Ship Herald Stonington

Biographical and Historical Notes

The ship Herald was a whaling vessel based in Stonington, Connecticut. The first voyage under Captain Charles O. Brewster lasted from September 12, 1841, through May 4, 1843. The ship traveled to the whaling grounds and ports of the Indian Ocean. Captain Elijah B. Morgan headed the second voyage around Cape Horn toward Chile from June 24, 1843, through August 10, 1845.


Information derived from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

This volume documents two whaling voyages aboard the ship Herald occurring between September 12, 1841, and August 10, 1845. The authors are unknown but it is likely a crew member wrote the logbook. The log largely contains navigational data, weather reports, and various notes about the health and desertions of the crew.

The logbook is bound in canvas or sailcloth with twine stitching on spine and right side, circa 220 pages, 166 which are filled with ink entries. The account of the second journey begins on p. 92 of the volume. The cover has hand printing in ink that reads "Ship Herald Stonington." Images of whales have been stamped into the log book during the first journey. Such stamps generally indicate that a whale was taken on that day. The stampings are individualized with additional illustrations and many also have a red or orange colored substance spouting out of the blowhole. (The techniques for killing a whale during the nineteenth century involved stabbing the whale until blood spouted out of its blowhole.) Some of the daily notes are in columnar format providing the hour of the day, knots, fathoms, course, wind, and general notes. In the back of the volume, lists of provisions for the journey are recorded.