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NOV. 16, 1765 





Copyright, 1917, 

Copyright, 1922, 


This book 
was presented by 


Lynn, Mass. 


FROM the year of its settlement in 1628 until the middle of the 19th century, Salem, 
in the Massachusetts Bay, was a maritime port surpassed in size and importance by 
only two or three other seaports along the Atlantic coast which were more advan- 
tageously located on deep-water harbors and which at the last were developed with the 
amazing growth of the canal and the railroad. Within a dozen years of the coming of 
Governor Endecott, vessels from Salem were trading with the West Indies and England 
and the enterprise and self-rehance of the merchants and shipmasters of this town eventually 
opened commercial relations with new and distant peoples living upon the shores of all 
parts of the known world. It has been said with truth that Salem ships traded " with more 
different peoples in Asia, Africa, South America and the islands of the sea than the ships of 
all other American ports put together." 

The ketches, sloops, barks and other vessels with which the trade was carried on 
before the Revolution, now have disappeared and only a drawing preserved here and there 
dehneates their type and rig. However, with the greater development of the foreign trade 
at the close of the 18th century, it became the fashion among the shipmasters to obtain a 
watercolor depicting the good ship that brought them safely and successfully to the home 
port. This was especially true of those vessels trading with Europe and along the Med- 
iterranean, where at Marseilles, Genoa and Trieste were artists who sought the patronage 
of the Yankee captains. In time many of these drawings by the Roux family, by Corne, 
Carcini, Camellote, Pelligrini, Ropes and others, gravitated to that unique collection illus- 
trating 'the commercial marine which is now preserved in the Peabody Museum, Salem. 
In 1902 the Asiatic National Bank of Salem conceived the idea of reproducing these ship 
pictures in color and utilizing them- upon calendars. One ship followed another in unbroken 
series and in 1910 when the Naumkeag Trust Company succeeded the old-time bank the 
practice was'cSWi^^.?lintiL^f4 tlig^Jp.rgs,ap,t _ time^fe^ different vessels have been 


In this volume these ^l^rrd'illu'st'krions have been gathered together with a number 
of pictures of other Salem ships. The accompanying accounts of trade or misfortune 
were written by Hon. Robert S. Rantoul or Mr. WiUiam O. Chapman, and originally 
appeared with the calendars. They are here reprinted in a somewhat condensed form. 

The history of Salem's maritime commerce has not yet been written and it is hoped 
that this contribution may aid in keeping alive an admiration and respect for the enter- 
prise of her far-sighted old-time merchants and also help to arouse a faith and a deter- 
mination that American vessels again shall sail the four seas and again be well known in 
"the farthest port of the rich East." 


Privateer ship "America" at Marseilles in 1806 Anton Roux, artist 32 

Ship "America," formerly the French frigate "Blonde" M. Corn6, artist 10 

Schooner "Baltick" leaving St. Eustatia in 1765 Title page 

Ship "Belisarius" leaving Crowninshield's wharf M. CorM, artist 8 

Ship " Bonetta " at Leghorn in 1805 34 

Ship " Brookline," leaving Salem for Manila in 1839 76 

Brig " Cambrian " Frederic Roux, artist 58 

Ship " Carolina " 64 

Brig "Cleopatra's Barge" at Genoa in 1817 Antoine Vittaluga, artist 48 

Crowinshield's Wharf, Salem, during the embargo of 1808 . . . .George Ropes, artist 54 

Ship "Eliza Ann," showing the rescue, in Nov., 1845, of the crew of a Chinese junk 70 

Brig "Eliza and Mary" 86 

Frigate "Essex," built in Salem in 1799 Joseph Howard, artist 24 

Launch of the ship "Fame" in 1802 George Ropes, artist 38 

Ship " Fanny " M. Come, artist 18 

Ship " Franklin " 80 

Ship " Friendship " 12 

Ship " George " off Cape Ann Edmund Stone, artist 44 

Ship "Glide" Anton Roux, artist 46 

Brig "Grand Turk" saluting Marseilles in 1815 Anton Roux, artist 40 

Ship " Hercules " at Naples in 1809 36 

Ship "Iris," leaving Naples in 1806 72 

Brig "Leander" entering Smyrna in 1830 Gi. Camellote, artist 52 

Ship " Margaret " M. Come, artist 28 

Brig " Mary Pauline," formerly an African slaver 66 

Ship "Monk" at Marseilles in 1806 . Nicolai Carmellieri, artist 42 

Ship " Mount Vernon" M. Corni, artist 20 

Brig "Naiad," leaving Marseilles for India in 1820 Anton Roux, artist 84 

Brig " Nereus " 78 

Brig "Olinda" leaving Marseilles in 1827 .Francois Roux, artist 56 

Brigantine "Peggy." Painting on a Liverpool ware pitcher made in 1797 14 

Brig ''Phoenix" entering Genoa in 1829 Antoine Vittaluga, artist 50 

Ship "Prudent" 26 

Ship "Rome" leaving Marseilles in 1848 5. Pelligrini, artist 62 

Ship "St. Paul" entering Salem harbor in 1848 60 

Ship " Sapphire " 66 

Bark " Sappho " 58 

Ship "Thomas Perkins " 68 

Ship "Ulysses," wrecked on Cape Cod in 1802 M. Come, artist 22 

Ship "Ulysses" (second of the name) at Marseilles, 1804 Anton Roux, artist 16 

Ship " Union " 82 

Ship "Volusia," wrecked on Cape Cod in 1802 M. Corni, artist 30 



The good ship "Belisarius," painted by 
Corne, before 1805, as she was leaving 
Crowninshield's wharf, — a large merchant- 
man for her day, — was built by Enos Briggs 
at his shipyard at Stage Point in the South 
Fields. She was launched in October, 1794, 
and cleared in November. She was, on the 
stocks, a ship of two hundred and nine tons 
burthen, but was at once enlarged to two 
hundred and sixty-one and one-half tons. 
She was pierced for sixteen guns and mount- 
ed that armament. She measured only 
ninety-four and one-half feet in length, with 
a breadth of twenty-five feet, and was so 
narrow that her depth, — usually one-half 
the width of a vessel, — must have been 
much more than half her breadth. So nar- 
row a craft would seem to have been de- 
signed for speed rather than tonnage, but 
she carried most valuable cargoes and paid 
duties on them, ranging from fifteen to 
twenty-one thousand dollars. Her great 
depth should have made her stiffer, hke the 
fin of a racing yacht. She was an early ship 
to be copper-bottomed, and was launched 
with all her masts standing. 

The speed of the "Belisarius" was com- 
parable to that of the modern clipper, al- 
though her build was very different. She 
often made eight, nine and ten knots under 
favoring conditions, — at times doing better 
than ten knots to the hour. She sailed well 
in light wind, making four or five knots, and 
it was no rare thing for her to make a run of 
from two hundred and eighteen to two hun- 
dred and thirty-eight miles per day. In one 
instance she logged two hundred and forty- 
three miles. 

The whole Crowninshield connection 
seems to have been interested, first or last, 
in the "Belisarius." They built her, they 
owned her and they sailed her. The father, 
George, and the sons, Jacob, Benjamin, 
Richard and George are all registered, at 
one time or another, as part owners of the 
"Belisarius," and four of them, at various 
periods, commanded her. Before July, 

1809, nobody but a Crowninshield had 
owned a share in the "Belisarius." Her 
voyages to the East were among the earhest 
and the quickest. But her career was 

She entered this Port from her first voy- 
age, July 26, 1795, George Crowninshield, 
Junior, Master, with tea, coffee and indigo 
for the firm, paying in duties $14,324.00, 
and again, she entered, September 2, 1796, 
with the same cargo and captain. In com- 
mand of Captain Samuel Skerry, Junior, she 
entered Salem from Sumatra, July 28, 1801, 
with 320,000 pounds of pepper for the firm, 
— having sailed November 25, 1800, — 
sailed again August 30, 1801, and arrived 
July 12, 1802, with 306,542 pounds of pep- 
per, and once' more arrived, September 20, 
1803, with 276,459 pounds. 

The record of her speed deserves special 
notice. October 18, 1796, she was off on her 
third voyage in command of John Crownin- 
shield, reaching home, July 26, 1798, from 
Calcutta and last from the Isle of Bourbon, 
in seventy-five days. She had been chased, 
July 16, east of Cape Sable, by a ship and a 
brig thought to be British cruisers, but she 
left them far astern. And so on, with vary- 
ing luck, through thirteen wonderful voy- 
ages, rounding out a rare career of sixteen 
years. She cleared from Salem, December 
11, 1799, on her sixth voyage, under com- 
mand of Captain Samuel Skerry, Junior, 
and sailed ten days later, arriving back, 
September 11, 1800, — a passage of 104 
days from Madras and Tanquebar. She 
completed her voyage in eight months and 
nineteen days, notwithstanding she was ly- 
ing in Madras and Tanquebar more than 
forty days of that time. The "Belisarius" 
crossed the line in twenty-three days from 
Salem, and passed Cape of Good Hope in 
fifty-five days. 

Of her eighth voyage to Sumatra, the Es- 
sex Register of July 30, 1801, says: "Arrived 
the fast-saihng and well-known Behsarius, 
Captain Samuel Skerry, Junior, one hundred 


and two days from Bencoolen, having per- 
formed her voyage in the short time of eight 
months and three days, as she sailed from 
Salem, November 25, 1800. In our Bay, 
the Belisarius was chased by an English 
Frigate. It is supposed that the BeHsarius 
has made the shortest voyage to the East 
Indies that was ever made from this country. 
Her last voyage was eight months, and nine- 
teen days, the two together having been 
performed in sixteen months and twenty- 
two days." 

She escaped the lightnings of the tropics 
in August, 1802. She had sailed for India, 
August 11, had carried away in a gale some 
of her spars, had lost a man kiUed, and was 
forced to return. Again she sailed, August 
14, and four days out was struck by hght- 
ning at midnight, — all hands on deck tak- 
ing in sail. One of the hands, Shehane of 
Salem, was instantly killed. The first offi- 
cer, Meek, and two seamen were struck 
senseless and much hurt. The weather was 
squally with hard rain, — the ship under 
close-reefed topsails. The bolt descended 
by the main-top-gallant-mast and down the 
main-mast into the 'tween-decks. Captain 

Skerry and every person on board except the 
man at the helm being more or less stunned. 
All the compasses were disabled, both below 
and on deck, and their polarity destroyed, 
the north point of one tending to the south- 
east, and that in others fixed at southwest. 
Volumes of smoke issued from the hatches 
and companionway, and for more than an 
hour the ship appeared to be on fire. Shiv- 
ering the main-top-mast, the bolt passed out 
at the ship's side. But she escaped with 
great difficulty and made Salem harbor. 
August 24, 1802. 

After successful voyaging in the India 
trade for eight years more with such seamen 
as Edward Allen, Robert Peele and George 
Burchmore for her masters, and with Dudley 
Leavitt Pickman among her supercargoes, — 
and after bringing home to her owners 
wealth so ample as to prompt Doctor Bent- 
ley to speak of her in his diary as "one of the 
Richest Ships of our Port" — "the beautiful 
ship Belisarius," went to pieces in a gale, a 
total wreck, in the Bay of Tunis, in April, 
1810, the crew and cargo saved. So ends 
her story. 


Formerly a French frigate, buUt about 1795. From the water-color by Comfe, now in possession 

of the Peabody Museum, Salem. 


