Main content

Ship's log of the Otago


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Between April 18th, 1879, and December 11, 1882, the merchant ship Otago voyaged from Port Blakely, Washington Territory, to Noumea, New Caledonia, with additional stops in Newcastle, Australia, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The Port Townsend, Washington, based ship carried a cargo of lumber and copper ore. Henry A. Harding, who served as one of the officers on the ship, wrote the log.

Information derived from the collection.

This volume documents the voyages from Port Blakely, Washington Territory, to Noumea, New Caledonia, among other destinations such as Newcastle, Australia, and Honolulu, Hawaii, between April 18th, 1879 and December 11, 1882, on the ship Otago.

The logbook is one leather bound volume, circa 320 pages, with entries in ink and pencil, and contains an account of life aboard the ship, weather reports, information about crew members and officers, ships seen and various notes on the fish, birds, and pests endemic to life at sea. A few entries also describe ports along with the "natives" and their clothing, canoes, and habits. Most entries are routine, however, the first entry recounts the rescue of the sole surviving sailor from the wreck of the schooner Ellen J. McKinnon of San Francisco. The author of the log, Henry A. Harding, also wrote expense lists with accompanying sums and a list of stores organized by crew member name. Much of the second half of the logbook is taken up with pages of Harding practicing his penmanship.

  1. Item 0033: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

A digitized copy of the journal is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.

Purchase, 1957.

Processed and encoded by Norieta Hagerty, February 2007.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 February 21
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Ship's log of the Otago, 1879 April 18-1882 December 11.
Item 0033
Materials Viewable Online
  1. PDF of journal

Print, Suggest