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    Mid-Nineteenth Century Whaling Journal Kept by Albert M. Keith of Middleboro, Mass. A terrific whaling journal, 116pp., 8.5" x 13.5", aboard the ship Brunswick, with entries dating from Sept. 18, 1846 through April 23, 1848. A remarkable narrative detailing a highly productive voyage; the journal contains 17 whole whale stamps, 29 tails and 4 heads, also several drawings of ships, porpoises and dolphins, figures, and scenes of men in boats killing whales. Keith identifies himself on the verso of the front flyleaf: "Albert M. Keith about going to sea in the Old Rotten and unseaworthy Ship Brunswick of New Bedford Enters on Wednesday, September the 17th '46 and finds his hut in the after part of the ship near the Cabin in a little dirty hole not fit for the pigs in order to walk at all..." Keith's introduction sets the tone for the entire narrative, making this journal an engrossing read. His entries read, in very small part: "Sunday October 3rd First part hazy with a light breeze from the West the Ship steering ESE under all sails... 2 miles distance at 1/2 past 9 AM made them out sperm whales at lowered the boats in pursuit at 10 1/4 past the starboard [a full whale stamp is placed here with added drawing of a damaged boat beneath] starboard and the waist boat fastened the waist boat second boat fast at meridian the whales turned up at 1 began to get them alongside at 3 the whales alongside we have got them fast for the night so ends [he adds the current longitude and latitude of the ship]...Saturday October the 9th ...first part of these 24 hours pleasant weather... got through boiling the 4 whales making barrels middle part at 12 midnight took in the light sails...Sunday October th 10th...saw a large school of [a tail stamp is present] blackfish middle part much the same latter part...Thursday Dec 23rd [written in block letters above this entry: SB KILLED WB DRAWED, this last word is crossed out. CUT and a whale tail stamp] all of these 24 hours fresh breezes from ESE and at 1 PM lowered all boats for whale at 2 PM the starboard boat struck and killed a 100 barrel right whale at the same time the waist boat struck a large whale and he began to run the larboard boat having a chance to fasten did so when the whale struck her under the stern sheets and knocked her int a cocked hat though luckily not hurting anyone the mate cut his line and told us to keep on after the whale we did cut and went for him came on board and landed the crew and went for the whale again without success at 6 PM too the other whale along side and lad all dear so ends... [there is an elaborate ink drawing depicting two ships in pursuit of a whale here] Feb 18 [1847] Dudley Palmer a boatsteerer refused to obey necessary orders and declared he would do no more duty on board the ship put him in irons and sent him below...Sunday 21st [1847] first part light airs and calms at 1 PM lowered for whales without success in company with the ship St. Peters at 6 lowered boat without success at 7 took in sail at 5 AM saw a whale lowered but no good at 10 George Smith refused duty put him in irons and sent him below...Sunday June 27th [1847] commences with fine weather caught something new a fish a dolphin [includes a small drawing of a dolphin] and ship jack employed in making rope and strapping buckets...August the 1st [1847] Commences with light airs saw nothing of note at day light heard a man from the shore sing and ship a boy sent the bow low boat on shore and bought of the man one of the beach company they have had a drunken spree and broke up the company and give the men their discharge and would not pay them they got one right whale that caused scraps this day made a sail at the waist boat..." Much more great content, with the final entry dated April 23rd 1848 reading: "...first part of these 24 hours fine breeze from the WSW heading N by E at 12 knots wore ship to the S H and finished boiling employed in stowing down at 7 1/2 past saw whales steered for them and lost the run of them..." There follow several blank pages and remnants from where pages have been torn. The final page is filled with an elaborate table with moths in the columns, beneath which is an ink drawing of men in a row boat killing a whale with a second whale stamp, beneath which reads the caption "whale fight". There is record of an Albert Morton Keith being born on Feb, 28, 1828, age and parents named matching the details supplied by Keith in his introduction identify him as the person who kept this journal. With some toning and light foxing to pages, the spine is gently worn but sound, quarter leather wrapped boards, in very good condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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