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Guide to A private journal kept by me... of a voyage to... the West Indies to New York and Cape Ann, 1865 Feb. 21-1889 Feb. 23

Abstract

Thomas C. McCollom was a resident of Cambridge, Mass., b. May 9, 1847.

Collection comprises the journal (104 pgs.) McCollom maintained daily while voyaging to and from the West Indies, Feb 21-May 18, 1865, when he was between the ages of 17 and 18. The ship was the schooner D. L. Sturgis; with five crew members and its captain, Daniel Deasy. It appears McCollom undertook the journey for the improvement of his health, and the majority of his entries detailed the depression, homesickness, and boredom he experienced during the trip, "I can't tell why but I feel homesick and blue. I have such days now quite often though not so often as formerly. I shan't be sorry to get home I know. I don't know what to do with myself when I feel so. I find that writing home or in this journal is about as good a cure as anything. I feel better to express my feeling somehow if only to write them down here (pp. 25-26)." McCollom also described crew members' activities (including one man's drowning after an accident, p. 5), the weather and wind patterns, the difficulties of the Atlantic Ocean crossing and vagaries of the Caribbean Sea, and any birds and animals seen. He also identified any ships encountered, usually with their nationality, destination, and any cargo being transported.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
McCollom, Thomas C.
Title
A private journal kept by me... of a voyage to... the West Indies to New York and Cape Ann 1865 Feb. 21-1889 Feb. 23
Language of Materials
English
Extent
0.1 linear feet
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection comprises the journal (104 pgs.) McCollom maintained daily while voyaging to and from the West Indies, Feb 21-May 18, 1865, when he was between the ages of 17 and 18. The ship was the schooner D. L. Sturgis; with five crew members and its captain, Daniel Deasy. It appears McCollom undertook the journey for the improvement of his health, and the majority of his entries detailed the depression, homesickness, and boredom he experienced during the trip, "I can't tell why but I feel homesick and blue. I have such days now quite often though not so often as formerly. I shan't be sorry to get home I know. I don't know what to do with myself when I feel so. I find that writing home or in this journal is about as good a cure as anything. I feel better to express my feeling somehow if only to write them down here (pp. 25-26)." McCollom also described crew members' activities (including one man's drowning after an accident, p. 5), the weather and wind patterns, the difficulties of the Atlantic Ocean crossing and vagaries of the Caribbean Sea, and any birds and animals seen. He also identified any ships encountered, usually with their nationality, destination, and any cargo being transported.

Other common topics included his attitudes regarding race and the inhabitants of each island; activity on the wharf and ship while in port, especially sales and purchases made; his excursions on each island, particularly for church services; and his growing participation as part of the crew, by writing up of invoices and bills, noting the loading of cargo, and eventually assisting with sails and repair of the ship. McCollom also mentioned his desire to hear about the end of the Civil War, and recorded his opinions about ships sailing under the Rebel flag (p. 59), Lincoln's death (p. 91), and the capture of Jefferson Davis (p. 97). The main ports the ship visited included "Kinston" (Kingston), Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island; and "Rattan" Island, Honduras. Other areas visited or mentioned at length included Port Royal, Jamaica; Utila Island; and New York City, where McCollom considered the highlights of his trip to be touring Central Park and listening to a sermon by Henry Ward Beecher. The item's final entry, dated Feb. 23, 1889, contained McCollom's comment after rediscovering the journal twenty-four years after the voyage.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Historical Note

Thomas C. McCollom was a resident of Cambridge, Mass., b. May 9, 1847.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

A private journal kept by me... of a voyage to... the West Indies to New York and Cape Ann, 1865 Feb. 21-1889 Feb. 23, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

Purchase, 2009

Processing Information

Processed by: Alice Poffinberger, July 2010

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, July 2010

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2009-0134

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.