NHA Adds Papers of Whaling Captain to Collection



NANTUCKET – The Nantucket Historical Association has received a new item to add to its collection.

The organization recently received the gift of papers of Captain Seth Pinkham which include journals from his voyages at sea.

Pinkham completed three voyages out of Nantucket as captain of the Dauphin and the Galen between 1815 and 1823. He made enough money to retire at the age of 37.

He and his wife Mary Brown raised a family of six daughters and one son on Fair Street. Pinkham’s investments were mishandled and he decided to make one final voyage to recoup financial stability for his family.

In 1840, Pinkham sailed the ship Henry Astor on a whaling voyage to the Pacific and died in 1844 just a month away from home in Brazil.

The papers reveal the hopes and sentiments of Pinkham and his pursuit of security for his family. The more than 250 pages include copies of letters and journals he wrote while on his last voyage.

The papers were acquired for the NHA at auction through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

The NHA’s Betsy Tyler says the papers compliment the other Pinkham family materials in their collection and reveal the heart of the man who wrote them.

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