Benjamin Thompson Papers, October 1860-July 1878

Manuscript Collection #1019

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Benjamin Thompson Papers
    Creator: Thompson, Benjamin
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Private journals/ships' logs (October 1860 - July 1878) of Benjamin Thompson, master of the brigs Progressive Age and T. A. Darrell, and the ships Sportsman, and Harrisburg (v. 1, 1860-1865), commander of the ship Columbia (v. 2, 1865-1870), master of the ship Peruvian (v. 3, 1870-1872), and captain of the clipper ship Great Admiral (v. 4, 1874-1878), illustrating his career aboard sailing ships trading between England, the east and west coasts of America, Southeast Asia (Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong), and Tokyo, Japan, including highly detailed and dramatic accounts of shipboard life and commercial operations.
    Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box, consisting of ships' logs
  • Description
     

    This collection contains the private journals and ships’ logs of Benjamin Thompson during his time aboard various merchant vessels serving as master of the brig Progressive Age (1860-1865), commander of the New York packet ship Columbia (1865), master of the ship Peruvian (1865-1872), and as the captain of the clipper ship Great Admiral (1874-1878). Benjamin Thompson’s logs contain daily reports that detail weather, course, latitude and longitude, navigational calculations, general shipboard life including crew disciplinary actions, and the commercial operations including cargo and passengers. Thompson provides daily accounts of his career aboard sailing ships trading between the east and west coast of the United States, Northwestern Europe, Southeast Asia (Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong), and Tokyo, Japan.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Captain Benjamin Thompson (1834-1904) was a career clipper ship master, commander, and captain of merchant vessels during the latter part of the 19th century sailing primarily for the Weld Line. Thompson was well educated as can be seen from his intelligently written and highly detailed accounts of shipboard life and commercial operations. More information about Captain Benjamin Thompson can be found at https://www.mainememory.net/artifact/14933 from the South Portland Public Library, Maine.

    In regards to the ships that Captain Thompson served aboard; the Great Admiral was a well-known medium clipper built in East Boston and the Maine-built Progressive Age later became the Evening Star.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    December 6, 2004, 0.25 cubic feet; Private journals (October 1860 - July 1878) of Benjamin Thompson, master of the brigs Progressive Age and T. A. Darrell, and the ships Sportsman, and Harrisburg (v. 1, 1860-1865), commander of the ship Columbia (v. 2, 1865-1870), master of the ship Peruvian (v. 3, 1870-1872), and captain of the clipper ship Great Admiral (v. 4, 1874-1878), illustrating his career aboard sailing ships trading between England, the east and west coasts of America, and Manila and including highly detailed and dramatic accounts of shipboard life and commercial operations. Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund), Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, MA

    Acquisition Information

    Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund), Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, MA

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

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

    Preferred Citation

    Benjamin Thompson Papers (#1019), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Lindsay Flood, March 28, 2008

    Processing Completed April 20, 2016, by Mateusz Polakowski

Container List

  • Benjamin Thompson Papers
     
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as master of the brig Progressive Age between 29 October 1860 and 1 September 1861, master of the brig Sportsman between 18 October 1861 and 7 May 1864, master of the brig T.A. Darrell between 24 November 1864 and 6 December 1864, master of the Harrisburg between 21 January 1865 and 4 April 1865, and as master of the ship Columbia between 19 April 1865 to 24 April 1865. His logs from the Columbia continue on to the next journal. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his service he made multiple global journeys, making calls at Singapore, Macau, Buenos Ares, New Orleans, New York, and Boston.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as commander of the New York packet ship Columbia between 16 May 1866 and 4 December 1865, and later as master of the ship Peruvian between 15 October 1867 to 15 January 1870. Entries from both ships were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life including encounters with other ships and the state of passengers on board. During his time as commander of the Columbia the ship sailed between New York and the Caribbean. His logs as master of the Peruvian continue on in the next journal.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as master of the ship Peruvian between 18 February 1870 and 21 January 1872. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his time on board, the Peruvian made multiple global journeys, making calls at Manila, Boston, Liverpool, Savannah, Singapore, Java, and Batavia.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as captain of the ship Great Admiral between 28 November 1874 and 22 July 1878. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his time as captain of the Great Admiral, the ship made multiple global journeys, making calls at New York, San Francisco, Liverpool, Java, and Hong Kong.

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Container List

  • Benjamin Thompson Papers
     
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as master of the brig Progressive Age between 29 October 1860 and 1 September 1861, master of the brig Sportsman between 18 October 1861 and 7 May 1864, master of the brig T.A. Darrell between 24 November 1864 and 6 December 1864, master of the Harrisburg between 21 January 1865 and 4 April 1865, and as master of the ship Columbia between 19 April 1865 to 24 April 1865. His logs from the Columbia continue on to the next journal. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his service he made multiple global journeys, making calls at Singapore, Macau, Buenos Ares, New Orleans, New York, and Boston.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as commander of the New York packet ship Columbia between 16 May 1866 and 4 December 1865, and later as master of the ship Peruvian between 15 October 1867 to 15 January 1870. Entries from both ships were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life including encounters with other ships and the state of passengers on board. During his time as commander of the Columbia the ship sailed between New York and the Caribbean. His logs as master of the Peruvian continue on in the next journal.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as master of the ship Peruvian between 18 February 1870 and 21 January 1872. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his time on board, the Peruvian made multiple global journeys, making calls at Manila, Boston, Liverpool, Savannah, Singapore, Java, and Batavia.
    Personal journal/ship’s log kept by Benjamin Thompson serving as captain of the ship Great Admiral between 28 November 1874 and 22 July 1878. Entries were made daily detailing weather conditions, navigational calculations, and general shipboard life. During his time as captain of the Great Admiral, the ship made multiple global journeys, making calls at New York, San Francisco, Liverpool, Java, and Hong Kong.


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