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    Description

    Whaling Journal of Captain Henry H. Ricketson of the Ship Chili. A tall folio book, 8" x 12.75", 169 pages of entries (210 pages blank), bound in brown leather, covering a whaling voyage in the Atlantic Ocean from July 10, 1845 to July 27, 1851. The journal contains 24 whale stamps, indicating whales caught, and 10 whale tail stamps, indicating whales chased and lost.

    Henry H. Ricketson (1813-1850), the recorder of the majority of the journal, was listed as "Captain" on the New Bedford, Massachusetts, whaler Chili. Ricketson left the Chili to command the Chase in 1849, before dying in California on September 8, 1850. The Chili was built in Kingston, Massachusetts in 1819 and sailed for nearly fifty years before being sold and broken up in 1864. The journal records information such as the weather, the position of the vessel, the sail she was under, the wind speed and direction, activities of the crew, vessels encountered, and whales seen and taken. The log also includes numerous poems, including several recounting the tragic sinking of the HMS Royal George. Examples of entries are as follows:

    "July 27, 1845
    Commence with a moderate breeze from west at 1 PM took in the Blackfish at 6PM saw a phinback & hauled for his middle and latter part much the same so ends the day.

    December 6, 1845
    Commences with moderate breezes from the NWW with all sail set at 35M. Took a lunar observation by observing the distance between the sun and moon middle part wind. Hauled to the W the studding sails on the larboard side at 5AM put them on the other side with the wind to the WWW steering South by West per Compass so ends the day.

    December 9, 1845
    Calm at 7 saw the Ile if Cape Horn...we are all praying for afed/free wind

    December 27, 1845
    At 4PM saw Bight whales lowered the Boats and struck and capsized the starboard boat at 7PM

    January 9, 1846
    At noon saw Bight whales lowered and chaced at 2 took up the boats at 1/2 past 2 lowered the Boats again but met with no suckess at sunset.

    January 13, 1846
    Kild the whale and bound him along side at 4PM commenced cutting at 7PM got through cleared up the decks and set the watch...at 10AM saw Bight Whales and lowered the boats the waist boat struck at 11 took him alongside.

    January 25, 1846
    At 1PM the ship Massachusetts saw Sperm Whales and made runs for us. She struck but did not save him we lowered at 4PM and the waist boat struck and killed the whale the Land is in site lay by all night.

    February 2, 1846
    At 2PM saw Sperm Whales lowered and the waist boat struck and then the starboard boat struck and took them both along side

    February 19, 1846
    At 5PM saw school of Black Fish lowered the boats the larboard boat struck and starboard boat and then the waist boat all saved this fish.

    June 16, 1846
    At 4PM saw Bight Whale lowered the boats the larboard boat struck at 7 set in thick fog ste him spouting thick blood and cut and came on board.

    At the back of the logbook is a table that records the number of whales struck during the year 1845, along with accounts from the ship. Also included with the logbook is a related letter, four pages, 5.25" x 8", Wethersfield; June 22, 1865. A letter from Eliza A. Williams to a Mr. Fish. Eliza was the wife of Thomas W. Williams, who served as 2nd mate aboard the Chili.

    Condition: Foxing and soiling throughout internal pages. Worm holing in numerous places and on binding. Wear, rubbing and loss at the board edges and spine. Soiling and scratching to outer boards. Sound binding. The corners and spine are bumped.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    22nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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