. 29, 1849. Arrived Feb. 17, 1850.
Barque Daniel Webster, Captain Higgins, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Sept. 23, 1849, with 54 passengers. Arrived
April 30, 1850.
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 4 1
Barque Chester, Captain Warren, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 27, 1849, with 67 passengers. Arrived April
Ship Cordova, Captain Windsor, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 26, 1849, with 112 passengers (North Pacific
Mining Association). Arrived April 8, 1850.
Brig Sarah Abigail, Captain Bartlett, sailed from Plymouth
for San Francisco, Nov. 13, 1849, Old Colony and California
Association, 33 men. Arrived May 27, 1850.
Barque Georgia, Captain Lindsey, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Jan. 30, 1850. Arrived Aug. 6, 1850.
Schooner J. K. F. Mansfield, Captain Towne, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Feb. 20, 1850. Arrived Sept. 18,
Schooner Harriet Atwood, Captain Easterbrook, sailed from
Hingham, Mass., for San Francisco, Feb. 20, 1850. Arrived
Aug. 10, 1850.
Ship California (owned in Cutler, Me.), Captain George Kim-
ball, sailed from Boston, March 4, 1850, for San Francisco, with
215 men, women and children; a part of them for Oregon, to
settle there. Lost one woman by sickness, the remainder arrived
all well. Arrived at San Francisco, Aug. 24, 1850.
Barque California, Captain William Clark, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, March 8, 1850. Arrived Sept. 19, 1850.
Schooner Columbia, Captain Phillips, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 6, 1850. Arrived Dec. 21, 1850.
Schooner Herculean, Captain William Rand, sailed from Bos-
ton for Sacramento City, March 6, 1850. Arrived at San Fran-
cisco, Sept. 18, 1850.
Bug Edinburg, Captain Sweet, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, March 6, 1850. Arrived Aug. 30, 1850.
Ship Samoset,. Captain Wilson, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Oct. 3, 1850. Arrived March 17, 1851.
Ship Sweden, Captain Cotting, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Oct. 3, 1850. Arrived April 28, 185 1.
Ship Northern Light, Captain Hatch, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 29, 1852. She sailed from San Francisco
42 LIST OF SAILINGS
for Boston, March 13, 1853. Arrived in Boston, May 29, 1853,
in j6 days, the shortest passage ever made from San Francisco
to any of the Atlantic States ; from San Francisco to Cape
Horn, 38 days, off Rio 14 days ; thence to the equator 8 days ;
from the line to Boston 16 days.
Ship Witch of the Wave (of Salem, 1499 tons), Captain Joseph
H. Willett, sailed from Boston for San Francisco, May 20, 1851.
Arrived Sept. 20, 185 1.
Clipper Ship R. B. Forbes, Captain Doane, sailed from Boston,
Sept. 27, 185 1. Arrived at Honolulu, Jan. 5, 1852, 99 days
(95 days from land to land). Quickest passage by ten or eleven
days ; averaged 14I knots on several occasions ; the 29th made
312 miles; in three consecutive days made 900 miles. Sailed
from Honolulu, Jan. 30, 1852. Arrived at Hong Kong, Feb. 20,
1852, in 21 days, 13 hours; distance 5400 miles; average of
sailing for whole time iOy^o miles P er hour or 250^ miles per
day. Arrived at New York, July 16, 1852. (From Whampoa,
April 5, 1852.)
Ship Staffordshire (of Boston, 1900 tons), Captain Richard-
son, sailed from Boston for San Francisco, May 3, 1852, with
155 passengers. Arrived Aug. 13, 1852, 101 days. Sailed
from San Francisco for Calcutta, Sept. 15. Arrived at Calcutta,
Dec. 2, 1852. Cleared from Calcutta, Jan. 22, 1853. Sailed
from Saugor, Jan. 26 for Boston. Arrived at Boston, April 20,
1853, in 82 days from Calcutta. Believed to be the quickest
time ever made between the two ports.
Ship Beverly, Captain Perez Jenkins, sailed from Boston, May
10, 1852, for San Francisco. Arrived Oct. 1, 1852.
