Creator: Various
Dates: 1751-1935
Quantity: 73 log books
Acquisition:  Accession information: [Consult individual log books]
Identification: A18 ; Archive Collection #18
Citation: [Document Title]. The Ships Log Book Collection, [Log Book #, Date, Vessel Name, Log Keeper], Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. 
Copyright: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language: English

View the collection here.


A ship’s log book is a legally admissible document which may be introduced in a court of law (normally an Admiralty court) as evidence of a ship’s navigational position, condition and maneuvers. A journal is an informal document, but very often in the same format as a log, so it is often difficult to distinguish between official and informal documents. 

A ship’s navigational position is recorded at noon of each day, expressed in terms of latitude and longitude. Latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the equator, up to 90’00, and longitude is expressed east or west of the “meridian” or zero degrees longitude, up to179’ 59’East or West. 

The “official” navigational position of a ship at sea is always recorded as of noon. “Local Apparent Noon” is defined as the highest altitude reached by the sun each day, as measured by a sextant. This observation, which can be made only when the sun and the horizon are visible, is the basis for a very accurate measure of latitude.

Ship’s time and the date are taken from noon to noon as opposed to the common form of midnight to midnight. As a result, on departure days there is sometimes an entry stating that the log for that date covers 36 hours. For example, if the ship sails at 10 AM on January 1st, it would be out of step with “land time” if the date were officially changed to January 2 two hours later. Therefore, January 2 would commence at noon the following day.

The ship’s navigational position, as recorded in the log as of noon each day, includes a notation that it was obtained by “observation” or by “dead reckoning,” (called DR) The former means that the position was determined by measuring the altitudes of the sun and/or other celestial bodies and recording the times of each observation as accurately as possible by means of a chronometer. The latter means that the noon position (in the event of poor visibility) is estimated on the basis of cumulative hourly estimates of the ship’s course and speed, as recorded by the officer on watch. The computations and sequence of steps which are required to determine the ship’s position by observation are too complex to summarize within this space, however, there are many excellent books on the subject of celestial navigation. Most seamen become highly skilled at estimating course and speed, while taking into account the effects of currents and “leeway” caused by wind and waves. However, only officers were taught celestial navigation in the belief that keeping crews ignorant was a deterrent to mutiny.

A seaman keeping a journal need only consult the official log, or make his own observations and DR estimates and record them in his journal. It may, or may not be just as accurate as the “official log.


The collection consists of 73 logs and journals covering several dozen voyages in over 66 different ships. The earliest is dated 1751 and the latest is 1935, however, the majority took place in the first half of the 19th century. Many of the logs were donated by Alfred Mansfield Brooks, a former Director of the Museum.

Other holdings of potential interest to persons studying the logs include two portfolios of nautical charts: The East India Pilot, dated 1816, with 24 charts covering most of the world, except North America, and “Carte deLa Mere Mediteranee en Douze Feuilles” published by the Hydrographer to the King of France in 1764. In the collection of ships’ account books, there are a few which were kept on the same ships whose logs or journals are included herein. Additional work is required to determine whether any of these documents match with the voyages described in the logs and journals.

The format of the navigational data in most of the logs and journals is very uniform especially considering that they span over 150 years. However, it is not possible in most cases to distinguish between what is a log and what is a journal, since all but one contains daily navigational data. Only a few contain any information about the ship’s cargo.

At least three of the documents may warrant special attention: (1) the log of the packet ship “Boston” describing the fire painted by Fitzhugh Lane, and also the subsequent death of a woman passenger and the rescue of survivors the following day. The original log, together with a transcript of the events might be used as a “companion exhibit’ with the painting. (2) the “lifetime” journal of G. Oscar Lane, of Annisquam, covering his life at sea from 1843 – 1868. And (3) a collision between two ships while hove too in a wicked gale off Cape Cod, in which one ship sank and the other effected the rescue of survivors.

The are other possibilities, for example a two-year whaling voyage in the Indian Ocean, which includes many tiny ink drawings of various kinds of whales and porpoises. Another is the log of the Gloucester seiner “Thelma” which vividly depicts the mackerel fishery from 1928 – 1936 with dozens of voyages from Gloucester to New Jersey, Long Island, Noman’s Island (off Martha’s Vineyard), the outer Cape, Massachusetts Bay, Ipswich Bay, and Maine. It clearly reflects the worsening economy during the Great Depression, as well as how the early use of radio influenced decisions about where to fish and when to go to market.


