American Maritime History

Captain James F. Smith. Mystic Seaport Accession Number 1939.1295

Mark Twain and the Whaling Captain

Captain James Smith left whaling to become a packet captain and a foil for Mark Twain. The painting seen below depicts Captain James F. Smith of New London, one of five brothers who were whaling captains out of that port….

Title page from The English Pilot, 1671.

The Map and Chart Collection

Two grants from private foundations helped to arrange, describe and create a database of the chart and map collection at Mystic Seaport Museum, a heretofore underutilized collection. Beginning in the early 1930’s, the Museum began collecting, among many other things,…

Mediterranean Passport for Ship ORRIS

A “New” Mediterranean Passport

The G.W. Blunt White Library acquired a Mediterranean Passport, also known as a ship’s passport, for a locally-built ship. A recent acquisition by the Library has links to both the local area and our own collections. The document pictured below,…

Stock Certificate for the Palmetto Exporting and Importing Company

A Blockade-Running Stock Certificate

During the Civil War, a number of Confederate companies were formed for the sole purpose of running goods through the blockade. As with any other company, stock was sold to support the ventures. Here is one such stock. The stock…