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Joseph M. Jenkins travel journal


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Joseph M. Jenkins was born on September 20, 1783 in Providence, Rhode Island. He left Providence to serve as assistant supercargo aboard the merchant ship Samuel Elam, owned by New York-based merchant and shipping firm Minturn and Champlin, in 1805.

This collection comprises of two volumes, the journal spans eleven months from February 2, 1805 to January 15, 1806, detailing Jenkins' sea voyage as assistant supercargo on the merchant sailing vessel the Samuel Elam. The ship, captained by Mr. Champlin, sailed from New York around the Cape of Good Hope through the Indian Ocean, anchoring at the Isle of France (Mauritius) and later Batavia (Jakarta), Java. Jenkins served under Master and First Supercargo Uriah O. Champlin, cousin of the captain. In this journal, Jenkins records the number of crew members and passengers aboard the ship including John J. DePestyer, a passenger and brother-in-law of Uriah O. Champlin. Entries often commence with the weather, sea condition, longitude and latitude, and lunar measurement. Jenkins describes the conditions on board the ship, including cargo and livestock, amusements, books he is reading, and games played. The ship's first port after 130 days at sea was Mauritius, where the Samuel Elam was anchored from June until August. Jenkins describes the plantations, slaves, spice trees, and landscape of the island. The Samuel Elam leaves Mauritius and sails to Jakarta, where they stay for 45 days. Jenkins records meetings with different ships, captains and crew, items purchased, trading, Java and its inhabitants. Throughout the journals Jenkins records the condition of passenger John J. DePestyer, whose mental state deteriorated throughout the voyage. Finally, Jenkins relates his care of the captain and crew when they contract an illness at Java, and later Jenkins describes his own ailing from dysentery. The diary ends abruptly with the Samuel Elam's second departure from Java. The journal includes Jenkins's experiences with trading and purchasing with natives and plantations, lists persons and animals aboard the ship, and a chart of the voyage on the end papers of the volume 2. Also included are Jenkins's drawings of islands from the ship, and descriptions of birds and marine animals.

Sold by Michael Brown Rare Books (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2011.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge (cataloged by Donna Brandolisio)
Finding Aid Date
2016 November 10
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Journal of a passage from New York to the Isle of France, 1805 February 2-June 26.
Volume 1
Journal of a voyage to India, 1805 June 27-1806 January 15.
Volume 2

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