Log # Date Vessel Name Vessel Type Log Keeper Destination T W
6 1828 Adams Schooner William Presson Buenos Aires, Argentina X  
30 1837-38 Adrian Ship Unknown Liverpool X  
2 1801 Adventure Schooner John Butler Jr. Havana, Cuba X  
25 1865 Alhambra Schooner Capt. Michael B. Murray Georges Bank    
39 1854 Ally Morse Schooner Capt. Charles P. Morse Georges Bank    
4 1854 Amazon Brig Unknown Surinam, SA X  
10 1854-59 Arctic Bark G. Oscar Lane Uruguay, SA X  
27 1904 Atalanta Schooner Jerome Steele, Capt. Richard Wadding Labrador  X  
3 1821 Augusta Ship Unknown Canton, China X  
6 1827 Aurora Brig William Presson Trinidad, WI X  
10 1865-68 Behring Ship G. Oscar Lane Siberia, Russia X  
10 1852-53 Berenice Schooner G. Oscar Lane New Bedford X  
5 1829-30 Boston Packet Ship Unknown Liverpool    
24 1837-41 Cadet Brig Capt. Edward Babson Surinam, SA X  
6 1831 Caroline Schooner William Presson Guadeloupe, Caribbean X  
10 1846-47 Caroline Ship G. Oscar Lane Gibraltar via WI X  
31 1870-72 Carrie Winslow Unknown Capt. John Welsh Unknown    
26 1865 Charles Carroll Schooner Unknown Georges Bank    
39 1858 Clarion Schooner Capt. Charles P. Morse Labrador    
1 1751-52 Dolphin Sloop John Philpott Barbados, WI X  
5 1830 Dover Packet Ship Unknown Liverpool    
10 1848-52 Duchess Ship G. Oscar Lane UK via Havana X  
31 1878-79 E.L. Pettingill Bark Capt. John Welsh Unknown    
37 1862 Edmund D. Wright Bark Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
39 1852 Eli Schooner Capt. Charles P. Morse  Georges Bank    
19 1836-37 Elizabeth Bruce Ship John L. Rogers Havre X  
30 1835 Elizabeth Bruce   Unknown New Orleans  X  
31 1884 Elizabeth Winslow Brig Capt. John Welsh Unknown    
31 1873-74 Ella Bark Capt. John Welsh Unknown    
35 1935 Faith Motor Yacht [Leisure trip]  Sydney, NS    
6 1825-26 Fox Brig William Presson, Capt. Samuel Allen Sumatra, Indonesia X  
10 1847-48 Griffon Ship G. Oscar Lane Rio de Janeiro X  
10 1862 Guiding Star  Ship G. Oscar Lane Return journey X  
29 1897-98 Hattie Phillips Schooner Capt. Eldridge Wolfe San Francisco, CA X  
11 1862-63 Homer Barque Capt. John Story Rowe Japan X  
36 1863 Howland Bark Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Boston to Cayenne X  
37 1862-63 Howland Bark Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
15 1789-90 Industry Schooner Thomas Saville St. Eustatia, WI X  
16 1847- 1850 Iris Whaling Ship Peter S. White, Capt. Weeks Unknown X  
31 1874-86 Isaac Jackson Bark Capt. John Welsh  Buenos Aries X  
9 1848-49 Izette Bark Unknown Surinam X  
12 1818-19 Java Ship Unknown Bombay, India X  
28 1864 Jewess Ship Unknown India X  
13 1828-29 Josephine Schooner Capt. John Davis  Halifax, NS  X  
2 1799 Lark Schooner John Butler Jr Demerara, SA X  
40 1867-71 Liverpool Clipper Ship Capt. Onslow Ludlow Portland etc.    
13 1827-28 Maine Brig Capt. John Davis Pernambuco, SA X  
10 1843-44 Manto Barque G. Oscar Lane Sicily X  
10 1859-62 Martha Ship G. Oscar Lane Calcutta, India X  
37 1860 Martha Washington Brig Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
1 1755 Mayflower Sloop John Philpott Barbados, WI X  
32 1846 Niger Brig Charles Babson Unknown    
31 1864 Paragon Brig Capt. John Welsh  Cienfuegos    
31 1876-77 Portland Lloyds Ship Capt. John Welsh  Unknown    
18 1833 Rouble Barque Capt. Davis Denmark X  
31 1875-77 Rufus E. Wood Ship Capt. John Welsh Unknown    
41 1875- 1919 Sarah C. Wharf Schooner Philip Merchant Georges Bank X  
7 1825 Seaman Brig Unknown Marsailles X  
20 1826-27 Shylock Ship Unknown Cadiz, Spain X  
21 1856-61 South Boston Brig Unknown Cayenne, SA X  
37 1860 South Boston Brig Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
10 1862-64 Templar Ship G. Oscar Lane  Australia & India X  
33 1928-33 Thelma Steam Fishing Boat Bill O’Connell & Louis M. Welch Unknown X  
34 1929? Thomas S. Gorton Schooner [Notes for a play or story?] Unknown    
31 1862-63 Thomas Woodward Schooner Capt. John Welsh  Haiti    
37 1862 Trenton Bark Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
38 1860-62 Trenton Bark Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham Surinam X  
8 1828 Unknown Unknown Capt. Richard G. Stanwood Manila X  
17 1824-25 Unknown Unknown Unknown Marseilles, France X  
19 1833-35 Victoria Ship John L. Rogers Liverpool X  
22 1834-35 Victoria Ship Unknown Savannah, GA X  
23 1834-35 Victoria Ship Unknown Savannah, GA    
10 1853-54 Victory Ship G. Oscar Lane Peru, SA X  


1751-52, Sloop, Dolphin, John Philpott

1755, Sloop, Mayflower, John Philpott

1789-1790, Schooner, Industry, Thomas Saville

1799, Schooner, Lark, John Butler Jr

1801, Schooner, Adventure, John Butler Jr.