The ship "Friendship" was built for 
Messrs. Waite and Peirce by Enos Briggs, 
one of the most noted shipbuilders in Salem, 
and was launched on May 28, 1797. She 
was 342 tons measurement and made seven- 
teen voyages to Batavia, Canton, La 
Guayra, Cadiz, Leghorn, Madras, London, 
Hamburg, Archangel and St. Petersburg, 
paying total duties at the Salem Custom 
House of $141,394.33. She was finally cap- 
tured by the British September 4, 1812, 
while returning from Archangel under com- 
mand of Capt. Edward Stanley, and was 
taken to Plymouth, England, where she was 
condemned December 9, 1812. This ship is 
probably better known to the present gen- 
eration than many of the other famous ves- 
sels of the past on account of the splendid 
full-rigged model in the Peabody Museum in 
Salem. This model was made by Thomas 
Russell, the ship's carpenter, for Capt. Wil- 
liam Story's young son William, and is a 
wonderful piece of work. 

The journals of the captains and the ship's 
logs are full of interesting entries showing 
the many-sided natures of the men who went 
down to the sea in ships in those stirring 
times, and it is difficult to make a selection 
where there is so much material to choose 
from. Capt. Israel Williams on her first 
voyage to Batavia described a successful ex- 
periment he made for distilling fresh water 
from sea water by means of a crude still 
which he constructed from the cook's boiler, 
a gun barrel and a beef cask. As he de- 
scribed it, "Some little reflection on the 
value of fresh water at sea induced me to 
make some experiments for the produce of 
fresh water from salt and I have found very 
much to my satisfaction that with little 
trouble it will yield good fresh water." He 
also described meeting the English brig 
"Diligence," Capt. Menly, "who treated us 
with the politeness of a gentleman." And 
again, while on a voyage to Leghorn in 1805, 
he described an attack by eight French gun- 
boat privateers in which he was obliged by 

force of numbers to heave to and permit an 
examination. While in Leghorn, July 22, 
1805, this entry was made: "This and the 
three preceding days we were visited by 
officers of distinction and by a Prince of 
Blood, from different parts of Italy, prin- 
cipally from Bologna and Milan." 

The next year the "Friendship" cleared 
from Salem on March 4, still in command of 
Capt. Williams, and arrived home again No- 
vember 15, a voyage of a little more than 
eight months, during which she visited Ma- 
dras, Bourbon, Isle of France and three ports 
in Indian, and brought back a valuable car- 
go of pepper, indigo, tea, coffee, etc. 

To show the constant strain that the offi- 
cers and men must have been under during 
the exciting times leading up to the War of 
1812, the following extracts from Capt. Wil- 
liams' journal will be of interest: "At half- 
past twelve saw a sail in the western quarter 
who quickly bore away and spread a cloud 
of sail after us. She came up with us very 
fast. As she drew near I perceived she was 
a very long, low schooner, which left me no 
doubt of her being a privateer, which her 
near approach confirmed. We therefore got 
all ready for action. Having the advantage ' 
of the wind, he came near enough to see that 
we could give him a sweet fraternal embrace, 
but prudently he declined it, and hauled off 
and left us to pursue the course which we 
had not altered. At 4 p. m. saw a Brig to 
windward who bore away after us and came 
up fast. She came near enough to see our 
apparent force, which made him keep his 
distance also." 

The following extracts are worthy of more 
than passing mention, as they show the char- 
acter of the captains of those days, and 
apply equally as well to the men, for it was, 
of course, from that material that captains 
were made: 

"Let go our anchor in Cadiz Bay. In 
passing the point of Rotta met a French 
privateer, who with his consort came out 
with an intention of saluting us, but on com- 

ing near us they altered their minds, but not 
without trying to intimidate us, and al- 
though they took us at a non plus, still we 
showed them that we were not to be bullied. 
We immediately luffed, took up foresail, in 
Top Gallant sails, knocked out the Tomp- 
ions, primed the guns, and bore away and 
passed the first within pistol shot, but we 
were so unfriendly as not to change a word 
together. So ends a prosperous passage, 
thank God!" 

Capt. Edward Stanley, on a voyage to 
Archangel, which proved to be the good 
ship's last one, made the following entries: 

" May 22. From 9 p. m. to the last of 
these twenty-four hours had to shift the 
course to accommodate the ice with a birth. 
I should think that this body of ice must ex- 
tend at least 500 or 600 miles; in fact, it is 
impossible to say how far it doth ex- 

" May 23. At 6 p. m. lost sight of the ice. 
It must be certainly of very great extent. 
I have no doubt but that it came from the 
Pole. The weather has been very cold, 
everything on board is frozen, even to the 
pumps. The log line stiff as soon as hauled 
in. The poor ink must go and see the cook, 
both pretty much of the same color. Oh! 
happy West Indian with your glorious sun!" 

Capt. Stanley after his capture by the 
British and his detention at Plymouth, Eng- 
land, wrote home to friends, and in all of 
these letters shows his fidelity to his country 
and to his owners. He wrote: "My situa- 
tion at present is very disagreeable, if I 
should abandon (which by the way I have no 
thought of doing) I well know it would not 
please my worthy employers, whom I hope 
in God never to offend. At present there 
are chances for me to get home every day, 
but if the English declare war — God only 
knows when I shall see you." 


From a pitcher of Liverpool ware made in 1797 and new in possession 

of Mrs. M. P. Whipple 



The "Ulysses" was a ship of three hun- 
dred and forty tons' burden, carrying twen- 
ty-five men or more, and built at Haverhill, 
in 1798, for WilHam Gray, Jr., of Salem. 
Her dimensions were: length, 1003/2 feet; 
breadth, 28 feet; depth, 13 feet 10^ inches. 
Mr. Gray, born at Lynn in 1760, came early 
to Salem, and entered the counting-room of 
Richard Derby. With Captain Josiah Orne 
for partner, he was despatching ships to 
Canton as early as May, 1790. 

The ship "Ulysses" had an uneventful 
career, and her voyages seem to have been 
of average success. Captain Orne was the 
first master to tread her quarter-deck, bring- 
ing her round from Haverhill to Salem in 
June, 1798. She cleared, Orne, master, for 
Batavia, June 25, and arrived home July 10, 
1799, paying in duties thirteen thousand 
dollars. On August 17, 1799, she was com- 
missioned as a private-armed vessel, com- 
manded by William Mugford, Archelaus Rea 
being second and Nathaniel Osgood third in 
command. She carried 11 guns and 28 
men, and cleared for India on the same date. 

The next entry made of this ship in the 
Salem Custom House was on April 3, 1801, 
William Mugford, master, from Lisbon, hav- 
ing on board a cargo of 697,309 lbs. of salt 
and some Lisbon wine, consigned to William 
Gray, Jr. She entered, on a voyage from 
St. Petersburg, October 29, 1801, William 
Mugford, master, with a cargo of hemp, cor- 
dage and candles, consigned to William 
Gray, Jr., William Mugford and John Kil- 
ham, paying a duty of $8,774.96. We find 
her sailing from Beverly for the Isle of 
France in February, 1802, William Mugford 
in command. On this voyage she took Let- 
ters of Marque signed by President Jefferson 
and his Secretary of State, Madison, and 
countersigned "Joseph Hiller, Collector, 
William Pickman, Naval officer." These 
interesting papers are on deposit with the 
East India Marine Society, together with 
the invoice of what was described as "an 
assorted cargo," consisting of "Iron, Cor- 

dage, Gin, Gin Cases, Cheese, Butter, Beef, 
Pork, Lard, Flour, Bacon, Fish, Soap, Can- 
dles, Nails, Wares, Dry Goods, Rum, To- 
bacco, Hats, Saddlery, Salt, Naval Stores." 

She had not been six years off the stocks 
when' she made herself and her captain 
known to the whole seafaring world. She 
left Salem for Marseilles, January 2, 1804, 
and, three days out, encountered a terrific 
gale. She was sailing at eight and nine 
knots, when a "large sea" struck her astern 
and tore clean away the whole rudder and 
the stern-post at the water's edge, besides 
splitting her canvas and straining her seams. 
The " Ulysses" at once broached to with her 
mainmast sprung, and in this helpless con- 
dition she lay for three weeks of most tem- 
pestuous weather, exposed to the fury of 
wind and sea. Captain Mugford, nothing 
daunted at the appalling situation, proceed- 
ed at once to carry into effect a plan entirely 
his own. So complete was his success that 
he was able to make sail within twenty 
days, and, without further disaster, entered 
Marseilles, flag at peak, on the twenty-third 
of March. 

The false rudder was constructed on deck, 
of lengths measuring fourteen feet, cut from 
a spare topmast and from four studding-sail 
booms, sufficiently squared to fit firmly to- 
gether, and braced with small ropes. The 
rudder was secured on its sides with bolts 
and wooden cleats. It was four feet wide, 
fore and aft, and was attached, by eight or 
ten eye-bolts, to a false stern-post twenty 
feet long, also hewn on deck from the same 
top-mast, an equal number of eye-bolts be- 
ing fixed in the false stern-post at intervals 
corresponding with those of the rudder. 
Through these pairs of eye-bolts sections of 
iron crowbars were dropped, and they 
served as pintals or gudgeons on which the 
false rudder swung. 

The old iron tiller of the ship, about six 
feet long, passed through the upper part of 
the body of the rudder, and from this on 
each side ropes were passed over the ship's 


quarters to a spare topmast running out 
over the rails near the mizzen chains, and 
having a block at each end. Through these 
blocks the tiller-ropes were rove and at- 
tached to the windlass, and the ship then 
steered in the usual manner by the wheel. 
The rig was, on a large scale, like the yoke 
and tiller-ropes which control the rudder of 
a racing-scull or a man-of-war's gig. The 
old gudgeons still remaining on the stern- 
post, it was necessary to cut mortices in the 
false stern post to receive them, and these 
were found of essential service in keeping the 
whole machine fixed in its proper bearings. 
Before going overboard the apparatus was 
weighted at the bottom with a six-pounder 
gun, to hold it in an upright position until it 
could be firmly secured, when the cannon 
was released and hauled on deck. There 

were several large straps fastened in the 
false stern-post, from which hawsers were 
passed, and the new stern-post, carrying 
with it the new rudder, was secured to the 
ship's stern with these hawsers made fast at 
several points on her quarters. 

At Marseilles the French made drawings 
of the invention, and foreign ship-masters in 
port took care to furnish themselves with 
complete models of it. The actual appliance 
was exposed at Gray's wharf on the return 
of the "Ulysses" to Salem, and there exam- 
ined and admired by this seafaring com- 

The "Ulysses" arrived home August 9, 
1804, and paid in duties ^$15,814.19. Once 
after this she cleared for India, September 
10, 1804, with brandy, gin and specie, but 
her later career cannot be traced at this port. 

7Ac X,„y ,f ^aU,n c.,n.......W ^ 0>/^r JOu,,n.cL 

From the copy of the painting by M. Come, 1801, now in the possession of the Peabody Museum, 



The ship "Mount Vernon" was built at 
the eastern end of Derby Street, Salem, in 
1798, by Retire Becket, for Ehas Hasket 
Derby, and proved to be the last commercial 
venture of that great merchant. She was 
registered at Salem, February 21, 1799, and 
combined the functions of a commercial and 
a naval craft. She was a full-rigged ship, 
but there were peculiarities about her rig 
which have not been seen for a century. 
She measured just under 100 feet in length; 
her breadth of beam was 28^ feet, and she 
was of 356 tons burthen. She carried fifty 
men and twenty guns, among the latter two 
long nines and an 18-pounder. She was en- 
tered at Salem from Havana, May 20, with 
a cargo of sugar, tobacco, etc. This first 
voyage was a success, but her owner died in 
September while she was at Palermo. With 
what is described as "a very valuable cargo 
of silks called ormazine, wines, and brass 
cannon," after having made some fortunate 
ventures in wheat in the Mediterranean, she 
entered her home port, July 7, 1800, and 
paid to the Derby estate a profit of upwards 
of $100,000 on an outlay of $43,275. Ship 
and cargo were necessarily disposed of at 
auction in settlement of the estate. The 
"Mount Vernon" became the property of 
the Messrs. Peirce and Waite of Salem, and 
she seems to have succumbed, on her second 
voyage, to one of the hurricanes which visit 
the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. So her 
career was as brief as it was romantic. 

