A 19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN WHALING JOURNAL.
Manuscript journal of seaman John O. Farrell, 1857-61, 30 pp, 12mo (134 x 85 mm), limp cloth covers, describing the voyages of the whaling ship Jireh Swift, covers worn, a few leaves loose, printed religious ephemera and 1851 United States one cent piece loosely inserted.
WITH: Scrimshaw pillbox, approximately
1 3/4 x 1 x 3/4 inches.
A record kept by a sailor of the voyages of the American whaling ship Jireh Swift, beginning in New Bedford, Mass. and continuing to New Zealand, the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Strait, etc. Farrell notes the Jireh Swift's departure from New Bedford on July 16, 1857, and its return on May 16, 1861, "after an absence of four years one month and six hours and having 3000 barrels of oil." He records entry into sperm whaling ground off of New Holland, New Zealand and Australia, and passage several times through the Bering Strait and the Arctic Ocean. One of the more poignant entries comes on April 4, 1861: "Robbert [sic] Glenn killed by a right whale this morning at 8 a.m. this being the only man this voyage killed by a whale. Robbert Glenn buried at sea April 5th 1861." The final three pages record births and deaths in the Farrell family.
In 1865, the Jireh Swift was captured by the Confederate ship Shenandoah off the coast of Cape Thaddeus in the Kamtschatka sea; she was relieved of 400 barrels of oil and burned.