1818-1819, Ship, Java, Unknown keeper

1821, Ship, Augusta, Unknown keeper

1824-1825, Unknown, Unknown keeper

1825, Brig, Seaman, Unknown keeper

1825-1831, Brig, Fox, William Presson. Capt. Samuel Allen

1826-1827, Ship, Skylock, Unknown keeper

1827, Brig, Aurora, William Presson

1827-1818 Brig, Maine, Capt. John Davis

1828, Unknown, Capt. Richard G. Stanwood

1828, Schooner, Adams, William Presson

1828-1829, Schooner, Josephine, Capt. John Davis

1829-1830, Packet Ship, Boston, Unknown keeper

1830, Packet Ship, Dover, Unknown keeper

1831, Schooner, Caroline, William Presson

1833, Barque, Rouble, Capt. Davis

1833-1835, Ship, Victoris, John L. Rogers

1834-1835, Ship, Victoria, Unknown keeper

1834-1835, Ship, Victoria, Unknown keeper

1835, Ship, Elizabeth Bruce, Unknown keeper

1836-1837, Ship, Elizabeth Bruce, John L. Rogers

1837-1838, Ship, Adrian, Unknown keeper

1837-1841, Brig, Cadet, Capt. Edward Babson

1843-1844, Barque, Manto, G. Oscar Lane

1846, Brig, Niger, Charles Babson

1846-1847, Ship, Caroline, G. Oscar Lane

1847-1848, Ship, Griffon, G. Oscar Lane

1847-1850, Whaling Ship, Iris, Peter S. White. Capt. Weeks 

1848-1849, Bark, Izette, Unknown keeper

1848-1852, Ship, Duchess, G. Oscar Lane

1852, Schooner, Eli, Capt. Charles P. Morse

1852-1853, Schooner, Berenice, G. Oscar Lane

1853-1854, Ship, Victory, G. Oscar Lane

1854, Schooner, Ally Morse, Capt. Charles P. Morse

1854, Brig, Amazon, Unknown keeper

1854-1859, Bark, Arctic, G. Oscar Lane

1856-1861, Brig, South Boston, Unknown

1858, Schooner, Clarion, Capt. Charles P. Morse

1859-1862, Ship, Martha, G. Oscar Lane

1860, Brig, South Boston, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1860, Brig, Martha Washington, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1860-1862, Trenton, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1862, Bark, Trenton, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1862, Bark, Edmund Dwight, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1862-1863, Bark, Howland, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1862, Ship, Guiding Star, G. Oscar Lane

1862-1863, Schooner, Thomas Woodward, Capt. John Welsh

1862-1864, Ship, Templar, G. Oscar Lane

1862-63, Barque, Homer, Capt. John Story Rowe

1863, Bark, Howland, Capt. Nehemiah Cunningham

1864, Ship, Jewess, Unknown keeper

1864, Brig, Paragon, Capt. John Welsh

1865, Schooner, Alhambra, Capt. Michael B. Murray

1865, Schooner, Charles Carroll, Unknown keeper

1865-1868, Ship, Behring, G. Oscar Lane

1867-1871, Clipper Ship, Liverpool, Capt. Onslow Ludlow

1870-1872, Unknown, Carrie Winslow, Capt. John Welsh

1873-1874, Bark, Ella, Capt. John Welsh

1874-1886, Bark, Isaac Jackson, Capt. John Welsh

1875-1877, Ship, Rufus E. Wood, Capt. John Welsh

1876-1877, Ship, Portland Lloyds, Capt. John Welsh

1878-1879, Bark, E.L. Pettingill, Capt. John Welsh

1884, Brig, Elizabeth Winslow, Capt. John Welsh

1897-1898, Schooner, Hattie Phillips, Capt. Eldridge Wolfe

1904, Schooner, Atalanta, Jerome Steele. Capt. Richard Wadding

1928-1933, Steam Fishing Boat, Thelma, Bill O’Connell & Louis M. Welch

1929?, Schooner, Thomas S. Gorton, [Notes for a play or story?]

1935, Motor Yacht, Faith, [Leisure trip]


LIST OF SHIPS AND THEIR VOYAGES with dates of departure and arrival


1) Logs kept by John Philpott

Sloop “Dolphin” 1751 – 52

Pascataway – Barbados 12/25/1751 – 1/26/1752

Barbados – Tortuga 2/23/52 – 2/25/52

Tortuga – Pascataway 3/18/52 – 4/29/52

Sloop “Mayflower” 1755

Pascataway – Barbados 1/26/55 – 3/2/55

Barbados – Eustacia 3/15/55 – 3/18/55

Eustatia – Virginia 3/18/55 – 4/17/55

Chesapeake Bay – Pascataway 5/14/55 – 5/23/55


2) Logs kept by John Butler Jr. 

Schooner “Lark” 1799

Boston – Demerara 7/31/99 – 9/4/99

Demerara – Boston 10/15/99 – 10/24/99

NB “Lark” was captured and released by a privateer off Guadalupe


Schooner “Adventure” 1801

Gloucester – Havanna 5/11/01 – 5/29/01

Havanna – Gloucester 6/17/01 – 7/3/01


3) Ship “Augusta” – Unsigned

Voyage to Canton – 1821

The first two-thirds of the volume are pasted over with newspaper clippings (appears to have been a family member’s scrapbook), but the last third includes about 100 days of the return voyage, beginning in mid-Indian Ocean to New York via the Cape of Good Hope.


4) Brig “Amazon” – Unsigned – 1854

Gloucester – Surinam 7/6/54 – 8/10/54

Surinam – Gloucester 10/25/54 – 12/2/54


5) Log or Journal - Unsigned !829 - 1830

Packet ship “Boston” 

Boston – Liverpool 9/6/29 – 9/18

Liverpool – Boston 10/26/29 – 11/18/29

Departure from Boston and arrival in Charleston S.C. are not recorded.