Ship Witch of the Wave, Captain B. Taymaster, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, June 22, 1852. Arrived Oct. 19,
1852. She sailed from Saugor below Calcutta, April 13, 1853
(Sand Head, April 13). Arrived at Boston, July 3, 1853, in 81
days. Beating the Ship Staffordshire one (1) day.
Ship Southern Cross (built in 1 85 1 for Baker & Morrill, of
Boston), Captain Levi Stevens, of Truro, Mass., sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, June 25, 1852. Arrived at Monte-
video, Aug. 24, 1852, with cargo on fire in lower hold. She
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 43
repaired at Montevideo and sailed in three days. Arrived at
San Francisco, Nov. 28, 1852.
Ship Comet, Captain Gardner, arrived at New York from San
Francisco, May 8, 1853, in 83 days, 18 hours.
Ship Flying Dutchman, from San Francisco, arrived at New
York, May 8, 1853, in 85 days. She sailed from New York,
Aug. 4 ; from San Francisco Dec. 27, 1853. Arrived at New
York, March 14, 1854, in 76 days, 9 hours.
Ship Wild Pigeon and Skip Golden Gate, sailed from New
York for San Francisco, Oct. 12, 1851. The Wild Pigeon
arrived in San Francisco, Jan. 28, 1852, 103 days passage, "had
107 days." The Golden Gate arrived at San Francisco, Feb. 5,
1852, 1 14 days passage ("118 ").
Ship Stvord Fish, from New York, arrived at San Francisco
in 93 days. The Flying Fish, from Boston, had 100 clays pas-
sage. The Flying Cloud from Boston, made the passage in 89
days, 21 hours, in 185 1. Ship Flying Fish, of Boston, sailed
from New York, Oct. 31, 1852 ; arrived at San Francisco, Jan.
31, 1853, 91 days passage.
Ship Horsburg, Captain Crocker, from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, March 25, 1852 ; arrived Aug. 2, 1852.
Ship Robert C. Winthrop, Captain Young, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, March 26, 1852. Arrived Aug. 13, 1852.
Ship Mary Merrill, Captain Kellum, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, April 24, 1852, with 113 passengers and seamen.
Arrived Oct. 19, 1852.
Ship Shooting Star, Captain Baker, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, May 3, 1852. Arrived Aug. 17, 1852.
Ship Flying Cloud, Captain Cressey, sailed from New York
for San Francisco, May 16, 1852. Arrived Sept. 6, 1852, 113
Ship Gazelle, Captain Dollard, sailed from New York for San
Francisco, May 18, 1852. Arrived Sept. 30, 1852.
Ship Sovereign of the Seas of Boston (over 2400 tons), Cap-
tain McKay, sailed from New York for San Francisco, Aug. 4,
1852. Arrived at San Francisco, Nov. 14, 1852, 102 days.
Sailed from Honolulu, Feb. 15, 1853. Arrived at New York,
44 LIST OF SAILINGS
May 6, 1853, 79 days, shortest passage ever made. From
Honolulu to Cape Horn, 8634 miles in 37 days ; in 26 of those
days consecutively ran 6489 miles, in one of those days she ran
430 miles. This is the greatest sailing recorded.
Ship Golden Fleece, Captain Freeman, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Aug. 16, 1852. Arrived Jan. 4, 1853.
Ship Coringa, Captain Mason, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Aug. 22, 1852. Arrived Jan. 2, 1853.
Ship Eliza Warwick, Captain Watson, sailed from Boston for
Honolulu, Oct. 2, 1852. Arrived Feb. 9, 1853.
Ship George Raynes, Captain Penhallow, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Oct. 12, 1852, with 52 passengers; touched
at Juan Fernandez, Jan. 3, 1853. Arrived at San Francisco,
Feb. 18, 1853.
Ship Leopard, Captain Graves, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Oct. 12, 1852. Arrived March 16, 1853.
Ship Westward Ho (1650 tons), Captain W. B. Graves, sailed
from Boston for San Francisco, Oct. 16, 1852. Arrived Jan.
31, 1853. " io 3 days passage."
