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Lesson Book, Log, and Letter Book of Benjamin Watson, 1793 - 1802.
6/25/16. 4to, unpaginated. About 60 pp. of manuscript entries. This is an unusual and fascinating artifact, combining several familiar types of manuscript into a coherent story. The first twenty pages are a typical navigation copy book. It these sorts of manuscripts, the student copied the master's manuscript, or a printed text. This helped the student learn and memorize the various aspects of trigenometry and navigation, and also provided him with a written reference for the future. On the front pastedown, this one is signed by Benjamin Watson and dated 1793. The next twenty-four pages are a "Journal of a Voyage from Bilboa to Plymouth in the Schooner Miles Standish of Plymouth, Solomon Davis Commander; kept by Benjamin Watson Supergargo" This includes regular log entries of daily position, weather and sail handling, and a two page abstract log of the voyage. When the "Miles Standish" reached Bilboa with their cargo of whale and cod oil, they were held in quarantine from December 1800 to March 1801. During this time Watson wrote letters to his bosses at the mercantile firm of Thomas & William Davis of Plymouth, to the American Consul, and to other merchants and ship masters. This book contains Watson's copies of eleven letters written during this time, describing his situation, giving trade prices and gossip, discussing local and international news, and making trade and financial arrangements. The letters total about 2500 words, and are in Watson's hand, with his signature. The mercantile details are of considerable interest. It is obvcious that parts of this book - for example, those pertaining to the voyage from Plymouth to Spain - have been removed, but what remains gives a good picture of the training and activities of Benjamin Watson, supercargo. Watson's son, also Benjamin, was a friend of Thoreau's and a prominent figure in transcendentalist circles.Bound in scarred old pigskin, with semi legible ink inscriptions dating back to the 1760s.
      [Bookseller: Ten Pound Island Book Co.]
Last Found On: 2016-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    


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