Collection MS 39 - Logbook and memoir

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Logbook and memoir


  • 1831 - 1871 (Creation)

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1 reel; 35mm microfilm

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Captain William Driver (1803-1886) was born at Salem, Massachusetts. He went to sea at the age of 14, and made his first voyage to Fiji in quest of beche-de-mer in September, 1872, in the ship Clay under Captain Benjamin Vanderford. He spent 49 months in the South Seas beche-de-mer trade before returning to Salem. Given command of the Charles Doggett, he sailed for the South Seas again in January, 1831. He ramained at sea until 1837 when he retired to Nashville, Tennessee.

The logbook is for the voyage of the Charles Doggett. It begins on January 30, 1831, when the Charles Doggett was 2,098 sea miles from Salem en route to New Zealand, and ends in March, 1832, when the ship was gathering a cargo of beche-de-mer in Fiji. In the interval, calls were made at Tubuai, Tahiti, Pitcairn Island, Samoa, Tahiti and Niuatoputapu(Tonga). Driver's visit to Pitcairn Island from Tahiti was for the purpose of returning 65 descendents of the Bounty mutineers, who had been moved from Pitcairn to Tahiti four months earlier because it was feared that their island was becoming overpopulated. Driver describes this episode in some detail in an 1871 memoir accompanying his logbook of the Charles Doggett.

See also the Bureau's newsletter Pambu, December 1969:17.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

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