Ship Queen of the Seas, Captain E. D. Knight, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Nov. 10, 1852. Arrived March 11,
Ship Whirlwind, Captain W. H. Burgess, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Nov. 10, 1852. Arrived there March 11,
Ship Meteor, Captain Pike, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, Nov. 17, 1852, 10 passengers. Arrived March 10,
Ship Tam O'Shanter, Captain Soule, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Nov. 15, 1852, 11 passengers. Arrived at San
Francisco, March 25, 1853. On her return trip she was aban-
doned at sea, Dec. 28, 1853.
Ship Telegraph, Captain G. W. Pousland, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Nov. 15, 1852, 23 passengers. Arrived
March 10, 1853.
Ship Golden Eagle, Captain S. A. Fabens, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Nov. 27, 1852. Arrived May 9, 1853.
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 45
Ship Fleetwood, Captain F. Dole, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Dec. 2, 1852. Arrived April 11, 1853.
Ship Golden West, Captain S. K. Cur win, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Dec. 13, 1852, 18 passengers. Arrived April
Schooner Dancing Feather, Captain S. Hall, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Dec. 12, 1852. Arrived May 25, 1853.
Ship Flying Childers, Captain J. D. White, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Dec. 20, 1852. Arrived April 10, 1853.
Ship Peerless, Captain C. G. Bascom, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Dec. 21, 1852. Arrived July 16, 1853.
Ship Phantom, Captain A. H. Hallett, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Jan. 6, 1853. Arrived April 20, 1853.
Ship Masconomo, Captain A. B. Cobb, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Jan. 5, 1853. Arrived June 11, 1853.
Ship Esther May, Captain Howes, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Jan. 6, 1853. Arrived June 1, 1853.
Ship Lucknow, Captain D. Plummer, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Jan. 15, 1853. Arrived June 4, 1853.
Ship Flying Arrow, Captain C. T. Tread well, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Jan. 20, 1853. The 24th of January she was
entirely dismantled ; after drifting about for 22 days was towed
into St. Thomas, Feb. 16. Refitted and returned to New York
Aug. 4th for a crew, being unable to ship one at St. Thomas.
Several of her crew and passengers died at St. Thomas. Sailed
from New York for San Francisco, Aug. 10, 1853 (Captain
Clark). Arrived at San Francisco, Dec. 31, 1853.
Ship Queen of the Pacific, Captain W. Reed, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Jan. 26, 1853. Arrived Aug. 9, 1853.
Ship Carrier Pigeon, Captain A. Doane, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Jan. 28, 1853. She was lost June 9, 1853,
about 30 miles south of San Francisco. Crew and part of her
Ship Golden Racer, Captain B. M. Melcher, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Jan. 30, 1853. Arrived June 9, 1853.
Ship Mystery, Captain P. Peterson, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Feb. 6, 1853. Arrived June 25, 1853.
46 LIST OF SAILINGS
Ship Golden Light, Captain C. F. Winsor, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Feb. 12, 1853. Feb. 2 2d, at night, she was
struck by lightning and set on fire. The officers, crew and 35
passengers left the ship in five boats on the night of the 23d.
After being in the boats five days, three of them containing 20
persons, were all fell in with by the British Ship Strand from
Calcutta, and arrived at Boston, March 20. One boat with 7
men arrived at Antigua, March 5, 1853.
Ship Flying Eagle, Captain W. Parker, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Feb. 22, 1853. Put into Rio Janeiro in distress
April 10th. Sailed May 5th. Arrived at San Francisco, Aug.
Ship Robert Harding, Captain Harding, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Feb. 22, 1853. Arrived Aug. 6, 1853.
Ship Radiant, Captain Allen H. Bearse, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, March 6, 1853. Arrived July 14, 1853.
Ship Contest, Captain Brewster, sailed from San Francisco,
March 10, 1853. Arrived at New York, May 31, 1853, in 81
days. She completed the voyage to California and back in just
six and one-half months.
Ship Storm King, Captain J. Collier, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 13, 1853, 21 passengers. Arrived July
Ship Brutus, Captain Meacom, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, March 14, 1853. Arrived at San Francisco, Aug. 7,
Ship Venice, Captain Flagg, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, March 13, 1853. Arrived Oct. 20, 1853.
