Joel Root Memoir

January 13, 1905
Manuscript Collection #80
Root, Joel
Physical description
0.055 Cubic Feet, 27 items, photocopies, memoir
Preferred Citation
Joel Root Memoir (#80), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Memoir (1840) including personal memoir of Joel Root, adventures while engaged in sealing operations, cast ashore on the Indian inhabited coast of Peru.

Biographical/historical information

Joel Root, born in Southington, Connecticut, in 1770, was early orphaned; and with two sisters, he was reared by his elderly grandfather. After briefly attending Yale College, Root married and worked in various professions in Southington and New Haven, including farmer, dry goods merchant, and shipper. In 1802 he entered a sealing venture to the Pacific coast of South America as supercargo and director of the voyage.

Scope and arrangement

The memoir, written in 1840, recounts Joel Root's adventures while engaged in sealing operations centered on several islands off the coast of Chile. There is a detailed account of efforts to take hair seal skins for the American market and fur seal skins for the Chinese trade, primarily from the islands of Mocha, St. Mary's, and Masafuero [Mas a tierra]. Also related are details of being cast ashore on the Indian inhabited coast of Peru, imprisonment by the Spanish at Concepcion, difficulty with the Spanish government while sealing on the Island of Masafuero, and the voyage home via China and Europe where he traded in Canton, Hamburg, and St. Petersburg. Root and his party arrived back in the United States in 1806, four years after their departure.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 24, 1969, 1 item; Personal memoir of Joel Root (1840). Loaned for copying by Mr. Jake D. Moore, Kinston, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Loaned by Mr. Jake D. Moore

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon, February 1969

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Root, Joel, 1770-1847
Sealing--Juan Fernández Islands
Chile--Description and travel
New Haven (Conn.)
Peru--Description and travel
Spain--Politics and government--1788-1808