Monday, December 29, 2008

Collections Research Center Haiku

the c.r.c

collections are here
models and ships and scrimshaw
mimsy can find them

-Krystal Kornegay

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Quotes from Manuscripts

Nov 1849 Wednes 28th My birth day I lay in my berth all day got some gruel in the PM which made me feel better it rained most all day I got some Sage Tea for my Supper. the Ship leaked some & went 9 knots today one of the Steerage Pas had 2 galls of Brandy stolen I expect that it was wanted by some one for Thanksgiving Lat 35:47 Long 56:14 Willard Childs - on the Reindeer enroute to San Francisco

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day Nov 28. Two weeks ago we looked forward to Thanksgiving Day as when we should perhaps be in, but light winds and calms have delayed us . E. has a holiday and I have only got one lesson, the last till we leave port. Today has seemed like Saturday to me; I do not know why. The weather still continues quite warm.{1889/11/28} Friday, Nov. 29. It is perceptibly cooler today. I have had a little sore throat today but it will not last long. We had the trunks out today and afterwards I ironed or pressed out one dress. The dresses are all very much creased. I am terribly tired. feel more like going to bed than anything else. Calista Stover en route to China.

Dear Father: Thank you for you letter of November 12. [1934] I certainly appreciate your thinking of me on the eleventh and I, too, thought of a great many happy birthdays spent at Bristol.I am going to try hard to come down at Thanksgiving time and then we can talk over some more about the comparison of Endeavour and Rainbow. L. F. Herreshoff to N.G. Herreshoff

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More from Dan...

I uploaded another video to YouTube last Friday. This one was put together for the America and the Sea Award Gala and focuses on our flagships. The video was written and narrated by Mike O'Farrell and edited by myself. You can find it at Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From Dan in Film and Video

I just wanted to let you all know that today I uploaded a new video onto our YouTube channel. This video, edited by Brandon Morgan and shot by Brandon and myself, is set to music and shows the Charles W. Morgan as she is moved from Chubb's Wharf to the Shipyard. I invite all of you to check it out and let us know what you think. You can find the video at If you like that, Brandon and I have produced and uploaded a number of videos you may be interested in as well, including Charles W. Morgan, the Last of Her Kind, Olin Stephens-Simply Brilliant, and videos about the Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous and the 100th Birthday Celebration of SABINO. They can all be found on our YouTube channel, Also, be on the lookout for another upload coming soon about the new "Sentinels of the Sea" exhibit. Thank you and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New (Old) Yacht Registers Online

The American Yacht List, 1874, 1881, 1882, 1883, and 1884 have been added to the list of searchable yacht registers on the Collections pages. Since their inception in late September, the Yacht Registers have received over 3000 hits, and been mentioned in various web pages and forums including Woodenboat.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas ideas

Sail Classics offers hand-crafted and meticulously detailed models based upon Mystic's historic vessels.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Immigrant passenger's diary

News from Cataloging Services:

Misc. Vol. 783, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

Diary, 1842 July 29-1842 October 16, of an unknown British immigrant passenger, probably a young man traveling with his family, aboard the ship QUEBEC, F. H. Hebard, master. Includes description of voyage from Hastings, England to New York with brief entries on the Quarantine Grounds and Customs House at Staten Island and continues with a description of the family's canal-boat trip up the Hudson River and Erie Canal to their new home in Albion, NY.

Research indicates that the keeper sailed as one of 150 steerage class passengers on the ship QUEBEC, a Swallowtail Line packet ship managed by Fish & Grinnell & Co., NY. Unique description of travel on the Hudson River and Erie Canal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Call for Papers: WATERWAYS AND BYWAYS, 1600-1890, to be held in June 2009.

The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife is accepting proposals for papers and presentations on the subject of early transportation networks operating within New England and contiguous portions of New York and Canada before 1890. Based on the premise that New England's everyday economy, much like its culture, depended on regional interconnectivity, this conference attempts to examine the physical, professional, and cultural networks that facilitated and encouraged this movement. Specifically, the conference seeks proposals on river and canal life, on tavern circuits, and on the rise of overland stagecoach routes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maritime Authors Series

The line-up for 2009 Maritime Authors Series, which is co-sponsored by the Fellows, is as follows: Our average attendance last year was 50 people.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Newly Cataloged Collections

Here are some manuscript collections that are newly processed, thanks to our cataloging staff and volunteers. If you have any questions or would like to research our collections, the Access Reading room can be reached at (860) 572.5367 and is located in the Collections and Research Center, open 10-5, Mon.-Fri. Or explore the links below!