Ship Climax (" New rig "), Captain Frederic Howes, the
inventer of the Howes rig, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
ciso, March 28, 1853. Arrived at San Francisco, July 21,
Ship Competitor, Captain M. Howes, Jr., sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, March 27, 1853. Arrived July 20, 1853.
Ship Uncle Toby, of New Haven, Captain E. C. Soule, sailed
from Boston for San Francisco, April 19, 1853. Arrived Aug.
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 47
Ship John Land, Captain P. Howes, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, April 22, 1853. Arrived Aug. 26, 1853.
Ship Cleopatra, Captain S. W. Shreve, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, April 23, 1853. Arrived Sept. r, 1853.
Ship Samuel Gates, sailed from Boston April 7, 1853. Ar-
rived at San Francisco, Sept. 25, 1853.
Ship West Wind, Captain G. W. Elliott, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, May 14, 1853. Arrived Sept. 26, 1853.
Ship Belle of the West, Captain W. F. Howes, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, May 20, 1853. Arrived Sept. 29,
Ship White Swallow, Captain F. W. Lovett, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco May 27, 1853. Arrived Oct. 24,
1853. Captain Lovett died on the return voyage, Aug. 3, 1854,
of Cholera, after an illness of fifteen hours.
Ship Western Star, Captain Thayer, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, May 27, 1853. Arrived Nov. 11, 1853.
Ship Sunbeam, Captain Soule, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, June 16, 1853. Arrived Nov. 27, 1853.
Ship Bonita, Captain C. F. Winsor, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, June 21, 1853. Arrived Nov. 9, 1853.
Ship Wild Ranger, Captain J. H. Sears, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, June 21, 1853. Arrived Oct. 25, 1853.
Ship Whistler, Captain C. H. Brown, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, July 16, 1853. Arrived Nov. 24, 1853.
Ship Flying Dragon, Captain J. P. Baker, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, July 21, 1853. Arrived Dec. 16, 1853.
Captain Baker died of dropsy at sea, Nov. 24, 1853.
Ship Water Witch, Captain W. Plummer, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, July 30, 1853. Arrived March 16, 1854.
Ship Northern Light, Captain Hatch, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Aug. 14, 1853. Arrived Dec. 16, 1853. Sailed
for Boston, Jan. 7, 1854. Arrived at Boston, April 7, 1854, in
91 days passage.
Ship Witch of the Wave, Captain L. F. Miller, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Aug. 16, 1853. Arrived Dec. 11,
48 LIST OF SAILINGS
Ship Fearless, Captain N. Manson, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Aug. 30, 1853. Arrived Dec. 22, 1853.
Ship Matchless, Captain S. Potter, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 6, 1853 ; met with disaster and returned to
Boston, Sept. 17th, and sailed again Oct. 21, 1853. Arrived at
San Francisco Feb. 8, 1854.
Ship Ocean Pearl, Captain W. Sears (Captain Winthrop Sears,
of Yarmouth), sailed from Boston for San Francisco, Sept. 12,
1853. Arrived Jan. 28, 1854. She arrived at Boston from
Calcutta, Sept. 24, 1854.
Ship Winged Arrow, Captain Bearse, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Sept. 11, 1853. Arrived Jan. 15, 1854.
Ship Flying Fish, Captain Nickels, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 19, 1853. Arrived Jan. 11, 1854.
Ship Kingfisher, Captain T. Crosby, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 3, 1853. Arrived Jan. 25, 1854.
Ship Morning Light, Captain E. D. Knight, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Oct. 3, 1853, 8 passengers (ladies). Ar-
rived Feb. 11, 1854.
Ship Ringleader, Captain R. Matthews, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Oct. 21, 1853. Arrived Feb. 8, 1854.
Ship Spit-Fire, Captain J. W. Arey, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 23, 1853, 15 passengers, 13 of them ladies.
Arrived Feb. 20, 1854.
Ship Cyclone, Captain N. Ingersoll, Jr., sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Nov. 2, 1853. Arrived Feb. 24, 1854.
Ship Don Qnixote, Captain W. Nott, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Nov. 22, 1853. Arrived March 28, 1854.
Ship Aurora, of Salem, Captain W. Brown, Jr., sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Dec. 3, 1853 (11 passengers). Ar-
rived April 10, 1854.
