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Charles Howell's journey at sea on board the ship Marcus of Sag Harbor, B. Green Master


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

The ship Marcus was a whaling vessel based in Sag Harbor, New York.

Information derived from the collection.

This volume documents three whaling voyages in the Atlantic aboard the ship Marcus occurring between August 24, 1830, and March 12, 1833. The log largely contains navigational data, weather reports, and ships seen, including mentions of visits between ships, the captains of the vessels, and a record of the other ships' count of whales caught or whale oil pounds. The middle and back of the journal contains lists of provisions and stores for one of the journeys, and Charles Howell's personal account information including wages and expenditures.

The entries for the first journey to the South Atlantic whaling grounds run from August 24, 1830, through May 1, 1831. The captain of this journey was B. Green. The entries for the second journey run from March 24, 1832, to April 7, 1832. This journey's captain was listed in the back of the journal as John C. Hoyt, with the destination of Rotterdam and a cargo of oil. Neither set of entries covers the entire voyages. The third journey, from July 31, 1832, through April 1, 1833, to the 'East Whaling' grounds, appears in the journal with entries confined to a list of whales caught on what date and a list of ships seen, their masters and home ports, and the passing ships' information of either the number of whales caught or pounds of whale oil processed and stored.

The logbook is leather bound, 170 pages, about 75 of which are filled with ink and pencil entries. The first 30 pages are cut out of the book, and some pages have been cut from the back of the book as well. Handwritten on the cover is "Charles Howell's journey at sea on board the ship Marcus of Sag Harbor, B. Green Master."

The author of the journal drew a whale image in the margins of the daily entries of any day that a whale was caught and killed. The whale images were rendered in ink and/or pencil and are often decorated with stripes. The author also often included a harpoon with guide rope in the images. One image shows a boat with whalers, the rope running from the boat to the harpoon that is embedded in the whale's side.

  1. Item 0040: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

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

Purchase, 1938.

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 27
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

Charles Howell's journey at sea on board the ship Marcus of Sag Harbor, B. Green Master, 1830 August 24-1833 March 12.
Item 0040
Materials Viewable Online
  1. PDF of journal

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