But the "Mount Vernon" had brought 
into the country an interesting personage, 
Michele Felice Corne, afterwards to become 
the leading marine artist of this section. He 
died in 1845, at the advanced age of eighty- 
eight. After landing here, he spent his life 
at Boston and at Newport, as well as in 
Salem, and he left behind him at least a 
dozen fine paintings of the ship to which he 
owed his passage to America. No Salem 
ship has been so often or so finely painted as 
the "Mount Vernon." Corne earned some 
reputation as a decorator, and the Governor 

Hancock House in Boston was one of those 
ornamented with his frescoes. A portrait of 
him is in the Redwood Library at Newport, 
where, as well as at Salem, he is gratefully 
remembered for having introduced the to- 
mato as an article of diet. His success as a 
marine painter was great. He has not only 
shown his favorite ship engaged in her nu- 
merous encounters; in her running fight 
with a French frigate and a sloop-of-war sent 
after her from the combined French and 
Spanish fleet of fourteen sail; in her battle 
with the African corsairs; in convoying a 
fleet of merchantmen up the Mediterranean; 
in her departure from Malta; in her action 
before Gibraltar; but he also painted with 
great approval all the most famous naval ac- 
tions of our second war with England. In a 
painting, now in possession of Mr. Rea, 
Corne shows the "Mount Vernon," July 29, 
1799, bearing herself well in an encounter 
with a large lateen-rigged French cruiser 
carrying one hundred men. This affair is 
most graphically described in her log and 
also in the letter from her commander, ad- 
dressed to his father, the owner, dated at 
Gibraltar, August 1. From this letter it 
appears that Gibraltar was in full view, and 
a British fleet as well, and the victors derived 
no little satisfaction from the presence of 
these spectators. "The ' Mount Vernon, ' " 
says the letter, "reached Gibraltar after 
popping at the Frenchmen all the forenoon." 
Captain Derby had been, during his stay 
at Naples, the guest at dinner of Lord 
Nelson, and had entertained famous com- 
pany most elegantly in his own cabin. His 
letter, which has been printed in full, con- 
tains the following passage: . . . "July 28, 
p. M., found ourselves approaching a fleet of 
upwards of fifty sail. Concluding it impos- 
sible that it could be any other than the 
English fleet, continued our course for their 
centre to avoid any apprehension of a want 
of confidence in them. They soon dis- 
patched an eighteen-gun-ship from their cen- 
tre and two frigates to beat towards us. On 


approaching the centre ship, I fortunately 
bethought myself that it would be but com- 
mon prudence to steer so far to windward of 
him as to be a grape-shot distance from him, 
to observe his force and maneuvering. When 
we were abreast of him he fired a gun 
to leeward and hoisted EngHsh colors. We 
immediately bore away and meant to pass 
under his quarter, between him and the fleet, 
showing our American colors. This move- 
ment disconcerted him, and it appeared to 
me he conceived we were either an American 
sloop-of-war or an English one in disguise, 
attempting to cut him off from the fleet; for, 
while we were in the act of wearing on his 
beam, he hoisted French colors and gave us 
his broadside. We immediately brought our 
ship to the wind and stood on about a mile; 
wore toward the centre of the fleet; hove 
about and crossed him on the other tack, 
about half grape-shot distance, and received 
his broadside. Several of his shot fell on 
board of us and cut our sails, two round-shot 

striking us without much damage. All 
hands were active in clearing ship for action, 
for our surprise had been complete. In 
about ten minutes we commenced firing our 
stern-chasers, and in a quarter of an hour 
gave him our broadside in such a style as 
evidently sickened him; for he immediately 
luffed in the wind, gave us his broadside, 
went in stays in great confusion, wore ship 
afterwards in a large circle, and renewed the 
chase at a mile and a half distance, a man- 
euver calculated to keep up appearances 
with the fleet and to escape our shot. We 
received seven or eight broadsides from him, 
and I was mortified at not having it in my 
power to return him an equal number with- 
out exposing myself to the rest of the fleet, 
for I am persuaded I should have had the 
pleasure of sending him home had he been 
separate from them. At midnight we had 
distanced them, the chasing rocket-signals 
being almost out of sight, and soon left 

1 Cape Cod, February 22, 1802. From the water-color probably made by Com6. 
A copy is now in the possession of the Peabody Museum, Salem. 


The story of the fast little frigate " Essex," 
built at one of the critical moments in our 
history, under conditions altogether excep- 
tional, never lacks a listener. At the time 
we seemed to be drifting into a war with 
France, and we had no navy and no depart- 
ment of the Government devoted to marine 

On July 17, 1798, the Salem Gazette 
printed this announcement: 


"Last evening a subscription was begun in this 
town for raising money for the use of the Govern- 
ment, to be applied to the building of vessels, or 
such other purposes as Government may choose . . . 
Neither ability nor patriotism is wanting." On 
July 24 the Gazette adds "It is expected that the 
subscription in this town will be applied to the 
building of a stout frigate." 

The subscription paper was placed at the 
Salem Insurance Oifice, and funds poured in 
promptly. Subscribers to the number of 
more than a hundred pledged sums ranging 
upwards from ten and twenty dollars. "A 
Lady," whose name does not appear, gave 
fifty dollars, and the list of twenty-three 
donors, each of them subscribing a thousand 
dollars or more, was as follows: 

William Gray $10,000 

Elias H. Derby 10,000 

William Orne 5,000 

John Norris 5,000 

John Jenks 1,500 

Eben Beckford 2,000 

Benjamin Pickman 1,000 

Benjamin Pickman, Jr. . 1,500 

Joseph Peabody 1,500 

John Osgood 1,000 

WiUiam Prescott 1,000 

Stephen Phillips 1,000 

Ichabod Nichols 1,000 

Jacob Ashton 1,000 

Samuel Gray 2,000 

Jonathan Neal 2,000 

Waite and Peirce 2,000 

Richard Manning 1,000 

John Derby 1,000 

Ezekiel H. Derby 1,000 

Nathaniel West 1,500 

George Dodge 1,000 

Richard Derby, Jr 1,500 

The total contributed was $74,250, after- 
wards swelled to $75,473.59. The signers 
met at the Town House, October 25, and 
voted unanimously "to build a Frigate of 
thirty-two guns and to loan the same to the 
Government." A noble effort this on the 
part of a town of ninety-three hundred 

The builder was Enos Briggs, who had 
come from the South Shore to build the 
"Grand Turk." As soon as "ready cash" 
could be promised, Briggs made his first ap- 
peal to the public. A call for copper, iron, 
blacksmithing and supplies was advertised, 
for the first time, in the Gazette of November 
23, 1798: 

"Take notice! ye Sons of Freedom!" — says 
Briggs, in the same issue, — "Step forth and give 
your assistance in building the Frigate to oppose 
French insolence and piracy! Let every man in 
possession of a Wliiie Oak Tree feel ambitious to be 
foremost in hurrying down the timber to Salem, to 
fill the complement wanting where the noble struc- 
ture is to be fabricated to maintain your rights upon 
■ the Seas, and malce the name of America respected 
among the Nations of the World! Your largest 
and longest trees are wanted, and the arms of them 
for knees and rising timber. Four trees are wanted 
for the keel, which altogether will measure 146 feet 
in length, and hew 16 inches square. Please call 
on the subscriber, who wants to make a contract 
for large or small quantities as may suit best, and 
will pay the Ready Cash." 

Finally, on September 30, 1799, Dr. Bent- 
ley in his Diary describes "The launching of 
the Frigate. Everything was in full prep- 
aration. The morning gun was fired and 
nothing then remained to be done but to 
prepare the tallow, drive the wedges, re- 
move the blocks and let her go. Seats were 


prepared and given to such as paid their 
quarter of a dollar on the western side of the 
ship and near the water. Within were seats 
for the Committee in banks so as to accom- 
modate many spectators. Above 12,000 
persons passed the causeway and entered 
upon Winter Island. Crowds were on 
Naugus Head, numbers in boats, and the 
whole adjacent shore was covered. She 

moved easily and the Launch was happy. 
No accident interrupted the joy of the day." 
The subsequent story of the "Essex" has 
become a part of every naval history of the 
United States. In March, 1814, she was 
captured by two British frigates in Val- 
paraiso Bay after a bloody contest in which 
nearly one-half of her crew were killed or 

From the painting now in the possession of the Peabody Museum, Salem. 



The ship "Margaret" was built for John 
Derby, Benjamin Pickman and Samuel Der- 
by by the famous Retire Becket, whose fam- 
ily had built vessels in Salem for over 150 
years. She was launched in the fall of 1800, 
and sailed on her first voyage November 25. 
Part of her cargo consisted of one hundred 
bags containing 50,000 Spanish dollars, 
twelve casks of Malaga wine and two hogs- 
heads of bacon. She was only 91 feet in 
length, 27 5-12 feet in breadth, and 13 2-3 
feet in depth, with a capacity of 295 tons, 
and proved to be a very fast sailer. 

Arriving at Batavia April 25, a bargain 
was made with the Dutch East India Com- 
pany to carry the annual freights to and 
from Japan, and to receive 45,000 Spanish 
dollars if a full freight was carried both ways. 

A cargo, such as the Dutch had been ship- 
ping for nearly two centuries, consisting of 
sugar, spices, sapan wood, sandal wood, rat- 
tans, glass, glassware, cloths, medicines and 
various other articles, was loaded, and on 
June 20, 1801, the "Margaret" cleared for 
Nagasaki. On July 20, after much cere- 
mony, including the firing of numerous 
salutes, she came to anchor in the harbor of 
Nagasaki, being the first vessel from Salem, 
and, it is claimed, the second American ves- 
sel to visit Japan. The ship "Franklin" of 
Boston, commanded by James Devereux of 
Salem, was the first American vessel which 
traded with Japan, having made the same 
voyage as the "Margaret" two years pre- 
vious. No other American vessels were 
allowed in Japan until after the treaty of 
March 31, 1854, the result of Commodore 
Perry's Expedition. 

The "Margaret," on her return voyage, 
reached Batavia December 6, 1801, and 
after loading with coffee and other mer- 
chandise cleared for Salem, arriving in June, 

A change of ownership took place in 1809, 
when she was registered June 29 with John 
Crowninshield and William Fairfield, owners 
and William Fairfield, master. Three days 

later she sailed for the Mediterranean, load- 
ed with cod fish, cotton goods, etc., and on 
August 11, when about eight miles from the 
entrance of Tunis Bay, was boarded and 
taken possession of by the French privateer 
" Constant," ten guns and eighty men, and 
taken into Gata, in the Kingdom of Naples. 
About the first of December proposals were 
made to compromise, and on December 17 
an arrangement was made, after having been 
ratified at Paris, by which one-half of the 
proceeds of the sale of the cargo, after de- 
ducting port charges, etc., was restored to 
the captain, he giving up all claims. The 
"Margaret" was then loaded with a val- 
uable cargo of brandy, sewing silks, hats, 
rugs, etc., and on April 10, 1810, with a 
crew of fifteen men and thirty-one passen- 
gers, consisting of the officers and crews of 
vessels which had been seized and sold by 
the French, she sailed from Naples bound 
for home. 

On Sunday, May 20, a squall struck the 
ship and she was thrown on her beam ends. 
All on board were able to reach her side and 
succeeded in cutting away part of the rigging 
and masts. A rope was attached to the fore 
and mizzen chains; all hands then got hold 
and, going, as near the keel as possible, suc- 
ceeded in righting her, although full of water 
and the waves making a continual breach 
over her. The next morning Captain Fair- 
field and fourteen men left the ship in the 
long boat which had been repaired, and were 
picked up on Saturday, May 26, by the ship 
"Poacher," Captain Dunn, from Alicant to 
Boston. The survivors arrived at Marble- 
head June 19, 1810. 

