Journal of a Voyage from Boston to Cape Town and on to Calcutta and then to Port Louis (Mauritius)
Good. 124 unnumbered pages from a coverless and untitled portion of an unnamed traveler's journal. First leaf detached and a bit ragged. The rest is divided in two separately stitched sections. Pages measure approx. 13 x 21cm. and generally contain 22-27 lines of writing. Our traveler was not a faithful daily diarist but probably wrote in his journal at least two or three times most weeks. Our portion of the journal begins when he sailed from Boston on the ship Dover, captained by Stephen Leavitt and bound for Cape Town, on June 13th, 1841. On July 11th, he records the sighting of "sulpher bottom" ( blue) whales, celebrated his 22nd birthday, and comments unfavorably on the book "Ship and Shore." On July 15th, he notes that there are some good things in "Two Years before the Mast" and many that show the author to be an "observing fellow" although he also records that every "sea-faring person" says it "ought to be thrown into the fire." On July 18th, the Captain gives him advice about not taking wine with his officers, noting that our journal keeper was being too sociable with the officers, particularly for one who was an intimate associate of the captain. On July 28th, they overtook a Portuguese Transport Ship and were 5187 miles from Boston by log. August 4th, they passed an English Bark probably bound for Rio before the captain realized that it might be the English mail packet to whom letters could have been given. On August 27th, they arrived at Cape Town; our traveler dined with Mr. Chase, the U. S, Consul, on Aug. 6th before returning to shore where 5 people drowned later that night trying to get 140 passengers safely off a bark in high surf. Left Table Bay for Calcutta on Sept. 17th. On Oct 3rd, "Blowing a gale -- are under close reefed main top sail, the only muslin unfurled -- this has been the most unpleasant Sunday since we left Boston." On Oct. 5th, he notes Captain Leavitt's 33rd birthday and worries about his own future. Arrived in Calcutta on Nov. 17th where after dinner "all hands took a walk round to the whore houses (to speak the truth) went in to 3 or 4 stoped [sic] only a few minutes -- got to bed at 11." Dec. 7th notes that "do not think there is another place that equals this [Calcutta] for dullness without business -- all come here for business only." He left Calcutta on January 9th and reaches Port Louis on Feb. 15, 1842 where our portion of his journal ends. A final stray leaf (after a missing section from Port Louis to Georges Banks), records his return to Boston on February 15, 1842 after 11 1/2 months and notes the sad shock awaiting Captain Leavitt's wife who would learn that she was a widow. (Inventory #: 85753)
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