Nantucket Museum Receives Important Gift

NANTUCKET-The Nantucket Historical Association has received a logbook written by Thomas Nickerson, he was a survivor of the Essex, the whaling ship destroyed by a whale in 1820.

The logbook had been passed down through generations of the Nickerson family until it was purchased at auction earlier this month.

The book was then given to the Association by the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association organization.

Titled “Journal of a Whaling Voyage on Board Ship Wabash,” the logbook is a leather bound, 78 page daily account of an 1832-33 whaling voyage out of New London and records the number of whales sighted and taken, other ships spoken to, and places visited.

The tome contains a collection of watercolor drawings of whales, national flags and coastal landscapes.

Blank pages in the back of the book contained drawings and draft letters from Nickerson’s nephew, added later.

Nickerson was the youngest member of the ill-fated whaleship Essex of Nantucket which was famously destroyed by a whale.

After surviving the disaster, he returned to whaling and went on to serve on a number of vessels throughout a long and prosperous career.

He served as a mate on a number of whaling voyages and later commanded merchant ships. Later in life he ran a rooming house on Nantucket and wrote one of two firsthand accounts of the Essex, the manuscript of which the NHA also safeguards.

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