This is a log of the first voyage of the Congaree which lasted nearly 4 years. Entries commence on November 22, 1846, the day of departure from New Bedford bound for the Pacific Ocean. Rounding Cape Horn, most of the voyage was spent cruising the west coast of South America off Peru and Ecuador, the off shore grounds, the Galapagos, etc. There are approximately 68 full whale stamps indicating catches, with notations assigning the successful boat (e.g “LB”, “BB”) to each catch, as well as the yield of oil from each whale. Some 110 whale tail stamps signify unsuccessful sightings and chases. Entries record activities such as cutting, boiling, coopering, stowing, etc. Additionally, entries are made for provisioning food, water, wood, etc, recruiting crew replacements, medical care, etc. Weather conditions and latitude and longitude are recorded. Page headings note the course of the cruise. On a few occasions when anchored in a port, daily entries are skipped until the vessel resumes sailing. There are scores of named whalers “spoken” and sightings of other vessels. Towards New Bedford, on October 12th, 1850 the tryworks are thrown over. The final entry, dated Oct 26th indicates soundings of 25 fathoms under sandy bottom with Long Island in sight.
There is a page showing the “Account of Oils Stowed Down on board Ship Congaree on her first Whaling Voyage” another lists Whales Raised on Board ....assigning credit presumedly to particular crewman and a third page shows the number of whales taken by each boat.
Starbuck shows the arrival home on October 27, 1850 with 2325 barrels of sperm oil.
There is some wear to the original marbled boards. Pages are in very good condition, with the top of the leaf with entries for April 11th and April 16th torn away. The writing is very legible.
The accompanying account book for this voyage shows slop chest accounts for numerous crew members. Articles for which charges are shown include Consular and port bills, anchorage, discharge certificates, clothing, foods, wine, wood, fabric, calico for waifs, terapins, cash advances for shares of oil, captain’s board on shore, porterage, postage, etc. Additionally, there is a list of oil sold on the voyage.