Charleston S.C. – Liverpool 5/19/1830 – did not arrive

On 5/26/30 ship was struck by lightning in mid-ocean, igniting cargo of cotton. Despite heroic efforts by the crew, ship was abandoned early in the morning of 5/27/30. A female passenger died in the life boat. The survivors were rescued and brought to Boston on 6/1/30. See painting of Packet Ship “Boston” on fire in the Lane Gallery. 

Packet ship “Dover”

Boston – Liverpool 8/17/30 – 9/9/30

Liverpool – Boston 10/4/30 – 10/31/30


6) Journal kept by William Presson 1825 - 1831

Brig “Fox” Samuel Allen, Master

Gloucester – Sumatra 12/201825 – 5/15/1826

Sumatra – Gloucester 7/26/27 – 11/15/26

Brig “Aurora”

Boston – Trinidad de Cuba 2/19/1827 – 3/18/ 27

Trinidad – Boston 4/22/27 – 5/18/27

Boston - St. Thomas 9/9/27 – 9/28/27

St. Thomas – Guyama - no date recorded

Guyama toward Boston 10/27/27 –

Entries end on 11/26/27 during a “near hurricane” lasting several days, and describes a collision with the Brig “Hancock” while both ships were hove too on opposite tacks. A ship cannot steer while hove too, but the log is unclear as to why neither ship made an effort to regain steerage way in order to avoid the collision. The “Hancock” sank as a result of the collision and the “Aurora” succeeded in picking up survivors and returning to Boston.

Schooner “Adams”

Gloucester – Buenos “Ayers” 6/21/1828 – arrival date not recorded.

The “Adams” was captured by a blockade off Buenos Aires and taken into Montevideo by a prize crew. The circumstances of Presson’s release and return to Gloucester are not recorded. However, his journal continues.

Schooner “Caroline” 1831

Boston – Mariagalante 8/4/31 – 8/30/31

Mariagalante – Boston 9/25/31 – 10/8/31


7) Brig “Seaman”” of Gloucester 1825

Boston – Marsailles 2/16/25 – 4/4/25

Marsailles – Tampico 5/22/25 – 7/16/25

NB Volume has other entries from several different periods of time, but departures and arrivals are unclear.


8) Log of Richard G. Stanwood, Master 1828

NB Several pages have been pasted over with newspaper clippings dated from September 1828 to December 1829. Log begins with heading from “Pylo towards Oahu” Noted different spellings for some place names.

Arrives Oahu 10/4/28

Oahu – Manila 7/1/29 – 12/24/28

Manila – Boston 7/1/29 – last entry on 12/10/29, about 700 miles from Boston.

Other entries dated 1877 appear to describe a passenger service between Gloucester and Boston in a small vessel.


9) Bark “Izette” 1848 – 49

Gloucester – Surinam 8/5/48 – 9/17/48

Surinam- -Boston 12/2/48 – 1/11/49

Boston – Surinam 9/7/49 - - log ends a few miles East of Gloucester. Need to check for torn out pages.


10) Journal of G. Oscar Lane, of Annisquam

Barque “Manto”

Norfolk – Sicily – Boston, June 1843 – July – 1844.

Lane shipped as “Cabin Boy” and ended as “Ordinary Seaman”

Ship “Caroline”

Boston, Pernambuco, Rio de Janiero, St. Thomas and Gibralter. 1846 - 47

Lane sailed as Able Seaman, and was promoted to 2nd Officer in October 1846

Ship “Griffon”

Boston – Rio de Janiero, October 1847 -? 1848

Lane was 2nd Officer

Ship “Dutchess”

Norfolk, Marsala, Palermo, Havana, Cowes, Bristol, Rio, Montevideo. June 1848 – March 1852. Lane promoted to Chief Officer in November 1848.

Schooner “Berenice”

Annisquam, Norfolk, New Bedford. November 1852 – March 1853

This was Lane’s first command.

Ship “Victory”

New York, San Francisco, Callao (Peru), Baltimore. April1853 – April 1854

Bark “Arctic”

Baltimore, Montevideo, Callao, New York, Falmouth, Eng., London, Hong Kong, Liverpool, Calcutta, Rio de Janiero, New Orleans, Boston. May 1854 – March 1859.

Lane was Commander.

Ship “Martha”

Boston, Liverpool, Calcutta, Maritious Is. (Indian Ocean), London, Colombo (Ceylon). April 1859 – January 1862

Ship “Guiding Star”

Calcutta – Boston, as passenger, March1862 – July 1862

Ship “Templar”

New York, Liverpool, Sydney (Aus.), Calcutta. September1862 – May 1864

NB the following appears as a footnote following the return of the “Templar” to New York in May of 1864: “Total days at sea – 3830, total miles sailed 412,940 in 21 years”

Ship “Behring”

Lane’s last ship was the “Behring” which made the following voyages from April 1865 – December 1868:

Boston – Amoor River, East Siberia

Amoor River – Petropaulovsky, Kamchatka

Petropaulovsky – San Francisco

San Francisco – Honolulu (three consecutive round trips)

Honolulu – New York

New York – Siberia

Siberia – Honolulu

Honolulu – Hamburg

Hamburg – Siberia

Siberia – Honolulu

Honolulu – New Bedford

NB Many of these passages exceeded 15,000 miles, so the total distance sailed by Captain Lane in the “Behring” alone amounted to 114,441 miles in addition to the 412, 940 for his career, which he calculated in 1864 upon his return to New York in the “Templar.”


