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SHIPMASTER'S ARCHIVE, COMPRISING HIS SCHOONER LEDGER, BRIEF DIARY, AND SOME 100 OTHER PRINTED AND HANDWRITTEN ITEMS THAT BELONGED TO BURGESS
1877. Original manuscripts. Leather-backed boards. Very Good. LEDGER, worn leather and marbled boards, 13" x 8", containing 153 pages of handwritten entries in ink on blue paper, dating from 1861 to 1867. Most of the book is made up of ledgers of expenses for three different schooners owned by Burgess: "Elizabeth B"; "Typhoon"; and "Aurelia P. Howe". DIARY, 3-1/2 closely written pages of the ledger in which Capt. Burgess describes not only a thrilling hurricane, but also the attempted seizure of his vessel in early 1861 by the Confederacy, and his subsequent escape. (Accompanied by a 9-page modern transcription of the diary portion, written in pencil by an earlier owner of this book.) ARCHIVE documenting the construction and early voyages of the Bark "John Sheppard"--Freeman Burgess, Owner and Master, 1874-1879. (Archive housed in a 3-ring binder of archival document sleeves.). The first page of the ledger contains a list of the "gross stock" costs for 15 voyages of the "Elizabeth B." to destinations in 1863--New York, Boston, Gloucester, New Bedford, Providence and Bangor. This vessel next appears on page 10 with a list of "charges" for "kerosine and fluid", lamp, "hired help", stamps on the bill of lading, etc. Pages 16-17 list provisions and their costs: cod fish, butter and lard, etc., and Freeman E. Burgess, as well as Lovell Burgess (one of them appearing as "Ensign Burgess") are listed as being charged $10 for passage to NY. Pages 18-19 list "Port Charges", 1865, and include a list of people's names and what they were paid, including both Burgesses. More "wages and provisions prices are on pp. 20-21, then 28-29, dated 1863, contain figures for various bills for caulking, painting, lumber and nails, customs house, sail work, etc., while p. 30 lists "Port Charges", a long list: wharfage, pilotage, stamps, kerosene, harbour master, etc. The Provisions and Wages Paid list on p. 32 includes "Ensign Burgess", who is again listed on p. 34 (1863) along with his "share of the voyage". Later pages contain more of the same, including charges for 1864-65 voyages, with the final appearance of this schooner on p. 164, which notes that Freeman E. Burgess, Capt. of the Schooner Elizabeth B., received $3.50 "in full for 8 days service on Bord…Providence to New York" since he is paid $13/month. ~~ The second vessel named is the "Typhoon", carrying freight to Brashear (City), Louisiana (renamed Morgan City in 1876), and the entries include expenses at Brashear (wages paid to seamen, as well as several names including Burgess's). The next voyage mentioned is to Havana (pp 4-5), and expenses include an interpreter, translation of the manifest, "American Consul bill", ship chandler's bill, etc. She next (p. 6) goes to Frontera (Mexico), where expenses include "certificate of death and desertion of Cook and One". On p. 60, the "Manifest of Cargo On Board" lists Freeman E. Burgess as Master, and she is bound from Brashear City to Boston. ~~ It is as Captain of the Typhoon that Captain Burgess has his adventure with the Confederates in 1861, an episode he describes in detail in his 3 ½-page journal, written in the middle of the volume. The voyage starts on February 9, 1861, when the Typhoon sails out of Boston, headed for Brashear City, Louisiana. There is immediately a dramatic storm: "Gave all the chain we had and stood by the anchors all night until myself and mate were froze so bad it was impossible to stand it any longer…our water caske froze and burst and we were so covered with ice we could do nothing…." After they "laid three days" they set sail again and arrive in Brashear twenty days later. He walks around town as unloading begins, then returns and hears a steamer whistle. "I was most surprised when I saw the people that was on her on the top of her Paddle Boxes…25 men, some with a bottle and some with…whiskey giving 3 cheers for the Southern Confederacy. They came alongside and came on board, told me they should take charge of the schooner and cargo and had no authority but what they took upon themselves." The revelers finally leave "drunker than ever." ~~ Burgess goes to town next day and sees the cutters crew hauling the Schooner Mary on to the wharf: "I began to think they were in earnest and after reaching town I learned that orders had just come from Montgomery to stop all vessels loaded with Live Oak and Naval Stores." He is told that they will "put an officer aboard" his vessel if he doesn't give his word not to sail off. He replies that he has enough officers on board already and is told that they've written Montgomery about his giving the Live Oak, etc. Burgess waits 14 days, then receives orders that he could "discharge my Live Oak". After two days of unloading, contradictory orders come, saying he is not to unload and that schooner and cargo will be taken to New Orleans. He has no money or provisions, so "discharged all my crew except my mate and got just money enuf to get them out of the place…." He takes the "chronometer and all the valuable things out of the vessel" and next sees "Capt. Hampson and crew getting into the Cars to go home, likewise my own [crew]…" He registers a protest and notes that "myself and mate were the only Northerners" there. He goes to see "Mr. McMullin, chief collector" and tells him he'd like to see any official "authority for stopping the vessel." He is told that orders came the day before "that all American vessels would have 30 days to get [to] their respective homes…" The Collector sent a letter saying to "retain the Live Oak but give the vessel a clearance within 30 days" and adds that Burgess should let him know if anyone "bothered or molested" him. &c., &c. ~~ The third schooner in the ledger is the Aurelia P. Howe, and thirty pages are devoted to wages and provision, bills paid, settlement of voyages, gross stock lists, port charges, etc. Virtually all are from 1867. In addition to Burgess, another captain mentioned in connection with the vessel is Lewis B. Doane, whose name appears when Capt. Burgess pays him $100 in January, 1868; in a settlement of Jan-Sept. 1867; in accounts dated July-Sept, 1866; as receiving cash for 1/128 of Schooner A.P. Howe; as receiving credit on his wages, etc. Burgess's name is included in a list of owners (pp 152-3) and is mentioned also in lists of the schooner's earnings for various periods. The Aurelia P. Howe's destinations include Savannah (1866 or '67), Tampico, Chiltepec, Boston to Harwich, Philadelphia to Boston, Mobile, Galveston, Charleston, NY, etc. ~~ A fourth schooner, the Edward Kidder, is mentioned on pp 98-99, 101 and 103, with the usual listings for expenses (Newport to Savannah), port charges, wages, etc. No mention of Burgess. ~~ The archive accompanying this ledger is a collection of about 100 items, including the contract for building the bark "John Sheppard" between Freeman Burgess of Harwich, and George Currier, master ship builder of Newburyport, and all manner of carpenters, purveyors, chandlers, surveyors, customs people, merchants, consignors and port officials. Her maiden voyage saw her sail to South America (several receipts from the Panama Railroad Company) to Mexico, to Queenstown, Ireland, to Liverpool, and back to Boston. This is a rich assortment of 19th century billheads, invoices accounts, and other printed material creating the biography of an American merchant sailing ship, and now housed in archival sleeves and a binder.
      [Bookseller: R & A Petrilla]
Last Found On: 2015-06-09           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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