In 1815, just three months after returning home in triumph from helping defeat the British in America's Second War of Independence, the original "Pride of Baltimore" set sail on a trading mission for China. The name of the ship was Chasseur. She was dubbed "Pride of Baltimore" by a newspaper editor because she had captured 17 enemy ships during the previous two years of war.
Chasseur's voyage to China was a daring one at the time because China was far away and conditions were very uncertain. However, her owners thought that the trip would be worthwhile because Chasseur could trade Maryland items for exotic goods from China that they could then sell back home at a great profit. Chasseur returned a year later with her hold filled with casts of tea, crates of Chinese porcelain, and bolts of silk. Her owners sold these Chinese products at auction to Americans who were willing to pay high prices for them because they were so unusual.
On May 19, 1815, Chasseur set out from Baltimore. She traveled first to Boston where she took on more cargo to trade. Then she sailed south and east, across the Atlantic Ocean and around the tip of Africa, known as the Cape of Good Hope. From there she sailed across the Indian Ocean, arriving at Whampao Reach, the port of Canton, China, on September 23, 1815, some four months after leaving Baltimore.
The following log was kept by the "Supercargo." The Supercargo was the officer responsible for the trade goods aboard the ship. He also represented the owners in trading for Chinese products. The Supercargo kept his log by hand in a journal book. (See samples of the original manuscript. The manuscript is quite hard to read and was "translated" for us by an expert at this kind of handwriting.) The entries are dated and numbered by the days out of Boston.
The Supercargo recorded things that are important at sea such as the direction of the wind, the distance traveled, the position of the ship each day, etc. He also recorded some exciting events like great storms and rescuing shipwrecked sailors. One of the stowaways aboard was the Captain's dog. His name was Neptune. Can you find references to Neptune in the log?
When you are ready, click the "Ahead" button below to read pages from Chasseur's outbound log.