11) Log of Captain John Story Rowe, 1862 – 63, Barque “Homer.”

As a result of many pages having been torn out, the first entry is dated April 10, 1862 on passage from Hong Kong to Bangkok. The log continues with a voyage to Shanghai and to Kanagawa, Japan, and then to Singapore. The “Homer” log ends there. 

The balance of the document is an account book for the schooner “Cinderella” which includes religious quotations, and entries dealing with operating expenses of the ship with quantities and values of cargo shipped and discharged. All dated transactions took place in 1838 in East Coast ports.

Some research will be required to ascertain whether Capt. Story made both sets of entries.


12) Journal of a Voyage from The Isle of Bourbon (Mozambique) to Batavia in the ship “Java.” 1818 - 1819

11/10/18 Arrived at St. Dennis in the Isle Of bourbon, 79 days from Liverpool

1/5/19 – 3/4/19 Batavia Reach to Bombay

5/6/19 9/11/19 Bombay – Boston

The volume continues with a “Harbour Journal.” However, the entries pre-date the arrival in St. Dennis and includes entries for 8/20 and 8/21/ 1818, describing preparations in Liverpool to go to sea. It records a passage from 8/22/18 – 11/10/18 with arrival in St. Dennis on the same day as in the preceding section. It goes on to record the same passage to Bombay on the same dates. It appears that this part of the journal was kept by someone other than the author of the first section.


13) Journal of Captain John Davis, Brig “Maine,” and Schooner “Josephine” 1827- 1829

Brig “Maine”

St Bartholemew – Pernambuco 11/4/1827 – 1/1/1828

Schooner “Josephine”

Philadelphia – Port au Prince 5/31/28 6/19/28

Port au Prince – Philadelphia 7/30/28 – 8/9/28

Philadelphia – Halifax 9/12/28 – 9/25/28

Halifax – Philadelphia 10/5/28 – 10/15/28

Philadelphia – Halifax 10/29/28 – 11/8/28

Halifax – Philadelphia 11/22/28 – 12/2/28

Philadelphia – St. John, New Brunswick 3/27/1829 – 4/1/29

St. John – 4/17/29 – 4/20/29 Log ends at a position near Vineyard Sound.

At the end of the volume there are three pages of poetry and one page of music with three songs. 


14) Ledger of the Sloop “Garcia” 1797

Much of the ledger is pasted over with newspaper clippings. Where legible, the ledger shows itemized charges for freight on the left-hand pages and receipts, labeled “contra” signed by the Captain. The charges equal the receipts.


15) Journal of Thomas Saville, Schooner “Industry” 1789

Several pages from the beginning of this volume are missing. The first entry is dated 3/23/1789 at sea at lat.58.54 North. No longitude is recorded.

arrived at “Demerang” 4/7/1789

Demerang – Esquebo River, St. Eustatia 5/10/89 – 5/17/89

St. Eustatia – Gloucester 5/19/89 – 6/5/89

Gloucester – “Demeray” 7/23/89 - (arrival not recorded)

St. Eustatia – Cape Ann 11/24/89 – 12/6/89

Cape Ann – St. Eustatia 2/25/90 – 3/23/90

St. Eustatia – Cape Ann 7/8/90 – journal ends 7/22/90 about 300 miles from Gloucester.

The next 3 pages appear to have been cut out with scissors. Final voyage follows:

Cape Ann – Surinam 11/2/90 – 12/5/90


16) Log Kept by Peter S. White on the Whaling Ship “Iris,” Captain Weeks

New Bedford, Mass. 1847 – 1850

This is a meticulous record of sightings, chases and killing of several kinds of whales, black fish and porpoises on a multi-year voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and throughout the Indian Ocean. There are many small ink sketches in the margins. They appear to be anatomically accurate, indicating, not only the type of whale, but also the identity of the individual whale boats engaged in the action. When a whale escaped, it was recorded in the log with a sketch of the flukes as they appear when a whale is sounding (diving straight down). The writer also includes a few lines of poetry with some entries. 

Departed New Bedford 6/24/1847

Returned 1/2/1850

A portion of the entry for 6/24/49; “... so ends two years on board the “Iris” ... been ashore only once in all that time.”


17) Journal of a Voyage from Boston to Pernambuco, Trieste, Marseilles, Gibralter and New York. 1824 - 1825

Boston to Pernambuco 10/31/24 – 12/16/24

Pernambuco to Trieste 3/26/25 – 5/26/25 (with an unplanned 2-day stop at Gibralter)

Trieste – Marseilles 7/14/25 – 8/3/25

Marseilles – Gibralter 9/11/25/ - 9/23/25

Gibralter – New York 9/24/25 – 11/3/25 The last entry places the ship off Cape May, NJ, or about 100 miles from New York.


18) Barque “Rouble” of Boston 1833

Francis Davis, Master

Boston - -Cronstadt, Denmark 7/10/33 – 8/15/33 with a stop at Elsinore on 8/5 and 8/6. 

