William N. Ames logbook (1832, 1838, bulk 1838)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Cheney J. Schopieray, August 2019
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: William N. Ames logbook
Creator: Ames, William N., b. ca. 1811
Inclusive dates: 1832, 1838
Bulk dates: 1838
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This volume largely consists of William N. Ames's logbook entries for the 369-ton whaleship Martha , Master Joseph Wheldon, January 14-March 25, 1838 (14 pages and fragments of pages). The Martha departed Hudson, New York, heading for the Indian Ocean with stops at Gough Island and Madagascar. The remainder of the volume is pages or fragments of pages for the ship Alexander Mansfield , 1832, including the poem "The Yankey Privatear" (4 pages); one letter fragment; and pages of additional accounting and poetry (9 pages).
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

2019. M-7135.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

Copyright status is unknown

Preferred Citation

William N. Ames Logbook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Arrangement

The collection is a single bound volume.

Biography

William N. Ames was born in Albany, New York, ca. 1811. He moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, and became a sailor, serving aboard the ship Maria between 1828 and 1831, and aboard the Martha , 1838-1839.

Ames served aboard the 369-ton whale ship Martha , which departed Hudson, New York, in early 1838, to sail across the Atlantic and ultimately to the Indian Ocean. The captain was Joseph Wheldon. They returned to Hudson, New York, in 1839, with 150 barrels of sperm oil, 1,150 barrels of whale oil, and 13,000 pounds of whalebone.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume consists largely of William N. Ames's logbook entries for the 369-ton whaleship Martha , Master Joseph Wheldon, January 14-March 25, 1838 (14 pages and fragments of pages). The Martha departed Hudson, New York, heading for the Indian Ocean with stops at Gough Island and Madagascar. The remainder of the volume is pages or fragments of pages for the ship Alexander Mansfield , 1832, including the poem "The Yankey Privatear" (4 pages); one letter fragment; and pages of additional accounting and poetry (9 pages).

William Ames kept daily entries for the first three months of the Martha 's voyage, documenting wind speed and direction, latitude and longitude, shipboard activities, and sightings of marine life. Multiple entries contain sightings of blackfish (pilot whales), finback whales, white whales, and birds. On single occasions, he mentioned seeing a dead whale, whales feeding, and porpoises. On March 6, 1838, he noted: "hard winds hard luck and No Whales is to hard Never mind we live in hopes of beter luck and more whales for the future."

The front pastedown bears six whale stamps, haphazardly applied (three tails and three bodies).

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • Logbooks.
  • Martha (Whaling ship)
  • Whaling--Atlantic Ocean.
  • Whaling--New York (State)--Hudson.
Genre Terms:
  • Accounts.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Logs (records)
  • Poems.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Volume   1  
William N. Ames Logbook,  1832,  1838 [series]

Additional Descriptive Data

Bibliography

"Ames, William N.", American Offshore Whaling Crew Lists, Whaling History Database. New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2019. https://whalinghistory.org/?s=AE089990014

"Martha: 1838-1839", American Offshore Whaling Voyages, Whaling History Database. New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2019. https://whalinghistory.org/?s=AV09099