After the departure of Captain Fairfield, 
Captain Henry Larcom, master of the 
schooner "Mary" of Beverly, was "ap- 
pointed to act as their head" by the thirty- 
one still remaining on the wreck. In Cap- 
tain Larcom's account of the shipwreck he 

"On the 7th of June, finding we could be 
of no use to those on the wreck, and having 

nothing but brandy to subsist on, being then 
in lat. 39.12 N. and thinking that too far 
south for the track of Europeans, we thought 
it best to endeavor to stretch to the north- 

"The morning we left the wreck we went 
under the bowsprit and joined in prayer 
with Captain Janvrin for our deliverance. 
At 10 we bade them a final adieu, having 
about lYi gallons of brandy and a little pork, 
leaving on the wreck the following persons 
(who were never heard from afterwards): 
Henry Tucker, supercargo of the ship " Fran- 
cis" of Salem; Captain Janvrin, master of 
the schooner "Syren" of Newburyport; 
Benjamin Peele, seaman of brig "Victory" 

of Salem; John Merrill, seaman of schooner 
"Peace," Newburyport; Edmund Wingate, 
seaman of schooner "Peace," Newburyport; 
Nathaniel Sheffield of schooner "Ousiton- 
ack," Derby, Conn.; Jacob Fowler of brig 
"Two Betsies," Beverly; James Sinclair of 
schooner "Kite," Baltimore; Alexander 
Marshall, brig "Nancy Ann," Newbury- 
port; William Burrill of schooner "Syren," 

On June 30, after the most intense suffer- 
ing, the boat with three survivors was 
picked up by the schooner "General John- 
son," Captain Stephen L. Davis, from Lis- 
bon to Gloucester, and arrived in Glouces- 
ter, July 21, 1810. 

'a^if Jalci.n Cohmil, /'U- I/kc 


Wrecked on Cape Cod, Febuary 22, 1802. From the water-color probably made by Corne. 

A copy is now in possession of the Peabody Museum. Salem. 



The private-armed ship "America" was 
the largest, the fastest, the most fortunate 
and the most famous of all the privateers 
which at any time sailed out of Salem har- 
bor. She was built for a merchantman in 
1803-4, just west of the head of Crownin- 
shield's wharf, by Retire Becket, under the 
eye of George Crowninshield, Jr. In those 
days every ship must protect herself. Al- 
gerine and Barbary corsairs made the ocean 
routes and the Mediterranean unsafe, and 
neither England nor France showed us much 
more quarter than the pirates. The "Amer- 
ica" was launched with portholes in her 
sides, and never put to sea without a heavy 

She cleared on her first voyage for Su- 
matra in command of Captain Benjamin 
Crowninshield, Jr.; Elias Davidson of 
Gloucester was her first officer; Nathaniel 
Leverett Rogers, her clerk; James Chever, 
12 years old, her cabin-boy. She sailed 
from Salem July 2, 1804, and even on that 
voyage she took an armament of ten nine- 
pounders. Thirty-five men navigated her. 
Her tonnage was 473 tons. She had two 
decks, and, for a figure-head, a life-sized 
Indian chief chased by a white dog. She 
was 114 feet long, with a depth of 15 feet 
4 inches; had 30 feet 8 inches breadth of 
beam, 14 feet 3 inches draft, and was square- 
rigged throughout. 

The "America's" best speed was 13 knots. 
She often maintained this rate for hours, 
and she often averaged more than ten knots 
for twelve consecutive hours. She was fre- 
quently pursued by Spanish and by British 
cruisers, and she left them with ease. But 
this was after she had been converted for a 
privateer. Both her size and her shape had 
been changed. Her upper deck was re- 
moved. As reduced in 1812, she measured 
in length 108 feet, in depth 11.15 feet, and 
in tonnage 331 tons. 

Between her launching and 1812 the 
"America" made voyages, first to the Isle 
of France, where she was detained by an 

English fleet, — found coffee high and 
learned that a cargo could be had at Mocha, 
— thence to Aden. 

At Mocha the "America" loaded with 
coffee, hides, goat-skins, sienna and gum- 
arabic. She made Cape Cod again June 17, 
1805. The ship and cargo being at once 
sent to Holland netted a profit of more than 
a hundred thousand dollars. This great 
success was followed by voyages in com- 
mand of Elias Davidson, Jeremiah Briggs 
and Joseph Ropes, and these occupied her 
until the spring of 1812, when she arrived 
from Goettenburg, April 24. Her upper 
deck was taken off, her sides filled in solid 
like a frigate's, and she was rigged with 
longer yards, with royal-masts, and with a 
flying jib-boom. She now spread an enor- 
mous area of canvas, for her crew was large 
her equipment ranging from 142 to 168 
men all told, — 20 of them marines, — in 
action, her deck and rigging swarmed like a 
wasp's nest. Her main-mast now measured 
69 feet, making the height from deck to 
main-truck about 136 feet, while her spread 
of boom athwart-ship was 104 feet, and the 
total length of her bow-sprit, jib-boom and 
flying jib-boom reached the enormous figure 
of 107 feet. The picture of her, taken be- 
fore the War, shows her without these 
striking features. 

George Crowninshield, Jr., supervised 
these changes. When they were complete 
she sailed on her first cruise, September 7, 

1812, commanded by Joseph Ropes. Pri- 
vateer officers and crews were neighbors and 
from the best people, and they sailed as a 
joint-stock company. No wages were paid. 

Her first cruise lasted until January 7, 

1813, — four months, — and she sent in six 
prizes valued at $158,000. 

On the second cruise, from March 29 to 
July 21, 1813 (four months), John Kehew, 
first officer on the first cruise, was in com- 
mand. They carried twenty guns. Ten 
prizes were taken, and 130 prisoners paroled 
and 30 more brought in. 


On the third, fourth and fifth cruises 
James Chever was in command, — a sea- 
man who would have honored any service. 
He was a lieutenant on the second cruise. 
Twelve prizes were taken, mostly sent in, on 
the third cruise, between December 3 and 
March 31, 1814, the most successful cruise 
of all. On the next cruise she struck a dead 
whale or a submerged wreck off Portsmouth 
and, badly strained, promptly put back. 
On the fifth and last cruise, between Novem- 
ber 14, 1814, and April 8, 1815, she made 
thirteen captures, bringing the total of 

prizes sent into port, out of 47 taken, up to 
27 in all, of a value of §1,100,000. Her 
casualties were very slight. She was never 
outsailed while testing her speed against the 

So ends the "America's" career. After 
the war she lay rotting in the dock from 
which she had been launched until 1831 
when she was broken up for old metal. 
Once, in 1813, she was coppered and fitted 
for sea, and a half-interest sold for $4,000, 
but the "America" never again left her 


From the original painting made in 1805 at Leghorn for Capt. Hardy Phippen, 

now in possession of Hardy P. Chapman. 



This was one of the famous ships of old 
Salem and had a very interesting career. 
She was built in Haverhill in the year 1805, 
and although she went many voyages to all 
parts of the world, was not larger than a 
small two-masted coasting schooner of to- 
day. A towboat which has been built for 
service on this coast is of about the same 
dimensions as this little ship. She was 
about 96 feet in length, 26 feet beam, and 
was approximately 13 feet deep and of only 
290 tons register. 

She was built for Nathaniel West, and on 
her first voyage Captain James Fairiield 
commanded her, and continued to do so 
until 1808, when Captain Edward West 
took the vessel and sailed in her until 1811; 
then Captain James King, Jr., who was an 
able shipmaster of his time, took the ship 
and made eleven voyages, going during this 
time to Batavia three times, to Canton 
once, four voyages to St. Petersburg, once 
to Rio de Janeiro, once to Santos and once 
to Buenos Ayres. 

An interesting point in her career was 
that in 1809, when commanded by Capt. 
Edward West, she was seized at Naples and 
had the good fortune to obtain her release 
in order to transfer Lucien Bonaparte and 

family to the United States. This saved 
the ship from confiscation. This incident 
appears in the memoirs of Lucien Bona- 

"August 5, 1810, left Civita Vecchia in 
the three-master 'Hercules' for the United 
States. Owing to sickness of his family he 
attempted to land at Cagliaria, but was re- 
fused and warned that he would be seized. 
He was allowed to stay in the roadstead a 
week. He started again, and in a few hours 
was captured by two English cruisers, one 
called the 'Pomona'. He was taken on 
board and arrived August 24, 1810, at 
Malta, and placed in the fortress Caselli. 
The husband of his sister Caroline placed 
the ship 'Hercules' at his disposal." 

During her career her cargoes paid many 
thousand dollars of duty to the United 
States customs. She was sold to D. R. 
Green & Co., of New Bedford, in 1829, and 
rebuilt as a whaler. Her good luck followed 
her and she made eight successful voyages 
to the whaling grounds in all parts of the 
world. The end of her service came in 
1847, for on July 27th of that year she was 
lost off Navigator's Islands in the Pacific 



No finer picture of a Salem privateer can 
be presented than the painting by Anton 
Roux here reproduced of the brig "Grand 
Turk," of 309 84-95 tons burthen, built in 
1812 for thirty Salem owners, at Wiscasset, 
Maine. The "Grand Turk" measured 102 
feet in length, 28 feet beam, and 12 feet 4 
inches in depth, and carried ninety-odd 
officers and men and eighteen or twenty 
guns. She had "a square stern, one deck, 
no galleries, and a billet figure-head." 

The "Grand Turk" made five cruises of 
about one hundred days each. That was 
the average term for which private-armed 
ships were provisioned. She sailed from 
Salem, Holten J. Breed, commander, Feb- 
ruary 16, 1813, on her first cruise, and she 
arrived at Portland May 29. She was thus 
reported in the Essex Register: — 

"Private-armed brig 'Grand Turk,' of 16 
guns. Captain Breed, arrived at Portland on 
Thursday evening from a cruise. On the 
coast of Brazil, April 4, fell in with two 
large English letter-of-marque ships, which 
she captured after a severe engagement of 
five minutes, both much cut up in hull and 
rigging. Several of the 'Grand Turk's' 
men were wounded, among them the sailing 
master (Mr. Abrams), a most valuable and 
intrepid officer, who died of his wounds. 
The same day captured another large ship. 
They are all very valuable prizes, and were 
ordered to France. The 'Grand Turk' was 
chased on Thursday by two frigates and a 
brig, and escaped by swift sailing." She 
was brought round from Portland to Salem, 
June 6, but not without incident. Says the 
Register of June 9: "Off Cape Ann the 
'Grand Turk' was boarded by a boat from 
Cape Ann, supposing her to be an English 
cruiser. Captain Breed favored the decep- 
tion, and the man voluntarily gave informa- 
tion of prizes and merchant vessels e.x- 
pected, advised with respect to cruising 
ground, and offered to come off next day 
with fresh provisions, and said he has fur- 
nished a pilot for the 'Sir John Sherbrooke.' 

We are glad to hear that the name of this 
traitor was ascertained and that steps have 
been taken to bring him to justice." 

On her second cruise. Breed in command, 
the "Grand Turk" sailed from Salem, Octo- 
ber 19, 1813, and arrived home January 20, 
1814, — a cruise of ninety-four days, — 
having captured seven prizes, of which two 
were burned, four manned out, and one sent 
off as a cartel with prisoners. 

The third cruise was her most eventful one 
and Captain Breed's last. On this cruise 
she brought in thirty prisoners and $65,000 
in specie. The "Grand Turk" sailed from 
Salem February 18, 1814, and arrived at 
Portland, June 5, — a cruise of one hundred 
and nine days. Her men seem to have 
been ready for mutiny at all times, and more 
than once only the promptness and nerve of 
her commander prevented it. The ring- 
leaders in the trouble, as they were discov- 
ered, were kept in irons and then sent home, 
one by one, in prize crews. Such miscon- 
duct forfeited their shares. But the com- 
mon penalty for minor offenses was loss of 
"grog." Not gambling only, but all card- 
playing was forbidden in the shipping- 
articles. "Grog stopped" for twenty-four 
or forty-eight hours is a frequent entry. 
The penalty for the sale by one seaman to 
another of the allowance of "grog" was loss 
of his ration for a week. 

