Description

    Ship's Log for the 18th Century Otter. Over eighty pages, 7.5" x 12.5", with informative daily entries dated July 22, 1796, through October 22, 1797, remarking on the vessel's passage from the "N.W. coast of America" to the Hawaiian Islands and on to China. Before the log ends, the ship is on its way back to Boston, its starting point. The Otter was primarily a fur trading vessel (there are several entries in this log of crew members trading with "the natives" in "canoes" for "skins"), but she left Boston in August 1795 on this special mission to transport Thomas Muir, a Scottish political exile, to the convict settlement at Sydney Cove, Australia. The ship anchored at Sydney in January 1796; this log begins six months later. On this trip, the Otter became the first U.S. vessel to enter a Californian port. Even though the front cover has separated from the log, the binding and pages remain in very good condition. Expected soiling and toning can be seen. The covers show dampstaining.

    The first day is recorded as the "333rd Day from Boston." On each page in the top margin, the anonymous writer records the location of that particular page's entries. The first twenty-four pages contain "Remarks on board the Ship Otter while on the N.W. coast of America" (dated July 22 through November 9, 1796). The next three pages contain "Remarks on board the Ship Otter on his passage to the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii]" (November 16 through December 6, 1796). The next five pages contain "Remarks . . . while at the Sandwich Islands" (December 7, 1796, through January 2, 1797). The next nine pages contain "Remarks . . . from the Sandwich Island to China" (January 3 through February 12, 1797). The next seven pages appear to have been written from Taipei, Taiwan, (written as "Typa") (February 13 through February 27, 1797). For the next five pages, the ship was "at Whampoa in Chinah" (March 12 through March 30, 1797). For the rest of the pages, the ship sailed "from China towards Boston." The entries of this well-traveled log are worthy of much further research.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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