Papers, 1911-1995, of Henry Hill Anderson. Includes a variety of unbound logs, narratives, and journals as well as correspondence concerning Anderson pleasure voyage from 1911 Nov-1912 on the bark FOOHNG SUEY, from New York to Hawaii. During this voyage around Cape Horn he records navigational data, what he learns from the many different men on board, and the death of one of the men at the hands of the cook, who later jumped overboard mid-ocean. The different documents all record the same events and voyage but are written at different times and not all are complete. Anderson made this voyage following his graduation from the Adirondack-Florida School and before matriculating at Yale University. The collection also contains an edited log from his son, Henry Hill Anderson, Jr.'s, voyage on the schooner GEORGE B. CLUETT and the STRAHCONA from 1939 Jun 24-Sep 3 as part of the Tanner-Forbes charting expedition from Boston to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Records of the Schooner Orville Horwitz (Coll. 344): Records, 1846-1887, of the schooner ORVILLE HORWITZ. This collection includes paid bills, the protection certificate for Captain Chauncey Kelsey, and other papers. There are also two account books. The first contains the vessel's accounts for each port and details of the cargos for each trip. The second contains the date when each crew member was hired and their wages for each voyage. It is not clear who kept these records.

Isaac Henry Strauss Collection (Coll. 348): Includes a variety of government documents from Strauss's time in the United States Navy, including personal identification cards, his Navy training course certificate, government dispatches, and two copies of the servicemen's magazine, "The Chaser." The largest series of government documents concerns the sinking of the USS POLLUX, on which Strauss was serving at the time, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland on February 18, 1942 and the investigation that followed. The documents concern both the USS POLLUX as well as the USS TRUXTUN, which also wrecked that night, and the USS WILKES which was escorting both ships and include American and Canadian action reports, press releases, a list of the sailors who died in the wreck, copies of deck logs, trial documents, administrative and battalion orders, and Strauss's citation for outstanding performance of duty. The collection also includes correspondence regarding articles in Readers Digest and Oceans magazine that Strauss wrote about the disaster, to and from fellow survivors and readers, as well as correspondence about reunions organized by the St. Lawrence Heritage Society, the memorials at the wreck site, and the dedication of the United States Memorial Hospital in St. Lawrence. There are also clippings from Strauss's time in the Navy about war time events and the shipwreck, as well as later clippings that include the articles Strauss wrote about the disaster and clippings about the memorials at the wreck site, the United States Memorial Hospital, and Strauss himself. The collection also contains manuscript drafts, including a personal account of the shipwreck written by Strauss while he was in the hospital following the wreck, a rough draft of his article for Oceans magazine, and two other drafts of chapters written by Cassie Brown and George Whitely. This collection complements photographs in the general collection.

Harlow Collection (Coll. 349): Collection, 1856-2006, of John Jones Harlow includes a personal memoir of his life on whalers, a logbook from the whaling brig LEONIDAS, papers relating to whaling and other personal papers. Memoirs and logbook contain descriptions of whaling mutinies, injury at sea as well as shipboard life. Logbook also contains whale and porpoise stamps.

Roy G. Roberts Collection (Coll. 337): Collection, 1938-1964, consists mainly of U.S. Merchant Service instructor training manuals for Sheepshead Bay New York, New York and officer's training at Fort Trumbull, New London Connecticut. It also contains logbooks and papers related to shipping.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pete Culler on Wooden Boats

A collection of Pete Culler's texts on the boats and all things boating have been collected into one volume; Pete Culler on Wooden Boats With a foreward by Mystic Seaport's Associate Curator of Small Craft, Peter Vermilya, the book also contains numbers Culler plans and photos now preserved in the Ships Plans and Photograph collections.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Sea History" carries feature article by MSM Curator

Fred Calabretta's article, The Work of Captain George Comer - Whaling and Anthropology in the Artic is featured this month in Sea History: The Art Literature, Adventure, Lore & Learning of the Sea. The article details Comer's relationships with noted anthropologist Franz Boas, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Inuits of Hudson Bay.

Photograph from the collection of Captain George Comer (1858-1937) of East Haddam, Connecticut. Depicts Capt. Comer on the deck of an unidentified vessel. On mount, below photo: "From C.G.Y. King/ James L. Foord/ May 1926".

