Ship Thomas Perkins of Salem in Canton River, 1840, Sunqua
Recently I completed processing the David Pingree (1795-1863) Papers. The collection is central to the study of many important subjects in early American history, notably major developments in American commerce. The Pingree family businesses began early and coincided with the Golden Age of shipping in Salem.
The Peabody Essex Museum has its origins in the East India Marine Society. In 1799, twenty Salem, Massachusetts ship captains and supercargoes that had sailed around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn formed a society and one of the stipulations for membership was that they keep a log of their journey, recording wind, weather, ship sightings, and other points of interest. The Phillips Library now owns almost 3,000 of these ship logs, dating from 1748 to the mid-1900s.