Item #56603 Manuscript log book. John D'Wolf.
Manuscript log book
Manuscript log book

Manuscript log book

At sea: 1806. Small 4to, pp. [24]; unusual original printed pictorial wrappers showing on the upper cover copperplate images of 5 ships, with an imprint "Printed for Laurie & Whittle, 1796" at the bottom; lightly stained and toned, but on the whole, very good. Laurie & Whittle were London print- and mapmakers. John D'Wolf (1760-1841) was the son of Mark Anthony DeWolf and Abigail Potter DeWolf. He married Susan Reynolds in 1784. He was active in the Revolutionary War and was captured and imprisoned on the notorious "Jersey Prison Ship" in New York Harbor. He was also a merchant and ship owner, and later "considered one of the best farmers in New England. He was a member of the Rhode Island State Legislature and was a Presidential Elector." Among a number Biblical extracts (Psalms, passages from Isaiah) and prayers, this is a proper log giving longitude and latitude, wind direction and strength, sea conditions, sails hoisted, reefed, and struck, etc. on two separate voyages, the first on the Semiramis (owned by James DeWolf of Bristol) on a 14-day voyage to Havana; and the second a return voyage on the Andromache (owned at the time by John DeWolf and Hersey Bradford, and later by James DeWolf, all of Bristol). At least two leaves have been excised from the second voyage, but we do know that the voyage took 29 days, and the return was likely to Bristol, as the last entry states "Fresh breeze standing Westward for Block Island lighthouse. Looks like a gail. I feel very antious." Orthography is not D'Wolf's strongpoint. Also, at least 3 other leaves have also been excised, but these are between the two voyages. Nonetheless, a very interesting log with extended occasional asides, such as "Remarks on bord ship Semiramis Feby. 8th 1806. First part calm, this day I took physic / very low spirited and home sick. Middle part & latter fresh breeze from S.S.W. Stood West 4 hours and all the rest of the 24 hours stood S.E. O my dear wife & children my effections towards you are two strong I fear you leve but a small part / O my savour." Lonely, but not phased by privateers: "First part fresh breeze from E.N.E. found myself near 20 miles to the N.W. of the hole in the Wall location. By the book giving the declination wrong. Passed the hole in the Wall at 4 P.M. Was boarded by an English Privatear at 12 M.night. Abrest of Sturgess (?) Key at 2 A.M. stear S.W.. At 9 A.M. was boarded by another privatear. Pleasant weather and fine breeze on the bank in three fathom water..." "Remarks on board ship Andromache March 5, 1806. Hard gail from SSW the sea runs very high that I could hear that Heavenly Voyse saying be of good cheer it is I be not afraid - O blessed savour if thou but speak the word the wind and the waves will obey thee and be husht to silence. This has been a gloomy night with us nearer the wind let loos with so much fury a tremendous gail from S.W. with rain thunder and lightning and a very high sea but our God has brought us to the light of another morning..." "Plenty of rain wind ... At 6 P.M. shot out of the Gulph into collord water the water changed from blue water to Very Cold in about half an hour. Sea groes smother. My spirits are quite revived. Latter part fine breeze from S.W. but fogg..." And at the end, "Imploy my time looking out for land with all the impatiance imaganable - got but little sleep - at one oclock P.M. saw land thought it was Block Island bearing N .N.W. but it proved to be Marthes Vinyard." A note dated "Havannah July 21, 1806" reads: "Recvd. of Levi D'Wolf three hundred and fifty dollar which I will lay out in sugar and will make up enough to Purches twenty Boxes and bbl. mollases and it shall course home in the ship Semiramis," signed "John D'Wolf." See Perry, Charles D'Wolf of Gaudeloupe, His Ancestors and Descendants, New York, 1902, pp. 125-26; and, Ship Registers and Enrollments ... of Bristol - Warren, Rhode Island, Providence, 1941, pp. 13 and 239. Item #56603

Price: $3,800.00

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