Ship Telegraph, Captain Harlow, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Dec. 1, 1853 (17 passengers). Arrived April 16,
Ship Romance of the Sea, Captain P. Dumeresq, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Dec. 16, 1853. Arrived March 23,
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 49
Ship Eagle Wing, Captain E. H. Linnell, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Dec. 20, 1853. Arrived at San Francisco
April 5, 1854.
Ship Herald of the Morning, Captain O. Baker, Jr., sailed
from Boston for San Francisco, Jan. 21, 1854. Arrived May
Ship Winged Racer, Captain F. Gorham (Captain Francis
Gorham, of Barnstable, Mass.), sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Jan. 25, 1854. Arrived May 23, 1854.
Ship Coeur de Leon, Captain G. W. Tucker, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Feb. 4, 1854. Arrived June 28, 1854.
Ship Challenger, Captain T. Hill, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Feb. 17, 1854. Arrived June 9, 1854.
Ship Townsend, Captain Wooderson, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Feb. 22, 1854. Reached Cape Horn in 62 days.
Was off Cape Horn in violent gales, May 15, 1854. When 80
days out took on fire in the lower hold and was totally destroyed.
The officers and crew of 24 men left her in boats about six hun-
dred miles from land ; only one of the boats with 1 2 men suc-
ceeded in reaching Juan Fernandez ; the others were capsized
and lost. '■'■Advertiser, Aug. 16, 1854."
Ship Meteor, Captain Pike, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, Feb. 22, 1854. Arrived June 25, 1854.
Ship Fleet Wing, Captain L. Howes, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 11, 1854. Arrived July 11, 1854.
Ship Starlight, Captain Chase, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, March 16, 1854. Arrived July 11, 1854.
Ship Viking, Captain T. Winsor, Jr., sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 17, 1854. Arrived July 11, 1854.
Ship Galatea, Captain H. Barber, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, April 21, 1854. Arrived Sept. 27, 1854.
Ship Starr King, Captain G. H. Turner, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, April 19, 1854. Arrived Aug. 16, 1854.
Ship Robin Hood, Captain R. Bearse, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, May 6, 1854. Arrived Sept. 10, 1854.
Ship Northern Light, Captain Hatch, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, May 13, 1854. Arrived Sept. 15, 1854.
50 LIST OF SAILINGS
Ship Mary Robinson, of New Bedford, Captain F. Crocker,
sailed from Boston for San Francisco, May 25, 1854. Arrived
Oct. 12, 1854.
Ship Bonita, Captain L. G. Hollis, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, May 25, 1854. Arrived Sept. 26, 1854.
Ship Grace Darling, Captain S. W. Doane, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, June 17, 1854. Arrived Nov. 1, 1854.
Ship Midnight, Captain J. B. Hatch, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, June 30, 1854. Arrived Oct. 25, 1854.
Ship Fearless, Captain Man son, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, July 18, 1854. Arrived Nov. 19, 1854.
Ship Rcdgauntlet, Captain T Andrews, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Aug. 12, 1854. Arrived Dec. 9, 1854.
Ship Osbom Howes, Captain N. D. Kelly, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Aug. 23, 1854. Arrived Jan. 21, 1855.
Ship Juliet, Captain W. B. Cobb, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 11, 1854. Arrived Feb. 25, 1855.
Barque Jane A. Falkenburg, of New Bedford, Captain C. A.
Falkenburg, sailed from Boston for San Francisco, Sept. 6, 1854.
Arrived Jan. 4, 1855.
Ship Flying Fish, Captain Nichols, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Sept. 20, 1854 (Glidden & Williams Line). Arrived
at San Francisco, Jan. 10, 1855.
Ship Winged Arrow, Captain Bearse, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 15, 1854. Arrived Feb. 8, 1855.
Ship Saracen, Captain J. Barry, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Nov. 17, 1854. Arrived April 12, 1855.
Ship Hamlet, Captain Cheever, sailed from Manila for Boston,
March 11, 1856.
Ship Vitula, Captain Leach, sailed from Manila for Boston,
March 23, 1856.
Ship Reindeer, Captain Bunker, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Nov. 29, 1854. Arrived April 13, 1855.