May 2 she engaged H. M. packet "Hin- 
chinbroke," WilHam James, commander, 
who thought well enough of the "Grand 
Turk" as an antagonist to procure, five years 
later, the engraving of a plate representing 
this action. The plate was printed for the 
proprietor, February, 1819, by Messrs. 
Colnaghi & Co., 23 Cockspur Street, Lon- 
don, and these are the words of the Com- 
mander's dedication: — 

"This plate, representing the situation of 
H. M. packet "Hinchinbroke" at the close of 
an engagement with the American privateer 
"Grand Turk," of Salem, in May, 1814, is 


very respectfully dedicated," etc. . . . "The 
action commenced at 5 h. 20 m. p. m., and 
continued until 7 h. 30 m., within pistol- 
shot, during which the Enemy twice laid the 
Packet aboard, but was beaten off; after 
the failure of the second attempt, the "Hin- 
chinbroke" obtained a raking position, dis- 
abled the privateer and obhged her to sheer 

The "Grand Turk" sailed from Salem, 
Green, commander, on her fourth cruise of 
one hundred and three days, August 6, 
1814, and took fifty prisoners in the thirteen 

captures made. She left Salem January 1, 
1815, on her fifth and last cruise of a hun- 
dred and eighteen days, and arrived home 
April 28. Peace had been made before she 
sailed, but of this nothing was known. The 
"Grand Turk" made three captures on this 
cruise, of which she manned out two and de- 
stroyed one. She took, in specie, $17,500. 
May 30 she was sold to William Gray, and 
cleared for Boston, June 6, 1815, Thomas 
Webb, master. The subsequent career and 
ultimate fate of the "Grand Turk" have 
not been traced. 




The ship "George" was one of the large 
fleet of merchantmen which owed its exist- 
ence to the sagacity and enterprise of Cap- 
tain Joseph Peabody of Salem. For twenty- 
two years she plied, with the regularity of a 
shuttle, between Salem and Calcutta, and 
ranked first in the fleet for speed and relia- 
bility, probably excelling, in these qualities, 
any other Indiaman in the country. Her 
average outward voyages were one hundred 
and fifteen days in length, and her home- 
ward passages averaged one hundred and 
three days. She was built at Salem in 1814, 
for a privateer, by a company of ship-car- 
penters whom the war had thrown out of 
work. But the war closed, and the un- 
launched ship was converted into a mer- 
chantman by the addition of another deck, 
then launched and sold. She was designed 
by Christopher Turner, and was named the 
"George" for Capt. Peabody's third son. 
The "George" measured in length 110 feet 
10 inches, beam, 27 feet, depth of hold, 13 
feet 6 inches, and, according to the measure- 
ments of that day, 328 tons, equal to a 
present measurement of about 228 tons, a 
full-rigged ship drawing, outward-bound, 14 
feet 6 inches, and homeward-bound, 15 feet 
8 inches. She took out specie to secure her 
return cargoes, which consisted mainly of 
indigo, with some piece-stuffs of silk and 
cotton fabrics. 

On her first voyage she sailed May 23, 
1815, and entered her home port again June 
13, 1816. Hardly a man on board was 21 
years of age. In 1821 every man on board 
but the cook could read and write, and he 
could read. All but four understood "navi- 
gation and lunars." 

Captain Forbes says that in his early days 
on the ocean she was known as the "Salem 
Frigate." Her cooks and stewards were 
black, and no yachtsman of today carries a 
more famous cook than London RuHff or 
Prince Farmer, nor a better steward than 
William Coleman or John Tucker. The 

stories of her unrivalled speed are countless, 
and her triumphs over rivals and companion 
ships fill a bright page in the history of 
Salem. Great odds were repeatedly laid 
against her in wagers on her speed, but she 
never disappointed her backers. Forty-five 
of the graduates of this training-school be- 
came shipmasters, twenty chief mates and 
six second mates. She paid into the Treas- 
ury of the United States, in duties on im- 
ports in her twenty-one voyages, the sum 
of s$65 1,744. 

She was furnished with the best of the 
old-time appHances, steered with a long 
tiller, all hands weighed anchor with the 
hand windlass, cables and standing rigging 
all from Salem ropewalks, — a full-rigged 
ship as the picture shows, with rakish masts 
and painted portholes. Her best run was 
an outward passage in 1822, which she 
made in eighty-nine days. Her best home- 
ward passages were of ninety-three days, in 
1831 and in 1832. Her best run (in 1831) 
from the Cape of Good Hope was made in 
forty-one days. This is believed to be the 
quickest passage from the Cape to a North 
Atlantic port ever made under canvas. 
She had her vicissitudes. Once, in 1827, 
she was chased by a nondescript schooner, 
a four-master, — a rare sight in those days, 
— which proved to be a slave-pirate, but 
she escaped with ease. Twice she encoun- 
tered terrific gales and was badly wrecked, 
first, in Massachusetts Bay in the dreadful 
snowstorm of March, 1823, the worst storm 
in a generation; and again in the Indian 
Ocean, a year later, when a hurricane drove 
all hands below but one man who was 
lashed to the helm. Once, on her arrival at 
Pernambuco in September, 1828, forty days 
out from Salem, she was leaking from ten to 
twelve hundred strokes per hour. Once, in 
1834, she returned aleak in ballast from 
Gibraltar, where she had lain seven months 
waiting in vain for a cargo of quicksilver, 
her keel loose, only five copper bolts hold- 
ing, with sheathing started and seams open. 


Finally she arrived from Calcutta May 17, 
1837, and the following September, freighted 
with the regrets of all who recalled her in 
her prime, the famous craft left this port for 
Rio de Janeiro, where she was condemned, 
sold and broken upon her arrival. 

The picture of the "George" here repro- 
duced was the work of Edmund Stone of 
Beverly, who sailed before the mast in her 
from July, 1820, until April, 1821, and who 
is the only person known to have made a 
picture of her. 

Joseph Peabody, owner. From the painting by "Anton Roux (ils aine a Marseille, 1823,' 
in possession of George A. PealDody. 



"Cleopatra's Barge" was built by Retire 
Becket, the famous Salem shipbuilder, at his 
yard at the lower end of Derby Street, and 
was launched October 21, 1816. She was 83 
feet long on the water line, 191 tons dis- 
placement and rigged as a brigantine — 
practically the same dimensions as the mod- 
ern yacht "Mayflower." The starboard 
and port sides were painted differently. 
The former in horizontal stripes of many 
colors and the latter in herring-bone pattern. 
No expense was spared to make her the best 
vessel built in the world, and the fittings, 
especially the cabin furnishings, were most 
elaborate and elegant. The construction 
cost $50,000, which in those days was a very 
large sum, and the cost of the finish and 
furnishings was as much more. She was 
the second recorded American yacht, the 
first American yacht of note and the first to 
cross the Atlantic. The owner, Captain 
George Crowninshield, first named the 
yacht " Car of Concordia," but before regis- 
tration changed it to the name which was 
destined to become famous in both Europe 
and America. 

In 1801, fifteen years before the building 
of "Cleopatra's Barge," Captain George 
Crowninshield built a smaller yacht, a sloop 
of twenty-one tons, the "Jefferson," which 
is the first recorded American yacht. 

Captain George Crowninshield was born 
in Salem, May 27, 1766. His father, 
George Crowninshield, was the founder of 
the mercantile house of George Crownin- 
shield & Sons, which was extensively en- 
gaged in commerce with the West Indies 
and ports of Europe, India and China. 
Upon the death of his father in 1815, and 
changes in the affairs of the firm, he was 
left wealthy, and with ample leisure. 

Owing to the severity of the winter of 
1816-1817 the sailing of the yacht was de- 
layed, and while frozen in the ice in Salem 
harbor was visited by thousands of persons 

(1900 women and 700 men in one day) from 
far and near. She sailed from Salem March 
30, 1817, and returned October 3 the same 
year. On the voyage it was everywhere 
the same, a constant series of entertain- 
ments given and received, while great 
throngs visited the yacht at every port she 
anchored. She proved a fast sailer, at one 
time logging thirteen knots for ten consecu- 
tive hours, while on her run from Gibraltar 
to Port Mahone in the Mediterranean. 
"Much to the delight of her owner," she 
raced with and passed the U. S. frigate 
"United States," bound for the same port. 

At Genoa, Captain George Crowninshield 
is quoted as saying that his black cook 
could calculate longitude and understood 
lunar observation; in fact, the greater part 
of the seamen on board the "Barge" could 
use the sextant and make nautical calcula- 

One of the romances of the voyage was 
the rumor, whispered here and in Europe, 
that it was the intention of the owner to 
rescue Napoleon Bonaparte from St. Helena 
and bring him to America. 

The elaborate preparations for the voy- 
age, the more than 300 letters of introduc- 
tion to prominent personages, the call at 
Elba, the visits of the family of Napoleon 
at Rome, their attentions and the gifts to 
Capt. George Crowninshield, all add proba- 
bility to this supposition. So seriously was 
this rumor taken abroad that the move- 
ments of the "Barge" were closely watched 
by the ships of the British Navy. Yet in 
spite of all these circumstances some of his 
relatives are convinced that he did not 
seriously consider such an undertaking. 

After the death of Captain George Crown- 
inshield, which occurred in Salem on board 
the boat November 26, 1817, "Cleopatra's 
Barge" was dismantled and entered the 
merchant service, making several voyages 
to South America. Later she was taken to 


the Hawaiian Islands and became the pri- 
vate yacht of King Kamehameha II under 
the "Haaheo o Hawaii" (Pride of Hawaii) 
until wrecked on Kauai, one of the islands, 
in the spring of 1824. 

This picture, showing the starboard side 
as she is entering the port of Genoa, bears 
the following inscription: "Drawn and 
painted from the original in 1817 by An- 
toine Vittaluga, Genoa." 

HI U Midi M\ (II s/l I \I 

\v II v\/ I 1 1 

From original painting by Antoine Vittaluga, made in Genoa in January, 1829, 
of the Peabody Museum, Salem. 



The brig "Leander" was one of a fleet of 
eighty-three vessels built or owned, between 
1790 and 1844, by Captain Joseph Peabody, 
of Salem, and all freighted by him from 
Salem, sometimes when better voyages 
could have been made from other ports. 
She was launched at the shipyard of Benja- 
min Hawkes, which is now Grant Street, 
July 25, 1821. The Salem Register of July 
28 calls her "an elegant coppered brig," com- 
mends her greatly, and adds, "the model 
has had high praise." In those days all 
America was looking towards Salem, Bev- 
erly and Marblehead for models. The brig 
measured 223 tons, according to the Custom 
House rating of the day, having a length of 
91 feet 4 inches, a breadth of 23 feet 5 
inches, and a depth of 11 feet 8}/^ inches. 
Measured on the present scale, she would 
rate about 156 tons only. She carried 13 
men all told. 

On her first voyage the "Leander" sailed 
for Smyrna and Leghorn, Samuel Rea, mas- 
ter, August 31, 1821, and arrived home May 
28, 1822. Captain Charles Roundy com- 
manded her for the next five years. Cap- 
tain Round}' sailed on his second voyage as 
master August 21, 1823. He was then 
twenty-seven years old. On his arrival at 
Canton in the spring of 1824 he found that 
the supply of tea was short and the prices 
high. He decided, on his own responsibil- 
ity, to wait six months, or until the new 
crop came down the river to market. The 
wisdom of this course was justified on his 
arrival home, March 19, 1825, with a cargo 
which netted large profits and paid in duties 
at this port $86,847.47. On his next voy- 
age the duties paid in April, 1826, were 
$92,392.94. At this time no other vessel 

had paid $90,000 in duties. Her brief 
career of twenty-three years is so marked as 
to make it good reading. If the profits she 
earned could be stated it would be still 
more so. 

