[NANTUCKET WHALING JOURNAL] Journal of a Voyage to the Pacific Ocean [under Captain] Henry P Collier: Elizabeth Starbuck of Nantucket Mass.

E Parker; Hermann Friedrich Wulff
An attractive 1840s Atlantic & Pacific Ocean whaling journal of the ‘Elizabeth Starbuck’ out of Nantucket, with 4 whale stamps and records of man… Read more
Published in 1846 by .

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[NANTUCKET WHALING JOURNAL] Journal of a Voyage to the Pacific Ocean [under Captain] Henry P Collier: Elizabeth Starbuck of Nantucket Mass. by E Parker; Hermann Friedrich Wulff

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An attractive 1840s Atlantic & Pacific Ocean whaling journal of the ‘Elizabeth Starbuck’ out of Nantucket, with 4 whale stamps and records of many more whales killed.

Bound in half calf over marbled boards, the binding is rubbed but entirely sound. Foolscap format - 34x22cm - with approximately 80 leaves: 100 pages of ship’s log in 2 languages, a further 30 pages recording ‘Whales Raised’, tobacco and clothing rations, solar and lunar observations and other shipboard matters. Whale stamps appear x3 (Sept 9, 1846), x1 (Sept 30, 1846). Twentieth century provenance given by a pencil inscription to the lower pastedown: ‘This book presented by Mr A. Grove Day, of Stanford University, to Fred J.Buenzle, of Snug Harbour, Palo Alto, Cal. on Aug 15, 1938’ (Fred J Buenzle (1872-1946) was Chief Yeoman of the United States Navy; Arthur Grove Day (1904-1994), writer and founding editor in chief of Pacific Science: A Quarterly).

The manuscript has been written from both ends, the earlier period 1846 - 1848 in English by the ship’s Master, E Parker, over 52 pages, a hand-written log book amounting to 250 daily entries which runs from January 20, 1846 to December 19, 1846; then November 11, 1847 to April 28, 1848, alternate leaves removed from these entries and several other leaves excised. From the other end of the manuscript is Hermann Friedrich Wulff has written 50 pages of log entries in German for a Pacific voyage from April 29 - November 11, 1849, preceded by a summary of ‘Whales Raised’.

Parker’s log begins with a manuscript title page on the first flyleaf: ‘Journal of a Voyage to the Pacific Ocean [Captain] Henry P. Collier: Ship Elizabeth Starbuck of Nantucket Mass’ with three Latin prayers below the title - this is an educated writer. Later adopting the running title ‘Remarks on board ship Elizabeth Starbuck, E. Parker, Master…’ follows the ship’s route in conventional format 1846/47 from near the Brazilian Martin Vaz Islands (South Atlantic) around Cape Horn, and up the east coast of South America to within 9 degrees of the Equator before heading west past Samoa and Tonga, then north, sailing south of Howland and Baker Islands where 3 whales are raised on September 9 - ‘... at 6 AM raised Sperm Whales going to the north… lanced and gave chase… at 11 got whales alongside.’ The next day: ‘... all hands occupied in cutting… commenced boiling’ continuing westwards into the eastern hemisphere just south of the Equator, before turning south (territory of the Solomon Islands), the log finishing approximately in the waters of Wallis and Futuna. The log for 1847/48 continues from north of the Phoenix Islands (Kiribati), Christmas Day off Rotumah (Fiji), then south-west to Sydney, Australia by the end of January 1848 and east from Sydney along parallel 32 south, recrossing 180 degrees longitude April 20, 1848 where the log entries end on the International Date Line east of Kermadec Island. Parker’s log concludes with 3 pages bearing signs of botanical specimens having been pressed there. Two further pages of log entries for, July 1850, record the early stages en route from Hobart to San Francisco; followed by approx 20 pages of records of fascinating tobacco allowances and ‘duck pants’ receipts for named crew members, including one ‘Levi Starbuck’ as well as various notes and entries by officers including Henry W. Collier of Hartford, Connecticut and Hermann F[riederich] Wulff of Bremen recording their presence aboard. To the rear of the book, 7 pages of notes listing whales raised (confirming the four Whale stamps on those dates above); log of other vessels encountered; and solar and lunar observations taken to ascertain correct times, the ship’s chronometer being a few minutes adrift.

A further 50 pages of German log entries for the same vessel are written from the end of the book by Hermann Wulff, April 29 - November 11, 1849. Additionally Wulff has pasted in a print of Shakespeare’s Cliff, Dover during June. At September 19-24, pencilled notes on yellow notepaper inserted (annotated as being handwriting of Fred Buenzle) possibly translating the German log: ‘Saw nothing. So ends the day. Saw whales in moonlight’, ‘Found 2 natives of isl[and] in a wrecked outrigger - very hungry and exhausted, one a man the other a girl.’ We have not made a systematic investigation of Wulff’s text but his enties are generally longer than Parker’s and seem to be potentially very interesting. A typed translation of the entry for March 27th 1848 is laid in and begins: ‘Heading for Strong’s Island... live in hopes to find fish... Once I happened along the strand of the Danau, and found a sleeping virgin, lightest habilments... stretched out in the shade, her hands and feet half exposed.’ At all events, his log begins in the Tasman Sea, heads east, cruising close by Norfolk Island, heading north on June 19, 1849, to linger near the Equator/Date Line intersection, drifting very slowly west before, in mid-September, setting south along 162 degrees east, reaching 42 S, 150 E on October 20, off Hobart, Tasmania - though the log continues, this is the final position given. Finally, 6 pages prepared with headings for log-keeping but without entries; and torn and cut pages with transactions signed by ‘Captain’ Parker, H. Wulff (at Hobart) and a Captain Schebling.

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Added under Manuscript
Date published 1846
Subject 1 Manuscript
Signed Yes
Product code 7847

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