Cronstadt – Boston 9/8/33 – 11/2/33


19) Logs of the Ship “Victoria” 1833-35 and the Ship “Elizabeth Bruce,” 1836 – 37 signed by John L Rogers

Inside front cover contains a list of bedding on the “Elizabeth Bruce” at sea on 7/1/36

Ship “Victoria”

New Orleans – Liverpool 12/12/33 – 1/19/34

Liverpool – Boston 2/26/34 – 4/3/34 Last entry on George’s Bank.

Following page contains a poem of 11 lines.

Boston – Mobile 1/8/35 – log entries end at sea.

There follows an essay on how to live one’s life, an example of societal and cultural values of the 1830’s.

Next recorded voyage: Liverpool – Boston 6/7/35 – 7/13/35

Ship “Elizabeth Bruce”

New Orleans – Havre 1/21/36 – 2/28/36

Havre – Mobile 3/1936 – 5/15/36

Mobile – Liverpool 6/18/36 – 7/31/36

Liverpool – Boston 9/12/36 – 10/10/36

Boston – New Orleans 11/13/36 – 12/1/36

New Orleans – Liverpool 2/2/37 – 3/9/37

Liverpool – Boston 4/2/37 – 5/2/37


20) Log of the Ship “Skylock” 1826 – 27

Over half the pages in this volume are pasted over with newspaper clippings, many from Gloucester newspapers, dated from 1860 – 63, with articles about local men in Union Army units, including combat.

Liverpool – Norfolk 6/18/26 – 7/25/26 NB

No record of voyage Norfolk – New York

New York – Lisbon 10/16/26 – 11/17/26

Lisbon – Gibralter, via Cadiz 11/20/26 – 11/26/26

Gibralter – Montevideo 3/12/27 – 5/26/27

Montevideo – Rio de Janiero 7/31/27 – 8/15/27


21) Log of the Brig “South Boston” 1856 – 1861

Boston – Cayenne 12/31/56 – 1/24/57

Cayenne – Surinam 1/29/57 – NA

Surinam – Gloucester 3/17/57 – 4/16/57

Gloucester – Surinam 4/30/57 – 5/26/57

Surinam – Gloucester 8/25/57 – 9/20/57

Gloucester – Surinam 10/5/57 – 10/24/57

Surinam – Gloucester 11/26/57 - 2/7/58

NB “South Boston” stopped at Holmes Hole in the Elizabeth Islands (between Buzzards Bay and Martha’s Vineyard) to avoid bad weather. They were then frozen in for 37 days before they could depart for Gloucester.

Gloucester – Surinam 2/25/58 – 3/20/58

Surinam – Gloucester 6/28/58 - 7/19/58

Gloucester – Surinam 8/6/58 – 9/3/58

Surinam – Gloucester 10/18/58 – 11/13/58

Gloucester – Surinam 12/2/58 – 12/25/58

Surinam – Gloucester 2/8/59 – 3/13/59

Gloucester – Surinam 3/23/59 – 4/15/59

Surinam – Gloucester 9/14/59 – 10/19/59

Gloucester – Surinam 11/20/59 – 12/9/59

Surinam – Gloucester 1/17/60 – 2/7/60

Gloucester – Surinam 4/1/60 – 4/22/60

Surinam – Gloucester 6/16/60 – 7/9/60

Gloucester – Surinam 8/10/60 – 9/5/60

Surinam – Gloucester 11/26/60 – 1/6/61


22) A Journal Kept Aboard the Ship “Victoria” 1834 - 1835 

Boston – Savannah 4/23/34 – 5/4/34

Savannah – Liverpool 6/9/34 – 7/9/34

Liverpool – Boston 7/31/34 – 8/31/34 (ends near Boston, some pages torn out)

Boston – Savannah 10/31/34 – 10/9/34

Savannah – Havre De Grace 11/5/34 – 12/6/34

Havre – Mobile 12/22/34 – 2/5/35

Mobile – Liverpool 4/15/35 - NB ends in mid-ocean, last entry 5/8/35/ following pages torn out.


23) Log of the ship “Victoria.” 1834 – 1835

Duplicates the voyages listed in the Journal, above, kept on the “Victoria.” As in the “Victoria” log, this log ends on 5/8/35, with following pages torn out.


24) Journal Book of Captain Edward Babson’s Brig “Cadet.” 1837 – 1841

NB Inside front cover is inscribed: “Given to the CASL&H by his granddaughter Isobel Babson Lane, June 15, 1942. AMB. Also, a note: “Drawing and measurements of the brig “Cadet” included at the end of this volume interesting and important. AMB”

Gloucester – Surinam 5/7/37 – 6/11/37

Surinam – Boston 11/1/37 – 11/21/37

Boston – Surinam 1/3/38 – 1/25/38

Surinam – Gloucester 4/6/38 – 4/28/38

Gloucester – Surinam 6/6/38 – 7/6/38

Surinam – Boston 9/6/38 – 10/5/38

Boston – Surinam 12/6/38 – 12/31/38

Surinam – Gloucester 3/3/39 – 4/7/39

Gloucester – Surinam 9/19/39 – 10/19/39

Surinam – Boston 12/26/39 - NB entered Gloucester on 1/28/40 and could not proceed to Boston until2/4/40 because Boston Harbor was frozen solid.

Boston – Surinam 3/9/40 – 4/2/40 NB “Encountered heaviest gales experienced by anyone on board” on 3/14 and following days.