The time consumed in each of her voy- 
ages, at a period when there were neither 
fast steamers, quick mails, nor ocean cables 
to carry instructions, demonstrates anew 
the absolute trust reposed by owners in the 
good judgment and loyalty of that fine race 
of men, the Salem shipmasters. Those who 
recall the old days of saiHng ships will not 
fail to note how promptly the little brig was 
ready for sea after discharging each cargo, 
and how soon she was back in port again, 
bringing another. But for all that there 
were months of anxiety when captain and 
owners were without intelligence of each 
other, and when brig and cargo were in the 
undivided charge of the commander. 

In March, 1837, the "Leander" was at 
Zanzibar on the arrival of the first foreign 
Consul from the United States ever sent to 
that busy port, Richard Palmer Waters, of 
Salem, bearing a commission and an auto- 
graph letter from General Jackson. The 
Consul was saluted by Turkish and other 
naval and commercial vessels representing 
various nations. Among them only two 
were American, and one of these was the 

In November, 1840, the brig was sold to 
David Pingree, of Salem, and was after- 
wards employed in the African trade. In 
1844 the "Leander" arrived home from the 
West Coast of Africa, March 3, and sailed 
again March 29, arriving out in time to 
have been condemned and sold at Gambia, 
July 11, 1844. 




The brig "Olinda" was built for Gideon 
Tucker, Samuel Tucker and Daniel H. 
Mansfield by Elijah Briggs, a cousin of 
Enos Briggs, the famous Salem ship builder. 
After the death of Enos Briggs, Elijah who 
had moved here from Scituate, succeeded to 
the business and continued at the old ship 
yard in South Salem, which was located on 
Peabody street, where of late years stood 
the machine shop of George Newcomb. 
The "Ohnda" was only 178 tons measure- 
ment with a length of 88 feet, 2 inches, 
breadth of 21 feet, 2 inches and depth of 10 
feet, 7 inches, which was very small when 
compared with modern vessels. 

The Salem Register of July 21, 1825, says: 
— "On Tuesday last (July 19) at one 
o'clock p. M., was launched from the ship 
yard of E. Briggs in South Salem, the beau- 
tiful coppered and copper fastened brig 
Olinda owned by G. Tucker, Esq. At the 
time the brig was launched she was com- 
pletely rigged and had part of her cargo on 
board. She will sail for South America in 
a few days." 

She made many voyages, some to Europe, 
others to the Provinces and thence to South 
America and was finally sold in January, 
1847, to Boston owners. In those days it 
was customary for vessels in the South 
American trade to sail for the Provinces in 
ballast, there taking on fish for the Cape 
Verde Islands, where they would load salt 
for South American ports, returning to the 
United States with hides and tallow. Or 
they might leave here in ballast for Rich- 

mond, Va., there load Haxall flour made 
from a certain kind of wheat grown in that 
vicinity which would stand transportation 
south of the equator. At other times a trip 
to the Provinces for fish to be taken to the 
West Indies, there to be exchanged for sugar 
for Philadelphia, would result in a voyage 
home by way of Richmond with a cargo of 

Among the names of the masters were 
Richard Wheatland, William Briggs, Samuel 
Hutchinson and George Savory. 

Gideon Tucker, one of the owners, was 
born March 7, 1778, and built and occupied 
the house on Essex street opposite the Essex 
Institute. He was clerk for Joseph Peabody 
and afterwards a partner in that noted ship- 
ping firm, which he left to establish a busi- 
ness of his own. He died February 18, 
1861. "A venerable man of exact habits 
and strict integrity." 

Samuel Tucker was a younger brother of 
Gideon and commanded various ships sail- 
ing from Salem, among them being the ship 
"Glide," schooner "Lydia," and others. 

Daniel H. Mansfield was a nephew of the 
Tuckers and father of Mrs. Henry W. Pea- 
body of Salem. He was a master mariner, 
commanding the bark "Emily Wilder," 
brig " Cherokee," brig "Rattler," and others. 
He was United States Consul in Zanzibar 
for several years and afterwards an alder- 
man of Salem. He died December 24, 
1874. "An efficient shipmaster of simple 
habits and great integrity of character." 


From the painting now in possession of George S. Silsbee. 

From a painting by Frederic Roux, now in tlie possession of J. B. Ropes. 



Among the many ships famous in the 
early days of Salem's maritime history, 
none is more deserving of honorable men- 
tion than the good ship "St. Paul." The 
vessel was built in Boston in 1833, registered 
463 3-95 tons, her length was 129 feet, her 
beam 23 feet, and depth 18 feet. For two 
years she made voyages under command of 
Capt. Joel Woodbury of Beverly, between 
New York, New Orleans, and Liverpool. 
In November, 1835, the late Hon. Stephen 
C. Phillips purchased the ship, and for six- 
teen years she bore the name of Salem as 
her home port. 

Heavily built for the cotton trade, and of 
a large, full model, she proved herself an 
enormous carrier. Her figure-head was a 
white bust of the Apostle Paul, and her 
large, square stern, with cabin windows, was 
embellished with a superb carving, rep- 
resenting the Apostle Paul shaking the viper 
from his hand into the fire when he was 
shipwrecked on the Isle of Malta. When 
he purchased the ship, Mr. Phillips did so 
with the express purpose of placing her in 
the trade between Salem and Manila. 

On December 9, 1835, commanded by 
Capt. Gordon Robinson, she left New York 
for Manila. She made the outward passage 
in 140 days, remained in port 53 days, and 
arrived back at New York, December 10, 
1836. On her next voyage she was com- 
manded by Capt. Joseph Winn. Eleven 
round voyages between Salem and Manila 
followed, the ship calling once at Macao, 
China, Singapore, and Batavia. The quick- 
est voyage was the tenth, made in ten 
months and four days, under command of 
Capt. Charles H. Allen. Several were made 
in less than eleven months. 

While at home on her thirteenth voyage, 
the "St. Paul" was retopped and thoroughly 
overhauled at Dodge's Wharf, South Salem. 
The figure-head was removed, the quaint 
carving taken off the stern, the heavy chan- 
nels replaced by modern chain plates, the 
hull painted black, and her appearance was 

greatly changed. Previously, she had paint- 
ed ports, and with her wide channels with 
the dead eyes and rigging running down to 
them, and her high side out of water, she 
had much the appearance of a heavy East 
India Company ship. 

Captain Allen was the commander on this 
voyage, Daniel Bray was mate, and John 
Hancock was second mate. The last named 
had sailed in her on her eighth, ninth, tenth, 
eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth voyages. 
He mourned over the removal of the figure- 
head, and as the ship started for sea on 
July 5, 1851, he remarked sadly, "She will 
never come back!" His words were pro- 
phetic and too true. The ship was driven, 
during a typhoon December 9, on the island 
of Masbate; in the Straits of St. Bernardino, 
the crew narrowly escaping losing their 
lives. This ended her career so far as 
Salem was concerned. She was sold at 
auction as she lay, afterwards was floated, 
and subsequently sailed under the Spanish 
flag, bearing the name of "Santa Eusta." 

Two anecdotes of the ship are here re- 
called. On her fifth voyage from Salem, in 
1840, three days after leaving Manila, on 
the homeward passage, the ship encoun- 
tered a typhoon, was very badly damaged, 
putting into Singapore for repairs. There 
she took several missionaries, a physician. 
Dr. Wm. B. Driver of Philadelphia, and 
two shipmasters. Captain Lowry and Cap- 
tain Underwood, as passengers. The vessel 
sailed from Singapore, March 4, 1841, and 
on the night of March 9, at ten o'clock, some 
of the passengers wished to visit the British 
ships "Valleyfield" and "Lord Wilson" to 
say "good-bye" to friends. The three ships 
sailed from Singapore at the same time, and 
the captains arranged to keep together 
through the Straits of Malacca, as those 
waters were infested with Malay pirates. 
Captain Lowry was engaged in clearing the 
jolly boat, when suddenly there was a splash, 
followed by a swish and the swirl of the 
water as though a large fish had broken the 


surface. The night was dark, a dead calm 
prevailed, nothing could be seen and there 
was no outcry. But Captain Lowry was 
missing. The boat went over the side in 
less time than it takes to tell the story, and 
boats from the EngHsh ships assisted in the 
search. The unfortunate man could not be 
found. In the twinkling of an eye he had 
been seized by a man-eating shark, and car- 
ried beneath the water. 

Another tragedy of the sea in connection 
with the "St. Paul," occurred on the tenth 
voyage. There had been living in Salem a 
Manila boy, sixteen years old, brought here 
by a Salem shipmaster. The lad having 
grown homesick, was placed on the "St. 

Paul " to be carried to his native land. Four 
da3's out from Salem, in the evening, he 
jumped up on the ship's rail, and, before 
any one realized his purpose, dived into the 
sea. A boat searched for an hour for him, 
but he could not be found. 

The "St. Paul" was the largest vessel of 
her time owned in Salem, only two others 
exceeding 400 tons. Her departure from 
Salem was watched from headland to head- 
land until she was lost to .view, and on her 
return "many an eye awaited her coming, 
and looked brighter when she came." Her 
cargoes filled the spacious storehouses on 
Phillips' Wharf, and she paid total duties of 
$163,268.02 into the United States Treasury. 


From the painting showing the ship leaving Marseilles in March. 1848. made by S. Pelligrii 

and now in the possession of Mrs. Charles F. Curwen. 



The ship "Carolina" was built in Med- 
ford in 1836 by George Fuller for Ammi C. 
Lombard, and measured 395 tons. From 
the early days Medford, from its location on 
the winding Mystic river, furnished favor- 
able opportunities for many shipyards and 
after the Revolution, from 1803 to 1846, 
when shipping again revived, nearly 400 
vessels, aggregating over 130,000 tons, 
estimated to have cost $6,000,000, were 
launched there. One vessel, the "Avon," a 
privateer in the last war with England, was 
built in twenty-six days. 

Two Medford vessels deserve special 
mention; the first was framed and put to- 
gether, then taken down and transported to 
Boston, where it was shipped to the Sand- 
wich Islands with the first missionaries, 
sent there on the "Thaddeus." The other 
was the first vessel built without Medford 
rum. After much opposition the trial was 
made and resulted five years later in abol- 
ishing the custom so long in vogue of serv- 
ing rum freely from the time the keel was 
laid until the ship was launched. 

The "Carolina" was first registered in 
Salem May 31, 1842, and was owned by 
David Pingree, Benjamin Fabens, Charles 
H. Fabens, and Benjamin Fabens, Jr., and 
was commanded by Capt. Charles H. Fa- 
bens. She sailed for the Far East with a 
letter of credit for £20,000 sterling with 
which to purchase a cargo, together with a 
miscellaneous cargo, part of which was 
1,500 pigs of lead, 15 kegs containing 
42,800 Mexican dollars, 3 kegs containing 
7,200 Spanish dollars, a bag with 150 Mex- 
ican and a keg with 250 Mexican dollars. 

