14356b Whaling Letter written from BK Martha2 at Honolulu, Hawaii during the Civil War, with exceedingly rare, blatant anti-black racial subject matter.
Dated Apr. 13th, 1863, from C.H. Smith, 2d Officer, to his cousin. The letter describes in detail the Captain's discovery of a fire aboard the vessel which, after a Court Martial, was determined to have been set by a black crewmen. "...he held a Court Martial and found out it was one of them d__M Contraband Niggers we brought out from home...". The writer continues, demonstrating his bigotry: ďAnd I hope all the niggers both this side of Cape Horn and the other side to will go right-strate to H__L or some other place of amusement...". He closes his letter with one more bigoted comment: "...send our regards to you and the rest hoping to get what oil we deserve this season then we will feel well and satisfied that a white man is as good as a nigger".
The letter is signed C-H Smith 2d Officer BK Martha2.
9 3/4 in. x 7 5/16 in. Bi-fold with content on 3 sides.
Condition: The writing is very legible. There are strong crease marks with 2 minor crease tears.
A full transcription of this document is available.
The bark Martha 2nd, Captain Barnard H. Dailey, sailed from New Bedford on Oct. 1, 1862 to the North Pacific. Capt. Dailey died at sea in April, 1864. Ironicallly, the vessel was captured and burned by the Shenandoah in the Behring Straits in June, 1865.