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(WHALING.) Smith, Tisdale. Journal of a New Bedford whaling voyage's closing months along the South American coast and homeward.  manuscript pages. Folio, original plain wrappers, minor wear and a small scorch hole; contents well-preserved. Vp, 10 March 1823 to 9 December 1825
Tisdale Smith (1792-1858) was a native of Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, MA. This journal records the final leg of a Pacific whaling voyage down the west coast of South America, around Cape Horn, and back to New Bedford, MA. The vessel is not named, but seems to match the ship Minerva Smyth under Captain Daniel Mackenzie, which had left New Bedford in December 1820. Smith often records latitude and longitude, shipboard duties, and whaling activities. He occasionally offers a bit of narrative: "Saw whales, got one & howled it a long side at sunset. Our capt. concluded not to cut it, saying we should never cut the whale intill thare was sumbodey onbord that new what thay ware about" (7 May). In addition to adorning this volume with 7 whale stamps, Smith occasionally sketched islands as he passed by. His 26 March entry includes a sketch of Wenman Island in the Galápagos chain; two islands off Brazil are sketched on 24 September and 3 October. He also mentions stops at Manta, Ecuador (19 May) and then a longer stop in Guayaquil (4 June). In the latter, "Mr. Pope returned from town with his hoste & went agane, which consisted of a Frenchman, one Spanish nagro, & a purfane American" (5 June). On the 14th, "two men deserted the capt. on shore." Two days later, their clothes were removed from the ship and sold. The ship arrived in New Bedford, MA on 15 November 1823. Smith continues his diary for another four pages, as he makes the short trip home to Martha's Vineyard and returns to work on the family farm. On 8 April 1824, he noted "attended my marriage." Entries on Vineyard farm life continue irregularly through January 1825, with one memorandum recorded for that December--the only time Smith records his name. with--Tisdale Smith's seaman's protection certificate issued in Nantucket and dated 12 May 1815.
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