The instructions given to the captain, in 
the shape of a letter signed by all the owners, 
show that the ship was to clear for Soura- 

baya in the Island of Java, there to load rice 
for Lintin, the open port for Canton which 
was up the river, and from there to go to 
Whampoa for a cargo of tea if it could be 
purchased at a low price, if not, to proceed 
to Manila and there load sugar and hemp 
for home. Captain Fabens was advised to 
"give all the rocks and shoals a wide berth" 
which he evidently did, for the "Carolina" 
arrived safely in Salem from Manila with 
"merchandise, 100,000 cigars and 343,907 
pounds of sugar," paying duties of $10,- 

She made other successful voyages, being 
registered September 16, 1843, May 31, 1844, 
and in 1845 was sold in New York for 

Charles H. Fabens, who was master of a 
ship at nineteen years of age, was born on 
Mill street, Salem, next to the mill on South 
river where the corn of the farmers in South 
Fields was ground and where the great ma- 
hogany logs from South America were cut 
up, and from which the street took its 
name. This mill was situated where the 
round house of the Boston & Maine Rail- 
road stood previous to the conflagration of 

Captain Fabens went to sea when he was 
sixteen and retired at the age of twenty-six, 
and settled in Cayenne for seven years. On 
his return to Salem he engaged in the 
Cayenne trade. The Fabens family for 
four generations carried on this trade, oc- 
cupying in Salem the wharf and counting- 
room of the famous William Gray. The last 
arrival from Cayenne was on March 21, 
1877, the schooner "Mattie F.," consigned 
to C. E. & B. H. Fabens. This brought to 
a close the once famous foreign trade of 



Formerly the African slaver, "La Rooke.' From the original painting now in possession of the 

Peabody Museum, Salem. 


From the original painting in the possession of Stephen W. and 

J. D. Phillips of Salem. 


The ship "Thomas Perkins," of Salem, 
was built at Portsmouth, N. H., in 1837, for 
David Pingree and Emery Johnson. She 
was 156 9-10 feet in length, 28 and 43^ 
tenths feet in breadth, and 20 feet deep, 
with two decks, a square stern, a billet 
head, and a capacity of 595 64-100 tons. 

The vessel arrived in Salem, September 1, 
1837, and sailed upon her first voyage 
November 29, William Graves, Jr., of New- 
buryport, master, for Mobile and thence to 
Liverpool and China. She did not return 
to the United States until June 21, 1842, 
arriving in New York from Manila after one 
of the most remarkable and profitable voy- 
ages on record. During most of this long 
period of almost five years, being a neutral 
ship, she was engaged in distributing the 
cargoes of the English vessels in Chinese 
ports, which were then closed to the English 
by reason of the Opium War. 

The opium trade of the East India Com- 
pany with China, which was worth £1,000,- 
000 to £1,500,000 to British India, and 
amounted to 30,000 chests in 1837, was 
stopped that year by the Chinese govern- 
ment, although the trade had actually been 
illegal since 1796. Various seizures, riots 
and diplomatic incidents finally led to a 
declaration of war by the British govern- 
ment in 1840. Nine-tenths of the British 
merchants in China were engaged in the 
illegal traffic when British shipping was ex- 
cluded from Chinese waters and the contents 
of British vessels had to be transferred to 
American bottoms for conveyance to Chinese 
ports. In 1842, a treaty of peace was 
signed by which the ports of Amboy, 
Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai were de- 
clared open to trade in addition to those 
previously used, and an indemnity of 
$21,000,000 was to be paid to the British 

On her return the "Thomas Perkins" 
came into Massachusetts Bay, June 16, 
1842, and was ordered around to New York 
by the pilot, this being the ordinary way of 

changing the destination when such a 
course seemed desirable. 

She sailed from New York again July 14, 
1842, for Manila and Canton, and made 
four regular voyages under Capt. William 
Graves, Jr., to these and other ports in the 
East during the next five years. On the 
last of these voyages she was in Penang 
harbor with the ship "Caroline Augusta," 
the ship "Ann Maria" and the bark "Three 
Brothers," all of Salem. All four of these 
vessels were owned by the same merchants. 

Under Capt. Edmund Pike of Newbury- 
port, she sailed from New York, December 
22, 1847, for Penang, Amoy and Manila, re- 
turning to New York, May 4, 1849, loaded 
with Manila hemp. This proved to be a 
very profitable voyage, the price of hemp 
having advanced during her passage home. 

In June, 1849, she was owned by Richard 
S. Rogers and William D. Pickman of 
Salem, and was commanded by Capt. Wil- 
liam C. Rogers of Salem. She sailed from 
New York, July 18, 1849, for San Francisco 
and thence to Calcutta, with an entire cargo 
of lumber and arrived at San Francisco 
ahead of the fleet on November 22, 1849. 
As this was during the gold fever the cap- 
tain was able to dispose of one-half of the 
cargo at an enormous profit, then the other 
vessels arrived and the balance had to be 
sold at cost. She arrived at Boston from 
Calcutta, December 6, 1850, thus complet- 
ing a voyage around the world. 

On February 21, 1851, she sailed from 
Boston for New Orleans under command of 
Capt. Charles Bush of Salem, being owned 
at that time by Theodore A. Neal, Richard 
S. Rogers, William C. Rogers and Jacob C. 
Rogers. Upon her return in May, 1851, 
another voyage was made to the same port, 
and again in August and November, the 
latter one under command of Captain 

On February 13, 1852, under Captain 
Boott, she sailed again for New Orleans, 
leaving there May 1st for Liverpool, but on 

May 29, leaking badly, was obliged to put 
into Boston harbor. After having been 
repaired she sailed for Liverpool on July 17, 
1852, and on September 8 following, sailed 
from Liverpool for San Francisco, arriving 
January 29, 1853. On April 18 of that 
year she left for Callao, and sailed from 
there September 8, arriving in Baltimore 
January 5, 1854. In February, 1854, the 
ownership changed and from that time 
until 1861, she was engaged in the cotton 
trade between New Orleans, Boston and 
Liverpool. No record of her appears after 

A half-hull model is preserved in the Ma- 
rine Hall of the Peabody Museum in Salem. 

This picture, which has the signal of 
David Pingree at the mainmast, shows the 
ship probably in a Chinese port, very 
likely Lintin. 

She was named by Mr. Pingree for his 
uncle Thomas Perkins, who was born in 
Topsfield, April 2, 1758, and died there, 
November 24, 1830. Beginning life as a 
shoemaker, Mr. Perkins came to Salem at 
the age of twenty-two and shipped on 
board a privateer in company with Joseph 
Peabody who afterwards became his busi- 
ness partner. They were also together on 
the letter-of-marque brig "Ranger," Cap- 
tain Simmons, when she was attacked in the 
Potomac river in 1782, by three British tory 
barges which were briUiantly repulsed. He 
became captain of the privateers "Spitfire" 
and "Thrasher," and in the latter captured 
six prizes in a single cruise. He was fre- 
quently referred to as Captain Perkins and 
became an eminent merchant, his enterprise 
aiding very materially in building up the 
reputation of the City of Salem. 


From the painting by a Chinese artist at Whampoa, showing the rescue, in November, 1845, of the 

crew of a dismantled jurUc. 


The ship "Iris," 227 tons burden, was 
built in Kennebunk, Maine, in 1797 for Wil- 
liam Gray, Jr., of Salem, one of the most dis- 
tinguished merchants of his time, and one 
of the largest ship-owners in Salem. In 
1807 Mr. Gray owned fifteen ships, seven 
barks, thirteen brigs and one schooner, be- 
ing one-fourth of all the tonnage of Salem. 
There is a tradition in Salem that his ambi- 
tion was to own a hundred vessels. He 
lived in the mansion on Essex Street, which 
he built in 1800 and which in later years was 
known as the "Essex House," on the site of 
the present hotel of that name. In 1809 
he removed to Boston and in 1810-11 was 
chosen Lieutenant-Governor, and died in 
Boston, November 3, 1825, possessed of a 
very large property. 

The "Iris" was first registered in Salem, 
June 19, 1799, Enoch Swett, master. No 
special records are found of her voyages ex- 
cept as the impost books at the Custom 
House show her arrival from time to time. 

December 19, 1799, she returned from 
Archangel with merchandise, cordage, hemp 
and candles. Again on June 9, 1800, she 
arrived from Havana, Philip Besom, mas- 
ter, loaded with white and brown sugar and 
molasses, upon which duties of over ten 

thousand dollars were paid. On November 
3, 1800, she returned from Copenhagen, 
John Conway, master. March 8, 1803, the 
same master was recorded as from Lisbon 
with salt and wine. September 4, 1805, 
still with John Conway in command, she 
brought hemp, tallow and merchandise 
from St. Petersburg. On November 20, 
1805 a change of ownership to Henry Gray 
is noted, and the vessel is registered in the 
name of the new owner. September 6, 
1806, John Conway, master, brandy and 
wine from Naples, paying duties of over 
fourteen thousand dollars. April 20, 1807, 
John Conway, master, merchandise and salt 
from Lisbon. On March 15, 1808, still 
with John Conway as master, she is regis- 
tered as from Algeciras with stores and 
ballast, possibly an unsuccessful voyage, 
but more likely having discharged her cargo 
at some other port, returned here in order 
to load for another foreign voyage. 

This apparently is her last arrival in 
Salem, and as Mr. Gray moved his business 
to Boston the next year, she may have con- 
tinued to bring these varied cargoes from 
the well-known ports in Europe and to have 
assisted materially in making Mr. Gray one 
of the great merchants of that era. 


Silsbee, Pickman and Stone, owners. Altered to a bark. 

Tucker Daland, Jacob Putnam and William Silver, owners. 


For many years Salem was largely inter- 
ested in trade with the Philippine Islands, 
and her vessels plied regularly between 
Manila and this port. Little did her mer- 
chants, ship masters, supercargoes and sea- 
men dream that these Islands would be as 
truly a part of the United States as is 

Prominent among the Salem merchants 
to do business with the Philippines was the 
late Hon. Stephen Clarendon Phillips, later 
a Mayor of Salem, and among the ships 
that he placed in the trade was the " Brook- 
line," a picture of which is reproduced here. 
It is copied from a large painting owned by 
George H. Allen of Salem and Manchester, 
a son of Capt. Charles H. Allen, one of the 
ship's masters. 

The ' Brookline" was built in 1873, in 
Medford, by Thacher Magoun for Henry 
Oxnard of Boston, and she registered 364 
tons. Mr. Magoun was born in Pembroke, 
Mass., June 17, 1775. For five years he 
was an apprentice to Enos Briggs, a famous 
ship builder of Salem, also a native of 
Pembroke, who was the builder of the noted 
frigate, Essex, which was launched in Salem, 
September 30, 1799, from Winter Island. 
From Salem, young Magoun went to Mr. 
Barker's yard in Charlestown (the present 
United States Navy Yard,) where he 
worked two years longer. In 1802 "he laid 
the first keel of that fieet of ocean merch- 
ant ships whose sails have shaded every 
bay and sea of the navigable globe." 
Between 1803 and 1845, 149 vessels were 
built at his yard. 

On May 11, 1832, the "Brookline" 
cleared at New York for Manila, under 
command of Capt. Samuel Kennedy of 
Salem. She is next reported in the Salem 
Register of January 10, 1833, as follows 
"Arrived in River Hoogly, ship BrookHne, 
Kennedy, for Calcutta; made the land, 
August 18, (1832), in 97 days from Boston." 
She arrived at Boston on her return, June 5, 
1833, from Calcutta January 20, Sands 

Heads, February 6. This was her first voy- 
age to the East Indies, her Captain having 
made a previous voyage in the ship " Rome" 
to Calcutta. 

Among the arrivals at Salem, June 18, 
1833, the Salem Register of June 20 reports: 
"Ship BrookHne, Kennedy, Boston. Pur- 
chased by Stephen C. Phillips." This, then, 
was the beginning of the ship's connection 
with Salem. Her registry at the Salem 
Custom House reads: "Brookline, ship, 
349 tons, Medford, 1831, Stephen C. 
Phillips, owner, George Peirce, master, 
June 19, 1833." The ship cleared from 
Salem, July 1, 1833, George Peirce, master, 
for the East Indies, and sailed the next 

April 29, 1836, the "Brookline" sailed 
from New York for Manila under command 
of Capt. Charles H. Allen, and she made 
regular voyages with him as master until 
1844, with the single exception of a voyage 
to Valparaiso and Manila, sailing from Bos- 
ton, June 26, 1837. On that voyage Gordon 
Robinson was master, Benjamin W. Peach, 
Marblehead, mate; John Church, Beverly, 
second mate; Charles F. Proctor, Salem, 
one of the crew, and London Ruliff, Salem, 
steward. She returned to Salem, arriving 
here March 9, 1839, and paying duties of 
$8727.44 at the Salem Custom House. 

