Tag Archives: Maritime History

Murphy, Robert Cushman

MURPHY, ROBERT CUSHMAN (1887-1973). Born in Brooklyn, Robert Cushman Murphy graduated from Brown University in 1911. The following year he married Grace E. Barstow and embarked on the whaler Daisy for the South Atlantic. A naturalist nominally in search of Continue reading & text links

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Peterson, Charles Jacob (“J. Thornton Randolph” or “Harry Danforth”)

[PETERSON, CHARLES JACOB], “HARRY DANFORTH,” “J. THORNTON RANDOLPH” (1819-1887). Charles Jacob Peterson was an editor, publisher, and historian, born in Philadelphia, where he worked all his life. Once he acquired an ample fortune, he and his wife purchased a mansion Continue reading & text links

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Snow, Edward Rowe

SNOW, EDWARD ROWE (1902-1982). A prolific producer of maritime history and lore for popular consumption, Edward Rowe Snow was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University and earned a master’s degree in history from Boston University. Among his Continue reading & text links

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Semmes, Raphael

SEMMES, RAPHAEL (1809-1877). A naval officer first in the United States and then in the Confederate navy, Raphael Semmes wrote two books on his naval adventures. The first, Afloat and Ashore during the Mexican War (1851), is an account of Continue reading & text links

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Nordhoff, Charles, the younger AND James Norman Hall

NORDHOFF, CHARLES [BERNARD] the younger (1887-1947) AND JAMES NORMAN HALL (1887-1951). Writers Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall were born the same year but worlds apart, Nordhoff in London of American parents and Hall in Colfax, Iowa. They met during Continue reading & text links

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Nickerson, Thomas

NICKERSON, THOMAS (1805-1883). At fifteen years old, Thomas Nickerson was the youngest member of the crew of the Nantucket whale-ship Essex when she was rammed and sunk by a whale in the Pacific Ocean, 20 November 1820. In 1876, fifty-five Continue reading & text links

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Nelson, James L.

NELSON, JAMES L. (1962- ). Born in Lewiston, Maine, James L. Nelson, a former professional square-rig sailor, traces his love of the sea to his earliest memories when he chose boats and model ships for boyhood toys. In college Nelson Continue reading & text links

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Jennings Jr., John Edward (“Bates Baldwin”)

[JENNINGS, JOHN EDWARD, JR], “BATES BALDWIN” (1906-1973). John Edward Jennings Jr., historical novelist, was born in Brooklyn, New York. The son of a surgeon, he began his seafaring in 1925 as a foremast hand aboard a tramp steamer traveling in Continue reading & text links

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de Hartog, Jan

DE HARTOG, JAN (1914-2002). Born in Holland, Jan de Hartog ran off to sea when he was ten years old. Six years later he enrolled in Amsterdam Naval College and became a junior mate in the Dutch oceangoing tugboat service. Continue reading & text links

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Haley, Alex

HALEY, ALEX (1921-1992). Alex Haley joined the Coast Guard as a “mess boy” at seventeen after two years of college. During World War II, aboard the cargo ship U.S.S. Murzim, he sent story after story to national magazines, with no Continue reading & text links

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Gilkerson, William

GILKERSON, WILLIAM (1936-2015). William Gilkerson wrote nine books, most of which relate directly to maritime history. His first book, Gilkerson on War–From Rocks to Rockets (1964), is an exception, as it only touches upon maritime history in the larger context Continue reading & text links

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Ellms, Charles

ELLMS, CHARLES (1805-1851). The elusive Charles Ellms was a Boston stationer who, after 1830, turned to popular writing and compiling almanacs. Little is known of Ellms, his birth, education, or even his death. Before he turned to writing a series Continue reading & text links

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Dey, Richard

DEY, RICHARD (1945-) is an American poet born in 1945 who writes of New England and the West Indies. As a teenager he sailed in the Schooner Tabor Boy out of Marion, Massachusetts. After serving in the US Army as Continue reading & text links

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Desrosiers, Leo-Paul

DESROSIERS, LEO-PAUL (1896-1967). Leo-Paul Desrosiers was born in Berthier-en-Haut, Quebec, a village on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River northeast of Montreal. His happy childhood provided him with material for his first work, Ames et Paysages (1922), and a Continue reading & text links

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Colcord, Lincoln Ross

COLCORD, LINCOLN ROSS (1883-1947). Lincoln Ross Colcord, author of sea fiction and maritime historian, was born at sea aboard the bark Charlotte A. Littlefield, commanded by his father, Lincoln Alden Colcord of Searsport, Maine. Colcord spent much of his first fourteen Continue reading & text links

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Catherwood, Mary Hartwell

CATHERWOOD, MARY HARTWELL (1847-1902). Mary Hartwell Catherwood began her career with realistic stories of the midwest frontier but focused on stories of the French in early America after her novel The Romance of Dollard (1888). This interest merged with her love for Continue reading & text links

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Carse, Robert

CARSE, ROBERT (1902-1971). A Great Lakes sailor at seventeen, Robert Carse later worked salt water, attaining the position of chief mate. He sailed most of the world and developed a reputation as an expert seaman and maritime historian. Carse claimed Continue reading & text links

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Binns, Archie

BINNS, ARCHIE [FRED] (1899-1971). Archie Binns, novelist and historian of the northwestern United States, is best known for his critically acclaimed novel Lightship (1934). Based partly on Binns’ own experiences at age eighteen aboard the Umatilla Reef Lightship off Cape Flattery, Washington, the story Continue reading & text links

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Baldwin, Bates (John Edward Jennings, Jr.)

See Jennings Jr., John Edward Continue reading & text links

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