Surinam – Gloucester 5/18/40 – 6/11/40

Boston – Montevideo 7/12/40 – 10/18/40

Buenos Aires – Boston 12/6/40 – NB log ends on 1/28/41, anchored in Holme’s Hole, Martha’s Vineyard.


25) Schooner “Alhambra” 1865

Michael B. Murray, Master. All recorded passages are from Gloucester to George’s Bank and return, on the following dates:

3/20/65 – 3/28/65

3/29/65 – 4/14/65

4/15/65 – 4/23/65

4/24/65 – 5/6/65

5/7/65 – 5/27/65

5/28/65 – 6/15/65

6/16/65 – 7/5/65

NB The “Alhambra’ stayed in Gloucester only one day between each trip.

11/9/65 – 11/30/65


26) Schooner “Charles Carroll “of Gloucester 1865

Covers trips to George’s Bank and fishing grounds off Nova Scotia from February through November, 1865. A few pages were torn out, probably describing the first trip. Remainder follows:

George’s Bank 3/6/65 – 3/15/65

George’s Bank 3/17/65 – 4/6/65

George’s Bank 4/8/65 – 4/17/65

Off Cape North, Nova Scotia 4/19/65 6/6/65

George’s Bank 6/8/65 – 6/19/65

Off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia 11/7/65 – 11/30/65


27) Log of the Schooner “Atalanta” of Gloucester, A Voyage to Labrador, Captain Richard Wadding, 1904

This is an “Official Log Book” printed by the Mercantile Marine of the United States, and provided to the vessel by the Bureau of Navigation, Department of Commerce and Labor. It includes 28 pages of regulations about how a log book is to be prepared.

The log was kept by Jerome Steele, a fisherman. The voyage commenced on 6/22/04 and completed in October, 04. “Nature of voyage or employment: Halibut fletching”. Crew was 18. The ship was beset by ice and gales during July, and caught no fish until August, when they then fished for 14 days straight. There are several references to the Captain’s illness and also drunkenness. The log ends at Bay of Bulls, Newfoundland with the final entry: “Now my log book is full so I will have to discontinue.”


28) Log of the Ship “Jewess” of Montreal. A Freighting Voyage in India 1864

This volume was printed by the British Admiralty with very complete directions concerning, among other things: lights and fog signals; lifesaving using a breeches buoy; keeping a log and maintaining a crew list.

This log appears to be the official ship’s record of disciplinary problems at sea and in port. Entries include a knife fight involving an officer, several cases of refusal of duty, sickness (real or faked), several desertions, pursuits of deserters and efforts to recruit replacement seamen.


29) Log of schooner “Hattie Phillips” of Gloucester, Captain Eldridge Wolfe

Voyage to San Francisco, 1897 – 98

October 18, 1897 underway from Gloucester

October 21 severe gale, winds 70 knots

November 18 Crossed equator

December 20 – January 4, 1898 Transitted Staights of Magellan. NB Journal has vivid description of the Straights and high mountainous terraain in the Terra Del Fuego.

February 23 Entered San Francisco, “... making 128 Days from Gloucester including 5 days in Sand Point strates of majellan all well Eldridge Wolfe” (spelling errors are Wolfe’s).


30) Logs of the Ships “Elizabeth Bruce” and ‘Adrian” 1835 – 1838

NB This document covers one voyage of the “Elizabeth Bruce” between November 5 and November 30, 1835. A separate document, No. 19, contains a log of the ship “Elizabeth Bruce” on voyages during 1836 –37, and also for the ship “Victoria” signed by John I. Rogers. There are several references in the “Adrian’s” log to the “Victoria”, however, they do not coincide with the dates of the “Victoria’s” voyage in the Rogers document.

“Elizabeth Bruce” 1835

Boston – New Orleans 11/5/35 – 11/30/35

Ship “Adrian”

New Orleans – Liverpool 11/16/37 - -3/4/38


31) Logs and papers of Captain John H. Welsh, received from donor on three CDs, labelled as follows:

Log book #1 1862 – 1864

Log book #2 1870 – 1883

Log book #3 1875 – 1888

The logs cover the following voyages:

CD #1 Schooner “Thomas Woodward”

Boston – Haiti 7/27/62 – 8/16/62

Haiti – Boston 8/31/62 – 9/12/62

Boston – Haiti 9/27/62 – 10/8/62

Haiti – Boston 11/2/62 – 11/19/62

Boston – Cape Flaita 12/7/62 – 12/16/62

Cape Flaita – Boston 1/4/63 – 1/15/63

Gloucester – Suriname 2/11/63 – 2/28/63

Suriname – Gloucester 3/21/63 – 4/6/63

Boston – Suriname 4/29/63 – 5/16/63

Suriname – Gloucester 6/4/63 – 6/21/63

Journal of Privateer “Thomas Woodward,” J.H. Welsh, Master

The Woodward was underwritten as a privateer by a committee at the port of Boston which was concerned with danger to the fishing fleet on the Grand Banks and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She was armed and commissioned by the US Navy out of Gloucester. Journal entries mention cruising off Monhegan Island and Pemaquid light (off Maine) in June, 1863, returning to Gloucester on 7/18/63 and listing ships in Gloucester Harbor from 7/19/63 – 7/28/63.

Brig Paragon – partial log or journal

Boston – Cienfuegoes 6/30/64 – 7/11/64 (last entry: several pages were removed by cutting. Additional records indicate that J.H. Welsh commanded “Paragon” in 1870.


