[Various places]. January 1 - November 20, 1866. 117pp. Approximately 17,500 words written in neat pencil and sepia ink. Small quarto. Contemporary marbled boards, rebacked with modern linen, new endpapers. Contemporary lithographic print of the ship La Oriental pasted on p.84, with text composed around print. A few pages dampstained, otherwise internally clean. In very good condition. Item #WRCAM37071
A seaman's journal maintained aboard the U.S.S. Shamokin, a 1370-ton Mohongo class iron double-ender steam gunboat. Built in Chester, Pennsylvania, the ship was delivered to the Navy in July 1865, but was not commissioned until October of that year. Between 1866 and 1868 the ship served in the South Atlantic Squadron, primarily off the coast of South America. Thus this journal records the ship's voyage during its first year of service. The anonymous author's entries record conditions and activities on board, with references to coaling ships (the source of power for the Shamokin, as well as other vessels sighted and encountered. Many of the days were filled with the routine of cleaning and maintaining the ship, but a few special incidents are noted. These include meeting a group of "Lady Emigrants from Boston" on their way to Oregon; the tale of a very drunken, belligerent sailor on board who eluded capture by the authorities; the attempts to save the American sidewheeler La Oriental (a small lithographic print of the sidewheeler is pasted into the journal); and the collision of the Shamokin and the Brazilian steamship General Floris. While the author primarily writes of activities on board the Shamokin, he does make several observations about the hostilities between Brazil and Paraguay.