The "Brookline" sailed from Salem for 
Manila, May 23, 1843. She returned from 
this voyage and arrived at Salem, April 
2, 1844, and that ended her connection 
with Salem. May 9, 1844, the ship was 
sold to a Boston owner. Starbuck's book 
on "WhaHng," records her as the ship 
"Brooklyn," 360 tons, Perkins & Smith, 
owners, Jeffry, master, and sailing the Pacific 
Ocean, July 7, 1845. She returned April 
6, 1848; sailed again July 10, 1848, return- 
ed May 7, 1851. With Newry, master, 
she sailed on her third voyage, July 11, 
1851, and returned April 30, 1856. Sept. 
6, 1856, Capt. Rose, master, she sailed 
again, and returned May 5, 1859, and is 


then reported as sold to Boston parties, and 
in 1861 is recorded in the Ship Register as 
sold to Buenos Ayres parties and brok- 
en up. 

John Felt, who was assistant superinten- 
dent of the Salem Gas Light Co., when 80 
years of age, told the writer that he was in 
the "Brookline" when she made a double 
voyage in 1833-36. He said they sailed 
from Salem, July 2, 1833, and were accom- 
panied down the harbor and 20 miles to sea 
by many prominent citizens who came back 
in the pilot boat. Among them, says Mr. 
Felt, was Hon. Stephen C. Phillips, the 
owner. Rev. John Brazier, pastor of the 
North Church, Rev. James Thompson, pas- 
tor of the Barton Square Church, Rev. 
Charles W. Upham, author of Salem Witch- 

craft, pastor of the First Church, and ex- 
mayor of Salem, Capt. Kennedy, master of 
the "Brookline" on a previous voyage, 
Capt. Lovett of Beverly, John Porter Felt, 
brother of Mr. Felt, and who lost his Hfe by 
the burning of the steamer "Lexington" in 
Long Island Sound in 1840. It is a sad 
coincidence that the owner of the ship lost 
his life, while mayor of Salem, by the burn- 
ing of the steamer "Fulton" in the St. 
Lawrence River, June 26, 1859. 

On this voyage the ship cleared for 
Batavia, went to Canton, thence to Ham- 
burg, back to Manila, and then home to 
New York, where she arrived March 11, 
1836, having left Manila Oct. 6, and St. 
Helena, Jan. 22. The entire voyage occu- 
pied 32 months and nine days. 



The picture here reproduced is from a 
painting in the possession of Mr. William C. 
Waters of Salem. It was painted in Japan 
by a Dutch artist and represents the ship 
"Franklin" of Boston, 200 tons burden; 
James Perkins, Thomas H. Perkins and 
James Dunlap of Boston, owners, and James 
Devereux of Salem, master. She sailed 
from Boston on December 11, 1798, bound 
for Batavia on the island of Java. At that 
time the entire foreign trade of Japan was 
controlled by the Dutch merchants at Java 
and on the arrival of the "Franklin" she 
was chartered by the Dutch East India 
Company for 30,000 piastres, for a voyage 
to and from Japan. This was the first 
voyage of an American vessel to Japan. 
The original letter of instructions, the 
ship's charter party and the directions of 
the Dutch East India Company to Captain 
Devereux were printed in volume two of 
the Essex Institute Historical Collections 
and show with what care ships were started 
on long voyages before the days of the tel- 
egraph and cable, when the responsibihty 
for success or failure, to a very large extent, 
rested upon the man on the spot. 

The letter of instructions was dated Bos- 
ton, December 7, 1798, and Captain Dev- 
ereux was directed, "being master of our 
ship 'Franklin' now ready for sea, to pro- 
ceed immediately to Batavia in the Island 
of Java; on your arrival there to co-operate 
with Mr. Walter Burling, who goes out in 
the Ship and to whom the cargo is jointly 
with yourself addressed." The return cargo 
was to be coffee and was to be brought in 
bulk if possible. Boards were to be carried 
to fit the hold for that purpose and also 
material for the construction of a coach 
house on the quarter-deck for the accommo- 
dation of the officers on the return voyage 
so that the cabin also could be filled with 

The "Frankhn" left Boston on December 
11, 1798, and after an uneventful voyage of 
130 days, on April 19, 1799, made Java 

Head. On her arrival at Batavia, nine 
days later, it was found that the Dutch 
East India Company was in need of a 
vessel to take a cargo to and from Japan 
and she was at once chartered. The cargo 
consisted in part of "sugar, cloves, cotton 
yarn, chintz, tin, elephant's teeth and 100 
lb. mummie." On the voyage back she 
was to bring copper, "camphire," empty 
boxes and boards. Article eighth of the 
charter-party stipulates "That the number 
of persons on board shall amount to 17, the 
Captain included." 

The following extracts from the letter of 
instructions are of curious interest: "When 
you get to latitude 26 or 27 it will be neces- 
sary to have everything in readiness to com- 
ply with the ceremonies which the Japanese 
are accustomed to see performed by the 
ships of this company. 

"First. You will have all your colors in 
order to dress the ship on her entrance into 

"Second. There must be a table pre- 
pared on the quarter-deck which must be 
covered with a piece of cloth and two cush- 
ions for the officers to sit upon, when they 
come on board. 

"Third. It is indispensably necessary to 
have a list of all the people on board, pas- 
sengers and officers, their station and age. 

"Fourth. All the books of the people 
and officers, particularly religious books, 
must be put in a cask and headed up. The 
officers from the shore will put their seals 
upon the cask and take it on shore and on 
the departure of the ship, will bring it on 
board without having opened it. 

"Fifth. Before your arrival at Japan, 
you must make the people deliver you their 
money, and keep it until your departure. 
This will not be attended with inconven- 
ience, as at Japan nothing is bought for 
cash, but they may change their specie for 
Cambang money, and then make their 
trade, but this must be done by the Captain. 


"Sixth. When you are in sight of 
Japan, you must hoist a Dutch penant and 
ensign in their proper places, as if you were 
a Dutch ship. 

"Seventh. When the Cavalles are on 
your starboard hand, and the Island of 
Japan on your larboard, you must salute 
the guard on the Cavalles with nine guns. 

"Eighth. After that you pass on the 
larboard side of Papenburg, and salute with 
nine guns. 

"Ninth. You then pass the guard of 
the Emperor on the starboard and larboard, 
nearly at the same time, and salute with 
seven or nine guns, the first all starboard 
guns, and the second all larboard. 

"Tenth. You then advance into the 
Road of Nangazacky, and after anchoring 
salute with thirteen guns. 

" Eleventh. When you enter the Cavalles, 
the Commissaries of the chief will come on 
board, and you must salute them with nine 
guns. At the same time, if it is practicable, 
hoist some colors to the yard as a compli- 

ment to them. It is immaterial what colors 
you dress your ship with, except Spanish or 
Portuguese, it is however necessary to 
recollect that the Dutch colors must always 
be in their proper place, as if the ship was 
of that nation. 

"Twelfth. When the Commissaries re- 
turn on shore you must salute them with 
nine guns. 

"Thirteenth. You must be very par- 
ticular in letting the boats which are around 
the ship know when you are going to fire, as, 
if you were to hurt any of them the conse- 
quences would be very important. 

"Fourteenth. After you are anchored 
and salute the harbour, the officers examine 
the list of your people and compare them 
with the number on board. After having 
received them, those who wish it can go 
on shore, but before the Japanese land, all 
the arms and ammunition must be sent on 
shore, and it will be proper that everything 
of this kind should be landed as they search 
the ship after she is unloaded. 




The Brig "Naiad," of 259 tons burden, 
was built in Haverhill in 1817 for Pickering 
Dodge of Salem and was first registered at 
the Salem Custom House July 18, 1819, 
Nathaniel Osgood being the master. 

On Thursday, October 28, 1819, she ar- 
rived from Calcutta on her first voyage, hav- 
ing been struck by lightning the Sunday 
previous. The second mate, William Griffen, 
who was on the main topsail yard was 
instantly killed and fell into the sea with 
his clothes burning. The first mate was 
knocked down and one man seriously in- 
jured. The vessel, however, received but 
trifling damage. 

In January, 1821, she arrived from Cal- 
cutta paying duties of $24,000. After mak- 
ing several successful voyages to India she 
was sold to Newburyport parties in 
August, 1823. 

Pickering Dodge, her first owner, was 
born April 6, 1778, married Rebecca, 
daughter of Daniel and Mary Jenks, and 
died August 16, 1833. He was well known 
as an active, enterprising, intelligent and 
honorable merchant and was universally 
esteemed. He built and occupied the 
house in Chestnut Street, now owned by 
Dr. O. B. Shreve. 

He was associated in business with some 
of the ablest merchants of his period, in- 
cluding Thomas Wigglesworth, Ebenezer 
Francis, Dudley L. Pickman and R. C. 
Mackey; his ships were the largest for the 
times and he paid some of the largest 
amounts in duties that were received at the 
Custom House in Salem. 

Rev. William Bentley in his Diary records 
in 1812, that the American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions notified the 
churches that four candidates, Adoniram 
Judson, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott and 
Gordon Hall were to be ordained in the 
Tabernacle Church and go immediately to 
India and that Pickering Dodge was to 

supply them passage. The event is com- 
memorated by the bronze tablet now to 
be seen on the Tabernacle Church in 

Mr. Dodge's wharf was located in South 
Salem and is now part of the property of 
the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company. 

Mr. Bentley also records in 1819 that 
Dodge's Wharf was being carried out from 
the point opposite Derby Wharf, "the work 
is in the method of the wharf at the Charity 
House, with stone filled with earth to be 
solid and not like our other wharves of cobb 
and liable to be hurt by every sea." 

The picture here reproduced was painted 
by Anton Roux in Marseilles, showing the 
"Naiad" leaving for India on March 5, 

The water color paintings of vessels by 
Anton Roux are more highly prized by col- 
lectors than those of any other artist of the 
period. Roux was born in Marseilles in 
1765 and died there in 1835. He was 
estabhshed as a hydrographer on one of the 
qua3's and painted pictures of many famous 
ships, of which a number were owned in 

His sons Anton, Jr., Francois and Fred- 
erick followed his profession as artists, their 
work closely resembling that of their 
father. Francois became painter to the 
French Ministry of Marine. 

The "Naiad" having been built in 
Haverhill, the following extract from the 
proprietor's records under date of June 18, 
1733, will be of interest as showing the 
earliest notice of shipbuilding there: 

"Henrj' Springer petition as followeth, 
viz. That he is wiUing and desirious to 
settle in Town and Carry on the Trade of a 
Ship Carpenter if he might have suitable 
encouragement. But having no place of 
his own to build on prays the grant of so 
much Land betwixt the highway by the 

hurrying place, and the River or where the 
vessel now stands on the Stocks as would 
accommodate him for a building yard." 

"Upon which petition after mature con- 
sideration it was Voted, that he should have 
so much, provided that he settled in the 
town of Haverhill and Carried on the Trade 
of a Ship Carpenter, or that some other per- 

son build in the same place in his room and 
no Longer." 

Mr. Springer was not the first shipbuilder 
in town, but was evidently the first person 
who carried on shipbuilding as a regular 
business, from the fact that his name is the 
first that appears in that connection in the 

From a painting in possession of Nathaniel Griffin Simonds of. Salem