CD #2 Account books from the following vessels:

“Carrie Winslow” 1870 1872

Bark “Ella” 1873 – 1874

Bark “Isaac Jackson” 1874 – 1886

CD #2 also includes a summary of accounts in different hand writing for the following vessels:

Brig “Elizabeth Winslow” 1884

Bark “E.L. Pettengill” 1878 – 79

Ship “Portland Lloyds” 1876 – 77

Ship “Rufus E. Wood” 1875, 1877

Bark “Isaac Jackson” 1874

This CD also contains three Welsh family letters


CD #3

Bark “Isaac Jackson” 1874 – 1886

Portland - Buenos Aries 1974

Buenos Aries – Boston 1875

Portland – Buenos Aries 7/1875 – 10/75

Buenos Aries – Boston 12/75

Portland – Ireland and England 1876

Newport, England – Buenos Aries 1876

Buenos Aries – Boston 11/1876

Portland – Buenos Aries 2/1877 – 3/77

Buenos Aries – New York 7/77 – 9/77

New York – Buenos Aries 10/77 – 11/77

Buenos Aries – New York 4/78 – 6/78

Portland – Buenos Aries 9/79 – 11/79

Buenos Aries – Portland 1/80 – 3/80

New York – Rio de Janiero 11/80 – 12/80

Rio de Janiero – New York 1/81 – 4/81

New York – Buenos Aries 5/81 – 7/81

Buenos Aries – Valparaiso, Chile 8/81 – 9/81

Pisaqua, Chile – New York 12/81 – 3/82

Boston – Valparaiso 5/82 – 8/82

Iquique, Chile – New York 11/82 – 2/83

New York – Callao, Peru 3/83 – 6/83

Lobos de Agura, Arg. – Boston? /83 -? /84

Boston - Valparaiso 5/84 – 8/84

Pisaqua, Chile – New York ?/84 - ?/85

Boston – Valparaiso 5/85 - 8/85

Pisaqua, Chile – New York 5/86 – 8/86

CD also includes some personal expense accounts unrelated to voyages. 


32) Log of the Yacht “Faith” 1935

A trip to Nova Scotia, in a Bermudian yawl, with an estimated length of 50 feet.

Saturday August 17th, Sailed from Gloucester

Monday Setember 2nd Entered Bras D’Or Lake, after several overnight stops enroute.

Sept 3rd sailed to Sydney N.S.

Sept 5th departed Sydney toward Gloucester, with stops in harbors most nights, plus a few days in port to wait out a great deal of adverse weather.

Friday, October 4th arrived back at Gloucester.


33) Log of the Gloucester Fishing Vessel “Thelma”1928 – 1936.

“Thelma” was an auxiliary schooner engaged primarily in mackerel seining. The log, or more likely, journal, consists of three volumes written in pencil. The author of the first, Bill O’Connell, Engineer, died of a heart attack at sea, “next to his engine” in June 1930. Louis Martin Welch (whose family donated the documents) took over the engine room, and appears to be the author through the reported loss of the “Thelma” in 1936.

Volume I covers 1928 – 29; volume II 1930 – 31 and volume III, while labelled 1932 – 33 includes one very brief entry summarizing “Thelma” hand – lining cod during the summers of 1934 and 1935, and another longer entry reporting her sale and complete refit and then her loss in a collision with a Norwegian freighter near Barnegat, NJ in April 1936. The crew was saved by the Norwegians. These additions appear to have been made by Louis Welch based on information provided by crew members or the media. Welch probably did not sail on “Thelma” after the 1933 season.

From 1928 - -1933 “Thelma’s” voyages as a mackerel seiner followed a seasonal pattern, starting in April off the New Jersey and Long Island shores and moving East to Noman’s Island area, south of Martha’s Vineyard, and then North, off the outer Cape, Chatham to Highland Light. Fishing then shifted to Maine waters, in the ocean off Monhegan and Matinicus Islands and Mt. Desert Rock. “Thelma” usually ended her season fishing in Massachusetts and Ipswich Bays and again off the outer Cape. She was laid up each winter in Gloucester from mid-November to early April.

Mackerel seines were very large, requiring a crew of 11 or 12 to handle them, and their deployment required the use of a Seine Boat, manned by 3 or 4 of the crew. Successful seining could be carried out only in fairly calm weather, both to spot the schools of mackerel and to prevent damage to the seine and the Seine Boat. Fishing was often conducted at night because schools revealed themselves by trails of phosphorescence (“fire in the water”). However, rough weather would drive the seiners into harbor, sometimes for days at a time.

These volumes are of special interest not only because they were written at the onset of the great depression, but also because of technological change: replacement of sail by engine power in the fishing fleet, and also the advent of radio on board the vessels. The latter made it possible for a captain to monitor daily landings and prices in Boston, Gloucester and New Bedford. In addition, large fleets (up to 30 seiners) would congregate in the same area where a boat reported a successful catch.

The three logs contain brief summaries of catches and prices. In one season “Thelma” landed over 500,000 lbs. of mackerel. Tabulations of expenses, and crew members’ individual shares illustrate how little money was spent to keep operating. Finally, as the Depression deepened, prices were extremely depressed. Overfishing became an issue, and voluntary restrictions on the size of the catch were tried. There are some reports of dumping overboard unsold fish.