Original 1805 Manuscript Ship's Log - American Ship Venus - Boston To Russia For Sale
Wonderful and quite rare, original, 1805 Manuscript Ship’s Logbook for the American Ship “Venus”, on a 210 day voyage from Boston to Amsterdam, on to the Russian Port of Kronstadt and back to Boston. The "Venus" was an American Sailing Packet Ship out of Baltimore which traveled both the Transatlantic and Caribbean trade route. During the War of 1812 the Venus was captured by British Privateers as well as by American Privateers and the history of the ship is a somewhat confusing and entangled story that is not atypical of merchant vessels of the early 19th century.
This fascinating, manuscript Ship’s Log measures approx. 8” by 12 1/2” and contains 86 pages, of which 55 have been used to detail daily entries. The Log is written within a partially printed, blank book specifically manufactured for this purpose and titled "The Seaman's Journal: Being an Easy and Correct Method of Keeping the Daily Reckoning of a Ship, During the Course of Her Voyage. : The Columns and Spaces are Properly Ruled and Divided for the Entrance of Every Necessary Observation: and the Several Departments Arranged in the Most Regular and Conspicuous Manner". Boston, 1805. Printed by E. Draper "for J. White & Co. Booksellers and Stationers".
This very early American Sailing Ship's Log covers the period February 10, 1805 to September 6, 1805 and details a voyage from Boston to Amsterdam, on to the Russian Port of Kronstadt and back to Boston.
The front cover of the Log has a small square of paper with manuscript text that reads:
Boston to Amsterdam
Cronstadt & Home
Feby 10. to Sept 6. 1805
Beneath this, written in pencil, is the name John Matchett Coffin.
The daily entries in the Log include information on courses, winds, longitude, and latitude. Daily Remarks, written in longhand, detail more specifically the weather, sea swells and squalls, and various sails used at different times throughout the voyage. Mention of other ships met during the trip are also noted here. One page notes that: Made Scilly (Great Britain) in 28 days from Nantasket Roads & 30 from Boston".
On March 17th it is noted that "at 10 p.m. was boarded by the Pluto Sloop of War - met with civility" and on March 20th "standing...under short sail - the wind blowing too hard to beat windward in the North Sea...got a leg of mutton from a boat".
The Ship sails from Great Britain to the Texel Roads (Netherlands) and anchors there on March 30th. The voyage recommences on May 7th bound for Cronstadt (St. Petersburg, Russia). Entries from May 17th through May 19th contain a detailed account of difficulties in bringing the Ship to shore in Cronstadt. After a 22 day layover in Cronstadt, the Venus departs on June 20th bound for Elsinore (Denmark) and the trip home. On July 27th: at 4 p.m. fell in with a squadron of 10 sail - consisting of 1 three Decker, 1 80 gun & 3 - 74', three frigates & two Brigs - they were standing to the South...a Brig spoke us & ordered us to keep further from the fleet".
On August 15th it is noted that: "at 11 a.m. a boat came on board from Ship Eliza of N. Bedford from N. York for Nantes 28 days out. Daniel Bennett Master - brot letters, got a bb Shipbread & 5 lbs. loaf sugar off him - for which he was rogue enough to take nine dollars - ".
The final entry of this log is dated September 6th and says: "at 4 a.m. saw Boston Light...took a pilot at 7 past the lighthouse...anchor off India Wharf. Passage of 79 days"
We have only skimmed most of this Volume and leave an in-depth reading to the next owner. The Log is well and neatly written and quite readable.
This very rare and very early, American Ship's Log is in very good condition - bound in its original hand marbled, paper wraps which have some edge wear and some tape reinforcements at the spine of the rear wrap but are tight, intact and quite attractive. The internal pages are in very good to excellent condition - tight, complete and generally clean and crisp with some light age toning and scattered spotting.
A very rare, fascinating and unique, 1805 American Merchant Vessel's Manuscript Log Book and a fantastic addition to any collection!!
Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at buyers request. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax.
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On Feb-26-13 at 20:20:00 PST, seller added the following information:
PLEASE NOTE: We have uncovered a small group of letters and further information regarding the Ship Venus. The Venus was actually one of 19 Trading Ships out of Boston owned by William Machett. The name of the Captain of the Venus during this Journey was likely T. Trask (or possibly William G. Smith). We will be posting (and including with this Log Book) a photograph of a period painting of the Venus amd will also include a copy of an early 20th century typscript which gives information about the Venus and her sister ship the Katy as well as some transcripts of letters from their Captains to William Machett in the late 18th and early 19th century.
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Original 1805 Manuscript Ship's Log - American Ship Venus - Boston To Russia: $391