Ralph I. Linzee, Log of the Brig Swiftsure  1817-1819
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This log book documents the voyage of the merchant brig Swiftsure from Boston, Massachusetts, to India by way of Mauritius, and back to Boston, between November 1817 and January 1819. Ralph I. Linzee was the ship's captain for the voyage. The volume is approximately 180 pages, has a hand-stitched heavy linen cover, and includes the handwriting of multiple unidentified bookkeepers.

The log begins on November 26, 1817, just before the Swiftsure 's departure for Calcutta, India, by way of Port Louis, Mauritius. The daily entries record information on the ship's course, prevailing winds, weather, distances traveled, unusual incidents, and (occasionally) crewmembers' behavior or illnesses. The writers frequently described the sails used for navigation. On one occasion, the ship's steward had a physical altercation with Captain Linzee (March 16, 1818), and several entries from November 1818 detail a pox that afflicted the ship's cook, Lewis Wilson. The Swiftsure returned to Boston around January 20, 1819, bearing cotton, cowhides, silk, and other goods. The log's final entry is dated January 27, 1819. Supplementary information within the volume includes lists of articles received from the ship's chandler (foods, sails, and ammunition) and accounts of cordage and food for the crew.

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