Ship Spitfire, Captain Arey, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, Nov. 30, 1854. Arrived March 28, 1855.
Ship Don Quixote, Captain Nott, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Dec. 12, 1854. Arrived March 29, 1855.
NEW ENGLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO 51
Ship Charmer, Captain T. S. Lucas, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Dec. 15, 1854. Arrived April 12, 1855.
Ship Westward Ho, Captain Hussey, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Jan. 12, 1855. Arrived April 24, 1855.
Ship Syien, Captain Allen, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, Jan. 23, 1855. Arrived June 4, 1855.
Ship Kingfisher, Captain Thomas Crosby, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Jan. 27, 1855. Arrived May 30, 1855.
Ship Winged Racer, Captain F. Gorham, sailed from Boston
for. San Francisco, Feb. 3, 1855. Arrived June 3, 1855.
Ship Dashing Wave, Captain Fish, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Feb. 18, 1855. Arrived June 19, 1855.
Ship Keystone, Captain William McFarland, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Feb. 23, 1855. Met with disaster and
put into St. Thomas ; from there back to New York. Arrived
at San Francisco, Dec. n, 1855.
Ship Polynesia, Captain Horace H. Watson, Jr., sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, March 6, 1855. Arrived July 16,
Ship Ellen Foster, Captain Scudder, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 8, 1855. Arrived Aug. 2, 1855.
Ship Queen of the Seas, Captain Tay, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, March 18, 1855. Arrived Aug. 2, 1855.
Ship War Hawk, Captain Lemuel B. Simmons, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, March 27, 1855. Arrived Aug. 2,
Ship Starlight, Captain Chase, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, April 7, 1855. Arrived Aug. 30, 1855.
Ship Coringa, Captain Joseph H. Hallett, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, April 4, 1855. Arrived Aug. 30, 1855.
Ship Kit Carson, of Dennis, Captain Seth Crowell, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, April 24, 1855. Arrived Aug. 30,
Ship Meteor, Captain Pike, sailed from Boston for San Fran-
cisco, May 12, 1855. Arrived Aug. 30, 1855.
Ship Competitor, Captain O. White, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, May 28, 1855. Arrived Oct. 15, 1855.
52 LIST OF SAILINGS
Ship Challenger, Captain W. H. Burgess, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, June 2, 1855. Arrived Oct. 14, 1855.
Ship Viking, Captain T. Winsor, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, June 16, 1855. Arrived Oct. 17, 1855.
Ship Fearless, Captain Manson, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, June 23, 1855. Arrived Oct. 18, 1855.
Ship West Wind, Captain Elliot, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, July 11, 1855. Arrived Nov. 22, 1855.
Ship Grace Darling, Captain Doane, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, July 25, 1855. Arrived Dec. 1, 1855.
Ship Wild Rover, Captain Taylor, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Aug. 7, 1855. Arrived Dec. 21, 1855.
Ship Matchless, Captain Potter, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Aug. 9, 1855. Arrived Dec. 19, 1855.
Ship Samuel Appleton, Captain William Deshon, sailed from
Boston for San Francisco, Aug. 18, 1855. Arrived Jan. 9, 1856.
Ship Winged Arrow, Captain Bearse, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Aug. 30, 1855. Arrived Jan. 4, 1856.
Ship Defender, Captain Isaac Beauchamp, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Sept. 1, 1855. Arrived Jan. 14, 1856.
Ship Flying Fish, Captain G. W. Adams, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Sept. 12, 1855. Arrived Dec. 27, 1855.
Ship Mameluke, Captain E. Whitney, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 3, 1855. Arrived Feb. 19, 1856.
Ship Wild Ranger, Captain Sears, sailed from Boston for San
Francisco, Oct. 3, 1855. Arrived Feb. 15, 1856.
Ship Sancho Panza, Captain J. D. Hildreth, sailed from Bos-
ton for San Francisco, Oct. 14, 1855. Arrived March 8, 1856.
Ship Noonday, Captain W. B. Gerry, sailed from Boston for
San Francisco, Oct. 17, 1855. Arrived March 4, 1856.
Ship Electric Spark, Captain T. Howes, sailed from Boston
for San Francisco, Dec. 24, 1855. Arrived April 9, 1856.