Ships' Logs Collection

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Ships' Logs Collection
This is a collection of ships’ logs and shipboard journals assembled by the Nantucket Historical Association. Logs, generally kept by captains or first mates of vessels, include daily observations of position (latitude and longitude), weather, vessels sighted, and ports visited. For whaling voyages, the logs also record whales seen and/or taken. Some logs contain crew lists, cargo lists, and sometimes personal observations, poems, and drawings. Journals, often written by captains’ wives, passengers, or crew members, record sights and events of a voyage, often including accidents, illnesses, weather, pastimes, port visits, and contact with Native people in foreign ports. Voyages departing from Nantucket, Mass., and New Bedford, Mass., are strongly represented in the collection. The majority of the logbooks document whaling voyages.
George Harrison Ritchie journal, 1853–1855

George Harrison Ritchie journal, 1853–1855

In this personal journal, George Harrison Ritchie, purser in the U.S. Navy, describes his experiences with the United States Exploring Expedition from 1853 to 1855. He was assigned first to the supply ship USS John P. Kennedy and later to steam tug USS John Hancock. Due to illness he spent two...

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240 pages: 19% complete (19% transcribed)
Log of the brig Clio, 1830

Log of the brig Clio, 1830

This log created by Henry Clapp, Jr. documents an 1830 voyage of the Coffin School’s teaching ship, the brig Clio from Boston to Brazil. In addition to daily logs about the weather and general activities on the ship, are a description of the riggings, reports to Captain Alexander Pinkham, and...

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102 pages: 87% complete (87% transcribed)
Log of the ship Marcus, 1847–1850

Log of the ship Marcus, 1847–1850

This log by Abram Swain, Jr. follows the Lemual Tripp & Co. ship Marcus on a whaling voyage from Fairhaven, Mass. to the North Pacific, South Pacific, and the Sea of Okhotsk from 1847-1850.

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190 pages: 46% complete (48% transcribed, 2% needs review)
Log of the ship Massachusetts, 1856–1858

Log of the ship Massachusetts, 1856–1858

This log kept by William A. Folger follows the 1856-1858 whaling voyage of the ship Massachusetts from Nantucket to the Sea of Okhotsk. It includes the crew list, ships spoken, and account of whale oil and bone stored and sold.

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182 pages: 7% complete (7% transcribed)
Log of the sloop Dolphin, 1790-1791

Log of the sloop Dolphin, 1790-1791

This log kept by Captain Benjamin Paddock, Jr. follows the sloop Dolphin on a whaling voyage from Nantucket to the Bahama Islands and West Indies from 1790 to 1791.

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26 pages: 50% complete (50% transcribed)
Logs of the bark Tremont and the bark Ocean Bride, 1854-1861

Logs of the bark Tremont and the bark Ocean Bride, 1854-1861

Follow along on the barks Tremont and Ocean Bride on trading voyages from 1854 to 1861. This logbook from an unknown keeper document Captain James Burgess’ trips to Cuba, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Argentina, Brazil, and South Carolina.

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96 pages: 72% complete (74% transcribed, 1% needs review)
Logs of the ship Joseph Maxwell and the ship Midas, 1848–1857

Logs of the ship Joseph Maxwell and the ship Midas, 1848–1857

In this volume, Captain Ezra T. Howland logs two separate whaling voyages; that of the ship Joseph Maxwell from Fairhaven, Mass. to the South Pacific Ocean, that of the ship Midas from New Bedford, Mass. to the Sea of Okhotsk and New Zealand, and a list of voyages made by Captain Howland from...

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370 pages: 0% complete (1% transcribed)
R.B. Spencer engineer log, 1905–1906

R.B. Spencer engineer log, 1905–1906

This log written by engineer R.B. Spencer documents a 1905–1906 voyage by the steam whaler Bowhead from San Francisco, Calif. to the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

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57 pages: 21% complete (21% transcribed)
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