Logbook of Baltimore Opium Trader EA, 1821-24

Logbooks were official records documenting voyage details such as a ship’s course, speed, wind direction and other significant events of shipboard life like discipline, death, sickness or storms. This example dates from 1821-24 and documents three voyages of the brig EA, at the time captained by Alexander Clark and owned by John McKim. The first voyage is from Baltimore, Maryland to Canton, China. Although the log does not discuss the vessel’s cargo, the Boston China traders Perkins & Co. agent in China recorded that it arrived with 140-160 piculs of opium, with a picul weighing 133-1/3 pounds. While in Canton, Capt. Clark witnessed the death of a Chinese woman at the hands of an Italian sailor, who was then executed by strangulation and his body returned to his American ship.
The logbook’s second recorded voyage is from Callao, Peru back to Baltimore, and the last journey is from Baltimore to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There is little of note in these two voyages. The EA’s later history is hazy; it disappears from the ship registers in 1827, but it may have lasted into the 1830s.
The two-masted brig EA was built at Baltimore, Maryland ca. 1817 by carpenter A. Desoande for M.P.A. Guestier (or Gustier). It measured 75 feet in length, 25 feet in breadth and 246.67 tons.
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Gift of Brian E. Weston, Whittier, California
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Maritime Objects
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National Museum of American History


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