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photographs of Mystic in the Morning

It's a beautiful morning in Mystic and the Collections photographers took some amazing shots on the grounds. Check them out!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New England Regional Fellowship Consortium Meets

The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium held its annual business meeting at Mystic Seaport on Friday, October 3rd. The Consortium funds up to a dozen fellowships a year, supporting scholarly work in New England history. This year, three NERFC Fellows will be doing research at Mystic Seaport. See for more information on the program and participating institutions.

U. S. Coast Guard Alums Tour the CRC

While the rain poured outside on Sunday over 40 alum and their families took a special tour of the Collections and Research Center vaults. A great group with good questions.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Certificate of Appointment for Collector of the Port of New York, 1718

A new addition to our manuscript collection and one of our earliest pieces is a certificate issued to Thomas Byerly as Collector of the Port of New York. It is signed by four of the royal customs commissioners at the Customs House in London: John Stanley, Thomas Walker, John Pulteney, and Charles Peers. There are three blue tax stamps along the left-hand side of the document, an elaborate pen and ink depiction of the royal seal is located in the top left corner, the royal seal in red wax is present but partially removed, a revenue stamp and early owner's inscriptions are on the back of the document.

Thomas Byerly was chosen by Queen Ann to serve as the Collector and Receiver-General of New York. Byerly was suspended in 1702 from his post as Receiver-General by Lord Cornbury, governor of New York and New Jersey at the time, for "ill-behavior, constant disobedience to orders, and countenance of Illegal Trade." However, it is more likely Byerly was suspended because he clashed with Lord Cornbury and it was later decided that Byerly had been "illegally" suspended. Byerly was restored by Queen Ann following his first suspension and by Lord Lovelace, Conbury's successor, in 1707 after his second suspension. He was assigned to the Assembly of New York by Queen Ann in 1712, replacing more rebelious members of the group. Then, on August 20, 1716 Byerly was again replaced as Receiver-General by James Gohier. In 1718 he was assigned to serve as the Collector of the Port of New York. In 1724 or 1725 he sold his land holdings in New Jersey and returned to London, England.

The certificate can be viewed at

Monday, September 29, 2008

Annual Library Book Sale Cancelled

There will be no Annual Book Sale by the Fellows of the Blunt White Library this fall. The reason is that gift processing people have been working on a major gift the duplicates from which have been placed in the CCA - Olin Stephens Reading Room (normally such duplicates would be in the Book Sale). Also these people have been working on Emergency Preparedness items and on the finalization of the transfer of the Library to the CRC.

Next year’s Sale should be a good one and we hope to see you there…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yacht Register Search - Trial Run

Looking for information on a particular yacht from 1872? Or perhaps you want to know what yachts Vanderbilt owned in 1903? Well now you can easily do that research online. The Mystic Seaport Collections Department presently has posted 5 of their yacht registers and set up a Vessel and Owner Search page. This page is a test, there are many more volumes to go online, and many more searchable fields that we could add but we need user feedback to determine our priorities. Please take it for a spin and send any comments, or suggestions you might have to

Friday, September 12, 2008

L. A. Dunton Photos

The crew from Photo Services was up early on Friday morning, Sept 12th to shoot the hauling of Mystic Seaport's Gloucester fishing schooner, the L. A. Dunton. A few of the photos have been uploaded to flickr. Feel free to add your comments and Dunton stories.

Built by Arthur D. Story in Essex, MA, 1921, the L.A. Dunton was designed by Thomas F. McManus. She was designated National Historic Landmark on November 4, 1993.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amistad Letter Now Online

On September 6, 1839 Luis Norris Wilcox, United States Marshal for the district of Connecticut of New London, Connecticut wrote a letter to Erastus Osborn of Binghampton, New York, asking for aid unloading cargo and processing prisoners regarding the arrival of the schooner AMISTAD. On September 4, 2008 the Collections Department put that letter online.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


From Dec 1, 2008 thru March 19, 2009 the Collections Research Center will be closed on Mondays. Open Tuesday - Friday from 10-5.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The Richard Columbus Mears Collection, 1816-1872, including letters, personal accounts, journals, and store accounts is now available for research. In addition to documents relating to Mears' career as a merchant ship captain on numerous ships out of New York, the Collection also includes records from the Van Valkenburgh family, and Nellie Goodsell Mears' husband's family.

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